At last…our veeerrryyy long post about our trip almost two months ago to Connecticut 😀  You may want to fasten your seat belts…or at least have a cup of ice tea or coffee and a snack to munch on as you scroll through a lot of pictures 😀   It took us awhile to sort through the hundreds we took while we were there, then to upload the ones we picked (which were still too many!), then to transfer them to the blog and finally write about them 😀  But we’re so glad we did and so wanted to share one of our favorite trips with you 😉

 

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In the weeks before our trip, there was some discussion as to what time we should  get up to start our travels.  Some people wanted to be driving out of the driveway by 4:00 a.m. and others thought we should leave a couple hours later.  We tried to leave by 4:00, but several of us slept straight through our alarms and didn’t wake up ’til four.  However, we were able to get ourselves around, milk the goats (who I’m sure were shocked to see us out in the barn so early), and pull out the drive by 5:30 a.m.

Susannah took the first driving shift, and the rest of us slept pretty much until we were in Ohio somewheres 😀   Then I took over driving, and we all ate yogurt, bagels and cream cheese and homemade granola (sprinkled over the yogurt) for our ‘breakfast’.

 

As usual, when you have many hours to kill while riding along in a big red bus, you naturally take crazy pictures of yourself!

Our yummy breakfast…we were pleasantly surprised how good the bagels were without being toasted or anything 😀

Of course, no trip is complete without rice crispy snacks 😀

And we tried not to kill each other in our 18ish hour drive 😀

When we got to Pennsylvania, we got to see so many pretty mountains and valleys.  The leaves were just coming out, making everything a misty green.  We also noticed that our ears started popping from the pressure…we flat-landers aren’t used to such sudden rises and drops in altitude 😀

A game of  cards in the back seats

More crazy faces (and a little music sharing)

When we finally got close to our friends’ house, we were counting down the minutes about 20 miles away 😀  As we drove into their drive, they were all out in the drive and as soon Mommy put the van into park, we BUSTED out of the van, partly because we were SO tired of driving/riding and mostly because we were SO excited to see our friends.   Everyone was talking, laughing and hugging all at once. 😀

  We had a back rubbing circle one night, and a hair brushing/braiding line another day 😀  We so love this family!

William reading to his niece and nephew

Playing ‘Ninja’

We had a ‘Christmas party’ and gave each other Christmas presents that we didn’t get sent out in time.  It’s way more fun to watch them open it in person anyway!

Both of the Rebekahs 😀

Mommy and Auntie Jen (we love adopting extra aunts 😉 )

A Cars shirt I made for Andrew, my friend Kelley’s little boy 😀  Unfortunately, I made it too small, but he didn’t mind and wore it to bed anyway!

  Cassia’s gift to Colleen was a gift card inside a jar of jelly beans because she heard that Colleen didn’t like jelly beans…so it was a tricky but fun gift 😀  Everyone else poured the jelly beans out and ate them.

A Willow Tree figurine Auntie Jen gave Mommy

Funny girls…

…and Anna crashing the picture 😀

[Everyone laughing about it]

Colleen made the younger ones happy by reading to them for quite a long time

  Whenever Allison and Anna get together, they always make crafts together, so they took this picture to put on their project 😀

{a funny picture during their photoshoot}

That Sunday we met up with some of our cousins from Maine at a park, and some of our friends came along with us 😀

{Mommy, our cousin and his wife}

{Joseph, Charissa and Rebekah}

I also made a little jumper for Natalie–to match mine of course 😉  She is such an adorable girl with a lot of personality 😀

Little Miss Natalie

Anna and Allison

Andrew, Natalie’s older brother.  He’s such a cutie as well 😀  He knows just a few words, so he communicates with sounds, the few words he knows, hand gestures, and tugging you which way he wants you to go 😀

After we visited with our cousins for a little while, we met up with the rest of our friends at We-Li-Kit, a yummy roadside ice cream stand 😀

  Their flavors are so fun…Purple Cow, Chipmunk Tracks, Roadkill (!), Cricket Crunch…

Leah enjoying her waffle cone

Cassia giving We-Li-Kit the thumbs up

Kelley, Andrew and me

 Another fun thing about this ice cream stand is the fact that they have different animals you can go see…like goats and chickens and these cows 😀

Natalie enjoying her ice cream 🙂

On Monday, we visited Harkness, a state park that used to be an a lady’s estate.  You can walk through it’s beautiful gardens and see the mansion (and the ocean of course!) 😀

   We almost didn’t make it to Harkness though. Most of us ‘kids’ led the way in their fifteen passenger van while the moms followed with the rest of the kids in our fifteen passenger.  While we were on the interstate, construction suddenly came up,  and people were slowing down fast.  Then a pick up truck zoomed around us, cut in front of us, and had to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the car ahead of him.

