Monday, January 10, 2011

Meeting the new grandson and how a large family vacations

I was going to try to skip blogging about our new grandson to give Stephen's little family a bit of privacy from the blogworld, but I just can't.  He's too cute!  I gotta shout it out to the world!

Gabriel Joseph was born Dec 28, 2010 and he is right up there among the cutest babies ever born.  I immediately knew I was going to love this little guy when I heard the love in his daddy's voice when he called to tell me he was born.  But oh my goodness, words cannot describe it.  What an incredible feeling!

The picture was taken last night as Gabriel snoozed in his Grand Dad's arms.

Roger and I and the 9 kids still living at home left early Friday morning.  It's a 12 hour drive so we got up at 4am and were out the door by 5.  We made good time and had a time change in our favor so we arrived at about 4:30pm. 

A family our size can't just get a single hotel room.  And since the max for most hotel rooms is 4 people, we can't even get 2 hotel rooms.  I scouted out the area and found that there are some hotel suites.  One allows up to 8 people which is great, BUT we still would need 2 suites.  That's not very convenient.  The suite that sleeps 8 costs over $200 per night and we'd have to double that!  Another hotel suite sleeps 6 for $100 per night.  So with 2 of those we'd have spent $200 per night with a free breakfast and 2 kitchens.  But we still wouldn't all be together.  So I searched and found not much available for under $500 per night.  Yikes.  But then we found and stayed here.  It cost a bit more than the smaller suite because of the cleaning fee and we didn't get a free breakfast, but we were all together in one house.  There were a couple of problems when we first got there, but they were minor and taken care of quickly.  I think we'd be willing to do that again. 

We didn't have to eat fast food at all! We evaluated what our cooking options were based on pots, pans, etc, then made a menu and went shopping.  Our hope was to cook and freeze some extra food for the new family.  We forgot to ask ahead of time if they had room in their freezer though.  Oops.

I really, really enjoyed seeing Gabriel, but it was also great to see Stephen and Chonie.  She's an excellent mother.  I used to worry about how I'd be as a mother-in-law.  Would I think they are doing everything wrong as parents?  Well, okay, they've only been parents for less than 2 weeks, but so far so good.  I think they are doing a great job.  Stephen seems to really enjoy being a daddy.  It's funny how you think you love a person as much as you possibly could, then you see a new side to them and that love grows. 

We even snuck in some time to go explore the area.  This was our 3rd trip to Colorado Springs, but the first time we did any sight seeing.  We spent some time at Garden of the Gods which is beautiful, but cold.  You could tell we were Texans by looking at us.  The locals were wearing jackets at best, but here we were all bundled up in our coats and still chilly.

The plan was to leave this morning to come home, but when the weather forecast changed our plans changed.  We left at dinnertime and just ate snacks in the van as we drove.  Around 9:30 we talked about our day and prayed and then I told everyone to go to sleep--except Roger who did most of the driving.  (I drove less than an hour and a half on the whole trip, but Faith got in a couple hours--after we passed the snow.)

So we got home about an hour and 15 minutes earlier than we were even going to leave.  Today is a nap day.  And after all those snacks, I think I'm ready to just eat fruit all day today! 

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