Friday, December 30, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Walking Between Legalism and License

Christmas season always makes me reflect on the big things in life.

God.
Family.
Love.

And I'm always amazed when I go out during this time frame and run into such rude and ugly behavior.

And the commercials???? How about the one where the mom buys everything and tells Santa maybe there's room for something in the dogs stocking.  Just, wow.  I'm not a big Santa fan but that commercial is just so incredibly materialistic it makes me sick. Guess that's what they think Christ's birth is all about.

Anyways.

Each Christmas when I see all this ugliness.....by the self proclaimed Christians no less, I end up revisiting the difference between Legalism and License.

You see, we spent many years in Legalistic churches.  And you know what?  As a whole, it was not a pleasant experience.  Not that it was all bad. Some of my most cherished friendships were made in that time frame.

Sadly, the biggest part of what kept us in those churches, were the people we knew that were just the opposite.  The Christians in our life that preached at us but had license to do whatever because its all covered by the blood.

How we ever managed to stay Christians with such extremes as our examples I will NEVER know. Because over and over again I could have walked away and never looked back.

But Jesus had a hold on my heart and would not let go.

And over the space of the last few years He has taught me many things.  And brought into my life a group of women that have been the biggest and best examples of Christian love and friendship.

And I still have alot of baggage left over from the legalistic days.  I get really uptight when someone starts sounding legalistic to me.  I have to force myself to shut my mouth and hear their heart over their words. And if it turns out that you are the type of Christian that is expending most of your energy preaching or complaining about what you are against......I will walk away.  I'm much more interested about what you are FOR.  Are you for Loving your fellow man?  Because that is what Jesus told us to do.  Love.  First and foremost.  So if you are only willing to show that love if the woman is wearing a skirt or only to people that go to a certain type of church or tithe a certain way (and if you know what another person is tithing that's a whole other offense) - well, you've already stepped out of line with what Jesus said. Not interested.

On the other hand, there are several people we know that cover everything in love and "the blood".  I find this type of person more common that the other.  And much more confusing.  At least with legalistic Christians you know exactly what they believe (or don't believe anyways).  The License crew is all over the place.  What and who are acceptable changes like a gossip chain (and usually as the result of one).

So I think we have ended up somewhere in the middle of these two groups.  And we have friends and loved ones in both camps....and that's fine.  I think they are used to test and temper me.  Because what I hear loudest is Jesus said Love.  That includes both extremes.

Because I'm not fit to know whats right or not anyways.  My job is to love.  And you can do that without participating or condemning what other people believe.   Because you can love even when you don't agree. And its not my job to save anyone.  That's God's job.

And I sure don't know if I'm doing anything right.  I just want to be available to Him where He wants me. He will handle the rest. I just need to make sure I am paying attention and have my eyes on Him.

What I do know is that He does not want me to build my life on all the things I'm against.
And He doesn't want me to live my life like I can do whatever I want and claim its covered by the blood.

He wants me to love.

And He wants me to keep my eyes on Him.

And even though it sounds so simple...its not an easy place to walk.  At least not when I take my eyes of of Him.  Which is far too often.

So each Christmas I like to reflect on where I am in that walk.

It's just sad that its the bad behavior of Christmas shoppers that always brings it back to light!






Friday, December 23, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Are My Teeth Pulled Out

Because things can't just get easy.

Mighty Mouse will be 8 this spring.

And she has yet to lose any teeth.

Which really didn't bother me as Songbird lost her teeth late.

Okay - So Songbird got so tired of waiting and she pulled a tooth out.  Or at least most of it. I had to pay to have the rest of the root removed. Oh yes I did.

Anyways.

Mouse has complained loud and often about the lack of progress on the tooth fairy action.

 We assured her that it would happen in its own time.

And then she started complaining of pain last week.  So I checked out her mouth.  And there were two pearly whites broken through and growing in on the bottom center.

Well behind the baby teeth.  Which were not the least bit loose.

And I may not be a dentist...but I know that four front teeth on the bottom is not a desired look.

So our dentist was awesome and gave us an immediate consultation....which led to an immediate extraction of the two baby teeth.  And those suckers were in there.  And left bloody gaping holes. But, she now has the correct number of teeth...which should also move forward now that the other baby teeth are out of the way.

