February 2017

While we were in San Antonio we saw 2 tumbleweeds!

28 January Saturday
Jack climbed into bed with us pretty early in the night, and slept soundly all night. Sometime near 6am he started worming around. It seemed evident to me that he was feeling fine. I let him out of bed about 6:50, and not long after he went to the bathroom. Immediately afterward he said I gotta sit down. He seemed fine for a moment, but then started retching! He threw up a nickel sized amount of bile. Poor baby! I got him out to the couch and he lay there limply for a few minutes. Now he’s playing the iPad. Not back to his old self, but not laying limply either.

At 7:30 or so he ate a cracker and had several sips of water. He’s been fine since then, not jumping around but off and on playing on the iPad, laying there pitifully. More playing than laying thankfully. TJ took a shower at 8 a.m. and we pulled out at 10:20 without rushing around frantically. TJ and Max had cleaned all the outside stuff up last night, but we still had all the inside stuff to do today. Not bad! I ran into the office to check out while TJ drove the bus around the front to meet me. I made a quick stop in at the pancake breakfast because I figured that’s where our neighbors were. I wanted to say goodbye to Mrs. Deb and Mr. Tim. They were sweet to us our last week here. Mrs. Deb even made us some cookies for our trip!

Jack ate 2 bananas and 10 crackers at lunch and everything seems fine so far. Who knows what his deal is. He could’ve brought on the vomit this morning with nerves, he has done that before…but he wasn’t distressed by anything I could see. Maybe just weakness from not having eaten/stood in more than 24 hrs?

We got to Cowtown RV Park around 3ish, and started setting up. Before we were finished getting everything into place Jerry and Sharalee came by. They looked over our digs a little bit, and then we loaded up into two vehicles to go back to their house. After a little while of shooting the breeze Tj and Max and Jerry and Peyton headed off to the Main Event. On Max’s birthday he wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese or some sort of arcade place, but that is really not my thing. I don’t mind going if TJ comes along, but since he was out of town for work I told Max to wait, and then concocted this plan of Max getting to go with his friend. They played laser tag and arcade games, etc. and ate there. Meanwhile Sharalee, Lila, Jack and I went to On the Border for supper. I got fajitas and ordered Jack a side of rice. He ate a lot of chips and cheese dip before our meal came, and then didn’t eat too much rice. Everything had been rolling along just fine and then he heaved a big sigh and lay back a little bit, and coughed a little bit! My ears perked up and I stopped all enjoyment of my meal at that point. I was so worried he would threw up right there and that he was contagious and would make Lila sick. I didn’t allow him to eat or drink anything else for the rest of the meal, and he was fine. I’m thinking now he must have just been tired and still needed to rest from having been sick. After supper we went back to their house and talked till TJ and the rest came home. Jerry asked if Max wanted to spend the night and go to church with them the next morning and we said yes. He didn’t have any church clothes, or PJs or a toothbrush, but those things are not essential for a good time :-)

Sunday morning we got up and I buttered the outside of Jack’s fried egg sandwich we had wrapped up the day before and grilled it for him. I think he is completely back to normal now thank the Lord! We went to church and Jack went to the special-needs room today. I was sending him to the regular class and then they mentioned the special needs room, and I figured for one Sunday that would be fine. TJ went with Jerry in the tech booth and I went to service by myself. It cracked me up to see the drummer in his own little box on the right side of the stage platform.

We left after the first service and headed down to Glen Rose to Dinosaur State Park. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but this is where Kent Hovind had talked about there being human footprints and dinosaur footprints close together, and I wanted to check it out for myself. TJ checked their Facebook just a couple of days ago and they said the footprints were visible so I was super excited!

I went in and and bought the tickets and the guy said you had to look in the water to see the footprints, no biggie. He said the water was fairly clear. What he didn’t say was you had to walk through water to get to the water to look at the footprints! We were going straight from church so we were all in our Sunday clothes except for Max! We hiked up our pants legs and took off our shoes and socks and walked across these big rocks to see footprints. TJ said at first he would carry Jack, but I didn’t know how he could balance holding Jack. Max went by himself and didn’t seem to have too much trouble. I went next and TJ came holding Jack’s hand. After a bit I asked if he wanted to sandwhich Jack between the two of us and he said yes. That didn’t really work well either though, and I ended up walking with Jack across the steps. It really wasn’t too hard, but Jack was freaking out a little bit because the water was freezing! TJ was back to feeling pretty bad that day with his cold and both of his ears stuffed up. We all made it across with no one falling, thank goodness! We saw several dinosaur tracks, and they were pretty awesome. I got a couple of pictures of them and some of us with footprints in the picture. We made it back across a little easier the second time, I just had to keep telling Jack to stand still and put both feet on the same rock. I can’t believe he didn’t bring one or the other of us down.

