Friday, March 27, 2020

COVID-19 LIFE #3


Today I ventured out to the grocery store!  Originally I was going to wait until next week but logistics are a little harder for me because I need Jon to watch the kids while I go.  My thought was that there would be less people at 10 am on a Friday than anytime on a Saturday or after 5 pm during the week.  So off I went with great fear and trepidation! 

My first stop was at our church....I will confess I liberated some Clorox wipes and spray that I knew were there.  I may have been the one to buy them in the first place I'm not sure but I will compensate the church for them one day!!!!   Thus more fully armed I ended up in the parking lot of Publix.  It wasn't too crowded.  In the van I suited up, got my mask on and the gloves  The mask was a lot more complicated than the ones I've used before and kept sliding off my hair.  It took a bit but I got it stable on my face/hair before I got out.  I certainly didn't want to touch my face once I got in the store.  Just guessing I'd say about 35% of people had gloves on and 20% had on masks.  Usually the folks who had on masks had on gloves too.  Surprisingly the store was pretty stocked.  Fruits and vegetables were full  there was some meat- only two packet of fresh chicken per person was allowed.  There was one lean pork roast that I grabbed up ( that'll make 2 Brunswick stews Sarah's favorite food) There was frozen chicken that was buy 1 get 1 free! 

The paper aisle was quite bare looking so I did not even go down it/  Because of the various advertisements I did go down some of the boxed food aisles and they were quite empty.  There was no instant mashed potatoes but plenty of real potatoes!  It seems like people did not want to work too hard with their cooking!  My plan is not to return until next Friday at the earliest!  But next week I may have to brave Walmart for dog and cat food!!!


I did a little 'dance" trying to get the groceries in my van with some help from a Publix associate.  I wipe down all the drinks bottles I'd bought with a wipe after cleaning my gloves.  Then we loaded the car.  After grocery shopping it was time to buy gas.  Gas is $1.89 a gallon here!  We can not remember the last time it was so low! At the grocery store I"d turned my gloves inside out ( a trick I learned from a nurse) so the clean inside of the hand was now the outer part.  I then laid them on the floorboard of the van.  At the gas station I put on a new pair of gloves to pump the gas and threw away the first pair of gloves along with the second pair after I was done pumping the gas.  Once back in the van I still put on hand sanitizer.  Then once I got home I changed and put my clothes in the laundry machine.  (I did not strip on the porch LOL)

Being out in public as the cornovirus cases continue to raise was scary to me.  It's not that I'm so afraid for my health (although I am starting to have a little concern) but I'm so very afraid to bring it back home to my family!!!!!   My three youngest children are at much higher risk than other children  We will continue to do all we can to keep them safe and well. 

We are going outside daily for 15 minutes of direct sunlight then an hour of swinging in the shade.  Usually in the late afternoon I take Sarah out on the front porch and we sit on the swing together.  She is a snuggle bug and is loving us all being home with no interruptions.  She loves for me to "hold" her, she's getting bigger than my lap!  Or she will sit with her hand in mine, sometimes she'll reach for both hands so she can hold them.  She's so sweet.  Sam does like to sit with us at night and get his back rubbed but during the day he likes to play with toys in his room.  All his toys make noise...lots of noise.  I've learned to tune them out. 

We are watching a lot of TV- I'm rewatching some shows.  I just finished Call The Midwives  I love that show.  I'll probably be judged for this but I'm rewatching The Sopranos.  I love that show too but I do a bit of fast forwarding through some scenes.  I totally relate to that show maybe because Tony and Camilla are middle aged and dealing with their kids!  LOL everyone has issues even mobsters!  Though the years I've been more of a book reader than a movie or TV watcher.  One of the reasons is that I hate commercials and don't like the hassle of DVRs.  So I'm a Netflex HULU Prime Disney HBO girl!  I have NO idea what's on regular TV and never watch it.  Actually I never have watched regular TV but I'm trying to catch up with the rest of y'all now by binge watching at night.  But I still read- and with much chagrin I will admit I'm now a Kindle girl....I've not bought a real book in the past year. One of my best friends started using Kindle before me and I thought it was jsut awful.....oh how the mighty have fallen!   I do the monthly $10 Kindle subscription and believe me I get my money's worth!  Right now I'm reading a bunch of COZY mystery books.  They are very G rated and some even talk about God.  Maybe I'll blog about that experience one day. 