But of course I was told it would be a good idea to go see an orthodontist. (Anyone remember I just got the teen out of braces this month???????) And of course Mouse has an issue with needles so we use gas on her.  Which government insurance does NOT pay for.  So with the crappy insurance percent paid and 100% of the gas price - well, it wasn't cheap. Especially being jobless.  

But an excited Mouse told me she was going to write the tooth fairy a note for under her pillow.  Okay.

Except when we read it...
...she actually asked the tooth fairy for Bath and Body Hand Sanitizer and glitter lip gloss.  Like it was Santa Claus or something.

Guess we didn't talk much about the tooth fairy around here.  Either that or her friends have one rockin' tooth fairy visiting their house.

Whatever.

Enjoy those four quarters kid.

Cause the other tooth fairy visits our house.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

7 Years Ago Today

7 years ago

has it really been that long?

since they placed an 11 pound baby in my arms

a baby that was almost 8 months old

and should have been twice that size

but wasn't

and should have been sitting

but wasn't

and should have been eating some solids

but wasn't

a child that was hyper vigilant even in her sleep

Who was beyond upset if anything in the house changed while you were asleep

who would not take anything resembling solids until you were 12 months old

who was afraid to have me out of sight...for years and years


Is that really the you from 7 years ago?

Its all starting to fade.

Because you have shed that cocoon.

And you have begun to spread those wings and fly

Like the beautiful butterfly you were always meant to be.

Fly.

soar up high

on the gentle breeze

and through the howling winds

show us all

your beauty and strength

that was hidden within for so long


What a miracle you are.

What a joy you are.

What a spirit you possess.

Live hard

and love well

my beautiful princess.




Monday, December 19, 2011

The Grinches Steal Pre-Christmas

Oh yes we did.

You see, at my house I'm pretty easy going about the kids rooms.

But.

If I tell you to clean it up... you need to do it.

And I will go through this until I get tired of it.  Usually this is at least three times.  With Mouse its more like three thousand.

And everyone knows that you don't want to push mom that far.

Because I clean with trash bags.

And I don't put it away to bring it back out later.  If I had to pick it up...its GONE.

And now Dad...otherwise known as Mr. Clean....is at home all day and he is going CRAZY about the room.

And I admit it...I have been putting it off for about 2 1/2 months.  I've been dreading it that much.  I couldn't even get in there to tuck Mouse in.

Think I'm kidding....
I think she pulled the trundle bed out because there is no more room on the bed.

So Hubs and I went in there today.  And I really didn't want to even though it was so far beyond time.

And 5 Goodwill bags, two trash bags and a doll house and a toy box later...

We were done.  And we deserved an afternoon cocktail for THAT! Not that we had one....I'm just sayin'.

And Mouse was okay with the transformation until just before bedtime.  And then she couldn't find certain things and started her major meltdown.  

And of course she received the "told you so" lecture and yada yada.

But the guilt has set in.

And even though Christmas shopping is done...it looks like we are going to have to go buy a toy or two. Because we realized after all of this that she is not getting a single toy for Christmas.  (Which is mostly because she wants a Barbie Dreamhouse and its just too expensive. The other things on her list are more practical or electronic related.) 

Man I'm really turning into a sucker in my old age.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

An Adoptive Parent's Nightmare

When you adopt, there are plenty of things to worry about.

Has the child been in an institution too long to bond properly?

Will there be sensory issues?

Are there abuse issues?

Etc.

But I think one of the scariest things to come to terms with is NOT KNOWING any medical history for children adopted from overseas.  Especially if there is NO birth parent information of any kind.  There is NO way to find out anything about hereditary issues.

And even though giving birth to children is no guarantee that they will be healthy -- at least when you get pregnant with your partner, you can usually find out where a problem came from if you run into medical issues. Or even better, know what to keep a watch for over the child's life and have noted in their records.

We have nothing.

And that's scary.

So scary that we have a life insurance policy on Mouse....and not our other children.  Because what if she ends up with something hereditary surprising us and is unable to get insurance as an adult?  We don't want that for her.  And we feel very comfortable with what is in our medical backgrounds to not feel that same need for our other two.

