Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer adventures

Hello friends!

I've been wanting to blog for so long! Life has been busy, busy, busy. Really since April it's all felt like a whirlwind caught us up and carried us off. Things just haven't been "normal" since Joe injured his back and even now he continues to heal. Between his back injury, my pregnancy miseries and life with 5 children, we've been in survival mode most of the time and go, go, go. Our schedule has been full of doctor visits, physical therapy visits and chiropractor visits. We're both pretty tired to doctor's offices and our days being broke up with appointments. It's been crazy but we're thankful to be dealing with things that are just part of life and here for a season. Joe's back is getting better and my pregnancy will be worth all the discomfort, aches and pains.
I'm sure we haven't gotten out of the whirlwind quite yet, four weeks until Laynee comes and a new school year starts so I'm trying to just enjoy these days of summer and accept them for what they hold. This past week I've dealt with some pregnancy miseries that have kept me in bed for four days straight and I'm continuing to try and get better, has not been fun or easy. Before that I was in pain with Carpal Tunnel, thankfully the chiropractor has been such an answer to prayer in dealing with that! I can not say enough how helpful the chiropractor has been in treating my Carpal Tunnel, it's been severe twice this pregnancy. The first time it improved with one adjustment and this past time two visits and it was better in about a week.
On Joe's birthday, the kids were playing downstairs and Anne fell and hit the back of her head on the corner of the TV stand. The kids brought her upstairs to me and didn't realize the back of her head was bleeding. It wasn't bleeding really bad, but at first I couldn't tell how bad it was. Poor girl just wanted me to hold her and not touch her head and I couldn't look at it for a long time.
Joe ended up coming home from work and we took her Urgent Care, I was hoping they could just glue it shut. They wouldn't treat her and sent us to ER where she got four staples! This was our first ER visit with any of the kids and it went very smoothly. By the time we arrived, she wasn't in pain, they put numbing gel on the gash and no shots were needed. They wrapped her in a sheet and she cried when they put the staples in but it was fairly fast.
She didn't have any complaints after that, except for when we changed her diaper and she laid on the back of her head or rode in her carseat. She would say, "Hurt, head hurt." I think she is a pretty tough cookie and was still her sweet self through the whole thing.
The girls finished up their soccer seasons in June. They both played really hard. Bethany especially is very aggressive and loves playing defense over offense. She played with 4th, 5th and 6th graders, most of whom had longer legs than her but she never complained once. She has a fire in her belly!
Jenna improved a bunch in her skills and ability to follow the game and know her field position. She scored a goal the first game of the season! Joseph didn't want to play soccer this year, he is eagerly waiting for basketball and may play flag football in the fall.
We were all ready for the soccer season to end. It took some crazy juggling to make practices and many games Joe was in really bad pain. Brady and Anne did well considering and Brady made a new friend he loved playing with so that was helpful.
The first full week of summer break we had VBS. The kids had a fun and this was them on Wacky Wednesday, their favorite day. Our church is such a blessing to our family and we are grateful God provided it for us and our community!
Bethany, Joseph and Jenna had the opportunity to go to Winshape Camp. They had an absolute blast! The girls enjoyed learning gymnastics and Joseph's favorite skill was archery. We competed in the Raving Fan Parking Lot Challenge and they kids loved decorating our van. As we were working on it, the kids were talking about not caring whether we won or not and Joseph said, "I think we've already had plenty of blessing this summer!" I was completely overwhelmed by his perspective. It's really true, for a summer full of so much busyness, running to doctor's and Joe and I both dealing with different things, they have had an incredible summer break full of so many blessings!
On a side note: I'd just like to point out the our Bethany is growing a bunch this summer, not so much taller, {don't tell her I blogged this, but Joseph is actually a tiny bit taller than her.} but she is getting older. Love her SO, SO much!
The week between VBS and Winshape we kicked off our 2014-2015 school year with a short trip of learning and exploring. We started the first morning off at a local donut shop. This was something we hadn't ever done, it was Joe's idea. The kids LOVED getting to pick out which two donuts they wanted. We will have to go there again before summer is over. Anne spilled chocolate milk all over her shirt so that is why she is topless!
We then drove to Tennessee to visit Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park. Joseph has liked the black and white movie, starring Gary Cooper, Sergeant York for a couple of years now. This has been on our places to visit for some time and we decided to make it happen this summer.
There is a grist mill to see, that Alvin and his family ran. The creek there is really awesome, the water was cold on the hot day.