Anyhow stay safe out there and try and enjoy this extra time with your family.  Thankfully all the friends I asked prayer for are getting better, although several  are still on a vent










Thursday, March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Life take 2



Although I'm a stay at home mom and homeschool our four youngest, I really am noticing how often I used to run out for food, eating out or pick up, going to meet friends, church, therapy, rides for our son to work and other things, errands etc....  I've not gone out anywhere now for almost a week  The kids have been home now for almost two weeks.  Shad took "a leave form work" before his restaurant shut down and I'm so glad he did.  My plan is to not go out until next Friday (a week from tomorrow) if possible.  The more we stay in the better.  The kids will not be going anywhere for the foreseeable future

Jon is still working but under strict guidelines and they get strict daily.  If he is around anyone he wears gloves and a mask but he mostly works in his office.  When he gets home, he undresses on the porch (good thing we live in the country!)  The clothes go in the laundry and he washes up before putting on clean clothes.  I then clean off any door handle he has touched.  It's not perfect but it's the best we can do.

None of this is new for us.  We've gone through similar things before while others didn't think twice about the flu season.  Life is different when you have special needs kids with health issues.

While this COVID-19 is terrifying - the regular flu season is terrifying to us some years.  This is definitely worse.   Today I saw a video of the hospital in NYC where Steve was born and where I lost the twins.  It is over run by COVID-19 patients.  They are running out of respirators and over crowed.  Many of their staff are now sick.  This is not regular flu season.

Living in Florida we've gone through many weather related issues.  I treated this situation similar to that and did all the basics.  We had our generator serviced and the gas tank filled.  We filled our vehicles up with gas.  We stocked up on food.  I did all the laundry (and continue to keep it up)  There were some things I did differently- I didn't worry too much about water and am not really concerned about losing electricity during this quarantine  time, I did worry that hurricane season is coming and should this last longer, I might not be able to get someone out here to do all those things for us!

We are not eating out at all.  I know folks feel we should all support restaurants but I just can't.  We support them quite nicely during the year but right now I want as few people involved in our food prep as possible.  Yes I know even buying from the store, others have touched things just by putting them on shelves but just think how many more people end up touching food prepared in a restaurant!

So besides cooking, cleaning and doing projects.... we are outside more.  The kids go out and swing every day for an hour.  We also are sitting in the sun for at least 15 minutes a day -their swing set is under some trees.  I figure the more outside time the better.  Yesterday Shad did a photo shoot for Sarah.  We figure we probably won't get Easter pictures this year because even if things get better, I'll probably still keep them home for a little bit longer to be safe.   We would have done shots for Sam but..... I cut his hair last week in order not to take him to a hair salon.... Oh Lord.... at first it looked good, then I thought I'd just trim by his ear a little more.... I cut a swath of hair  and then had to shave his head to match.  He seems to love it, sometimes I come into his room and he's rubbing his bald head quite happily.....


Sarah is so pretty in these pictures































































So everyone stay safe and stay home as much as possible!

Monday, March 23, 2020

COVID-19 Life

At this point in my life I don't have any words to say..  We've been dealing with some family issues for a few months.  As well as dealing with  major issues with the little kids' benefits.  Just our personal issues have been almost more than I can bear and I can bear a lot!  But now the whole world is facing a crises... we have a friend on life support and know of several others who are also near death due to the Coronavirus 

Until last weekend I wasn't too terribly worried about it but remember my threshold is rather high.  We treat every flu season with respect.  Just a few years ago I self isolated for 8 weeks for Sam's sake.  He was at high risk and we just decided to stay home with him although he and all the rest of us had gotten the flu shot.  Of course my husband worked but we had (and have) strict rules on how we operate to ensure the least exposure to everyone else.  But now having faces to this new strain of virus makes it even more real & scary.

Facebook has taught me there is some crazy as in cray cray people in the world.  The crazy theories that I've heard makes me think we have closed way too many mental hospitals down!  Chances are you've heard them too...maybe you believe some of them....I don't know. I hope not for your sake.  But the craziness has taken away most of the good things about FB.  I just can't handle another theory or people whining about toilet paper.... WHY WHY WHY are people so obsessed about TP?  That's the biggest mystery to me!

Being raised by a woman who was born in 1899 gives me a different perspective than many have.  She and her siblings (who were still around when I was young) had lived through WWI, the Spanish Flu,  the stock market crash, WWII. Korea War, the Cuban Missile Crises, Vietnam etc.... They were raised in disasters!  Just think by the time she was 41 she'd lived through 4 major world wide disasters! 

