Sunday, June 27, 2010

D's New Leading Lady

Her name is Gloria.

She was an impulse pick up on our way back from our trip.  D is in love.  D talks back to her.  "Exit right in 1 mile."  "Oh GLORIA...thank you so much for your PRECISE and EXACT directions.."   Gloria keeps things on track, and doesn't measure distance in inches like me.  "How long till we change highways?" "Oh, about 2 inches."  Gloria also doesn't leave entire states out of travel.  I sadly had tried to connect highways from Mississippi to Georgia and we spent an entire hour in Mississippi looking for highway 20.  I forgot we went through Alabama.  D has always known I was a bit "map-special" but I think the seriousness of my disorder shocked and scared him....never again will I be able to go any where alone.

D and Gloria are registered at Radio Shack....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Last Day

Tomorrow we start the journey back home.  This is our last full day here.  Haven't really done much expect sit around and put T's ear drops in.  Did a little souvenir shopping today too.  I'm super sad to leave F, E and little C and the ocean that I love so much!! 

Here are some random pics I wanted to share!

T body boarding.  He got really good!

J holding a horseshoe crab at the aquarium.  I will have to do a whole post for that place. Amazing!!

Beautiful little C on the beach!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Earaches and Hermit Crabs

My poor T ran into our room about 2am this morning with an earache.  I packed a lot of "just in case" meds, but the only thing that I had for him was some ibuprofen and Benadryl.  I don't think the Benadryl actually did anything for his ear, but it did help him got back to sleep.  He was pretty miserable.  I THINK he might.have swimmers ear.  His ear on the outside hurts, as well as inside.  We went and bought drying drops and ear plugs, but I can't keep that boy out of the water for anything. I just hope is doesn't stew and turn into something really nasty.

Other than that we are just enjoying doing, well, nothing.  Hanging out on the beach, collecting shells, treasure hunting at all the little souviour shops, and the boys have either been body boarding or hanging out in the pool.  It's a hard life, I tell ya!  I scared myself when I turned on the bathroom light this morning and thought my skin was yellow.  It wasn't.  I have a tan.  I haven't had tan in YEARS and YEARS. =)

Today was a great day on the beach. D picked up a piece of "stuff" that looked like peat moss from the bottom of the ocean and when he brought it up, it was covered with baby hermit crabs!!  Some of them were no bigger, shell and all, than a big piece of rice.  I had about 15 of them that would have easily fit on a half dollar.  They also found several big ones when they would dive down and feel around.  Very neat!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sea Sick!

Tuesday morning we got up and headed to a marina for a boat ride.  The boat belonged to F's mama and her her husband.  I had been worried about this ride since I get sick on even the merry go round at the state fair, but had convinced myself that this would be different.  It wasn't.

We pulled into the Myrtle Beach Yacht Club and found the boat.  The marina was awesome and looked like something we see in the movies....fancy boats all lined up, and shrimp boats heading out to sea.  I started feeling a headache before we had even left the marina, but didn't start feeling sick sick until we were out in the ocean.

The boys had a ball the first half of the trip.  They were each given the opportunity to be CAPT of the ship and got a quick lesson on how to drive. (drive? Is that the correct term for steering a boat? Hmm..) 

I had quietly began to turn many, many, many, shades of green, had regretted what I had eaten for breakfast, and mapped out the closest windows to me and how I was gracefully going to manage to barf out these window while looking cute at the same time.

J all of a sudden started turning green around the gills so they graciously brought out the Dramamine, so we popped a couple of those.  I just tried to keep my eye on the coastline because they told me that would help.  It didn't.  It wasn't long before T suddenly looked green and became very whiny so I knew it had hit him too.  That's when it was decided these wimpy Kansas people had had enough and the boat was turned around and we headed back.

T ended up falling asleep, I never did barf, but was miserable, J felt normal after his meds, and D never got bothered by anything.

Lessons learned:  Boats are beautiful. I love them.  But only for 5 mins at a time.  Draminaine also knocks you out for several hours after it kicks in.

All seasickness aside, we were blessed and very thankful that Kathy and David went out of their way to take us out.  It is a gorgeous boat and it's amazing to see the coastline from out in the water.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Family Picture Proofs

*DISCLAIMER--there is a picture in here (#4) of the grown up men "flipping the bird" that she caught as we were wrapping up. Just be ready for it, and sorry if it offends!"  

Our pictures are up!!  It's gonna be hard trying to figure out which ones to get!

