Mariko was home this past week on break. Knowing that as the kids get older, the opportunities for all of us to be together at a family dinner will become rarer, Robert suggested meeting up for dinner out. Jim & Steph live about two hours away from us, so we met up at the Olive Garden half way between us. Robert was working close to home that day, so our plan was to meet up part way and he would take some of the older kids with him the rest of the way.
In the twenty-five minute drive from home to the parking lot of the local grocery store, I laughed so hard. William is currently hooked on Johnny and The Sprites from Playhouse Disney. For Easter, he received a Johnny and The Sprites dvd. For twenty-five minutes, I was in the car, listening to William singing along with that, and with his older siblings making up their own lyrics. They also compared the Sprites to the Muppets and the Fraggles. Nothing makes a car ride pass more quickly than laughter. Laughter that brings tears to your eyes, which prompted my comment, "I'm so glad I wore my waterproof mascara because you guys are making me laugh so hard I'm crying". Which then prompted Mariko to say, "That is such a Mom comment~ only you would say that!", which of course, brought more laughter from everyone.
After we arrived to meet Robert, Mariko, Steve & Brittany quickly got out of my car and got into Robert's. For the rest of our trip, I was tempted to call Robert's cell phone and have him put it on speaker so the kids could enjoy listening to the songs from Johnny and the Sprites from our car. I didn't, and it turns out there was no need. Robert told me that when there was a quiet moment on their ride, Steve would suddenly burst out into a Johnny & The Sprites song.
We had a nice big table at the Olive Garden, set into this little alcove so we could have a rousing good time together.
One thing I've realized in going through the photos~ it's not a good idea for me to take pictures when I'm laughing so hard; despite the anti-shake feature on my camera, it's not very effective when I am laughing and trying to snap a shot.
The sound of laughter is very common in our home, and usually wherever we go~ it's one of my favorite sounds in the whole world.