Monday, July 9, 2012

We're Back!!

After being gone for 9 days I can't wait to get back to my peeps out in the blogging world.  When I say peeps I mean the people I pretend read my blog and can't wait for a new update!  There are a few of you out there, I dream.  We started out on our family vacation 10 days ago.  At that point we couldn't wait to see grandmas and grandpa, cousins and especially new baby Miley aka "Hannah Montana".   On our 6 hour drive back to Ohio we get a call from Nate's mom telling us that their power is out.  A bad storm with 80 mph winds had gone through and wrecked havoc on the area where we grew up.  To late to turn back we kept trucking on to the aftermath of a terrible storm which had much of Ohio out of power. 
{Dairy Queen Stop -- Lil Miss's first Ice Cream Cone}
We woke up the next morning to large trees down, debris everywhere and a power line down in my in-laws backyard.  Pam wasn't exaggerating it looked pretty bad.  The boys all pitched in and started picking up sticks (really more like branches bigger than me!) and worked up a really good sweat.  Rosie was a HUGE help picking up sticks and helping Grandma Pam make breakfast, lunch and dinner in the camper on the gas stove.  

 We got to see baby Miley and sneak in a few snuggles.  Gigi and Rosie were fighting over the little addition.  They were in heaven.  It was so hard to imagine that lil miss was that small just a short time ago.  How time flies! 
 {Grandpa Bill hard at work}

 You don't need electricity to play instruments so that is what the kids did.  Grandma Pam got out her new steel drum she had bought and taught the kids how to play "Mary had a little lamb".   Soon Bubba was holding concerts and showing of his new skills.  We might have to invest in a steel drum ourselves.  The sound is so festive!  It makes me want to get up and dance or at least sit down with a drink with a little umbrella in my hand.  Not that we need more noise makers in the house.
 I can't tell you how many times I tried to turn a light switch on, or how many times the kids asked to watch tv, or the number of times Gigi said "I'm hot!"  but it was ALOT.  It was amazing that without power the kids still had a blast playing with the basketballs, bikes, and using their imaginations to play.  No power needed to have fun. 
 {Lil Miss and Grandma Bill}
It's something about Grandpas that kids can't resist.  Lil Miss was attached to Grandpa Bill from the moment we stepped into the house.  In fact she wouldn't even leave grandpa's arms to go to her own mommy.  :-(   Pam says it is because they get to be fun all the time and don't have to do any of the dirty diapers, baths, or discipline.  Whatever it is, Lil Miss is smitten. 
{First lawn mower ride -- happy as a lark}
 We were going to stay in Kalida for 3 days, but we cut our time short because of the simple fact that Grandma Judy had power and a pool.  Tough choice but we decided a cool down is what we needed.  So we packed up our luggage  (in the dark) and headed south to Tennessee and electricity.  It was sad when we enjoyed being in the car just for the A/C.  The whole Blankemeyer family gets together at my Mom's house in Tennessee every summer and have a blast.  The kids get to see all their cousins and play til their hearts content. 
 {all lined up in a row}
 For a little girl who hates taking baths, Lil Miss loved the pool and the lake.  She would float around in her life jacket kicking her feet and smiling.  As soon as I tried to clean her up in the evening in the bathtub she was screaming bloody murder.  I don't get it. 
{Grandma Judy and Lil Miss}
 We got a few sunset cruises in while we were there.  As hot as it was out, the night time cruise was not excruciatingly hot and some people even wore jackets. 
{Goofing off}
 {our view}
 On July 4th we not only celebrated the Red, White and Blue, we also celebrated my mom's 70th birthday.   Her actual birthday wasn't until the 8th but we wanted the whole crew to be there. 
One of her gifts was 70 years of memories.  I had contacted her closest friends and talked to the family and had everyone send me at least one memory of my mom.  It was fun reading through some of the things other people had to say about my mother.  She is a pretty amazing woman.  One lady remembers my mom carrying a recliner from one side of the room to the other without batting an eye.  Another friend told stories of mom as a little girl and playing "church" and taking turns being the priests.  I learned a few new things about her, but I always knew how great she was.
  {Mason and Lil Miss thought the golf cart was their own little playground}
 {driving miss daisy}
 We can't have 4th of July without a little sparkle.  We lit some sparklers and watched some fireworks. 
 Pinterest Fail -- I saw on pinterest a great idea to keep little hands away from the sparklers.  You put a hole in a cup and stick the sparkler through the hole.  We tried this... the cup started on fire, don't use paper cups.  I suggested we use plastic cups but Nate said that they would have melted.... so FAIL. 
 Many days we pushed it pretty hard between swimming in the lake, pool, tennis, and walks.  One day Lil Miss couldn't stand it any longer and fell asleep during lunch. 
The best part about family vacation is loving on the cousins.  After a few days, Lincoln and Mason warmed up to us and there were some hugs and smiles.  Spending time with the older nephews and nieces, I got to learn more about them since we don't get to see them very often.  Nick and Nate had a good time making homemade ice cream TWICE.  The first batch sadly didn't turn out so we had to make it the next day and we had success. 
{Aunt Dini and Mr. Mason}
 The kids really started to become water bugs this summer.  I am amazed out how far Gigi has come.  Last year she wouldn't swim by herself even with her life jacket on.  This year she is a master at dunking her head and can swim in the water without her life jacket short distances.  Bubba is jumping in the pool without his life jacket and Rosie is a pro at swimming underwater and can swim the length of the pool.  Crazyiness!! 
 {Yep, life's rough!}

 These two have a love/hate relationship.  One minute they are playing nicely and having their own conversation and the next minute they are scratching each other and squealing.  They are just so darn cute though.
 Our drive home yesterday was pretty uneventful.  We did make a pitstop at Cracker Barrel though and enjoy some breakfast for lunch.  Nate got grits so he was happy!  Too bad we had to get back on the road and finish our 10 hour drive home. 
Today is laundry day.  I have quite the collection.  3 loads down and 6 more to go.  Grateful to have power today!  Sad that 1/2 the summer is over  :-(

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