Sunday, February 10, 2013

Midwest Trip, Ch. 2

Because we just can't get enough road trips each year, we actually returned to the Midwest in August after having already spent ten days there in June.  Eric had a complicated schedule of meetings and conferences so our various travels had to be shoehorned in to free weeks here and there.

Our trip to Minnesota was as delightful as always but I think one particular day stands out for three of my four kids as The Best Day Ever.  Grandma Marga has become good friends with a family who live out in the country on some land.  Marga has long thought that the two families would get along well and arranged a day for us to all meet.  This family has six children and they also homeschool, so we certainly found plenty to talk about.  But, more importantly for my kids, this family has:  ponies, weapons, and daughters.  

Joseph has a long-standing horse obsession and we were beyond thrilled when this family expressed a willingness to do whatever they could to get Joseph on a pony.  Joseph spent awhile getting to know the horse.

While Margie hitchhiked with one of the girls in the family.

Joseph was definitely nervous but stuck it out for a few laps around the pen his first time.

He didn't quite get to the point of being truly comfortable up there, but we were proud of him for getting back on the pony a bit later for a second trip around the pen.  Though the experience was short-lived, he remembers having loved every second of it and would love to do more horse riding in the future.

Of the three kids who went riding, one was decidedly not a pony fan.

Margie was super excited to pull on a loaned pair of riding boots.

And the oldest girl in the family took her around the pen at a canter.

 It wasn't long before Margie was ready for a solo trip and, if memory serves, she ended up riding this pony for quite awhile, kicking it into a canter on her own and even going for a short trail ride with the other girls.

Meanwhile the boys found something more along their interests:

Of the six kids only one was a boy and he is a few years older than Joseph but they hit if off immediately and spent the rest of the day shooting arrows, rubber band guns, and donning WWII-period costumes and staging an elaborate battle in the basement.

Gregory entertained us all with gobs of cuteness.

And Grandma Marga, quite rightly, was pleased that the day went so well.

We were all treated to an amazing meal and stayed until a truly irresponsible hour.  Margaret announced, "I'm not leaving until you get me five sisters and a pony."  While we can't quite pull that off, I think everyone involved is hoping for a reunion this summer when we are back in Minnesota.