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Colorado “Vacation” Day Five

Traveling with children definitely takes some getting used to. We don’t do it much, so no one is really used to it.  To “vacation” would be restful, ideally. But with children, it isn’t. We had a great time, a stressful time, an enjoyable time, an exhausting time. I would do it again. Next year.

After a semi-decent breakfast at the hotel, and packing again, we headed back up to my sister’s to surprise them with another quick visit. They were at their small town’s annual festival and we were able to locate my brother-in-law’s booth for his (and his friend’s) business.

 After the parade, we spent our few hours at the circus your way area. 
The kids loved the poi spinning
 and staff spinning

 and Aviana managed to hoop and staff spin

 Denton didn’t really eat three hot dogs

 and then it was time to head back to Iowa. (insert sad face here)
After returning our rental car and re-checking our carry ons for contraband, we managed to get to the check in for our flight two minutes past the deadline. The counter lady was less than stellar when she started freaking out, saying things like, “Oh no! I don’t know if we’ll be able to get you on!” “I don’t think they’ll still take your bags!” and niceties to that effect, thoroughly putting our girls into a frenzy. We ended up having to pay the exorbitant heavy bag fee as I didn’t want to risk rearranging and making us miss our flight.

We rushed through security, all the nice people in front of us letting us pass when I explained the situation. They ended up confiscating our toy we had gotten as a souvenir from the Chicago planetarium and a bottle of water Brielle had snuck in her backpack. Somehow they let her 6 pound rock go through.

We made it on the plane with moments to spare and had to rearrange the seating as they had us all separated, the boys sitting alone. Thankfully the other passengers were accommodating.

Once we landed in Iowa, we all stepped aside to rearrange the baggage. Somehow in those few moments, Cadrian followed the crowd of passengers leaving, instead of standing there with us. We looked up, and he was gone.

Kevin went on ahead to see if he had gone on, and I stayed behind in case he was there somewhere. This was the longest 10 minutes of my life. I asked a worker to page him. I asked another worker to help. I called his name. The crowded waiting room of people just seemed to stare at me.

I am standing in the middle of the gate’s waiting area, and about to burst into tears. I loudly say, “MY SON IS LOST! I NEED SOME HELP!” Finally about 6 or 7 people get up to help me. I find some policemen and we keep checking bathrooms and doorways as we walk toward the main part of the airport.

Cadrian had made it all the way past security, alone. When Kevin caught up to him a few minutes later, he really hadn’t even had a chance to get scared yet. He had tried to go back through the metal detectors, as soon as he realized we weren’t with him, but they wouldn’t let him! They wouldn’t let Kevin go back through either.

I am on the other side, practically hysterical. Kevin has both the carry ons, so he has my phone. Luckily, he found another policeman so they could finally use their radios to let me know he was safe.

I was EXTREMELY unhappy with the assistance I received from the first few workers I enlisted to help me.  The man I asked to page my son finished his conversation first, even after he knew a little boy was missing! IF someone had carried Cadrian off, seconds would have mattered! God was holding his hand, and it turned out to be no big but it could have been much more serious and they were all super lackadaisical about it. And not letting him turn around once they realized he was alone and go back through security!? I realize those rules are in place to supposedly protect us, but really?! Couldn’t they have accompanied him to find us?! It was totally ridiculous.

It feels like the trip ended on a sour note, but it didn’t really. We had a delightful meal with an eclair for dessert. I ended up having to ride in the way back to stem the bickering, but even so, it was fine.

After the children got to bed, I just lay under my covers shivering and crying and letting all the emotions from the week and especially the day course through me.

And I slept well. 

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Colorado “Vacation” Day Four

Hope you like pictures because we took a ton this day! We were all recovered from all the traveling and were basically back to normal (which unfortunately includes bickering and selfishness and all).
Aviana started out the morning helping one of our friends who had hurt her neck with her babies. She was doing a great job being a mother’s helper.

The rest of us walked a really long ways to the stables, to see about horseback riding. I had talked to one of the cowgirls the day before, so I thought all you had to do was show up. I didn’t realize that she meant just to look at the horses.

We discovered I had to pay for the rides, and not only that, but pay at the Rec Center, which was another 1/2 mile away. A 1/2 mile when you are wearing a baby and corralling/encouraging a 4 and 2 year old is a very long way.

Brielle volunteered to run back to the cabin, get my wallet and meet us at the rec center. I prayed that God would give her feet fleet and surefooted like a deer and that she would find her way. He answered in spades!

 Everyone had a lovely ride on both Rocky the pony, and Belle, the horse.

 Well, not the baby, she stayed on the ground. 🙂

 We were not too far from Horn Creek by this point, so we strolled over to play in the very chilly water for a while. It was loud and yet still peaceful.

 Can you see my cherubs on top of that big rock?

