For the title of this post I am borrowing from a conversation a friend of mine and I had this week, this is certainly the "Summer of the Suitcase" for our family! For someone whose first real vacation was my honeymoon at 19, I sure am making up for lost time!
We are home for 5 days this week from Summer Camp, and then Friday we are off to Ridgway Reservoir for a fun weekend of camping with families from our church. We arrive home Sunday afternoon and then take off early Monday morning for the loooooooonnnnnngggg drive to California to visit both Grandma's!! Kenny is excitedly awaiting the chance to see his Babushka's face to face, and Matthew hasn't visited them in about 2 1/2 years, so it will be a wonderful time for all of us, if we can manage to make it through the long, dull drive first. We are also so fortunate to have Dominick's brother and sister-in-law coming to visit as well, so seeing Uncle Peter and Auntie Beth will be a real treat!! Matthew has promised to be my Co-Pilot since Dominick has to remain at home and work. He can't do any worse than I have done in the past when returning from Las Vegas I somehow ended up in Salt Lake City! Yes, it is the running joke in our family and I will never hear the end of it :-)
We will be going back to visit in the city I grew up in, Camarillo, and since leaving it feels nothing at all like home. Montrose was home the first moment I stepped foot in it and it has done nothing but grow fonder to me throughout the past 10 years. I loved where I grew up but as any city in Southern California will do, it has changed so much it doesn't at all resemble the little town I was a child in where I remember celebrating the arrival of the first McDonald's. I think the yearning for that kind of feel again is what led us to settling in Montrose to raise our children, and we have never regretted that decision for a moment.
Other than hugging family we have other adventures planned for this trip as well! We will be meeting some special friends in Vegas who have helped us tremendously with our adoption, we are planning a trip to Legoland, paid for with Matthew and Joshie's savings for the last year of all their birthday, Christmas and allowance money...plus Matthew saved every penny he earned this past winter helping us out in the restaurant. It was originally meant to be used in Kyrgyzstan and shared with Kenny to buy souvenirs but not much ended up being used so we made a deal to take a trip to Legoland...Matthew's dream trip...when we went to CA. I will have the pleasure of seeing my closest old high school friend. We will visit the beach and show Kenny the ocean for the first time, visit the Science Museum in Los Angeles, and maybe...just maybe...I'll get to rest a bit too. Yea, right...I doubt it!
So we are taking this next couple of days to do absolutely nothing but hang out. We need it! I have clothing scattered from one end of the floor to another as I pack for two trips and clean up from the last one!
And yet, in the midst of this controlled (somewhat) chaos, there are still those special little moments that capture my heart. Matthew took it upon himself this morning to pull out some of the younger aged computer games he enjoyed in years past and try and teach Kenny how to use them. He ran down the hall to the kitchen this morning and with a huge grin on his face told me I had to come see what Kenny was doing. I walked into our bedrooom where the desktop computer is and there was Kenny sitting in the chair maneuvering through one of the games, Josh on the bed avidly watching him. Matthew hopped onto the chair sitting behind Kenny and hugged him from behind, giving him a kiss and telling him "Good job, Kenny!".
Yesterday all the boys were busy, busy, busy and Dominick was working at home cleaning a popup trailer for a customer. Kenny decided to go out and help Daddy and was out there for 2 hours cleaning the inside of it thoroughly, coming inside once or twice for water for the two of them, grinning from ear to ear and proudly declaring that he and Daddy were working together. Later Matthew joined them laying on his back and cleaning the tongue of the trailer and he came into the house with his face covered in dirt, happy as a clam. Josh, as usual, sat back and enjoyed the show!! Hahahaha! We had a very happy day yesterday without a moment's problem from Kenny. We capped it off with a swim in the evening at the public pool and the everyone exhaustedly went to sleep once we came back home.
As I read the above paragraph I realize that even yesterday wasn't really a relaxing day!! Whew! I'll continue to blog during our trip to CA, as I am sure there will be many, many new adventures in Kennyland that might be fun to share. I keep thinking I will stop blogging as the "big" adventure is complete, but there always seems to be some silly thing to share with anyone who wants to waste time reading this! :-) Things like Kenny calling our popup trailer a "Yurta Machina" and watching his eyes widen in surprise at it opens up, or hearing Joshie explain his family to a visitor to our home this morning saying "I have two brothers from different places but they are both 8...but I'm not!!"...or then there is the heartrending prayer of Kenny as he says his prayers at night thanking God for his family and then throwing wishes for his buddy Turat who is still in the orphanage in Kyrgyzstan.
And I say to myself, what a wonderful world...