The 9-1/2 hour trip went amazingly well!!! We stopped only twice to feed the baby and potty breaks for everyone else. My kids did wonderful! For the first 3-1/2 hours before we stopped for the first time, they just read books and were content with just sitting there. After we stopped, I put in a movie in my laptop and they watched that for awhile. (I rigged my computer speakers up in the back of the van so the sound came from there and Tiernan could control it while I listened to a book on tape in the front...good idea, huh?!).
Another thing that I did and would suggest any parent do that has a long car ride with little kids, is to stock up with toys out of people's "free" box at garage sales!!! Ya know those boxes with all these misc toys from happy meals and stuff that people won't buy but everyone wants to get ride of? Well, they work out great to keep kids occupied in the car!! (One lady at a garage sale had a whole little box full of these kinds of toys and she looked at me very strange and hesitiated a little when I asked her if I could take the whole box :) Isn't the free box to get rid of though?? I think she was just taken back since most people don't want the whole free box....but to me it was a gold mine!!) Don't let them see them until they are in the car and they will have something to do for a long time!! I just kept mine in a box in the closet and before we left, I seperated the toys into 3 gallon size ziploc bags and gave each kid a bag when they needed something to do (surprisingly though, I didn't give them the bags until we were about an hour from home on the way back!! That's how good they were!!
I was ready to get out of the van when we arrived at G & G Legatts, but that I think was more because we ffollowed a tornado into town for the last hour or so of the drive. We kept hearing on the radio that we were in a tornado warnings and that they were touchdowns of the tornado only about 10 mins ahead of where we were driving. The roads were wet when we were driving but we only got a few sprinkles for a minute or so....so I was so thankful we weren't ahead of schedule or we would have had to take shelter!
The first couple days were just spent visiting with friends and family. Friday evening I took the kids to a grad party for a friend of mine's son who graduated from home school. It was so fun to see friends that I haven't seen for 2 years!! A lot of them met Ariella and Brayan for the first time!
Then on Saturday we were able to go to Nathan's sister's wedding! We welcomed Phil Falcon into the crazy Legatt family with a small ceremony and reception. Since my parents offered to watch my youngest boys, all I took with me to the wedding was Tiernan and Ariella. WOW was that different!! I felt "free"!! :) At the reception, Tiernan had so much fun playing with his cousins and Ariella was content as usual, that I felt like I was having a night out with friends or something! It was very relaxing....so thanks mom and dad!! (Pics of the wedding on the next post :)
The only thing that I would have changed about the trip (if I could have!) would be the weather!! It was FREEZING in St Cloud! It was only in the 50s when we were there and since it was almost 90 here when we left, I brought sundresses for Ariella and shorts for the boys! I thankfully packed one pair of jeans for each of the boys and they wore them every single day! I had to go to the store to get Ari a pair of pants to go under her dresses. Oh well....it was warm when we got back to NE!)
I made Tiernan do jumping jacks on the way their at the gas stations :)