We drove to a second part in the park called the ballroom where supposedly there were hundreds of dinosaur tracks going all directions. Once again we needed to walk in the water to get to where you could see the footprints. I was the only one who decided to do it this time. There were only pebbles to cross so it seemd like a much easier place to walk. Once I got to where the footprints were they were in a big flat piece of limestone, and that’s where the tricky part was, because that had alge growing on it. I took several pictures and everything was cool so I headed back to where the boys were. That’s when I ran into trouble. I guess I just was going too quick and then I started flailing around and all I could think of was my phone was in my back pocket and I sure wish I’d stuck it somewhere else! In the end I didn’t fall thank the Lord, but it was really close. I dried my feet with my socks again and put my shoes back on and we headed back to the truck. TJ looked up where the human and dinosaur footprints are, and it seems that the human footprints are not a sure thing. There are 14 prints that are sized and roughly shaped like a human foot, but I think there’s only one that you can see toes. I guess the jury is still out on whether they’re actual human footprints or not.

Jack kept saying finish dinosaur footprints, finish dinosaurs; he was ready to get the heck out of there. He hated that water! We headed back to Jerry’s and on the way stopped at the first Whataburger we saw; that was about two o’clock. Jack and I split a burger and chicken tenders dipped in white gravy, so so good! When we got back to Jerry’s house we woke them up from their nap, oops! We visited all afternoon and then that evening we left our boys with their kids and headed off to Babes for an awesome meal. You order the main dish, of which there are five options, and they just continue to bring sides to your table as long as you want. We started off with biscuits and lots of room temperature butter, and a salad dressed with a very simple but good dressing. We all ate two biscuits before the main dishes came. If I lived near one of these restaurants I would definitely be buying a whole new wardrobe to fit my new poundage! TJ ordered the chicken fried steak and I ordered the fried chicken and we split those, but we had so much to bring home it was ridiculous. The sides they bring to your table are green beans, creamed corn, mashed potatoes and white gravy. I was in heaven! We took a couple of photos with them on our way out the door and then went straight back to Jerry’s house and rounded up our kids to go home. We have an early and long day tomorrow, and Jerry has to wake up crazy early for his work at the post office so we didn’t stay too long that evening.

30 January Monday
Mileage 7568, 9:30am on the road to Van Horn Tx.

We were five miles away from the county line that changes into Mountain time zone, so we were really thrown off by what time it actually was for a while there. Our phones were reading differently then the computer, who knows when we really arrived? Okay, I just asked TJ, we got there sometime around 5/5:30. We were all doing pretty good as we set up. I knew I had a lot of leftovers that we needed to either eat or put in the freezer, so I portioned out the chicken lime soup I made the other day and got it all into the freezer. A couple of portions had to wait till we finished off the ice cream for Max’s birthday, but that really wasn’t a problem :-) We ate all of our supper and I washed the dishes, and then around 9 p.m. we headed out to see if we could see the Milky Way. We looked up on darksitefinder.com and a couple of other sites that told us we wanted to be south of any cities, and that the core of the Milky Way was best seen in the summer and not able to be seen at all during the winter! We could, however, see the Milky Way plane and it was amazing! I picked a point 20 miles away from where we were camped that was in the darkest part of the darksitefinder.com. There was a small road branching off of the mainish road and I figured that way we wouldn’t have many cars passing us and disturbing our view. TJ was of course worried about being on someone’s private property, so this looked like the best option. When we were just about to turn on that road we saw that there was a picnic spot a mile further so we drove there instead. I put the picnic blanket out and we huddled together under the blanket and were just amazed and awed by all of the stars we had never been able to see before! We don’t have the right camera equipment to take a photo, but I just keep saying it was amazing because it was!

31 January Tuesday
10:10 we pulled out. Our goal was 10:30!! Go us!
Tj just said can you believe we’re going to have to get an ID for Jack? Sometimes it’s hard to believe he’s going to be 10 years old this year!

I saw a billboard for Sanborn’s which reminded me of that restaurant in Mexico where we had amazing chicken.

