Monday, June 5, 2017


 This month Claire and I had the pleasure of traveling to Oklahoma to visit my younger brother and his wife and to see their new baby, Penelope and of course my two year old niece Norah.

It was Claire's first time flying.  She was very excited and nervous.  Luckily we were able to fly out with my dad (Poppy).  I love to fly but it has been many years since I have done it so I liked going with a frequent flyer.

When we got to Tulsa we couldn't believe how green it was!  Claire was impressed and decided she wanted to move there when she grows up and gets married.  Bryan and Rachel's house was built in the 40's.  I love the way the houses look.

My mom had flown out earlier in the week so we met her at the house and
 Claire held Penny for the first time. 
The oldest and youngest cousins.

Norah was very excited to see Claire and immediately started bossing 
her around and showing Claire her house. For me this was the ultimate
 vacation.  I left the three littlest ones at home - along with all responsibilities.  
Claire is big enoughto take care of herself and I am not required to help
 her make bathroom trips, wash hands, and buckle carseat buckles for 
her like I do with the others.   I literally did nothing all four days that we
 were there and it was like heaven.  I read a book and slept in slept in til
 8:30 every morning without the constant screaming of Jack and the "Mom, 
mom, mom!" from the little girls.  Besides being a little too cold for comfort
 it was paradise.
The first day we walked to a nearby park and Uncle Buddy put up his 
slack line. 

Norah went swimming in some puddles that formed from 
the rain the day before.

Worms are rare in AZ and we've never seen one this big.

Poor Penny was having some infant acne outbreaks while we were there. 

The next day we had a lovely slow morning at home.

Helping Buddy make his famous guacamole.

Then we went to visit Rachel's sister's Emily and her fiance Braden on his 
farm that he owns.  He built a tiny house on his property.

Emily showing us the newly added bathroom.

and the tornado shelter.
(at least SOMEBODY has the foresight to get a tornado shelter. 
- If I had to live in Oklahoma that is the first thing I would get, just saying).

The farm was really neat,  and is truly off the grid with solar panels and everything.

We went to church with Bryan and Rachel and hung out on Sunday
 and went for a walk along the river.

It was a beautiful day and again, the trees and green were amazing.

Claire is catching the cottonwood seeds that were floating all through the air.

There was a nice playground too.

Then Monday was Emily's wedding day.
It was an all day event with prepping and pictures.  Emily was so beautiful
 but I don't have any pictures because I know how much photographers
 hate other people taking pictures on their time.  There was a lot of down 
time between photos that we were required to be in so Bryan tried to 
entertainNorah by reading her a book.  It was so cute to see the other kids
 gather around him like a magnet

My mom and her youngest grandchild.

Buddy and his girls.

Claire getting excited for the cupcakes.

And wouldn't you know that Claire caught the bouquet at the
 end of the night.

We all left the next day.  Claire was bent on coming back to live there 
when she grows up.  A few days after we got back I was helping the girls
 get their pajamas on and I noticed a small brown thing under Claire's arm.  
Upon closer inspection we discovered it was a tick. There were a lot of
tears and some mild panicking (from Claire of course) while I read about
 the best way to get it out. I ended up tying a thread around it's neck and 
pulling it out - The lasso technique it's called.  It worked like a charm and
 afterward this little guy was walking around unharmed. 
 We taped him to the bathroom counter so we could look at him without 
him scurrying off.  We later burnt him on the curling iron.  Claire no longer
 wants to live in Oklahoma.(Thank you tick!)

It was a wonderful time away.   Next year it will Joy's turn to go.

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