Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Farm

During the kids Fall Break we visited my Grandparents. Both of them are still loving though my Grandfather's health is not as good as it once was. My Grandmother is almost 87 and my Grandfather is 88. His heart is functioning at only 30% due to so much blockage but isn't stable enough for any type of surgery. Neither one of them travels far from home and my Grandfather only leaves to go to the dr. He isn't able to walk very good anymore and is very unstable. He has a wheelchair which he refuses to use. He will however use his walker which is helpful most of the time. In this next picture my Grandfather looks pretty rough. He is a pretty large man (not fat but almost 6 ft tall and dead weight sometimes) and it really wears my Grandmother out dealing with him physically. He doesn't bath daily now b/c she doesn't have the strength to help him and he is so unstable and falls easily that she doesn't want to risk him falling (on Tuesday of this week he fell 4 times but luckily didn't break anything however she couldn't get him up and had to call some friends to help 3 times and the sheriff to help the other time sometimes they have to send the ambulance to help get him up). He also had just come from the bathroom and nobody noticed his pants weren't buttoned or zipped :) I still love the picture though, I cherish any pictures of my kids with my Grandparents as I am very close to them.

My Grandparents and 3 of their great grand kids

My Grandparents owned a farm for many yrs and we still call it "our farm". They had 150 acres of the richest farmland in west TN. They farmed that land with corn and soybeans up until 4 yrs ago when my Grandfather's health started declining. They sold everything but the house. Their house is really special...nothing fancy but lots of memories. My Grandfather has lots of lumber on his farm and when they built that house 35 yrs ago he cut the lumber for the house himself. He split all the wood himself also. Each room is paneled in a different wood....walnut, pine, maple and cherry. It is absolutely beautiful. All the closets are lined with cedar. If it was possible I would put the house on a trailer and bring it here :) One day the house too will be sold and there will be many tears from the 4 grand-daughter. Unfortunately neither of my Grandparents 2 son-in-laws nor 4 grandson-in-laws are farmers so we will have to part with it eventually :(

Their farm is about 6 hrs away north-west of Knoxville so we started out bright and early Saturday morning. My dad sat out this trip so it was just my mom and I plus 3 kids who are the best travelers. The make this trip often enough to be familiar with it :)

Sunday we went to church and my Grandmother got to show off her great grand kids. It was a treat for her have us with her as she normally attends church by herself. My Grandfather hasn't been in about 2 yrs due to his health. When we got home it was lunch time which was great. My Grandmother is the best cook. We sampled homemade fried chicken, fried catfish, fried apples (from here trees), fresh corn (well it was fresh in August but she pulled it from the freezer) and spaghetti made from her own spaghetti sauce (which is wonderful).

Sunday afternoon the man who rents the surrounding property was combining the soybeans so we spent the afternoon on a blanket in the front yard watching. There were 2 combines and they were emptying the soybeans into a trailer on an 18 wheeler. I have seen it done a million times but that was a 1st for Caleb and Madison (my Grandfather was still farming when Taylor was little so she has seen it not sure if she remembers though). Caleb decided that he wanted to be a "combine driver" when he grows up. He doesn't want to plow the fields or plant the seeds just combine then :) He was thrilled when at dusk the combine trucks put on their lights. His face light up almost as bright as the light on the trucks :) He stood at the foot of my Grandparents driveway and waved as each piece of machinery passed and each person driving waved at him. That thrilled him. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of his face. I also wish I had my nice Cannon camera but was making due with my little point and shoot Cannon since the big one isn't working and needs to go to the "camera doctor".

The combines "combining"

Taylor and Madison watching the combines

Caleb running around the front yard

All 3 of the kids watching the combine action :)

Caleb and Grandmother

Taylor and Grandmother

I got some great pic of Madison with my Grandmother but they are turned sideways and I don't know how to rotate them on my in-laws computer (mine is acting up again).

