We finally arrived in Minnesota in the wee hours of the morning (a definite recurring event on this trip). Allen went into Boyd and Sarise's house to figure out where we were sleeping before waking the rest of us up. We all sleepily made our way down to their basement and just before I slipped back to dreamland I worried that we had entered the wrong house and had to get up and look at the pictures on the walls to make sure we were not going to scare anyone in the morning. Sure enough, there were their cute kids on the walls. (What a relief!)
In the morning we took turns waking up and exploring the house and yard. The kids spent a good amount of their day in the backyard catching tadpoles in the pond with their Minnesota cousins.
Here's a great view of their awesome backyard from the upstairs window of their home. It was seriously a dream come true for the kids to have this little oasis to enjoy.
They wanted to bring the tadpoles home with them but had to settle for a picture of their cute little swimmy friends. Little O told me, "Can you believe these are teeny baby frogs? They are so cuuuute!"
The older kids did what they are often found doing at home: All-a-Boy found a good book to escape into and Thumbelina wrote in one of her many journals to document every thought, observance and detail of the trip so far.
Little X was thrilled that everyone else was busy because he got to spend some one-on-one time with this super cool car track.
We enjoyed lunch on the back patio together before a pretty heavy downpour hit.
You might be thinking we were disappointed with all of the rain we had follow us on our trip so far. Not so! We are rain-lovers in our family. And this storm did not disappoint! There were almost immediate rivers down each side of the street as the rain fell in sheets outside. The little kids cozied up to watch a movie together and that's when I remembered that All-a-Boy and Thumbelina had walked to the park just before the torrential rainstorm.
I looked out the window and saw them running toward the house, but they did not come inside. They stayed in the street in front of the house and literally soaked in every bit of fun they could out there. They kicked, splashed, laughed, screamed, twirled and even pretended to swim and be water-benders.
These two were soaked to the skin and loving it.
Even after the rain stopped pouring down they sat outside in the puddles and talked about who-knows-what. Teenager stuff, I guess.
Eventually they came inside and dried off. Meanwhile, the little kids were playing games and having a blast with their Minnesota cousins.
It was so fantastic to have a day to just hang out and not drive anywhere. We loved our time at Boyd and Sarise's and would have loved to have stayed longer! It was great to spend some time with their three adorable kiddos and get to know them better. The next morning we went to church with them before heading back out on the road.
Here's my sister-in-law Sarise with their sweet cuddlebug baby J. I have the best sister-in-laws, no doubt about it! Anyone who can make a family of ten feel completely welcomed and loved in their home deserves... I don't know, something awesome.
After we left the church we drove to the temple in St. Paul. We tried to see as many temples as we could on our trip but didn't take the time to figure out where they all were until we got home. Then we found that we'd driven close to quite a few which we missed. But this one was beautiful.
The skies were clear as we drove on to our next destination(s): right on the borders of Iowa and Illinois. I could not get enough of these clouds. They were so gorgeous they looked fake!