We just passed super close to Mexico driving through El Paso; I didn’t realize it was so close to the Mexican border. I could see the fence. This country sure is beautiful. So much of yesterday was flat open prairie and a huge sky above us. The last few hours of the day it was still a lot of flat around us but in front of us were hills and mountains. Today we’re driving in the hills and mountains, up and down up and down. A lot of the time was fairly sparse traffic, but it got really tight in El Paso. It is amazing to see what God created, the mountains on our left at one point looked like they had ribbons running through them. I’m so grateful we get to do this trip!

31 January Tuesday
We looked around for a good steak place, TJ was feeling steak, but the reviews weren’t too promising for the new-to-us places and we were pretty whipped so we went with an old standby, Texas Roadhouse. I’m trying to get better about not bringing home too many leftovers and also not ordering more food than we need. I’m working pretty well with this tiny fridge, but it still takes some effort. Jack and I split the prime rib, but he hardly ate anything! If I had known he wasn’t going to be that hungry I’d have gotten the filet mignon. The prime rib was all right, but I don’t think I love it like I used to. After supper we ran to Walmart to try to find some sleds for White Sands tomorrow, but we were in Las Cruces and they said only the Walmart in Alamogordo had them. It’s too far out of the way to go there first, so I guess we’ll just see how much they cost when we get to the park. We headed straight back home and everybody went right to sleep with no showers.

1 February Wednesday
Today was the day for White Sands! We got ready and headed out and had several hours there before lunch. The sleds were $16 each, but we got $5 back when we returned them since we didn’t want to store them in the bus. That hurt, but we got into the park for free with Jack’s pass. Go Jack! The lady also said we should get wax and wax up the sleds just like you do surfboards, so we did that. We looked all around at the gift shop and there were some nice things but I know there are going to be nice things in every single gift shop in every single city we stop, and nothing was really screaming to me so we passed on it all. We drove all the way to the end and it turned back before we saw the sign the lady told us to look for to sled. The hill looked super steep, but sledding on sand is not quite as fast as sledding on snow. It was a lot of fun and we did it several times, and just like sledding on snow the walk back up the hill was super tiring. TJ and Max raced face-first down the hill and Max wiped out and bumped his head, but I don’t think there’s any permanent brain damage. It was amazing how cold the sand was; I read that since it’s gypsum it reflects the heat instead of absorbs it. If you kept your hands in it too long your fingers got really cold. Oh yeah, TJ found a quarter in the sand last night!

When we were heading back to the truck we saw that some people had made sand angels, so the boys did that too and we took pictures. Lots of fun! We headed off to Alamogordo next and TJ looked up a restaurant on the way. Rockin’ BZ Burgers. When you walked in there was a table full of papers to fill out what you wanted on your burger. TJ and I split their award-winning green chile burger, and a half pound burger dressed the way we liked it. They were awesome! They were the juiciest burgers I’ve eaten in a good long time. The meat was still pink in the middle, there was grease dripping it out of it; they couldn’t have been better! The fries were pretty good too, and Tj enjoyed the onion rings I think. Max got buffalo wings and loved them. After that we headed over to The┬áNew Mexico Museum of Space History. We spent a long time outside looking at all the missiles and other rocket pieces. We looked for a geocache but it was nowhere to be found. I was annoying for a few hours because the dude who rode on The Daisy Track was John P. Stapp. Don’t you think he said ‘sthaapp!’ a lot??

We had planned on going to the Missile Museum on base, but by the time we were finished looking at all the missiles there in Alamogordo we were all wiped out. I don’t know if Jack said a word all the way home. We got on base and dropped the boys off at the playground not too far away from the bus. TJ and I relaxed; well, I relaxed while TJ took a shower and got laundry ready to start. We had sand in every pocket and sock and crevice in our clothes. The boys played outside till dark, and Tj shoved them straight into the shower and their clothes into the washer when they came in. He set them up with a movie in the back while I made pizza and a salad. We ate and watched Lost, and then everybody pretty much went straight to bed. This week of travel and a small amount of sightseeing is really exhausting. As much fun as it is I won’t be too sad when it’s time for us to settle down into our school routine.

2 February Thursday
10:20 We stopped for gas on our way out of the base. On our way to Tucson Arizona! 2:50 we arrived.

I said, “Thank you Jesus” for something, and Jack said, “Thank you Jesus, and God!”

