Saturday, June 30, 2007

Trekking across Tennessee

Big Trip 2... Day 2... June 30, 2007

0718 Awake.

0839 Ron is full of it this morning... tried to shut my head in the automatic sliding door but I'm too fast for him.

0840 Loaded and ready.

0844 GPS is started... we're on the way!

0851 Radio check... God and Guns. We must be in the South.

0853 Crunch, crunch. Oh look - Felisa is eating potato chips for breakfast. Guess that's what vacations are for.

0924 Tennessee is very scenic (at least so far). Lots of trees like VA but with mountains! The map is showing a lot of lakes and rivers too. Maybe we should come back again some time!

0945 Ron asks me "Is it movie time yet?" Guess he doesn't like no-movies-first-hour rule!

0953 Kids are watching Night At The Museum and the museum curator says "Control your young". Glad to see I'm not the only one who ever says "Stop that. Come here. Quit doing that."

1104 Going in circles searching for a place to park at the state capitol building in Nashville.

1113 - We are at the Capitol Park - this is pretty cool. There is a fountain and a big map of TN on the sidewalk. Ron says Ryan beat him up the hill to the Capitol building. The girls and I were dipping our feet in the fountain.

1154 Looking for the highway

1109 My cell phone says it is 1109 so I guess we have crossed the time zone line already somewhere along the way. I like gaining an hour on the road but don't like having to give it back on the way home.

1115 JACK IN THE BOX!!! Woo Hoo!

1134 Finally, after 3 tries, we have found a gas pump that works and we're back on the road. 187 miles to go.

1144 Drip ketchup on my shirt. I thought it was the Carls Jr. commercials where the burger drips all over you, not the Jack in the Box commercials. I'm a mess.

1152 I think this seatbelt is rubbing a hole in my neck. Ouch!

1153 Argue with Felisa over whether or not she is done and who is going to hold the chicken nugget. She keeps giving it to me but then says she isn't done. I tell her that if she isn't done eating then she needs to hold it herself.

1157 My turn to drive.

2:20 p.m. Memphis...

2:30 p.m. Arrive at Ruthlings house. Have a mini discussion about cost of living in different areas. Melissa's cell phone has been lost since a sudden stop along the highway. We both looked but couldn't find it. Ron went out to search and found it in the tissue box. Of course. Don't know why we didn't look for it in there?!

Spend the afternoon relaxing on the back porch, catching up, and watching the rain. The kids were supposed to go swimming but end up playing upstairs instead. Ryan managed to get a good 2 hours on the playstation with Logan. That's why we don't have one - I'd never be able to get him away from it. Got a text message from Shani - the airlines lost all their luggage. Bummer! Makes me want to not fly especially now that Elena's family's luggage was lost AND Shani's. I have bad enough luck that mine would definitely get lost!

Rain finally stops so the kids get an evening swim before bed. They are loving the backyard pool!

And we're off...

Big Trip 2.... Day 1... June 29, 2007

1:31 p.m. Leave home. Not bad- we were aiming for a 1 p.m. departure. I was teaching Bible School all week so didn't even get back until 12:20. Unloaded VBS stuff from the red car while Ron was loading vacation stuff into the van. Melissa came down at 12:45 and Grandma D. was here to say goodbye as well. A good send-off.

1:43 p.m. McD's and gas... we're all starving after a busy morning at work and packing. Besides, every trip starts with food. Last year it was Starbucks.

1:54 p.m. On the road. Ron brought his laptop with a GPS program so we will maybe get lost fewer times this year. Plus, it's Ron. So there has to be something technologically oriented to keep him busy. The computer says we have 8:29:08 to our destination.

2:42 p.m. First dropped call/no service incident of the trip. Checked in with D'Arcy with our current status/plan. The pool rumor is confirmed. The kids will be so excited when they see that! Tentative plans made for our activities in Memphis. Ryan is already asking for a movie. I have invoked the "No Movies in the First Hour" rule.

2:43 p.m. Raining.

2:47 p.m. Cool big tree in the corner of a field. What is it about the lone tree that I like, that speaks to me? I think it is that you can really see the beauty of the tree when it is alone and not blending in with all the other trees.

