Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Weekend (Photo glut ahead!)

My parents have a pretty much incurable case of grandparent-itis (which is a good thing).  My mother is a better cook than I am.  And visitation with Bro was on Saturday (he was wanting to take any- and everyone to Chuck E. Cheese's near Mom & Dad's).

So, we thought it was a good idea to use what little Easter break that Large Fry had from school and take a mini-vacation to Mom & Dad's.

On Friday, we drove out to the Lancaster area to ride the historic Strasberg rail line.

We stopped for lunch on the way, and were only able to get tickets for the 3 o'clock ride.  That gave us about an hour and a half to mosey around the platform and the shops.

We went into a model train shop first.

Where, of course, model trains were running.

Boppa, Small & Medium
One even had "smoke" coming out of its smokestack!

The twins were enthralled.  And Medium, good little helper that she is, tried to wave and blow away the "smoke."

We continued to mosey along.  The rest of the gang (now rejoined by Gramma and Large Fry, who had taken an expedition to the nearest potty) went on to the next big souvenir shop, while I sat down on a nearby bench to rest my cranky ankle.  And I had a conversation about the importance of a stuffed toy with the most adorable little 3.5-year-old girl, while her dad watched, half-amused and half-embarrassed.  When the rest of their family came out of the model train shop, I went down to the souvenir shop and joined the rest of my gang, and used the fifty-one cents in my pocket to get a souvenir penny for the collection that Hubby and I have.

Then it was time for our train ride!

Boppa, Gramma, Large and Medium
Off we go!

Easter Bunny & Fries
Turns out that this was an "event" weekend for the Strasburg rail, since it was the Easter Bunny train ride.  The Easter Bunny even came through our car, and posed for a picture with the girls.  (Naturally, you had the option of shelling out a ridiculous amount of money to buy the rail's souvenir photo.)

The conductor followed the Easter Bunny, her escort (another lady dressed in period clothes), and the assistants who scribbled down your car location and time so you could optionally buy your overpriced souvenir picture.

Ticket, please!
Gramma was very insistent on getting a picture of the conductor taking at least one Fry's ticket.  And, actually, one Fry wasn't enough.  You can see her snapping a picture of this moment with Small Fry, when she'd already cajoled the conductor into a re-do of taking Large Fry's ticket.

Despite the overcast weather, the kids really enjoyed the ride, watching the scenery, the cows, the Amish people we saw along the way, and just spending time with Gramma and Boppa.

It was just chilly enough that the two pot-bellied stoves in our car were pumping out warmth for our ride.  The temperature in our car was just right, I thought.

Boppa, Large, Hubby & Small
The ride only lasted an hour, and it was just starting to spit as we headed for home.

It was a good way to spend the day.

On Saturday, Bro had visitation, bringing along his fiancee and her two kids.  Mom had all the kids color eggs before going to Chuck E. Cheese's.  And since you can take the teacher out of the classroom but can't take the classroom out of the teacher, she used old methods of dyeing: boiled blueberries, beet juice, and cumin/curry powder.

Small, her egg, & beet juice.
Medium, her egg, & spices.
 Each kid got to color two eggs.  Then the whole group--Mom, Dad, Bro, Fiancee, and all five kids--left for Chuck E. Cheese's.

I stayed home.


I love my brother, but he's caused a lot of hurt and heartache in the last three years.  And just when I've previously gotten to the point where I'm willing to be around him again, he's pulled something else and any progress made has been completely eliminated.  It's gotten to the point where his word is pretty much worthless, and I won't believe what he says unless and until actions back it up.

As such...I'm not ready to socialize with him.  I can deal with situations where I don't have a choice.  But when I do, I'm not going to socialize.  Not yet.


It's important to know here that, any time either Hubby or I leave the house, there's this little ritual.  We hug whoever needs hugs, we say where we're going, and...we promise to be back later.

As I stood at my parents' front door and wondered if maybe I'd made the wrong choice, watching everyone else go, I heard Small Fry ask Hubby if I was coming.  He told her no.

Next thing I know, she's running pell-mell back into the house and throwing her arms around me.

Naturally, right after I'd looked at my dad and ruefully observed, "Chopped liver."  (He just chuckled.)

"I love yew!" Small said exuberantly, and looked up at me.  She squeezed my legs again.  "Don' wowrry, Auntie.  I'll come back.  I pwomise!"

It was too cute.

Easter Fries!
On Easter Sunday, Hubby and Medium Fry ended up staying home from church while the rest of us went.  Medium had a pretty nasty hacking cough, a nasty temp, and just plain felt awful.

However, she did feel up to putting on her new Easter dress when we got home, so that we could take pictures.

Small Fry
Hubby had a great idea with having them pose by Gramma's tulips, but the sun was awful bright where the kids were sitting, and it brought out the sillies.

So we tried something else.  Stop and smell Gramma's tulips....

Large Fry
Which worked great, for everyone but Medium Fry, who could not get the hang of sniffing close enough to the flower, or sniff without looking like she was thoroughly disgusted.

Medium Fry
So we tried Gramma and Boppa's porch.

Kisses for everyone!


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