Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thankful...

Thankful that I have two brave (and limber) little ones and a heroic husband.

Thankful that I decided to go with a prescription, and not a shot, from the doctor so that Rich was in town picking it up causing me to have the truck, and not the car, and for him to be close by.

Thankful that my husband is a first responder so that he was one of the first on the scene instead of trying to fight through traffic to get to us...even though he didn't know it was us when he got the page.

Thankful that I didn't see it coming and tense up, so I'm not nearly as sore as I could be.

Thankful that I wasn't pushed into oncoming traffic.

Thankful for a truck bed that took the brunt of the impact.  (I'm going to miss the truck though!)

Thankful that the other girl is okay and that she is a good kid that just got distracted at the wrong time.

Thankful for our small town and how caring and helpful everyone was...from the bystanders to the first responders...they're truly some of the best!

SO MUCH to be thankful for after Thursday night.  It could have been so much different than it was and I know that God was watching over us even in the little things...I'm even thankful for my pesky cold in a round about way! ;-)

*************

As you have probably inferred, the kids and I were in an accident Thursday night.  I always think of being rear-ended as being a fender bender, but I know now that isn't always so! I was taking Morgan to dance class, which is across the road from the high school at 5:00 Thursday night.  Between it being the main road in town, people getting off work, out of practices and the beginning of games that area can get a little crazy!  Well, I stopped with the left blinker on, waiting for 2 vehicles to pass from the other direction before I could turn into the parking lot.  Next thing I know we were hit.  HARD.

When I knew what happened, my first thought was to get off the road (the kids were already talking to me so I assumed they were fine), but I'm not sure how I did it...I think the truck had shut off, but I got off onto the shoulder somehow.  I had initially looked in my rear view mirror to see what was behind me that caused it, but all I saw was a cloud of smoke, which I now know was a powder from the other vehicle's airbags.  Once I was off the road and I turned around, I saw that the kids were indeed okay, that the bed of our truck was no longer flat and that the vehicle behind me was green (a Jeep), but didn't look like I'm sure it used to 5 seconds earlier.

The kids asked me what happened.  I'm not sure what I said...either that we were in an accident or that we were rear-ended.  The next thing they said was that Daddy was going to be mad that his truck was broke.  LOL!  Then it hit them and they cried, but only for a few seconds.  Morgan mentioned that she bumped her head, but it was fine...just a little sore/bruised from where the flower was on her hair tie.

I got out of the truck.  Not sure why I did that either, but I think it was to find a phone.  I called one of the dance moms over (that I really didn't know and only half met the week before) who had heard the crash and came out to see what happened.  I saw she had a phone and asked if I could call my husband.  (I don't have a cell phone in case you're wondering.)  I didn't get an answer and hoped it was because Rich was already on his way.  The dance mom helped me get the kids out and we were going to get them to dance class and out of the commotion until we realized the kids and I would need to be checked out by the Paramedic/EMT.  We stopped in the parking lot and waited for the Paramedic to come to us.  I remember asking if the Fire Department was on the way and she gave me a funny look.  Thinking back she probably wondered if I was hoping to 'meet' someone because I had forgotten to wear my wedding band when I left the house-LOL!  I told her my husband was on the department and then she looked more understanding-LOL!

Within seconds, it seemed, the Fire Department was there and Rich was by my, and the kids, side. (Of course he looked very heroic as he approached us...okay? ;-)  )  He didn't know that the call was us, being he didn't get my phone call.  He saw the truck on the shoulder with the hazard lights on as they approached the scene and thought I had witnessed the accident.  When they came up alongside the truck, he saw the damage...

The kids went to dance and their amazing dance teacher took care of them for me well beyond the half hour it should have been.  I waited around as they took my license and insurance info.  I sat down a lot....don't know why, but I felt like I needed to.  I got teased by one of Rich's best buddies on the department about my license picture.  (Thanks!  I was pregnant at the time of that picture!  LOL!)  One of Rich's parents' best friends, that we actually call 'uncle', happened to be at a soccer game and walked over to make sure it wasn't his older son in the accident.  He stayed with us for a while.  I went in to check on the kids.

Some of the family of the girl that hit us came over in that time as well.  That's when I found out she was one of our town's star athletes being on the World Champion Little League team from last year.  (HUGE thing in a small town!  You may remember me blogging about it?)  I'd heard her name a million times, but never thought I'd be 'running into' her in that way (bad pun-sorry!)  From what I understand, she didn't see us. I didn't hear any squealing before the accident and there were no skid marks...she hit us at 45 mph while we were at a stand still...

