Friday, June 16, 2017

Suprise Disney on Ice trip

So several months back I asked Amelia if maybe one day she would like to go to Disney on Ice.  She had to ask questions because she wasn't too sure what it even was.  Her most important question was "Do we get to skate too?"  As most of you know she's really into skating right now.  I told her "no", that we only watch the Disney characters skate.  Her reply was, "BOORRING!!!!"  So we never really talked about it much anymore because I knew I would get the same response, even though I knew she would love it if she went.  I hadn't even checked to see when the next show would be.

One day my friend Heather asked me if I was interested in going with them to Disney on Ice.  This was right in the middle of us still living at the Hotel and I was a little hesitant to say "Yes".  She had 2 extra tickets at a reasonable price and did Amelia and I want to go?  We could even ride to Lexington with her.  I talked to Maynard about it and we both agreed that the boys would rather do something else and he absolutely didn't want to go.  Ha Ha  I told her would go with her and Amelia and I would have a "Girls day out" and daddy would do something fun with the boys.

Here's a video of when she first found out she was going.  I thought I was videoing the first part when I actually told her, but I wasn't.  I had her a special shirt made to wear that day and that's what I gave her to surprise her. 
She found out at school, the day before, that her friend Lacie was going to Disney on Ice.  Then she continued to beg all day about going.  Lacie wasn't supposed to mention it and she had accidentally found out herself that she herself was going.  I kept telling Amelia that we would go maybe next time.  She was so persistent, but I wanted to surprise her so bad and she wasn't letting me.

The boys were kind of mad, which I suspected, but Maynard took them and spent the whole day with them.  They got to go bowling and ate at Taco Bell.  They were happy with that, so all was well.

As far as our trip, it was great!!!  Absolutely wonderful.  Amelia took it all in.

 We enjoyed the show and even enjoyed our snacks that was hidden in our purses.  Sorry, I'm not paying $25 for popcorn, Disney!
Snow White and the 7 Dwarves were my favorite.

My pictures were saved from my Instastory so that's why they look different here.  I did do a few pics and live vidoes on Instagram so my boys could see some of it.  I didn't video the whole time though like this lady did.

She videoed her grand kids the whole time during the show.  You can see in the picture that she was using my legs to help hold up her arm.  I was laughing so hard I couldn't even tell Heather what was wrong.  I just had to motion with my eyes.

We got to see an awesome show of Tangled.  It was really amazing and captivating.  There was Snow White, Cinderella, Micky and Minnie, Donald Duck, and so many more.  I am so glad we had the opportunity to go.

So glad that I got to be with my friends and Amelia got to be with her friends on such a fun day!!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Easter 2017

The week before Easter the kids had activities planned at school.  I decided to make Resurrection Rolls with Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  We had a lot of fun making them and it was so yummy to eat.
Amelia making her resurrection roll.

Kindergarten Class making their rolls.

1st-2nd Class making their rolls.
1st through 2nd accused me of stealing Jesus.  When they bit into their roll, Jesus, the marshmallow, was gone.  It was a cute lesson about the resurrection of Jesus just in time for Easter.  This is probably a tradition we will continue to do every year.

The younger classes also got to have an egg hunt that day.

Josiah's class didn't hunt eggs.  It's sad when they start growing up. His teacher played games with his class so he still had fun.

Friday night I realized we hadn't dyed eggs yet.  I was in town getting last minute things so I picked up what we needed to dye eggs.  We didn't even get started on it until 11 at night.  This is something Maynard always does with the kids.  I try not to help because I tend to want to take control and I kind of ruin the fun.
The next day we went to E-town for the Harper Easter dinner.  We had a cookout at Mom and Dad's.  All the cousins, but one, was there.  We had so much fun.  At one time or another one of the aunt or uncles was playing games with the kids.  It was perfect weather outside for a cookout.  They played kickball and volleyball and lots of other games.  They also got lots of candy and money on their egg hunt.  See, egg hunts at Mamaw's has no grandchild age limit.  I'm not sure what the cut off is and it makes me sad to even think about them all growing up.

All the grandkids, but one.