 We made it back for lunch in the nick of time, even with me carrying Denton in a sling I fashioned from Elivette’s muslin blanket. Thankful for Aviana carrying the bag for me the whole way.

 We hung out at the cabin for a while in the afternoon while it rained. I entertained the kids and myself with Angry Birds on the iPad. Aviana and Brielle got into a big fight and I was at the end of my rope. One of our friends offered to take Aviana and Cadrian over to the Rec Center with them. What a perfectly timed blessing! They got to go rock climbing and bowling.

 Then it turned sunny AND Kevin got done with his meetings early, so he suggested we leave after dinner to see how far we could get. That would make Saturday a lot less stressful to not have to drive all the way. While he and the children went for a very cold swim, and Elivette thoughtfully napped I packed up the cabin. I think the only thing we may have left in Colorado is our camera charger…which is better than the way out, when I forgot undies for Aviana and myself, and the boys’ swimsuits.

After saying good-bye to our Samaritan Ministries friends, we were on our way. The drive was beautiful. Throughout our trip we saw big horned sheep, wild turkeys and antelope as well as some birds we don’t see in Iowa.

We made it as far as Colorado Springs again before the four year old and the ten month old had had enough.
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Colorado “Vacation” Day Three

I am thankful :  we were able to go on a family vacation for the first time. Fresh hot coffee in the lodge anytime I needed it. Other wives who knew what I was going through and were willing to accept disjointed conversation and interruptions. The prayers. Cool Colorado mornings. A pancake toss. Pancakes that looked more like ice cream sundaes when the six year old goes through the toppings bar.
For space to run. For Cadrian’s new friend. Being invited to come along. Winning a bowling game at the rec center. A toddler walk back to the cabin. Stopping to see—to really see. The pinecones, the sticks, the rocks, the trees. To listen–to really listen to my two year old. To spend time.
Kevin was able to join us for lunch.
 That naptime finally happened.

That it warmed up enough to go swimming, (warm being debatable).


The girls were invited to watch a movie in one of the gazebos; one family had brought or arranged for, a projector and screen!
Bedtime had fewer tears, but was much later, since they had napped. We were all asleep again before Kevin was done with his meetings. Mountain air makes me tired!
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Colorado “Vacation” Day Two

We were up super early. Still on Iowa time (which Kevin gave me static for all week) I was privileged to be up in plenty of time to greet the Colorado sunrise. My sister whipped up a fabulous breakfast for us and broke out the coffee maker. We were on  the road again, heading for Colorado Springs.

 We were privileged to be on one of the first creation tours given at Glen Eyrie,  a tour highlighting evidence of the world wide Noahic flood using the amazing views at Garden of the Gods.

 The kiddlets did a little rock climbing.

We had lunch and met up with some of our friends from Samaritan Ministries, the reason we were in Colorado to begin with. As you may be able to discern from our lovely family photo, some of our group were getting unhappier by the minute.

 Even after another two hour car ride, one unhappy camper would not capitulate to sleep. While Kevin and I were laughing about the numerous U-turns we had to make finding Horn Creek camp, he was continually and loudly being bad humored.

We arrived at Horn Creek just in time for supper, 

and for Kevin to quickly unload the car before the first of his meetings. I’d like to say that I spent a relaxing evening enjoying the cool mountain air on the porch of our cabin.

But that wouldn’t be true.

Instead I had to keep pulling off the nursling to pop a wayward boy or two back into bed and contend with the crying crabbiness of several of my offspring. We all finally fell asleep, long before Kevin got finished with his meeting at 10.

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Colorado “Vacation” Day One

Five kids. Two parents. 104 pounds of luggage.  Six carry-ons. One and a half hour drive. 
Two hour flight. 17 rows separating us.
 Two hours getting out of the airport, to the rental car place and in the van. 
Eight passenger van. One hour drive.  One puke in a baggie. One poo on the side of the road.
Four cousins, one sister, a brother-in-law. One bloody nose. One superb meal. Three and a half hours past bedtime. Bajillions of giggles. A few hours of face to face conversation.
Worth it.
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I should be packing…

instead I have a tired baby doing nursetastics. It’s fun.

We are all flying out to Colorado for a few days. Kevin has a board meeting for Samaritan Ministries, and the rest of us get to hang out at an amazing family camp while he does that. I look forward to spending some time away from home with my babies and my husband. This has been a long and stressful May…and now it’s June and the planting is not all done yet.

We had a wonderful family date the other day and it made me realize how much I’ve been missing my Handsome Husband. I have been soldiering on the best I can, and it’s been good. But it’s even better when we’re all together.

 Even though we had complaining and arguing and narrowly missed getting plowed into by a speeding sports car (seriously angels stood between us and it, that’s all it was) and crying and scraped up legs and bandages applied and whining and loudness, it was wonderful.

And this week will be even better. Especially if I can get us packed.
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