4 little Fergusons, 2200 miles & a Georgia Wedding: Part 1

We recently loaded up all 4 kids in our Flex, and headed to Georgia.  Our kids are GREAT flyers, but car rides?

Never done it.

(Well, once when Avery was a baby, we drove 5 hours to spend Thanksgiving with family, but that was about the extent of it.)

THIS trip was going to be different, roughly 18 hours of driving was to commence, and the kids were going to have to sleep all night in the their car seats.

YIKES.

  We take off right after school on Wednesday, and head across the border to meet some forever friends of ours.    They were sweet enough to allow us to stop at their house that evening on our way through, to let the kids play, snack, brush teeth and get ready for bed at their house.

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Can you believe I was a nanny for these guys for many years leading right up to the birth of Destiny?

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The 2 big boys are grown and gone.  All 5 of them were in my wedding and I loved them like I thought I would love my own babies.  What a blessing to still be in touch and to pick up right where we left off, every single time!!!!!!

We were there from 8 – 10 pm before Dale said it was time to hit the road again. By 10:20 everyone was OUT!  We had a few rough patches between 12-2 am, where I spent a lot of time crawling to the back to comfort and console whomever was moaning and crying because they couldn’t roll over.  Tylan fell off his seat at LEAST 4 times, belt still on!!! Silly boy!

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The 2 big kids woke up at 4:30 am happy and rested, praise the Lord, and the 2 little kids woke up an hour later at 5:30.  Everyone was ready to use the bathroom and stretch their legs, so Dale found us a Cracker Barrel.  He slept in the car while we changed, freshened up and ate breakfast.  Man, I LOVE Cracker Barrel!  I only ordered 3 breakfast platters and we had enough to eat our fill AND call Daddy in from his nap to finish our 2 plates leftover.

The kids did wonderful, reading books, coloring, listening to Adventure in Odyssey Story Cd’s {Amazing by the way!} and as a final resort, watching a movie.  If I learned anything this car trip, it is to let each activity last as LOOOOONG as possible {usually an hour}, but have lots of options for the “next cool thing”.  I had enough activities planned in my duffle bag of fun, that I didn’t get out the magnetic dress up dolls and silly faces until the ride home, and got out the FINAL magnetic car bingo and hang man games, 1 hour from Home Sweet Home. 

  The biggest hit, besides Odyssey CD’s?  These magnetic blocks from Lakeside Collection!  They don’t stack as shown in the picture, too weak and cheap.  HOWEVER, Dale and I saved 4 boxes from the canning we did this summer, because we figured they would be useful on this trip.  They worked PERFECTLY as snack tray, car race track and magnetic block holder.  Then, you flip them over and you have a coloring desk!  Are we thrifty or WHAT!?  🙂

  We all also loved the game “Rubberneckers” which is something the whole family can play!

  About 12:00 on day 2, they started getting crabby, it was 1pm before we found our hotel and got settled.  They were all getting hungry and ready for nap by then!  {ME TOO}

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I have ALWAYS taken pics of our hotel and hotel room, even before I had a blog to share it on.  But this time, I was so glad to be there and start unloading the car, I totally forgot!!!!  It was a lovely hotel, new and clean, big rooms with fridge and microwave.  And a great hot breakfast every morning!  We loved it.  We had two Queen beds, so the 3 oldest kids slept the wrong way on one, 3 across, and Pax had a cot on the floor.

That first night was spent vegging in our hotel room so daddy could sleep and the little kids could nap.  It felt good to be out of that car!  🙂 Everyone was asleep by 7 pm, even the grown ups!

The next day we headed to the RV Park to visit Papa and Drea.  They surprised the kids with Christmas! New clothes for everyone, doll clothes for the girls and a ball and truck for the boys.  They were so excited!   Blog Collage 5

I was most excited that both boys got new jeans.  This is because I was a HORRIBLE packer this time {guess my OCD didn’t kick in, because for the first time ever, I didn’t make a detailed list to pack from} and I packed quickly, while Pax was asleep. Sadly, I made a mental note to get jeans and socks from his room after he woke up, and then NEVER DID IT. Oops.

We spent the morning and lunch with them, playing, exploring the beautiful RV park, and doing homework.

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The big kids were very diligent about getting their school work done.  It was such a pretty day, we just plopped down at a picnic table and worked outside.  Destiny had a lot more than we could get done in one day, so she spent the weekend working on and off on it.

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When everyone woke up from naps back at the hotel, Unca Chad and Auntie Lauren had arrived with their twins, Colby and Brayden.  The kids were SOOOOO excited to finally get to meet their new cousins!

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Praise the Lord, the hotel was able to put them RIGHT next door to us, so we were able to hang out on and off between sleeping kids all weekend.  Sometimes we just sat in the hall way together and talked while we waited for kids and babies to wake up!   lol 🙂

That night was rehearsal and a lovely Prime Rib dinner.  Blog Collage 13
The kids couldn’t wait to see Uncle Aaron and Aunt Ashley.  We were so honored they asked our children to be a part of their wedding day!

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Avery didn’t leave Aunt Ashley’s side ALL night!

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Pax was being a stinker, and REFUSED to go down the aisle, bawling and clinging to daddy each time we practiced.  We formulated a plan involving daddy sneaking away and fruit snacks…….

Would he do it on the big day? Only time would tell!

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Appetizer hour:

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Supper time:

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We headed home early to get the kiddos down.  Drea made plans to pick me up bright and early the next day to decorate the reception hall!

It was a STUNNING building, old bricks and tall ceilings with open beam rafters. {again, no photo! SORRY} They specifically rent out to weddings, so they have coordinators you work with, light crews that can do lit ceilings or parachute white ceilings.  They set up the tables, rent you the linens, have caterers available. I am telling you, neat, neat organization! I would LOVE to do something like this in an old warehouse in my town!!!!!!!

Anyhow, Ashley had all the decor items pre-painted, twine and burlap wrapped and ready to go, so it was up to us to hodge podge them together on each table.  It was an ivory, burlap, vintage theme.  Blog Collage 16

  We worked hard and got the job done, but even at that, the ladies were an hour late to their brunch.  And, by the time I stopped at the store with my dad to get some river rocks and more candles…I had 40 minutes to get all 6 of us READY FOR THE WEDDING.

To say I was panicked would be an understatement……

More tomorrow,

~T