Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Playing with Permanent Markers

Ironically, wasn't one of my children! (Davida~ and it DEFINITELY WAS NOT Duncan in my car!) 
 That's right, IT WAS ME! (insert Jim Carrey's voice from Liar Liar) 

I am 32 years old. I have always been the rebellious child and the kid that pushed ALL the limits. I have 4 brothers. I'm the ONLY one who's ever broken a bone...well, technically my younger brother broke part of his tailbone area playing football, but I take that cake. My parents will tell you that I also did these bone breaking activities while they had no insurance and usually in an extreme attempt to get out of moving. I plead the 5th on that one, although it did come in handy to get out of packing and moving boxes. Lets not get off track too far here. 

By pushing the limits, I will admit that I'd go and get my ears pierced in the uncommon areas (according to my dad) and I usually sprung it on them when we were in public. I can't help it that my children will have no chance of getting away with things. I LOVE my piercings. I have had my ears done many times, my belly button several times (yeah that was short lived because pregnancy and belly rings = DISASTER. Plus, I believe you grow out of the navel.) I will also admit that I've had my tongue done a few times also. And then my last piercing was my nose, which I still have and alternate between studs and hoops...

What you may not know is that I'm TERRIFIED of needles. Absolutely terrified. I almost faint every time I have to have my blood drawn. The tears that are uncontrollable as I'm hooked up for an IV are just something that I now warn my prep nurses about. The last lady that came to draw blood for our life insurance policy actually forcefully told me to breathe while she filled the vile. You'd think that will all the needles I've encountered in my life I'd be completely fine with it!? IT'S RIDICULOUS. Which is why, when I decided to get my first tattoo, my husband just laughed at me. And guess what!? IT WAS AWESOME!?  

I won't say that I just came up with it on my own though. One of my best friends MADE me do it. LOL!!! Okay, fine, not really, but she definitely made it hard to say no...and then we decided that this was something we were going to do to celebrate this time in our lives. I'm so glad this is what we did. Nothing really says, "PERMANENT" like a tattoo. I've wanted to get a tattoo for a long time. There have been many times that I've almost done it, but chickened out....again, the needles part. I've been on the search for a good tattoo parlor anyway and since my hubby also has a thing for tattoos, I've been privy to many things I want to be aware of and stay away from. For one thing, I'm extremely sensitive to the feel of a place. I can tell right away the kind of people that dwell in a store or parlor. Since I've had so many piercings, I've seen some really creeeeeeeepy places. But this was a little different, and I needed to feel comfortable where we went. My friend and I were at Target and since the time was getting close and we needed to make a decision, we were scoping out art on everyone we saw. You can tell a lot about an artist by the lines and hey, I've been watching the last 2 seasons of Ink Master, so I'm pretty well versed! (LOL RIIIIIIIGHT) However, I've been paying attention and an artist that enjoys their work and is professional is important and it shows in their work on YOUR skin. I'd say, make sure you choose someone you have a connection with. Anyway, back to Target, because I'm here to tell you that Target always promises to deliver awesomeness. We were checking out and saw that this checker, Whitney, had a REALLY spectacular tattoo. The lines were so clean and it was a well done piece of art. So we asked her where she went and then her friend, who also works at Target, whipped up her sleeve and showed us yet another superb tattoo. I needed to meet this artist. So we were introduced to Blaine, at Deeds of the Flesh in Thorton. I called and immediately was able to joke with the lady who answered the phone because when we were given the name of the artist to check out, it looked like "BlainO" so that was hilarious. I was able to speak to Blaine and Rob and I went down to check it out. I was SO impressed. It was clean and open and everyone in there was professional, but so laid back and easy going. The owner is a woman name Tiff, and she and her hubby have owned the shop since 2007. Since I was a virgin in the tattoo world, they were really helpful and I HIGHLY recommend them. I'll be going back to Blaine for my next tattoo.
 Ugh, its true, once you get one, you want more. Blaine was HILARIOUS and really made my first experience an amazing one. 

So this is what I've got. Remember that every tattoo is EXTREMELY PERSONAL and mine definitely has a story.

"Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?" I said, 'Here I am. Send me.' " ~Isaiah 6:8

The last couple of years have been very spiritually intense for me. I have fought many battles and God has been asking me recently, "Are you willing to go? Will you OBEY me?" And its been TOUGH! For anyone to tell someone else where they should be in their spiritual walk with God or to judge them for doing or NOT doing what that person thinks the other person should be doing is outright ridiculous. NO ONE gets to tell ANYONE what they should or should not be doing in their spiritual walk because guess what, NOT YOUR BUSINESS. Walk in your own shoes because you only have two feet and clearly God gave you your own to walk with. Walk beside me and show me God's grace and speak God's truth in love~ meaning, you may tell me how God has created me in HIM and that because I'm one of Jesus' creations, I'm not bound by responding out of my fear or anger...its definitely NOT pointing out all the things you see wrong about me. That's NOT the truth in love, that's not speaking life, rather its speaking curses into my life and you do a lot of damage. In fact, you absolutely go against Jesus' very definition of being a light to the world. So I believe thats where the whole 'pull the log out of your own eye before you try to remove the speck out of mine' thing comes in here. This is something I come across often. A lot of people feel they are entitled to judge you because they wouldn't do whatever it is the way you've chosen to do it. It baffles me really, especially when it's people who call themselves 'Christians'. Where is grace to grow in the Lord at your own pace? Somehow God is alright with each of us and allows us to encounter Him WHERE WE ARE IN OUR WALK WITH HIM. Its people who seem to feel they need to express their opinion (uninvited I might add) or 'fix' things because apparently they need to involve themselves. I have to laugh now because I've had to learn to let it roll off my back. God knows my heart and He works with me through the issues that I have and is not concerned that I'll never recover, contrary to what anyone else thinks. We all have issues and the Lord deals with ALL of us in His time because we are all different. Ah, the Love of a Father who truly is in control of all things.

SO when I was having my quiet time I was lead to this verse in Isaiah...and again I heard the Lord ask me, "Are you willing to obey me...Will you go where I send you?" And BAM. I ran and got my concordance with the Hebrew conversion and found the exact translation for this verse. In that moment my soul connected with this idea..."SEND ME."

I will go and this was something I could NOT forget and I knew I'd always need that reminder of making that commitment to the Lord's calling...


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thankfulness...from a New Perspective

I have to come to realize why Thanksgiving may be my new favorite holiday. And NO, it has NEVER been in the past. I will honestly admit: I hate turkey. I will admit: I HATE cranberry sauce. I also used to HATE it because it meant having to make every extended family member happy and if there wasn't equal time spent with whoever then it meant complete the point of never wanting to celebrate (if that was even what you'd call it) another holiday again. Just unbearable. At the dinner table (once we actually made it there ALL together and ALIVE ~I will devulge in a moment), my dad expressed something that was said in his office earlier that week. "He said his favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because it means that there's no stress of getting gifts, no money issues, no commercialism...just the pure enjoyment of friend's and family's presence." It stopped me in that moment while I looked around the table at my 4 beautiful children and my husband sitting next to me, my brother making a joke at the end of the table and my parents joy-filled faces, WOW...that is so true. There's nothing to commercialize. The only thing thats really on tv is trying to get someone to buy a turkey...which is dumb. Thanksgiving usually means the onslaught of continuous Christmas commercials and society parading Christmas gifts like getting a 75" tv is going to mean all your dreams come true...its disgusting really. It's offensive. 'Be a good parent, get your kid everything they want...' because we don't have enough self centered children out there anyway. I will refrain from saying exactly what I think about all that...but it makes me sick.

SO back to Thanksgiving. Let me tell you why I was thankful...

This year we chose to have it at my parents house. They live in a very nice, up-scale neighborhood west of Denver. There are young families all over and its not uncommon to see kids riding alone or playing all over the streets and small parks sprinkled throughout. The only thing that is a concern of mine is that its not that far from a few MAJOR roads. We got to my parents' house around noon and I began cooking right away because I had several things that needed to be baked and that meant I'm on the clear other side of the house and not really around windows to watch where my kids are playing. Since my parents have lived here for more than 10 years, we know the neighbors and all their kids and my kids know that they aren't allowed to leave the culdesac area. I remember looking out the window and seeing Duncan race off on his bike and thinking, 'I hope he watches out for any cars.' About 2 hrs later I heard my mom tell the girls to go get Duncan so we can eat...and I heard "we haven't seen Duncan." While this isn't uncommon to hear...this time it sent a surge through me...something was wrong. He hadn't been in to get water or a snack and he hasn't eaten since breakfast because we eat in the middle of the day for Thanksgiving...then I heard Rob get up and get the keys.