There was SO MUCH that happened, I'm sure I'd bore you with it all.  So afterwards, the fire chief offered for us to ride back to the hall in the fire truck, which the kids loved and it isn't every day that the accident victims get to ride in the fire engine!  As we passed our mechanic's shop, I mentioned that at least we didn't have to worry about getting the truck aligned now.  Rich was thankful that we're terrible about waiting until the last minute to fill the truck's gas tank...it was basically empty at the time!  The fire chief also gave the kids each two glow sticks that they usually hand out on Halloween and he gave me one too for being a 'big girl'.  LOL! 

Rich had taken the day off from work Friday, but had been asked to come in earlier in the week.  Turns out they didn't need him until later, so he was able to help take the kids to school and we were able to get pics of the truck.  We also ran to get Rich's brother's new truck.  He's in the Marines in California and isn't using it, so thankfully we can borrow it until we get a new one.  I spent a lot of that day on the phone.  As things hit me as to how the accident could have turned out different, I cried tears of thanks.  After the kids came home from school life kinda got back to normal, although Rich is away for the weekend for the Fireman's Memorial.  As much as I want to be tough, something inside me wanted him to be home, just for comfort.  We're all okay, though, so there was no reason that he should have changed his plans.

In the past two days I've run into many people that were there and didn't know it was us.  Before the fire department blocked the road, there was so much traffic trying to get through that at least two people I came across since Thursday had went right by us.  Others were re-routed after the road was blocked.  As I said, small town and a lot going on that night!

Again, I'm very thankful and after looking at the pictures you'll see that the cab of the truck looks nearly perfect.  We can't get the passenger side back door to open, but that's about it for the cab.  If we had the car, it might be a totally different story...
 
 
 
 
Even though the appraiser won't be out to look at it until Monday, anyone who has looked at the frame says it should be totaled. :-(  It'll be sad seeing it go, but if they say a car seat isn't safe after it's been in an accident, a twisted up frame being straightened sure can't be safe either, right?
 
Blake put in his 2 cents and wants a blue truck.  I kinda like the grey color I'm currently driving.  Rich hasn't mentioned a color preference, but wants a bigger one-LOL!  As long as we're getting a new vehicle, we do know it is going to be another truck. :-)
 
I think I'll finish with that, but if you'd like, please say a little prayer of thanks to God for protecting us, and the other girl, during the accident.  God truly is AWESOME!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

End of Summer 2012

Besides all the fairs we visited toward the end of this summer, we also had a few other things going on...
Kittens
Our cat, Leinie, disappeared this summer so we decided to keep an eye out for another kitten to replace him...although he was truly irreplaceable :-/  Anyway, I got a call from my mom at the end of July while she was at work (at the local vet clinic) saying that someone left a couple kittens in the parking lot.  Turns out that the kittens were only about 3 weeks old and I was going to have to teach them how to drink milk and really work with them for a while...not exactly what I had in mind, but once the kids saw them there was no turning back!
 
This is from the day we brought them home
 
This little one just laid in my hands and put his paws by his face-too cute!
 
Then he fell asleep!  Even cuter!!  (Pics taken by Morgan)
 
This is what they look like now...6 weeks later.  This one is Mittens. (Named by Morgan.)
 
This is Bo.  (Named by Blake.) I've struggled to keep this one alive, but he/she seems to be doing really well now...it's just a lot smaller than the other one.
They are so cute and playful and we have all fallen in love with them!  They're in our mudroom for now, but should be moving into the barn sometime soon.  I actually walked into the mudroom the other day from outside and found Rich standing there with a string and a kitten playing with it at the other end.  He had this look of "shucks, she caught me" on his face.  I just said "Hi Rich! Watcha' doin'?".  With a smirk and the deepest voice he could muster he responded "When are we gettin' these darn kittens outta here!"  Such a tough guy!  LOL!  I'd have moved them already, but after working so hard to keep them alive, I'm afraid of losing them :-/
 
$2 Movies
We made it to two $2 Summer movies at a local movie theater.  The $2 is really an awesome deal since it comes with a small drink and small popcorn!  (You can see how big the small popcorn is.)
We saw Madagascar 2 and Megamind, which was a lot cuter than I expected! :-)
 