PS--I realized something....I look....JUST...LIKE...MY...MOTHER!   =) 

Adventures At The Giant Crab

When we started to plan this trip, we got a tourist guide and my husband found a place called Giant Crab and declared it a "have to" on our trip. It is a seafood buffet, and the building outside is actually a big huge crab named TOMMY so we figured not only would we get enough to eat, it would be a fun place to see as well.
It did not disappoint and our family had many "first" foods last night. I tried mussels, cod, salmon, and Flan last night. Discovered I don't like salmon even straight out of the ocean, but cod is really good. Mussels are pretty good, and I was proud of myself for jumping out of my comfort zone and trying them. I still hate sushi! Both boys tried sushi and had the same reaction as I did, which wasn't a good one. D ate...well, D ate EVERYTHING. F and I were a bit amused as D and E were eating their food, while standing in line at the buffet.
Boys had a lot of fun eating crab legs, and REALLY enjoyed the dessert bar they had set up. T ate 3 ice cream cones, the last one he got on his way out the door! I also discovered that there is a thing as TOO MUCH natural as I saw steamed oysters that still have the barnacles on them.
We left full! Lost track of the times D went back, but I'd say they didn't make any money off of him! =)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

Sunday morning my mother in law and Sarah fixed blueberry pancakes and bacon for the “daddies” for Father’s Day.  ( I was busy “helping” with Connor. ;-)  )   After we stuffed ourselves silly, we said goodbyes and took some pictures and headed to the beach.

 D and his sister Sarah, J, T and baby Connor.  As I was taking this pic, I thought how amazing it would be if we could get all of them together with their kids. Hopefully, someday!

It took us almost 3 hours to get to Myrtle, and the entire time the boys spent looking over, just hoping for glimpse of the ocean.  There were some amazing bridges and rivers, and some HUGE ships in the harbor to keep them entertained.    However, there was nothing like that very first glimpse!
We unloaded at the condo, that has an ocean view from the living room, (both F and I are VERY impressed with the condo! ! MUCH nicer than we thought it would be. Beautiful stone floors, light airy atmosphere, BEAUTIFUL!! ) and walked about a block to the ocean,  The boys just could not wait any more. They ohhhed and awwed over everything, and ended up jumping into the ocean with their clothes on, laughing.   It was one of the mommy moments where I just sat back and watched my babies and I had to thank God for letting us be able to take this trip.    We stopped,  came back to the condo, got spiffied up and  had a photographer take some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G photos of our families on the beach.    I can’t wait to share them with everyone.  There are some of our both families together, families only, couples only, kids only....I am just THRILLED with these pics and almost cried when she was showing them to us on her camera.  

 We were so excited to see these Pelicans fly right beside us, in a line.  My bird boy thought they were AMAZING, and "a bit freaky and weird."
After pics the boys went back out…in their nice clothes, and collected shells and played in the water.  Jake even caught a tiny little fish in his hands.  I am sure they are like the minnows we catch at the lake, but this thing looked like a teeny tiny little large mouth bass.  He was excited as there were guys trying to catch them with nets, and he got one with his bare hands. (There's a KANSAS boy for ya!) 
I have never ever ever been this relaxed in my entire life. I can not believe I waited this long to take a vacation.    D and I have really been enjoying each other, as well as enjoying our boys.  I had worried that being trapped in the car with them for 24+ hours would do me in, but  it’s been quiet the opposite. 

Yesterday T looked at us when we were walking back to the condo and said “Thank you for bringing us here.”  *sniff* 

We are having an amazing time.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 1

Well, we made it here safe and sound. The last 2 hours of the trip where the very worse. D said it was because the past day we had no expectations. We were just driving until we couldn’t drive anymore.

We’ve been just hanging out and relaxing. Sarah and Don have a pool in their backyard so the boys have been hanging out there and D and I have been spoiling…er…helping with baby Connor.

Not really sure what the plan today is. We might back to down to the beach. It’s about 20 miles from here. Tomorrow we will load up and head to Myrtle after lunch.


Overall the car ride was wonderful.  My men were quiet, D and I were relaxed.  I was super surprised how smoothly things went.  We did get slightly lost a few times, due to a challenged map reader.    We also discovered that T is one of those people who gets upset stomach on long trips.  Not real sure if it was the trip itself, or eating fast food his system wasn’t used to.  He was much better though after he got here, relaxed and ate some of Uncle Don’s famous spaghetti.
Hopefully the trip home goes as smoothly as the trip up there.

Tried to get  every state sign, but missed Oklahoma…because it was dark…and Mississppi…because I was texting.  ;-)    We were most impressed with Tenessee…Nashville was amazing.  Hope  we can go back there someday and explore.  The kids loved the bridges and were in aww with the Mississippi river.

