Vacation

Kissing Big Daddy Under the American Falls at Niagara

Kissing Big Daddy Under the American Falls at Niagara

Kissing Big Daddy Under the American Falls at Niagara

Part of my bucket list is Kissing Big Daddy under a waterfall (at Niagara Falls).  Well, I successfully did that.  There was a quick moment of Kissing Big Daddy Under the American Falls at Niagara.

There was a moment when we were attempting to get under the falls.  The pressure and the wind and the force of the water made it hard to stand.  So, basically, I got under, he tried to get a picture.  Then, Bart got under it and I tried to get a picture.

As He Was Walking Out From Under the Falls

I remembered my bucket list and I made him run back under the falls.  Then, I tucked my camera under my poncho and ran under there as well.

Then, I did it.  Success.

It was windy and wet.

However, there was no picture until after the fact.

Check it off my list 🙂

Now, for 1001 more items to check off my list.  One by one, Big Daddy and I doing what we love to do.  He is my most favorite travel buddy!

One day, when the kids are all gone, I want to sell everything.  Then, I want to buy an RV and travel all over the place.  The thought thrills me to my toes.

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Living Out God’s Story 20 Years Strong

Living Out God’s Story 20 Years Strong

Living Out God’s Story 20 Years Strong.  Today is the day that I married the man that God intended for me to marry.

I met him during a horrible time in my life.  Sadly, I was in an abusive relationship and very beaten down.  I had just transferred to our local university.  Also, I had moved out of my home.  My family was in turmoil and it was just difficult.

I remember walking into the game room. Amazingly enough, I had gotten a job, on campus, and this was it.  I was late because I had driven from my parent’s home, an hour away.  By the time I got there, the other employees had already lined up at the front desk and were hearing the “speech” given by the head guy.

I noticed a boy, about the third or fourth in line. He had on whitewashed jeans, a light green shirt, a cub’s hat and he had a lip full of tobacco (yuck).  I only saw his profile.

My first thought, literally, was “I’m gonna marry him.”

I had no idea what his name as if he was single.  Honestly, all I knew was that his butt looked AMAZING in those jeans.  Also, he had a kind expression on his face.

I walked to the end of the line and heard the speech.  Then, I got my schedule.  I remember looking at it, in detail.  Sadly, I knew no one.  I was paired, on the weekends with two guys.  One of the guy’s name was Shawn and the second guy…I remember looking at his name and thinking “who would name their kid Bart?”  Seriously, I had no idea who “Bart” was.  Honestly, I just got tickled with his name.  I even called my sister, snickering.

Then, as I went for my first shift, I met Shawn.  He was a nice guy who REALLY loved to pick his nose on yards upon yards of toilet paper.  As I sat there, I looked up and here he came Bart…..he was the guy with the whitewashed jeans.  I remember thinking “OH MY GOODNESS!”

My heart kind of flipped.

His eyes were sky blue.  He had a bitty mustache.  He was quiet and reserved.  His hands were HUGE….my thumbs put together would equal one of his thumbs.  He was smart.  Soft.  Encouraging.

Due to my “relationship” with the guy, I had been with was very controlling.  He did not allow me to talk to ANY male person.  Also, he would come and watch me.  It just did not go well when I had to talk to a guy.  He would just stand there and watch.  I walked behind him, I had no opinion on any subject.  He told me what to think, what to do, how to act, who to associate with….it was sad.

We had bowling alleys in our game room and occasionally, they would break down.  Bart and I would have to go back to where my “boyfriend” couldn’t go so we could work on the lanes.  He would talk to me and tell me what he thought I deserved and how I should be treated.  That I should be treated like a princess and without abandon. I deserved better.

He loved me and he showed me, love.  Also, he taught me how to love.

From meeting to marriage was about a year and today, we celebrate 20 years of marriage.  I’m so thankful my first reaction was spot on and that through the years of love, laughter, pain, loss…that he has never left my side.

Happy Anniversary to my FAVORITE person (you’ve still got a great butt).
Living Out God's Story 20 Years Strong

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Vacation

20th Anniversary Trip Day 9

20th Anniversary Trip Day 9

On our 20th Anniversary Trip Day 9, we headed into Amish Country.

The place we chose, that we remember when we were going 20 years ago, is located in Holmes County, OH.

We ate at Boyd and Wurthman’s Diner.  It was locally owned and operated.  The food was delicious.

I got a few pictures, not many because the Amish do not want their picture taken.  Clearly, I took a picture of one little boy.  Respecting their beliefs is important to me because it was important to my father-in-law.  I chose to respect that.

Sad Fact

It was not as we remembered.  There were so many more businesses, English businesses.  It has become very commercial.  We only shopped at locally owned stores and no “English run” businesses.  The scenery, however, was just as we remembered.  It was absolutely gorgeous.

