In June we were able to travel to Illinois to see our families. My mom and sisters in Elgin decided to do an early Father's Day surprise for my dad and invited my Minnesota sister (and family) as well as us to Elgin for the party. We all DID surprise him! It was a two-day adventure with 12 grandkids decorating the lawn and even doing a parade for the neighborhood. (When the Rugh Family gets together, costumes are almost always involved...) There was a talent show the second night, and just about all of the grandkids were involved in one form or another. We had a blast laughing at each other and ourselves and celebrating our dad! Matt, Sam and I stayed with my mom, where some of the festivities were, while the other activities were at my sister Jessica's house.
My dad and I (with Matt and Sam) had a very special opportunity to attend a friend and supporter's funeral the Monday we were in Elgin. She had battled cancer like a mighty warrior, been healed of it by the Lord, and then He saw it fit to take her Home quickly last month. When I found out she was heading Home, I yearned to visit her, but God let me, instead, celebrate her life with my dad, who was her friend. I'm grateful for the timing of our trip.
Halfway through the week we got to visit the Ackerman family in Joliet! Grandma Christy was even able to come from Iowa to meet and play with Sammy! Sammy's Aunt Anji had the flowers ready to make wedding bouquets for her autumn wedding, and so we had a lot of fun doing that and other "wedding-ish" activities. With less children dangling from light fixtures and popping out of cupboards, the visits to Joliet usually have a different flavor than the Elgin visits, filled with quiet mornings and loose schedules. Dan, Matt's dad, did somethings totally bizarre. For Father's Day, he took all of US out. I couldn't quite figure that one out... aren't the kids supposed to treat the dad for Father's Day? I thought that was ONE opportunity specifically for that purpose! :) [As you can see from these photos, the family is very excited to have the first grand-baby around! Grandma Christy is now, for the first time, a great-grandma!!]
Also, when we pulled onto the road leading to the Ackermans' neighborhood, the "Check Engine" light came on. We were sensing something going awry under the hood, but we were hoping it would solve itself, or something. Anyway, Dan and Matt found out it was the spark plug and took care of it! Hooray! Dan and Matt also washed and waxed the car... We were riding in style!
Basically our trip to Illinois was casualty-free, and Sam was a trooper traveling all that way! We sure enjoyed staying with family and celebrating our dads and wished we had more time with them each. They are so special to us!