Growing up hearing stories relived by my two great aunts and my grandmother made things very real to me.  To be honest I've always thought 'something" would happen to my generation.  I just didn't think THIS would be it. 

Living in Florida we've had to deal with many hurricanes and even flooding last year.  Every situation has taught me more about being prepared for hard times.  I'm by no means a real Prepper -I don't have a BOB (bug out bag) I'd need a bug out U-Haul with all my kids and their various needs.  But I learned from my aunt not to let the cupboards get bare!

Back in 2004 (yes the same year Sam was born) we had FOUR hurricanes back to back  One did not affect our area BUT it affected us as we HAD to be in Miami for Sam during it.  During the time span these four hurricanes were hitting Florida we moved from the house we had been leasing to a trailer at a prison...  We made it through the first 3 alright and somehow we didn't really pay much attention to #4... but that sucker came in like a wrecking ball.... we had damage to our trailer, no electricity for over a week, no phone service, everything in the small town near the prison was closed down no electricity to run the gas pumps....it was HORRIBLE.  We couldn't even leave town for a couple of days because their were trees all over the roads.    Thankfully the Red Cross brought out food and ice those first few days.  We had to sleep in the administrative office of the prison so we could run Sam's machines!  At that point he was on an apnea monitor, oxygen and a suction machine.  We were so unprepared!   I vowed I'd never let that happen again. 

This virus and the far reaching effects of it has shown me that I need to step up my game even more. Probably you are thinking the same thing.  Sometimes it comes to choices.  A few weeks ago when this whole thing was just starting up here in the US, we got a tax refund and instead of spending it on something "fun' for the family like we normally do,  I went and spent about $400 extra on groceries.  Now for a family our size that's not huge but I shop pretty thrifty and got quite a bit for it.  After I did it, I felt a little foolish- it wasn't like my cupboard was bare and at the time no one thought it would become such a problem here.  In fact we laughed about it...we are not laughing now!  And don't worry I wasn't 'hoarding" at that time there was plenty for everyone.  My little spending fling was quickly restocked & didn't make a big difference to the stores.  But it's made the difference for us now-I"m far enough ahead I can limit my exposure in the grocery store until at least next weekend.  In the future, I'm going to stock up more food and other needs while there's no issues going on (so no one can say I'm hoarding)  I'd advise you to do the same.  Unfortunately I'm more concerned about next flu season if this one does anything like the Spanish Flu did- the second go around hit harder.  Hopefully by that time the vaccine will be out and the new viral meds will be in place for anyone who needs them! 

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So what have you been doing to fill your time if your'e home?  We've been doing so many projects it's crazy.  Later this week I'll share some of the things we've been doing.  When I'm stressed I  WORK!   My guess is I'm trying to have some control of the situation and working on a project makes me think I do!  It probably drives my family crazy since some of them have to help me LOL
But at least things get done. 

Please remember my friends & some others we know in your prayers...Phyllis, Duane, Ron, Greg, the Carpenter's and our friend David's orphanage in Haiti along with the orphanage our girls would be in if they were still in Ukraine-there's alot of kids there we care for!  So many needs!!! 










Saturday, February 1, 2020

DIET!

So I've waited to write this post for months Since December 2018 I had steadily gained weight- sometimes as much as 5 pounds a month.  Nothing had changed in my life-I still walked and ate low fat.  Then after my surgery in July- I gained another 5 pounds!!!!  Believe me I was beginning to really worry.

There's so many diets out there and if you're like me you have friends on all of them.  Several of my friends swear by Keto but there was NO way I was going to put all that fat into my body.  I don't care what Facebook doctor says it's good for a person I do not believe it (nor do most real doctors) I don't doubt a person can lose weight on it- I lost weight in Ukraine by drinking only Pepsi, eating rice, cheese and bread but that doesn't mean it was good for me!

 A relative went on a strict vegan diet and lost  100 pounds and recovered his health.  I tried that for a couple of days several times but I figured it was not going to work for me because it made me too angry and I figured I'd end up in hell if I continued!  LOL

Antother friend went on a wheat free diet and lost 100 pounds....

And you know not to comment on Facebook about any one's diet because then they'll hit you up for some program that costs hundred's of dollars... happened to me several times!  Believe me I'm not going to spend $300 a month for some nasty food!

Last year I even tried some pills that a friend was selling (nothing illegal) and they made me sick as a dog, it was like morning sickness!

