We have had such a fun summer. My mom came at the beginning of July and then drove back to Utah with me and my three youngest kids. It was 20 hours altogether. We stopped at the halfway point in North Platte, NE. We went to this place called Fort Cody. It was pretty cool with all the little figurines that we saw and it had a lot of stuff from Buffalo Bill Cody. It was a nice place to get out and stretch our legs. The place we stayed didn't have a pool, so I went to Walmart and got something for everyone to keep themselves entertained. We had a good breakfast and then continued on our way. We got to my mom's house at around 5. The kids were really good on the way there.
Sydnee has a cousin that is a few months younger than she is and they got along really well, once they got to know each other. My older kids came during the next week with my brother-in-law on his semi. They were able to make a lot of reconnection's with friends from when we lived there.
One of the highlights of our trips was that Tori and I got to go to Cedar City to the Shakespearean Festival. This is a tradition with my family. It was Tori's first year and she had a blast. We saw "The Merchant of Venice", "Macbeth", "Much Ado About Nothing", and "Pride and Prejudice". We usually only go to the three main Shakespeare plays, but my mom really wanted to see Pride and Prejudice that we went a day early. It was so great to have that extra day. I wish we could do that every year and not necessarily go to a play on the extra day. One of the funny things that happened, Tori brought all her shoes that she has been wearing that are a size 4-5 and her feet wouldn't fit into any of them. We went to the shoe store and had her foot measured and she is a size 8! I couldn't believe it! We had to go and get her all new shoes.
It was so much fun spending time at my mom's house and my sister Kim's house. I loved spending time with all of my family. I really felt that I bonded with my family in ways that I haven't before. It actually made leaving all that harder. All of our kids got a long, we played games, watched shows, and hung out. It doesn't sound all that exciting, but it was one of the best times I have ever had with my family. It was nice to be around my in-laws too. It was fun to be there when my sister-in-law had her baby. I was able to hold him and realized that I had forgotten how tiny newborns are.
As a last minute decision, I was able to attend Education Week with my mom and two of my sisters. I truly believe that Heavenly Father wanted me to go to that to hear certain messages that I heard. I went to one class that talked about Zion vs. Babylon. Do we have more Zion homes or Babylon homes? Are we living a life that puts us in Zion or Babylon? It was really good. Another one talked about how we need to teach our kids to be achievers and leaders among their peers. My favorite one was the one that Sheri Dew presented. She talked about the importance of being a righteous influence in our lives. That is so perfect to teach my kids about while they are around their friends that aren't LDS , but also in our own home. I absolutely loved it. I hope Brahnson can go to education week next year when he will be 14. I wish that he could have gone this year, but he missed the cut off by a week and a half. I really hope that my husband can be with me next year.
I then had to drive home with all five kids by myself. We stopped in NE. again. It was a little more contentious then on the drive up, but we made it. We continued home the next day and it was so good to see my husband. I was gone for 5 weeks and we really missed each other.
I am so grateful that I was able to go. I am very grateful to my sister-in-law Jen for being willing to have my kids at their house for two weeks while I was elsewhere.
This vacation came right at the right time for me. I had just the right experiences and now I am ready to move forward with everything. The only bad thing about this vacation, apart from not having my husband with me, is that I forgot my camera! Hopefully, I'll be able to get some pictures from people that were there with me.
I am looking forward to the kids going back to school and resuming my life here. I don't know why I need to live away from my family in Utah, but I trust Heavenly Father and His plan for me. I am already looking forward to going back next year. My kids are too!