"Our days are like identical suitcases- all the same size, but some people can pack more into them than others." I read that this afternoon in a book on my Mom's coffee table Kindness by Marcia and David Kaplan. Yesterday was one of those days like a suitcase that won't stay closed, it was so full. My brother in law and sister in law made the 17 hour trip down, and stayed about 14 hours before driving back home. Only one of their 3 kids came with them for the long road trip, but knowing Jessie was coming, my kids planned a lot for her time here.
      We knew they arrived by Joseph's loud scream as he ran inside announcing to the rest of us "they're here!" From that moment the kids didn't stop moving. They played outside, petted the animals, jumped on the trampoline, played on the swing, and walked to the pond to see the ducks. Jessie wanted to ride our horse, even had on the helmet, but changed her mind when she saw how it acted up close. So next was the 4-wheeler ride. Heather is doing great driving it now, and after years of safety training including teaching other kids to wear helmets to prevent brain injury, I was happy to see my kids wearing helmets on the 4-wheeler. Mitch rescued some baby flying squirrels Friday, so Jessie got to see those, along with all of our animals. We took a short hike to my parent's house, and the kids had fun swinging over there, especially the special swing Pappy created- even the grown up kids!
    After supper they enjoyed a boat ride on Powpow's pond, a special dessert Heather made, then all the inside games. They played dress-up, dolls (they girls had called Jessie ahead of time to ask her to bring her special doll), charades, and Barbies. My sister-in-law has taught us many card games on our annual family vacations, and we played one of the favorites, Liverpool, until we were all too tired to play more. Emily read The Velveteen Rabbit (a family favorite) out loud until the girls fell asleep. They woke us up to say goodbye around 3:30 this morning, a brief but full visit.


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