Friday, August 26, 2011

Family visit

A couple of weekends ago, my brother's family came to visit Aunt Mindy and Uncle Brad. (Actually, Clinton calls him Aunt Brad. Ha!) I absolutely loved getting to spend time with TJ and Jennie, and especially their children, Rachel and Clinton. But since Aunt Mindy's house isn't necessarily kid-friendly (except for the random toys I hurriedly bought in the dollar aisle at Target before they arrived), we spent most of the rainy Saturday at the Discovery Center.

Because his dad is a firefighter, Clinton is completely obsessed with all things fire department. Before we had even finished acquiring admission, he had noticed a fire engine and sprinted right to it. We had to pry him away from the driver's seat to get him to explore anything else. And if, at any time, he got bored with something or we looked away, he'd beeline it straight back to the truck. Like father, like son, I suppose.

Rachel and Aunt Uncle Brad spent a lot of time looking at all of the turtles. She loved them so much that she even named one of them Rachel. She's nice enough to share her name like that.

Then they spent some time "working on the car." Clinton loves to "fix" things, so he was in heaven replacing that velcro muffler and refilling the engine fluids. Rachel felt right at home, too, changing those tires like a pro.

There was seriously so much to do at this place. They played in water making waves and dams, mined for toy coal, shopped at a pretty believable toy grocery store, climbed into a treehouse, engineered a train, constructed working gears, played instruments, and made crafts in the art department, among other awesome things.

They each manned separate construction machines while we were waiting for the main event...

The Discovery Center has an entire toy train room, but they only run them a couple times a day for twenty minute periods. Everything the kids did up to this point was just a time filler as they waited for the trains to go. Once they started, the kids were both enthralled. Rachel chased them around the room, and every time one went into a tunnel, Clint would ask where it went, only to get really excited, point, and exclaim, "There it is!!" when it reemerged.

We only get to visit with them a few times a year, but every time we do, I love them even more. I'm so grateful for a great family with wonderful siblings and an awesome niece and nephew. And I'm also glad for a super cool place so close that we can go to in order to entertain kids for a whole day!

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