2:49 p.m. Was that a tic-tac-toe piece? I saw a black circle with a white X on it in the driveway when we were loading. I wondered about it, about what it could be but then got busy packing and didn't give it another thought. Until now. And now I think it was probably a game piece from the magnetic tic-tac-toe game that the kids keep in the car. Oh well. Hope they still have enough pieces.

2:50 p.m. Sleep check... Middle row yes. Back row not yet. Front seat getting sleepy!

3:00 p.m. It is ALWAYS raining when I am driving through the Shenandoah area on 66 and 81. Is our rooftop box waterproof? Guess we'll find out!

3:06 p.m. Ryan is sleeping now too. Bella is listening to her CD player. It is raining Hard. Toby Keith (my new favorite) is playing on the radio. Maybe I should take a nap too.

3:11 p.m. I-81 South

3:12 p.m. I should've brought a blanket for myself. My legs get sore from pressing up against the door of the car.

Brake lights - yikes! That's an accident just waiting to happen. Rain and people stopping at the exit ramp.

3:17 p.m. Low Battery on the laptop. Seems like it's just one "emergency" after another around here.

3:20 p.m. Snack inventory for Ron. I pass inspection.

3:21 p.m. An unfortunate observation... My big toes are hairy. :(

3:28 p.m. Clear skies.

3:54 p.m. Awake from my nap. It sure is nice to be able to nap in the car this year. I am wiped out from a week of bible school and vacation preps. Everyone else is still asleep. Well, except Ron of course!

3:58 p.m. Cows! (first of many to come)

4:30 p.m. Bella and Felisa are awake. Bella - "Are we in Texas yet?" Felisa - "I'm scared to go on the airplane." No - not even close to TX. And, aren't you lucky - we get to drive for days instead of fly on a plane!

4:33 p.m. Find a map to show Bella where we are and how far we have to go. I love to study the atlas when I'm on a road trip. (That's what I've been doing for the last half-hour since I woke up from my nap.) I like to see all the places we could go, all the things that are out there. Turns out we're going to miss the Davy Crockett museum (it's on the wrong side of Knoxville for our current plan) and there is NOTHING noteworthy about Arkansas.

4:35 p.m. No good radio stations. Maybe our upgrade for next year will be XM radio?!? This year's upgrade was the GPS.

4:36 p.m. Felisa- "Look! Cows!"

4:37 p.m. "I see some more!" I don't know what makes cow-spotting so entertaining but I must admit, I enjoy it myself.

4:38 p.m. Need a CD. Break my nail digging the bag out. Ron has nail clippers in his pocket. Wow! I never have any but I always seem to notice that I need one when I'm in the car.

4:40 p.m. Alan Jackson "Drive" CD. Ron always picks this one. He says it's good driving music. What a coincidence. Drive CD, driving music.

4:44 p.m. Raining again. Cows are under the tree, trying to stay dry. Why? Because there are no umbrellas for them. Felisa thinks this is funny.

4:46 p.m. Ryan is awake and has joined the cow-spotting party.

4:49 p.m. Sign for Lexington (VA) makes me think of Kentucky. Let's live in an RV, homeschool the kids, and spend a few years seeing the country. Ron could telecommute and fly in and out for meetings, etc. Maybe we'll have to buy a plane too.

4:58 p.m. Crack open the snack box!

5:05 p.m. Computer says we still have 5:13:39 remaining to our stop in Knoxville.

5:30 p.m. Friday afternoon rush hour in Roanoke.

5:52 p.m Going nowhere fast.

5:57 p.m. Passed the accident site. Crunch! That's 20 minutes we won't get back.

6:11 p.m. Bella wants a cave.

6:12 p.m. Raining. Again.

6:16 p.m. Rainbow!

6:22 p.m. Entertainment by GPS, cows, and mileage markers.

6:33 p.m. A few more raindrops. Bella - "How many times does it have to rain?"

6:41 p.m. And now... Here comes the rain again...

6:42 p.m. and then it's gone again.

7:16 p.m. To stop or not to stop... that is the question. Coincidentally, we pass a sign for the Hungry Mother State Park.

