The drive home on Saturday night from the grandparents house to the cabin was a non-stop dance party. There are videos.
After a group-sleep on the porch, the kids having decided that the loft isn;t nearly as fun as piling into my bed, we woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning, and prepped, minimally, for our party.
The kids explored the new things I had done in their absence. During their stay with their grandparents, they had both been received new clothes and shoes. Annaliese, in one of her new dresses, was fanatical about keeping her new pink sandal clean, and used the fountain as her scrubbing basin after every, frequent, incident of mud.
Dressed for the party.
Also dressed for the party. This girl changes constantly, so I'm not sure if this is the dress she eventually started the party in. During the party she changed a few times.
u.William and a.Natalie were the first to arrive.
Then there was an explosion of activity. My parents pulled in, and right behind them came a massive dodge super duty passenger truck-van think. It was shocking to see it pull around the leafy corner, way down in the woods. u.Theodore, a.Andrea, a.Liz, and my mid-90s grandmother disembarked. With a threat of rain, and learning that the massive van was 2 wheel drive, u.Theo and I took the van back up to the main road before the hill had a chance to get slick, me in my truck in case it needed a tow. The van made it up without a hitch...
On the way up we passed u.Mike and a.Mary coming down, at the last possible place to we could easily pass before it would have been a nose-to-nose steep muddy mess.
The kids managing a story-time with a.Andrea, despite the crowd on the porch.
And what appears to be very interesting talk among the adults...
Natalie takes a moment to realize I'm snapping pictures, and quickly transitions into silly-photo-shoot mode. There's usually a cute picture in between candid moment and hamming it up, such as this one.
The kids took full advantage of a ready supply of playmates.
And then we walked over to the pond. We were offering painted rocks as prizes to anyone brave enough to jump in, and three people other than me and the kids went in, a record. (Theo and Andrea, you forgot your rocks, they're on the porch waiting for you.)
a.Liz, and Caspian, who moments earlier had though it would be hilarious to try to pee on her towel while it was lying in the grass. Apparently if you're cute enough you get away with stunts like that.
This is a mid-hamming-up picture. We had to say our goodbyes to a.Natalie and u.William at the pond, where they headed up the hill to where they had parked. My last picture of my little sister for the summer. Sniff.
Annaliese caught a ride with u.Theo on the way back to the cabin.
Papa, who had stayed at the cabin to keep his mother entertained, did a bang-up job.
The kids bursting out from one of their hiding spots. Hide-and-seek is the favorite game right now.
The evening settled in, and the kids curled up with a.Mary on the couch for more story time.
u.Mike took the time to tune my guitar, and then played for a while.
It made for a very relaxed, pleasant atmosphere. Caspian, having partied through nap time, wrapped up in the music and happy chatter, fell asleep.
Annaliese was tired, but wasn't going to sleep while the party lingered. She compromised, with a little open-eyed rest in my lap. One of the clearest signs I've seen that she's maturing.
After the family left, I flipped the couch down and threw a blanket over Caspian. He slept through to the morning without moving.
Again bitter-sweet. It was nice to see folks one last time, to have it be as simple as a quick drive for everyone, rather than a plane or multi-day drive. At the same time, Alexe and home were just days away, and we were ready.
I'm writing this from the blue house in MS, where the truck is half unpacked, cabin-clothes are washing and line drying, and Caspian, naked, just climbed up on my desk, grabbed one of the turtle shells from a shelf, and ran out.
It's nice to be home.