Monday, June 21, 2010

One Crazy Week

My family left back for Utah yesterday morning. Our house feels very still and empty, in a way it never felt before they visited.

They are probably still traveling as I write this, since they ran into some nasty weather in Nebraska yesterday, complete with large hailstones, once of which cracked my mom's windshield. It seems the Midwest was determined not to let them leave unscathed. Although I had thought they saw their fair share of impressive Midwestern storms. We had quite a few while they were here.

Things were crazy while they were here. I admire my mom more than I ever have. It was stressful to feed, clothe, do laundry for, and clean up after that many people. And my mom does it I have no idea how she does it.

A few things were broken. A shelf in the living room, a shelf in the fridge, a laundry hamper, some clips on the toy cabinet. The dryer, which I had mentioned previously, that broke of it's own accord the first day they arrived, was replace an hour later. Thank you, Craigslist! Although, today, three more things broke (mirror, closet rod, and cup)...just for the pure pleasure of it, apparently.

But I enjoyed them so much. And we did so many fun things. I've already mentioned the boating. That was only the beginning.

I got to show them an Iowa farmer's market. We left with bags loaded with fresh herbs, asparagus, tomatoes, and kohlrabi.

We spent a day exploring Kalona, an Amish community.

Amish horse and buggy

We stopped at a cheese factory, and left with over 10 variety of cheeses (which is a good thing, since we depleted them of all their samples.) We enjoyed all the affordable bulk items and locally made items at the Amish store.

Stringtown Grocery: Amish store in Kalona, IA.
No lights: the store is lit by natural light
or gas lights when they need them

That night, Hubster and I went out with my parents to celebrate their 29th wedding anniversary. We had amazing food. And I got to hear stories of their wedding and anniversary that I hadn't heard before. It was an amazing evening away with each other (and away from kids.)

The next day, we spent shopping and exploring at the Amana Colonies, a historic German village full of old buildings, antique stores, and beautiful shops.

Now those are cute kids

Storm coming in behind shops in Amana Colonies

Hubster and Bug with my mom and three of my sisters

The next day, we drove to historic Nauvoo, a historical village established by members of the early LDS church. Regardless of religious beliefs, it is an amazing place to visit. The building and the temple are beautiful.

Nauvoo Temple

Some historic buiding in Nauvoo...I don't remember which.
There were a lot.

My boys loved learning how shoes were made and newspapers were printed in the mid 1800s. And they love old-fashioned candy as well.

Mississippi River

We also found time to celebrate my brother B's and Bug's birthday (a little bit early, but done so we could celebrate together.)

Bug and my brother, B.
Happy 21st Birthday, bro!
A glimpse at the craziness

It was a fun, activity packed week. And even with the craziness that comes with a large family, it passed way too fast. I found myself on Sunday morning, tears in my eyes waving good-bye to my family, Jack Johnson (our gift to my dad for Father's Day) blaring from my dad's car.

I'm so glad I had the chance to share our home with my family, and to show them the many places in Iowa we have come to love.

I'm going to miss them. I guess I do have a good reason to go back to Utah and visit.


  1. I am so glad you had a wonderful time with your family. I love Amish country. I am so jealous that you got to go to Nauvoo. I want to go there so bad. I had some relatives who lived there many years ago.

  2. Looks like quite the houseful. And a fun time had by all. How nice they all came your way. Iowa has a great deal to offer. Many don't think that, but it is true.

  3. Stopping from SITS! It looks like you had a wonderful time. The Amish store looks wonderful.

  4. What a great, busy time. All those places look fantastic. Yikes about your mom's windshield.


  5. I loved all of the pictures and feel hearsick for you too that they are gone. What a wonderful week it was! I am so happy you got to share your home and new home state with your family. Hope your family made it back safely.

    All of those yummies...the cheese and farmer's market finds sound lovely!

  6. That Amish community sounds so cool to visit!

    Bug looks so much like one of my favorite students who is just gorgeous too. :)