Anyhow i was desperate! I knew i could not follow any crazy diet plus like I said I didn't want to wind up in hell cause I'm so grumpy LOL

So around my birthday in mid September I decided to go sugar free.  It didn't seem to make much difference because ( I think) I was still drinking soda- diet soda but with Splenda.  Actually I put Splenda in everything!  After researching it- it seems that Splenda makes the body react in many ways just like sugar does. Read this study  So I began using Stevia and Monk fruit.  I have to switch them around and I'm really working on using no sweeteners.  Now I rarely drink diet soda or any soda, it's probably been months.  I drink alot of coffee!!!!

Then I began hearing about Intermittent Fasting!  Boy I could do that!  I'm not one to even want to eat before 11 or so but I would snack at night.  The premise of IF is a person fasts for 16 hours and eats for 8 hours.  Read about it Intermittent Fasting.  So basically I don't eat until noon (usually about 1pm) then I stop eating by 8pm.  Actually I usually try to stop at 6 pm.  For me this is so easy!

And the results....I'm down 22 pounds since the middle of September!!!

All my clothes fit good now, in other words I don't have to lay down on the bed to zip my jeans up LOL  Sunday I wore a dress that I've not been able to wear for several years.  For Christmas Jon gave me gift cards (he's not the best shopper ha ha)  So I set a goal to lose 25 pounds before I spent them- looks like it won't be long till I get to spend them! YAY!


I've really cut down sugars- I look at all everything I buy and get the lowest sugar as possible- for example now I get ketchup with no sugar added.  I do not buy things with artificial sweeteners but rather things with low naturally accruing sugar.  Once you start reading the labels it will amaze you at how much added sugar is in our diets!  I avoid anything with added sugar or at least try to buy the product with the least amount of added sugar.

Of course I'm still walking and eating low fat.  Grains & carbs  are still included in my diet but I do watch them and keep them low.  Some nights I eat a piece of toast with peanut butter as my supper, so it's not all bad. And I"m not terribly strict if I go out to eat- even with the time of my first meal because sometimes the only time I can meet a friend is for breakfast but that's a rare treat.
This is a picture of me and two of my best friends-we ate before 12 :)







So this is more a lifestyle change that doesn't make me mad!  This is something I can live with the rest of my life and I believe it's pretty healthy!!

No one else in our family has really embraced it-but the good thing is it doesn't interfere with them.  They do get the additional benefits because I'm buying lower sugar sauces and ingredients for all of us.

So anyhow my weight is now lower than it's been in 7 years! My husband thinks I'm going to get down to my pre marriage weight LOL I'm not so sure about that!  If you have any questions you can email me any questions you may have!   theclanton5@aol.com



BTW my little Frenchie hen has started laying eggs- now I have two laying hens:)
















Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A Chicken Miracle!

Well I've experienced a chicken miracle!  In my last post I mentioned we had a new pet chicken that I named Dumplings.






 So you know how it goes....once you get one pet others follows  One of our therapists offered a hen house and three more hens.  She told me one of the chickens had seemed to have hurt her leg.  I saw the chicken when we went to pick them up and she was alert and eating but limping.  Well once we got them home, that chicken continued to get worse.

Jon & I had to go out of town for a funeral and before we left, I noticed Dumpling had the same symptoms!  After looking it up I guessed they had Maerk disease-it's fatal in chickens.  Some birds are vaccinated against it in the egg before they are hatched or immediately after.  I could only guess the other two girls were from a breeder that did that.  While we were gone the sick chicken died and Dumpling got worse.

In the scheme of life I know a chicken's death is NOT a big deal!  In fact in the scheme of MY life a chicken's death should not be much of a big deal as I have so many things to deal with.  But I've enjoyed Dumpling and her funny little non chicken acting self since she was hanging out at our church & I hated that there was no treatment that could be done.  But it just made me very sad and I felt guilty bringing the sick chicken home although it really just looked like an injury.

Anyhow I had to go and do errands last week and in the course of my day I had to drop off our church's end of the year paperwork to our church's accountant.  He & his wife just had a big scare with the health of their son and they had anointed him with oil and prayed for him.  They were testifying to me about the good report they'd gotten from the doctor.  Believe it or not I had felt "impressed' to anoint the chicken with oil and pray for her too (I know I sound FLAKY!)  but I went home and did it.  The very next morning Dumpling was walking normally!!!!