OH CRAP. I grabbed the multi-colored handtowel to wipe off my hands and I ran outside to the front yard...I watched my dad go to the neighbors across the park and I saw my brother take off on his bike and heard Rob speed off in our car...PANIC SET IN. WHERE IS I ran to all the neighbors that I knew had boys Duncan's age...the worst words ever uttered fell from my mouth in sheer terror, "HAVE YOU SEEN MY SON!?" Oh my dear God...I'm unable to hold back the tears now and I'm running down the street, screaming for my son. A mom leaving their home saw me and came to screeching halt in their SUV, "Are you okay!? Whats going on?"   "Its my son, Duncan, have you seen him?" She had not and nor had her older son, but they had joined forces with us and sped off to drive down streets, looking for a little 6yr old boy with black glasses, a green shirt in jeans, riding a red bike. Where could he have gone? Surely he can hear my shrill voice SCREAMING his name...?! (everyone else can, otherwise they wouldn't be coming out of their homes...right?) My parents live kind of in the middle of the development...but I SPRINTED, in my 4 inch knee-high boots to a park probably a 1/4 mile away. I saw a large group of people and began screaming at them, begging them to say that they had seen my son. Apparently, this group had some South African's visiting because the one guy kept telling me to calm down. I almost punched him in the throat. A woman with a cell phone ran up to me and told me to talk to 911...I completely lost it at that point. I think I was hyperventilating because I was light headed, out of breath, and could barely talk. There were so many thoughts running through my head. Where was he? Was he taken? Was he safe? Was he hurt? Who would do this on Thanksgiving? What kind of sicko has my child? Will I ever see him again? What will happen to my son? OH MY GOD...I'm married to a cop...I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO CHILDREN THAT ARE ABDUCTED!?!?!? Why hasn't anyone seen him!? PLEASE GOD, NOT MY BABY!!!

The dispatch was PHENOMENAL. She kept asking me questions...the same questions I think, because it kept me thinking past my own horrific fears and on the facts of the present. What was he wearing? What does he look like? Does he have any allergies? Where do I think he may have gone? Don't worry, 6 officers are on their way to you right now. It was horrifying because I honestly had not seen my son in 2 hours...what kind of a parent can say that?! I always know where my kids are and I'm basically an overbearing parent at times because I'm anal about knowing who they are with and where they are...yikes, now my children are screwed because I'm completely paranoid after 20minutes! LOL My husband saw me off one of the main roads and stopped in the middle of the busy road to run to where I was and thats when I realized how scared HE WAS...that intensified my hysteria. My husband does NOT show emotion really...never in public. His sunglasses were down and he was wiping his face...and then I hear dispatch tell me to breathe also and thats when my brother rode up on his bike, "Robyn!!!! DAD FOUND HIM!!"   "OH MY GOD, ARE YOU SURE!??!?!?!"  "YES~ I WATCHED HIM LOAD UP THE BIKE!" I'm not sure if I said anything except, "HE WAS FOUND! Oh my God, my dad found him!!!!" And I remember handing or throwing or maybe even tossing the cell phone to someone and running out into traffic to my own car. (To the woman who called 911 for me, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for not telling me to calm down, but rubbing a complete stranger's back and arm and trying to show some sort of comfort in a situation such as this. Thank you for being apart of my nightmare, understanding that a hysterical mother doesn't need to be told to calm down, rather standing with me as I pace and sob that my child is missing and I can't do anything about it. If you ever see this: I will not forget your kindness and I pray that God blesses you richly.) Rob grabbed my shirt to hold me back from getting hit...and as we jumped into the car I shook with sobs of relief and gratitude that God had spared my son from a lifetime of hell or a certain death. My husband held me and we sobbed together that we would see our son, safely, in just moments.

 I didn't even wait for the car to stop, I just dove out of the car as we pulled up in the driveway. I ran through the front door to see my son, looking rather pathetic and terrified that he was about to receive the largest spanken of his life! I went to my knees before him, grabbed him and held on. I couldn't even say words because I was sobbing. I just know that he heard, "DON'T YOU EVER DO THAT AGAIN. YOU SCARED MOMMY TOO DEATH. DON'T YOU EVER DO THIS AGAIN." My parents had to leave the room because mom can't handle seeing anyone bawl and when Rob started to left the room a complete puddle. A spanken wasn't even necessary because the sheer magnitude of the realization of his actions had enough of an impact on Duncan. And hearing that his bike was going to be put up until he earned trust back...thats a huge chore there.

