But that's all us. The big fun is that this past weekend Sara, Ellie and I got away for a girls weekend with our ultimate girl, Grandma Rosie. Earlier this year, when Ellie and I finished reading the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series, I decided it'd be fun to take her back to Wisconsin to see the Museum and cabin in Pepin, and it worked out that we were able to come into town for Grandma's 88th birthday.
And it was great! It was everything I hoped for when I planned our pilgrimage. The Laura Ingalls Wilder museum has been redone since Grandma and I last visited, but it's still pretty small. Ellie was so cute - she kept asking about every artifact, asking if it belonged to Laura (spoiler, only one item actually belonged to her) and when she kept getting disappointed, I finally started saying "yup, that was Laura's!" I was really impressed with how much she remembered from the books - she clearly was listening to what I was reading. They also have a little one room school house replica and a lighthouse thing that the kids can climb, so she and Hailee had a great time playing pretend together (and they were great road trip buddies.)
Grandma wasn't feeling 100% on her birthday, plus she had a water leak in her basement, so celebrations were slightly subdued, but still great. Everyone came over for pizza and Ellie got to roll around on the floor with her new baby cousins, and during the afternoon we took grandma out for a manicure, and Ellie got her first pedicure, because I told her in Wisconsin you can get one before ten (because I am not the type to take a six year old along with me during quiet, relaxing mommy time.) She was the best little pal though, through all of it. She was a superb plane traveler, coloring and relaxing. She loved following Grandma around and baking brownies with her, and she adored being the big girl cousin. The only snafu we had was the first night when she was so restless and I was so tired that I eventually moved her out of the bed and onto a pallet on the floor. Who's the dog now, kid!
Assistant pilot Elizabeth Beans
Yes, I picked these up at ShopKo
Nelson, always delicious
With Laura's quilt
Many years of Little House love
We also visited Grandma Pat
Ellie and Leah
Ellie and Clara (who is a month older)
Meanwhile, the grandparents stepped in so Tim could get to work last week. Lest you feel bad for the young man left behind, he got to to Knotts with Mimi and Poppy, visited the Mission with Gigi, spent a whole afternoon the care of Grizz, and then Saturday he and his daddy went to a touch a truck event. Both kids were great on their own... and of course, fussing at each other the second we all got home. You can't win them all!
Yesterday we had a really nice day with Mimi and Pa and Jake and Karen - we went out to YL for lunch to celebrate Mimi's birthday a little bit early (I'm going to guess that after they have the kids for three days over the long weekend, she will be okay with missing them on her actual birthday, ha!) and then in the evening, everyone joined us for a service project at the church where I do MOPS. The leader of the children's ministry is a wonderful, inspiring woman, and she put together a project with the nonprofit Together We Rise to build 100 bikes and 100 'sweet cases' for kids in the foster care system in Orange County. The bikes are self explanatory - we built a beach cruiser and a big ten speed (thanks Jake!) and then Ellie and I decorated a whole bunch of bags for the sweet cases - they give them to kids who may have been removed from their home without even a chance to grab a tooth brush or a comfort item. So we wrote messages of love and drew photos on the bag, and then packed it with toiletries, crayons, a coloring book, a blanket and a teddy bear. It was a really wonderful, meaningful evening, and I'm so glad that I had the whole extended family there helping us building. I felt very lucky and honored that we could give back, and that I have such a wonderful family around me.