JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Susie Vestal, right, stands on the front porch of her daughter's house last week with two of the three grandchildren she watches a few times a week. Leyton Mullins, 6, far left, is laughing with older brother Landon, 8, in the background.
JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Susie Vestal, right, stands on the front porch of her daughter's house last week with two of the three grandchildren she watches a few times a week. Leyton Mullins, 6, far left, is laughing with older brother Landon, 8, in the background.

The Dart: Ge-maw’s joy

Published 12:06am Monday, April 1, 2013

VIDALIA — When the bell rings for school to get out at Vidalia Lower Elementary School, Susie Vestal knows she is going to have her hands full.

Vestal, or Ge-maw if you ask her grandsons, babysits Landon, Leyton and Lucas three days a week, and she certainly has her work cut out for her.

When The Dart landed on Cross Street Thursday, Vestal was watching the boys as they made loops on their bicycles in the driveway, kicked off their shoes to bounce on the trampoline and played fetch with their dachshund, Miley.

JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Leyton Mullins, 6, center, and older brother Landon, 8, look on as Miley, the family's miniature dachshund puppy, uses her hind leg to scratch her ear after the two boys got out of school Thursday.
JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Leyton Mullins, 6, center, and older brother Landon, 8, look on as Miley, the family’s miniature dachshund puppy, uses her hind leg to scratch her ear after the two boys got out of school Thursday.

Vestal, a Natchez resident, watches the boys at their house until their parents, Jimmy and Amanda Mullins, get off work at Riverland Medical Center. Jimmy is an X-ray technician, and Amanda is a nurse.

But Thursday wasn’t just a regular after-school play session; the boys said they were “practicing” for a special Easter trip.

The family, Vestal said, planned to spend Easter at a campground in the Homochitto National Forest.

Cooking out, playing in the sand and riding bikes would likely take up most of the family’s Easter time, Vestal said, but the boys were most excited about a special, signature Easter activity.

Lucas, 2, toted around his Easter basket, inspecting a few loose ribbons he had repaired with Scotch tape in preparation for the big Easter egg hunt.

Landon, 8, and Leyton, 6, darted around the yard also making sure they were ready for the egg hunt.

“We’re going to have a race,” Landon said.

The family typically spends Easter at the Vidalia house of Vestal’s father.

“We decided to change it up this year,” Vestal said.

While her eyes had to quickly follow the boys from the trampoline, to the bikes, to the swing set, back to the trampoline and back on their bikes again, Vestal said her Ge-maw time is one of the best parts of her day.

“They can be a handful, but they’re a joy,” Vestal said.