Now you can understand why this year 'Thanksgiving' had new meaning...I think so often we forget to stop and thank God for the blessings we have. Especially our children. As a stay at home and homeschooling mom, I'm with my children CONSTANTLY...and there are times that I beg God for a short break from my kids. But this was literally the WORST feeling in the world. DISASTER. I pray for mothers and fathers who don't get the reunion they beg for with their lost children. It definitely changes ones perspective after a situation like this...and it will be something I will be thankful for because it reminds me that every day is a gift.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth....Most of the Time....(Part 2)

So after our awesome meeting with Jerry and Debbie, we piled back into the RV for the last leg of the drive. Since we had stopped in Gainesville, Joshua's birthplace, Orlando was just another 2-3 hours away!!! It was a WONDERFUL thought because it had been a VERY full 2 days of driving. I love my children and my parents, but I was ready to get OUT of the RV. The coolest part is that we were staying IN Disney camping there. It was the best idea ever. It was called Camp Wilderness and I would absolutely do it again because we had our own space, as in our own private area and our own large camping spot. Which, if you know our family, 'camping' with the Fyocks means going 20 MILES back into the bush and setting up tents, having a camp fire not only for warmth, but to boil our water and cook our food. Yes, I'm very serious. The one and ONLY time we've ever camped any other way was when we went to Sterling Reservoir and basically encountered a flood of sorts. It wasn't leaving a good taste in our mouthes. LOL So going to Camp Wilderness was pretty awesome!

 It was quite comical watching my dad and husband park this ginormous RV. And because every KOA we stayed at on our way down to FL happened to have a pull through option, backing this big boy into our camp spot in Camp Wilderness was slightly overwhelming. Mom and I grabbed all the kids and headed to the back of the RV where we would be safe from any language or seeing what was actually happening. But because my dad and hubby are rockstar RV parking masters, it shouldn't be any wonder that they got it backed in without a hiccup!

As soon as the kids were allowed to go out and scope the campsite, they immediately ran for the little swampy area. Because I am not afraid of poisonous bugs or alligators in Camp Wilderness, I was okay just letting them scatter to the 4 winds. Just kidding, I was hyperventilating. And in my mind I knew that surely Disney would properly maintain their property for children-eating animals, however my mother instinct had to relax and drink a little bit. LOL And truth be told, THERE WASN'T A SINGLE MOSQUITO!!! Talk about complete service!!! Yes, even where the girls are standing, not an alligator nor a mosquito. I was shocked and pleasantly relieved.

Josh was not to be left out. He immediately enlisted Grandma's help to scout out the area.  It was just after dinner when we got there, so we ate a late dinner and decided to relax, put on a Disney flick and chill so we could get up bright and early to experience ALL the Disney Magic the next day.

 And off we went! Now, let me back track a second here. We have NEVER been to a Disney park as a family nor in the last decade of the latest and greatest technology. We only just upgraded to the iPhone in March...yes, leave me alone, I had my reasons. So at this point we were only walking into Disney World Magic Kingdom armed with a map and an idea. NO BUENO. You don't even understand the sheer magnitude of people we were about to encounter (its SPRING BREAK) and the glaring issue that we had NO idea what the hell we were doing.

If any of you know my mom, she's a machine when she gets an idea into her thick skull. I love her, but since these were the children I actually gave birth to and quite frankly, they hadn't paid for themselves yet, regarding the blood, sweat, and tears I have poured into them, I was FREAKING OUT that I'd lose one of them in the crowd. Yeah, my mom waits for no one when she's on a mission, man. LOL She's completely unconcerned that we don't know where we are going, by God, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SOME FUN! Holy Disaster. Okay, so those of you who have been to Disney can attest to this: time is EVERYTHING. The time you wait, the time it takes to walk from one ride to another, the time the Disney Princess is taking pictures, the time that Mickey will be in whatever place, TIME TIME TIME. Oh my goodness. I am aware of the crap, its lunch TIME and I have to figure out something to feed my kids, or Yay! Its nap TIME. This Disney time was SO NOT anything I was even mentally prepared for...nor were my kids and because we wanted to have fun, my children were willingly dragged along by was only a 1/2 hour into it and I was on the verge of tears. I cannot handle not having a plan. I have 4 small children, life doesn't go anywhere without even a sketched out walmart...It was too much for me to even wrap my mind around and I'm the adult! Let me also say that on our first day there were over 20,000 people in Magic Kingdom. Nono, you read that right...20 THOUSAND. It was completely imagine that maybe 15,000 of them are all racing, with my mom, to Splash Mountain. Apparently Splash Mountain was overwhelmed because it broke after my parents and kids had been waiting in line for 30 minutes. RIDICULOUS. It was at that point that we realized how unprepared we were because we kept seeing signs for 'Fast Pass' and then blinking back tears when it would let us know that there was a 95minute wait. It was then that God showed us mercy and a dad that we had seen earlier that morning on the ferry, as we crossed the lake to Magic Kingdom from Camp Wilderness, saw me in distress. He came over and asked how it was going and I'm pretty sure it was a rhetorical because he then asked if I had an iPhone...which I limply handed to him. He laughed as he told me to quickly download the Disney App and it'd tell me the times of the rides, what the wait was, when fast pass (when you get to go to the FRONT of the line: BEAUTIFUL) was available, and you can even see where the different Disney celebs were going to be where and what time! I would have hugged him, but it would have been weird for anyone around. Word of advice: GET THE DISNEY APP FAST!!!! After my parents located us, in the midst of the mass exodus from Splash Mountain, Rob and I had made a plan and explained the time stuff and the fast pass. My breathing was returning to normal without the oxygen mask and I unhooked the valium IV.

