After we left Kansas City, we drove to Chesterfield where we rented a house via airbnb.com* with Lowell’s parents and his sister Celeste and her fam.
On Saturday morning, we all headed to Illinois for the Huber family reunion. The Huber family is Grandma Ruth’s family, and Grandma flew in to MO just for the occasion of seeing her fam.
We had a wonderful time meeting family at Uncle Jimmy’s farm. Everybody brought a dish and drink to share, and one of the cousins stood at the BBQ nearly all day taking care of dogs, burgers, and brats. Thanks, Vince!
The little cousins ran around playing catch, tag, hide and seek, and took tons of trips to check out the livestock. Older cousins talked and laughed the whole day through with the grandparents/aunts & uncles.
Great Grandma Ruth got to meet Anastasia for the first time. We are so glad she flew to our section of the country so we could make the drive to see her, and Grandma Basler who actually lives in Missouri.
You see, Grandma Ruth was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung and bone cancer. We have wanted to see her again since the news, especially so she could see Anastasia, but swinging a trip to California wasn’t exactly fitting in our schedule or pocket book. We knew it was a huge blessing for us to take advantage of her being so close and mideast minute plans to make it happen!
Lowell’s aunt Renee was with Grandma Ruth, she has basically taken on the roll of caregiver for her during this time. I found myself ending up in her shadow quite a bit chatting about how things with Grandma are going, how her family is, and talking health and babies and everything inbetween.
I love people watching, so I would take a step back every so often and take in the day. I loved seeing the similarities amongst the family members! Who reminded me of who across the few generations that were present and the few I know who weren’t present. Pinpointing the exact relationships was exciting. And getting to know Grandma Ruth’s siblings and HER aunt, Aunt Katie.
Aunt Katie is 99 years old and still sharp as a tack and such a witty lady! We thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with her. She partied hard ’til the end of the day.
We shut the party down after sunset and then drove back to Missouri to squeeze in a quick visit with Great Grandma Basler. We hadn’t seen her since we drove through MO on our move/drive to Virginia from California when Phillip was a newborn 4 years ago.
After our short visit and promises for a visit the next day, we took the kids “home”, got them showered for Mass, and hit the hay pretty early.
The next morning we all cleared out for Mass in different directions. (See pt. 1)
After our mornings adventures and lunch, we drove out in the country to visit cousin Jimmy and his wife and 4 kids. We were late to that party, but Lowell’s parents, sister and her fam, and Aunt Renee and Grandma had been there visiting most the afternoon.
Their home and property were absolutely stunning! I told Lowell, “Goals!” They built their home and from the lower level you walked out onto a cozy patio that opened up to rolling grass and a lake that backed up against a tree line that had a shooting range and grazing pastures behind. On the sides of the property they had sheep, turkeys, bunnies, chickens, peacocks, alpacas, and dogs. On the outskirts of the property they had orchards full of homegrown fruit. I didn’t take any pictures because I wouldn’t have had room left to take family pics with the grandmas that evening… haha!
After we chatted and hung out with Jimmy for a few hours, we headed back to Grandma Basler’s town to see her and Grandma Ruth at another BBQ.
Monday morning, we packed our bags and headed to see Grandma Basler and the Basler cousins one last time before gettin’ down the road to home. She is such a super star, you guys! She suffered a stroke a few years ago and was moving and talking slow for a while, but she exercises and eats great every day. At 86 years old, she too is still such a fire cracker and feeding the masses all the food all the time they’re in her home.
She made pancakes, eggs, and bacon for all of us out of towners and all the family who came to see us. Faith and Felicity helped, Lowell only really had to step in a few times to flip really big flapjacks.
Naturally, everybody took tons of pictures and enjoyed catching up with some of the cousins and meeting their babies.
We finally were on our way around 1:00 that afternoon. It took us about 11 hours to make the drive with the kids. It was all in all a great trip! I am so glad we were able to make it happen; thank You Jesus!! I loved seeing both Grandmas and seeing old and new faces.
Now, some pictures! If you’re on Facebook with us, you may have ready seen most of these and more we were tagged in, so I apologize for repeats!
*Side note: airbnb is an awesome idea! But, make sure you bring some Holy water and cleaning supplies. Our house was very gross. Huge! But gross. We all vacated the premises Monday morning because there was a problem in the basement with the sewage and it was filling the house with all kinds of nasty. We were fully refunded AND everybody who had planned to stay in St Louis as planned basically got their hotel stays reimbursed as well.