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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The End of a Long Month

Yeah, I know, the month has only 31 days, so it can't really be longer than that. But, it sure did feel like it.

However, it ended well. Kevin is home from the hospital and living with us. :) He is thrilled to be home and looking forward to starting a new life. We're happy to have him with us for awhile; just 'til he gets on his feet or November 1, whichever comes first! ;)

Actually, he's in the market for a truck and an RV. He wants to live off base in an RV so that he can keep his dogs with him. We, of course, think this is a fine idea. Hmmmm . . . wonder where he got the idea??? :)

That's all for now. We're gonna be doing our first-of-the-month errands tomorrow. Maybe we'll be getting back to “normal” - whatever that is!

Until the next time . . .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Moved & Settled In Once Again

We broke camp this morning to move further west on Route 70. The plan was to set up camp for the next couple of months in Paxico at Mill Creek RV. This was the only park we could find space in; they had to do some shifting around for us, but were willing to do so. Every other park in the area said they were filled to the brim. And of course, we have Labor Day weekend coming up,too.

As we headed down the road, I got a phone call from Acorns RV Resort. This was one of the first parks we'd contacted regarding space. It is just outside of Fort Riley and would have been perfect for Kevin. They had nothing, but would call if something came up. Well, wouldn't you know it – they call today!! We were just five miles from our exit for Mill Creek and we get this call. Randy was ready to just stay at Mill Creek, but I wasn't sure. Acorns would be so much more convenient for Kev. Then, Brenda (from Acorns) told me our site fee would be $325/month including electric!! Mill Creek was very reasonable at $300/month, but we would have to pay our own electric. That made it a no-brainer – closer to Kev's work, included electric and it was closer to WalMart and Curves. Perfect!!

I called Judy at Mill Creek and explained that we had been offered a site closer to Ft. Riley. She understood and I thanked her profusely for her willingness to help us. I encourage anyone wanting a park within 30 minutes of Topeka to check out Mill Creek or Crossroads RV. Crossroads is where we've been for the last two and a half weeks. It is very reasonably priced – just $80/week plus electric. Or, if you're going to be in the area for a month, it's just $250/month plus electric. You cannot beat that!

I have to commend the workers at all three parks – they have been pleasant to deal with, very helpful in our struggle to find a park for the next couple of months.

While our site at Acorns is not as “pretty,” it gives us what we need; a full-hook site for two months. We are set up on a gravel lot with no shade. It's gonna be hot, but hey, we're not paying our electric, so let the A/C run. We do have to move for Labor Day weekend, but then the site is ours.

I had to laugh when we got the call from Acorns. I had pretty much given up on them, figuring we'd not hear from them. But, God had another plan. He needed me to see that He does provide, in His time. I am grateful for this site and that God continues to show me His grace in the midst of my lack of faith.

We expect Kevin to come home from the hospital tomorrow. YAY! And it looks like he will be living with us for the time being. He hopes to get his own truck & 5th wheel and start his own full-timing journey. We continue to covet your prayers for his health and well-being. You have all been wonderful in your support of our family. “Thank you” just doesn't seem enough, but it's all I got. So, thank you.

Until the next time . . .

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Historical Pictorial

How do you like that title? I am quite proud of myself, I must say. Doesn't take much these days! HA!

First, some more good news. We finally found a campground where we can stay for the duration of our time here in Kansas. Praise God! With all of the construction and some kind of pipeline work, the military families who live in RVs AND Labor Day weekend, we couldn't find a site for a week, much less two months. But, Kevin remembered a billboard for a campground about 30 minutes east of Ft. Riley. Randy & I stopped by there yesterday on our way to check out the state park near the base and I talked to the owner. She was a kind older woman who was sympathetic to our need. In short, she talked to her daughter who actually runs the park and the daughter, Judy, called me later and said they would find us something for the entire time! I could have just blubbered all over the phone and told her so. We will have to pull out for one night in mid-September as they are full to the brim because of a festival, but hey, that is NO problem. We are just grateful to have a site. God promises to provide for our needs and He did – in spite of my unbelief. He is so faithful. Why can't I remember that!?!?!!!

Now, on to our historical afternoon on Wednesday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, sunny with a breeze. Perfect for walking around the historic neighborhood of Potwin Place. This neighborhood was placed on National Register in 1980. Its name comes from Charles Wolcott Potwin who bought the 70 acres and divided the land into 80 lots. When I was reading about the neighborhood, we found a very slight connection to Randy; Mr. Potwin was from Zanesville, Ohio which is very near Randy's birthplace of Caldwell. Okay, I said it was a slight connection! :) To read more about Potwin Place, click here.