We went to Heini’s and we sampled about 20 different cheeses.  It was wonderful.  Heini’s is a cheese factory.  Let me just tell you, it is going to be in heaven when I get there.  A place dedicated to cheese.  Yes, please.

Excellent food.

We also got to see a covered bridge and a castle 🙂

20th Anniversary Trip Day 9

20th Anniversary Trip Day 9

20th Anniversary Trip Day 9

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20th Anniversary Trip Day 8

20th Anniversary Trip Day 8

On our 20th Anniversary Trip Day 8, we went to the Mansfield Reformatory.

It was WOW and WOW.

I have lots of pictures.

The thought of how many young men died in this prison was mindboggling.  Bart’s dad played baseball with the inmates on this front lawn.  How cool is that?  Oh, how I wish he were alive so we could share this with him.  I would love to hear all of his stories.

The new prison is beside the old one.  We accidentally got into the parking lot of the wrong prison.  I guess the no trespassing sign should have been cue.  Honestly, we looked up and saw the line of prisoners walking from the yard back to their cells.  We left quickly.

We also headed into Big Daddy’s parent’s hometown of Cardington, OH.

There, we met up with his aunt and uncle.  They were gracious enough to let us stay with them overnight.  They took us out to a cool little diner.

We left the diner and headed to the campground where I got to meet another aunt and uncle (after 20 years of marriage).

We stayed and chatted for a while and then headed back to the house to sleep.

20th Anniversary Trip Day 8

20th Anniversary Trip Day 8

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20th Anniversary Trip

20th Anniversary Trip Day 6

Vacation

20th Anniversary Trip Day 6

20th Anniversary Trip Day 6

20th Anniversary Trip Day 6

20th Anniversary Trip Day 6, we slept in and it was lovely.

We went to the mall and I had my first experience in the Coach store.

Big Daddy let me in the store, alone. Big, big, BIG mistake.

The colors and the smells dazzled my senses.

Big Daddy tried to whisk me away… he did so in vain.  I was helpless in the clearance section.  Also, I also had a 50% off coupon.  This was such an exciting moment.  I remember when I would cry in the drive-thru at McDonald’s because I had $1.00 to get a sandwich.

It was too much.

I succumbed to the powers of the store and bought a bag.  It was fabulous.  However, since I bought a bag, I told Big Daddy that I would go see a movie of his choice.

It was X Men.

Say a prayer.

In my opinion, these movies are stupid.

It was a good movie, shockingly enough.  Since I went into it knowing nothing, Big Daddy had a lot of explaining to do.  He didn’t seem to mind.  It is nice spending time doing something that he enjoys doing.  I mean, I did get a new purse and all!

Anniversary Trip Day 6

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20th Anniversary Trip

20th Anniversary Trip

On our 20th Anniversary Trip, we spent time in Canada, Buffalo NY, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and more.  We booked a reservation at the Skylon Tower.  Then, we went for a walk through Toronto and Ontario.  Well, we got lost in Toronto.

It was breathtaking.  All of it was just breathtaking.  This is a place I would absolutely go back to year after year.  I have never seen anything so gorgeous in all my days.  It is a close second to Dhera, Ethiopia.

We saw many nations represented.

In addition to the Falls, we saw Tibetan Monks, Rabbis, a sweet Jewish family, lots of Amish and Mennonites.

Amongst the many many people…. we looked up and ran into old friends. We have not seen these friends in years.  They were as shocked as we were.  We went to church with each other for years.  Actually taught each other’s kids during AWANA.  It has probably been ten years since we had seen them.  Then, we ran into them in Canada.

Tonight we had dinner at Fuji Grill.  It was a hibachi grill and it was wonderful.

 We were blessed enough to share our table with a traveling couple from Indiana.

We laughed, shared, and talked the whole time.

Tremendous.

Pictures

20th Anniversary Trip

 

20th Anniversary Trip

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Vacation

Lessons Learned from Camping

These are the Lessons Learned from Camping.  Please, heed and enjoy!

