Plans Awry

In a perfect world (which, of course, would be the world according to Stephanie) we’d be barreling across Iowa on Interstate 80 – maybe closing in on DesMoines. We’d be on our last leg of the 1000 mile trek from Columbus, OH to Howard, SD.
Road to Rapid city-1

Apparently that was not to be. Today we are sitting at the Big Rig Brake Shop in Enon, Ohio – all of about 100 miles into our trip. Untitled
The good news is the part (fuel pump) has been secured, and the not-so-good news is that it won’t be a simple change out of parts. New housing, hoses,….you get the drift. My hope that we’d be on our way by noon is fading fast. But, all of this newly uncovered free time will give me the opportunity to do a little blog catch-up about our great family time in Columbus.
We started out in Marysville, hanging out with these guys.
I’ve already shared some of our adventures from our time there, so let’s just say  it was time filled with merry mayhem and and maybe just a bit of Conrad Chaos! Untitled
We also got to wish a favorite 2 year old happy birthday!
Oh, my, yes – there were some precious moments in Marysville this year!
Over on the other side of town, there was more fun waiting! How can it be we are getting ready to celebrate this little girl's first birthday???? #dontblink #grands
Yes, the little girl whose arrival we were waiting anxiously for last year, was about to turn ONE (I know, that’s a pretty redundant statement) and we were delighted to be in town for the festivities!
Happy Birthday, Alexandra! So glad we could spend time with you and your Mom and Dad and celebrate your big day. Last time we were with little A she wasn’t too happy with us (or anyone who wasn’t Mommy). So it was a special delight to let her get to know us better and by the end of the time we were best friends. Well, Mommy was still her BFF, but we were at least buddies!
Yes, a good time was had by all during our Columbus sojourn. Too many hugs and kisses to count, and my tears were brimming as we left. But our South Dakota Adventure awaited.

….and apparently is still waiting. Current time – 1:30 PM. There is still someone underneath my rig and we are still sitting very, very still.

Well, let’s see what else I can get accomplished as we wait. Maybe there’s a cupboard that needs to be organized…..

Oh – if you’d like to see a few more pictures from our stay in Columbus, you can check them out HERE!

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So Gary & I have been babysitting our 5 grandchildren (aged 2 – 12) in M-ville for the last couple of days. I’m happy to report that (so far) all children have made it to school on time, homework has been done and chores have been completed. Teeth have been brushed and fruit has been included in all lunches. Sometimes, though, we have had to go to extraordinary measures to keep all the balls up in the air. Take tonight, for example. E had cheerleading practice until 5, H had to be at the local gym for a class as 5:15, M had to be at the gym for a class at 6:15, and I had a hair appointment (made long before I was aware of Tuesday craziness) at 6:45.  Everything seemed doable except that pesky dinner thing. Here is what we worked out:
Gary took H with him to pick-up E at 5. He then took H to the gym and took E “out to dinner” at McDonalds (which happily is very close by). He and E returned to the house with Happy Meals for the boys (and a salad for me) just in time to leave with M to pickup H and drop off M for her class. Then he took H “out to dinner” at McD’s before they came home. Just in time to take me to the hairdresser, leaving the very responsible E(12) and H(10) home with the boys (with a little help from the Lego Movie). After he dropped me off, he went on to pick-up M at the gym and take her “out to dinner” with Pops at McD’s. They were back to the hairdresser (in the same shopping area as McD’s) just as we were finishing up. We made it home in no time, made sure that everyone got their Tuesday baths, and were only about a half hour late to the “optimum” bedtimes. Books were read, songs were song and prayers were prayed. It was a little crazy (especially for the chauffer), but there were several upsides –
*Each of the girls got “dinner out” with Pops.  Even though it was only McD’s, it still was one on one, and that was great. (And as an added perk, he now knows the servers at McD’s on a first name basis, and even garnered a free cup of coffee on his last trip!)
*We never had to put the boys in the car. And since it was raining off and on all evening, that was a very good thing.
*The boys had Happy Meals – which made them very happy!
*And I got my long overdue haircut!Untitled

Other coping mechanisms included (but were not limited to) – Dinner last night at Waffle House.
Yes, we are those grandparents!

It’s been great fun and we’re so happy that we’ve had the chance to spend this extra special time with these kiddos!
But we certainly know why God gives kids to the young.

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True Confessions of a Cabin Addict

Hello. My name is Stephanie and I am a Cabin Addict.
Here are are my symptoms –

  • I love our outhouse

Cabin May 2014-1
I sadly do not have a picture of the inside, but it’s painted, has artwork and occasionally even boasts fresh flowers. I never have to worry about whether or not it will flush or if there will be a clog. And then there’s the view – well, I just never get tired of viewing the view.

  • I think taking a shower at the cabin is a miracle.

After years (and years) of sponge baths, pond baths and even an occasional bracing well bath, we are able to take hot showers at the cabin. Our shower is complete with granite walls, a mirror for shaving and light for night showering. The fact that we occasionally share it with a chipmunk only adds to its charm (after we’re done shrieking!).