When we went through Arkansas, I couldn’t believe all the trees.   As we continued through the states, the forests were so thick  I think you could get lost stepping inside.  By the time we got to SC I was REALLY starting to get sick of the trees, because that is all we saw for 16 hours.  
 Fog Saturday morning as we started out of Alabama.  It was so thick it looked like you could just grab it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

So Far So Good

We stopped in Hamilton, AL for the night.  We made some good progress today, and only got lost a handful of times.  My husband has known since we met that I am "map challenged" and now he knows exactly how bad my disorder really is.  hehe

We should be in Summerville in about 8 hours depending on T's bladder and my map reading!! I have some cool pics to share later.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Goodbye To A Farm Friend

Sunday evening showed some wicked weather here in Kansas.  We had a storm blow through town that left trees uprooted and roofs ripped from buildings.  After the storm we headed out to the farm to check in on the new baby calf.  While out there, we found this:

This tree was blown over, landing on the 100 year old farm house that my brother and his wife are remodeling. Luckily they had not really gotten going on it.  The windows were all knocked out as well as a bit of roof damage.
This tree was huge.  Today while I was out taking pictures, I got a bit sad seeing that old tree laying there, getting ready to be turned to firewood.

Imagine all the new life that tree has seen, from the many generations of chirping baby birds in its branches, little squirrels racing around to the little squalling newborn bundles being taken carefully from the car into the house.  It saw my dad and his brothers and sisters growing up, and perhaps even my grandfather, and his siblings.  It used to have a swing on it, and I used to love swinging waaaayyyy up high while the adults sat around in the evenings and talked till dark. (Someone was swinging on that swing when it finally gave out, but I can't remember who it was? Shawn, maybe?)   If that tree could talk, I know it would never have told the "cousin secrets" that were whispered while we sat underneath in it's cool shade.  It was a great climbing tree, with branches that reached way out, but not too high up.    It watched many games of basketball and many "old guys" hobbling back underneath it's shade after those games. 

It will be weird not seeing it out there anymore.  I wish we could see and hear all the stories that tree could tell.

I sure am going to miss it!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's A BOY!!

Sunday morning when we did our daily baby check on Rosie, this is what we found!!    Isn't he just adorable??  (The boys were commenting on how white he is compared to Kirby.  J says "He must use Tide with Bleach.")  =-)   He must have been born during the thunderstorm this morning as he was pretty wet, but got right up, pooped, and ran off with his mama.  The boys love watching that "new baby drunk walk" they do when they are still figuring out how those legs work.

We were all very excited as this is our very first born calf for our little cow herd!! 
J has been calling him "Burger" but D thinks he needs a cooler name.   
And strangly, as we had been checking on Rosie multiple times for the past month, my brother E said all along, "I think it will be on the 13th. Don't know why, but that is what I think."  Sure enough.  Good thing we didn't have money on that bet.   Hmm...wonder if E wants to go to the new casino in Dodge....?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Excitement and Anxiety

Things I have learned about my family and I during vacation planning:

I CAN take a vacation and the world around me will not crumble.
I've never thought I could because of daycare.  I felt like I was letting everyone down by not being here.  One of my former class instructors told me recently that instead of feeling guilty for taking time off that I should think of it as a "recharge" and  that I would be a refreshed provider afterward.  None of my parents have yelled at me...yet.   I have had issues, though, worrying about my families and where everyone would find care, if the kids would get along ok,  --things like that.  It feels a bit like the first day  I watch them get on the bus for preschool/kindergarten.  They may not be my kids, but I still love them and worry about them.  I love my families too, and do not want them inconvenienced either.  I am in need of a "recharge" though.

D and I have learned a lot more about our spending habits and saving money through planning this adventure.  We CAN save more money than we originally thought we could, (especially when it is for something FUN) and I hope to continue putting more money in savings even when we are not planning a trip. ;-)

My kids can not phantom a world outside of flat Kansas and I am anxious to see their reactions to the big wide world.  T can't figure out how/why the ocean can be so salty, since obviously our lake is NOT, and why it would burn your eyes.  J can't WAIT to see the ocean for the first time.  He's also big into bird watching at the moment, and is hoping to see all kinds of birds you don't see here.

I am scared to leave my house.  There is my confession for the day.  No, I don't mean SCARED as in  agoraphobia scared.   I am just worried and anxious. About everything. About someone breaking in, about my flowers, about the garden, about the bunnies, about our poor dog who will be boarded at the vet and I am sure will think he chewed on one too many books and that we left him forever...  My mom patiently reassures me if will all be ok and taken care of, but I haven't left my house for more than overnight since I gave birth to T 10 years ago. (How sad is THAT??)

