August 11, 2010


Last night when we got into the hotel Ethan really wanted to snuggle me again he said "I won't lay on top of you tonight, I will only lay next to you". My mom got Mason to sleep and then went into her room. A few minutes later Mason woke up and started playing. For over 1 hour Clint and I fought with that boy trying to get him to sleep. He actually became so worked up that he threw up all over himself, so he got another bath. He was content as long we wanted to play with him, but once we laid him in the bed he started crying. My mom knocked on our door and called/texted my cell phone (the ringer was off so the boys could sleep) and we finally heard her. She took Mason into her room. He gave her a dirty look, crawled up onto her bed and went to sleep. Little stinker.

Ethan was glad because he then got to snuggle me all by himself. During the night I woke up to cover him back up and his head was in the pillowcase. Not sure what he was doing, but I'm glad I woke up!

This morning we left Iowa and went into South Dakota. I had cruise set at 75 and thought it was interesting that I was passing everyone. I usually go the speed limit or just a little over so I may pass a few people, but not EVERYONE. I was also passing bikers left and right going to Sturgis. I was definitely the winner....that is until I saw blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. The very nice police officer informed me that going down the hill I was doing 86 (holy heck) and that when he was behind me I was doing a steady 83. I was very shocked and said I am sure that I had my cruise set at 75. He then asked me to step out of the vehicle and come back to his police car. This must be standard practice because this it what they had Clint do when he got a speeding ticket it South Dakota. On the way back to his vehicle he made a comment about our tires and I told them we just got them right before our trip. He asked if they were larger (yes) and if we had the speedometer re-calibrated (no). I then found out that going up a tire size will put your speedometer off about 7 mph. So when he clocked me at 83 I really did have my cruise set to 75 and the reason that I was passing everyone was that I was really flying! He let me off with a warning! Yay!

We then finally made it Rapid City we decided to have an early dinner at a place that had pizza, arcade games and lazer tag. We ate dinner, played some games then my mom kept Mason entertained while the rest of us played lazer tag (I did offer for her to play). Noah and I were red and Jacob, Clint and Ethan were green (of course because Ethan is the Hulk). We were the only ones playing and we had SO much fun! Ethan and Jacob just followed me around and shot me. I couldn't get away from them. I'm not sure how but Noah and I did come out victorious! Yay Red!

As we got closer to Sturgis the traffic became very bad at times completely stopped. We could see flames on the road ahead of us so we patiently waited. During our waiting we enjoyed people watching. There were some VERY interesting folks headed to sturgis! Many of them were all decked out for a night on the town. When we finally got to the accident we saw that a semi tuck was completely incinerated. We pray that the driver made it out safely! There is nothing left of the cab of his truck or the trailer. Very scary.

Since we are hundreds of miles behind where we planned to be today we tried to find a hotel as the afternoon went on. Due to Sturgis being in full swing we are driving to Sheridan. If hotels before Sheridan had any openings they were charging $500 a night (and it was a dive). We are still driving and have about 30 more miles to go but at least tomorrow we only have another 20 miles until we get into Montana!

August 10, 2010

It's all fun and games until someone gets poked in the eye with a straw

First I would like to start off by saying Ethan's eye is doing wonderfully. 1 hour after I rinsed the heck out of it (18 minutes and 18 hours worth according to Ethan) it was only slightly red. Once we got into the hotel Ethan really wanted to sleep with me so we could snuggle. He is always a great snuggler but last night he was more of a smotherer. I'm sure he needed some mama time!

This morning we were driving into St Joesph, Missouri and saw the signs for the Chief's training camp. We decided to try to see if we could see anything. Once we got to the University where they had training camp we found out they were taking a long lunch break due to the extreme heat. We then decided to find an Olive Garden for lunch. My mom has this handy GPS feature on her phone, it first finds where she is at (sometimes she needs help with this) and then she can pick where se wants directions too. This really has been a valuable too and I am convinced we may need GPS for in the Excursion We followed her directions and she said "make a U turn". When then drove a very long way and realized it was the wrong way and headed back the other direction. While driving (for a really long ways) up and down this road I was able to look at a lot of bilboards and stores we were passing. (This new knowledge becomes very valuable as the story unfolds). We then see where we made our u-turn and just a little ways up from that was the Olive Garden we searched so hard for.

