Friday, Caroline and Sascha and I loaded up with the Hutchinson 4 for a ROAD TRIP! We piled in the Bass Burb and headed to Fayetteville for the day because Steph and her kids had some details to take care of for their impending move. (And I am personally sorry to say, that all went smoothly, so the move is still on. In the words of Swiper the Fox, "Awwww maaan!")
We had a blast and ate our way up and down the Natural State. Chik-fil-A . . . Market Place . . . Maggie Moo's . . . Mellow Mushroom. I could hardly button my pants on Saturday! Once in Fayetteville, we met up with the Blake family and the 8 kids present laughed and ran and splashed and pretty much wore themselves out playing and hanging out. You would never have known that they met only hours before. I love how kids just jump in and bond. Sweet Allison and Larry had us over after dinner and I think it is safe to say that the Blakes, Hutchinsons, and Basses will be hanging out again and again and again . . . at least I plan to annoy them all until it happens another time!
Here are the big girls waiting for our table at Mellow Mushroom . . . this is not long before I chased Sascha down . . . in the kitchen of the restaurant . . . all the way at the back by the big walk in freezer. Yeah. That wasn't embarrassing at all.
We headed back towards Little Rock that night and I got to come home to the amazing Clark family from Kansas City! We love Uncle Ben, Aunt Allie, Joe and Elizabeth. Josh and Ben met in pharmaceutical sales training in 2003 . . . back then the Bass family consisted of Josh, Rachel, Caroline and Tru and Ben and Allie were only dating. How far we all have come. It is a rare and special thing that Ben and Josh hit it off and maintained their friendship, that Allie and I click like we do, and that our kids all love each other. They are gifts to us and we love growing up together. Sascha and their oldest son, Joe, are just a couple of weeks apart and love each other. All day Thursday Sascha would say, "I wanna see Joe! I wanna hug him and say hi him. He be so happy to see me!"
We enjoyed laughter, great conversation, great barbeque, fun times outside, and endured our traditional photo shoot. Here are some shots of the kids over the years . . .
In the last picture, Bo took out his gun and was ready to bust a cap in us for taking 178 pictures. The theme of the pictures is that there is always someone trying to escape.
The weekend ended on a bittersweet and grateful note. It poured down rain and stormed here all morning. Ben, Allie and the kids loaded up and left around 1:00 in the afternoon. To get to KC from Little Rock, you head north through Fayetteville and then Joplin . . . they got to Joplin just as the tornado did. We are praising God for His protection over them. They realized how dire their situation was and that their options for safety were limited. Ben pulled their car under an overpass and Allie laid on top of the kids while Ben laid on top of her. For what must have felt like forever they waited for the storm to pass while a tree slammed into their car and the windows blew out and hail blew in. When it was all over, their car was totaled, the semi that had pulled under the overpass as well was turned over and a man attempting to run to safety did not survive. Thank the Lord they are all okay . . . very shaken and a little bruised and bloody, but alive and not seriously injured. Ben said that the weather was decent and then all of the sudden it wasn't. Life can change in the blink of an eye and I am just overwhelmed with gratitude and relief that they are ok. So many people there were not and our prayers are frequent for them and our hearts heavy.