When I was a kid, I got to go to Disney Land 2 times with my childhood best friend. I won't post a picture and reveal my shame, of wearing a NEON PINK fanny pack, BRIGHT spandex shorts...and bangs. Ohhh...the humiliation. LOL Anyway, I have been sucked into the idea that we've been robbing our children, somehow, by not taking them to one of these Disney parks. Our big kids are definitely at the ages that they would have a GREAT time, and even though Josh was only 15months, he's easily worn in the Ergo or pushed in the stroller. (and when I say 'worn' I really do mean 'worn'. Observe pix of Rob and Josh. Side note: I DIE laughing every time Rob wears Josh because all you can see from looking at Rob from the front is little black arms and legs sticking out like Rob is morphing into a bug of some sort. And when Josh laughs and gets excited, therefore flailing his arms and legs and feet, it just makes it all the more hilarious.)

And off we went to check out all the rides and embrace the Disney App and all of its MIRACLES.

 Swiss Family Robinson!

 Isannah's not so sure about this ride.

Even though it was only April, and here in CO that means the weather is often still chilly and unpredictable, in FL its absolutely beautiful. It was actually HOT.
My kids had SUCH a great time. Normally I'm not into the splashpark in a massively used area...such as this...but if Disney can ensure that mosquitoes aren't apart of the experience, then I am betting they are clean and I don't have to worry about ringworm. Thats my thought too, nothing kills fun faster than the thought of ringworm. LOL
Duncan is definitely my son...he keeps his shoes on. Natty is more daring...and it paid off this time!

One of my dearest friends is a Disney ADDICT. She has taken her 3 kids BY HERSELF to Disney many times. I don't think theres enough alcohol in the state of FL to convince me to even CONSIDER doing this by myself. A month before we left, I was talking with her and she was giving all of this wonderful and applicable information. is what she handed me...she had told me about making the plan, which was completely forgotten in the craziness of just getting to Disney. Another nugget she gave me was to stop in the middle of the day, between 1-3pm and go back to our RV and take a nap, eat, rest, and make another plan for the evening. This was the BEST piece of advice ever. Sadly, this nugget, along with the plan nugget, was set aside. Thinking we had paid all this money and to stop would be wasting something. WRONG. We were in Magic Kingdom until 3pm and my children...ALL 4 of them, HIT.THE.WALL. My oldest even had a meltdown. I looked at Rob, who was also having a meltdown and said, "Alright, we are going to go to the RV and nap." This spurred on another massive fit, but the adults grabbed one child each and we trudged back. We made it back to the RV, ate a solid meal, wiped off everyones faces, and we ALL laid down. We all slept for 3 HOURS. Obviously, we were exhausted and it was only the first day!!!! When we got up and had a light dinner, we made a vow that the next day's itinerary would absolutely include a nap at 1pm. So we cleaned up dinner and made our new plan for an evening out. Unfortunately, about 30minutes before we packed up to head out, Isannah became sick. Earlier she had gotten dehydrated and now she was showing signs of heat exhaustion. Josh was ready to go to bed too and so Grandma and Grandpa decided that they'd keep #2 and #4 children (yes, we actually call them by numbers sometimes to avoid little ears perking up to adult plans) and Rob and I'd take the other 2. It was beginning to sprinkle, but we headed out anyway, planning on a fun night! POURED. And because Disney is ON THE BALL...they were selling plastic ponchos and umbrellas everywhere. So we bought kids ones for $8 each! Ugh, like buying candy at the movie theater!

