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Well, after getting a good night’s sleep in LA (not really) we headed home to Las Vegas. However, what McCracken trip would be complete without a few stops? 🙂 First, we stopped for lunch in LA with my good friend, Marisa, and her three blond beauties….Lainey, Malia, and Lyndie. Lunch was awesome. We ate Mexican–for which I am very grateful. It was soooooo yummy! Marisa drove down from Ventura just to see us. It was so nice to catch up with my dear friend. Marisa and Justin had three under three for a time, and they have been 120% supportive of our journey. Marisa also speaks fluent Spanish so the kids had fun speaking to her. She and the girls made us a CD of Spanish songs for the drive home. The kids ask to listen to it every time we get in the car. They love it, Marisa!!! We are looking forward to a trip to the beach where we can actually spend some quality time with their family.

Marisa and her girls were too kind in packing goodie bags for each of the children for the drive. They each got a new blanket (which are now their “travel blankets”), some snacks and drinks, and a writing tablet with pen and colors. The children were in heaven the whole way home. Here are a few pics of the event:

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I seem to only steal small glimpses of time with my sweet friends that I made almost EIGHT years ago while teaching in Taiwan. And even though eight years, along with many milestones, have passed they remain some of my most trusted friends. Thank goodness for blogs and email, right? Marisa is one of those friends. And I am so grateful that we still occasionally find the time to steal in-person glimpses together.

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After lunch with Marisa, we dropped Tia Jena off at the hotel so that she could reunite with her family and spend some time relaxing at the beach. Heaven knows she needed it after a week in Bogota with the four crazy kids we decided to bring back with us. 🙂 You might ask why I added pictures of Nicole and Juan P. in their car seats. Well, you can imagine the surprise when they found out those seats were just for them. We thought that perhaps they wouldn’t want to be buckled in and confined, but the opposite ended up happening. The two older children pouted because they didn’t get seats. We ended up getting them booster seats anyway because they are still not tall enough for the seat-belts. I am so glad we documented their very first car-seat experience. And they continue to love their seats. They don’t fight the seat-belt rule, and they always make sure I am buckled in, as well.

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Last, but not least, we stopped in Victorville to see great-grandparents Chapman. They had root beer floats and stuffed animals awaiting the munchkins. Great-grandpa played the organ for us, and we took a few pictures. Thanks for letting us stop for a few minutes to rest and see you. The kids LOVED it.

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We finally arrived in Las Vegas around 8:00 p.m. just as darkness was emerging and the lights of the city illuminated it. We woke the children up, and they started chanting * familia mccracken las vegas, familia mccracken las vegas* They stayed awake the next twenty minutes as we made our way to our home. Here is the video I captured as we approached the last mile toward our home:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFOlRzirHN0
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49JATVZcsjY
We have more video and lots of pictures of the party that awaited the kids, but we are waiting for them from our friends. As soon as we have it, I will post….but you get the idea. WE ARE FINALLY HOME!!!

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