Unfortunately, we were right behind him and had to slam on our brakes.  I was sitting up front with Kelley and could see the pickup truck’s bumper get closer and closer and it didn’t seem like we were going to be able to stop in time.  Kelley finally had to swerve to the left lane, but the pickup swerved at the same time, forcing Kelley to swerve off the side of the road and leaving a cloud of dust behind us.  Our poor moms were watching all of this, plus they had to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting us or other traffic and a semi was behind them.  It could have easily been a six to ten car pile up with us in the worst of it.

 Jesus was keeping us though...no cars bumped each other in the slightest and both Mommy and Kelley (the drivers) said they had never felt the van so grounded while braking that fast.  Usually those big vans will fishtail when you stomp on the brakes.

  Once we realized everybody was okay, someone looked out the back window and said, “You do not want to see our moms faces right now!”  then Auntie Jen called and made sure we were okay and told us they were proud of Kelley’s response to it all.

We were so happy to make it to Harkness…and so happy we were alive!  😛 😀

We hadn’t counted on it being so chilly, so the five of us all squeezed together and put the picnic blanket over our legs

Actually, six of us…Joseph was hiding underneath the blanket 😀

Laura, Allison, Isaiah, Bekah, Natalie and Joseph enjoying their picnic

{lunchtime}

The colors of the trees, the grass, the ocean and the flowers were so beautiful 😀

After lunch we walked through the gardens down towards the beach

Someone was working on this part of the mansion.  I peeked in the windows (from afar) and I noticed that the ceilings were painted so pretty, too!

  We saw this artist doing a painting of the mansion, so we came over and watched for a little bit and asked him if we could take his picture 😀

While we were talking to him, we found out his wife is from Indiana 😀

Definitely a fun thing to see as you don’t see artists painting outside like this very often…at least we don’t 😉

After visiting the artist, we went down to the beach and played/rested/relaxed there for a while…

Kelley and I went out closer to the water with Andrew and Natalie, and we discovered probably at least a hundred snails in the shallow water and on the sand 😀

You had to watch where you stepped so you didn’t squash one 😛

Natalie loved the water and seaweed and sat right down in it, and at one point she picked up a snail and firmly planted him in the sand 😀    Andrew wasn’t so thrilled with it though and kept saying, “Ewww!  Ewww!”

Oh the lovely colors!  The sky was so blue!

Charissa, Laura and Bekah

Me and Kelley (with Natalie asleep)

I love the colors here, too…plus I think my brother is pretty cute 😉

Joseph found a crab, which everyone was creeped out and intrigued by 😀

The celebrity crab getting his picture taken 😀

Andrew and Susannah

Andrew and me

Bekah and Charissa

Andrew and Charissa

When we got back to the house, everyone was sunburnt and tired!  I got this picture of Leah working on her visual journal that afternoon 🙂

A couple of things I loved, and do love,  was when almost everybody was in the kitchen at mealtime, or during meal preparation, or while dishes were being done.  Everybody was in everybody’s way, and there was this ‘dance’ and flow that happened as you worked around everyone else.  And it was loud and crazy and…wonderful!  😀   A few times I just watched for a couple of seconds and smiled.

Natalie was wanting to go outside to play with all the big kids.  Leah made the adorable little dress that she is wearing.

 Some of them played a few ton of games of kickball…and we got a lot of fun pictures.  Like this one where Joseph is playing with his ‘superhero cape’–a towel 😀

Noah kicking the ball

Run, run!

The superhero with his cape again…

…sliding into home base 😀

Anna’s turn to kick

Run, Noah, run!

Anna running with the ball

Love this picture of the ball seemingly floating in mid air 😀

Anna running and the ball flying

One of the days we were there, everybody came over to Scott and Kelley’s house.  Leah and I got to stay with them for the whole week…during the night anyway!  Then every day we went over to her parent’s house to be with everybody else, too 😀

 So on this particular day, our whole family came over for lunch and a visit.

Anna got to take her first family picture photo shoot, since Scott and Kelley wanted to surprise her parents with some pictures 😀

She probably had the most assistants of any photographer could wish for (perhaps a few more than one would wish for!)  Cassia held the sun shield/reflector, Anna snapped the pictures, and the rest of us tried to make Andrew and Natalie smile and look up at the right time 😀

A few times, I think they were confused about which girl to look at, since almost all of us were calling their names 😀

One of the pictures Anna took…

…and another one  😀

The boys and some of the girls did some sidewalk chalk art, and filled up almost the whole driveway.