Dad and Mom
We had a lot of fun and took some tired kiddos home.  The next morning was Easter Sunday and they were excited.

I got them all a chocolate bunny and a special drink.  The rest was socks and underwear.  My kids are actually always appreciative of new socks and underwear.  They had gotten enough candy from school and my parent's house that they didn't need a lot of candy anyway.

We got dressed, took a few pictures and headed to church.  It was a rainy day.  The kids actually had to have their egg hunt in the classrooms at church.  I didn't get any egg hunt pictures because everything got a little crazy.  Here are our family Easter pictures.

Amelia was excited to be matching her Mom!

We had a great Easter with wonderful services.   Thankful for my family and a risen Saviour!!!!

Spring Break 2017

Here's a short blog post about our spring break.  We didn't do a whole lot this year because things were just settling down for us in our new house.

We started out Spring Break with a sleepover.  Girls at my house and the boys at Heather's. 
These girls partied hard!  We realized that having a sleepover in such a small house is hard on Maynard when he has to work the next day.  We finally had to make them go to bed so he could rest.  They had a great time.  Of course, they wanted pancakes for breakfast the next morning.  We met up around 1 to get our kids back, much to all their dismay.  Why do sleepovers have to come to an end?

Amelia had been asking for my sister Melissa to come visit so she agreed to come and stay a few days.  Amelia was excited for Melissa to see her new room.

We didn't do a whole lot, but mainly shop for Easter outfits.  You can imagine my kid's joy about that.  Amelia didn't mind shopping as long as we were shopping for her.  My boys just hate shopping period.  It also didn't help that Josiah caught some kind of virus that week.  He was constantly running to the bathroom so that kind of limited us doing much anyway.  We were all thankful to have 2 bathrooms in the house because no one wanted to use the same bathroom he was using.  Ha Ha

We went to Richmond one day to shop and had a successful trip finding all the kids an outfit.  We had a yummy lunch at Olive Garden.

I did a lot of cooking that week.  Which really wasn't any different than any other week, but we ate good, including deserts.  We also ate out some too.  Not a whole lot.

Since the kids complained about shopping so much, Melissa and I took Titus and Amelia skating.  Josiah was too germy and we left him home.  He wasn't happy, but he got to ride the lawn mower, so that made Titus jealous when he got back home.

Melissa ended up staying through Sunday and went to church with us.  It was actually sad when it was time for her to leave.  I was glad she came and helped us get our Easter outfits together.  She won't lie to you.  She will tell you exactly what she thinks if you ask her for her opinion on something.  She even talked me into buying a $25 pair of shoes that was clearly not made for someone like me.  My kids had to help put them on me Easter morning and made sure everyone at church knew that.  I have since returned them back to the store. Ha Ha

It was nice to have a week off of school and just let life slow down a bit.  We had activities planned at school the next week so the kids look forward to going back.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Smoking, Party of 5!

February 03, 2017 was a night I'll never forget as long as I live.  It was a fear of mine I've had for as long as I can remember, but it all worked out for the good.  I'll explain as I tell our story.  Sorry for the delay in updating my blog, but my blogger app is no longer a thing and I've always had trouble trying to post from my phone.

I woke up around 3:30 in the middle of the night.  I smelled smoke.  This is not unusual for me.  I have a super sensitive sniffer and sometimes smell things that aren't there.  Like this was not the first time I woke Maynard up saying I smelled smoke and it be a false alarm.  However, this time it wasn't a false alarm.  I smelled smoke!!!!

Maynard and I both got up and searched the house.  We couldn't tell where the smell of smoke was coming from.  We got the kids up and had them quickly get dressed and out to the car.  They were a little scared, but did what we told them.  Josiah had to be coaxed.  He was just walking around crying and wasn't getting dressed or out of the house.  I remember grabbing him by the shoulders and said, "We don't have time to cry!  Get your clothes and shoes on and get outside.  Now!!!!

