It wasn't quiet but it was boat loads of fun...and just a little bit crazy.
And, Rachel was determined to keep up with the big kids as much as possible.
The party began on Thursday evening when we all got together for grilled brats, go-cart rides, baseball games, catching fireflies, and fireworks (not necessarily the kind that can be legally purchased in this state but oh well).
Friday we spent most of the morning at my sister's house and then, while the two youngest kids took their afternoon naps, the older kids were sent to the city pool to cool off. That evening we all went to my nephew's t-ball game and got to cheer him on as he cleared the bases during a home run. Next up... a family hayride followed by grandpa's homemade ice cream and fresh raspberries.
Yep... this pretty much sums it up. But, really, this is one of my most favorite cousin pictures ever.
Saturday it was hot so I drug our little pool over to my parents' house so the kids could tromp around in it. Our half-hearted instructions to stay out of the pool until after lunch went completely unnoticed and the kids went from just "splashing our hands in the water" to your basic full-out water fight before the burgers were off the grill. After lunch we finally put the kids in swimsuits, pulled up some lawn chairs, and spent the afternoon refilling the pool with fresh water (at one point the pool turned into a giant stew pot and was filled with mud and rocks).
Saturday evening we shipped the older kids off to my sister's house so that my niece could be on babysitting duty for the evening. She put a movie in for the boys to watch and I believe they were all snoring by 8:30. The two little munchkins got to spend the night with grandpa and grandma while the siblings and spouses spent an evening enjoying a fabulous meal- which was made even more fabulous when a mix-up by the kitchen shaved almost $40 off the final bill.
Sunday morning we all stuffed ourselves silly at brunch, which was promptly followed by nap time for almost everyone. But the hot afternoon brought with it another trip to the pool and this time everyone got to go...even the two littlest kids. Rachel had never been to the pool before and I wasn't sure how she would like it. To my utter dismay, and pure joy, she absolutely loved it. It was almost a struggle to keep her from wading out to where the water was up to her eyeballs. And yes...it was awkward showing up at the pool in my fat-lady swimming suit outfit thing but oh well....who do I have left to impress, right?
And P.S. if you think I'm posting pictures of that scene you're nuts.
Sunday evening we took the kids to the park for carnival rides and once again, Rachel just had to try to keep up with her older cousins. I thought for sure she would cry on the airplanes or the train but she held it together the entire time, even when she was on the crazy fish ride. The evening was finished with one final taste of grandpa's homemade ice cream and his special popcorn, which was followed very closely with a bath and bedtime. I didn't hear one peep from Rachel after we put her to bed. I suspect she was just as tired as we were.
Man, what a great weekend that was.
Man...I'm so thankful to be at work today where I can just....relax.