June 13, 2010

Longaberger Homestead Trip

Last fall Charis and I were supposed to go on a tour of the Longaberger Homestead for her birthday outing, but unfortunately we had the flu and had to cancel. When my consultant sent out the information for her summer trip on June 12, I decided it might be a good time to see if we could finally have our girls' day out. It actually was our only free Saturday of the month, so we got up early and prepared for a day away.

I drove our minivan and had two other ladies as passengers, whom I hadn't met until we got together for the road trip. They were sweet, older ladies, very chatty, so the two-hour ride passed quickly. In fact, it passed so quickly that a policeman pulled me over, ha! I saw him sitting in the median and slowed down (yikes, I WAS going pretty fast), but alas, he pulled out behind me and started flashing his lights. Would you believe this was the FIRST time I had ever been pulled over?! If it had happened a decade or two ago, I'm sure I would have burst into tears, but all I could do was chuckle. I knew I deserved a ticket...I was in a rush to get to the Home Office and meet up with Kay before she left for the Homestead, and we were close to making it on time.

The officer asked where we were headed, and I told him. He asked about our Colorado plates and my Ohio driver's license, so of course I told him we're a military family. He was very kind and polite, and I made sure I responded as respectfully as possible. (After all, I did have my daughter with me plus two strangers, tee hee!) He went back to do his "checking," and obviously I was squeaky clean. So when he came back and let me off with a warning to slow down, I thanked him profusely and made sure my cruise was set for the speed limit from then on! Thank you, Lord, for your mercy passed on to me through the policeman!

The ladies and I all had a good laugh, and off we went. We briefly stopped at the Home Office (a building shaped like a basket) to use the restroom and quickly look around, and then we went on to the Homestead. We met up with Kay and got our name tags, etc., and then we looked around the factory store a little bit. Charis was interested in making a basket, so we signed her up for a 3 p.m. appointment and went to play basket bingo. It was sunny and HOT, and Charis and I huddled under her umbrella for some shade. No wins for us that round, so we checked out the face painting (Charis got her hand painted) and then met the other ladies for our lunch.

Another round of bingo followed, during which Charis actually won! She got to pick out of the kids' prizes and chose a darling Boyd's bear. It was raining by then, so we scurried inside to look around at the shops. I bought two little Americana decorations and spent a whopping $10, LOL. Then we sat in on the first bit of the next bingo round, won nothing, and then scooted over for her basket-making experience. This is her finished basket! Didn't she do great?!

We hadn't realized it, but since this weekend was a special one at Longaberger, because she made a basket, Charis also got to make a wooden flower in J.W.'s Workshop. So we went back across the campus to the workshop only to find that the next available time slot wasn't for a half hour. Perfect time to go get ice cream! We walked around, took some pictures, and enjoyed our ice cream, and then she made her final project before we joined our car mates for the final round of bingo. It was a huge round, with tons of BIG baskets given away, but alas, no one in our group won anything. Still, it was a very fun day, despite the heat, rain, and humidity. The rain was intermittent enough that we really were not out in it very much at all.

We didn't get home until nearly 9 p.m., and Charis was so excited about all the fun she had had that I'm sure she didn't fall asleep for awhile after we tucked her in bed! Not only did she win a bear and make a basket, but she had also gotten a little basket as a door prize from Kay (I got a nice picture frame) and a cute denim bag that our lunch came in. She felt overjoyed with all her new stuff, but making her own basket was definitely the highlight for her.

To see some more pictures, you can go to the Facebook album here.

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