Sunday, June 12, 2022

Unplanned Trips Have Their Perks

Two years ago we found out that the Monkey Boys were going to be moving. Covid delayed it until two weeks ago. The reality of knowing that the whole family, including the newest Monkey Girl, were leaving to live clear across the country hasn't been easy to deal with. Warning: This is a long winded/photo heavy post.

It was a whirlwind of a week with final packing, graduation party, and graduation ceremonies (and no sewing or blogging.) The oldest Monkey Boy graduated a year early and was Student Body President. He excelled in all his classes...he definitely didn't inherit his amazingness from me! 

The speech he gave at graduation was wonderful, timely and of course, he was incredible in my eyes!

Monkey Boy #2 played his cello at the graduation. He's first chair in his orchestra, was class president, and was the volleyball teams captain. 

He was also a huge help to his mom during the time dad was away and during all the packing. Monkey Baby loves her big brother!

The Dreaded Day...Time To Go

Are they levitating or jumping for joy as they start that 30 hour car ride, not including stops, with seven kids? Note: Monkey Baby cried the majority of the trip. Poor thing!

I'm going to miss this face!

We left right before they drove off. I couldn't watch them drive away! Fifteen minutes after they hit the road to head to Ohio, we got a phone call that their car was having issues. After trying to figure out what was wrong while standing on a black asphalt parking lot in 100 degree temperatures, we unloaded some of the stuff in the back of the car. That didn't help so we unloaded everything they absolutely needed to take and put it in our car and sent them on their way. 

We took their mini van home with what was left in the car and unloaded it in our garage. A trip to the dealership and a three day wait (three day weekend, unfortunately) and they found nothing wrong. Ugh...isn't that usually what happens!

A day later we loaded the mini van with their belongings and what we'd need for the trip. It had been a long time since I'd been a mini van driver! 

We stopped to see my wicked friend, Joan Kawano, in Denver. We had a quick bite at Roadhouse Grill, met her cute granddaughter, no pictures (darn), a hug, and I missed her as soon as we drove away.

We had some stormy skies and saw LOTS of wind turbines.

Would you believe I'd never seen the Mississippi River!

We arrived in Ohio four days after leaving Las Vegas and the weather was not even close to the dry heat where I live. It was muggy and unfortunately, the air conditioner in their new house was broken. Yikes! We were all dripping wet from trying to unpack, clean, and organize in the heat and 75 per cent humidity. The boys were all taking it in stride.

Add a broken washing machine to the list of "WHAT THE HECK!" things they were dealing with, including laundry for seven kids and four adults (including us.) I had no idea how expensive a laundry mat was when you had to use at least six machines on two different days. It's a lot!

We put the trampoline up with the boys help and they LOVED their grassy backyard!

Three days in Ohio, a family photo, and we were back on the road to Las Vegas. 

The oldest Monkey Boy came with us to get ready for college and live with us. We tortured him with a couple tourist stops...John Wayne's home and Boot Hill in Nebraska. He had no idea who John Wayne was, but he made the best of it.

I've made a couple John Wayne quilts with fabric by Riley Blake Designs.

Boot Hill in Nebraska was an interesting stop.

The details in this statue were beautiful!

Even though the trip was long, the perk of it all was seeing them sooner than we planned to. It was so worth it, but it was very hard to say goodbye again.

Time to get back to the real world!
Thanks for stopping by.


  1. What a story! I can't imagine saying goodbye twice. Thinking of you as you miss them.

  2. What a whirlwind of a few weeks! It would have been tough to say goodbye twice, but I've no doubt the reunions will be absolutely fabulous!

  3. Awe what a great memory, even though parts of it are bittersweet. Glad the oldest monkeyboy is going to stay with you guys for a while. Your trip looked awesome, next time hopefully you will stick around longer and Kris and I can see you!

  4. How hard for you to have to say goodbye twice, I hope all the broken things have been repaired for them. They certainly will need a washing machine. Love your John Wayne quilts. How good to have an unexpected road trip.

