Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cousins

I don't know how many times LJ and AJ have asked about their cousins leading up to our Tallahassee trip, but they mastered saying the word 'cousins'.  Every time we stopped between Texas and Florida AJ would ask, "My cousins live here?"?  "No bud, not yet."  Until one day I was able to answer,"Yes sir! Your cousins live here!!"
Jon's brother and wife have 4 kiddos, their youngest being right around AJ and LJ's age.  We managed to park the trailer in their driveway and mooch off of their electric and water.  Our days went a little something like this:
-Boys wake up, come into my room and ask, "can we go into the big house?"
-Breakfast by force followed by changing out off PJs, and minimal schoolwork
-The boys disappear into the "Big House" while I straighten up and get the littlest ready for the day.
-I check in on the big kids and work on a number of tasks- laundry, prep lunch, grocery shop, help my sister-in-law sort through baby clothes, etc.
-Lunchtime was usually in our trailer, once again by force followed by nap time.
-The afternoons were much of the same with the boys.
-Dinner was usually outside on the picnic table.
-Once the kids were in bed, we got some much needed adult time around the 'dryer-drum' fire pit while watching stars and making s'mores.
It became a routine.  The kids played hard and slept harder.  It's times like these that they will make cousins into lifelong best friends.  We've always said that we wished we lived closer to our siblings and their kids, and now...we do...sometimes.  Really whenever we want to.  These kids are always so full of joy to see one another, and while there are plenty of disagreements it's fun to watch them interact and make these memories together.  Their smiles are priceless to me.  Their laughter is a joy to hear.  So far, even with the hiccups and work this lifestyle takes I'm glad we followed God's lead and ended up here.
We left Tallahassee to tears from the kids on both sides and headed south to the Ocala area.  
We stayed overnight at Thousand Trails Three Flags where all of the 'wiser' residents took a liking to our mini clan.  We had a nice walk, round of putt-putt and dinner.  The next morning we made it to Tampa, where Jon's reserve job is.  I'll leave that fun/work-filled experience for another blog.