We live 20+ driving hours from my brother-in-law and his family. We live 25 driving hours from Las Vegas, NV where my brother-in-law owns a time share. We live less than 5 hours from Branson, MO and my brother-in-law traded for a time share there so that we all could actually see each other! This August I met my niece and nephew for the first time and got to laugh and play with family – a pleasure that was long overdue.
I have to admit that I was terrified. We have not taken our children ANYWHERE other than my parents’ house and we were going to be sharing a three bedroom cottage with another family of four for four days. Sheesh. I consciously chose to breathe deep and trust the One who made us to use the time for His glory and went to packing.
Each child was charged with packing their own bag and I have to admit they did a great job. KB took charge and would ask what she needed next. I would say, “Three pairs of shorts,” and she would march to her siblings’ rooms and bark, “Get three pairs of shorts and shirts to match them!!” When I went to check their bags that night I found them lined up like this and needing only minor changes!
The actual time in Branson was nice. I’ve shown you the place we stayed, which was lovely. We spent a morning in the Talking Rock Caverns and that was terrifying. If it had been only me and Honey it would have been one thing, but who takes two children with no sense of balance into a vertical cave with 150 wet steps going straight down??? I kept looking at the front of the line at the guy who CLIMBED OUT OF A WHEELCHAIR to join the group’s descent and trusted that all would be well with my bumbling babes. (Who had a BALL, I might add. KB actually listed this as her favorite thing we did.)
We sat through a time share presentation just to get tickets to see the Chinese Acrobats. What would have been quite a costly outing was completely free (well, it cost over an hour of time)! Such a sweet provision and this was super fun. KB was as fun to watch as the acrobats and when intermission came she thought it was over and said, “Can we come watch it again?” We got to “meet” the stars after the performance and my kiddos took great pleasure in showing off their Chinese. They greeted each acrobat with a “Ni Hao” and a nervous grin. It was precious.
Funny story: KB couldn’t wait to go out and meet everyone but once we got in the lobby she turned scared. Bubba wanted to meet them too but didn’t want to go without me. I turned to Little and said, “Little, would you please take your brother and sister to meet the Chinese acrobats?” and she answer, “Sure I will.” She marched right over and said, “Ni Hao, ma’am. I’m Little and this is Sissy.” KB took it from there. I think she hated being shown up by her sister.
The other favorite outings were go cart rides and swimming. I rode with KB and she just kept yelling at the top of her lungs, “THIS IS AWESOME!” Little rode with her daddy and I saw she was running her mouth every time we passed them 🙂 so I asked her what she and her daddy talked about. Her response? “I was telling him about the Leapfrog Story Time Pad I want him to have like mine.” That girl and her love for Leapfrog. They should PAY US!