The Allen clan just returned from a trip to Chicago! It was about an 11-12 hour drive, a bit more with traffic and kiddos. My darling fath...


The Allen clan just returned from a trip to Chicago! It was about an 11-12 hour drive, a bit more with traffic and kiddos. My darling father-in-law rented us a nice Camry for the trip and funded quite a bit of it. He also decided that the kids needed entertainment, so he bought EACH of them a personal DVD player as an early Christmas gift. I doubt it will be factored in though when Christmas shopping! We went on a secret mission.

My baby brother graduated from Navy Boot Camp!! He's a sailor!

Yep, my sweet little brother somehow made it through boot camp. I cried listening to his stories and immediately wanted to beat some folks up for being mean to him. I also wanted to hug some folks for taking him under their wings, loving on him, encouraging him, and standing up for him. Sometimes I forget what "big sister" mode feels like because I'm usually very busy being in mom mode. I imagine it is similar, but the pride I feel in him is not really the right word. I'm not being prideful because it has nothing to do with me. Amazed, encouraged, hopeful, excited, fearful, disbelieving, surprised, shocked, okay those are all words I've felt watching him over the past few days. He looks so handsome in his uniform and so tall. When did he get that tall? I'll try and post pictures soon, but my jankity camera died not too long into the trip. The iphone picked up most of the highlights. This was a secret mission because he didn't want to tell folks in fear that he may not make it, that some cantankerous family members may not agree with his choices or even worse, try and do something to sabotage him. Yes, these are legitimate concerns in my family! Sad, but true.

Our children were blessed angel babies on the trip. The dvd players helped! Really though, they were so good. Addie usually does terribly in the car, but I think she cried for a total of 30 minutes during the entire round trip. I was really amazed and grateful. They were also so well behaved during the LONG graduation ceremony, out in public, at a fancy restaurant in downtown Chicago on Thanksgiving, at a busy continental breakfast, in the hotel room, at bedtime, the whole time! It was a serious blessing that I had prayed for, and now I feel so much more confident that we will be able to travel joyofully as a family together, even with three! So, hip hip hooray for my brother the Sailor, and hats off to my beautiful sweet babies who absolutely adore their Uncle Ben, and mad props to Daddy and me for being patient and kind with each other and our company despite over 24 hours in the car together in one week! Also, a huge thank you to those of you who ordered crafts, helped with my yard sale, prayed for us, encouraged me, and sent your well wishes, letters, and cards to my brother, just everything. All that saving went to our trip (not really Christmas...sorry I may have fibbed a little, but this was our Christmas present to each other). Off I go to save Freddie, he's having a meltdown in his room over something...oh he brought it to me. He's bawling because he can't close his tub of cars. NAP TIME!!


Mary said...

The least your FIL could do was to PRETEND that he is not spoiling his grandkids! Instead, he's proud of it!
I'm proud of Ben. I must say that when I first met him (seven or so years ago), this was not the future that I envisioned for him. I'm glad everything is turning out so well in his life.

Pediddlepie said...

Me NEITHER, never would have thought he'd be interested in the military! I'm glad for him though and I know that no matter what I fear that he will have a job, shelter, health care, retirement someday, and a future. That is more than enough to be grateful for!

ainmemphis said...

Wow! So much goodness in one post! I am so excited that you and the family got to be with Ben for such an important event! I am glad that the kiddos were such angels the whole time and that Ben is entering in a new chapter in his life. I miss you guys so much!