Saturday, July 9, 2011

Project 365, Weeks 26, 27 & 28

It's wonderful to be home again! In the past three weeks I traveled through four states -- and didn't have internet at any of the places we stayed. Had to look for free wifi or find a relative with internet. As you might imagine, I'm still catching up on e-mails. Not being able to check in on facebook or read blogs means I feel totally out of the loop -- what's happening with everyone?! It's amazing how much we've come to depend on this little thing called the world wide web!

You don't even want to know how many photos I have to share for Project 365. Let's just say it would be a good idea to go ahead, right now, and get a tall glass of lemonade or iced tea, maybe a cookie (or three) and settle back...

Every time we went to Indiana in June we helped move more of mom's things over to her apartment at the retirement home. Which continued when we went down on June 21st but I have no photos of that. Instead I have multiple photos from that weekend when Kyle and Tina held their reception. They were willing to wait until this summer so they could have it outside, and it was a smashing success! Kyle, Tina and his parents spent months planning and preparing for the big event. We helped a whole crew of family and friends with set-up on Friday.
Although it rained every day the week before, Saturday dawned bright and beautiful...a perfect day for an outdoor party with a camp theme! Here we are with the happy couple:
In case somebody needed directions:
I don't have an exact number but there were well over 200 who enjoyed the festivities. Dinner included pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, baked beans, chips, a variety of beverages and (of course) lots and lots of homemade cookies. YUM!
There were games and crafts and an animal show put on by a fellow who takes his "pets" to camps, schools, and private events. The kids loved being able to hold and/or pet the animals:
Some of the kids made a beeline for their parents, though, when he brought out the tarantula :)  But a lot of them were much braver and willing to hold the snakes.

I like this shot of Rita with grandson, Zion, during the show:
Later there was a talent show which was fun. Ivan and an old friend did a skit they'd done years ago at family camp. Hilarious!
Sunday afternoon, once clean-up was complete, those brave enough (I was not one of them) rode the zip line. Here's Ivan getting ready to take off:
My sister and her girls had flown in from California to spend some time with us and my 10-year-old niece declared the zip line "awesome!"

Monday the 27th, while Ivan stayed in Indiana to help his mom finish moving into her apartment, I headed south with my sister and her daughters. First we visited Aunt Jane in Tennessee. It was the first time I'd been back since our dad died in 2000. One of our cousins is living beside Jane now, so we got to see her too, as well as her granddaughter who was visiting. The girls had fun playing outside together:

Before we left on Wednesday we took lots of photos, including this one with Aunt Jane:

Next we headed to Kentucky to visit mom's side of the family. While there we took flowers to mom's grave (we had also taken flowers to dad's grave while in Tennessee):

During a cook-out at my cousin's house, my older niece decided his boat would be a good place to take the group photo. We weren't the most cooperative crowd, since we couldn't stop being silly long enough to properly pose:
Before we left my cousin Ruth's house on Friday I took a group shot on her front porch. They were much more docile :)
Please be praying for Ruth, who is struggling with cancer. Surgery and other treatment had to be postponed because of an infection.

I was very impressed with the new park in my hometown of Hyden:
If memory serves me, that was just a dumpy field with lots of litter when I was a kid. Looks much better now!

We spent Friday night with my Uncle Martin, one of only two surviving uncles on my mom's side. He's not in the best health, but he still enjoys working in his yard which is beautiful.

I love this shot of my beautiful sister:
We had such a wonderful week!

Our final day together was spent at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY.  Everything is so well done, from the videos, displays and exhibits, special lectures... We were impressed! Although there's SO much to see and do, you're really pushing it to try and do it all in one day.

Isn't this quilt amazing? I failed to write down the name of the maker, but it is truly stunning (and huge)!

It was a really, REALLY hot day but we braved the heat to visit the petting zoo and view the gardens. The girls enjoyed their camel ride too:

All too soon our time together was up :(  We saw them off at the Louisville airport last Sunday, but not before a few more photo ops with the girls:

Monday we enjoyed a delicious asado at Ivan's brother's house. Oh my goodness! So much wonderful food, and it was fun meeting their friends too:

Later that evening we drove up to Syracuse, Indiana, for their fireworks display (since we'd missed the one in Winona Lake the night before). Ivan figured out how to set our camera to take better pictures and here are two of my favorites:

Good friends came down to visit and we showed them around Winona Lake. Adrene liked this life-sized figure outside one store:
If you're ever in the area, Winona Lake is a fun little town full of quaint stores and restaurants right on the lake. They also have an amazing music program there called Masterworks with concerts several evenings a week, plus a variety of special events, throughout the summer.

This past week was spent clearing and cleaning mom's house, getting it ready to rent. Of course it looked worse before it looked better!
Thankfully by the time we left Friday evening, most of the STUFF was cleared out and we'd scrubbed the kitchen and baths. It's not totally done, but we made a good dent in the project. Some other missionaries in our church are on furlough and needed a few pieces of furniture which we happened to have left over that mom can't use, so we loaded it up and brought it to Michigan last night. Shades of the Beverly Hillbillies :)

Seriously, can you believe how many photos you just looked at? I'm impressed if you made it ALL the way through this post in one sitting! :) Hopefully from now on I'll be able to keep up on a weekly basis.