The girl on the top left is Ginger - then Dumpling is on the right looking at the camera.  The little fluffy one is called Frenchie but I usually call her Fluffy LOL

I don't understand this but I'm grateful to the Lord!  I'm going through some major trying times on several levels and for some reason this was just "the straw that broke the camel's back for me"  It was affecting me too much! I'm grateful to God for healing Dumpling and giving my heart a little boost!  Certainly naysayers could say I misdiagnosed her but I'm pretty confident i did not, Maerk's causes something like a palsy and lots of shaking.  That's what Sunshine ( the one who died) ended up doing.  Dumpling was doing the same thing and could barely stumble even a few steps.  It makes my heart happy to see her running towards me every day:)



Changing the subject.....A friend of ours gave us some glass art and we finally got it up on the porch.  I just love it!  Of course I'm sure it will have to be taken down next summer for a hurricane or two!








Jon and I have a goal of going to all the State Parks in Florida.  We keep a park pass and love going to some close by but we are expanding out!  On our way up to the funeral we stopped at Rainbow River State Park.  It was gorgeous and just right to spend a couple of hours walking around





Then we went to the Devils' Millhopper Geological State Park which is a huge sinkhole.




Sinkholes are so scary to me.  We have friends who built the most amazing house right on a sinkhole.  They have a balcony that is over it.  It's gorgeous but I couldn't sleep at night if I lived there.  We noticed right outside the park, there was a housing development.  You couldn't give me a house in that development!!!  Living in Florida means we all live over potential sinkholes and that is so scary to me!!!  A few years ago just maybe 25 miles south of us a sinkhole caved in under a house and swallowed a man, they never could retrieve his body!!!  That just freaks me out!  So Sinkholes are one of my many fears...another fear is finding a snake in my toilet at night LOL  what can I say I live in Florida!

So anyhow I'm grateful for all the good things in life and how God can give us a little encouragemnet in dark days.  If you think of me say a little prayer- I could use it!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

When I was a little girl I couldn't imagine that the world would last to the year 2000.  I remember counting up my age and realizing I'd be 35!!!! in 2000- what horror! I'd be ancient..... well now we are at the beginning of 2020 and it's surreal.  Also as a young girl I'd listen to my grandmother and great aunts talk about WWI, the Flu Epidemic of 1918 and the 1920's as if it were yesterday now I'm living  100 years after those events.  It's freaky!
So today I bought a new road atlas and a 2020 planner.  I LOVE having a real road atlas in my hand when we travel.  Sure we have GPS but sometimes it's wrong and sometimes I can figure out a better way on my own.  I LOVE reading maps, I've tried teaching my older boys to love maps but they just relay on GPS.  I have a strange skill, I can see a map in my head - I can't explain it but I can usually guesstimate how to get somewhere and usually be accurate.  Let's just say I'm the only one in my family who has that skill LOL   That skill was pretty fine tuned all those years ago doing home visits to all my folks on probation!  That was "back in the day" when you carried maps around and cursed the idiots who built roads around lakes and had 3 different names for one street!

And a year planner is a MUST!  I have to SEE it all written out- I've tried putting stuff on my phone but I hate it!  Tomorrow I'm putting in all the appointments etc into my 2020 planner.  That's a job I'm looking forward to doing.





Last night we welcomed in the new year with a bonfire and friends.  Both our older boys had plans so that was a little different for our family but it was fine.



 Yes I have on PJ pants, socks and flip flops!



Perfect fire













Sarah started the year out by swinging for about 3 hours:)






So y'all know our church is in the country...?  Well a few months ago our neighbor's chicken would come visit me every time I was at the church.  She'd come running to me- so cute.


This was her Christmas service picture

She'd jump in our van




So our neighbor let me have her!





Shad made a dream of mine come true!  He bought and built me a chicken coop.  We plan on buying a few chicks in the spring.




Molly is very interested in her new friend




Actually Molly is on guard duty tonight.  She generally sleeps in her crate on our front porch but until we get stronger locks on the cage she's pulling guard duty in her crate near the coop with the door open.  She was crate trained before we got her and she loves her crate.  It is like a security blanket to her.  

By the way, the chicken is named Dumpling.... after my signature dish!  But don't worry this Dumpling is just a pet!  Growing up we had a huge hen house and many chickens for years.  There were a few personal favorites, one little Banty hen that must have lived 15 years, I remember her most of my childhood.  Our chickens were somewhat free range before that was a thing but they did roost at night in a huge hen house.  Today I tried to explain the hen house to Shad & he couldn't believe anyone would have that many chickens and such a big place for them to live in!  
One curious thing I remember was the eclipse of 1969- our chickens all went into the hen house to roost like it was night time  that really stuck with me.  

