Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cross Country Travelers

Well with the hubby still in Maryland after his mom's funeral to help his brother and sister with all the details; it was up to me and my mom to get us and the kids back to MD for Uncle J's wedding. So we loaded up a friends minivan, pack to the hilt with everything from DVD players to a potty chair, and the biggest snack bag you ever did see! Plus we were pulling a 10x6 foot enclosed trailer, so hubby could bring back things from his mom's house.

So we left Texas on Friday night October 31st, unfortunately a lot later than I had planned. We borrowed a friends van, we figured that would be more comfortable going that far than our pickup. We picked it up Friday morning and had driven it all day running errands getting everything together. We get it all loaded up and get in to leave and it won't start. So my friends husband had to come over at 11 p.m. and put in a new battery. Can I just say thank you Lord for 24 hour Walmart's!!

SO, we get all loaded up again and start to leave and little man's fanny no more hits the seat, and he throws up! OH MY WORD! So out we go....change his clothes, clean him up. Load up again and we are finally off. They slept all night and mom and I drove.

I made sure that we stopped at important historic landmarks, you know every child should know about the King of Rock-N Roll. Yes ma'am I took them to Graceland!! Thank you, thank you very much. We did not do the tour...if little man would have went in the house; Elvis' house would have never been the same. They were

so excited. They love Elvis. I have the Aloha from Hawaii concert on DVD. Little man used to have to watch it everyday as soon as he woke up. Yep, I'm raisin' em' right!

We loaded back up and made it to Pigeon Forge for the night. A little out of the way but I wanted my mom to see Pigeon Forge. It was so beautiful, the trees were all changing colors. It was beautiful time of year to make the drive from Texas to Pennsylvania.

We finally made it Sunday evening to Maryland where hubby was staying at his mom's. We picked him up and headed to Pennsylvania to Aunt L's and Uncle S's where we would be staying for the week. They hadn't seen daddy for two weeks. They were excited to say the least.

Down the street from Aunt L's is a cornfield...look at my little corn huskers.

Monday, we went and took care of some stuff at Momma G's house. Then we went and had supper with Uncle J and soon to be Aunt J. This was the first time they had ever seen the kids in person. So that was an exciting time. This would be the only time we got to spend with them this week, do to the fact they were getting married on Saturday.

On Tuesday we had to make a trip to the mall because I forgot to pack hubby's dress pants for the wedding. Oops! Then we came back to Aunt L's house and played in the leaves. We don't have many trees at our house so we never have the opportunity to jump in the leaves. But they made the most of it this day.

Mom and I got to do something we have been wanting to do for a long time....go to Amish country. Hubby's sister and brother-in law were able to join us; they took the rest of the week off to spend with us. So we headed to Lancaster County PA! I loved it there so much I made them go back on Thursday too.

We took a little ride...
with an Amish man named Menno. It was interesting learning about their culture and simple way of life.
Then it was time for mommy to get her shopping here

and here

Yes, there is a town called Intercourse. We did a lot of shopping there..and can I just say I love Intercourse; Pennsylvania that is. They had t-shirts that said Intercourse was all I thought it would be....too funny. I started to buy one...but then decided against it, because then I would feel I needed to explain to all the people back in Texas who would be staring at me. We also went shopping here...
I'm thinking of making this our Christmas card...whadaya think?

After we shopped till we dropped in Lancaster County, we headed up the road to Hershey, PA. OHHH YEAHH! Where the street lights look like Hershey Kisses.

We toured the chocolate factory and here's a shot of little man...the boy LOVES chocolate. He was so excited he could hardly contain himself...

Princess and little man got to be "factory workers"...
A good time was had by all....

Friday morning, they made bird feeders with Aunt L...before we headed out for the day.

Then we headed to Washington DC. For those of you who don't think my history lesson at Graceland was sufficient...I did take them to our nations capital. With the election only having been a couple days prior...I was a little worried about what might be going on down around the White House. We packed a lunch and had a picnic on the lawn between the White House and the Washington National Monument. And did a little walking around. The kids got bored of it real quick...just so you know they like Graceland better...heehee

Then it was time for the wedding. We have been waiting a while for Uncle J to settle down. We are so excited he did and we love Aunt J. It was a bittersweet day without Momma G there. They honored her well and she was not forgotten on that day.

In their "wedding clothes" as they called them...

The wedding was beautiful. They reception was a lot of fun. Princess danced the whole night. By the end of the reception she was in the middle of the dance floor with everyone one else in a circle around her. Daddy and I were sitting off to side with our heads in our hands, wondering what this meant for her future.

Here with daddy and Uncle J....

