This is the first weekend I've been home for quite some time. We do have a wedding to photograph this evening, but at least it is close by.
I don't really know where to begin.
So, I'm blogging because I am so far behind on all the family news- I'd better get something published before it gets any worse. AND I'm blogging because I've been gone/busy so much these past few weeks/month that my bedroom is a total disaster and I don't really want to clean today.
I will start with Katy. Grant is HOME! he came home 2 Sundays ago. He is doing really well. I got to watch him one night (Tuesday) while Katy and Josh went to the hospital to visit Henry. After Grant woke up from his nap it was time to change and feed him. Man, after unwrapping all the blankets and his tiny little jammies, it really hit me how very Very small he his. What a cutie though. And a good eater. Even at this size you can see a bit of a dimpled chin and how he doesn't look anything like William did. I would post pix, but this takes forever to download (and I do have to clean sometime today before I leave). Bari took a couple of shots of William and Grant (in a basket) this past week. I happened to put the pic of Will next to a pic of Sammy (taken about the same age) on the cork board at my desk and was amazed at the likeness. Little Henry is still at the hospital. He did get moved to the big bed, but is still on oxygen and is having trouble learning how to suck. Katy is ready to have them both home with her instead of making the daily trips across town, but Henry isn't co-operating. I reminded her to be patient. It is amazing that Henry is even here, so she needs to let him progress at his own S-l-o-w pace.
I'm embarrassed to say that Sam has spent much of his summer so far - on the couch in his pajamas. This of course is his goal, and because we haven't been home - he has been succeeding. Thank heavens for Boy Scouts on Wednesdays. Now that June is behind us, as well as most of the summers activities, his summer will also change (for the better).
Madeline is due home from Girls Camp today. Last year she had a Fierce case of Chigger bites. I really hope that didn't happen this year. She was a bit (not toooo bad) less-than-excited about going. Mostly because we had just gotten back from a trip to Chicago the day before, and because she had heard they were going to hike 8 miles. I'm sure none of the groups hike 8 miles, but we'll see.
So, Madeline had Applause National Dance Competition in Waukegan, Ill. a couple of weeks ago. Waukegan is about an hour north of Chicago, almost in Wisconsin. She was scheduled to dance Thursday and Saturday, possibly Sunday. So, we decided to drive up on Wednesday, find everything and get settled. Everything went well until we were about 20-30 minutes past Indianapolis. We stopped at a Rest Stop on Rt 65 outside of Lebanon. When we came back out to the car (my little white Subaru wagon) it wouldn't start. We had just gotten a new battery this past winter. Yea. Great. It was about 12:30. I called Bari, and then I called AAA. The following is our time line for the rest of the day......
12:30 Call AAA for a Wrecker.
1:30 A little white truck arrives and checks the battery and the starter. Can't fix it.
2pm Calls for a tow truck.. . . . .
. . . . .we call . . . and call . . . and call. . . .
4:45 The Tow truck arrives.
- - - - -now keep in mind that the Service Dept closes at 5 so there is no way (NOW!) to fix and drive the car to Chicago. AND the RENTAL agency closes at 6. AND it is now RUSH hour in INDI where we are going BACK to. Yea Great
The tow truck driver insists it is battery, but I don't let him try to fix it because I was too worried about missing the rental agency. We get to the rental car 20 Minutes before closing. Thank heavens the car we were getting was able to fit a metal trash can in its trunk (props- you gotta love em'). (By the way, I was right, it wasn't the battery, and had I let the tow driver work on the car, we would have missed getting a rental car).
So, back on the road sometime after 6. Madeline is fiddling with radio stations when the Emergency Warning System comes on and announces a Tornado in the area. Ok. Too bad I don't really know where I am. I told Madeline that I didn't want anything to happen to the rental, and that if the weather got worse, we would find an overpass to sit under. Yep. You know it. Not 10 minutes down the road, the blackest looking clouds and heavy winds picked up. We (and several other cars) headed for some kind of shelter and sat for almost 20 minutes. It stormed all the way through Chicago. Amazing lightening.
13 hours after we left home - we arrived at the hotel. I should have been about a 6 hour trip.
Madeline did well at her competition, her trio received a High Gold, and one of the tap routines got a Platinum. The Mini Team (5year olds) won the whole competition at the Best of the Best program on Sunday. We were already heading for home because we had to pick up the Subaru and drop off the rental car. On the way home by-the-way, I stopped 2 more times with heavy wind and rain.
So, that was Chicago.- Oh we did take the train downtown on Friday and went to Taste of Chicago. That was fun. And the theater where she danced was the home to Jack Benny, and 2 blocks from the lake. So it was beautiful.
The week before Chicago, Bari and I drove to South Carolina for a wedding. It was hot. The venue was beautiful. It even had peacocks on the grounds. The groom had rented the whole place, so we stayed on the grounds at some cabin-type rooms. The facility was mostly used for hunting parties up until now. Recently they started converting it to more of a wedding venue. Which explains why there weren't any ice machines, microwaves or refrigerators in or near the rooms. It was pleasant though. The couple was nice, and the venue like I said, was beautiful. It did rain almost every day at the same time, so they postponed the wedding for about a half an hour, but that didn't really matter. I took pix on my own camera, when I can I will post some. Side note, on the way home through the mountains, at a scenic overlook, my camera broke. (Thanks to my father-in-law for letting my borrow his camera for the Chicago trip).
So, Bari and I got home on Sunday (the trip was Thursday to Sunday) and then I left for Nationals on Wednesday (Wednesday to Sunday) and Madeline left on Tuesday for camp. BEFORE the SC trip, Bari went whitewater rafting with the older boy scouts (not Sam) in WV for 3 days. That was Mon, Tues Wed and then to SC on that same Thurs.
We were counting all the states we had been through in 2 weeks. 6 or 7 (without driving west!).
I think that is all the trips, EXCEPT Youth Conf. this year, which is a Trek. But Bari Ray is the only one in the family going. Too bad Madeline is just a little too young. Oh, Bari the Younger, also had a mini trip to Cedar Point and then to the Columbus Temple. I would love to take all the kids to Cedar point sometime this summer. That is were I had my first 'real' job (not babysitting). Bari Ray will start classes at UC in the fall.
I won't add much about Joey. His whole situation breaks my heart.
I think that is all the news for now. I will try to get photos when I can. I can't believe it is JULY!