Lessons Learned from Camping

  • Pee, it happens and not where it should.  It could happen on the bed or behind a utility shed.  If you can’t see people, while you are peeing, they can’t see you.
  • Spandex and fat people do not mix.  Please refrain or buy a larger sized shirt.
  • Tattoos and hair are in inappropriate places on men and women :/
  • If you find monkey panties on the picnic table, do not assume that they are one of your children’s.  Do not touch.
  • Cotton can fall from the sky like manna…pretty cool.
  • Parades can consist of 2 people.
  • Kazoos are not edible.
  • If you don’t pay attention, your children will go and set on the steps of strange people’s camper steps and make conversation.
  • When the magician asks the CHILDREN if they know what a “shot glass” is and then proceeds to explain…take your children and walk away.
  • When you find a beer bottle, in the woods, it is not smart to put your mouth on it and making “tooting” sounds.
  • Poop, it can shoot up.  WARNING:  Keep your mouth closed! (Think of the movie RV with Robin Williams….totally happened).
  • If you lose your black water tank top down the dump station, please tell someone immediately, as it will most likely cause a flood-o-poop.
  • When asked if you want a $1000 fine for dumping said crap, always say no.
  • When someone looks like the Fonz, don’t mention it to him cause he thinks he is hot.
  • Bugs can make awesome necklaces.
  • Camper toilets are a necessity.
  • Not everyone gets goosebumps when they pee.
  • Kids will cry.
  • Scrapes will happen.
  • Food will be totally consumed.
  • When the little girl at the Golden Corral says “you have too many kids,” just smile and nod.
  • ALWAYS accompany your, almost 9 yr old, to the buffet.  He tends to pick up a sausage and then sling it back in the warmer with his hands.
  • If a random child gets hurt and you offer to cut off their leg to stop the pain, don’t be surprised if they do not return to your camper.
  • Bedtimes and Showers are not mandatory.
  • There is no shame in licking the cheese off the Doritos and then putting them back in the bag for your children (or husband) to eat.
  • It is always polite to leave the cream filling of the oreo, for your husband.
  • When your child says “be back in 10 minutes,” they really mean “I’ll be back in a few hours, gonna go.”
  • Tarp Man is scary.  Always carry your pistol when he is close.
  • Camping and baseball produce extra saliva in your son’s mouth.  They will spit any and everywhere.
  • Camping……….its fun 🙂

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Cracking the Hermit Crab Death Secret

Cracking the Hermit Crab Death Secret

Cracking the Hermit Crab Death Secret

Cracking the Hermit Crab Death Secret.  Well, our frisky little Earl, whom we bought for Peach on our vacation, bit the dust yesterday.  RIP Earl.

He was an active little sucker till the end.  He was our own Houdini and he will be missed (cough, wink).

I knew something was amiss when I let him and Bob out of their cage for their afternoon exercise.   I found Earl’s leg…not attached to his body.

He was still moving around, so I just assumed that was normal (a stupid thing to do).

What Exactly IS Normal?

While the kids were at Martha’s house, I grabbed the cage to feed/water Earl and Bob.  Well, I picked Earl up and his other leg fell off.

Once again, I thought this was normal (never had crabs before).

I turned the shell over and out came Earl….dead, smelly Earl.

In my sadness (insanity), I insisted that Big Daddy and I go to the ‘big’ town and get Peach another crab.

We did, his name is Ed and he is still alive.

I’m redoing their terrarium and had them sitting on the kitchen table and before I knew it, Bob fell off the table.  Those little suckers can book it.

All in all, they are both alive, for the time being.

Gatlinburg

We got both of these crabs while in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Which is not far from Gatlinburg.

Never will I ever assume anything about crabs or their body parts.

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Top 18 Lessons Learned About Camping in Gatlinburg

Top 18 Lessons Learned About Camping in Gatlinburg

 

Top 18 Lessons Learned About Camping in Gatlinburg

Here are the Top 18 Lessons Learned About Camping in Gatlinburg.  I hope it helps you if you decide to head that way.

  • If you are standing under a tree, after a thunderstorm, and you shake said tree for effect, you will get wet.
  • There are 31 CrackerBarrel’s in between Benton and Gatlinburg.
  • Bug said 5,985,375,956 words ON THE TRIP DOWN THERE!
  • Rats on the sidewalk do not constitute wildlife.
  • When you see boxer briefs laying outside your camper, don’t assume it is your husband’s and pick them up.
  • When your awning isn’t tied down, it will blow over your camper during a thunderstorm.
  • Pirates DO NOT live in Pittsburgh.
  • Teen girls will cry randomly and without warning.
  • BEWARE: twitterpated animals are everywhere (the ducks beside your camper, the chickadees in the KFC parking lot, and even the skunks on exhibit), be prepared to body slam your teenager when she is arguing with the younger 4 children over the fact that the animals are not fighting, they are ____________.

Part 2

  • Camper upholstery is very ugly, but the fact that it is durable and can stand up to copious amounts of ketchup makes up for that fact.
  • Yes, there are real Indians in the world.
  • If you run out of room in the trunk of your vehicle, feel free to duck tape the remainder of your items on the hood of your car.
  • When searching for a “free” hermit crab prepare to hear “want crabs?”. It is an innocent question.
  • You will never meet a stranger while camping
  • Urine…it happens……whether in the camper (sans toilet) or off the mountain.
  • Campers will always tell you which rope, knot, and tree to use when tying up your children.
  • If you open the gate to the swimming pool, move out of the way, it can cause black eyes.
  • Ducks quack at 3:30 in the morning.

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