Monday, July 31, 2006


I took this picture because the tree on the right
is dying (we think). Any suggestions on how to
take care of it or heal it?

Trusses going up! This will add two classrooms,
bathrooms and a furnace room.

Erin in all her glory!

The heat is awful (100 degrees today). We are going to the bookstore in Michigan tomorrow - YEAH for books!!!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006


Yep, Tornados were sighted in NW Indiana. Two touched down near 49 & 500 (SE of us). But, the funny thing is - we scheduled a cookout for PCS staff and their families. Forty one people showed up while Dad cooked on the grill. The rain came. The rain came AND the rain came. Dad was soaked to the bone (literally). I finally offered to cook the hamburgers and hotdogs on the stove (he was very grateful). So, we had 41 people IN THE HOUSE instead of playing volleyball and basketball in the yard. We had an awesome time. The food was great! Everyone seemed to have a good time.

Did you know we have a digital camera? We don't! We always forget to take it out and snap away.

Zachary & Elyse's VBS closing program is tonight. I hope I remember the camera. I will post pictures, if I remember to take them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Don't, I repeat, don't waste your money on "The Lake House." It was boring, bad script and left too many questions unanswered (I hate a movie I can't figure out). Dad & I went on our "hot" date to this movie, leaving Betsey in charge of Z & E. When we got home from the movie (10:15 p.m.) Z & E were still up! YIKES! It will make today a very hard day. I guess naps are in the works today.

Tonight - the fair! Elephant ears, cotton candy, junk food alley here I come.

Z & E are attending Vacation Bible School at 1st of Portage. They pitched a fit about going on Monday morning. When they came home they wanted to go back right then - they couldn't wait until Tuesday. E calls it Bible Vacation School. We have corrected her several times and she says, "I can't remember." I guess she needs the t-shirt that says, "I'm not blonde, I just act like it!" Yeah, right!

Have a super day! Leave comments! Love you!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Scott & Naomi and their seven children are coming for a visit tomorrow (Sunday). They will meet us at church and then come over for lunch. I had to break down and go grocery shopping. Better now, than later!

My calling card is dead - so you kids will have to revert to the "800" number.

I cleaned Elyse's bedroom - took five hours. Zachary's room only took one hour (does that tell you anything?). The rest of the house looks pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Luke - we are having North Star ice cream sandwiches tonight - the end of our vacation. Want to join us?

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Went swimming in the motel pool this morning (at least the kids did). Drove and drove and drove again. Had to pass a HUGE accident (a great map reader got Tim through). Got home safely. We had a family game of "Go Fish" which we did every night in the motel - this time we included the three girls. It was fun! Now we are getting ready for bed and going to start "normal" routine tomorrow (Curves here we come!).

No pictures - sorry!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


The title is original, I know. We packed this morning and left around 10:30 a.m. (9:30 for you Indiana people). We stopped at Cracker Barrel for brunch. Yum! Yum! Then we did Mammoth Cave (no pictures because I am in the atrium and cannot get internet in our room). Mammoth Cave wasn't as good as The Lost Sea, but we enjoyed the walk, etc. Then we drove to Elizabethtown, Kentucky where we are currently in the Best Western motel. We have two queen beds (much better than two on the floor). We put our junk in the motel room and then ate at Cracker Barrel (yes, we like Cracker Barrel). We all went swimming but Dad & I are already out of the pool. The water is warm, but too many people in the pool for me (besides I am freezing). I am not the only whale on the beach here. YEAH!

We will take our time going home tomorrow (Sunday) and see most of you tomorrow. Have a super rest of the weekend. Love you all!


We are packing up today. We will do some "touring" because Tim hasn't has a vacation yet. We will be home on Sunday sometime. See you then.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Elyse's first ball game and probably her last!

Zachary's first professional ball game.

This is the FIRST baseball game that Zachary got to see. It was the Chattanooga Lookouts against the Birmingham Barons (AA Teams). Zachary loved the game. Elyse hated it. We were going to have a girls' night out watching Narnia on DVD and the boys going to the game. But Elyse wanted to see the fireworks after the game. So...we all went. It was only 90+ degrees and very humid. After the fireworks it started to sprinkle. Not really bad. In fact, it felt good. So, we walked the 5-6 blocks to the car and it started to rain seriously. By the time we got to the motel, it was pouring. I guess they like rain down here.

But, we DID get in our fireworks. YEAH! They weren't Chesterton's fireworks, but they were much better than the ones we saw in our sleep on July 4th.


