Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Well, those 2 months went by fast . . .

Where have I been?  Doing life.  Some of it has been awesome and fun.  Some of it . . . not so much.  I'll try to catch you up in future posts . . . so much to recap.  Let's start with the happenings of the past couple of weeks!

First up . . . school is out for the summer!  Praise Jesus hallelujah.  I can't even with the fact that I have a rising freshman and no more elementary school kids.  Where.  Does.  The.  Time.  Go? Poof . . . they grow up.  
I think everybody basically looks the same . . . except the boys have more hair and Amanda has less.  Snicker.  You will be happy to know the boys have gotten haircuts since the last day . . . not a minute too soon.  

Amanda ended 5th grade like a boss and basically was all like "See ya suckas . . . I'm off to middle school."  No tears were shed.  That's my girl.  

Kyle was just thankful to make honor roll and earn Snapchat . . . 7th grade out for him!

Ryan nailed 8th grade . . . he makes it look so easy.  He's ready for for 9th grade, but his peeps are spread over three high schools so that's kind of a bummer.  He'll rock next year . . . he's already joined the cross country team and been selected for the 9th grade leadership team.  Bam, make it happen kid!

Next up . . . our rule is that our kids are not allowed to have cell phones in elementary school . . . mean parent alert because seriously, like every kid has a phone.  So, what happens the day after elementary school is over?  This little nugget got her first phone.  Oh, and Kyle and I may have upgraded ourselves since they were having a BOGO on iPhone 6s's.  YOLO!
Then the next day we loaded up the family truckster and head "home" to Virginia.  No rest for the weary.  And for the record, I didn't take many or very good pictures . . . I always do that and regret it.  

My mom's husband built her an absolutely beautiful home . . . I like to call it his love letter to her because when I look at it, I just "see" my mom.  
It sits on ten beautiful acres . . . which equals a lot of grass mowing.  Granny tried to teach Amanda how to use the riding lawn mower.  One problem . . . Amanda didn't weigh enough so when the blade was down, the lawn mower cut off as a safety feature to prevent a runaway lawn mower. Cracked me up.  
Side note on that grassy 10 acres . . . my Ryan parked himself on the riding lawn mower for four hours and mowed the whole darn thing.  Yours truly used the (non-self propelled) push mower to trim until we ran out of gas.  I was feeling every bit of it the next day.  Ryan and I both agree we like cutting grass because it's so satisfying to see the progress.  Freak shows.  We know it.  

My men also chopped some serious wood . . . they filled the whole woodshed for winter.  Getzy taught my boys how to use an ax.  I stayed inside until they learned because as you can imagine, my nerves were on edge (pun intended) when axes arrived on the scene.  You gotta admit though . . . they look super bad ass.  
And for the record, big brothers always act like well, big brothers.  I am super thankful for this guy . . . he was very patient with my kids and taught them lots of cool stuff.  
It wasn't all work though . . . there was bike riding, snow cone eating, porch swinging, card playing, movie watching and so much more.  I got to visit with some of my favorite friends from my childhood and college days.  I love these ladies so much and am thankful we have stayed connected.  Here's to Lynn, Delphine, Renee, Laura, Teri and Karin.  Smooches. 

There was also metal detecting and subsequent digging because the ten acres is near the Cold Harbor battlefield of the Civil War.  Getzy is obsessed with finding artifacts . . . nothing exciting this time.  
There was mini bike riding . . . this is an original Honda 50, the first mini bike Honda ever made. Ray Ray and my brother got it running, and the kids had a blast riding it.  I have lots of videos but only one picture.  Look at my handsome Kyle . . . biker dude.  
There was a 21st birthday to be celebrated with the 'favorite' aunt as I like to call myself!  That included dinner at a yummy Italian restaurant, Joe's Inn, and drinks at a happening bar called Kai, complete with an adorable bartender and rocking DJ.  I outlasted the 21 year old.  True story.
There was a Bronco to rev up and drive around without a muffler making it so loud it could be heard the county over.  It's my nephew's pet project and has now been shipped back to Chicago so he can work on it with my brother!
There were chicks to foster.  These little beauties were procured for a quarter each and live at the neighbor's house, which is Raymond's sister Linda!  We went over to check on them and decided we needed to keep a few for the week.  Amanda was in heaven with her baby chicks.  Please meet Frank, Bob and Wanda.  
These are my two favorite chick photos . . . so sweet!
We took Granny to one of our favorite restaurants in the Fan area of Richmond, Strawberry Street Cafe.  It's nice to visit places still around 20 years later.  
Then we tried a new spot . . . The Sugar Shack!  Oh my goodness.  The picture speaks for itself.  
The sun was in their face, and I told them they could look miserable for the picture.  Check.

So, it's time to be serious.  Remember those "not so fun things" I referenced above?  So this wasn't my typical trip home, even though we did some fun stuff and I got to see some friends.  I also spent time in the hospital waiting room.  

My mom met Ray Ray (that's what I call her husband) after my dad died, and they've been married 15 years this year.  My heart hurts because Ray Ray was recently diagnosed with cancer.  He's a good man, and I am thankful that he's been there for my mom all these years.  I don't call him my stepdad because I was in my 20's when they met, but I do love him so.  Please lift him up in prayer because he has a long hard battle ahead.  But if I've ever met a tough guy who will fight, it's him. He's got this.


  1. I absolutely love all the details of your trip to VA. It sounds like a lot of great family time, the work and the fun and then the not so fun counts too. Many good thoughts to Ray Ray and your mom and all of you guys.

  2. I LOVE mowing! We are freaks together! I get the best thinking done while riding on my mower. It's awesome!

    I'm sorry to hear about your step-dad - what kind of cancer does he have? I'll add him to my prayers, and your mom, too.

    That house looks amazing!!! Do they rent it out to Iowa bloggers? :)

  3. Oh, and IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME YOU BLOGGED!!! ha ha!

  4. oh i am so sorry to hear about your mom's husband. all my good thoughts to you and your family. i love cutting grass as well, so high five for freaks lol. i like the push one though, my MIL has a riding mower and i don't want to use it lol. yay for new phones - i don't know what i would do as a parent if all the other kids had phones that young. it's hard. i think i was in year 7 or 8 when i got my first one? it was a brick and i could barely send text messages but i thought it was the coolest. hope you are well :)