And along with all the other craziness going on around here....

We ended up getting that call...

From the doctor.

So even though this is information that I would normally not share, it turns out to be common with Asian's so I want to pass on the info to my adoptive parent friends.

Mouse was starting to have alot of issues with hives.  The Ped wasn't that interested and didn't even want to do allergy testing as its not always that accurate on young children.  It was sporadic so I let it go.  For then.

When it started happening even more I told them enough...it was time to see an allergist...and they agreed.

So we went to the allergist and he just wasn't liking what I was telling him.  He really felt that this would be incredibly rare if she was having issues with the things we thought were the triggers...so he wanted to do a full panel workup on her before doing the skin testing.

I was not thrilled as this kid is manic about needles.

But off to the lab we went.

And bless the guys heart....he could not find a vein.  It was bad.  Really bad.  The only thing that kept me calm through it all was that I have been trained on blood draws and I knew he was doing everything right. Finally after holding her down for almost 10 minutes we had 5 vials (oh my goodness I don't know how tiny could still function) and were told the doctor would be back to us in about 2 weeks as some of the tests take awhile.

Right.  So that was the second week in October.

And in late November I had a family member ask about the testing.

BAD MOM.  With the way everything imploded around here it had slipped my mind.

So I left a message to see about the skin testing as if there had been anything in the labs surely they would not have forgotten us.

I did mention this was military care, right? I am so gonna say I told you so when national health care kicks in and everyone has to deal with what military deals with.  Because you get what you pay for. And that crap isn't going to pay.

Anyways.

I got the call back that there was not a allergy issue.  There was a hereditary auto-immune system issue.

Heart stops.

It seems her body has antibodies against its own thyroid.

Hashimoto's Thyroidism.

Heart resumes.

So - its thyroid (which I have been medicated for years for - but not auto-immune) so I know its not really that bad.  Well, its not cancer.  Its not diabetes.  Its not many of the things that could be so much worse.

But it is common in Asians. FEMALE Asians especially.

And some of her symptoms are the hives from her body attacking itself and even what we thought might be growing pains in her legs might actually be related.  Which is a relief because I was having the hardest time accepting that the leg was just growing pains.  It just wasn't right. Hashimoto's tends to cause muscle cramping and pain.

And for now her thyroid is functioning well enough.  But I know to watch her.  And its not uncommon for this disease to kick into hyper - thyroidism before it drops to hypo.  I know what to watch for.

And I know the meds.  Which are some of the safest meds on the market.  Reassuring.

But there is a little more info for my adoptive parent friends to file away in their heads.

Learn something new every day.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Family Fun Meets the Birthday Party From Hades

One of the coolest times to step off the merry-go-round and have some family fun....is Bowling in December.  Most of the people are so busy going to kids concerts, shopping for gifts, going to holiday parties and all the craziness that is Christmas....that the bowling alleys are pretty much empty during the week.

Perfect time to take your kids. Especially if you go around 3-4pm.

So we choose our day, picked the girls up from school, and headed for the alley.

It was empty when we arrived.

Which is awesome.

And they have the programmable bumpers that pop up only for the bowler that needs them. And they have the dinosaur to roll the ball off of.
So all 4 of us we set to have some fun.

At Mighty Mouse's age, its more about teaching her how to be a bowler.  How to hold the ball. How to stay off the deck when its not your turn.  How to make sure you don't go up on deck when the people on either side of you are on deck, etc.
Songbird is an old pro.
She just needed to get warmed up.

I think bowling is probably more common for kids in the military population.  I grew up in bowling alleys.  My parents were in leagues...which is a pretty big thing in the military...especially when you are overseas and there are very limited entertainment options.  And here in the states we still take advantage of our on base bowling alleys as they have great family deals.

But there are certainly draw-backs to this.

As a large percentage of the other bowlers end up being unmarried GI's- in their 20's.  And the language.  And the adult humor.  So earlier in the day is better for families in my personal opinion.

But even at that -- there are just things that don't ever belong in a bowling alley.

Like a birthday party for 2-4 year olds.

Does. Not. Belong.

