Friday, August 30, 2013

Field Trip!

Quick update on my dad...he came home from the hospital yesterday.  Hopefully, he will recuperate faster at home and get some much needed sleep at night (without people coming in and out every 20 minutes).

I came home from Ohio on Tuesday and we decided that our very overdue trip to Sturbridge Village needed to happen today.  We have been trying to go for months and something always happens (usually bad weather) to prevent it.

We decided on a family membership since we would have paid that much to get us all in anyway--and now we can go back as many times as we want for a year.  Yay!

We loved it!  Such a neat place.  We knew it was going to be a fun day when we spotted this... (sorry for all the dreadful iPhone pictures.  Maybe next time I will lug my big-girl camera around all day.)


They had sheep there and the kids had a blast feeding them leaves and grass. 

Then it was a visit to a one room school house where a class was taking place.  The teacher was calling kids up to the front to spell, but none of my kids were brave enough to volunteer.  It was interesting to watch though.
We went to the pottery house and watched a very interesting demonstration.  The kids were fascinated by the potters wheel and the small vase he was making.  Outside, was this urn type thing full of water.   There was a patch of clay nearby that you could add to it and then mix.
We then walked to a farm where a woman was demonstrating how to make cheese.  This barrel was full of curds and whey.  She is holding the curds and the yellow liquid is whey.  There were flies swarming all over it.  So gross! The completed cheese actually smelled pretty good, though.  They flies, however, gave me pause. 
To say the least.

Shortly afterwards SaraGrace got stung by a bee and didn't even cry.  What a brave girl!  In fact, she was showing so much courage that no one believed she actually got stung. 
So that made her cry.

Outside the school was a jump rope.  The kids had so much fun with this--it was SaraGrace's favorite part of the day.  Jillian took this great action shot of Zoey in midair. 
I'm sad to say that jumping rope looked so fun that I decided to take a turn, completely forgetting that I had surgery three weeks ago.  Gah!  I paid for that for the rest of the day. 
We would have stayed a lot longer playing with the jump rope if we'd had a bit more time.  
But alas...time was ticking...

They wanted to see the shoe shop so we stopped there for a demonstration.  It was quite interesting to see how they made the soles of the shoes.  At this particular shop, the shoes were straight and did not have a right or left.  We told Jake he could have gotten away with wearing his shoes on the wrong feet back in the old days.  haha

Jake and Zoey model a pair of new leather shoes.

There is a stage coach there that everyone wanted to ride but it was $3 each.  I told the kids that if they earned the money before the next time we go, we can take a ride.

 They decided to try their hand at this old fashioned game.  Jordan and Zoey were the champs of this.  Jake tried to hula with it.

Rides on this wagon were free!  Jake REALLY wanted a ride so we waited in line for our turn to enjoy a 10 minute tour around part of the village.

A different farm, closer to the village center had a small barn and a fake cow that could be milked.  Very fun--and no chance of getting kicked.

One of the houses was 'interactive.'  You could use anything you wanted,  try on the clothing, lie on the beds, play with the toys--everything.  The kids had a blast!  SaraGrace was so excited to get to try on 'old fashun clothes.'
These beds were made of straw and hard as a rock.  UGH!  I don't know how they slept on those things.  SaraGrace thought this one was comfy.  Go figure...

Jake checked out the trundle bed, which SaraGrace pronounced yucky.  She didn't think much of the practically flat 'mattress.'
Me either!

And last but not least...the amazing gift shop at the end of the day.  They have the coolest stuff in there.  Of course the kids were all begging for things.  Some who have birthdays coming up are putting in requests and the rest of them are hoping to do extra chores to make some money for our next visit.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Update on my Dad

We are praising God tonight!

My dad's surgery went much better than we expected!  We were told that he would need a transfusion, be in ICU for several days, and most likely need a colostomy.

But people were praying....
Lots of people were praying.

And God answered those requests with a resounding "YES!"

Dad did not need a transfusion or a colostomy and he is resting comfortably in his own room!  No ICU!

He is so excited about the outcome and was talking to us non-stop.  I thought he would sleep most of the day but I don't think he slept a wink after he got out of recovery. 

Thank you so much for your prayers!  My dad, who was pretty much home-bound before the surgery due to the tumor bleeding in his bladder (and causing blockages which resulted in trips to ER), is now going to be able to travel again.  He has a new lease on life!  His bladder was removed and he won't have any more worries about it again.  Yay!  There was still some cancer there but the tumor was removed.  So we will see how the cancer responds to the medicine he is talking.

For now...we rejoice!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Big Surgery for my Dad

Just a quick update on my dad since some of you have been asking...

He is having a big surgery tomorrow (Fri the 23rd).  The surgeons will be removing his bladder, prostate, the tumor, and possibly part of his colon.

I am heading there for a few days and will update as I can.  Thank you all so much for your love, concern and prayers.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

School Already?

We had planned to start school after Labor Day.  I am a staunch lover of summer and being outdoors as much as possible.
No stuffy days indoors doing school when it's beautiful outside.

But then...

