Saturday, December 28, 2019

Thanksgiving & North Carolina trip

Moving right 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

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!!

Friday, December 27, 2019

30th Anniversary Cruise

I know the year is almost over but I'm playing catch up on here!

In November we took a family cruise to the Bahamas.  This was our 30 year wedding anniversary trip and both boys helped out so we could afford to go.  We'd never gone there as a family & it was alot of fun.  This is the first cruise we ever took on a Carnival ship & found it to be different than a Royal Caribbean  Both had their  pros & cons.  We chose the Carnival because it was about $100 cheaper a person for the time we wanted to go and that is alot of a family of our size.  We had to take 3 rooms.  Jon & Sam shared an adjoining room with Sarah & me.  Although they were interior rooms they seemed larger than the interior rooms on Royal Caribbean.  With the adjoining door opened, it seemed like we were in a small suite.  Steve & Shad's room was a little smaller but still bigger or equal to the size of the RC rooms.

It was more of a party ship for sure and a younger clientele.  The dining area was much harder to get through with the kids' wheelchairs too. We dined in the restaurant instead of the buffet for breakfast and dinner but couldn't escape it for lunch!  The wait staff at the buffet  had a hard time understanding that Sarah's food had to be pureed but once they understood they got it done.  The restaurant was easy to navigate and we got a window seat each night.  This boat was hard to navigate around in and had very little deck space in which to walk so that drove me crazy!  Plus the tiny "walking deck" was not handicapped accessible.  The elevator did not go up to it.  We would have taken the kids and pushed them as we walked around if it had been

But our room almost made up for everything else as it was very comfortable!  Also we loved that the ship was overnight in the Bahamas so we could really explore the area.

Now I am NOT recommending that everyone do what we did....but... we seldom pay for a tour through the ship.  We just get off and find our own tour guide  With so many people we can't afford to pay $75 each for a tour of the area.  The only time we've paid for a tour through booking through the ship was once for our older boys to go to the Mayan Ruins in Mexico without us (we'd already gone to Mayan ruins years ago) and when we were in Cuba we had to pay for a tour..  When we visited Honduras some years ago one of my friends had a sister who did tours so we went with her and had a marvelous time seeing the real Honduras.  That gave us confidence so we've done it ever since.  Some people think it is dangerous and it probably is!  But I've always prayed we'd get the right person and we have.  This time we found a man at the dock who had a nice van and he took all of us for the price of 2 ship tours!  He hit all the high spots for us despite the rain (it was actually a tropical depression) but it did not stop us.  We went to the beach, Atlantis Hotel, the Queen's Staircase and the fort.  Plus he drove us all over the island and showed us things of local interest.  That night Jon and I went out walking for miles and had such a good time.

What's a little rain?

the Atlantis hotel

the Queen's Staircase

the fort (my guys and a stranger on top!)

the Bahamas in the back gorund

We've started using (click name for website)   Ovi travel agent   Ovi is the husband of one of my high school friends and a very nice guy who worked hard for us in getting everything arranged for the kids.  He was patient as we figured out the best rooms and arrangements for our situation.  He worked hard to get us the very best price.  I would recommend him over any travel agent I'd ever worked with!  

So we had a great 30 years anniversary cruise with our kids.  It was magical to be out in the storm sightseeing and to be able to spend time just walking around the Bahamas at night.   Trips are more important to me than presents.  I love to travel with my family and see things together.  Jon & I had gone on a cruise to the Bahamas a few years ago but thought it would be fun to go as a family & it was!