This is my favorite house on the mountain.
Zachary could live here because it is only a
little bit up the mountain - no chance of getting
sick driving to and from this house.

We call this rock the "Whale." At least it looks
like one from the cartoons. Notice the moss
is his eye and the horizontal break is his mouth.
Do you see it - or are we crazy?

Make sure you read the previous blog to find out about yesterday's highlights.


I typed a LONG update last night and then carefully nuked it all by myself. Yep, I know what the real color of my hair is.

After lunch yesterday, we went to the "Passage." That is the place where the water runs down the stairs and ends in a shallow pool. The kids pitched a fit about going, but once they got there they had a blast. Elyse made three friends. She wanted to go to their house to play (which was in Virginia - don't think so).

Dan-O will appreciate this. Then we ate dinner at Qdoba. It was as good as I remembered from graduation days.

After dinner we walked to the Children's Museum (because it is free one Thursday a month). Outside of the museum the police men were giving away water bottles, freesbies and finger printing. We got the water bottles, but nothing else.

After 1 1/2 hours of playing at the Museum, we left because we had to pick up Tim late (8:30). We noticed that it was going to rain soon, so we hurriedly walked the five blocks to the car (me huffing and puffing because most of the walk was up hill). We got our stuff in the trunk and got in the car just as the skies broke loose. It rained so hard we could hardly see where we were driving. But, when we reached the mountain, it was dry as a dessert bone. After picking up Tim, we went to the motel. It looked kind of dark in the area. Turns out the electricity was off. That meant no internet, no lights and no air conditioning. It took all of five minutes to figure out how to open the windows. The rain came down so hard that the halls were pools of water (we get to our room from the outside, the halls weren't inside). Not only were the halls wet, but so was the carpet two feet inside our room. That is where we make Zachary's pallet. So, we had some rearranging to do so that he would have a dry spot to sleep in.

Now it is Friday morning and we need to get ready for Tim's LAST day of school - yeah! Love you all. Have a super weekend. We will see some of you on Sunday.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Heading down the path towards a fort used
during the Cival War. It was amazing!

Picture of a lights, sound & commentary of the
Civil War on Lookout Mountain (right) and
Missionary Ridge (left). It was cheezily done, but
very interesting and educational.

View from Battlefield used in the Civil War.
That's the Tennessee River.

We went to Point Park, which costs $3 for me, kids are free. It is where part of the Battle of Chattanooga took place during the Civil War. It was amazing to see cannons right near the edge of Lookout Mountain - one inch farther and off they went. Elyse wouldn't go near them because she was afraid she would fall off. I went right to the edge and took the above picture (#3).

Then we paid for us to see the electric lights and sound of the Civil War (picture #2). It was good commentary, but the battle you looked at was rather cheesy. The lady at the counter charged me $5.95 (it was supposed to be $6.95 for me and $3.95 for each kid). I guess she thought the kids wouldn't enjoy it and she shouldn't charge them. She also gave me the AAA discount of $1.00. Zachary really liked the show and was emotionally moved. He felt so sorry for all the men that died. He is so sensitive.

So, now we are back at the motel having lunch. The kids want to go swimming and I want to take a nap. We will see who wins. We also have to pick Dad up late, so we are taking advantage of that and going to the Children's Museum again because it is free from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


A huge fireplace. Notice the rim of the foundation
that was left - the house is gone!

This is a cave used during the Civil War - it is actually
only a few feet deep - looks like a kitchen of sorts.

Here is the view from Craven's house!

We went to Craven's House (used during the Civil War). We took pictures of his house and the view from his porch. It is amazing! You will now see what we see everyday driving Tim to the school.

We also re-visited Mountain Maze (playground like Valplayso). The kids had a blast running around, throwing 's tennis ball that was left and just getting rid of some energy.

We ended the day picking up Tim. We were supposed to go to a ball game tonight ($5 a head - AA Team) but it is supposed to rain. Besides, if we wait until Friday, there will be fireworks. So, we are hoping for no rain on Friday.

So that is our day - hope yours was GREAT! Love you all!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


No pictures today - sorry. We went to see "Clifford: The Really Big Movie." Stupid movie! The kids liked it, so I guess that it was worth the time. Plus it was free! I would have really pitched a hissy if I had paid for it. We were one of 300 people - mostly toddlers and screaming infants.