It was really strange just having two kids with us. It was a great evening with Natty and Duncan. I think sometimes it's healthy to split them up and take different kids to different activities. The idea that they have their own time with us is important.

 Around 10pm, we decided that was probably enough for one day and headed back to the RV. Disney has a way of really making each day and night special. The firework display is absolutely breath taking. So as we crossed the lake to Camp Wilderness, we enjoyed the spectacular view.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth...MOST of the time...(PART 1)

We finally had our very first family vacation. IT.WAS.AWESOME!!! 
Around Christmas of 2012, my mom and I began talking about vacations. Its kinda funny that we had both thought Disney World would be a great destination because Rob and my dad aren't exactly 'fans' of Disney. I won't even divulge in that conversation, but suffice it to say, every time a Disney commercial would come on and our older children would beg to go there, Rob would become more like the Grinch...with the heart size being 4 times too small or whatever.  However, with a little coaxing, my mom and I won the men over and we decided around Christmas that we'd plan for a Disney extravaganza over spring break.
This is the 'Rolling Terd' that we chose as our source of transportation!
When we began looking into transportation, the sheer cost of airfare was enough to choke yah. RIDICULOUS. I think it would have been over $8000 just to fly all of us to Disney World. And, because I'm WAY too cheap, this was absolutely unacceptable. We'd have to figure out another way. An RV is what my dad started looking into and we eventually decided on because it was the most economical and really, who wouldn't want to drive 2000 miles with 4 small children and 4 adults? LOL

 Ironically, it was really comfortable! And because there was enough room to spread out, we all were able to rest when we needed to. It really did have almost all the comforts of home and we didn't have to stop for potty breaks.

Our trip began in Denver, CO and we were going to hit as many states as we could so that I could use it for educational purposes. Really, homeschooling in this kind of environment was so fun. And my children got to SEE the states we were learning about and I feel like that made the state's history and facts so much more interesting because my kids could tangibly relate to what they were reading and learning.

Our first day driving was through Colorado, Kansas, and our destination was Lees Summit, MO. We've made this trip several times in the last year, so our kids were fairly up to date on facts in these two states.

We made it to our first stop was in Lees Summit, MO to visit family and to spend Easter there. It was literally the BEST Easter ever. Our kids got to see their cousins and hunt for eggs. We ALL LOVE going to KC and we are all loved so completely that it makes it hard to leave!!!

SO we started off with a quick dinner and then a glow in the dark egg hunt!!!

They had SO much fun. I think the adults were having just as much fun as the kids.

Unfortunately, we had to leave fairly early the next morning to begin the long trek down to Florida.

Josh was COMPLETELY done with all the excitement and opted out of the egg hunt.

Hollie and Greg were given 'Gwynevere' for baby Ava
We were pretty sad that we didn't get to meet baby Ava this trip down.
Our second day driving we went through the rest of Missouri, then we hit the tip of Illinois, through a little bit of Kentucky, and over to Tennessee. We stopped briefly to let the kids get out and run around a little. Even though the RV had a fair amount of space, we still needed some fresh air and a bit of a break from the closer quarters. I think when people saw us start piling out of the RV it was almost comical because we just kept coming out. Our main objective was just to get to Florida as soon as we could. We made it to the KOA in Georgia that night. It was interesting to figure out the easiest sleeping arrangements with 4 little kids. Josh still uses a pack~n~play, so he was probably the easiest. But Rob and I were to sleep on the pullout couch...until we realized that the bar that is supposed to support the mattress really only served as an annoying and horribly uncomfortable metal bar in the middle of our backs with a sagging mattress at our head and feet. I can laugh now, but I was worried for a few minutes there. We ended up putting it on the floor and the kids kind of slept around us...?

We got up bright and early again the 3rd morning, super excited to get on the road and get to our first stop in Gainesville, FL! We were able to meet up with Jerry and Debbie, our agency director and wife. If you have followed me for awhile, then you would have seen them here, on January 9th, 2012. I have updated pictures of all of us coming soon! It was a wonderful visit...the kind that end way too soon and never often enough. Because Gainesville is still a ways from Orlando and we had to be checked in at a certain time, we couldn't stay as long as we would have liked to. (I'll get those pix up as soon as I get them! :) )

(To Be Continued......)