Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Minnesota- Last Few Days

Saturday was kind of a down day, lots of relaxing, magazine reading, and videos for the kids. We did get outside for a while to play. Rohnda put up a swing last week on one of her trees, and the kids have enjoyed taking turns swinging on it. (Rachel hasn't enjoyed the taking turns part, but it is a good skill for her to start learning with the new baby coming!) I wish we could have gotten footage of two moms trying to throw a rope over a really high branch. I got it over on the first try, but we decided it needed to be moved over, and I was never able to get it over the branch far enough for us to grab it again. My last attempt ended with me twisting my ankle. I am very coordinated!

Sunday we went to church and were supposed to have company for lunch, but they had to cancel. Rohnda made chocolate soymilk popsicles and peach juice popsicles and my kids have been in dessert heaven. I need to buy some of those popsicle molds when I get home, although our new freezer is so small, I might not have room for them. Jeromy, I am officially lobbying for a second freezer. Can we please start looking in the classifieds and free ads? Not a fridge/freezer, we don't need the fridge part, just a freezer.

We were planning on going to the Mall of America on Tuesday, but at the last minute we decided to go on Monday, even though we were worried that it would be a madhouse because of Memorial Day. Wow, that is a big mall! It is four stories of stores wrapped around the amusement park rides in the middle. It really wasn't crowded and we had a blast! The kids all did great and got to ride rides and have lunch and walk around for a bit. I will do a full post with pictures when I get home. Iphoto is so much easier to use than Rohnda's program, so I am going to wait until I get back to my Mac.

Today, Tuesday, we are doing major pick-up and housecleaning. Man, 5 kids, 2 dogs and 2 adults can sure make a mess of a house in 12 days. I need to do some laundry and organizing to get everything to fit in an already really full suitcase. Rohnda's husband, David, comes home on Thursday, so she is trying to get a start on a clean house.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, Rohnda and the kids will take us to the airport leaving here at about 1 or 1:30 pm. My flight leaves at 3:30 pm. My kids have been napping from about 1:30-4, so no naps should be fun tomorrow on such a busy day. I am praying that we will have 3 seats on the return flight, and if we do, Rachel will at least sleep the whole way home. When we get to Seattle, I am planning on a stop at Trader Joes to stock up on all the things that we miss by not having one in the Tri-Cities. My in-laws have been bringing us cases of jelly (organic, 1/2 the sugar, raspberry) when they visit, but it will be nice to get all of our old stand-bys. I think we should get home around 9 or 10 pm, which for us will feel like 11 or 12 pm, so pray I can stay awake!

We have had a wonderful time visiting with our dear friends and have made many memories that we will be able to hold onto. We are looking forward to seeing Jeromy and are bummed that we will get home so late on his BIRTHDAY! What a bad family we are to not be with him, but he said that we could celebrate it after the fact this year.

That's it from Minnesota. I will post later this week after we are home and settled back in.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday- Otsego Park

Friday the sun finally came out, although it was a little chilly until the end of our outing. We were happy for the outdoors and enjoyed the beautiful Mississippi River. There was a nice big playground, and the kids enjoyed throwing rocks into the river. Bennett didn't fall in, so the excursion was successful! We spent more time playing outside in the Monroy's beautifully landscaped 2 acre property after my kids took a nap (they just bought the place, so didn't have to do any of the planting themselves. They just get to enjoy it! That's the way to go!)

Thursday Trip to Cabelas

Since it was supposed to rain for the third day in a row, we decided to go on an indoor outing to the local sport's superstore called Cabelas. This is more than just a normal Big 5. This place was about the size of a Home Depot but 2 stories tall. It had huge displays of taxidermy animals on mountains, on safari and a large aquarium of local river and lake fish. My kids were pretty impressed! Rachel has a cold, but doesn't seem to be bothered by it. Bennett is healthy, although he doesn't seem quite right still, hopefully he is just tired.

This was us in front of the huge mountain display.

The mountain had deer, bears, mountain goats, a moose, and various other small creatures on it to look at. Bennett and Rachel thought it was pretty neat. There was also a pond that the Moose was standing in that had real fish in it.

