Monday, September 7, 2009

Shopping, Dams, and Caves

Maybe all the yucky stuff is behind me? Bad-ness travels in threes, so maybe it's over?

I got back from Branson last night. We shopped till we dropped, and we were tired! We stopped before dark, and that is not normal! We usually shop till 9pm, then eat dinner after all the stores are closed! But by Sunday, our third day, we were done.

When I met Angie there on Friday, we went into Gymboree first to see our friends Dina and Sara. Dina was there, in the back room, and not so happy. She's got a lot going on like the rest of us, but we got to cheer her up. I gave her a monogrammed cup since she liked mine the last time we were there, and she wanted one. We got to talk for a little while, and Sara called. Dina told her we had a surprise for her, and she came in. She had her baby and Dina's daughter, Ellie Mae. We talked and shopped, and then Angie and I shopped till the stores closed. At 9, we went to Olive Garden, had a wonderful dinner and got to catch up, then when we were leaving, we saw Dina and Sara and the kids again! : )

Saturday, more shopping, late meals, and we swung by to take Dina to lunch with us at Panera (and she gave us all the short cuts and back roads to help us make it faster)! She's so sweet, and sometimes we all need to reach out to others. We got to eat outside, and it was perfect. We also met Jordan, Sara's husband (who'd checked us out earlier!), who ran into Panera for lunch. He's the manager at Banana Republic at the same outlet mall as Dina and Sara. Such a small world! : )

Sunday went just as fast, and we forgot to tell Dina and Sara bye, but I'll email them. I'm monogramming Ellie Mae's Halloween costume and mailing it. She' going to be a vet, and she got a doctor's costume with a white jacket and greenish scrubs. She'll be so cute!

I got home last night before the kids went to bed, and we partied in the new clothes. Ethan got a new costume for Halloween (a monkey!) and ran around in it all night, until we persuaded him with something cooler (literally): some new dinosaur jammies. They were so cute running around in new shoes and jammies. : )

Today we went to Devil's Den near West Fork, Arkansas. Ches had left earlier to ride his bike down (and get in some long rides before the Tour de Cure), and we packed a lunch and headed south. We passed him on Highway 170, and he said he wanted to ride back up the road (yes, uphill), and then he'd ride back down and meet us near the playground. We went on, and I worried about him, it took forever! I gave him the keys, and told him to meet us at the dam. We walked halfway across, took some pictures, walked to the bottom side, and the kids saw tadpoles, fish, and threw rocks in the water. Mary Claire was feeling low, so we headed back up the hill towards the van to find Ches (and the van keys!) to check her. We met him near the van, and he took the boys back to the playground, got the meter (as Mary Claire could go NO farther). She was low, so we ate lunch. Amazingly, we ran into two families from church! It was great. The kids got to eat and play, then we headed towards the trails. Ethan had started losing it, so we knew we'd only have time for one cave. We chose the Devil's Den since it was only a half mile down the nearest trail. Ethan somehow got hurt near the entrance, and cried like crazy. I'm still not sure what happened, and I'm hoping he's okay. The kids and I went in only about 15 or 20 feet, as we forgot our flashlight. Ethan went into the opening, then wanted out. He wanted a light, and we just didn't have one! We hiked back up to the van, and went home. I had some snacks for them, but we stopped by McDonald's on the way home anyway. Some things can be made better with some french fries.

Now Ches and I are cooling off, catching up, and we're headed out tonight. We have a date! After all the chaos, we need some time. The kids go back to school tomorrow, and it's Ethan's first day of Mother's Day Out for this year! He can't wait! : ) And I guess I can't either! I have to get the rest of his supplies tonight and get him ready.

I have Bible Study tomorrow morning, but I don't know if I'll make it. I want to be there for his first day, so I'll probably miss it. And I haven't picked up my book or done my homework! And it's going to be rough. They are all so sweet, but they all either have babies or are pregnant, so it may take me some time.

We're also supposed to get our shirts printed tomorrow as long as we get the shirts in on time-some weren't ordered until Friday, so they have to be in by noon to print on tomorrow. Clay has his (boy scout) pack meeting tomorrow and Mary Claire has gymnastics. I'll have to hit the ground running!

I'm posting a few pictures of Devil's Den (yeah, bad name), and our past few days. They are just cuties. : )

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