Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Jackson's go to IOWA!!!

This past weekend we had the pleasure of flying back to Iowa to visit with Brandon’s family, the Hansaker et al….clan (everyone is obviously married with different last names but since his mom has 4 sisters I will just be referring to them as the Hansaker clan!) It was a very exciting trip for all of us as not only had I never met any of them, and thus neither had Cash James, but it had been YEARS since Brandon himself had seen them. It was a long 2 part flight to take with a 5 ½ month old who was VERY energetic and busy ( but thankfully happy) but once we came down the escalator in Des Moines’ very quaint airport and saw the WHOLE family eagerly awaiting our arrival our weekend of family fun commenced!!

Brandon’s Grandma Mona & Grandpa Pete with Brandon’s mom Rhonda, us and Cash James

I was so taken aback by the sheer joy and love protruding from these wonderful, caring people, who instantly greeted me like family; that I actually had tears in my eyes. Not only were they excited to see their Son/Grandson/Nephew/Cousin “Buzz” (Brandon’s childhood nickname), but they were truly excited to see me and our son. We were welcomed with hugs, tears and so much joy and love. So many years of distance were melted away immediately and it was obvious how much they love and missed Brandon and everyone just fell into place and in sync with each other so naturally, in true Hansaker fashion (as I’ve come to learn) it was TIME TO EAT!!! =)

Of all the highs of the weekend I would say the best part was having Brandon’s mom/ my mother-in-law/Cash’s grandma, Rhonda, hug and kiss us when we hit the bottom of the escalator – it was like coming home after being gone for so long… which it WAS for Brandon, but even for myself and Cash. I just felt the love and I appreciated every ounce of it!

Cash’s Grandma Rhonda (B’s mama) with the three of us

Brandon, Grandma Rhonda & Cash James – 3 generations

Back to the food…. These people LOVE TO EAT! Which I was happy to oblige as being a nursing mother I am always hungry….. funny though, they kept me SO well fed that I never got hungry once while I was there. This would be a first for me since getting pregnant! LOL Not only are they AMAZING cooks but as I also learned, they actually only eat breakfast/lunch/dinner in order to GET TO DESSERT! In fact, right after you take your first bite of breakfast/lunch/dinner Aunt Jenny was asking which type of dessert you would like! I learned very quickly that MAYBE means YES and even NO means YES – and your dessert, or in most cases DESSERTS ( as there are numerous types at any given time) are lined up before you pretty much by the time you’ve taken your 3rd bite of the main meal. I could really get use to this, maybe we should move to Iowa!!!! Even thinking back about the wonderful food I am hungry…. Let alone the fabulous desserts… red velvet cake, cupcakes, strawberry rhubarb pie, rice crispy treats, bon bons, home made ice cream with caramel sauce and pralines….. my mouth is watering. I thought I was the only one who enjoyed cupcakes for breakfast, for the Hansakers it is as normal as a morning cup of coffee!

So let’s regroup. Big family full of love & laughter compiled with cupcakes for breakfast… um yes…. I was in HEAVEN to say the least!
I want to thank Grandma Mona & Grandpa Pete for making the trip happen. I just wish we could have stayed longer, we were both so sad to leave yet in this economy we are fortunate that Brandon has a job at all, let alone one he is able to take a long weekend away from. We didn’t want to push THOSE limits! Thank you! I also want to thank Rhonda, Keri & Kylie for coming up from Texas so that we could all be together. Thank you for taking the time etc… it wouldn’t have been the same without you, especially you Grandma Rhonda! I want to thank Jenny & Tony for letting us stay with them at the farm. It was perfect in every way – especially the part with all the yummy desserts! Hee hee Thank you Jolene/Kevin/Evan, LuAnne/Rick, Megan/Eric for taking time out of your schedules to spend time with us and feed us! Thank you to Cindy for stopping by to take such great family photos, I only wish you could have stayed a while to chat!

With Brandon’s Aunt Jolene & Cousin Evan

Thank you to EVERYONE who took time from their hectic lives to come spend a great weekend with us; and mostly to hold, snuggle, sing to, rock & love Cash James. As his mother there is no greater gift you could ever give me than to love my son as much as you all do! I feel so blessed that my son has all of you to call his family, and after this weekend I myself am SO blessed to have you all as MY family as well. Thank you for welcoming me in with open arms! See you soon!!!

The Hansaker sisters with grandma & grandpa & of course, us

Cash James with his Great Aunt “Nanny” LuAnne

Aunt Keri, Brandon & Cash James by the fire on the farm

Uncle Rick flew by for a "BUZZ for BUZZ"

Saying goodbye is never fun!

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Photos by Ann Elrod -

The Jackson Family, December 2008