Monday, May 18, 2009

First Camping trip of the Season

This past weekend Mike and I took the kids to the KOA in Natural Bridge Virginia. For some reason, when we made reservations, we thought we were camping at Jellystone Park in Natural Bridge, but when we arrived they did not have a reservation for us. The Jellystone people called the KOA people and asked if they had a reservation for us. Sure enough . . . they did. So, we traveled about 5 miles out of our way, but that was not too bad.

On our way out of Harrisonburg, we stopped to get gas and some groceries. The children proceeded to climb up to "Ryan's bed" which is the one that is above the cab of the motorhome. Emily somehow got onto a sleeping bag that took her on a shed ride off of the bed and down headfirst to the ground. She hit her face on the dinet area table on her way down and then hit her head when she landed on the floor. She ended up with a nice black eye. Don't know how long it will be here, but she looks as if she has been in a bar fight:).

The campground had some great activities for the kids to play. They played Candy Bingo and Rattlesnake Hunt. There was a hay wagon ride for the kids to "hunt for Black Bart" with their water guns. Ryan was given a "loaded gun" and was quite excited when he saw Black Bart waiting for us in the bushes. Black Bart and his posse shot water at the hay wagon riders with HUGE water pipes. The water they had far outweighed the water we had to fend them off:). After the ride, Ryan was branded with a Sheriff badge and Lydia and Emily were given one too since they are the sisters of the Deputy. We took some nice family walks, the kids rode their bikes, played huge checkers and played on the playground and we settled down for smores Saturday night.

Around 8:30 Saturday night some scary looking clouds blew our way and began to dump buckets of water on everything. We packed our things up and went inside the camper hoping to wait it out. It ended up raining the entire night so we all went to bed early. We were scheduled to leave on Sunday so the rain did not dampen any of our plans. It was a great weekend and we are looking forward to camping with the Settle clan in a few weeks!!!
Ryan took the picture of Mike and me :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Look Ma! No Training Wheels!

This past weekend Ryan requested to take off his training wheels. Mike, having been wanting to take them off for a couple of months now, removed them for him. It took him a little bit to figure out how to take off, but is now a pro! We are so proud of him!! 5 years old . . . . I guess that is pretty good :).

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bradley Gets Hitched

This weekend I traveled to Westbury New York to attend my cousin, Bradley Storz’s wedding. The Storz family is a family that I have always held very dear to my heart. They have always been the cousins that lived far away, but amazingly we were still pretty close. My Dad’s sister, Judy and her husband Freddie have always been so kind and fun. I have so many fond memories of visiting their house in Greenlawn (Long Island) New York. They now live in Raleigh NC.
I did not realize how terrific my cousin Shawn (their oldest child) was until 11 years ago at the funeral of our Grandfather, which happened at a very low point in my life. My brother was a pallbearer so I was not able to stand with him and my parents were sitting with my Grandmother. All of the Grandchildren (except the two that were pallbearers) were standing in the misty rain behind the graveside tent. At the point that it really hit me that I would never see my Granddaddy again I quietly began to sob. Shawn, standing beside me, reached around and put his arm around me for support. I imagine his overcoat still has the wrinkled imprint of my clenched fist in it. I needed someone so much at that point and there he was.
My cousin Michelle (their middle child) and I became close one summer when my parents took my brother and me to tour New York City. We spent a week up there and spent that week staying with the Storz family. I slept on a cot in Michelle’s room all week. We would stay up late talking and laughing. It was so great! From that point on we have been close. She now shares the new—twins run in our family—with me. She and her husband had twin girls last year. That makes a whole two sets of twins in our family. Michelle’s girls will be a year old in June.
And my cousin Bradley (their youngest child and the Groom) has always been special to me! He is one of the sweetest, kindest people I know. Even as little kids Bradley and I were close. He loves his family so much. All of his family . . . extended and immediate. Every time he hugs you he squeezes you so tight and yet never actually hurts you:). I have no real defining moment with Bradley because our relationship has always been a special one. I don’t know his new Bride, Christine very well, but she seems as sweet and kind as Bradley. They met in college and have been a couple ever since. Their wedding was absolutely beautiful and I had such a wonderful time visiting with my Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. I wish Bradley and Christine every ounce of happiness, that I know they both deserve, in their marriage. Bradley, thanks so much for lunch on Saturday! Love ya!