Thursday, July 21, 2011

So Much

I seem to be getting into the habit of not posting for awhile, then writing a catch-up post and posting consistently for about a month, then falling out of posting again.  Rinse, repeat.  I hate that it's been happening but some days I am just so busy.  Other days, I just honestly don't feel like doing anything with the blog.  Other days, like most this recent dry spell, I just don't feel like hashing everything out.   But here goes--here's a recap of the good, bad and ugly that has happened since my last post.  There is just so much.

*In May we had a hail storm that totalled Andy's car, almost totalled the Durango and camper, caused damage to the truck and resulted in us needing a new roof on the house/garage and our shed. 

*2 days after buying Andy's car back from the insurance company, something in the transmission broke.  We decided that at just over 300,000 miles, it was time to just let Rhonda the Honda go.  We retired the old girl and bought a new commuter car for Andy.  Then only a week later, the Durango (which we were only driving sporadically anyway) started having some issues in the rear-end.  Sigh.

*School ended for the girls and we started our summer non-routine of storytime, extra kids, sleeping in, playdates, softball games, 4H functions...

*Alayna attended a week of horse camp through 4H at the fairgrounds.  I went along as an additional adult to help with classes, workshops, food prep...basically whatever was needed.  Alayna and Chloe worked well together and had a great time.  The only downfall was literal--Chloe tripped while Alayna was working with her in the arena and they both went down.  Thankfully, they were okay and got right back up, Alayna got right back on, and they finished their lesson.

*We participated with a group of our friends and their kids in the Kiddie Parade for the local town festival.  The kids got second or third (I honestly don't seems eons ago) for their entry.  All the kids (22 of them from 9 moms!) were dressed as various farm animals, with strollers and wagons for the younger kids decorated as a barn, tractor, field, etc.  It was so much fun for everyone involved!

*We went to Milwaukee with our good friends for a weekend in late June.  We were just 40 miles from the city when we hit a ridge in the road from construction and broke a motor mount...on Andy's new-to-us car.  The next morning we discussed what to do.  We still had some of our insurance money, since the Durango wasn't worth fixing and Andy could re-roof the house himself, and we'd talked about buying a new SUV this fall or coming spring.  We decided to look for a new vehicle and if we found one, great.  If not, we'd get a rental to drive home since our car wouldn't be ready until Tuesday.  We got a great deal on an Expedition, a steal really for the shape/year/mileage (perfect condition, 2004, 80K miles) and drove that home.  Our friends were staying until Tuesday anyway and drove the car home with them.

*While in Milwaukee, we went to the Brewers and Twins game.  They are our 2 favorite teams, one being NL and the other AL.  The only time we don't cheer for the Twins is if they are playing the Brewers, our overall #1 baseball team.  The Brewers whomped the Twins!

*July 1 we were heading out to go camping for Fourth of July weekend.  We left the house at 7, after a severe  thunderstorm warning had expired by 30 mins and not left a drop of rain (it went north of us) or any wind at our house.  We got only 3 miles from home when we saw a wall cloud, and the wind went from nothing to breaking trees.  We got to a T intersection and turned around to head back home, since we knew we were at the front of the storm.  We went about a mile back towards home before the wind caught up to us again.  We attempted to make it to our neighbor's parents' house but the wind actually caught our camper and blew it over while we were driving, pulling the truck over with it.  It was the most awful thing ever, hearing the girls scream like that.  But thank God, we were all buckled up and safe--not a scratch on us.  The dogs were in the back of the truck and were okay, too.  After we waited out the worst of the wind still in the truck, Andy then pulled us all out straight up through the driver's window and we ran to a house across the field.  The next 2 days were spent going through and cleaning up our camper, now with only 1 wall standing.  Obviously, insurance totalled the camper and truck.  Ironically enough, our lawn-mower trailer was hooked to our camper and that never moved--it was on it's wheels and the straps never loosened, the mowers never moved an inch on that trailer.  100+ mph straight line winds swept through the area without any warning, causing severe damage to homes, trees, buildings, and taking the lives of 2 people.  A picture of our truck and camper on their sides was the top picture on the front page of the newspaper that covers our 2 area counties that week.  We never wanted to be on the front page for something like that.

*In the midst of everything, Andy and I celebrated our 30th birthdays.  To us, turning 30 wasn't a big deal like it is to some people.  We didn't have panic attacks or go out and do something that could be construed as an early mid-life crisis.  We just celebrated them low-key and moved on with life.

*Alayna and Lilly have been busy getting things ready for the county fair, which is coming up very quickly.  The are both bringing calves and cookies.  Lilly is also doing a report/poster on birds and a drawing.  Alayna is adding her horse, jewelry, photography, knitting, a pillow, and a bulletin board to her cookies and calves.  It is Alayna's first year as a full 4H member, so she can bring and do a lot more than Lilly, who is a Cloverbud, or junior 4H member.

*We've been dealing with some major storm anxiety with Mikayla.  She's now realized that the little box on the bottom of the tv screen means that somewhere near us, there is severe weather.  She is terrified of storms, where before she liked them, and will shake, break out in a cold sweat and sob if she thinks there is going to be one.  We have been working through it with her and she was getting better, but the other night we were at Andy's parents' house and there was a tornado warning, so we had to seek shelter.  That started her fears again and now she doesn't want to leave the house in the evening, convinced that it means it will storm if we leave.   It's heart-breaking to see her like that.

*The storm that triggered the tornado warning while we were at my in-laws' house caused one of their big pine trees to fall over.  It also produced lightning that hit a different tree in their pasture and killed 9 cattle (5 cows, 2 heifers and 2 calves) who were seeking shelter and shade under the tree.  So sad.

*Alayna is coming home tomorrow from a week at Bible camp with her best friend.  They were so excited to spend the week together, and I can't wait to hear all about it!  We've missed her so much!

*This past week has been the hottest week in a very long time in our area.  Our actual air temps were above 95 for 6 days in a row, with dew points in the 70s and 80s causing 110+ heat indexes.  We broke records for the highest recorded dew point and heat index.  I loathe heat and humidity.

So that's the quick but not so quick recap of everything that's been going on.  Of course, in the middle of it all, I'm still doing daycare, Andy's still working, we're still running here and there for everything under the sun.  Needless to say, I'm done with this summer.  I've had enough and just need things to settle down, cool down and be plain and boring for awhile.