Especially if the adults involved have NO INTENTION of watch those little babies.

The ones that were running across 6 lanes of bowlers.  Most of these full grown men throwing 20 pound balls at amazing speeds and aren't looking for a 3 year old to run right in front of them.  ( And why should they???)

So, here's Autumns top reasons why a Birthday Party for 2-4 year olds should never be in a bowling alley:

1.  It's dangerous.  If the adults involved have no intention of doing anything other than feeding their faces and gossiping, a large building where someone can easily walk out with any one of about 6 children that were totally unsupervised is not a good ideal.  And don't tell me that a military base is safe.  I was on search parties for a week looking for a 4 year old boy taken off of a base we lived on. He was raped and killed.  And this was not a kids environment on any level. No matching armbands to leave with a child.  Unmanned doors at both ends of the building.

2. Children that are not bowling need to be kept off the deck so other paying customers are not disturbed. Its distracting to the people next to you or down right blocking them from bowling. And ignoring their pleas to get off their lane by turning your back and leaving the kid in the way also makes you a special kind of trash.  And they will complain and get moved to another lane...and end up not paying when the alley wants to make them happy -- which makes the employees very unhappy and unfriendly to you.  Hostile hosts - fun party?

3.  Bowling balls are pretty.  They are also heavy.  And that beautiful little 3 year old girl that is totally unsupervised and wandering the pits will want to pick one up.  And when she begins to sweat and shake you know she's going to drop it.  The only question is will it be on her foot....and will there be an ER visit involved?  And you know what...those adults that would normally rush to her aide....wont step in when its the 10th time and we are all tired of chasing kids out of our way on our lanes and none of the party adults can be bothered to care. Ever seen about 20 adults NOT help a child - turn their backs so as not to see? Try this and see what happens.

4.  When the people in the lane next to you are pissed about all the kids running in front of them and ask you to keep kids off the deck and your answer is "it will be hard" you look like a complete idiot that needs their children removed from your home.  You can go to war.  You can pass a military top secret clearance. You can be called to kill for your country.  But you can't keep a 4 year old off the wooden floor???  Then you DON'T BELONG THERE.

5. Young men in the middle of bowling are not looking for pedestrians to run in front of them while they are racing up to throw a ball.  Ghee...I wonder what's going to happen next.

6. And young men that are not happy about unsupervised children messing with the games they are paying for? Well, their language gets inappropriate for little bitties.  And they get loud about it.  And they use humor and subjects in front of said children on purpose as pay back.  They are just kids themselves....what do you expect?

7.  And lastly, if you do this, you will be pointed out as the kind of parents that should not have children. And used as an example for what bad parenting looks like.  And get kids parties removed from the location.

Now - absolutely 100% of this mess was the adults faults.  Several of them. From several families.  And when the employees of the alley are yelling at you to watch your children and telling you they are not the babysitters for the kids....you should take note.

And although I would have liked to kick the father of the bday child up high...I was not rude. But I did ask to be moved...and was.  And when we left I did tell the manager I'd be happy to witness WHEN they filled out the accident report that was sure to come.  Because that was actually the first time I've wondered where Child Protective Services is when you need them.

So my party throwing friends.....wait until your kids are of an age where you can teach them to be safe before trying the bowling alley.  For your own peace of mind and the others around you.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

He's So Retro or Tree Trimming 2011

Having Hubs home has been lots of fun. One cool thing we have in common is we like to go wander the really big antique places.  

And he likes some pretty cool retro stuff.

This year we decided we didn't want to put up the full blown Christmas tree and lights as we really hope to be finding a job and moving as quickly as possible.  And who needs the extra work of tearing down Christmas? Especially when mom is light crazy on the tree and it takes a full day to put up the lights and a full day to take down the lights.

Just the lights.

So we had decided to find a tabletop tree to use on an old end table we are getting rid of. The presents will fit underneath the table nicely.  Because we also told the girls that this will be a very small Christmas.  Like 3 gifts apiece.  Hey - it was good enough for Jesus. 

Anyways.