We got right in and seated. Mason sat with me for a few minutes and we ordered drinks. He then decided to sit with Clint. He is a very determined boy and wanted to open his straw himself. Clint was leaning forward and Mason jabbed him right in the eye with the straw. Clint had immedate shooting pain in his eye, was barely able to open in and once I was able to see in it he had a very large streak of blood in it. He was adamant that he was okay so we ordered lunch and began eating. I was not loving the way his eye looked so I borrowed a phone book and searched for an eye doctor close by. I recognized an office by their whitty billboard that had a large pair of glasses on a person's face and said "do these glasses make my cheeks look big". I also recognized the address from our early tour of the city. I called and they were able to get us in but they wanted us there "right now".

We quickly paid our bill and loaded all of our hooligans in the Excursion and instructed them to be quite "cuz mama has to drive the beast". They were very good and I was able to get us there unharmed and even did a decent job of parking. My poor mom entertained the kids at random stores in the shopping complex while I filled out paperwork etc. When we finally got in we found out that Clint was very lucky because although it looked bad the cut was not in his central line of vision. He got a perscription for antibiotic drops and lubricating eye gel. The opthamalogist then gave me instructions on how to put in the drops and then our converstaion went like this:

Him: I'm writing this for bedtime and prn that means as needed. Now you get to play his nurse tonight.
Me: I am a nurse :)
Him: Yes you will get to play one (Very serious)
Me: No really I am a nurse.

Clint also recieved instructions on no driving for 24 hours.

Until today i have only driven the "new" Excursion one official time and a few times of pulling forward a tiny bit to get the camper hooked up/unhooked. What an adventure this was going to be! Yay for me! We were hoping to make it Mitchell SD, but we made it to the edge of Iowa. We didn't make it as many miles as we wanted, but I safely navigated us through lots of traffic and construction sites in our big beast of an Excursion. Yay!

August 9, 2010

It's all fun and games until someone gets glow stick juice in the eye

Last night we stayed in Tennessee. This morning we were driving through Nashville and I said that "it sure would be fun to see the Grand Ole Opry sometime" a few minutes later we saw the sign for the exit. Clint suggested that we make a quick detour and drive by it. Due to the huge flooding that part of Nashville is completely closed. We were only able to drive behind it on the interstate. We then thought about going to the wax museum but this too was closed due to the flooding. We finally settled on mini golf and the arcade games.

I warned the kids that I would win and I did. I also won 206 tickets on a game. It was the one that the light goes around in the circle and you push the button when it is front of you trying to get it to stop on the jackpot circle. I usually get it to stop immediately to the left or right, but today I got it to stop right in front! Yay! I am hoping my winning streak will carry over for a few days so I bought a powerball ticket. (Hopefully the winning ticket!)

The rest of the day has consisted of a lot of driving. We left Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois and will be stopping in a little bit in the middle of Missouri for the night. We should actually be there was all fun and games until Ethan got glow stick juice in his eye.

I bought a ton of glow-sticks for the trip. They are fun to play with in the evening when we are trying to make it the last few (100) miles to our hotel. I have a ton of the small ones but I also bought a couple of really fun ones. These ones were really thick wands with bumble bee tops. Not only were they thicker but they are longer than the traditional sticks (containing more glow juice). Ethan was trying to bend his into a bracelet like he does with the small ones and it busted. He got glow stick juice in his eyes, on his face and on his arm. We were driving down the interstate in Missouri and there was quite a bit of traffic. My mom was sitting in the middle section and began squirting water on him. Clint swerved through traffic and stopped on the shoulder of the road. We got him out and I squirted 2 large bottles in his eyes. We got him back in the car and I called poison control even though the back of the box says they are non-toxic and will not do damage if you get them in the eye. It also says they are made in China. The man at poison control confirmed that they were toxic and that I needed to immediately rinse his eyes for 15 minutes with water. We were lucky to be right near an exit so I could rinse his eyes. I then had to pin him to the counter by laying on top of him and dumping water in his eyes while I pried them open and he was screaming and pulling at my shirt. 5 women came into use this bathroom during this time and just stared at me. 1 of them was very helpful and tried to calm him down and then offered her ex-emt skills. One man leaving the men's restroom commented on the child who was screaming and ruining the store for everyone. Thank goodness Clint didn't throttle him and just informed him that the screaming child was his poor son with glow-stick juice in the eye.

His eyes are red but no longer painful. I am no longer blurry or "fuzzy looking". The poison control man called back and said the redness should be better in about 1 hour and if it isn't I should find an ER. Hopefully tomorrow I will only be blogging about the rest of Missouri, Iowa and getting into South Dakota and I don't have to write about the ER!