Around 5:15 we headed to Tj’s friends’ house. While there Max tripped over Don and Dar’s dog, Zoe, and fell down; he lay there for a second or two, no big deal. He stood up and took a step or two and then fell again, and then didn’t get up! I called his name a few times, he was lying face-down with his face where the door meets the floor. I tried to roll him over, he didn’t help me at all, and then I realized he was out!!! When I got him into a sitting position I saw his face was a little pale and his eyes were wide open and his pupils were dilated sooo wide. His mouth was clamped shut…I wondered if I needed to open it to make sure he wasn’t gonna swallow his tongue. I didn’t know if he was passed out or was having a seizure. We kept talking to him and fiiiiiiinally he answered. He was probably only out 30 seconds or a minute, but you know how that time can seem like forever! Tj asked him what day it was, and I asked him what we’d done that day and he answered correctly. I think hitting his head on the tile floor caused him to pass out. When we asked him what happened he said after he got up the first time he felt woozy and then he didn’t remember anything till he was sitting up and we were all in his face! I was so in shock I didn’t really think to pray in the moment, but I’ve prayed a million times since thanking God for protecting Max. Tj said later that he’d answered correctly what day it was, but Tj didn’t know what day it was so he was even more worried then!

5 February Sunday
Max after church: 1. Stuck banana chips onto Jack’s face (I tried not to laugh and failed miserably! It was so funny!), 2. Said, “Oh, I’m a dog!” and stuck his socks on his ears, and there was a third one, but I can’t remember it. That crazy kid!

A lady from church offered to let us borrow some snow pants and sleds and suggested Mt. Graham…it’s less crowded than Mt. Lemmon.

15 January Sunday
Lunch at Hopdoddy Burger Bar. The boys split a burger and fries, and I had truffle fries for lunch. Yum!

17 January Tuesday
Tonight Jack and I played Connect Four. At nine and a half he still has no idea that he should want to win, he’s still just as excited whoever wins. He has no concept that winning means the game is over and you start over, nor that you have to get 4 in a straight line to win. At least he does know that you have to have four, but he thinks any four of his color means he’s a winner. Maybe we should start playing this game during school to help with these concepts.

18 January Wednesday
The song on K-Love said your presence Lord, Jack said, “Presents! Party Lord!”

19 January Thursday
Today Jack had an eye appointment. He got glasses in October of 2015, so he’s due a checkup now. Everyone at the office was nice, but I’m anxious because the doc said that his prescription was much greater than last time. He also said that Jack’s right eye was lazier than his left, and that if we were staying in town he’d consider patching that eye. Since we’re moving on he just gave him a greater prescription in that eye. What worries me is that we have no continuity of care, and Jack can’t tell us if these glasses don’t make his vision better. I’m trying to leave it in God’s hands, but I’m not so good at that.

After the eye doc we headed to the library to return all the stuff we borrowed, and then we went to Lulu’s for another cinnamon roll. It was good, but not as good as when our friends were there.

We went to At Home next to look for another rug…this one for right at our entry. I found a pretty light blue one with a similar pattern to what we have, but when I tried it out it was too big! I think I’ll give up on getting a rug there now…the next few days our outside rugs stayed soaked and the MHSRV rug we have here now is great to wipe our feet on. I don’t need another utilitarian rug when this one works great.

We ran by Wal-Mart for some groceries, and then went home and I sent the boys outside to play while I made gazpacho for the Bible study tonight. I was surprised at how well my new little chopper blended up that gazpacho!

During that time the boys and I walked down to Roland’s house to ask his grandfather about the phone Roland gave Max. His grandfather (Mr. Raul) said anything Roland gave was his to give! He’d given Roland a series of phones because Roland has cancer and can’t always play outside. When Roland breaks a phone Mr. Raul gets him a new one. He offered Max his choice between two phones…Max is over the moon!

Bible study was fun. I met a lot of nice people, and 1 weird one. And Jack “got lost” twice, and also started messing around in their furnace closet. Ugh. What a nosy boy!

20 January Friday
Today’s Max’s birthday!!! We got up at 9am and ate some cinnamon roll for breakfast. The chipmunk movie was on tv so I left Max watching that while Jack and I went to get his glasses. We were at the glasses place from 10:30-12-30…it took so long for me to find a frame I was comfortable with. We ordered them and hopefully they’ll be in tomorrow.

On the way home we checked at the front office and found out that Max’s Lego’s from us were in. Instead of leaving right away for lunch he wanted to build his motorcycle.

We ended up leaving for lunch around 2pm. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings and he ate 7 hot wings! I had 5 and some fried cheese curds.

After that we went to Wal-Mart for his cake and ice cream. He didn’t want me to make his cake this year…which meant I wasn’t as tempted to eat cake every day. I guess that’s a good thing.