After that we chilled at the motel. I took a nap. The kids played computer games, watched a little t.v., had lunch and dinner.

Then we decided to go swimming at Covenant and be there when Tim needed to be picked up (8:30 p.m.). Now this is the exciting part. Who would have ever thunk you would see this? Here goes: We were driving on the freeway, 60 mph, when we came to the curve that says you must drive 40 mph (I never do and neither does anyone else). So, when I hit the major part of the curve I noticed that the guy in front of me was stopping dead. I said, "What the heck!" We were in the fast lane. Then I noticed why he stopped (in fact all three lanes across were stopping dead in their tracks). In front of us (three cars ahead) were two guys outside their cars punching each other's lights out. One had his belt off and was swinging like mad. The other guy was swinging his bare fists. Only in the south! What a bunch of rednecks. After what seemed like hours - it was only five minutes - we were able to pull around them and be on our way. One of the guys jumped in his car and went the same way as we were (I wondered if we were next). Finally, he pulled off just before we had to turn to go up the mountain. Whew!

Now we are back at our motel having a snack and getting ready for bed - yeah for that! What an exciting way to end a rather boring day. Love you all!

Monday, July 10, 2006


This is how Zachary does the pool - he is always too cold to swim.
Zachary has trouble escaping the "dungeon."
Elyse escapes from the "dungeon."

I can't get the pictures to line up with the captions - sorry. You'll have to be creative to figure this one out.

Today we went to "Mountain Maze" on top of Lookout Mountain. It is basically Valplayso, but much more to do. They have basketball hoops, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and a concession stand. It was a great place inspite of the 99 degrees. I did find some shade to sit in and once in awhile I caught a breeze.

After that, we went swimming at Covenant College. It was a very a nice pool.

Enough for now. Miss you all and love you!

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Sick again until mind over matter to over. Than Zachary played his heart out.

"Aye, Aye, Captain!"

Lily Tomlin, eat my dust. "And that's the truth."

Saturday, July 08, 2006


This morning we had homemade blueberry pancakes, fresh peaches, coffee, orange juice, bacon and hash browns. WOW! It was fantastic! Better yet, I didn't have to cook it or clean it up. It was wonderful!

Then we checked out another motel in the area. I liked it alot. We also checked out rustic cabins near the school. They are terrific too. There are disadvantages to both. We will have to decide for next year which place to stay for the three weeks.

After that we went to see "Cars." A VERY GOOD MOVIE! Dad even laughed - more than tee-hee! So, you KNOW it was good! If you go see the movie - make sure you stay around for the credits. They are almost better than the movie itself.

Now the kids are playing, Dad is doing homework and I am doing laundry. Sounds like a fun Saturday activity - doesn't it. We will do better later when the work is done.

Sorry, no pictures this time.

Love and miss you guys!

Friday, July 07, 2006


"I am sure it will be a hold in one!"

Who is that bald man?

Today started out slow. We took Dad to school and then hit Wal-Mart for a very important shopping trip (apple juice, orange juice and cookies). Vital needs! Then the kids and I drove around town checking out other motels for next year. The first one was like Cabrini Green in Chicago (that is a housing project for the younger set). It was awful. It had more room than our current room, was half the price, but no thank you.

The second place was awesome. It has a small pool, two beds and everything this motel has. BUT, the price is cheaper. Plus the internet is free (we pay $4.90 once for as long as we stay here). Tomorrow we are going to time it and check the miles from Covenant and make sure it is a good idea. We may stay there next year - we will see after tomorrow's test.

Tonight we went miniature golfing. Dad won, of course. Zachary came in second. Elyse was Elyse. She made the limit on almost every hole. But, she had a blast - that is all that counts. Afterwards, we hit the dairy queen. Dad finished his ice cream AND then finished Zachary's. Remember that #1-4?

Now it is bed time. The kids are in bed and I am heading that way after I get this done. Love you all! Miss you!

Thursday, July 06, 2006


We went to Mayfields to watch how they made milk and ice cream. This is the week they were updating the ice cream machines, so we didn't see that being made. But we saw them making the bottles for the milk and filling them with milk. It was very interesting. BUT, we had to wear the above weird hats. The men with beards also had to wear one on their beards. We were all funny looking, especially the men. After the tour, we were allowed to purchase ice cream. Get this! A HUGE single was $1. You couldn't eat it all. But, if you wanted, a double was only $2. The ice cream had Clumpies AND Ben & Jerry's beat by a mile. We also got a jug of chocolate milk (looks like the Chugs in the store). The milk tasted TERRIBLE. But we drank it because we paid $.75 for it (cheapos!). Since I can't figure out how to load the pictures in the order I want, the second picture is from Mayfields. The first picture is from The Lost Sea.

