5.09.2013

Northwest Indiana: Spring 2013

Last week, we headed north again for a trip back 'home'.
 Armed with car buck prizes, we set off on our voyage.
 
 The kids earned their first presents while we made a pit stop in Cincinnati.
 
 Yep.  You guessed it.
Cincy Craigs List got Rob again!
 
 He purchased another bass {this one is a project/fixer-uper}
and then had to repack the car to make room for the extra large case.
 Kensley finally fell asleep somewhere around Indianapolis...
 ... but Nolan was too excited to sleep!
 There is a certain part of Indiana that gets a ton of wind
so someone super smart constructed wind mills as far as the eye can see.

 As tradition would have it, the kids enjoyed another wind storm.
 
Did you notice my pink pea jacket almost took flight in the back?
{What a disaster that could have been.}

As we were beginning to get close, I was texting everyone our location.
Elizabeth texted back, "You have to be right behind me".
 Sure enough, there she was.  I could spot her dimples a mile away!

Our first evening we hung out and got the kids settled in.
And... after waiting months... I had my first, of MANY, chicken salad sandwiches from Meijers.

The next morning Zelma (YaYa) made Rob authentic Chorizo.
{I just loved seeing a picture our kids and our nieces on the fridge}

On Friday the guys went shopping at local Pawn shops, visited some music stores
and Rob had his first experience with White Castle.

After another delicious meal, we headed to the neighborhood park for the evening.

As it began to get dark, Tater and Ya Ya pulled the kiddos home.
 On Saturday, the guys took off for the RC track in a near by town and the girls and the kiddos later caught up with them later that afternoon.
Between us, we have FIVE kids age FOUR and under; controlled chaos most of the time!
We did a little outlet shopping and the kids rode a few rides.
 
Yes.  We were total tourists.  Seeing this was another first for us!
Before heading back, we stopped by Mount Baldy.
It's rather crazy.  You pull up and just see woods.
{Case in point}

But then, a staircase leads you straight on the beach of Michigan City.
Thanks to Elizabeth, this is probably my FAVORITE photo of all of us to date.
Yes, I know that we were all wearing winter jackets.
It's safe to say the weather up north is so different than what have grown accustomed to in WV.

While on vacation, Zelma bought all of the littles matching outfits.
 Although the outfits were very cute, trying to get a 'group shot' with so many little ones proved to be impossible.
 Clearly our kids did the worst.
Nolan is crying because Brilynn is crying.
And Kensley is doing what Kensley does best when things are too loud.
{Sweet candid moment with Brilynn and Bailey}
 We visited Rabino's Music Store... and Rob played a $7,000 bass.
A far cry from his regular Craig's List finds!  The brand is Warrior.
It's a Christian company that sells unique instruments with cool details such as a cross inlayed in the fret board.
After each guitar is finished they are prayed over; there's no doubt that they are anointed.
 One day, the four of us snuck off and rode the carousel at the mall.
 This carousel in particular is super cool because it's 2 stories.



 And just like last time, Rob assured Nolan he was a little boy in a big city!
 Their local mall also had a fun play place the kids burnt off some energy.
 Another first: Maggie Moo's ice cream.
 One highlight of the trip for Rob was eating authentic Chicago styled hotdogs.
 'Tater' baking us taters in the fire pit for dinner one evening.
 One of my highlights was Rob placing prank calls to Jim behind the shed.
Oh the memories that we made this trip!
 As always, on our way out of town we stopped at Albaneese, the candy factory.
Yes, that is a chocolate fountain that extends from the ceiling to the floor!
We finally found Hi-Chew; a family favorite candy which we first had imported from Taiwan.
This trip, the kids were excited over their Lego candy building blocks. 
 On the drive back home, we ate a late lunch after stopping at a Meijers and grabbing some more chicken salad.
 Nolan opted to eat a chocolate sprinkle-covered donut... and was upset about the sprinkles falling off.
Rob and I still haven't figured out why we, two educated adults, allowed him to eat a donut in the car.
Worst.  Idea.  Ever.

 We made one last pit stop on our way home at some type of a tourist train station.
It was closed, but the kids enjoyed crawling around on the cars.

The Donelson's are wonderful hostesses; when we arrived I had a box of Lucky Charms waiting on my pillow.
They have been, and continue to be, so generous with their time and money to spoil my family.

As always, we slept too little and ate too much.
It felt like home... and I miss everyone already.

Until next time...

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