Morgan's Lost her first Tooth
She didn't technically 'lose' it, she actually had to have it pulled.  The new tooth was coming up behind the baby tooth and it wasn't pushing it out, so I took her to the dentist to have her first tooth pulled.  It didn't seem to phase her and she seemed to like showing off the hole it left ;-)
I gave her a Tooth Fairy pillow and a Tooth Fairy book after we got home from the dentist.  She also got a dollar from the Tooth Fairy that night, which she was super excited about!
She lost the tooth next to it a couple weeks later.  We were having lunch at a friend of mine's house while watching her 2 littlest ones and Morgan complained her tooth hurt.  I checked it out and her tooth was barely hanging in there.  When we came home she had a little cotton candy that she had gotten at the fair the night before and it fell right out...never thought she'd lose a tooth in cotton candy! ;-)
 
Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island
The women of Rich's family decided to take a trip to Mackinaw to celebrate the return of his cousin from a 9 month deployment in the Navy.  So we left early on a Monday morning and made it up to spend the afternoon shopping in Mackinaw City.  That evening we went to the Dixie Saloon to have some celebratory drinks and headed back to our 1 bathroom, 4 double bed suite with all 8 women.  It was a bit cozy and getting going in the morning with 1 bathroom was slow, but we eventually hopped aboard a ferry to the island and made it there just before noon.
 
This is the Mackinaw Bridge taken from the ferry.
 
The Grand Hotel on the island...not a cheap place to stay and a 10 year wait to get married there!
 
The Fort on the Island
 
I love how cute the streets are and with no vehicles, it quite a frenzy of bicyclists and horse and carriages.
 
Arch Rock...
 
...when looking through the arch you can see that someone made this with stones on the beach.  It was pretty neat to see since we were there right after the Olympics ended. :-)
 
A neat looking team of Percheron's for one of the carriage tours.  We took a carriage tour as well, but we had Belgian horses pulling ours.  If you are ever to visit Mackinac Island, definitely take the tour!  The history you learn on it is well worth the price of the ticket...and it's really quite entertaining too! :-)
 
We came back the same day that we went to the island (short trip!) and stopped at The Cross in the Woods.
It was a long 2 days, but SO much fun!  I'd go into more details, but this post is going to be long enough ;-)

Other exciting news is we got rid of the bats in our attic!  If I knew it were as easy as it was, I would have had it done last year and saved myself a few sleepless nights of wondering if another bat was going to get into the house :-)  An former neighbor of ours does pest control and all he had to do was find the hole they were using to get into the attic from the outside, put up a PVC pipe at a special angle where they can't get back in once they leave, caulk around it and after a few weeks take the pipe away and fill in the hole!  :-)

Besides ALL that, the garden has kept us busy as usual.  I don't know that I've ever eaten as much zucchini as I have this summer, but I've found some new delicious recipes, so I've enjoyed eating it!  It feels nice to not let it go to waste, but I have had to give some away.  We also gotten a bunch of yellow beans, yellow squash, green and orange peppers, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, sweet corn, pumpkins (that were super early!) and potatoes from the garden.  We still have more of just about all of that (minus the cabbage and yellow beans that I've cleared out) plus sweet potatoes, popcorn and butternut squash....we won't be going hungry anytime soon! :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm a Soccer Mom now...

...minus the mini van. :-)
 
The kids both decided that they'd like to try soccer this year and so I signed them up and asked that they be on the same team.  I thought they'd be in the same age division, but apparently not.  Blake is the youngest and the littlest on the team.  He has a hard time keeping up, but you wouldn't know it by the smile on his face-he's just having a good time!
 
My tough little soccer players before their first game.
Morgan in her position right before the game started.
As you can see, the positions meant nothing after the ball got rolling!  LOL!
Here she is playing defense.  As much as she enjoys running, this seemed to be the position she liked most.
 
Blake just before he started playing.  He is watching the wind catch his shirt-LOL!
Here comes the ball!
Hiking up the too big shorts for the 50th time...we'll be using a safety pin for the next games :-)

Four practices and one game down and only nine more games to go, with the next one being tonight.  It's going to be busy this next month, but the kids really seem to be having fun! :-)

Fair Fun x 3!

We spent a lot of time at fairs this year.  There were three fairs that we wanted to make it to and we did!  The kids even made it to the last fair twice! :-)
 
Fair #1
The first fair we went to was the one we always try to make it to with my mom, brother and nieces.  The kids favorite part of this fair is always the petting farm.
 
I loved this little exhibit!  It's the Three Little Pigs, but with Guinea Pigs!  Too cute!
The kids LOVE the butterflies!
The petting farm even had a vet display where a couple vet students taught them a little bit about some animals and gave them an idea of a little of what they do.  Here they were able to pretend to do surgery on a cat that swallowed a hair tie and dog needing a c-section :-)  (When I asked what their favorite thing at the fair was THIS was it!)
Of course we were prepared to go to the Splash Pad!
The kids had worked up quite an appetite!
This fair has grown so much since I showed animals in 4-H there!  I love all that they have to offer.  The fair is located on the county park grounds, so not only is there fair activities, there is also the Splash Pad and a historical village.  We were there from 9 until 4ish and never even made it to the rides!
 
