July was a blur. We started the month by the girls and I taking a trip to Arkansas to visit family. Yep, Chad stayed behind to work, but more on that later.
We spend a few hours with our precious Bill and Mary Lou. Can’t tarry here too long or I’ll get teary.
Off to Monticello we went. MawMaw and PawPaw braced for our arrival. PawPaw comes to help unload the car and says, “This is it?” Whew, we’re done will all the diapers, multiple changes of clothes per day, plethora of things to keep busy in the car… Throw some clothes in a suitcase and lets go.
My In-Laws have lived in SE AR for nearly 40 years and had no idea there was a zoo an hour away. Chad had seen a comment about it on FB and thought it was a joke. After making some inquires, turns out it’s real. So off we went to the Crossland Zoo. I use the term loosely but it was a nice little outing
The girls are obsessed with playing in the pool while at the Grands house. We have a nice neighborhood pool that we visit often but apparently there’s something about the wading pool on the patio that keeps them wanting more. Wonder what, or maybe who, it is?
We spent the 4th with our always gracious friends the K’s. They are the ultimate “everyone is always welcome” home. We sat WAY too close to a great firework display (like flames flying at the feet of the family next to us close!) but it was memorable. There was another family staying with them that night too and the girls made fast friends. It was one big sleepover.
Did I mention they foster and had 4 children of their “own” as well? The next day KK and I load all 6 kids in the van and go to Larry’s. That alone is worth the trip. Then we go to Wal-Mart for a short list of necessities for the evening meal. We walk in the door and KK hands me the list and says “I’ll catch up with you in a minute” I took the challenge and headed off with 2 carts full of kids ages 2,3,4,5,6 & 9! Wow, that was an adventure.
I decided to go home by way of Mt Ida.You know a couple of hours to see Granny and have lunch with Dad. Well, “best laid plans…” Did spend some time with Granny (and Dad). Then we head to the lake where my big sis and her fam were camped to join them for lunch. Please don’t judge, we are not outdoor people, but the girls got their first swim in a lake.
Then after some yummy burgers, dogs and homemade chocolate ice cream. Uncle Jon took them for their first boat ride. (I don’t count the Bricktown boats as real).
We had to say bye and head home. We left for our 5 hr journey home much later than I had intended but it was worth it. They were some tired chickens and it was a quiet ride home.
Chad started a new job. Yes, another. He spent 3 years at the job we moved here for. The better part of the last two years have been spent with contract jobs. God’s taken care of us and we’ve never gone without. We are grateful for this new full time job. He’s got nearly an hour drive each way but he’s making the most of his drive listening to his You Version Bible app. He leaves early but he’s home by 5 and on weekends so can’t complain about that. He’s getting to combine his web developing with weather information and is having fun at work. They’ve made him feel welcome and included. He’s a our happier Chad again, and it’s nice to have him back. The first chance he gets to storm chase with them he’s going to take it. I’ll be nervous but a little envious too.
So after a few days to do laundry and check on things at work, we left for a week in TX. Enjoyed a day of pampering with another big sister then sent them off for a 20th ann trip. The girls and I spent the week with my 18 month niece and 8 yr old nephew. Our plans to go swimming were messed up by the 3 days of rain. So one day we went to McD’s and had a biscuit (we’d already had real breakfast at home), 2nd breakfast if your a Hobbit, and played there for a while. When we got tired of that, we walked across the parking lot to Chick Fil A. Ate lunch and played there till they were tired out. Side note, if your order a “cup” of ice cream you literally get a small drink cup filled with ice cream! I just meant the little free kids cup but H and I managed to take care of it anyway. Naps for all that afternoon. We enjoyed playing, swimming, movie watching and I had fun playing with her new HUGE washer/dryer. It sings a little song when it’s done. Just made doing laundry fun. For a while anyway. Bet the new’s worn off for her by now. (Sorry J, I don’t have a pic of the 4 of you)
While we were gone, a storm shelter was installed in our garage. Between Chad sending pics from the inside and my neighbor sending pics from the outside, I got to see most of the process. It’s kinda like insurance, you hope you don’t need it but it’s good to have in case you do. (This pic is from Aug but it’s the best to see what it’s really like inside.
If you want to see more pics check out GFS Storm Shelters or Chad’s FB page if your friends.
Then it was time for Cross Timbers. This is a church camp for 3rd – 6th graders. We signed Lanie up against her will but Chad and I felt she needed to give it a try. She doesn’t like new things but sometimes we gotta push the bird out of the nest so she knows she can fly. She had a great week and came home tired and happy. (more about this in the August post)
July ended with a trip to the Braums dairy farm. It was about an hour drive SW of home. We went with a group of moms and kids from church. They’ve got it set up really neat for tours. The bakery was a little more interesting since there was more to see. I didn’t realize they made all their own cones, buns, bread, cookies and muffins. The diary plant was a little less interesting because so much of the processing takes place in closed stainless steel vats. And again, something that I was impressed with the volume they process which doesn’t mean much to kids. You don’t get to go to the milking barn cause apparently cows get distracted by visitors and they have a tight schedule to keep. They end the tour by giving you cookies and ice cream and we all know ending on a sweet note is important.
So here’s a sweet pic of Bethie and GrandPop reading.