We had such a great time visiting with them and helping my Grandmother out. When Hurricane Ike came through it caused some serious winds to come through their area. They had a tool shed that didn't survive the wind. After the insurance paid out my Grandmother purchased a free standing shed. We helped her put thing s from the took shed into the new shed. We purchased wood to build shelves but didn't get that done. I am not a carpenter! I did however build a new frame for her well house :) I was so proud of myself. I was able to get the measurements right and went to Lowe's and had the 2x4's cut to the right length and just had to assemble it once I was home. I am proud to say that I didn't smash my fingers or the fingers of my helpers (aka my mom and Grandmother). I know they are thankful for that fact :)

We will be going again at Thanksgiving. I haven't celebrated Thanksgiving with my Grandparents since i got married (around 11 yrs) so I am looking forward to that. Plus she is such a good cook. Maybe we will get those shelves up when we go down then.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Glade

A few weeks ago we were able to spend the weekend at The Glade (a resort in Crossville for those readers who aren't familiar with our area). It is really nice and we have been able to enjoy a 3 stays there in the fast 6 months. This time we again gathered with all of Matt's family including and his 2 aunts and uncle who came in from Colorado. Let me tell you Matt's family knows how to have fun when together. There was lots of laughing and goofing off. We had taken some great pictures with our camera but of course lost them so are having to "borrow"pictures from NaNa and Peepaw.

Matt and Daniel looking oh so skinny :)

Aunt Anna with Daniel and Hannah (and Uncle Don in the background)

The cousins had a blast getting to play together and the weather was wonderful for that. They were able to be outside which is the best place for 10 kids under the age of 13 :) We enjoyed good food, fun games (ladderball as well as some other ones), some baby holding (sweet little Hannah), some hot tubbing/swimming, good photo opts and some paddle-boating :)

Madison loving on Hannah (also in the picture Aunt Amy and Kelsey)

Matt and Daniel playing some Ladderball

Uncle Costen and Aunt Paula playing Ladderball

Taylor loving on sweet baby Hannah

Matt and I took the 10 oldest kids out on the lake for about an hour. I really enjoyed my time because I didn't have to do much paddling :) That is one heck of a workout!

Me, Matt and some of the kiddos out on the lake

Peepaw, Madison and Shelby who is behind Madison sitting on the dock watching us

We are truly blessed to be able to spend so much time with our family. Everyone gets along and is able to truly enjoy time spent together.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Still alive!

We are all still alive just really busy lately and having major computer issues. I have been using my parent's or my in-laws computers to do all my email checking, blog reading and facebook checking since ours hasn't been too cooperative lately. We got it "fixed" sorta about 2 weeks ago but it wasn't a permanent thing. I procedded to upload all my pictures to the computer and erase the camera thinking once we got the internet connection up and running I would blog. Well that isn't happening :( All my pictues are gone (ok not all just the ones from this month).

Actually while I was gone the computer decided that it would just crash. Poor Matt, he hated to tell me that my pictures were gone. I hated to hear that but luckily they weren't the most important pictures. While there were some really good ones (Taylor's last cross country meet, kids goofing off, pictures of the boys camping trip) they weren't my kids births, 1st time crawling, 1st time walking, etc.

Now I have these great things to blog about but no pictures to go with the words :(

Taylor is done with Cross Country for the winter....she will start up again in the spring. In the meantime we (me and her) are going to continue to run 2 mile twice a week (that is all I can commit to at the moment). She is looking forward to starting taekwando (not certain if that is spelled right) and possibly gymnastics.

She received her report card last week and got straight A's which earned her a $10 from both her parents and one set of grandparents (that would by my parents). She also let Nana pull a loose tooth while on vacation which earned her another $5. So she is getting rich at the moment and I am getting poorer :) She earned the money for her grades. She was really worried she was going to have a B in math and pulled off an A. She worked really hard for that.

Caleb received his report card too (though it is not really like a report card those 1st 9 weeks of kindergarten). He is doing well in the study part but is struggling with the rules. His teacher isn't concerned, said that is normal for boys. They have a harder time adjusting to a scheduled day. I am praying she is right. She did say he was a joy to have in class. His problem is also having everything perfect and learing to manage time.

Caleb went on a Boys Camping trip with Matt, Aaron and Aaron's family. He had a blast and can't wait to go camping again. I had some great pictures but sadly they are gone :(

Madison is loving school. She can't wait to go and asks almost every morning if she is going to school today.

So that is what we have been up to lately. I do have some pics from our trip to my Grandparent's farm that I will be posting later. And we are headed to Dollywood on Saturday so I will have pics from that.