Ooh, it's been awhile since I could update. I've been busy as all get out. We had our weekend away last weekend, which was really nice. It's so weird to have no one else to be responsible for except each other!
It wasn't bad leaving Jacob since he actually left US...my SIL picked him up. Much better than us having to drop him off and leave! Berkeley did fine with my brother as well, although his unhealthy affection for their dog continued. The older boys were fine, as well, but that's to be expected since they were with their dad. I never imagined when I was getting divorced that it would be such a nice arrangement. It's like having a free babysitter every other weekend!
Friday night we got into the park near nightfall, since it took us so long to get everybody with their respective caretakers. We set up the popup pretty quickly. You'd think we would miss the extra help that the 3 older kids give, but not so much. We made quick work of setup without their (and Jacob's) distraction. After a nice, hot (which can't always be counted on in a state park campground!) shower, we headed to bed.
Sadly, I couldn't sleep past 8:30 the next morning. I was SO looking forward to sleeping in...I mean, 8:30 is sleeping in for me, but I wanted to REALLY sleep in! No such luck. We got up, ate a quick breakfast, and ended up spending the next 10 hours and 350+ miles driving around Missouri trying to get the Central region of our passport filled. I am proud to report that we did...one region down, 5 to go!! (Missouri has a state park passport, modeled on the National Park Passport, where you can get a stamp from each state park you visit. If you visit a certain number in each region, you get a patch for that region. If you get all of the patches, you get some certificate and 5 free nights of camping. It's become something of a quest for us, though between the number of miles we have to drive and the high gas prices, we'll end up spending considerably more that the $75 the free camping is worth!)
We saw a lot of neat parks. Arrow Rock, near Columbia, Missouri, is a historic settlement. We'd have loved to spend more time there. Another neat place was Rock Bridge S.P. We had planned to bike on the Katy Trail but ran out of time. We also saw some parks we do NOT need to return to; for example, Finger Lake S.P., which, while a nice place, is one of only 2 MO state parks set up for ATV use...not really our thing. We're more the hiking, floating, climbing type with the occasional cave thown in!
Sunday morning it RAINED! Thought we were going to have to pack up the camper for the first time in the rain (though FAR from our first wet camping trip..one of the main reasons we got the camper!), but it stopped raining around 11 (conveniently a half hour after I woke up! ) and everything was dry when we left.
On another note, school is almost over. Unbelievable that another year has passed. As much as my first graders (whom I've had now for 2 years) have been driving me crazy, now I am starting to miss them already. Crazy! I'm SO looking forward to just having some time with my kids, though. I feel like I haven't seen them for 9 months!