Me with all the kids, minus Jonah who was at school, in front of the safari display. This had all the normal safari animals and many animals that I had never heard of. A picture of Mt. Kilimanjaro is in the background of the display which is very fitting, as David leaves Barafu Hut in a few hours to begin his summit climb. They had 5 hours of rest from their hardest day, 9 hour hike yesterday, before leaving camp at midnight for their 6 hour hike to reach Stella Point (18,700 ft). They will get a short rest before the next 1 1/2 hour hike to the Uhuru Peak. After reaching Uhuru, they will get a short rest and then head back down to Mweka camp, to spend the night. The next day they will head directly for the park gate where a noon pickup will take them back to their hotel for a welcome shower and celebratory dinner.

Bennett with his new popgun sitting on a moose chair. Cabelas had a whole furniture store upstairs with outdoorsy, cabin-type furniture.

There was a large shooting gallery on the second floor as well. I won't tell you how bad I was at hitting the targets. It was embarrassing, especially because Rohnda was so good at it! I thought that maybe I was shooting with a bad gun, but Rohnda tried it and it worked just fine. Bennett had a great time and Rachel got in on the shooting as well.

5 years is too long to have not seen such a special friend. I am so grateful for this time to spend with her.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Bennett is still sick, but improving. He woke up with a high fever on Sunday, although he had felt a little warm on Saturday too. I thought we were going to have another stomache flu on our hands, but that never happened. He has just had a fever so far and has said that his stomache hurts. He is a trooper though and is playing today for the first time in a while. I am wondering if it is roseola which a friend that I saw before I left thought her son might have had. I have been told that it is usually a high fever, the child starts to feel better, and then the rash comes. Does anyone else have any experience with this or think it could be something else. Bennett just isn't usually sick for more than 24 hours with a fever. He is still warm today, but not burning up like he has been.

Pray that we can get this little boy well so that we can start having a little more fun around here. I am getting stir crazy not leaving the house at all, but I think that Bennett is on the mend. Pray that no one else gets sick too. Rohnda and her kids have been getting over a cold, but so far we haven't gotten anything.

I didn't know that Minnesota had the Mississippi River run through it, and Rohnda said that there is a nice park down there, so I am anxious to go check it out. We are still deciding on other outings like the Mall of America, but we have 8 more days to have fun.

Rohnda's husband, David, is starting his climb today of Mt. Kilimanjaro, so if you think about it, please pray for his safety. He will be hiking through the rain forest for around 6 hours today reaching an altitude of 9842 ft. at Machame Camp.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Well, we made it and it wasn't even that bad of a trip! We drove to Seattle on Thursday afternoon and got to the hotel way past bedtime. (I got a little lost!) The kids slept pretty well and Rachel woke up at 6 am as usual, so I got up with her. We were in a tiny room, so there was no hiding from her! We got everything ready, packed, checked out and caught the shuttle to the airport at 8am. We checked our one piece of heavy luggage (the lady was kind enough not to make us pay extra) and walked to the security check. The kids were troopers with putting their backpacks in the bins, taking off their shoes, and walking through the metal detectors by themselves. Thankfully no one set them off and the whole thing went smoothly. They didn't even make me pour the water out of Rachel's sippy cup. Thoughtful!

We got to the gate just as they started boarding, so the timing was perfect. We got on a very full plane, and I got a little nervous that we wouldn't have three seats, but just two. Bennett found row 25 all by himself, and lo and behold there was a lady already sitting by the window. She was a small lady, so the three of us squished in next to her apologectically. For most of the flight we sat side by side, with Rachel in between Bennett and I. The kids ate snacks, drank juice, and looked at books while getting to cuddle with their blankets (usually a luxury reserved for bedtimes.) I was pretty tired, as I didn't fall asleep until sometime after midnight and woke up at 6. The flight was a little over three hours long, and no one got too ansy until the end.

We exited the secure part of the airport and Rohnda was there waiting for us. Bennett and Rachel both gave her a big hug and Rachel even let her hold her until we got to the car. (Pretty amazing for those of you that know Rachel!) My luggage was already there and we went to find the car.

Rohnda lives (normally) less than an hour from the airport, but there was an unusual amount of traffic which upped the time to over 1 1/2 hours. Rachel slept the whole way and Bennett pretended to so that he wouldn't have to nap when we got there.

We had a nice dinner with her kids and David, Rohnda's husband, and put the tired kids to bed. Rohnda drove David to the airport at 7 am the next morning for his trip to Africa (he is climbing Mt. Kilaminjaro, sp?)

We are having a great time visiting. Bennett is sick today, so has been resting and sleeping alot. I am praying that we don't spread the virus through all 5 kids while we are here!