Here are pictures of some of my favorite houses. I wish you could have walked along with us – the tree-lined streets provided shade for us. It was quite lovely.

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Each of the intersections have circles in the middle of them. Some were better cared for than others, but again, it was nice touch to the neighborhood.


A few more houses . .

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Once we'd walked throughout Potwin Place, we made our way to Old Prairie Town at Ward Meade Historic Site. Anthony & Mary Jane Ward bought the acreage that is now the park in 1854 and members of their family lived there until 1961 (can you imagine!) when the City of Topeka bought the property and turned it into a park. You can read all about the history of the land and how it is used today here.

There are tours offered at the park until 4pm. Of course, we got there about 4:15 and the place was deserted! However, we could still walk through and enjoy the park and read about the various buildings and enjoy the serenity of the botanical gardens. So, we did. :)

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After the last couple of weeks of stress and unknowns, it was lovely to spend a gorgeous day outside with Randy. Walking along those shaded streets, hand in hand, it reminded me of what is important and that God, indeed, is in control.

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finally, a Little Exploration . . .

. . . very little. But, at least we got out and did something. :) Since Topeka is the capitol of Kansas,

Topeka, KS

we figured we'd check out the State Capitol Building. It's undergoing renovation, but we thought we'd be able to enjoy it anyway.

Beautiful bldg Well. The renovation is MAJOR. Major renovation work And this is just one side of the building.

Kevin told us we might not be able to experience it as well as before the renovation began, but I thought we'd be able to see enough. Unfortunately, Kevin was right (darn it!) and we were unable to truly enjoy the gorgeous murals that are painted throughout. We got some pictures, but because of the placing of the construction, we couldn't get good angles. Oh, well. At least we got to see them.

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 We also got to tour the chambers of the House of Representatives and Senate. These are absolutely beautiful rooms.

House of Rep chamber P1120290

 The building was placed on the National Historic Register in 1971, so you can imagine the beauty of the interior. The wood and brass work is intricate and lovely.

Lovely wood and brasswork Very intricate; just a sample

The elevator in the building is hand operated. It is someone's job to sit in the elevator and bring it when called. Isn't that cool?

Person-run elevator

 While our tour was short – we were in and out in less than an hour – it was fun. I found it interesting that one of flags flown over the capitol is the POW/MIA flag. I don't know if that's typical, but I liked that they do.

US, KS, and POWMIA flags

 Since we didn't take as long at the capitol as we thought, we had lots of time to waste until we'd be able to visit Kevin. Lots of time – 3.5 hours!! We made the most of it; doing one of Randy's favorite, and my least favorite, thing – window shopping. Ugh. But, I was a good girl and didn't complain. Really, I didn't!! You can ask Randy. We meandered through Hobby Lobby, Bed, Bath & Beyond; got some dinner at Golden Corral, and then meandered some more through the mall. Thankfully, the mall had a very nice sitting area with plush chairs. We enjoyed a quiet half hour in those chairs. My favorite part of the “meandering.” :)

Had a great visit with Kevin. He's improving each day and continuing to talk through what he wants to do upon leaving the hospital. It's good to see him thinking positive about his future. His caregivers have been fantastic. We are very grateful for God's provision of care.

Looks like Kevin will be released next Monday! Now, we have to find another campground and it's proving much harder than expected. Apparently, there is pipeline work being done in the area and those workers have filled the campgrounds. But, I am trusting God to know what we need when we need it. Not easy for me to do 'cause I want to fix it – NOW! But, I'm trusting. :)

Thanks again for the calls, emails, comments, prayers that you are sharing with us. They do mean a lot and while we may not tell each of you how much we appreciate you, please know that we do.

Until the next time . . .

Friday, August 20, 2010

No Exploring, But There’s Good News

We had hoped to do a bit of exploring around Topeka today but the weather just didn't cooperate and we had a couple of errands to run that took longer than expected. Oh, well. Maybe next week we'll get some sightseeing done.

However, we did have some good news. Randy & I met with Kevin and some of his caregivers today. Kevin has made great strides in the last few days and if this trend continues, he'll probably go home by the end of next week! This is wonderful news and we are very encouraged, as you can imagine.