So there are my thoughts and worries for the day....M, do you think I need medication? ;-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rabbit Wrestling

Today we got some "bunny chores" out of the way.  We have a show next weekend so nail trims and tattooing were needing done.   I always clip the nails, while D hold the bunny for me.  As you can see from the picture below, I get the better end of the deal.  All I have is bunny fur on my shirt.  D's shirt will be going into the trash later, and he will be applying triple antibiotic ointment on his chest.  This shirt had no holes this morning when it went on!

J had 2 Havanas, 4 Cals, and Uno that needed tattooing.  D did the first 2, and then handed the tattoo clamp to J.  He did SUPER and only had one "uh oh" where he clamped on the outer part of the ear instead of the inside.  He just moved it down the ear, and made sure no ink got in the "oppsie" tattoo. I was happy to see HIM tattooing as we think he's old enough to do this stuff for his projects.  His mother on the other hand has to leave the room when they are tattooing.  The bunnies cry and scream for a second when the clamp "punches" them and it makes me so sad.

First pic is of J getting ready to "clamp" the bun.  This punches the letters/numbers in the ear, and then you go back and apply the ink into the holes. (We use a toothbrush.)

It is NEVER boring at my house!!

BTW--if anyone out there is interested, we have a super sweet Jr Doe Black Holland Lop J is selling for $10.  She's show quality and will be a beautiful bunny.

Summer Nights

Thursday evening, as soon as my last DC child left, we loaded up the car and headed back out to the lake. This time D went with us, and we packed hot dogs to roast and s'more makings for dinner. Not really that nutritious, but fun!!
Isn't D cute? (Don't tell him I said that, ok?)

We had better luck this time around.  D caught 4 catfish, J, 2 catfish, and T and I...well, nothing.  BUT I did have a monster catfish (REALLY--J saw it too!) almost to the shore before he got off the hook and gave me a little wave with his fin before he swam away. Ah well.
J in his summer attire--no shoes, camo hat and the "FREE GAS" shirt his mother HATES. *SIGH*

I am really really REALLY loving this summer.  It's  how I feel like summers SHOULD be.  No schedules, no where to be if we don't want  to be. Slow paced and fun.  Even the boys have picked up on it and have been commenting about it. Which really concretes the decision to not play ball this year.  (I had been having serious mommy guilt listening to other kids talk about their ball games.)  

The summer heat seems to have arrived! Hope everyone is staying cool! 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fishing With Granny G

Ahhh....the lake in June.  I'm not sure it gets any better than that!!   Last night we loaded up with my mom...aka Granny G...and sister M to do a bit of fishing.  D didn't get to go because he wanted to get the last of our new bunny cages hung.   The weather was perfect. The water was calm and the sky was that beautiful pink color. 

We didn't catch anything, in fact I don't even think we got any bites, but it was still fun.

On the way back into town we saw something in the road.  It looked like a small dog, but as we got closer we found it was SKUNKS!  A little family of skunks.  Mama Skunk was obviously trying to get them somewhere, and the car in the middle of the road had her frantic.  She was trying to get them to the other side, they would go the other way--she just couldn't get them to cooperate.   The picture came out blurry, but there was NO WAY I was getting out of the car to get a better shot!!  Baby skunks are adorable.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Adventures In Mulberries

Every spring that we have lived here, my boys have gorged themselves on the Mulberry bush that grows in our side yard. Purple hands and feet are pretty normal around here for about a month.  My daycare kids have also discovered the bush, and the bush is usually bare from 2-5 feet up all the way around.   I've got a few that will run out the door and eat as many berries as they can while their mama and I stand on the porch and talk at pick up time.

Ever since they  have spotted them this season my boys have been bugging me to make jelly with the berries.  Ick.  You can't make jelly with MULBERRIES!  Why not, they asked.  Because...?....Well, just because.  After of few weeks of asking I finally just looked it up and  learned you, in fact, CAN make MANY things with Mulberries. Cobblers and jelly seem to be the most popular. I printed off a recipe that called for the least amount of ingredients as possible.

If I was going to make the jelly, they had to pick the berries.

After I washed and soaked, washed and soaked, washed and soaked, and washed and soaked those things, smooshed them to get the juice, cooked them, and added some sugar;

It became this.

 I had my reservations. I was turned off to those berries the first year we lived here. D and I were picking, talking, and tossing them in our mouths and I looked down to find there are tiny white WORMS on them. ALL over them. Never again I have eaten them. (D just shrugged and popped another in his mouth.)   I did try the jelly though and it is pretty good!! It tastes a bit like Blueberry jelly to me.  My boys are in heaven and wanting to share with their mulberry loving buddies.  I might...or might not...try to get another batch in before they are all gone. The berries were free and the men think it was awesome that we could turn something grown in our yard into jelly, and it was nice to be the "cool mom" for about 10 minutes for making it for them.  ;-)