Last week the four youngest kids started begging to open all those tantalizing boxes that had been sitting in the basement for a few months.
You know....the ones with all their curriculum for this year.

In a moment of weakness, I caved.

I couldn't lift the heavy boxes yet (post gallbladder surgery), so they recruited Jillian to lug them upstairs for them.

With great glee, they unpacked all their books.

We spent some time getting things organized and then the chorus started.

"Can we watch our videos?"

We are doing the Abeka video school program.

Riding a tide of euphoria that I still cannot explain, I blurted out, "Sure!  I'll set them up for you!"

About an hour later, there were no visible signs of euphoria as I attempted to get the streaming videos to actually stream.
Like right that minute.
While my little scholars fidgeted impatiently.

By the following day, everyone was up and streaming.
Sort of.

Within five minutes one of them had a computer issue.
Then another.
And other.

There were no less than 437 'issues' that day.  It went on ALL.DAY.LONG.
I began to dislike the sound of my own name.

Jeff was home for only a few minutes and after noticing how many times I was summoned to the dining room to address a computer issue, he said,
"That is going to drive you crazy."

Pretty much.

I'm happy to say that they are learning how to navigate a few of these issues...use the refresh button, try a few options when the cursor freezes, etc.  So now I am only summoned 157 times a day.

But who could resist these cute, eager little faces?

Me, either.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Wedding Cuteness

As promised, I am going to blog some of the pictures from my neice's wedding. the way...yes, my gallbladder is out and surgery went well.  Feeling decent and taking things slowly.

Anyhoo....back to the wedding...

Chloe was a junior bridesmaid, SaraGrace and Kate were flower girls and Jake was the ring bearer.
Such pretty  curls!

In the dressing room before the wedding getting hair and make-up done.  Jake was the only boy allowed.

Pre-wedding prayer time.

Let's go find the rest of the boys.

Or a tree!

   Jake kept asking if he was going to get a flower.  He was quite concerned that someone might forget and insisted we go find out.  He was right.  He had a flower waiting.

So many pretty girls!

Rockin' their cowgirl boots!

Jake actually thought that the groom wanted to hang out with him all day. 

         My pretty princesses...

And the Frog...

Cuteness overload!

Jake was told not to figet, sit, slouch.   And for goodness sake, do NOT climb the pole during the ceremony.
Yes, he had to be told that because he started climbing the pole at the rehearsal.
As you can see, he is concentrating very hard to do the right thing.

" ceremony is done.  Now I can take these girls back down the aisle."

"Do we get cake now?"

To our great surprise, Katie turned out to be quite a dancer.  Who knew?

Dancing with her cousin.

Zoey and Jordan take a spin

Ryan was there as well!  It was sooooo good to see him again.  Do I have a picture? Well...not a good one, but this proves he was there.
 It was a beautiful wedding and so fun to see family we haven't seen in awhile.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Back from Vacation

We have been traveling the past week and a half.  It was our annual summer trek to visit family in the Midwest.  We originally had planned to visit my family, then Jeff's, then go to a niece's wedding.  However, two nights before we left, my dad went back in the hospital with some complications from his cancer.  It was decided that Jeff would go on to visit his family with the older girls and I would stay with my parents with the younger kids. 

Excuse the quality of these photos.  I used my iPhone for all of them.  Sometimes carrying a big girl camera is just too cumbersome.

Hugs for grandpa in the hospital.  He is home now and resting until he has a major surgery in a few weeks. 

Catching fish in grandma and grandpa's backyard pond.

Jake caught this one.

Then the little man got sick.  He woke up with a headache and stomachache--and before long, he was barfing.  Nooooo....  In an attempt to keep the rest of the family healthy, he and I stayed outside on the deck all day.  When he got tired, he would lie down (for about 5 min) but most of the time he fished.  When waves of sickness hit, he would lie down for a few minutes but before long he would be fishing again.
Whenever he caught one of these, he would yell, "I caught a large mouth!"
The mis-matched pj's are a nice touch, don't you think?
He was fine the next day and thankfully, no one else got sick.  Thank you, Lord!

Although Jake caught the most fish, Jordan caught some nice ones as well.  Note the stick as fishing pole.  haha  

Two little boys work together to get a fish off the hook.

While Jeff was at his parents', Taylor made us a yummy dinner.  This was peach salsa.

These were chicken cabobs--which melted in our mouths.  These were served over wild rice.

Kate and SaraGrace took turns riding the jeep.  Kate was a horrible driver, so she got fired from the job very quickly.
Jeff didn't take any pictures while visiting his parents, so I have none to share from that portion of the trip.  Ryan met him there and then we all rendevou-ed at the wedding.  It was SO GREAT to see Ryan again!!
Jake caught this one after Ryan got there but you might know....Ryan had just run an errand and missed it.  Jake made me take a picture and text it to Ryan.  So cute!
 Here is Ryan getting his fishing gear ready and saying, "NO!" when I told him I wanted to take his picture.  Sigh....  It's not like I asked him to swim the English Channel. 
Four of our kids were in the wedding but that will have to wait for another post.  I'm having gallbladder surgery bright and early tomorrow morning.  Wheeee!