Brady and Anne both liked wading in the water, Brady took a scary plunge under the water but recovered quickly and was off again. They were both soaked, in the parking lot after they kept laughing to each other and patting their wet bottoms. It was funny
 We were also able to tour Alvin's home where he raised his family after the war. His 84 year old son talked with us and answered our questions, he asked me to play their piano and let Joseph try on a helmet from the war. Really a generous and friendly man.
Everything in the house was their original belongings. I don't know of many places to visit where there is so much history to see and it's FREE! This is the valley where Alvin is buried. We also walked across a wooden swinging bridge at the park.
 This place is in the hills of Tennessee. We're familiar with the term, "in the middle of nowhere" but it really is out of the way across the Kentucky-Tennessee line. On our way, we realized our car charger wasn't working and Joe's phone was about dead from using the GPS. After visiting the park, both of our phones were dead and we weren't sure how to get to our next destination without GPS. We stopped in this little country store, Forbus General Store to see if they had a charger. A man was whittling on the porch as other men kept walking out to spit chewing tobacco off the porch. We walked into what we thought was the entrance to the store, instead we all ended up interrupting a game of pool. It was a bit awkward as we all traipsed around the table and in front of the people sitting in chairs watching. Needless to say, they did not have a charger, neither did the closest gas station. I took my camera in with me, it was really dark inside AND I didn't have the nerve to take any pictures.
Joseph bought a rubber band gun that I'm pretty sure the guy on the porch whittled and Brady gave us all a minor heart attack when he was caught carrying a $5 dagger of a knife that he'd found on a low shelf!
I asked for directions to the nearest place that might have a charger and the lady told me I'd have to drive to "All-benny" which I soon remembered having seen signs for "Albany". Her directions were wrong but we did find a Dollar General and get chargers!
We drove a couple hours to Berea, KY and stayed at Historic Boone Tavern Hotel. This is such a neat area that I'd love to go back for a longer visit and the hotel was absolutely awesome! So clean, really afforable and the staff were very friendly. We had a great stay!
The grounds are beautiful, we walked around and though most things were closed it was a fun time.
The next morning we had to be up early to get to our 9:30 tour time of Ale-8-One Bottling Company. Joe loves this Kentucky made ginger ale. It was a fun tour and at the end, they gave each of us an Ale8.
From there we drove to Fort Boonesborough. I was pregnant with Brady the last time we visited and the kids all wanted to go back.
 It was really hot by this point in the day and I wasn't feeling very good. Brady and Anne were very energetic but didn't want to stay in the shaded cabins for demonstrations and history lessons. I ended up taking lots of deep breaths and letting them climb and explore.
These two are quite the duo right now. They play so well at times, laugh at each other's jokes and silly ways but they also fight over the silliest things and try to tell each other what to do which ends in screaming or hitting or pushing and sometimes even, biting.
On this road trip Anne was in her carseat and she held her arm straight up to feel the cold air blowing over her head. Brady pulled her arm down, she screamed at him. We told him to leave her alone and that she could keep her arm up. Anne continued to hold her arm up and stare at him, it was obvious her arm was tired after a bit but she just kept holding it and staring at him to prove to him she could do it!
After Boonesborough, we were torn about whether to make another stop close by or just head home because I wasn't feeling good. We decided to stop and ended up getting to tour White Hall at a very discounted rate with a group of camp kids. White Hall was the home of Cassius Marcellus Clay, slave abolitionist, Ambassador to Russia and friend of Abraham Lincoln.
 Brady's pants were on backwards and he was trying to take them off and turn them around in this picture and he may have peed in the side yard as well.
This house is huge! The front door is about 15 feet high and the inside is beautiful. We would definitely go back again for a full tour sometime, it was a very neat place.
That completed our mini, 32 hour school kick off/vacation! I was ready for home but would totally do it again.
This Laynee baby is growing, it sounds better than me saying my belly is growing or I look like I'm having twins, that has been said by many an encourager! {wink} I have an ultrasound on Wednesday to get an idea of her weight, I'm a bit nervous. It looks like I'll at least be induced on August 4th. I have so much to do! School books and school room to organize, baby bed to set up, clothes to wash and sort, bags to pack and so much more! I did pre-register at the hospital this morning, cleaned pictures off my iphone and ordered school books this morning, so I'm starting to get ready!

And that's a wrap!
No promises on when I'll post again.

1 comment:

Donna Mattingly said...

I love reading your stories. You are truly blessed each and every day to have all the children and the loving husband in your life. The pictures are wonderful. It appears that everyone is having a blast living life to the fullest! The pictures show the love and warmth and the presence of God in your lives.
Donna M.