We like to compare our straight, grid-like Indiana roads…

…with the winding, curvy, hilly roads of Connecticut 😀

A beautiful picture Anna took of some forsythia flowers

And a pretty picture of Anna 😉

And another pretty one 😉

Anna took our picture while we held the sun shield over us 😀

My roommate and one of my bestest friends 😉

Mine and Natalie’s matching jumpers…it was a trick to get her to stay still long enough for a picture 😀

Me, Kelley and Leah

I love the colors of this picture and I love Isaiah’s smile 😀

{Such cuteness}

Kelley with the boys

Anna giving Andrew a piggy back ride

There was a hill behind the house that the boys rolled down, and Andrew scooted down

Then Andrew decided to catch a ride

With 22+ people eating we had many, many dishes.  Thankfully we had many, many hands to help wash them 😉

A neat picture Cassia took

Natalie in the dress Leah made for her

Oh my, she is such a cutie!

Isaiah and Natalie eating strawberries

Noah sharing his

 It was a lot of fun to see my little brothers act like big brothers to Andrew and Natalie and share with them and help them up or down in places they needed help.

Like here 😀  It melts my heart to see them so gentle and caring with little people!  Once Natalie spilled her water at the kitchen table, so Noah picked her up and put her in another chair, found a towel and dried up the mess, then put Natalie back in her chair 😀

Andrew sampling some icing for his grandma’s birthday cake

We played a game of  ‘Capture the Cones’…or actually capture the water bottles, because we didn’t have any cones or water bottles were easier to come by 😀

We had SO MUCH FUN playing this game, and I ran so much I was sore for two days.  And Cassia and Leah both wiped out, which was hilarious (and a tad bit painful) 😀    I’m guarding the bottles here…and Noah’s on my team, so don’t worry, he isn’t stealing them from behind my back 😉

 This is a crazy and fun picture.  I was guarding the cones when Allison, Anna and Joseph got behind the bottles (behind the bottles is a ‘safe zone’, until you pick a bottle up).  So Joseph ‘sacrificed’ himself by holding on to me so that Allison and Anna got away with a bottle 😀  Since I tagged him (or he tagged himself by hugging me!) he had to go to ‘jail’, which is why I said he ‘sacrificed’ himself.  It looks really funny, though, like he’s hugging me, or like we’re all doing a crazy dance 😀

Guarding the bottles

Anna and Joseph got out of jail and are running home

Bekah, Noah and I were guarding our side while the rest of our team was trying to capture some bottles 😀  I  might add that Noah and Isaiah were extremely fast runners, which was good for me since they were both on my team.  At one point, some of the players wanted to reorganize teams so that there weren’t the same people on the same teams.  I was happy with our team and figured that they didn’t need to be jealous of our team when I pointed out that our team had two little people (Noah and Isaiah) and that they had more older people.  Then someone objected and said, “Yeah, but the little boys are good!”  and I realized that they were right 😀  They ran better than the rest of us!

We played a few games in the dark, too 😀  Oh it was so much fun!

 These are some more happy pictures…lots of people in the kitchen at suppertime.

All the shoes in the entryway…and these aren’t even all of them

Such a cute picture of Natalie, Isaiah and Noah watching the birthday candles 🙂

Kelley and Auntie Jen share a birthday, and we made sure our trip happened so that we could be there for it 😀

After cake and ice cream, we made a big circle in the living room to watch them open their presents 😀

And then I decided to try on Joseph’s hat…but it wasn’t quite my style.

It wasn’t Susannah’s style either 😀

 We got to play some fiddle music for them that night, and Natalie was helping me.

Then she helped Leah play violin

  The last night, we had to say good bye to Kelley since we were leaving the next morning, which was very sad.  It’s terrible to say goodbye before you actually leave.  That night we stayed up until 3 or 3:30 in the morning…our last ‘hurrah’!

  We didn’t leave the next morning until 8:30.  We didn’t wake up (again) until the time we were supposed to leave, but nobody minded too much 😀

  When we were almost through Pennsylvania, the alternator light came on in the van and the lights started acting weird.  We were a just a little lot worried because we didn’t have our fix-it man with us (Daddy) 🙂  But it is amazing how everything was put in place for us, because two miles from the time the light came on, there was a rest stop we could pull off onto.  Mommy was on the phone to Daddy to figure out what to do and he thought we should probably stop at a hotel since we weren’t going to get home before it was dark.

