This past weekend we went to Missouri for a weekend with the Wampler/Braschler families. We stayed with Mamaw Friday night and headed out early Saturday morning for Doniphan, Missouri, about three hours east of the Springfield area. I took some Bonine (better than Dramamine!) before the trip and Nana graciously took the backseat so I could sit up front and not get sick (her real motive was to play with her grandson the whole way), although the roads were not near as bad as I was expecting and I didn't experience a hint of car sickness.
We got to see all the places that Grandpa B. grew up and all the farms on both sides of the family. We went to the cemetary to decorate his parents graves and got to see the heritage of the Braschler family.
Here are the Braschler men on the trip:
Jon, Rick, Paul, Todd, Jake, Cliff, Nick, Caleb
Caleb hasn't been taught cemetary etiquette as he was playing in the dirt and climbing on headstones. I think I turned bright red when one of Cliff's cousins said, "Don't worry, Uncle Eugene wouldn't mind! Let him play!" So play he did.
This is the grave of Cliff's father and mother (who died when he was nine) and his stepmother who he also viewed as his mom for the rest of her life.
The Pierce side is his mother's side of the family. I think this was Cliff's uncle and aunt if I'm not mistaken (and I may be).
The trail of tears runs right through the cemetary - you could see the groove in the land where thousands of Native Americans had traveled so long ago. There were several of these piles of stones that marked the graves of some who didn't make it along the way. They have been there a long time.
It was called the Pratt Cemetary and was right next to where Cliff grew up.
As I mentioned before, Caleb enjoyed climbing on the stones.
He also found a friend - a distant cousin named Audrey only 3 weeks older than he is! They were both so sweet to each other. (We may live in Arkansas, but we're not the kissin' cousins type!)
Caleb did so well on the trip, especially for being in the car over six hours and being dragged all around the Doniphan countryside with only a tiny nap.
Janice, Claudia, Merissa, me, Julie (and baby Cohen due in August!)
We had a great trip and are so thankful we were able to go and hear the stories of Grandpa B's childhood. What a rich memory.
We headed back to Nixa, MO for Pizza and there was a surprise party waiting to celebrate Claudia's 50th birthday! She had no idea.
Her brothers and their families as well as many of the Braschlers and even one of her long-time friends she hadn't seen in years came with her husband.
Here's the cute candy bar "card" Nick's cousin, Makayla, made in honor of the event.
"Happy 50th Claudia. Do you hear SNICKERS from those around you? They are jealous. You still look like a HOT TAMALE at 50. Soon, you'll have BUTTERFINGERS and feel your bones CRUNCH when you ROLO-ver and say, 'Where's my WHATCHAMACALLIT?' I had a hard time finding a gift. I thought we could TAKE 5 at the SYMPHONY or I would give you 100 GRAND but it wasn't my PAYDAY. The best I could do was SKOR you a DOVE. It's UP2YOU how you will REACT to us NERDS. Hopefully you will be a SWEETART about it."
What a cute idea!
Claudia with her mom who sneakily pulled it all together (and Todd too!).
The sneak himself!
Caleb loved hanging out with his Uncle Jake. They're buddies.
And he also got to take a ride on the mower with Grandpa.
It was a great weekend with great people! Lots of fun memories!