August 8, 2010

Family, the Beach, and heading home

A lot has happened in the last few days. On Tuesday we picked Jenny and Jude up from the airport and drove them to Lake Park, Georgia. There we had a delicious dinner (my favorite was the homemade mac-n-cheese) that Grandma Jean and Clint's parents made for us. The next morning we woke up and drove to Pavo to Clint's Papa's place. It was fun to show Jude (Jenny has already been there) where Clint grew up and take him around. We had 2 delicious meals and were able to visit lots of family. It was fun seeing everyone. We also fished a little, saw the Oak Tree in Thomasville (I will post pics later). We also took some fun family pictures (also will be posted later).

Friday we got a rental car. I LOVED that car. I will now be counting down the years until a few of these kids move out so I can downsize. We drove to Okefenokee Swamp and took a swamp boat ride. There were lots of gators and some snakes. I thought my mom was going to jump ship when the tour guide said "it's a hot day. Snakes like to go up in the trees to sun themselves so if a snake falls off the tree and into the boat don't hog it to yourself, pass him around so everyone can enjoy him". After that she kept making weird noises. It was incredibly hot in the swamp. After the boat tour we went to the snake and gator nature show. We were the only people in there so we all got to touch the snakes (except for my mom) and Noah, Jake, and Ethan all got a little gator sit on their neck/shoulder and Jenny and I got a little gator necklace. Our ticket also included at 45 minute train ride but we decided to head to the beach to cool off.

We drove to Jacksonville beach and stayed at the same hotel that we stayed at before. It was great to be right on the beach. It was fun to boogie board, look for sea shells and just have a relaxing time on the beach. On Saturday Noah, Clint and Jude went on a chartered fishing excursion. They went out about 10 miles and fished. Clint caught 14, Jude 13, Noah 3. Noah would have had 4 and it would have been by far the biggest catch of the day. It was a huge amber jack fish. Clint had to hold the rod for him and he did everything he could to reel it in, but the hook straightened out and he came off. Big bummer. Noah was very excited when they got home. Later telling me "we all thought it was well worth the money".

Today I took Jenny and Jude to the airport then got back and took a little nap before we hit the road. We dropped off the rental car even thought Ethan really wanted to keep the "limo" as he called it. It was a white Chevy Impala not quite the limo he kept calling it. We are now officially out of Georgia and in Tennessee and on our way home.

The big bummer about today was I looked at our bank account and $1,106.85 was taken out for some swimsuit website. That is a lot of swimsuits. It is going to take 3-5 business days for the money to be credited back to our account. Big bummer!

August 3, 2010

Jacksonville Beach

We had a great weekend at the beach. Here are a few of the pictures from our weekend. There were literally thousands to choose from! I was only able to upload a few because looking through them while the car is moving made me a little motion sick! I am able to blog right now by looking out the window in front of me and type (hopefully I don't have too many typos).

Ethan and Grandma enjoying the waves. Ethan liked to go out really deep. He kept saying "only a little bit further". The water would be too your chest and you had to told him up. He loved the waves crashing into him.

Jacob didn't like going as far out, but he loved the boogie board. He was really good!

Poor Papa and Grandma are going to be exhausted when we leave!

Noah also loved going on the boogie board. I enjoyed going out with him "to the third wave" as he called it. Then he would nod and say "yeah this one is ours". It was a lot of fun. The last day at the beach he made friends. He will tell you he had 2 friends (a boy and girl-13 year old twins). They were small for their age, just a little shorter than Noah (9 1/2). I would say he only had 1 friend. 90% of the time he was only playing with the little girl -Shelby. Her brother was off doing other things. He really wanted to go up to their room ( He had a really good day with them but he got VERY sunburned. The poor boy has never been sunburned so he made sure to really burn himself. We diligently applied sunblock, but I was a bad mama and I didn't have him wear a shirt. His little brothers all wore their swim shirt, but like I said he never burns. I feel terrible!

We were sure that Mason would love the beach. We thought he would tot along the beach, pick up seashells and think the waves were fun. This was not the case at the beginning. It took him awhile to warm up to the idea of the beach but he finally would sit in someone's lap and play in the water.

We had some great meals as well. We went to Joe's Crab Shack, a Japanese Steak House, and a nice Seafood Restaurant on the water.
At the Japanese steakhouse Mason sat still for the first time at a Restaurant. He loved the Chef cooking in front of. Noah was able to catch a piece of broccoli in his mouth. Jacob and Ethan tried but the chef missed their mouth. The chef also tricked Noah by pretending to fumble a bottle and then accidentally squeeze it. Noah thought he was going to get some sort of sauce on him, but it was a trick bottle.
It was a fun weekend! Today we are waiting to pick up my sister Jenny and her husband Jude from the airport. We then have some busy days in Georgia, going to the swamp then back to the beach! I love vacation!