Driving through Ohio, we saw lots more farms, it was green and lush, and there were picturesque barns everywhere, mostly red ones (tried to get a decent photo but it just didn't work out - as I drive I'm always saying to whoever's riding shotgun - "grab the camera - get that barn!" but the moment to capture the shot is pretty short lived when you're going 70 mph).
Isaac did capture a couple shots of Cleveland. Sorry we didn't have time to explore Cleveland this time round....
We spent the afternoon with my dear friend Sarah who I met through her blog, Clover Lane. She's come to one of our Power of Moms Retreats and has helped promote Power of Moms quite a bit over the past few years plus she's contributed excellent posts to our site and wrote a chapter in our book, Deliberate Motherhood. But most importantly, she's become one of my favorite and best cyber-friends over the years and it was a huge treat to be able to hang out together in person and have our kids get to know each other. They hit it off right away and my kids had a really excellent time playing soccer, climbing trees, jumping on the trampoline, making fun bracelets, and playing with their dog (Oliver's favorite part) while Sarah and I talked and talked and crammed in as much as we could in our precious time together.
Then we spent a little time this evening at the Kirtland Temple - the first temple built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Saints had so very little but they gave their time and meager possessions to build what was then about the largest and grandest building in Ohio. While they lived in rickety little cabins, they built a beautiful house in honor of their God. It's a lovely, stately monument to their sacrifice and faith and the grounds around it are lovely. The kids and I read plaques about it and looked up more details on my phone and wandered through the grounds as it started to get dark. It was after hours so we couldn't go inside but we felt the power of the place and learned quite a bit through what we read.
Great little moments today:
- The street our hotel is on is called Oliver Street. When we saw the street sign, Oliver said "Look at that! I KNEW I was important!"
- Ashton was pretty nice to everyone most of the time today. This was a great improvement over yesterday.
- In our family prayer tonight, Silas said "Thank you for our beautiful wonderful mommy who is taking us to so many super wonderful places and making everything so fun." So wonderful to hear that!
- All the kids jumped in and made friends so quickly with Sarah's kids - loved seeing how friendly and adaptable and kind they are.
- Great talks with different kids sitting in the passenger seat at various points - great little questions they've asked and good stories and laughs we've shared. I've so loved the time to just talk and follow their interests and questions with this dedicated time in the car.
(There were plenty of not-so-great moments of squabbling and bickering and bothering each other in the car but I won't dwell on those.)
Now we're in Erie, PA having a much much much nicer hotel experience than we had last night. Yeah! Better go enjoy that nice bed over there (I'm sitting in the closet so the computer light won't affect the kids. This floor is getting pretty hard and my back aches. Enough for tonight!)