Last night Aaron had the idea to take a road trip to a small town and find a little diner or cafe to eat dinner. We all piled into the van and proceeded to drive all the way to Eaton (which is roughly nine miles from where we live).
We weren't sure what was there, so we continued on to Ault, which is an exciting distance of four miles from Eaton. Unfortunately, we had gotten a late start, and small towns being small towns, all the cute little diners and cafes in Ault were closed.
We then proceeded to traverse the grueling four miles back to Eaton, and soon settled on eating at a little place called "Steven's Grill", which has been there, apparently, since Aaron was a kid.
We ordered up burgers and fries and cheddar potato soup because it was on special, and all sat around a small metal table together. Malachi took to the soup, Sima just wanted crackers and the french fries from my plate, even though I did give him his own, and Izzy was mostly preoccupied with mixing together ketchup and mustard for his fries. Aaron and I ate as quickly as possible, as we have learned that once the kids are done eating, it's best to make a quick escape before they start wreaking havoc upon the restaurant. The food was actually really good--I'd take it over McDonald's any day.
When we were all done, we went across the street to Eat'n Ice Cream and had dessert. We sat outside at wrought-iron tables and chairs and ate our ice cream, enjoying the quietness of the small town and marveling that the main street of Eaton was less busy than the street we live on in Greeley. At one point, three teenage girls were riding their bikes right down the middle of the road, not a single car in sight. If our boys tried that, they'd be in big trouble, because there is really no time of day that our road is without cars.
We walked around the block afterward, and the boys managed to find an anthill, which we quickly removed them from so they wouldn't get bitten. It was beginning to get dark, so we headed back to the van to go home. By the time we had them all in their seats, it was a quarter to nine, and the quiet and peaceful part of the evening was over. Simeon was crying because an ant bit him, Malachi was crying because his toe mysteriously hurt, and Lily was crying because she's an infant and that's what she does. Izzy was the only one not crying, probably because he was too busy adding to the problem by pinching Malachi and bugging him, as only a little brother can.
Nine miles seems a lot longer when you have a van full of crying children.
The funny part was when I realized that Simeon was crying mostly because Malachi was crying. He would repeat everything he said, even that Izzy pinched him, which I knew wasn't true since Izzy couldn't reach him. I held his hand and sang to him, which miraculously quieted him and everyone else down for about three minutes. And then they all started up again.
By then we were back in Greeley, and soon home, so it was all right.
All in all, it was a really great night together...but I am glad we were only nine miles from home.