I started grabbing all our photo albums and throwing them in the back of the van.  By now there was visible smoke all throughout the house.  Maynard was grabbing handfuls of clothes out of our closets and throwing them in our van.  He kept running in for more stuff as the kids sat in the van crying and praying.  I went back in to see what else I could get when the smoke alarms started going off.  It was the scariest sound I have ever heard.  Oh I have heard it plenty of times before because it's in my kitchen and I tend to burn supper most days.  My kids connect the smoke alarm to supper being done.  However, this sound was different.  It meant my house was on fire and we were about to lose everything we owned.

We had called  911 as soon as we smelled the smoke.

It seemed the fire trucks were never going to get there and my kids would have to watch the only house they knew to be engulfed in flames.

I called 911 again pleading for a fire truck to get there.  The dispatcher said it had only been 7 minutes since we had first called.  (It felt like it had been an eternity)  As I was on the phone with 911 I seen the fire trucks coming down our street.  I felt relieved.  I still hadn't seen any flames in the house and maybe they could help save our house.

I guess seeing all the fire trucks and firemen was a bit more intense for my kids as they realized what was really happening.  Amelia realized she had left her favorite baby doll in her room and began to cry for it.  At this point, Maynard wasn't allowed back in the house.  We were sitting in the van and the kids were still crying.  I hadn't had time to cry yet until Amelia missed her baby doll.  I know that is so small to what else we could have lost, but that was important to her as much as all my keepsakes and photos were to me.  She began to pray and quote this verse she had learned in Kindergarten: "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."  Then she would pray, "Oh, Jesus!  Please don't let my house burn down."  Over and over she would quote this verse and pray!  It help comfort me and give me such a peace.  In between my own prayers, I was just filled with praise.  "Lord, I'll never fail to praise you for waking me up in time to get my family out of the house safely!  If we loose everything, God is still God!  I can't explain everything and how I felt, but I can tell you that God was with us every step of the way!

It was so dark I couldn't get good pictures, but most of the smoke was coming from the back of the house.  You can see the bedroom with the light on and the next room over, how they were filled with smoke.  These were my kid's rooms.

Every fire house station field trip I've been too, I've always been amazed at how fast the firemen get their gear on and just go,go,go!!!
Seriously!  I felt like these firemen were still half asleep.  I realize that they had to be woken up to get to our house, but come on.  I'm about to lose my house here.  They finally geared up and walked through our house while we sat in the van just waiting and watching.  I kept watching the roof, waiting to see a flame burst through any moment. 

The firemen came and told us that all was clear and that they thought the smoke came from our ac/heat unit.  The house did show a few hot spots, but probably where they had been used the night before.  We were given the ok to go back in and to contact a heat repair man.

So the good news was our house didn't burn down and there was never a fire.
Bad news was our house was oh so smoky.  They used a machine to draw most of the smoke out, but it was still pretty bad.  We no longer had heat and it was impossible to breath to long in there so we just left for breakfast and on to the insurance company to see what happens now.

It was a Friday and Maynard didn't go to work and I didn't send the kids to school.  There was no way we could work or send the kids to school after such a traumatic night we had had.

Maynard got a call from out Pastor offering to assist us with a motel room for the night until we got situated.  Then my friends showed up and took some laundry to wash so we would have clothes to wear for the weekend and to church that didn't smell like smoke. My friend Heather came to our new house and helped me put things away because we decided right then that it was moving day.  No more putting it off.  Well that was until our insurance company said, absolutely not.  We weren't allowed to move or do anything to the house until they had someone come in and look at things.  That was also when we were told that our insurance company would be paying for our motel room until we could get moved in and Servpro, a cleaning company, would be cleaning our clothes and home to remove the smoke smell.  We let our Pastor know that our insurance company was taking care of us, but we were very thankful for his generous offer.

We worked all day at the new house.  Basically just keeping busy and still unsure of the future and how long it would actually be before we had to leave the motel and move in.  We still had a few things to get done.