While wandering around look for these cool retro vases we saw last summer and a light wheel that Hubs liked and now thought he might like to buy.... (yes we are those crazy people that have to think about purchases - drives sales people crazy)....we kept running across these retro 50's Aluminum Christmas Trees and their color wheels.  

She the light thingy we saw happened to be a color wheel.  So we flagged down a person at one of the places and they explained it to us.  Never heard of it before.  And they were selling the sets for like $130.  

So we did what we always do....

We put the stuff back and went home and did internet and Ebay research.  

And we decided that we had to have one.

So armed with more info we went back another time.  We searched three large places (like 450 booths in them) and found our deals.  And walked out of the places with both pieces (not as a set)- at a whole lot less than $130. The tree is a 3 foot that sits on the table.  Perfect.  

So tree trimming night we got the boxes out and did our family tradition.  Lots of cheese and crackers and snacks and eggnog and slush.  Total calorie fest -- but the kids won't let this tradition pass. They look forward to it all year. That and the junk fest we call New Years Eve are the family favorites.

 Even the dogs get in on the ordeal.  Complete with ugly Christmas sweater provided by grandma.
And it was a fairly short night compared to normal as we didn't put ornaments on the tree yet.
Cause we want something that will reflect the cool color wheel good.


I'm trying to find some of the 50's Sputnik satellite type ornaments to hang on it -- but they are not cheap!

And yes we did find Hubs funky vases during this whole search.
He's so retro.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Six Thousand Dollar Smile

Big news at the Frymark house! The six thousand dollar smile has emerged.

Braces are off!!

Woohoo!

Which also means we just finished paying them off!

Woohoo!

Now MAYBE we can afford for her to get her license.

Oh wait.

Daddy doesn't have a job.

We can put it off a little longer.

Woohoo!

Guess not.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bing Bong Zing Zong


So its December.

And if you know much about my family, you know that we adopted Mighty Mouse in December.

And every year she gives us a run for our money.  Yep.  Good old Adoption Grief time again. And she was nice enough to even start a little early this year.

But at least this year we immediately recognized it for what it was.  Only took 7 years.

And even though I'm not going to go into many details for privacy issues, I do want to share this years surprise. Because it just goes to show that when you think you've got this adoption thing figured out -- they do a 180 on you. And not all agencies are good about educating the parents on adoption issues and they need to hear what others are dealing with.

Up to this point we have had one of the easy kids when it came to actual adoption related subjects.  We've known several children that begin the questioning and voicing the pain as early as 2 1/2-3 years old.  Mouse was not interested in anything other than her own little family at home and making sure I wasn't out of sight or earshot for too long.

But this year?

Ouch.

And not only do we have the out of character behaviors......we have THE QUESTIONS.

It is NOTHING to be cornered with these questions for over an hour.  Talk about exhausting.  Thankfully our agency did a very good job at making sure we were educated on adoption issues.  Kudos to Adoption Links worldwide.

Anyways.

Right now we are expending a great deal of energy dealing with a child that hates the way she looks....and is afraid her birth parents are going to show up and take her away.  And no amount of talking will convince her that she is not ugly.  And there is no explaining legalities of who is a legal parent to a seven year to give her peace of mind.

So we trudge through the issues as best we can in a calm and rational manner....even though what we would really like to do is run away screaming and pulling our hair out.  We have to go over the same ground over and over and over again.

And my goodness this child has an imagination and so many "what ifs".  She has obviously thought about these issues alot.

So here we are in December dealing with regular holiday schedules, the usual out of character adoption grief behaviors, a complete change in lifestyle as we transition into civilian life, not having a job AND a child who is afraid her birth parents can show up at any time and take her. Who knows, maybe its the combination of all of the above that has made all this come to a head.

Merry Christmas.

So - for my adoptive parent friends......even if you've had a smooth start on the birth parent issue....it might still come back to haunt you out of the blue. We had no real warning that this was coming. (Which is not to say we thought it never would...I just thought there might be some warning leading up to it. And that's what I get for thinking.)

And don't get me wrong - this is a good thing.  Because if she has questions, I WANT her to come to me with them.  And we work really hard to make sure and be as truthful as possible without embellishment while staying age appropriate.  Not an easy task. Because we also have to keep it on a positive note and not make her feel like we judge or disapprove of her birth parents.

