Illinois Trip

1 Aug

Over the 4th of July the kids and I joined my family in Illinois.  It was an incredible trip that definitely will leave lots of memories for me and the kids as well.  It was the first time we had been back since my incredibly amazing grandma passed away and to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to being so close to where I had so many great memories with her.  We definitely changed the routine of our visit this time but a moment didn’t pass where I didn’t think about her and how much she would have loved to be in the center of it all.  Here is a recap of our trip:

What made this trip really unique is that we stayed at a little farm house. Our closest neighbors were the chicken coop and cows. I was very impressed how well 9 of us shared one bathroom.

Speaking of chicken coop…. the kids got to go out one morning and collect all of the eggs.

We started out the trip with going out to the cemetery where my grandma is buried to put out flags for the veterans.

We spent another day visiting the Lincoln Library.

Then the 4th of July was spent at Bailey Park watching Kayla win the talent show for dancing amazingly, playing, playing, playing some more, eating dinner, and of course ending our time having homemade ice cream.

The kids definitely had a huge fan club.

We then went down to a little lake and did sparklers and watched the fireworks from Bailey Park. Then some family friends did a mini firework show for everyone.

Some people got a little crazy with their sparklers and accidentally flung sparks into the hair of others. Guess who?! ;)

Another family enjoys photo bombing way too much. ;)

We had a picture scavenger hunt thru 3 different towns which was filled with all kinds of family history. This team definitely won for most creative pictures.

My mom rocked this photo while she was imitating what my grandma looked like on the fence she held on to while a tornado was coming through. Unfortunately the chiggers were just waiting for some flesh. Way to take one for the team mom!

Colin took us all on a hay ride.

Or maybe it was more like he was a co-pilot while farmer David drove us around.

We watched humming birds get caught and tagged, had a picnic and waded in the water at Siloam Springs Park.

We then had a barn dance and I had two of the cutest dates.

All I can say is it was an event that will be remembered.

We ended our time going to this tiny church in the country where our family made up half of the congregation. They spoiled us with ice cream, which apparently they have an ice cream social that you don’t miss, and breakfast.

Here is the barn where we had the dance.

We enjoyed a lot of time at Becky and Jim’s beautiful house. The farm is filled with 2 horses, 1 donkey (Becky’s ass), chickens, 3 geese, sheep, dog, cats, and a rabbit. Thank you both for spoiling our family. You guys were great hosts and we felt at home at your home. We know you put a lot of time and energy into prepping for everyone coming and we sure did appreciate it. Thank you! If anyone is ever looking for a great bed and breakfast I would highly recommend staying with them!

David and Kelly, thank you for opening up your farm house to us. What a great experience for us to be able to stay next to an active farm. You guys did everything you could to make sure we had a great trip, from sneaking away our dirty towels and leaving fresh ones on the porch, including us in gathering eggs, letting 4 crazy kids stay at your place, and taking us on a hayride was all extremely thoughtful of you guys. Thank you!

Thank you also to everyone else that changed up their schedules to come and spend as much time with us. It was greatly appreciated!

My family still has more pictures that I hope to add to the album sometime soon and so check back. ;)


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