  • Cooking in the Cabin Kitchen makes my culinary juices flow.CabinSept2015-3
    The “work triangle” is to die for, there is always a ready supply of hot water (kettle on the stove) and cold water (jug by sink) and the vintage fridge only periodically freezes the lettuce. Though you can’t see it in this picture, we have a great selection of well-seasoned cast iron frying pans and pots, and new recipes just seem to call my name.
  • I have no guilt pangs watching my dear husband do the cabin “his way” while I do it “my way””. His Way involved (this time at least) constructing and organizing a pond shed, moving the pump to the well from the shed and all electrical work thus required, rebuilding an existing drawer in the kitchen and adding a new one, building a stand for our “emergency” indoor porta-pottie, clearing and prepping the area next to the cabin to make it more useful in the future and continuing to conquer the rocks that jeopardize the lawnmower. My Way consists of sleeping as late as I can, drinking coffee by the fire (coffee brewed and fire built His Way) for as long as I can, cleaning and organizing different areas of the cabin and sorting through my 7,643 pictures taken last year and putting together my official “Year Eleven” photo book. I’m at the ready to help my guy whenever he needs me, but pretty much I’m just working at my own speed on my own list. (Pictures of this year’s His Way projects can be found HERE. A preview of my photo book is HERE. Don’t judge me.)
  • I love the fact that we can (even if it’s only occasionally) share the cabin with our kids. This year we overlapped the first weekend with our Lancaster kiddos and it was such a delight to see this next generation loving the cabin in action. Especially fun – watching the 4 year old take a bit of ownership on this little corner of the world!
    September 2015 iPhone
    And my favorite – CabinSept2015-41

“Let me help, Daddy! I can do it!” (Three generations at the cabin. This makes my heart sing!)

  • I am irrestibly drawn to sharing the Cabin Love with friends. This year good friends Joe & Kim Trivilino came for a long weekend,
    Other SOWER friends stopped in for an afternoon –CabinSept2015-9
    and the cabin hosted (for the 4th year in a row!) the Phoebe’s ladies group from our
    Bradford Church.

Another confession – I love to show off the cabin. There, I said it.

  • Finally, I am totally addicted to taking this picture.
    I’ve only uploaded one this time, but don’t be led astray – there are plenty more where that came from.


  There, I feel better now that I’ve gotten this off my chest. We’ve traveled extensively over the last 11 years, and one question that we are often asked is, “What’s your favorite spot?”. With no hesitation, it always comes back to So hard to say good-bye! #nofilter #cabinlove #grandkidsinourfuture
The Cabin.

If you’d like to see more photos of our wonderful three weeks at the cabin (along with some of the other wonderful family we got to see), you can check out the whole set (Don’t worry, it’s not ALL the pictures I took – just the ones I’ve uploaded!) HERE!

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You remembered we were at the Cabin, right?

Sorry it’s been so quiet here! What little time I’ve had to enjoy some steady Internet (i.e. At the coffee shop in town) has been spent on SOWER business and the bit of freelance marketing I do. Blogging has sadly taken a back seat. But rest assured that we have been having a lovely time here at the cabin. We’ve seen family and friends and stayed in our jammies until late into the morning (ok, so I’ve stayed in My jammies. Gary not so much. But you knew that,right?). I’ll try to catch up soon – but meanwhile, here is just a bit of glory that God painted for us recently.
Sunset blessing. #nofilter #sunset #cabinlove
And the heavens shall declare His handiwork!

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So what’s next?

It’s seems the question of the hour around here is “What’s next for you guys?” Or maybe it’s “So where are you headed?” As summer draws to a close, our friends and family know that this little house on wheels will soon be headed down the road. But where, you ask?
Well first, right after we get Lizzie settled at the Montrose Campground, we’ll be heading to our beloved Cabin for our end of the summer R&R. Which of course means that Gary will continue to work on projects while I watch him (and catch up on my reading and napping).
CabinLatesummer2014-7So that’s first. We return to Montrose on the 24th to pick-up the house and head out to love on these guys –
and these guys –
(We’ll get to hug and kiss these guys tomorrow at the Cabin!)
By October 3rd, with our hearts full of hugs and kisses, we’ll begin our two day drive to South Dakota and good friends Don & Jenny.
South Dakota? Yep, we’re taking a second month “off” from doing SOWER projects and spending October just hanging out with good friends. I’d like to say that we’ll just be sitting around drinking iced tea and eating bon-bons, but again Gary as a long list of RV Renovations, including new flooring and a new refrigerator. Trust me, you’ll be hearing more about the big RV Reno, but for now let’s just say that October = South Dakota.
November = Oklahoma
December = Texas
January = New Mexico
February, March, and (hopefully) April – Arizona
Do you see the trend? Go West, young man, Go West!

So that’s our “what’s next”. Hope you’ll come along to see how it all pans out!
And by the way, “what’s next” for you?

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