Friday, August 26, 2016

Quick 5 - The Road Trip Part I

The apples on our trees are turning red!

1. The Most Massive Road Trip has come and gone. That drive is no joke, folks. A big shout out to our dear friends, the Gilletts, for letting us borrow the dual screen DVD player. We've never used one before, and it totally saved our bacon. The 12 hour drive days were the toughest, but we survived. I estimate that we drove a total of about 2800 miles on this trip, and for the most part it went smoothly. We only had one incident just outside of Lansing, where a semi ran us off the road. Literally. There was construction and lanes veering off in different directions, and the semi driver decided he wanted to be in our lane. We had three options: a) get hit by the semi, b) slam on our brakes and get rear ended by the people behind us, or c) drive between the construction barrels down into the grassy median. Lee elected for option c. It was unnerving, to say the least. But God's protection was so clear, and we were able to get back on the road and finish the last 40 minutes of our drive.

2. We stopped in Omaha on the way out for a day. We were able to see some dear old friends the Swanbergs for dinner. I highly recommend ordering Becky's carnitas next time you are at their house. Then we spent the day at the zoo with Aunt Mindy, Uncle Josh, Gramma and Grampa. We walked every single hill of that place and had a wonderful time. We were joined there by our friends the Smeltzers, and it was so good to catch up with them and meet their six children.
3. The house in Michigan was a great fit for the whole Marsh clan. Lee had a blast rowing the girls in the row boat, and getting in some fishing. Next week I hope to have more pics of the house for you. My sister Carolyn had the nice camera and the superb photography skills, and she said I could steal the pics to show you as soon as she loads them. Her trip was MUCH longer than ours, since she was driving from Vancouver, BC and all.
 4. We were so fortunate to get to see Lee's Grandpa and Grandma Swift while we were in Michigan. They live about an hour and a half from where we were staying, so our first order of business was driving to see them. We hadn't seen them in about five years, and they had never met Bria. The visit was lovely, capped off by a lunch with Grandpa at the famous Big Boy. We also were delighted to see Aunt Marlene and Uncle Bob, who arrived at Grandma's rehab center just before we left. We didn't know we were going to get to see them too.
5. And now for a skip in the timeline. Next week you'll get more than your fill of the wedding details. But for today I would be remiss to mention that Alaina and Joya have started school. They started the day after we got back, which was the third day for everyone else. Joya was a champ. We met her teacher and showed her where to go. On the second day of school she insisted on being dropped off in the carpool lane, rather than having me walk her in. And by the third day, she insisted that Alaina NOT walk her to class. She could do it herself, thank you! So begins Joya's formal schooling. Her teacher is Mrs. Board, and she is so nice. Alaina has Mrs. Hillan this year, who is also great. It's going to be a good school year, I think. The only thing that hurts my self-esteem is how loudly Bria cries when we drop them off each day, lamenting that she doesn't WANT to hang out with Mom all day! Whatever, kid.

That's all she wrote! Prepare yourselves for an influx of all things wedding next week!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Quick 5

August = the return of the night crickets

1. I guess I hadn't really realized that this was our last week of summer at home. Two more sleeps then we leave for the Great Road Trip aka Operation: Watch Ben and Cora Get Hitched. And literally the day after we get home the girls start school. So I tried to do a few special things, but mostly we've just been getting ready for the trip.

2. Last Saturday we had fun at a new park celebrating our friend Corbin's second birthday. New parks are always fun. Birthday parties are always fun. 73 degree days in the middle of summer are always fun.

3. On Monday we hit Sonic for lunch. It's a rare day that we actually eat at Sonic, but the weather was nice and a table with an umbrella was open. Bria took a few bites of her corn dog, ate all her fries, and then asked for real lunch when we got home. "You know. Samwiches." 
4. We'll be in Michigan next week, which means we'll miss Back to School Night and the first and second days of school. I talked to the front desk gal (I LOVE front desk ladies at school) and she emailed me when the teachers were in their classrooms working this week so we could at least meet them. The class lists weren't finalized yet, so we met both kindergarten teachers. Alaina's teacher wasn't there, but we did get to see her classroom. It helped me to know that Joya's teachers knew for sure that she would miss the first two days, and that they know her face now. Hopefully it will make our first day a little less crazy.

5. I guess that's a wrap for our Colorado summer. Up next is our great adventure. We're all just a little bit excited about it around here.

Catch you on the flip side!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Quick 5

This week was brought to you by nature's drink: water.

1. We finally busted out the ol' swimming pool last Saturday. Lee filled it first thing in the morning and we let it sit in the sun all day. The girls got in at about 3:00. Alaina lasted for about 30 minutes before declaring it too cold. Joya was in and out. But Bria stayed in until we dragged out her shivering, blue lipped body kicking and screaming. The swimming waters of Colorado are perilous.
2. Lee has been enjoying a new hobby: yellow jacket killing. The wasps and yellow jackets are everywhere this year. We haven't gotten stung, which is pretty amazing since the girls still like to eat popsicles in the backyard every day, with them buzzing around their ankles. But we still don't like them. Lee figured out a way to dispatch them, in addition to the traps and spraying any nests that we find.

First he locates a yellow jacket.

Then he whacks it with his rolled up newspaper. Then he usually gives it a good stomp. This renders them mostly dead, not completely.

Then he picks it up chop stick style, using old popsicle sticks.

Then he drops it in one of the two or three anthills in the backyard. The ants come storming out and swarm the intruder, dragging the body into the depths of their lair.
This is Lee's current kill count. He does not count the kill if he cannot find the body after whacking it down. This also doesn't include the 40 or so that are in the yellow jacket trap.

3. Aunt Jamie invited the girls down for a cousin sleepover last Sunday. They swam and bothered Jamie instead of going to sleep. I drove down on Monday for one more swim session. Bria lost her ever-lovin' mind. Then I brought them home. The girls all passed out within the first 8 minutes of our drive home. I guess I can call that a success.

4. Alaina and Joya are officially registered for school. The fees have been paid, their pictures have been taken, our carpool number is ready and the supplies have all been bought. We'll miss the first two days of school due to Ben's wedding, but we're all ready for the minute we get back.

5. I have harvested six tomatoes from my tomato plant. Let the BLT eating commence.

Over and out.