We have been overwhelmed with the kindness of our family and friends. We know that it is because of the prayers and support during these last couple of weeks that we have been able to function effectively. We ask you to continue to pray for Kevin's health and for us as we support him over the next couple of months.

Maybe the next post will have pictures! :) Wouldn't that be nice. Until then . . .

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another One of Life’s Curves

What a difference a week makes! Last weekend we were enjoying cookouts with friends and family and this weekend we find ourselves outside of Topeka, Kansas visiting our son, Kevin, in the hospital.

This past Tuesday we hit the road (with the RV) to make a 1200 mile, 3 day trip to Topeka. We needed to be here to support Kevin. We arrived at Crossroads RV Park in Lyndon, KS early Thursday afternoon. It had been a long trip, to say the least.

We are grateful for this campground. It's clean, has some shade and, best of all, it's only $80/week plus electric! Can't beat that! Also, it's only 30 minutes from the hospital.

Just wanted to let everyone know we're doing okay, but probably won't be posting a lot unless we slide some sightseeing in along the way. Since we can only visit Kevin in the evenings during the week, we may take advantage of being in the state capitol and explore a bit. If so, I'll certainly share our adventures with you.

Please pray for our family, Kevin specifically. He's struggling to make sense of his life and we plan to be here to support him along the way. We are so very grateful for this lifestyle that allows us the flexibility to be with him for as long as we need to be. God is good and provides for our needs.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Weekend Filled with Friends

There's nothing like getting together with old friends, is there? Our weekend was all about reconnecting with folks.

Yesterday Jason & Lindsay hosted a cook-out for folks with whom we've been friends for over 20 years! We all went to church together years ago and have kept in touch. Through the “magic” of Facebook, we've been able to connect even more in the last couple of years. Last year we had the first “old friends” cookout and it was just a hit we decided to do it again this year.

Once again, it was a success. There was much laughter and reminiscing. It's fun to see our kids' kids play together. Three generations of friends. How cool is that!?!?!!!

Today we had James, Amita, Kelly, and Kate out to the campground. Kelly & Kate have visited with us before when we summered in Maryland, but James & Amita have never been to to the RV. So, that was fun giving them the ten cent tour.

We took the girls to the pool for awhile. Kelly & Kate are the ones who participate in swim team and they will get in the water any chance they can. After about an hour or so, we came back to the RV to eat dinner.

Dinner was hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and mac & cheese. It had cooled off a bit so we ate outside at the picnic table. That was a novelty as Randy & I never do that. :)

It was great catching up with James and Amita and the girls. They are like family to us and we just adore those girls.

As I stated on Facebook, it is such a gift to have friends with whom you can just pick up where you left off – no matter how long it's been since you've seen them. We've had a weekend filled with that gift.

Until the next time . . .

Friday, August 06, 2010

She’s Ready for Her Close-up, Mr. DeMille

We watched a star being born today. Reagan has been attending a drama camp this week which culminated in today's performance of “Tacky the Penguin.” Reagan played the part of a penguin named Mrs. Goodly.

Needless to say, she was fantastic! :) She sang when she was supposed to sing, smile when she was supposed to smile and showed fear when she was supposed to be scared. She loved every minute of it. And we did, too.

P1120241 Mr & Mrs Goodly aka Luke & Reagan P1120234 Oh, no!! Here come the hunters! 

And taking a final bow . . .Taking a bow

All of the kids were really cute. It was a cast of four and five year olds. Of course, you never know what's going to happen with kids that age and there was a bit of a snag. The little girl playing the title role of Tacky decided she could do nothing more than stand there. Tacky

She would not say her lines, sing her song or do any of the action she was supposed to do. All Reagan had to say afterward was, “Emily wouldn't do her part – that made it a bad play.” We assured her it wasn't a bad play at all and explained stage fright to her. She got it immediately. I asked her why she didn't play Tacky and she told me she wasn't going to do all those things that Tacky had to do! :) Gotta love it. The girl knows what she likes and doesn't like.

To celebrate her emergence into the world of acting, the four of us went to Olive Garden for lunch. We had a great time. It was a nice end to the morning.

We ran a couple of errands on the way home and then just vegged for a couple of hours. This evening we sat outside for a bit with Barry and Penny, then decided we needed to make an ice cream run. So, the four of us took a ride to Bruster's for a treat.