We got the call that our motel was ready and they sent us to Hampton Inn.  It was super nice.  I was thankful for that.  What I wasn't thankful for was that we were told we would have adjoining rooms and we would all be together.  When we got there, that wasn't the case.  We had two different rooms, which meant we would have to be separated.  They promised us they would move us the next day, but that was all they had at the moment.  When you've had such a stressful day as the one we had had, you just want to be together.  You're thankful you are alive and you still have one another.  I got a room with Amelia and Maynard took the boys.  I was so tired and needed to sleep, but I didn't think sleep would ever come.  It must have because morning finally came.  Amelia and I snuck down to breakfast. 

Staying at the motel wasn't so bad.  It was nice having breakfast and I let the kids have fun in the pool.  They had been through a lot and they needed to have some fun.

We made it through the weekend and all too soon it was Monday.  Back to work and back to school.  Not a typical school morning for us.

                                                         All up and ready for school.

                                                                 But first, breakfast!!!!!

They got to know us pretty well at the hotel.  They spoiled us with fresh baked cookies every night, and they often loaded my kids up with snacks in the morning for school.

We got a call from Servpro that they came and got our clothes.  Which sounds good, great, and lovely.  However, we then found out that we would get them back in 30 days.  30 DAYS???  I don't know about ya'll, but we kinda need our clothes sooner than 30 days.  All we had was what we salvaged over the weekend that Abby had taken and washed for us.  They told us we had 30 minutes to get to the warehouse before they closed and pick out a few things that they could do a rush order on.  Well, that didn't sound too awful bad.  We walked in to see this:

  Bags were everywhere.  These bags not only contained clothes, but basically everything washable in our house.  There were bags of shoes, clothes, toys, curtains, bedding, towels, linens, and on and on.  We had to sort through them bags to find clothes for 5 people.  I was near tears.  I was so overwhelmed because when you found a shirt, you most likely wasn't going to find the skirt or pants that go with it.  Let alone, finding the shoes.  Finally, I just said that's enough.  We will just rewash and keep wearing what we have.  Maynard had his work uniforms and the kids had their school uniforms so that really helped a lot.  There was a washer and dryer at the motel I could use to wash clothes.  So we wore our same clothes over and over.  I'm sure my work and church was tired of my same old outfits.  However, in a way it was kind of nice to live life so simply.

After staying at the Hampton for nearly a week, I questioned the food I was seeing where we also eat breakfast.  I assumed it was for a meeting or something.  Come to find out, it was a complimentary supper for Hampton guests.  This cracked me up. We had been cheaply eating our every night when supper was provided to us 5 days a week.

                           It wasn't always something we liked, but we tried to eat there as often as we could.

We continued to stay at the Hampton.  One week after another.  Just waiting for the okay to go home.  We continued to work and try to get our new house ready.  Servpro took care of the old house.  We provided them with boxes and as they cleaned they boxed things up for us to move.  That was pretty nice.  Except for when they ran out of tape and just folded the bottom of the boxes and filled them to the rim with our belongings.  I'm sure you know where I'm headed with that, right?  Yep, everything would fall out when we tried to move the box.  After that, Maynard kept them supplied with tape.

Something strange happened during all this craziness.  We had our cat Peanut and two kittens that we moved to our new house.  Maybe we should have waited to move them when we were officially staying at the new house because 2 of the cats disappeared including Peanut.  We loved that cat and was sad she was gone.

One Sunday afternoon Maynard ran by the old house and couldn't believe what he seen.  Peanut was home.  She had came back home from our new house back to the old house.  It's probably 4 or 5 miles that she had walked.  He took her back to the new house again.  The kids were so happy to see her!!!  We just thought that was an odd coincidence, but she did it again.  And again.

                                                                   Back at new House
                                                                Back at the old house.

I was at the old house working one day when I heard scratching on the door.  I opened the screen door and here came Peanut in the house.  She was starving and mad!!!  This was the second time she had done this.  We loaded up and took her home again.  Maynard said if she came back again this time we would have to offer "Buy a house and get a free cat."

She went home 3 times.  After the third time she finally gave up and stayed because 3 days later she had kittens.  It has been 2 months now and she hasn't left yet, so I hope she is there for good now.

We were actually getting weary of the motel life.  We were ready for a new normal.  We had gotten lots done at the new house.  We were just waiting for our clothes and bedding to be returned to us so we could move.  We even asked the insurance company to grant us some money to just replace the bedding, towels, and linens and that would save them money on a motel room.  They refused so we continued to stay at the Hampton, night after night, week after week.