I don't have any pictures yet, but I will be sure to take some and post them soon. Rohnda made Siri and Rachel matching t-shirt dresses today, and they look pretty cute together.

Please forgive any typos, I am not going to preview and edit this post! That's all for now. Bye from Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Park and Fly or Park, Sleep and Fly?

I am leaving for Minnesota very soon! I have been trying to find where I am going to park my car while I am gone because it is so expensive and am wondering if staying the night before at a hotel is a good idea. I have to leave my house at 5 am to get to the airport on time on Friday. I could stay Thursday night in a hotel and leave my car at the hotel while I am gone for nearly the same amount as just parking. Would I rather spend a shorter night in my own bed or brave staying in a hotel with my two littles and let them get more sleep? I don't know how much I will sleep in either place knowing that I have to get up early and will be travelling. The morning wouldn't be so hectic if we were already in Seattle though. What would you do?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Moving Yet Again

You would think that I would be used to this moving thing by now. This will be our 4th move in 2 years. Poor Bennett will have now lived in 6 houses at the ripe old age of 4. We have signed a year lease for our new place, and it is nice to know that we won't be moving any sooner than that! I am still in the phase that I think we are in pretty good shape, but I know that the last minute dash gets pretty hectic. Those odds and ends add up fast! Saturday morning is the big day. Please pray for us that everything goes smoothly and that we have lots of help. That makes the day go faster and easier on everyone. I will try to post early next week with an update on how everything went. Maybe I will even get some pictures of the move!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Bennett's 4th Birthday Part 2

Yay, Chuck-E-Cheese! This place is amazing. You give a kid a big cup of coins and they are completely entertained until the coins are gone. Rachel got the hang of it this time too. She would ask her grandpa for a coin, she would run to whatever she wanted to do, she would rip off her tickets after the game was over, run back to grandpa to give him the tickets and ask for another coin. It was pretty funny. Bennett even got tired of the little kid area after a while and wanted to check out the big kid arcade games. He really liked one that you get to be a fireman and spray water from a big firehose at the burning building. It was pretty lifelike. I tried to steer him away from the killing weird alien/monster games and the street fighting even though those were the ones that looked so appealing to him.

Hurry up mom, I want to go play!

This picture cracked me up because Bennett and Chuck-E seem to have the same expression.

No, I am not riding the snowmobile by myself. Bennett is sitting in front of me. Really, I am serious!

These ball throwing games were hilarious in the little kid area. All of the kids, Bennett and Rachel included, would miss and balls would come back over them flying all over the restaurant.

Can we fix it? Yes, we can!

The next room over is where the singing Elvis Chuck-E and friends are. Bennett was still not too excited about them and used the time on this ride to check them out and see if they were going to stay where they were.

Hi, Chuck-E-Cheese. Can I come here for my birthday too? Please!

Back to grandpa and grandma's for cupcakes and ice cream for a really excited birthday boy. My kids are totally sugar deprived, so this was a really special treat for them.

Even Rachel was excited although she didn't like the cupcakes. She doesn't like really sweet things like frosting. Too much for her I think. She did enjoy the ice cream once she got over the brain freeze.

Froggy and Bunny for the kids from Great Grandma Lee. Rachel hasn't put her bunny down much since she got it. She even started sleeping with it.

That was Bennett's fun 4th birthday. I think next year for his 5th, we will have a friend birthday party for him. He hasn't had one with kids there before and I think he would appreciate it for his 5th. He is such a special boy that we are so blessed to have in our life. He is a good big brother and is very excited for the new baby to come. He has been practicing dressing Rachel's dolls so that he can dress the new baby. So sweet!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Well, I haven't finished the birthday posts yet, but with Bennett now getting the stomach flu that I had and the looking for a rental to move into, things are busy as usual! We found a new place to rent over the weekend and believe it or not, we are going to move in May 12. No wasting time around here. It is in town vs. living in the country like we are now, but I am optimistic that it is going to be good for us. Jeromy will be closer to work, and he is really wanting to get more involved in the community, meet neighbors, and build into the lives of the people around us. We are moving into a duplex, so we will have REALLY close neighbors to meet!

6 days after we move in, I am going to fly to Minnesota with the kids to visit a dear friend that I haven't seen in 5 years. Her husband is going out of town, so I will get to keep her company while he is gone. We are excited about all the new things ahead, and please pray that everything goes smoothly. It is going to take very careful planning to get this all to work out, and we need a large dose of God's perfect timing.

Posted by Samantha