Some new jammies for Marissa--I stitched a heart on a white undershirt, then sewed some capri-styled pants out of this pretty blue polka-dot fabric (I have seriously love for anything polka-dotted) and attached some wide eyelet at the bottom. They make me think of old-fashioned bloomers. And of course I must make some for Bella now, but that's going to have to wait. I still have a set of sleeves to get sewn on sometime tonight or tomorrow for the "vacation shirts" (Oh, and as of today, the cast is a distant memory--except for the fact her arm is pretty stiff. We got sent to do some physical therapy this afternoon, and have some exercises to do at home. I was so happy they could fit us in before we leave. And it would appear that violin practicing is still a ways away. Lucky her.) ;o)
On the cleaning front . . .
I can see *most* of the floors in all of the bedrooms. I feel like I am doing laundry continuously, but I'm staying on top of it and I have nearly all the clothes packed and have even begun to lay out the outfits for our 7:00 a.m. departure on Thursday. The kitchens and bathrooms need a good going through, but Josh has some time to help with that tomorrow. Which, when the need arises, he can actually do a better job than me . . . *blush* He's good at deep cleaning. So whenever he volunteers, I jump at the chance. ;o)
On the food preparation front . . .
I got in a little grocery shopping today, mainly for the things that won't be housed in coolers. Tomorrow, I'm off to collect fresh fruit, some veggies, luncheon meats, etc. I cooked a whole chicken today to make into chicken salad, and tomorrow plan on doing some egg salad too. I wanted to plan some "exciting" picnic food, since we'll be doing a lot of picnicking. I'm also hoping to get a pan of caramel cinnamon rolls prepared Wednesday night so they can rise in the fridge overnight and we can have a send-off to some fresh-baked goodness in the morning. That may be a bit ambitious though. ;o)
On gathering things for the kids to do . . .
First, thanks to everyone who gave me all sorts of great ideas. I always enjoy hearing how others do things. We're going loaded with coloring pages (that I still need to print out . . .) blank paper, crayons, magna doodles, pipe cleaners, stickers, a "toob" from Hob.by Lob.by of ocean animals, some stretchy cording and case of beautiful beads for the girls to make jewelry, library books, books on cd, a cookie sheet with ABC magnets, some odds and end toys . . . Basically, I'll just throw in whatever I come across because you never know what you might need. For the girls I put together a gallon sized baggie with items needed to create their own "travel journals." I found the journals at Mich.ael's in the $1 section discounted to $0.47! Works for me! Ocean/Shell stickers (and others) were 1/2 off at Hob.by Lob.by this week. I threw in some glue sticks and scissors for cutting and pasting the names of the states we enter, pictures they might draw of something they see, a postcard, etc. My goal is to have them write (or for Bella dictate) something neat they see in each state/place we visit. Hopefully it will be a fun activity to keep them busy.
Then I found these on Ama.zon, Rand Mc.Nally travel books for kids. These appeal mostly to Marissa, but there are fun things for Isabella to do too. They are all set to find as many different license plates as possible. I also have some activity books someone gave me all about different things in nature, which I know Marissa will enjoy also. I think she is going to be the easiest to keep busy since she can read and therfore entertain herself the best.
And then for me--don't laugh--a rather ambitious pile of books I'll be toting with me. Now, realistically I don't expect to be able to get through them all. I used to be able to read well in a car, as long as I took breaks every so often. Unfortunately, ever since my brain surgery my eyes struggle with fatigue more or when having to focus on things that have "movement" (like I have to be choosy with what fabrics I sew with--thin stripes of vivid contrast will send me to a visual migraine in minutes, or I have to turn away from the t.v. when all those crazy lights start flashing on American Idol . . . Or movies with crazy camera work that is all over the place). So, I'm not sure how much van reading I will be able to get in. Which will be a bit of a bummer, I admit. I do hope to get through my new Sally Clarkson book "Seasons of a Mother's Heart." Her writing is always such an encouragement to me as a mom, and "renews my vision" so to speak. I am in need of some "vision renewal" right now, so I've loaded my book pile with some that will be rereads, some new. But I'm hoping to come back recharged and refreshed--don't know if that's possible after spending somewhere between 50-60 hours within the confines of a minivan with four children, but I'm going to try. ;o)
And finally, not sure if this will be my last post for awhile, but if it is, please do keep us in your prayers should God bring us to mind--safe travels, good attitudes, a fun family time, good manners while we stay at my aunt/uncle's home . . . We would really appreciate it! Hopefully I'll have some good stories and photos to share once we're back! ;o)