  5. What journey you have made cross over the country. But so blessed you are with all the monkey boys and the cutest monkey girl. Love to read your postings

  6. Wow Carol, what an adventure for everyone. Glad to hear that all of the bumps in the road have been somewhat smoothed

  7. So glad you were able to help out your kids that way! And I'm glad you finally got to see the Mississippi River!! Yes, our Midwest heat and humidity is a lot different from desert heat! We're in the midst of that heat & humidity right now...Anyway, it will sure be a change for you without those kids around, but at least you have the oldest Monkey boy for a while. :) And there is facetime and/or zoom...

  8. Everything happens for a reason. This is an adventure none of you will forget. Although it may not have been funny at the time I can just hear the future telling of this adventure with laughter and great memories.

  9. What a trip you had. I'm so glad you got to see them again this soon, but that's one heck of a drive. I have to say I really hit the jackpot when we got to meet up for lunch. You know my door is always open when you drive this way again. Sending you hugs, because I know your missing your Monkey gang. Who wouldn't miss those beautiful faces?

  10. Wow, just wow! I am grateful they are there and hopefully they are getting settled in. I hope there are no more mechanical casualties! Glad you are back home safe and had a small adventure of your own on the return trip. I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to have them living so far away. But...more travel adventures as you visit! Beautiful family and pics, Carol.

  11. It's so hard when your family moves away from you. My son lives in Taiwan (10+ years now) and he will be visiting starting tomorrow, yay! But when he leaves again it is too much and too hard to see him go. Thank goodness for Skype type programs that we can see him and talk to him throughout the year. I guess you will have to be traveling more to visit them or they to visit you now.

  12. Wow great story. It is so hard to say goodbye once. But twice! Glad you were able to help them along with their trip.

  13. Oh, man, what a time! Even with two years to prepare for their move, that does not make it any easier! Will Ohio be a permanent place for them? I am sure they will all miss you so much. Change is hard. But that is cool that #1Monkeyboy gets to come back with you. What accomplished young men! They will do well and go far.

  14. Oh Carol! Such highs and lows. Big huge congrats to the graduate. The Monkey Boys are all so handsome, and Monkey Baby - well. Can she get any cuter?? Not possible. It's fab that your grandson got to come back with you. He'll make that transition a wee bit better. For a while, anyway. So . . . when are you moving to Ohio?!! {{Hugs}} a bunch. I feel you pain. ~smile~ Roseanne

  15. So hard, Carol!! That was a great story and you had my smiling and my tears. I am a mother of 5 and at 85 with grandchildren and 2 great-grandsons now, I have experienced so much joy and love. There have been sprinkling of tears but I wouldn't change a minute of it...Enjoy!!

  16. Sounds like a great trip. Haha, I live about 40 miles from St Louis and totally get the humidity, 106 today with 60% or better humidity and it gets worse. I'd be interested to know how much curlier their hair is, lol. Naturaly curly here with hair to my waist but in the humidity is curled above the middle of my back. Glad you all had a safe trip and I hope they enjoy their new home and the snow.

  17. Great pictures, Carol. A moving family is tough. I, too, am facing the inevitable move. No matter how much time you're given, it's not enough. Their move sure wasn't the best for them at this point - no AC, washing machine on the fritz - geez! A new place to visit - Ohio - will be your salvation. What? You'd never seen the Mississippi River? Crazy!

  18. Great family times and photos. It is difficult to live far away from your children for sure. Sounds like Monkey Boy is really excelling. The John Wayne quilts are really pretty. My step father loved John Wayne's movies.

  19. What a beautiful family you have. It's so great you were able to help them and road trip over. Too bad my boot hill wasn't your stop... I had no idea there were so many Boot Hills. And we thought Dodge City's was the only one. lol I'm glad the trip was a safe one and you can enjoy the oldest monkey boy for awhile. Hugs - I know you miss them so much.


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