The girls and I are still in NY state. We will be leaving tomorrow morning, right after taking the little girls to school for the day. My brother got home yesterday and so we got to see him and spend time with him too. It was great to see him, and hang out just chatting about things. He has slides of my dad's, from when he was in the military and quite the world traveler. He was able to show me some that he has on his computer, and it is looking at my dad when he was in his early 20's, just amazing. Before my folks were married or had even met. And boy, oh boy, can you see him in my brother! Probably me too, but you really see it in Eric. I only have a few photos of my dad as he was generally always the photographer. I recall him at age 44, the age at which he passed away, and it is really neat to see him in younger years and wonder about his life. Eric has said he will get me copies and I really look forward to it. Heritage and family. Very important.
We have had a good time with my nieces, trying to keep their world spinning as normally as possible. I think it has gone pretty well. We drove to Niagara Falls on Saturday - I was so proud that I got us there without getting lost - these roads around here are very winding and don't follow the grid patterns the farmland around our home does! We had a good time, walked a lot, it was a gorgeous day! All six of us girls got a necklace to commemorate our "girls time" and as a souvenir. It was fun. Talk about amazing looking at the power and majesty of the Falls. Simply amazing. We saw two wedding parties there for photos, and heard many languages all around us! People from all over were there, doing exactly what we were doing - snapping photos, and being amazed. We were tired by the end and glad to head home after just a couple hours. A quick dinner and chores and we were ready for bed!
Sunday my brother's in-laws picked him up at he airport for me (I was very glad for one less place to try to find in an unfamiliar city) and they all came out to his house. We got everyone settled, had some lunch that my girls decided to cook up, and visited and saw the animals. It was really nice. Then we took off for the Lewiston Peach Festival! Close by and sort of like a mini carnival or fair. Yummy fresh peaches!!! We had peach shortcake - it was HUGE! I am so glad I decided to share with someone, as even just a half had me stuffed. We saw lots of dishes at the stalls that were new to us, and some that I want to try - Italian Rice Balls!!!! It smelled so very good, but I was still full from lunch, so didn't try them there. And slovaki's or something similar to that. I will have to look up the recipe and give it a try. It all smelled so amazing, but I simply couldn't eat a thing! Bummer! The girls had fun on some rides and all five rode on the haunted house ride - some of the older girls even admitting that they shut their eyes! But they were all smiling and laughing when they came off!
We have had fun, established a routine for ourselves, but homesickness is really starting to set in. We are all ready to go home, to be home. I do admit we will miss family here, and the riding arena (!!!!), but we miss our own family, our own routines, our own life. The girls are even admitting to missing their brothers!!!! LOL! I am ready to sleep in my own bed - I never sleep well when I am away from Steve and this has been a long stretch for us. Miss my guys, all of them.
So, tomorrow we will take the little girls to school - say our goodbyes, and start the trek home. I figure we won't get home until maybe midnight, but I can easily live with that. To wake up in our own beds! To hear all my kiddos around me! To hug my hubby! Sounds like heaven to me!
I have been pondering about 9/11 also. It was quite emotional for me yesterday morning and I just couldn't coherently blog about it. I so vividly recall that day. All of it, and all that came after. We are so blessed to live where we do, to have the safety we have, the protection and freedoms we have. It is through the sacrifices of our military, our firefighters, our police, and so many others, that we can HAVE our daily routines, and our simple lives. I remember for months after 9/11 thanking all of these brave people and praying for them each time I was able to safely tuck my children into their calm beds, into their safe beds. We can never forget. We must always remember, and always protect ourselves. We must value those who sacrifice so much for our safety and lives - not just the folks who are on the front lines, but their families at home who sacrifice also! I fully intend to raise my children to know of that day, though they were so small when it happened. We must never forget. There is so much we must never forget. I thank the Lord daily for His protection and love. I pray for our leaders, our country, as we must. And I try to raise my kids to be the kind of people we need in this world. I hope, I so hope that we succeed.
Love to you all from NY!
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11