7:39 p.m. Almost dinner time - yea! Let's contemplate the term "scattered showers". If we're moving - are the storms scattered or are we?

7:40 p.m Pouring down rain. We may have to get wet in our quest for food.

8:34 p.m. A little miscommunication about how many cheesesticks we actually wanted but in the end we enjoyed a yummy pizza and cheesesticks and we're back on the road with only 12 miles to the TN border. First movie of the trip is Open Season. Gas was $2.79/gallon. Our approximate MPG was 22 for the first leg.

8:40 p.m. Can you guess? That's right... it's raining AGAIN!

8:43 p.m. 4 miles to the border. This is the longest it has ever taken me to get out of VA on a trip.

8:46 p.m. Welcome to Tennessee! A field of cows and a giant guitar building are here to welcome us.

10:45 p.m. Knoxville, TN

11:13 p.m. Sleep, glorious, sleep!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

One lump or two?

There was a clump of sugar in the sugar bowl this morning. Seeing it reminded me of the time I spent at Our Chalet in Switzerland (a Girl Scout center). We would sit in the dining room in the afternoons and play Uno. While we were playing, we would nibble on the sugar lumps that were out on the tables. Sugar lumps - how cool are they?!? I don't know that I'd ever seen them before that trip, though I certainly had heard of them, probably in a book (bookworm that I was). And actually, I'm not sure if I've seen them since.

The clump wasn't solid enough to pick up and nibble like a lump but I most definitely put it in my coffee!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tomorrow... Tomorrow... My Birthday Is Tomorrow...

... I get to be Queen For A Day...

Sing along with me everyone - you know the tune!

That's right... this little tune has unfortunately become STUCK in my head now after I sang it three times to the kids (wouldn't want anyone to forget Mommy's birthday!). Oh well. I'm glad it's my birthday so I'll just keep singing it. How else can I make my birthday last longer than a day?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wisdom for Father's Day

Since Fathers are supposed to be wise I will go ahead and share a little of my own wisdom in honor of the occasion... (it's not as good as fatherly wisdom but oh well!)

Lessons I Have Learned Today:
1. You cannot make whipped cream out of half-n-half. No matter how long you stand with the mixer mixing. You can make very bubbly half-n-half though.

2. Butter cannot be unmade. Remember in science class when you learn about the 3 states of matter (liquid, gas, solid) and you turn water from ice to water to steam and back again? Well, that doesn't work with butter. Have you figured out the connection between the first and second lesson yet? Half-n-half doesn't have enough cream in it. So why not add butter - that's made out of cream right? We didn't try melted butter so maybe it would've worked that way but we do know that softened butter just turns into milk covered not-as-soft-as-it-started butter.

3. Crepes are a lot more work than pancakes (and make more dirty dishes - see #4 below) but they certainly are tasty!

4. You will never get caught up on your dishes if you cook a feast for EVERY meal. Especially if you start out a full dishwasher load behind.

5a. Father's Day and Mother's Day are not the same.
5b. Life is not fair.
5c. Once married, a husband will never send another card of any type, except a birthday card for his wife. So my apologies to all the fathers that didn't receive their cards on time... :)

6. First graders do not make Father's Day gifts or cards in school.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Into the Trees... Twice!

Today was our first Rocket Rodeo with the Cub Scouts... Ron and Ryan put the rocket together this morning then we headed out to the launch site. It flew very high but then - oops! - the elastic connecting the nose cone section to the rest of the rocket detached from the main body and the body landed in a tree. Uh oh! The Den Leader said Ryan could launch one of his larger rockets so that he'd have another chance. This one flew even higher... stayed attached as designed... BUT also headed straight into the tree. What are the chances that the only two rockets to land in the tree today were Ryan's lauches?!?!

I was proud though of what a good sport he was about it. And luckily Mr. Kohls wasn't mad either when we gave him the news.

Better luck next year I hope...

And in other news - only two weeks until we head out on our Big Trip, Volume 2. Can I say that I'm not sure if I'll be ready in time? Oh and did I mention- I am also teaching the preschool VBS class this year so I have all that prepwork to do as well.

Guess I'd better get busy, eh?!