Sunday, May 22, 2011

Alone Time

Since my last post, Ryan and I have had the opportunity to take not one, but two trips together. They were about as different as two trips could be. The first, was a three day trip to San Antonio, TX. Other than some flight delays, it was a great time. I had dreamed of taking Ryan there for years. My first airplane ride ever was when I attended the National Acteens Conference in San Antonio as a 15 year old. I thought it was the most romantic city ever and I just knew that when I got married, I would someday bring my husband there. So, when we had flight vouchers that needed to be used, I knew it was now or never.

We had a great time, it really is a fabulous city and we enjoyed exploring. We decided not to get a rental car and just to do what we could on foot. We found all sorts of beautiful places that we might have missed had we been driving to outlet malls or amusement parks. It was a good decision. It's one of those amazing places that photos can't do justice to, but here are some of our attempts to capture the beauty.

This picture was taken on the Riverwalk, where we ate most of our meals.
A picture of one of the riverboats, which we rode on one evening. This one was going through a theatre in the old part of the city, we were standing on the side where the spectators sit looking across at the stage.
This was taken in the oldest cathedral in TX, this is where the remains of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie lie.
Our hotel, the historic St. Anthony, where John Wayne stayed when filming "The Alamo"
The famous Alamo, of which this city is incredibly proud!

Our second trip came just one day after the first. After flying back into Lexington, we grabbed the kids, headed back to NC, dropped them with the other grandparents, and took off for Richmond, VA. There, we had 3 days of meetings for our new job. They gave us tons of information and it was a bit like drinking from a fire hose. It was great to meet many of the folks we'll be training with for 8 weeks beginning in late July. We are more excited than ever about the work that God has for us in West Africa.

One of the most "oh my goodness this is really happening" moments for me was when we opened up our welcome packet and found these babies...

I guess it's official!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So, life has been nutty since we returned from our "out west" trip. I feel like I need to consult my calendar each morning to know where I am supposed to sleep each night. This could get old, fast. But, we're constantly reminding ourselves that it's a temporary state of transition and that we are cramming what would normally be a couple of years worth of visits and trips into a few short months.

Here are some highlights since my last post.

Our last night cross country involved a visit to my brother in Louisville, who I rarely get to see. I finally got to meet his firstborn, who just turned a year old. The kids loved "baby Maddox."

We returned to mom's house on Good Friday and along with us, there was a house full of company. On Saturday night, there were 17 of us staying there, but we managed just fine with air mattresses, couches, and doubling up. We had a great weekend visiting with some special cousins and celebrating Easter. It was one of the only Easters any of my kids remember where their daddy was not organizing a massive egg hunt for 500+ children, so that was different.

We celebrated cousin Steve's birthday with an Easter Bunny cake. Abe was totally into the action!
Isaac anxiously waited to start hunting eggs at Grammy's annual egg hunt. He found about $15 in quarters, along with his fair share of candy.

Abe had a great time hunting, but didn't find nearly as many eggs. He had to stop after finding each one and open it up before he would go look for another one.

The next weekend, we went to Hanging Rock State Park with our camping buddies, the Nemitz family. We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of hiking, visiting, and some awesome Bingo prizes. It was all fun and games until I woke up the second night around 12:15 AM with the worst pain of my entire life. It turns out, that the Stokes County Hospital gives great morphine, and I can now say I've passed a kidney stone. I definitely needed to head home the next morning, but the Nemitz insisted that we leave the 4 oldest kids to camp with them for the last night as scheduled, so Ryan took me home, got me settled, and went back the next day to pack up and gather the young'uns. They had a blast without us, and I enjoyed hearing their stories.

Lizzy and Alexa, playing around at the campsite. Two peas in a pod, to be sure!
Owen and Abe made great hiking buddies. Abe LOVES Owen.

Isaac and Ian had a great time, all weekend long. Hiking, boating, fireside, you name it, they'll try it.

After getting in another week of school work, we packed up again and now we're in KY, visiting Ryan's parents. We met them at their hunting cabin, which is the kid's favorite place to be. They love exploring in kubotas, riding 4 wheelers, and catching any unfortunate frogs, crawdads, salamanders, or turtles that don't escape their buckets.

Isaac and his cousin, Christopher riding with Pap in the Kubota.

Here's Abby taking Nana for a drive on the 4 wheeler.

Isaac and Pap managed to get a turkey on the last day of turkey season. The kiddos all wanted an anatomy lesson when they returned. Can I just say, eew, gross!
Heading up the road for a morning hike, wherever Pap leads!

One of the trees we saw during our hiking adventures.

This kid was so filthy every night that we stayed at the cabin. Some of the clothes went straight to the trash can, but boy...did he have fun, compliments of the little creek that runs in front of the cabin!

Ryan and I are actually flying to TX tomorrow for an anniversary getaway. We have been married 16 years tomorrow and we had flight vouchers that expire in July. We thought that an anniversary trip was the ideal way to use them. The in-laws will be wrangling the kiddos, and we're looking forward to some R&R before heading back to NC next week.