The weekend is a busy one. We have a cookout at Lindsay's tomorrow and another one here at the campground. Great friends at both. It's gonna be good.

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Midweek Shopping

I met Lindsay at Panera today for a lite brunch before shopping for a joint cookout we're having this weekend. Reagan was at her drama camp, so it was just Lins and I. It's been a long time since just the two of us spent any “real” time together. It was soooo nice. I really enjoy Lindsay and am so grateful that she likes to spend time with me, too. I know that's not often the case with moms and daughters. So, I don't take for granted the relationship we have; I thank God for it.

After a yummy brunch, we set off for Target, Lindsay's favorite store. I am providing the paper products for the cookout, but Lindsay is hosting it, so I wanted to get what she likes. I need to shop with her more often – she is so frugal and gets the best buys. While there I also picked up a couple of Christmas presents! All due to Lindsay's eagle eye in spotting good stuff for an inexpensive price.

I'll admit it. I'm a buyer, not a shopper. Shoppers save a lot more money than buyers. Lindsay is definitely a shopper. So, I'm taking her with me when I do the rest of my Christmas shopping. :)

Once we were done at Target, it was time to pick up Reagan at camp. She didn't know I would be there, so it was fun to see her face when she spotted me. I gotta say, there is nothing like having your granddaughter light up when she sees you and then launch herself into your arms. I'll never get enough of that!

I had one more stop to make to pick up a present for Kelly. Her family is coming for a cookout on Sunday and we hadn't given Kelly her birthday gifts yet. Hey, we're only a month late! The three of us got that done and then, it was lunch time!

We went to CiCi's Pizza for lunch. Reagan likes it there and it's CHEAP! :) Lunch done, it was time to take me back to my truck and say good-bye.

Gotta love my girlies.

The rest of the day has been spent with Randy at the RV, in the A/C. This heat is horrible and I know we don't have it as bad as the south. Between the humidity and the heat, it's hard to get motivated.

I hear thunder as I write this. Maybe we'll get a nice storm and the humidity will ease up. One can hope, can't one???????

Until the next time . . .

Monday, August 02, 2010

Welcome, August!

Yep, we've crossed into another month. I'm hoping this month is less stressful than July turned out to be. :) Looking forward to just hanging out in PA – all month!!

And you know the drill for today – since it's the first of the month, we did our first-of-the-month tasks. Banking, big grocery run, bookkeeping. Same old, same old.

We heard from Kevin & Sara. They are in Eureka Springs, Arkansas enjoying a well-earned vacation. It was great to hear the joy in Kevin's voice as he told me about some of the things they've done and plan to do. No results yet on the MRI and EEG Kevin underwent before leaving for vacation, but I figure if the docs find anything, they'll let him know. We just thank God that Kevin's health seems to have “righted itself.”

That's it for us. Until the next time . . .

Sunday, August 01, 2010

It’s Christmas!!

Well, it was this weekend at Cedar Lake Campground.

Christmas in July 2010

Each year the campground celebrates Christmas during the last weekend in July and then New Year's Eve during the first weekend in August. The owners figure the campground “family” is not together during these times because of the park being closed, so it was decided to celebrate during the summer.

Many sites are decorated to the max with all kinds of Christmas paraphernalia. Others (like ours) have a few lights up. And still others have none.

Our site (with Reagan doing her “Vanna” pose)P1120171

Others around the park P1120173 P1120174 P1120175 P1120179

The decorated sites are judged and the ones deemed the best are given some kind of prize. And yes, the judges can be bought! :)

To cap off the celebration, we all gather together for Christmas dinner. The park provides the turkey, ham and sodas with campers bringing a dish to share. You certainly can't go hungry around here; if you do, it's your own darn fault! The tables fairly groan under the weight of all the food.

Santa and Mrs. Claus come to the celebration, too. Presents are given out and general mayhem ensues when everyone tries to get their picture taken with Santa. We didn’t stay for Santa’s arrival as Reagan needed to get home to see her daddy before he left on business travel.

In addition to celebrating Christmas, we decided to have Reagan spend Friday night with us. We figured she'd get a kick out of all the decorations. Plus, it's always fun to have her around. :)

That was pretty much our weekend. We went to church this morning with Lindsay & Reagan and then out to lunch with them afterward. The rest of today has been spent napping, watching TV, and doing some first-of-the-month tasks.

Hope you've had a great weekend. Until the next time . . .