And we assure her that even if the impossible was to happen and her birth parents were looking for her, we would happily support contact, letters, phone calls, visits, Skye or whatever else -- but she would never go live with them unless she decided to as an adult.  We will not "give her back".  And while this seems to satisfy her and make her feel better....it starts all over again within a few days.

And that's okay too. Because we know that how adoptees feel about adoption is as varied as feelings in any other population.  Some will not give a second thought to the fact that they are adopted, while others will make it their life work to protest and work against any type of international adoption.  And both points are valid.  And both points are okay.

But the funny part of all this is Bing Bong Zing Zong.  You see when her daddy was trying to make a point that her birth parents wouldn't even know WHO to look for...he made some comment like "They can't just go into the police station and ask them to help them find Bing Bong Zing Zong! Because you even have a new name!"

And she thought it was hilarious that he called her that.

And at the end of the grilling marathon (on tree trimming night, no less) her burning question was:

"Can I change my name to Bing Bong Zing Zong?"

and

"Does it cost money to do so?"

This child? Thinks too much.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

It Is Finished

I know I have not been around in the blogosphere for a few months now. Really there is a reason.

And its a good reason.

You see we made some really big life changing decisions.

And those decisions drove an awful lot of activity and uncertainty and craziness and confusion and just plain busyness.

And so I stayed away for awhile.   Because I would have sounded like a completely different person from day to day I'm sure.  Totally bipolar.

And even though one of my husbands family members might think I'm a crazy lady and calls me "That Woman", I am actually quite sane and level headed most of the time.

Most.

So....what's going on?

See that guy? The one I married?

Well, that picture shows him wearing his military uniform.

For. The. Last. Time.

(And you did notice the smile, right?)

Because you see.....he retired.

For real!

And I have the pictures to prove it!

This last week was his retirement ceremony.

It was a great ceremony.  And it was quick -- love a man who is not long winded!!! LOL!
And that night we had a farewell dinner at a local pub with some friends.   And a friend from 20 years ago actually walked in and surprised him as he was traveling in the area on business.  Incredible!

And now, it is done.

No more going to work. All checked out and someone else occupying the desk that was his the last 2 1/2 years.

And he has 90 days terminal leave.....which means we still have a paycheck until March 1.

Which is good.

Since we don't have another job lined up at this point.

So I'm still going to sound a little crazy for awhile -- through the jobless time, the accepting a new job time and the move to where ever it is that we end up.

Because where do we go next?

Where ever the job is.

That's where.

And any prayers you can spare for us in this crazy time are greatly appreciated.  Because with a teen in high school we really need this to work out between semesters. Or the girls and I might be spending the rest of the school year here while daddy moves on to the new location.

And that's just not fun.

  






Monday, November 21, 2011

Cookie Campout 2011

21 Girls
7 adults
22 cookie recipes
To fill 22 boxes - 1 for each girl - with an assortment
Baking all day

Playing all day
Mattress races....
(even the adults can't resist that one!)

Crafting all day (the moms were all interested in the pop tab braclets)

10 Sit-upons made
Fastest assembly line ever to make Buckeyes
1 Through the Ages Girl Scout Uniform Fashion Show

Fire circle at night
2 pranked Juniors and 1 pranked Cadette (think toilet paper)
Roll-a-bag relays (to teach the young campers to roll their own bags!)

Playing with sticks!

21 tired girls
7 zombie tired adults

Everyones' favorite campout.
The best ever adult volunteers.
The best behaved campers.
1 of the best memories I will take with me.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Road Trip PartII

After an overnight in Canton we got up and hit this road again.  This time...
...Good morning Cleveland!  Which was only an hour up the road.  And with the time change we got there a little early.  No problem as I wanted to see the Great Lake.  I have never been to see a Great Lake before and it was on my bucket list. Checked off.

What I didn't realize on a crisp November morning...was that I had left mine and Mouses winter coats hanging in the hotel closet.

Oh yes I did.

But it didn't stop me.


Mouse wasn't thrilled.

 But soon it was time for ...
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...
Who knew Ohio was so cool?  I guess I missed that since its mostly on the other side of the state! LOL!