Fair #2
I hadn't been to our town's fair since I was in high school...and I didn't even live here then!  LOL!  It seems silly since it's only 2 miles from our house and only $2 to get in.  It's just a little fair with only a few animals, a grandstand and maybe 10 rides, but we went as a family for a couple hours and had a blast!
 
Morgan's 4-H Projects
I signed Morgan up for 4-H this year, being that it is the first year she can be in it.  She won't be able to actually compete until she is 8 or 9, but she can still take projects as a Clover bud and receive participation ribbons.  We had a lot of fun being creative with her projects and learning some new things that they don't teach you in school ;-)  She was really proud of herself and of the ribbons she came home with ;-)
 
 
Fair #3
We had to make it to this fair, since this was the one Morgan's projects were at!  Plus Rich's brother was home from the Marines and wanted us to go as a family, so that was nice too!
 
Of everything that was at the fair the Whispering Pines Animal Kingdom really stuck out to me!  It was almost as good as going to the zoo...maybe better since everything was nice and close, so we could see them and we didn't have to walk miles! ;-)  (These pictures are only a tiny bit of what they had for us to see-it was actually really cool!)
 
Blake could not wait to see the 'crocodile' that they had.  It was actually an alligator, but he kept calling it a crocodile and being corrected by the worker there.  I couldn't help but laugh-it was what Blake wanted it to be and the guy wasn't going to change his mind!  LOL!
 
We made sure to make it to the rides here since they were part of the admission price AND Morgan got to get into the fair and ride rides free for taking projects :-)
 
Riding with "Tall Uncle"
The one ride I went on was the Ferris Wheel...I always enjoy the view!

Morgan and Blake went back to this fair again with my mom, brother and nieces so Morgan could show them her projects and ride rides with them.  I was a bit 'faired out' by then, so I stayed home, but they had a blast yet again! ;-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blake's 5th Birthday

My sweet little boy turned 5 last week and we did A LOT to celebrate such a big birthday! ;-)
 
We started the day with some homemade pancakes, which was Blake's request for breakfast.  Then Blake had been wanting to paint a wooden gun that his Papa had gotten him.  I helped him pick out the paints and he went to town painting his gun camouflage all on his own! 
 
We then took a trip into town to go to the library.  It's always fun being able to pick out books to read.  :-) We also walked across the swinging bridge into the park.  (The kids ALWAYS ask to do this when we go to the library and I usually tell them no, so this was a treat!)  They played in the park for a little while before we headed to McDonald's for lunch and to use the gift card Blake gets for his birthday each year from our bank.
 
We also stopped for groceries for dinner and the ingredients to make homemade ice cream!
Unfortunately, the ice cream bowl didn't freeze, so there was no ice cream, but we had gotten these Oreos to put in it and they made for a pretty good birthday treat ;-)  (I did make the ice cream the following day after the bowl had frozen and it turned out delicious!!)
Blake's dinner request was pizza, so we made that for when Rich came home from work, then opened a couple presents...the one thing Blake was super excited about ALL day!  Morgan got him basically the only thing he had asked for repeatedly after seeing it at Barnes & Noble...a "Douglas" T-Rex plush.
When we were in town, Blake had also picked out the movie "Puss in Boots" to have a popcorn and movie night.  I put out the air mattress for them and they fell asleep shortly into the second viewing.  As you can see Blake wasn't going to let his new buddy leave his side ;-)
 
Blake's actual birthday party was this past Saturday morning.  We did a Birthday Brunch for something a little different.  I LOVE brunch food and had never hosted a brunch before, so I was kind of excited about it :-)
 
This is Blake's birthday cake...it's actually Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes :-)  As you can see he wanted a Lego Birthday :-)
The Lego pinata was a little project Rich and I worked on...just a box with some sour cream lids and spray painted.  (Peanut butter jar lids may have worked better because I had to double up the sour cream lids to make it look proportional.)
Blake taking the first swing.
The mad dash to tear the pinata apart for the treats inside :-)
Blake got all sorts of Lego and other building block sets, plus some clothes, money and...
..."staches" from my brother.  He liked his mustache so well that he didn't want to eat a cupcake and get the mustache messy!  LOL!
Blowing out his candles was a little tricky with that mustache as well ;-)

As hard as it is to see my little guy growing up, I sure enjoy the memories we're making along the way and this was definitely a memorable birthday! :-)
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