We began our drive to Nebraska on May 24th, at approx 8 am. We had hoped to get out by 6am, but we were lucky to get out by 8! Thankfully, my mom and my twin sisters, Mary and JoAnn, came over the day before to help us pack. Without them, we probably would have never gotten out here! The girls helped me and played with the kids, Mom picked us up lunch AND dinner so I wouldn't have to worry about meals, and Mary, Mom & I ran to town to pick up a few last things for the trip and have the kids "Trip Journals" spiral bound, while JoAnn continued to load our iPod with tons of books and music! (It was so nice not to have to pack a ton of Cd's along for the trip into our already over full minivan!)
Speaking of the Trip Journals, the kids LOVED them! They spent countless hours working on them during our trip, and enjoyed every minute of it! They will make such nice keepsakes of the trip for them.
Another thing my children LOVED, was the bag of treats Mrs. K (Captain's tutor) surprised us with the day before our trip! She brought me a bag containing a ton of manila envelopes, four bags labeled with the kids names, and four stop watches. Each manila envelope was filled with four treats, one for each child. Their was a huge variety of treats including: lots of little toys, snacks, stickers, and much more! The idea was that I would give the children a time, and if they were all good, they would get another treat to put in their bag! Sometimes bribery works SO WELL! I am going to have to remember this for future trips! Thank you Mrs. K!
This was our 3rd road trip to Nebraska. We were there in 2004 and 2006 for a couple other ordinations as well. This time, we made a few changes... For one, we actually booked hotels along the way. (At least for the first 2 legs of the trip.) This was such a huge help, actually knowing where we would be stopping for the night! In 2006 we ended up driving a straight 36 hours on the way home, and we wanted to make sure we didn't do anything crazy like that this trip! :)
While I am thinking about it, if any of you have a road trip planned, don't miss Tracy's post: On the Road with Little People. I found it very helpful, and used quite a few of her suggestions.
Here are a few last glimpses of our home state:
The boys were very eager to get inside this decommissioned lookout Tower, but unfortunately it was locked.
It was a very cloudy day, but beautiful just the same!
It didn't take long to realize that when traveling with 5 children, there is no such thing as a "quick" bathroom stop! Each time we easily lost 30 minutes, or more, especially if there was a playground near by:
Due to our late start, and our multiple bathroom stops, we were not going to make it to our first destination in time for the evening Mass in town, and so once again, my sister came to our aid, and looked up a few other options for us online. We ended up stopping in Winnemucca, Nevada for Mass at St. Paul's Catholic Church.
Though I didn't care at all for Winnemucca, the church was so beautiful! I especially loved the stained glass windows and altar:
They even had a beautiful statue of St. Therese.
We arrived an hour early, so the children visited the outdoor grotto, and I was even able to make it to Confession.
(In order to recieve a plenary indulgence for assisting at the Mass of a newly Ordained Priest, one must fulfill a number of conditions including going to confession within 8 days of the Mass and Blessing.)