The flu and a stomach virus was going around horribly at school.  I was ever so careful to keep my kids from getting sick.  Especially living in a motel room that had all white bedding.  I could just imagine my kids puking in those beds and ruining them. 

Guess what?  It happened.  Amelia got sick.  She threw up all over that pretty white comforter and white sheets.  She was burnt up with fever.  Wouldn't stop throwing up or running to the bathroom.  I called the front office around midnight and was in tears.  My conversation went something like this:
"My little girl just got sick and threw up in her bed.  I don't know what I need to do.  I am so, so sorry!"  Her reply was sweet and comforting, "Now, Honey.  Don't you worry about it.  Strip the bed and put it in the hallway.  I'll be there in a few minutes with new bedding."  I put Amelia in the tub and stripped the bed.  A few minutes later there was a knock on my door.  It was an older lady holding an armful of blankets.  I went to take them from her and she opened the door and came on in.  She said, "Now let's get this bed made up so she can get back to sleep."  I assured her that I could make up a bed (even though it had been over a month now since I've had too, ha ha)  She said, "Now Honey, listen to me.  You have a sick baby and we need to get this bed made and we can get it done faster if we work together!"  Wasn't she the sweetest?????  I kept apologizing over the yucky stains on the pretty white bedding.  Again, she reassured me, "Don't you worry about that.  Our housekeeping staff can work miracles."  She then told me where the local gas stations and Walmart was in case I needed to go get her some medicine.  She didn't realize I was a local  What a sweetheart!!!!

                                            I had to take her to the ER the next day she was so sick.

While she was sick, I took her to the new house to work.  No since in me laying around too when there was work to be done.
She laid around and I worked.  Things were starting to look good.

She got all better in time for President's Day at school  She got to dress up as a first lady.  She chose Melania Trump, but we only had a handful of clothes for her so she went as Mamie Eisenhower instead.

Maynard and Titus declared a Saturday as moving day.  Josiah was at a ball game out of town.  We were starting to get some of our boxes back and were unpacking a little at a time.

 We went through all the boxes and decided what we needed to keep and what we could get rid of.  This is a picture of all our socks.  They generously washed them for us, but did not match them back together.  This is my worse cleaning chore.  I hate matching socks, so this took awhile to get done. ha ha

Every day we would have a few more boxes back and we would go through them.  Still no bedding and towels yet.  It had gone past 30 days now and we were weary.  It was taking them so long because they said they were so behind because of the recent Gatlinburg fires. 
                                                     Time to hang clothes in the closets.

Titus working like a man with Maynard on moving day.  Maynard said he couldn't have done it without him.

 All our clothes were on hangers in these boxes.  It didn't take long at all to get them hung and organized.
                                                                       We can go home!!!!!!

After 6 long weeks it was moving day.  We loaded up on Sunday, March, 19, 2017.  We were so thankful for getting to stay at such a nice motel.  They had been good to us, but we were ready for our new normal.  Not to have to worry about running to the new house to pack school lunches, do a load of laundry, and back to the hotel for homework and bedtime.  Yeah my kids enjoyed watching the Disney Channel and swimming in the motel pool, but 6 weeks is a long time.  We were ready.

The first night wasn't too bad.  We live near a railroad track and close to the interstate so nights are kind of loud.  There's also roosters and loud croaking frogs that are ear piercing.  Now that we have lived there two months, it's not so bad.  We have gotten used to it.

We are so thankful that we didn't loose our home and all our belongings.  We are also thankful that this ended up being an easy move for us.  What we thought was going to turn out bad, turned out for the good.

 My only complaint is the housekeeping here in Pittsburg is pathetic.  They leave the beds unmade and not one time have done any dishes. Ha Ha
Every article of clothing we have now has a label on it.  So I've said that if we ever get lost, just look at our label to find out who we belong too!

Now we need a buyer for our old house so I can start enjoying our DEBT FREE LIFE!!

God is good!!