In February we took an unplanned trip to Alabama to visit Mike and Kathy. I cannot say I was sad to leave behind Minnesota cold and spend time in a more moderate temperature. The children also enjoyed the outdoors unencumbered by heavy coats and mittens. For Christmas a few years back Mike built a playground at their house for the grandchildren. (I have a new appreciation for the possibility of building a playground in December since living in Minnesota.) He hung the rings overhead for the children to swing on. The rings now hang about chest level for the older boys and they can only hang if they are sitting on the ground. But the playground has not lost its fun. Now they climb the posts like acrobats, use it as a means to climb over the fence and then walk the support beam of the fence all the way around. I did draw the line when Jack asked if he could walk the support beam for the tire swing. Perhaps I’m overprotective, but a balance beam 7 feet off the ground was more than I could take.
We visited Donna and Daryl’s farm for a tour. It was beautiful. I must have shown my enthusiasm because Daryl asked me if we needed to put up a trailer in the corner of the lot. Yes! I would love to be a farm girl and raise some chickens and horses along with our boys.
We enjoyed time with Mike, Kathy, Miranda, Jon, and the cousins with renewed appreciation. Ma and Pa Carter also came to visit. The boys listened to Kathy read stories and Mike helped Jack build an impromptu bird house which the boys all contributed to painting. Uncle Jon and Aunt Miranda had the boys over for Star Wars Legos. And we talked and laughed and cried together. And I am so glad to be part of this family.