Monday, July 25, 2011

Time Away In Luray

Last week was our annual trip to Luray, VA. With our good friends of 14 years and their 4 children (yes, 13 people in one house) we headed out to 80 acres, cows and just being in the middle of nowhere. Other than some fights over electronics everything went smoothly and we had a lot of fun.

Check out these great shots Kirk took.

I apologize for yet another delay but between being out of town last week, preparing for Kaitlyn's birthday party this weekend and having my computer break on me I'm a little behind. And now I'm adjusting to a new laptop. Seems my computers only last 2 years before something goes terribly wrong. Here's hoping the new one will last a little longer!

Thanks for your patience :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Where Have You Been?

Yikes! Seems we got back from vacation and instead of settling down things seem to have revved up. Isn't summer supposed to be relaxing?

So, what have we been up to?

Well, after our fiasco on the trip home my dad did NOT have time to re-do the kids bathroom but since he brought his work clothes he so kindly and sweetly (I love you dad!) offered to re-paint my living room. Soo happy :)

He had a few helpers:

It's a good thing I don't have any more kids or my dad may never have gotten started!!

The transformation from green to orange (yes, orange!)

The real painter:

And the orange with some rearranged furniture:

The completed room after a trip to Ikea - I love, love, love it and am already planning out my next room. A hint: it's the dining room but believe it or not I'm NOT repainting.

What else?

Building a cereal tower with Caleb - I think we hit somewhere around 30 boxes of cereal. (Mostly free - hey, couponing is what I do!!)

And celebrating Kaitlyn's birthday. She will be 11 in just TWO days!! Can't believe she's turning into such a big girl and a beautiful young lady. Since we'll be out with friends on her birthday we decided to surprise her with a special family dinner out last night.

We also surprised her with her birthday gift. This is the look that says "I already know what my gift is."

This is the look that says, "Oh my word, it's not what I thought it was!! It's waaaayy better!" (she was expecting her iPod to be fixed and gift wrapped - instead we (along with Grandma and Grandpa) upgraded her to an iPod Touch. Yes, she loves her gift.

My beautiful 11 (almost) year-old. Happy Birthday Baby Girl! I love you so much and so glad that you made me a mother 11 years ago.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Long Journey Home

We made it home! No, it hasn't taken us a whole week but I swear it felt like it :) We were planning to leave on Monday but pushed it to Tuesday so that we could be more prepared.

On Tuesday we were making great time. Didn't even stop for our first break for 5 hours! That's great for us. We stopped for a quick lunch, gas and potty break and were back on the road not to stop again until dinner. Seriously, we were doing that great! We were on track to make it home by 10:30 in the evening and since we left at 7:30 in the morning it would have made the trip a "short" 15 hours. With 5 kids that is great time.

But in Virginia we hit quite a storm. Lots and lots of rain and very high winds. Of course, this meant someone had to go to the bathroom and we found a rest area to make a quick stop. I opted not to take all the girls in while my dad took Caleb (thanks Dad!). They were quick - the rain helped :) and we were back on the road.

We weren't ten minutes down the road in the POURING rain when our windshield wipers stopped working. My dad was driving blind, literally, on 95. We pulled over quickly out of the rain but were sitting on the side of 95 with no way to drive and the inability to see! Thankfully the car was still running so the kids were happily watching TV all while I'm trying to figure out what to do when someone says they have to go potty. I won't share all the ways I considered.

I called Kirk and we discussed our options including his driving down and picking us up but that still would have been a problem for the van. Towing seemed pointless since everything worked but the wipers but of course the rain was NOT letting up.

After 30 to 45 minutes on the side of the road the rain let up a tiny bit - at least enough for my dad to slowly inch us to the next exit - mind you, it was still raining, he was still driving blind and basically trusting me to see the white line. Praise God we made it the half mile to the next exit being missed my a few cars and a semi.

No gas station has ever looked sweeter. I didn't care if the bathroom was a small hole it was WAY better than figuring it out in the driving rain on the side of the road.

Out of other options we spent the night at a local motel praying for the rain to end. The kids LOVED it. Julianna said and I quote, "this place is beautiful" - at least her standards are low. They just loved sleeping in the same room as me with a TV right there.

Fortunately, the rain cleared overnight and we were able to safely drive home on Wednesday morning. Turns out the wipers just needed a little tightening and everything is fine. Go figure.

But hey, Kirk was supposed to fly back home on Tuesday 2 weeks before we drove home but his plane got cancelled and he too spent the night in a hotel (nicer than ours) and had to fly on home on Wednesday. Ultimately he flew from Tampa to Buffalo, NY to Chicago to VA. Eeek! I think it may have taken him longer to get home then us :)

Praise God we all made it home safely! And thank you Dad very much for taking care of us and getting us home safely! I've already said it but I'll repeat myself, you're the best dad a girl could ever have :)

And since tomorrow if the 4th of July it seems quite appropriate to wish you a very happy 4th of July and may you stay even more safe than we were driving home :)