Looks sort of like a lineup, to get into the Breakfast Club, right? RIP, John Hughs!
My husband's Aunt Ann passed away last week (cancer sucks, btw) and, although the Leavitts aren't really related to the Thompsons -- I'd venture to guess it's why my husbands family got along so well with their family -- Ann and Pres were at our wedding, they both got a chance to meet 2 out of 4 of our kids (in person) and we've been exchanging Christmas cards...GULP...for almost 20 years, now.
It's been Aunt Ann and Uncle Pres, ever since.
So, we decided to attend her memorial service last weekend, as she was perhaps the kindest, funniest and most bravest woman I know (battling cancer for 10 years, sucks wet poodle!) and, well, nothing says, "Hey kids, it's time for another fun-filled family vacation," like a death in the family, right?
Aaaaand, where did we take them?
To see LOTS OF DEAD PEOPLE, of course!
My husband, Garth (not his real name) and I have always wanted to visit Gettysburg National Park in Pennsylvania -- because, deep down inside, we are both just frustrated history professors, striving to bore our kids, out of their minds, with endless facts, about history, in retaliation for an unimaginable number of sleepless nights, spent not sleeping, because it's how we parents with older kids roll, really -- however, our plan sort of backfired.
The kids felt a deep sense of pride, thanks to Grandma's and Grandpa's extensive family research, in knowing that there was indeed a Frederick Thompson who served as a fife in the Civil War and they ALL seemed to be enjoying themselves, DAMMIT.
Okay, so the boy was hot, the middle girl was tired, the oldest girl is hiding (pssst, she's behind the tree) but, thanks to my infatuation with those Ghost Hunters dudes on Syfy (or, used to be Sci-Fi Channel) the youngest one spent the entire day looking for ghosts!
Greetings from Big Round Top
3 out of 4 kids DO, however, recommend climbing the tower, while my middle girls and I sort of just enjoy taking pictures of them...in very high places, like towers, I mean.
See, I told you it was tall...and that kid over there...on the right...he's actually a GIANT...but, not mine...little beast-terd refused to get outta my shot!
Then, we hit Amish country and the kids were all, like, we want to walk barefoot and drive a horse and buggy. Until, I reminded that, you know, walking barefoot, around horses, was probably not a very good (or, sanitary) idea ----> see picture below.
Although, even as a child, I remember visiting Pennsylvania Dutch Country with my parents and I can't help but envy the slow-paced lifestyle of the Amish. Still, my two oldest girls (they are 15 and 13) were a little surprised to hear that Amish teenagers get a chance to visit our part of the world, as well.
"It's called Rumpelstiltskin, or something."
Actually, Rumpspringa is when Amish kids get to "run around," perhaps even visit Jersey, with their shoes on and take pictures of people in the suburbs, riding their lawn mowers, or something, I think.
Yes, BusyMom, there is Amish volleyball!!!
In the end, it was a very relaxing, land-locked and non-theme-park-type weekend we hoped it would be, even if the entire Pennsylvania Dutch Country seems to be closed on Sunday...hence, one REALLY long road trip...I did, however, get a chance to pick up an Amish cookbook (I know, wishful thinking) because, even though I don't try a blessed recipe, I sort of liked the foreword:
Have faith in God, work hard and rest well.
Almost makes me wish I was Amish, or Catholic, whatever, either way, the kids and I are spending the rest of the summer, barefoot.
Aunt Ann would have liked it, that way.
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