After a very late night of laughing and talking with our best buds in Vidalia, we all went to bed hoping for great sleep. But, my champion of sleep never got that memo. At 4:55 a.m. he woke up and NEVER WENT BACK TO SLEEP! Do you know how hard it is to keep a 21 month old quiet in a strange place while everyone else is asleep? As soon as the sun started to shine, I took him back into the room we were sleeping in and let him wake Dan. He was quite thrilled with that idea.
Dan left fairly early for breakfast with Bro. Bill, the pastor at FBC, Vidalia. He stayed gone for a few hours so we let the boys play then got them ready to swim. Amanda put Eli in his swimsuit while I dressed the boys in theirs. Would you believe they had the same swimsuit? It certainly made for cute pictures.
Just look at these two! Seeing them together made me sad that we moved so far away. Amanda calls Jonah her "practice baby" since she spent so much time with him in the first couple years of his life. I know they would be the best of friends if we still lived close.
Someone should feed this little munchkin. Look at that belly.
Manna took on the job of chief sunscreen applier while I documented the moment in photos.
Micah wanted to check out Maggie before a dip in the pool. He was quite smitten with her.
Josh and Amanda built their house last year and added the pool at the beginning of this summer. We certainly enjoyed helping them break it in.
While we were in the pool, a special guest dropped by...ZOO-ZOO! We were so happy to see her. We typically see a lot more of her on our trips, but her dad was in the hospital for our entire visit. So, she had to perform more daughterly responsibilities than Zoo-Zoo responsibilities.
Look at these three kiddos. I'm really wishing I had removed Micah's puddle jumper before this shot.
After a fun swim, we came inside for a yummy lunch prepared by Chef Amanda. She should have her own cooking show the way she whips things up. Just thinking about the good food makes my mouth water.
There is only one picture of Josh from our entire visit. This was the last time we saw him. An ugly case of diverticulitis showed up and landed him in the bed soon after this picture was taken at lunch.
My "I got up before the sun" decided to take a good nap and we were all grateful for that. We knew he would need it because the afternoon and night was going to be F-U-L-L!
On our first trip back to Vidalia in 2010, I went from house to house of our senior adults visiting them and visiting with them. It wore me out and was almost to much for Jonah. Last year, I had the idea to go to one house and invite all of them there. We did that again this year. We asked Sue if we could borrow her house and then she invited all of them for us. We got dressed and went over there around 2:30.
But, before we left, Amanda and Eli gave Jonah his birthday gift. Eli was super excited for Jonah to open it.
They filled a box with balloons. He had to sit on the balloons to find out what was inside of each one. Eli helped him!
Before we left, Manna took a few pictures of our family. As you can see, Micah looks thrilled to be part of us. HA!
We got to Sue's house and the boys were immediately greeted by Mammy. She came over to help us since Sue had to leave to be at the hospital.
Pretty soon after arriving, the visitors started pouring in. It was so fun to see so many people who we love. I tried to take pictures of everyone but sometimes got a little caught up in the visiting.
Ms. Hilda showed up with old newspaper clippings from articles with Dan in the Natchez Democrat.
Sweet Mamaw Chandler left James at the hospital long enough to come visit us. She was so happy to see Danno.
Mrs. Monelle came and we reminded Jonah that she gave him his very first money for his college fund. She says it is for LSU but I think she will give him a pass if he goes elsewhere. She became fast friends with Micah when she started feeding him cake. Dude loves anyone who feeds him!
After a very full afternoon, we took a deep breath then headed to the Welch's for a fish fry. Jonah knocked on the door and was greeted by NeNe. She just finished her last treatment for colon cancer. We are so glad she is doing good. After seeing her, B made her way to the door. Jonah was just thrilled!
We quickly handed off Micah to them and walked next door to see Beppa. It had only been a week since Cliff passed away and we could hardly wait to see her. We wanted to leave Micah at B's house so Jonah could talk to Debra without the wild man. We were so happy to see her and hug her. Jonah had a little bit of a hard time with being sad but she was so great with him so that helped tons. He disappeared at one point and Dan found him in the living room, sitting in Cliff's chair just sobbing! I caught him there again later in our visit. Death is hard for everyone but explaining it to a 6 year old was especially difficult.
After a while, Belinda showed up at the door with a crying Micah who wanted his mommy! That kid became quite the momma's boy after a week of VBS. Beppa had gifts for both of them.
We were talking to Debra at one point and I looked over to see Jonah with tears again. He was flipping through this book of Cliff. Sweet boy loved him some "Cwiff!"
Seeing Micah standing at those doors brought back so many memories of Jonah at those very doors. How time flies.
As we were getting ready to leave Beppa's house and head back to Tim and Belinda's, she called Jonah into the foyer to give him something. She gave him Cliff's golf bag towel from Pebble Beach and his tag from Beau Pre. What a sweet and special gift for Jonah. Dan told Jonah that Cliff always had that on his bag when they played together. That made Jonah so happy.
We headed next door to see more friends and enjoy some yummy fish!
One of the special treats of this trip was seeing Leah. When I was in Junior High, our church got a new Music Minister. They had a three year old named Leah. I became their babysitter and have stayed in contact with them over the years. She is now married and just recently moved to Vidalia of all places. Not only that, she bought a house on my old street right next to my old neighbors. SO RANDOM!
Mammy even made Jonah a birthday cake. That boy had some serious celebrating of his 6th birthday.
Leah with my boys! So odd to see your life come full circle!
Jonah got to open some cards and gifts before we ate dinner. He impressed everyone with how well he read the cards.
We had the most wonderful food and desserts. Needless to say, we are both on a health kick now that we are home again.
And, what is a birthday without an AWFUL rendition of "Happy Birthday Knapp style!"
Ole' Gertrude is still hanging in there. She looks even better than the day I left her.
This is what happens when you ask Dan to take your picture without specific instructions. Can we say CLOSE UP???
After a LONG day, this boy (and his momma) was TIRED! We loved being back with so many people who mean so much to our family. It was a great, great day!