He worked on his truck Lego’s, and I bought us tickets to Sing online. We left almost on time for the movie, it was gonna be tight but it was ok. The drive was fine, but the last 2 minutes were crazy! I really don’t think a 4-way is the best way to handle 4 lanes of traffic in every direction, especially when there are 2 4-ways…separated by construction. We made it on time, though, and had plenty of time to get popcorn with butter for supper there.

We got home at 9ish for cake and ice cream!! What a day!

21 January Saturday
9:30ish we decided go to the trampoline place with Laura and Joe. Afterwards was Freebird for lunch, yum!

We went back to Laura’s for the boys to play all day. She gave me tiles, homemade soap and cacti. What a friend!

We left her house around 8pm!! (Poor Laura)

22 January Sunday
After church we went to Dollar Tree for yarn to crochet a basket. We returned the blue rug from the other day, then went home for lunch and a nap.

When we woke up the boys went for a swim and I started my new basket.

When it was time for supper I realized Jack had been playing with the fridge settings and my gazpacho was frozen!

Tonight I walked the campground for 30 minutes talking to Tj on the phone. Nice.

24 January Tuesday
Talked to Papa tonight about the Cabildo. Jean St. Amand (later St. Amant) was Papa’s Great Great Great Grandfather, Camille’s dad (Camille was Papa’s Great Grandfather). His portrait hung in the Cabildo (in 1776, can this be right?). He died in 1801. Jean’s son was in the Army and fought in the battle of N.O.

25 January Wednesday
Nothing much to report today except that when were leaving a bee came in the house and tried to fly up my nose! He didn’t succeed, nor sting me thankfully!

26 January Thursday
We went with Laura and Michael to the open play gym this morning. I met Lauren there, she’s the preacher’s wife Jack made get out of bed last Thursday when she was suffering from food poisoning, because he was rustling around in her furnace closet!

Lauren and Laura were concerned about a baby whose mother wasn’t nearby…I found her and asked if I could hold her baby…he was so little and sweet!

On the way to the gym Tj called to say he was coming home a day early! We’d still have plenty of time to do all that I’d planned and then go get him.

After the gym we headed back to Laura’s for lunch. She made cowboy casserole and I brought salad stuff. I’ve enjoyed being here near her and getting to visit so many times. What an awesome trip! Max was bummed that the last time he went to their house their big boys weren’t there, but that’s the downside of being a homeschooler: sometimes your friends are in school when you aren’t.

When Laura went to pick up her boys my boys and I headed to At Home to buy a decal for the fridge. Then we had some returns to make at Wal-Mart, but on the way we saw another Sketchers outlet. We had plenty of time, and I’d planned on going there today anyway, so we stopped in. There were only 4 pair of shoes in Max’s size, and since they were having a second pair half off sale I bought 2 pair of shoes for Max.

Next was Wal-Mart. Max brought in his new Lego jet, and somewhere in the store he lost a piece. We had just enough time after that to go to a nearby McDonald’s playplace for a few minutes before Tj’s flight landed. We picked him up and headed to supper, and that’s where the fun began!

We went to Lulu’s, because I’ve been dreaming of their chicken fried steak covered in cheese since Tj gave me a few bites of his. We had a long wait for our food, but no biggie. Jack ate a few bites and then threw up! We all figured it was his usual stuff-too-much-in-your-mouth routine, but then he threw up 2 more times!! I took him to the bathroom to wash him off, and when I got back to the table Tj was boxing up his supper and had ordered the cinnamon roll we were bringing to our friends. I figured I had enough time to eat some more supper, but of course the only thing that came quickly to our table was the bill and the roll. Ugh.

Jack was fine the rest of the night, and it was blessedly uneventful.

27 January Friday
After snuggling in our bed for a good while we all got up. I started putting the decal on the fridge and Tj made Jack’s fried egg sandwich. Jack came to snuggle with me so I sat on the couch, and then he threw up again, and then again…the second time just water!

I went out to dump the mid tank and Jack was eating some plain bread when I got back inside…and he threw up once more! That poor bug! I honestly don’t know if he’s got a virus or not…he’s never done this before. He’s been fine for the last hour and is watching a Leap Frog video on our bed. Good thing we didn’t plan on doing anything today!

He laid around all day looking pitiful. He didn’t want anything, not even his favorite movies. He napped with me for more than an hour. After we awoke I thought he had a fever because he was sweating, but his temp read 97.6.

After we ate supper we gave Jack 1 cracker and about half a cup of water, and he kept it down. He fell asleep pretty quickly.