  Then two miles from the rest stop was a hotel we could stay at, and we were given a good deal–a very good deal–for the rooms we needed.

  Plus there was a Burger King across the road that we all walked to for supper, because our original plan for supper was to visit our friends in Ohio, and we obviously weren’t going to make it that far that evening!

 Then after a good night’s sleep, the van started right up and we took it over to a diesel shop where the man graciously checked our alternator and told us it was charging fine…so we headed home!

Well…almost!  We didn’t go home until we stopped by our friend’s house in Ohio, only for lunch instead of our previously planned supper. We never take a trip to Connecticut without stopping by the Nicholson’s 😀

After our lovely visit with them we were back on the road, and thankfully had NO more van trouble 😀  We did almost get smashed (again) by a semi when he didn’t see us and tried merging into our lane.  The problem was there was a little blue car on the other side of us and we couldn’t go anywhere.  The semi finally saw us and went off the side of the road a little until we got out of the way.  I texted my friend and told her what happened and she said, “I think it’s time for you to stay off of the road for awhile!”  😀

 We turned left and the semi passed us and honked.  I told Susannah (teasingly) “Honk back at him!” because I thought he was mad at us for being in his way.  Mommy said, “We’ll just say that he was saying he was sorry!” 😀

 When we got home, Daddy was hiding in the mini van (he knew we were almost home because we had been texting him), but Cassia saw him when she got out of the big van and we all mobbed him with hugs and kisses and stories 😀

  Then I went around the property looking at the gardens, the lilacs, the trees that were suddenly full of big leaves, the lovely flat field behind us…

…and I was ever so glad to be finally home!

jessica

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A Trip to Connecticut
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21 thoughts on “A Trip to Connecticut

  • June 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm
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    As soon as I saw Natalie’s dress I knew who wrote this. Next time you go you might find a stow away in your van! 😀

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    • June 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm
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      Hehe Hope! 😀

      Reply
  • June 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm
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    Oh My! What an awesome post! I just so love ALL of the pictures. ♥ Boy, your road trip was a bit crazy though! :O
    I’m so glad that you are all safe! I love the pictures that Anna took by the pretty yellow flowers. Thanks so much for filling us in. 😀 I love your blog! ♥

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    • June 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm
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      Thank you, Julia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pictures (and didn’t fall asleep scrolling through them all, lol!) 😀
      ♥Jessica

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  • June 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm
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    Did anyone get roadkill ice cream? Ewwww!!!!!

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    • June 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm
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      Hehe! Nope, I don’t think anyone did. I forget what the ingredients were in it, but they were good 😀 It was quite a weird name though!
      -Jessica

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  • June 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm
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    Looks like so much fun! How many pictures were there in all?

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    • June 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm
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      I uploaded 199 to Flickr, but I didn’t put them all on here…almost all of them, though! 😀

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  • June 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm
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    WOW! what would you say was the fun est thing you did!?

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    • June 16, 2013 at 8:53 pm
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      Hmmmm…maybe going to Harkness…or the times we were all together in the evenings 🙂 It was all SO much fun 😀

      Reply
  • June 17, 2013 at 11:14 am
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    Hey there my name is Kate and I would loveto know where you get the lovely blouses that you wear with all your jumpers? Do you make them? Please let me know! Thanks!

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    • June 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm
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      Hi Kate! Yes, we do make our blouses 🙂

      Reply
  • June 18, 2013 at 12:10 am
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    You are such a great and loving family– and your mother looks so sweet and gentle!

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  • June 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm
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    Looks like you girls had a lot of fun!! I hope someday I get to meet all of you 🙂

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    • June 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm
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      That would be fun, Hannah! Where do you live?

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      • June 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm
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        Well, I kind of move around a lot. I grew up in WA and that’s where my family lives. I go to school out of state formerly in AZ and this year in Boston. I usually spend the summers in WA with my family. 🙂

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  • June 28, 2013 at 5:24 pm
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    Love that you guys seem really close to your relatives though the great amount of distance between you.

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    • June 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm
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      They’re actually ‘adopted’ relatives…our families clicked so well we just decided to ‘adopt’ them 😀 But it is great how we can be so close to each other even though we live so far apart 🙂

      Reply
  • July 11, 2013 at 8:46 pm
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    How do you play the game “Capture the Cones”? Thanks So much! It looks like you all had a very nice trip!

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    • July 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm
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      Hey Anna! You may have seen it already, but I just did a blog post on Capture the Cones 😀 Hope that helps!
      -Jessica

      Reply

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