Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 103 ~ Cousins

Gregory walking Poncho.

Cousin Kim, out in front of her house, is ready to go on a walk.

Gregory enjoys riding Alex's bike around the cul de sac.

Lunch at Goshen Elementary first (above) with Alex and then (below) with the twins Alyssa and Amanda.

Alyssa and Amanda help me "gut" the pumpkins. We toasted the seeds in the oven and they turned out delicious.

Amanda, Alyssa and Gregory show off the "fort" they built for their "camp out" this evening. This is their awesome play room!

The skin on this white pumpkin, that the kids picked out for Gregory, was thin enough that Gregory was able to do all of his carving on his own. He was pretty proud of himself and it turned out great. (See Below.)

Kim helps Amanda with her pumpkin.

John helps Alex put the finishing touches on his pumpkin.

Amanda, Gregory, Alex and Alyssa show off their works of art.

Gregory did this one all by himself!

Date: October 30, 2009

From: Prospect, Kentucky (Near Louisville)

To: Prospect, Kentucky


Miles Today: 0 miles

TOTAL MILES: 2,953 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Comfortable with a rainy evening

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana, 8 Wyoming (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho (found in WY), 2 Colorado, 1 Kansas (Gifted from David of Baldwin City), 1 Missouri (To be sent to Grammy’s by our new buddy, Kansas City firefighter Shawn), 1 Illinois, 3 Kentucky (2 Gifted from of Beth and Garry Feltus and one gifted from cousin John)

Flats: 8

Broken Spokes: 3

Cracked Rim: 1

It is so nice to be visiting family. We haven't see Kim in over 15 years and it has been so great to meet her husband John and their three delightful kids who are so close in age with Gregory. John was off to work this morning and the kids went to school so we slept in and had a nice quiet morning visiting with Kim. Gregory had a chance to ride Alex's bike and his new "sparking" Razor scooter and even got to walk Poncho around the neighborhood.

Then, we joined the kids at school for lunch. They have a beautiful new school that is just a couple of miles from their home. Kim and John told us that the developer gifted the land to the school. The school is one of the reasons this development of about 500 homes is so sought after for families with young children. We signed in at the office and down the hall we were greeted by a large colorful rainbow painted on the wall. The rainbow colors continued down the tiled hallway and broke off to the various grade level "pods". I thought this was a clever idea.

When we entered the lunchroom Gregory's eyes became as big as saucers. He stayed by my side and after taking in this noisy and chaotic scene he said, "I think I like it better on the road." The lunchroom is a social hour for the kids and I've always thought being the lunchroom aide would be one tough job. It is definitely very overstimulating in there! Even so, we all sat down at our own round table and had a great time eating with the kids. We did get scolded for "borrowing" one of the chairs that was labeled "Peanut Free Table" for kids with allergies. Oops! Alex joined us first and Gregory got to go up with him to buy a school lunch. They get to choose from a variety of items and parents can specify a "basic lunch" or the child might be allowed to purchase so many "extras." In California you might have a choice of entree until the "good choice" runs out but that is it. Lunch was Italian Dippers (cheesy bread sticks dipped in marinara sauce) which just happens to be one of Gregory's favorites. When the digital clock announced the end of lunch for Alex he grabbed a broom and dust pan and did his job of cleanup. Gregory and I were both impressed that the kids were doing the cleanup. Kim explained that all of the kids take turns at various jobs. We said goodbye to Alex and were shortly joined by the twins. They pointed their cousins out to various friends and were all smiles as we chatted and dined together.

After lunch Kim took us around to a couple of bike shops so we could find some leg warmers for me and a light attachment for our front rack. With the inclement weather we thought we should probably run a light up front (as well as in the rear) all day. The trick was finding something that would attach to our front rack since we have a handle bar bag and front panniers. We ended up adapting a bracket to our front rack to mount a Planet Bike light. We were really pleased with the service at Bicycle Sport. Mike had called ahead to see about a light and they had the perfect set up ready to go when we walked in the door.

John's mom Gussy was at the house to greet to the kids after school and when we finally arrived an hour later. The kids were wondering where we'd been and were eager to play with Gregory. We had a nice visit with Gussy who I know has been a blessing for Kim and John. The kids are lucky to have both Gussy and Kim's parents close and involved in their lives. We were sad to miss Kim's parents (Mike's Auntie Barb and Uncle Dave, Mike's dad John is Dave's older brother) but this is the time of year they spend down in Florida. We did have a nice talk with Barb on the phone though.

The kids spent the better part of the evening constructing forts out of various blankets and pieces of furniture in the bonus room and they all slept there throughout the night. It is not a surprise considering how late they were up and how hard they played together! Kim and I lasted until about midnight but Mike and John were once again up until about 1:00 A.M.

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