The Lost Sea is a cave walk (about 1 hour tour) with a boat ride in the bottom of the cave. There were rainbow trout in the lake that the tour guide fed while we floated around them. They jumped about a foot out of the water. It was so cool to see. Elyse was hanging on for dear life. She didn't want to get in the boat at all. BUT, standing on shore by herself was even more scary, so she got in and it was white knuckle time.

The climb back up the cave about killed me. There were three stops along the way that more than me took advantage of. The kids ran ahead of me until Elyse realized that I was still at the bottom. They did come back and get me. They were afraid I was going to leave them. Who was leaving who I might ask?

Anyway - enough of this blogging for now. Will write more adventures later! BTW, no throwing up today for the second day in a row - YEAH! Our discovery - we drug him 45 minutes before we leave for each trip and we don't have a problem. In the mornings, I wake him enough to shove a spoonful of applesauce with the pill in the center into his mouth. Then he goes back to sleep for a few more minutes. That has worked for two days now. YEAH!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


First of all, Zachary made it today with puking once. He got up 45 minutes before we had to leave to take Tim to school and took his medicine. He felt fine all the way up and all the way down the mountain.

We came back to the motel and had breakfast and pack for the Children's Museum. We parked at the shuttle parking lot (cost $3 for the day - yesterday's parking lot cost $3 for 1 1/2 hours because we were close to downtown). After parking, we got on the free electric bus and rode down to the museum (we will ride the shuttle every time we go downtown because it is free, fun and much cheaper for parking our car). The only problem with the free shuttle is all the homeless people ride it for free and the reek! But we survived!

So, the museum was GREAT! It was only two floors, but we spent five hours there. The things the kids like best were the Japanese rooms (they got to dress up like Japanese, go to school, eat, write, etc. just like the Japanese students would do). The next fun thing was the rooftop gadgets. The best was a chair (looks like a swing) and you pull a rope in front of you to raise yourselves up (using pulleys - good education for the kids). All the activities on the roof were how to use pulleys. Then there was the GIANT checkers game. Each game piece was big enough to move with your feet. We played for a few minutes and got bored with the game. Zachary was able to do the hula-hoop in another area and surprised all the little ones that couldn't even get the thing started.

I hope I can get some pictures to upload on this blog. If not, I will load them separately. So, you might have to read two entries. So, here goes. The first picture is of Zachary & Elyse serving each other in a Japanese school. The second one is Zachary in the pulley swing.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Today, we decided to try a "new" method of preventing car sickness. Someone (Mrs. Hill) suggested garlic tablets from a health food store. We purchased them and then looked at them. They are horse pills. The sales clerk said to open each capsule and dump the powder on apple sauce - he should be able to swallow it then (which is what we do with other tablets). So, we did. Have you ever tasted ginger powder in applesauce - it isn't pleasant! After getting two glasses of water down to get rid of the taste - we were on our way to the top of Lookout Mountain to drop off Tim at school. Zachary made it to the top without puking - YEAH! But, he wanted to walk around campus a few minutes before coming back down the mountain to the motel for breakfast. So, we waited. When we got back to the motel, Zachary spit a little on the sidewalk. He said that he was going to puke. I handed him the motel key and told him to run. He made it to the potty and exploded all that water and ginger powder.

After a little rest, we went to the theatre to see "Jonah." It is free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We had a little trouble finding the theatre, but we made it. We nearly froze during the film (I guess in the south you keep the air conditioning below freezing). We enjoyed the movie. Many of the parts in the movie were exactly like Elyse's game "Jonah." We laughed at those parts.

So, maybe I should put Zachary in a bowling ball and give him to someone else so he can be "their traveling buddy."

We are going to take a rest now and will talk to you later.

Monday, July 03, 2006


The stairs behind Elyse have water running down on them. The water ends in a pool about 18" deep - give or take a few inches. The other picture is the pool at the bottom.

I can't figure out how to post pictures on this stupid thing. You will have to use your imagination to put the words with the corresponding picture (technology - who needs it).

We went to Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Shop. It was much better than Clumpies. BTW, Em, GR is much better than either one of these stores. I had Key Lime Pie - WOW! It was scrumptious.