After the wedding, we loaded up and headed back to Texas. It was good to get away and have some family time together. The kids did a great job traveling that long for their ages. I was very proud of them. But, it's always good to be home...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

The past several weeks have been simply crazy. My sweet mother in law lost her battle with cancer on October 18th. She has been battling cancer off and on for the last year and a half. We were told that she had two weeks to live on the October 17th and they recommended hubby go home to see her. We booked him a flight that night to leave the next morning, but before he could board the plane the next morning she passed away.

Having to buy a plane ticket at the last minute is not cheap. So we could only afford for him to fly up there. Then through a turn of events it became possible that I could be there as well for the funeral. God truly knows the desires of our heart. I wanted so badly to be there for my husband at such a difficult time and was very frustrated that finances would not allow us to both be able to go. God and I had a little heart to heart on my way home from taking him to the airport that Saturday morning. I am so glad we have a God who loves us, and allows us to pitch a hissy fit. Which is basically what I did in my truck on the way home.

Looking back I think that God was probably just sitting back looking at the big picture knowing what was going to happen the next day; and just allowing me to pitch my fit. He was probably smiling down, saying "oh you of little faith."

The next day was a Sunday; my mom, the kids and I went on to church. Can I just say... I love my church family. As the news traveled around, people began asking how they could help. I just asked them to pray for my husband and his brother and sister. My husband had not seen his mom since last Thanksgiving. Between rounds of chemo she came down and spent a week with us. And I know my hubby was dealing with some guilt of not making it back it time to see her before she passed.

We had made plans and were to be there just two weeks later for his brother's wedding. We were going to go the week before the wedding and spend some time with Momma G. and have a little family vacation. But God had a different plan and took her home before we went up.

Anyway, I was talking with one of our deacons and expressing to him how I wished I could be with my husband at this difficult time. He mentioned he may have some air miles he could give to me. He was afraid he didn't have enough though. He said he would mention it to our youth group and see if any of their parents might have some they could donate.

So as I am walking out to the truck after church; our Sunday School teacher Mr. C ,stops me in the parking lot. He says to me...I hear you need some air miles. Of course I start boohooing. (His granddaughter is in the youth group and told him what was happening) I tell him that it would be such a huge blessing if I could go and be with my hubby during this difficult time. He says no problem...we will get you fixed up. He said, now I only have enough for one flight. I said no problem, the kids can stay here with my mom. He said I will call you when I get home and can look up the available flights. He said, now there might be a small fee because we are requesting to use the air miles at the last minute. This was Sunday and I was needing to fly out Wednesday morning to make it to the first viewing Wednesday night. I said no problem, anything has to be better than what they are trying to charge me. Hang on....blessings are still to come.

So then, I am on my way home and my aunt calls me and says why don't you come over for lunch. I said we head to her house for lunch. I get there and she meets me on the front porch. She said you just got a blessing. I was like I know, can you believe he is going to donate air miles to me (I thought she was talking about the air miles). She said no...MR. W, (another deacon from church) just stopped by and dropped this off for you, and she hands me a check. She said, he just wanted to help anyway he could and wasn't sure how. I opened the check and it was for $100. I was floored, and the tears flowed again

So fast forward to later that afternoon, I get the call from Mr. C about the air miles. First let me say...I hate to fly and even worse...flying alone. I also hate when I have to have a layover. I am a nervous wreck and have to be medicated when flying. The only airlines that flies directly to Maryland is AA. Guess who was the most expensive when I was trying to book a flight to go. Yeah...AA. Well, guess who Mr. C's air miles are with....AA. Praise God Hallelujah! Not only was I being donated the air miles, but it was with the airline that has a direct flight! So we go through the whole booking process and he says...ok the fee (remember the fee for using the air miles at the last minute) is.....$105.00. WHAT?? (Insert Hallelujah chorus) At this point I am sobbing again. God has completely taken care of the whole thing. I am given air miles and a $100 check which covers the associated cost, and neither gentlemen knew what the other one was doing.

Yes, I apologized to God for throwing a hissy fit...

I was able to be there for both days of viewings and the funeral, and then had a day to just spend with his family. Momma G. looked absolutely beautiful. They dressed her in the outfit she was supposed to wear to Bro-in law's wedding. We chose not to call it a funeral but to call it a home goin'. She's sittin' at the feet of Jesus, gettin all the answers. I'm a little jealous.

In loving Memory of Momma G.
May 7, 1944 - October 18, 2008

More stories to come....driving from Texas to Maryland with two small chirldren, our week in Pennsylvania/Maryland...and of course Uncle J's wedding.