And yes we did stop at the hotel on the way home and pick up our coats. It was only 20 miles out of the way so I didn't feel so bad. Cheaper to drive it than have them mailed to the house.

And that was our wonderful, spur of the moment fall vacation.

And a big shout out to Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace budgeting program....because that way of life made it easy to pull the cash from various places and do this without running up a credit card.

And that just makes it so much better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Road Trip Part I

I have to say that some of my very best times or trips have been spur of the moment events.  When we lived in Iceland you had to be able to function that way because you never knew what the weather would bring each day. Don't get me wrong...I like a "plan"....but I don't have to have one to function. And last weekend was one of those great weekends that just falls together with no pre-planning.

My very first best friend from when I was 10 and living in Germany, lives in the DC metro (that covers about 4 states, right??). She also travels to Ohio now and then to see family or friends.  But not my area Ohio.....North East Ohio.  And luckily I actually checked FB Thursday and saw that she was getting ready to leave for a road trip.  And I wondered...

Really we don't know how much time we have left in Ohio so I hoped she was coming this way.  This time I was going to make sure to go meet her and see her. Last time I saw her was on a trip home from Iceland about ten years ago. Long time.

When I found out she was staying not all that far from Canton...well I called Hubs because he had expressed regret recently about not getting up there.  And in the space of about an hour and a half Friday morning we had a weekend vacation planned.  And all I can say is thank goodness for cell phone technology because I arranged it all -- friend, hubs, dog sitters, child that needed to change plans and come home on the bus, etc...all from my car while running errands. Nice.

So early Saturday morning our family jumped in the car and headed for Canton. My friend met us at our hotel and I took off with her for a nice lunch while the crew went their own way. And it was a wonderful lunch. Of course it was way way too short but at least I had that little time.  And all these years later I can still say I wish I lived closer to her because I would love to have her in my every-day life.  Love you girl!!

And after she dropped me back off to my family...we jumped in the car and went to the place Hubs really wanted to see.
Do you know I had no idea that Ohio is where things got started?  Well - actually that should be no shocker as I don't watch football. But the museum was lots of fun. Loved the movie they showed and the displays.  The girls really loved it also. And I even bought the teen a Giants shirt....much against her fathers wishes. LOL. He offers to get me a jersey all the time...to which I tell him that's fine as long as its green. But he has a problem with that. And I have no jersey.
And of course we finished up the day at the hotel in the pool.  Mouse cannot live without a pool at the hotel. I think if you ask her the favorite part of any trip the answer is "the pool".  And the hot tub was Hubs friend since he threw his back out last week. He felt much better afterwards.

And tomorrow I will show you what we did on Sunday.....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Geocaching

While some of the states were spending Saturday getting dumped on and covered in snow, we had an amazing fall day. Which is a really good thing as I volunteered to take the Cadettes on a Geocaching adventure. Big Boss had to work so I left Mouse with her dad and Songbird and I went to play.

Our "teacher" was very very enthusiastic.  So much so that he just volunteered to do this for the older scouts as its so early in the year that the girls haven't had their fundraisers to have money to do activities.

And he had his mascot along with him -- D. Knomer.....who has his own FB page apparently.  Mr. Knomer had his picture taken at his found caches.  Too funny.  The girls thought it was a riot.

The day was cold and frosty but absolutely beautiful.  And I happened to be with a set of adventurous girls that had no problem leaving the well traveled paths to bushwack a bit. All the fall leaves were fun to wade through.

But one of my favorite spots was a bridge on one of the trails.
Luckily it was the older girls or I would have had a bunch of wet kids to deal with. These girls are old enough not to get wet at every opportunity.  Our younger ones? Any water is an invitation.
Searching the area for the hidden cache.  Songbird decides she is too big to reach the prize and directs one of the Cadettes to get dirty. Hah!
And dirty she did get.

I've known others that have done geocaching, but this was my first time. I have to say that it is rather fun and a good family thing to do in the out of doors.  If you've ever wondered about it or thought about it and have kids that like to romp in the woods I would absolutley recommend it. And since there were disc golf baskets all around the woods also you could probably easily combine two activities with your family.