Tuesday, January 12, 2016

August 2015 Review

August was an intense month. I spent the bulk of the month with my nieces and nephews. Our family enjoyed some adventures in the west. I drove across the country from Wyoming to New York by myself with five of the six kids, which was nerve-wracking for me.

A Family Baptism

Brent's nephew, Toby, was baptized in Montana Brent and Walter's last day out west. Toby's baptism was really great. I played the piano for the service. Toby's older brother baptized him. It was nice to be together with Brent's family. He has great parents and really nice siblings. Even though we don't get to see them often, it is always a treat to spend time with them. The boys (all sizes) got into a huge nerf gun fight.

Later that day, we Brent and Walter to the airport. They both needed to get back to their jobs. I hate saying goodbye to Brent. I have a hard time being away from him. He mopes terribly and is sad the whole time I am away. Neither of us sleep well at all.

Also, the day before Brooke had thrown a small toy at me and it clocked me right in the chin. I had the worst bruise on my chin.

Caring for My Sister and Her Family

My parents flew to Kentucky to help my sister, Nicole, following her c-section delivery of Baby V. My sister, Lori, had a really tough delivery with baby Jack. Her husband was trying to get their family settled in a new town for his new job as a teacher. She was on strict orders to rest to recuperate from the very tough delivery. So I was on duty with 8 kids. My personal parenting/babysitting philosophy is to keep kids busy and active to prevent fighting and to keep my sanity. While my parents were gone, I took the kids to the park, to the Buffalo Bill Cody Dam, miniature golfing, to the drive-in in Powell, to a library picnic, and other fun activities. It worked and I kept the kids very busy and out of the way so my sister could rest.

Brooke Turns 9!

Brooke turned 9 in August. The meal she requested for her special birthday dinner was macaroni and cheese. She also loved her special cake. 

Grandpa's Horses

A big favorite when we visit Grandpa is riding horses and experiencing country life. My dad's horses are getting pretty old. He just can't bear to get rid of them. So they lead lives of comfort and hardly get ridden, which is as it should be for an old horse. While my folks were gone, Trent and Josef took care of the horses every morning and night,

Extended Family

I got to spend time with Aunt Betty and Uncle Joe. Aunt Betty is my Grandpa's sister. She is our family historian and has a treasure trove of stories and pictures. She is also one of my favorite people. She and Uncle Joe hired me for my first job when I was 14, cleaning hotel rooms at their small hotel and RV park. I was slow, but thorough and they liked that.

My Uncle Bud and cousin Jay drove from Rawlins to spend a couple of hours with me. I haven't seen my Uncle Bud in years. He is 92 years old and still manages to be peppy and active. During Bud's visit, I found out that he served in WWII in the army corp of Engineers. He landed on Omaha beach and marched across Europe, including a stop in Poland at Auschvitz. Even with his service, he just wanted to be home with his family and live in peace. My cousin Jay has been fighting cancer. He was also in the military. It was nice to see both of them.

I was also lucky to attend a reunion for the Melvin Christler family. Melvin was my Grandpa's brother. I met relatives I had never met before. I had a great time visiting with family and making new friends. One fun thing is that my cousin Sterling married an acquaintance from my high school. We had so much fun catching up. I also got to spend time with two of my Aunt Betty's children: Don and Dorie.

Yellowstone and Macks Inn

Fortunately, my visit west corresponded with my beloved friend, Laurel's bi-annual pilgrimage to Idaho. I brought Trent, Josef, Jonathan, Seth, and Winter. Brooke wanted to stay home with her cousin, Hallie. The park was beautiful. I love seeing the herds of buffalo.

After we got through the park, we stopped West Yellowstone for hot dogs and candy. The kids went crazy at the candy shop and I ended up dropping a wad of cash on a few pieces of candy.

We met the Dougall clan at the Earthquake Visitor Center. Seeing my friend and her family just made my day.

We drove back to her family cabin at Mack's Inn. We spent the afternoon floating down the river and catching up.

The Long Drive Home to New York

After a few more precious days with my parents, in-laws, sister, and nieces and nephews, I drove home with the five kids. It was hard. The kids were great, but driving long distances has never been my forte and I get sleepy. We hit some really awful weather across Illinois--so bad that I couldn't see the road at all.

We went through Kentucky to see my sister, Nicole, and her new baby. That was absolutely wonderful.

Romantic Getaway

We finally made it home and it was so nice! I love sleeping in my own bed. I love being with my husband at home. Brent arranged a wonderful getaway so we could reconnect. He found a gorgeous old hotel near the botanical gardens in New Jersey.

Summer's Last Hurrah

I squeezed in every bit of fun by going to the lake and ocean almost everyday.

Man, this might count as the post with the most pictures ever. What can I say? August was packed!


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