Well this year and decade had a funny beginning but here we go ...hold on!  The future is scary to me, I guess you know when you are getting old because when you're young, the future is your friend, you're so eager for the next life experience...NOW at my age I realize  the next life experience might not be something I want!!!  I'm praying that your family and mine have a healthy happy new year and new decade.  I'd love to go a decade with no serious medical issues for anyone in my family!  Quite honestly we've had a share of drama in the past decade- high highs and very low lows...let's just stay with things nice and boring!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Thanksgiving & North Carolina trip






Moving right along...in November our church got two new beautiful signs.  I think they are beautiful because I designed them LOL But they reminded me of a very old picture we took 30 years ago on a November afternoon.  Before Jon & I married I attended the church we pastor now.  After we married they invited my husband & I back to do the a weekend of services and also gave us a wedding shower.  
I'm so glad this picture was taken ......






Because here we are 30 years later to the exact weekend! 



With all our peeps (we weren't able to get Selah's wheelchair down there the ground was too soft)

But who would have imagined 30 years ago all that would have transpired between pictures?  Certainly not me!!!



Here's our Thanksgiving picture we even got Molly in it!








Thanksgiving Service







Is this picture of Sarah beautiful or what?  I took it at the barn before horse back riding.




Sarah had an EEG just to rule out possible seizures.  Both of her diagnosis Peter's Anomaly & SOX2 has seizures as a problem.  She is was recently tested for Rhett's Syndrome & it too has seizures as a possibility.  Sarah sometimes makes funny little movements but we didn't really think it was seizure related and thankfully it is not!  The only issue the doctor saw was a slowing down of her brain waves in the back section of her brain probably related to her eyes.  People think of the eyes and brain as two different organs and technically they are but are very closely interrelated.

Sarah did so good- we were afraid she'd freak out with the cap and electrodes on her head but she did wonderfully.  I did have to hold her hand the whole hour!  But it was ok!  Then we stopped and got ice cream and she was very happy



The next morning we headed out for North Carolina.  We stayed in a friend's condo on Sugar Mountain near Banner Elk North Carolina,


We stopped alot on the way up.  This was on Brown Mountain





















This is the condo we stayed in (8th floor) I took this picture from Grandfather Mountain)






2 bedroom- 2 bath full kitchen (everything you need to cook) laundry room and balcony.  It was amazing!!!! It sleeps 6-8











The first day we went across to Grandfather Mountain and walked across the swinging mile high bridge!  It was breathtaking and COLD

















Just for clarification these next two pictures were taken without parent's permission or knowledge!  And these two grown boys of mine got yelled at!  But they are great pictures!

















Down the mountain is a small museum and zoo But Sam and Sarah enjoyed the rocking chairs and warmth



















 the bear even came out of hibernation to see us



That next day the weather started getting bad and we just piddled around as we were not brave drivers on mountains with freezing rain/snow/winds and not as many guard rails as we would like!  


Then we got snow!  I can not even tell you how cold it was- I doubt any of us had ever been in such cold conditions and the wind was blowing up to 30 miles an hour!  From the balcony you could only see white and hear the wind howling!



Our condo



We woke the next morning to this on the ski slopes



And off they went for a class and a full 12 hours of skiing.  I watched Netflex LOL





More our style, I had planned on taking the little kids out  sledding but it was so cold and neither of them care to be cold that we didn't do it





The next day we went to Blowing Rock North Carolina













I got brave enough to climb a little but they had two cats there who climbed the rock with no problems.  They were strays that had come up and been adopted.

















I took these pictures- no filters or edits...unreal!!!!




Then it was back home


Sarah in her Christmas dress










 Sarah by our tree




Molly our dog and Gizmo our cat love each other





Shad took this picture one morning near our house



So if you'd like some info about staying in our friend's condo please go to their website.  It was amazing and so very comfortable.  We cooked all our meals except one so that saved tons of money.  They have a washer and dryer in the condo  that was convenient.

AND for every vacation booked mentioning our name we get a free nigt!!!  So please go to
https://www.vrbo.com/21699?fbclid=IwAR2aQK1wk7HLuVh0YPMI7GV60loEYpZS6_HUGNBOlExDbU2Z-0vcLI6yg3U


The family has several adopted children- grandchildren and nieces and nephews.  It's a way to bless them and us!  Make sure you mention our names if you book and let me know too so I can keep up with it1  We'd love to go back in the summer so we can explore more!!