Will send pictures again another time. I am sick of this blog thing. Like I said before, we are having a blast. Tomorrow we get to eat at the school. It is a 4th of July picnic (sort of). Tonight is the fireworks. Hopefully, we will get to see them because Dad is at school until 7:00 p.m.


We got up early this morning to take Tim to school. We only had 18.6 miles to go. At the 16.6 mile mark, Zachary threw up and filled the back seat floor with apple juice and bile. The car smells terrific! We are cleaning up two kids (they smell like apple juice) and then heading to the store to get some carpet cleaner and a pail with a lid (for next time). This is getting really old. I will also look for a health food store and get some ginger tablets. Maybe that will help.

Now if we had a college aged girl with us, we could leave the two little ones sleeping while I took Tim to school. Any volunteers? We are right next to an airport if you are willing!

Where are my children when you need them?

Sunday, July 02, 2006


After the dolphin incident, the children said they weren't tired - right?


Dolpins swimming in restricted swimming area within 20 feet of Zachary & Samuel. Do you hear the "Jaws" music?

Going to church!

Yep, we went to church. We picked a Southern Baptist Church that had an early service (8:30 a.m.). Arriving at the church, we realized that most of the congregation is over 70. They were dressed VERY fancy. We, however, had on vacation clothes. Yes, girls, I wore capris, sandals and NO NYLONS (heaven forbid - I am sure I am going to "h"). The singing was pretty good. The preacher didn't really say anything, but he sure had a s-l-o-w drawl. I about went to sleep. Of course, Zachary got sick BEFORE we got to church (it is only 4 miles away). So, we made a "puke" stop and continued to church. He is something else. We need to find a better answer than what we are using. As soon as I find a health food store, I am going to try Mrs. Hill's idea!

After church, we went to El Meson Restaurante Mexicano. There was a Sunday brunch, which we all had. Brunch included about five entrees, five kinds of fresh fruit, drinks and five desserts. Get this: all for $8.99 each and kids under 11 are free. So, for $18 plus tip, four of us ate till we were sick. It was fabulous. We plan on going there again next Sunday after church (of course, we will pick another church).

Tonight we are going to Clumpie's Ice Cream Company. We figure that would be dinner (wouldn't you?). The pictures on line resemble Jersey Junction in GR. We hope it is just as good. Everyone from Covenant says it is GREAT!

Enough for now - nap time is calling me. Love you all!

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I know you are just dying to hear our update, so here goes.

We left Lutz, FL, at 9:30 a.m. We got two miles down the road and Zachary wanted to stop for a rest (whatever!). So, we pulled over and he puked in the lawn (at least it wasn't the car). After 30 minutes, he decided he could go on. So, on we went. We made it another five miles and he said he had to stop. So, stop we did. He puked for another 30 minutes. I gave him some more drugs knowing he threw up the first batch. After eating a small snack he was sure we could go on. About another 30 minutes down the road, he wanted the laptop off his lap (he was playing the "Jonah" game). Elyse took it from him and he started kicking and wiggling and saying he was shaking (I must have overdosed him). So, we stopped again. After another 30 minutes, we realized that it took 1 1/2 hours to get about five or ten miles. YIKES!

When he settled down, we were able to drive the rest of the way without puking.

BUT, I was exhausted so we stopped for a 10 minute nap. It was so noisy (not from the kids) that I couldn't sleep. So, we started driving again. When we needed food, we went through the drive through so we could eat and drive at the same time.

Then came ATLANTA. It took 2 1/2 hours to drive through Atlanta. At one point, we saw a short cut using 41 (the same 41 you take to Rose). So, we took that. It was GREAT! I saw a sign that said I-75 this way. I took it. When I got back to I-75, I merged into traffic rightg behind the SAME TRUCK I left when I took the short cut. Not funny! So, two miles down the road I took another short cut. This time I didn't get back to I-75 until the next town (I think it is Merrietta). At least it saved my nerves!

We arrived at our motel. No elevators, no pool, no carts for luggage, no parking close to your room, etc. The inside of the room is cute. I think we will like it. It is bigger than our camper, but not by much.

Today, we are going grocery shopping and doing the laundry. So, it will be a day of work and resting. We also want to make a dry run to Covenant and time it. That ought to be alot of fun (tongue in cheek).

The kids are doing fairly well, even if there isn't much room for running around. Will update you as we have something to say. Love you guys and miss you muches.