Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Visiting Family in South Carolina

After living far, far away from where I grew up in South Carolina for the last couple years, we finally live within reasonable driving distance (8 hours) to my parents & my oldest brother & his wife.  We decided to come visit over the week of Christmas because Steve's office would be closed for part of that time.  I had the crazy idea of bringing Shanan & Alyssa to stay with Glen & Cindy for the week prior to the rest of us coming  to visit. I figured they probably weren't ready for the whole crew just yet. ;)  I proposed my idea, & they took me up on it, offering to meet us partway even!

After burning off a little energy from the long drive, we enjoyed a late lunch at Cracker Barrel just outside of Atlanta, & then our big girls drove away to South Carolina & the rest of us drove back to Florida.  From the reports I've heard, I think Uncle Glen & Aunt Cindy made some great memories with my big girls & may have spoiled them just a little. ;)  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I mean RV, I spent most of the week purging, sorting, organizing, & being amazed at how different the dynamics are without my big girls around!  Jake & Genna got into an argument about which one of them missed Shanan & Alyssa more. :)   And I know Shanan & Alyssa were shocked to hear that I survived without having them around to do their chores. ;) Somehow, I managed! :)

Jake and Genna had fun playing with the goats
The next weekend, Steve & I drove back all the way to South Carolina with the littles to visit.  We got a chance to stay in Glen & Cindy's new cabin, which was awesome!  The weather for the majority of the visit was pretty rotten, but before it got too bad, the littles enjoyed helping to feed the goats & horses on "the farm."  We enjoyed yummy South Carolina bbq chicken from Maurice's, a visit to Shealy's, & Cindy's hot, buttery french toast & pancakes.  Somewhere in there, Alyssa made homemade rolls twice, & Shanan made cookie dough truffles dipped in chocolate. I think we might've all gained weight. ;)

We also got a chance to attend my extended family's annual eve of Christmas Eve dinner.  I enjoyed the chance to see my aunts & uncles & many of my cousins.  Time keeps marching on, & no one is getting any younger, so it is good to take advantage of the chance to visit!

Katie had a blast at the family reunion
Katie and Linda's cousin Marty had some bonding time together
One of the best parts of our visit was watching my mom pass on her passions/hobbies to her granddaughters.  My mom can crochet better than anyone I know, & she worked with Shanan, Alyssa, and Genna, teaching all of them to crochet!  It was priceless to see Genna so enthralled with the chance to learn to do something that her big sisters were also learning to do!  She was focused & determined!  My mom also taught Alyssa to embroider, something she'd expressed interest in learning.  Knowing we'd be visiting, I asked my mom to teach her since I remember her embroidering all the time when I was a kid!  When my mom found out that Alyssa's current favorite pastime is drawing women's faces, she provided her magazines with lots of face shots to study & attempt to duplicate.  It was truly a treat to watch my mom & my girls bond over something my mom is passionate about!  I think she's definitely passed on the creative, crafty gene!

Of course a visit to Shealy's BBQ is a must 
I also really enjoyed watching my littles enjoy & roughhouse with Grandpa & Uncle Glen! I think my brother enjoyed them, too, although after we left, he also probably enjoyed the ability to sit in peace & quiet without being attacked by the littles. :)

All in all, it was a great visit!  Thanks so much for the hospitality & allowing us to add much chaos & noise to your lives, Glen & Cindy, Mama & Daddy!

There was lots of roughhousing with Uncle Glen and lots of Jake nosepicking, this shows both
Time to say goodbye
Until next time...

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