Thursday, September 16, 2010


I said I’d try to update everything that happened post-camp, but that’s so hard to do! We’ve been constantly busy. H1 hit the road the moment we got back with 4 hr/day football practices. Fortunately, those were held in the morning so we had some family time in the afternoons for the first couple weeks. It took a week to get completely unpacked and resettled back in our house. I had to make several grocery shopping trips, since I made sure we used up pretty much everything before we left, including flour and sugar. We don’t leave the air on at all in our house while we’re gone, so it reaches over 100 inside. I try not to leave anything but canned goods in the house for those couple months!

H3 settled back in quickly, though she let me know almost hourly for the first couple weeks how much she missed being outside. Up in the Adirondacks, it stayed in the 70s and 80s during the day, sometimes colder, and in the 40s at night. It was in the high 90s and low 100s when we got back to VA and since H3 overheats very easily, I’ve had to monitor her time outside. Through the end of August, she could only be out for 10 -15 minutes at a time without turning into a cherry from the heat. There were a couple days that we could get out in the early evening and escape to a park, pictures of which are below with everything else.

Warning: whining ahead!
At the end of August, we bought a van. We’d been saving up to get one, since we’ve needed the space for all of our trips. We bought it from a used car dealership several hours away, since they seemed to offer the best price and the test drive and Carfax showed no issues. Well, so far it’s turned into a nightmare. I’ve had to make two trips back already and need to make yet another. On our trip home from buying the thing, the check engine and TCS (traction control) lights turned on. To try and summarize this, we discovered the map sensor was disconnected and then resent the lights and hoped that might have fixed the problem. Nope, they turn on in the middle of the night on our way to OH on Labor Day weekend to visit my parents. Turns out, the transmission needs to be replaced and of course the dealer doesn’t want to take care of it. At this point I told him that I will only pay half the cost of parts, according to the terms of the warranty on the vehicle. H1 and I are debating about taking him to court. I don’t like the idea because it’s costly, but I have pretty definitive proof that this dealer knew about the problem before we bought the van and reset the check engine and TCS lights so it wouldn’t be noticeable at first. This has been really difficult for us, especially with H3 having to endure the trips, and right now the van is sitting in the carport as it has been for over a week, un-drivable. Being in the middle of nowhere with only one vehicle is difficult, especially when H3 has needed it for work! Ok, enough venting on my annoyance!

God is still so good though. Despite the serious problems with this vehicle, it did not break down on us or cause us to get in an accident and we are all safe. At this point, the new transmission is on it’s way and should be here by Monday, for me and H3 to take our last drive and get it installed.

Now for the fun stuff! Pictures and short stories ahead!

H1’s dad came down with us from NY. He was driving our car and we were driving his van, which we had borrowed for the summer to haul all of our stuff. He was able to stay for a couple days, which was wonderful. H3 loves her Pop-pop!

Swinging on the “big girl” swings on a slightly cooler day

Hanging out in the water at Busch Gardens. We went there a couple times right after getting back, since our season passes were still good. There are a lot of rides that H3 can enjoy and the water sure helps in the heat!

H1 and H3 at Busche Gardens

Riding a little roller coaster

I added butterfly decals above H3’s crib and she loves them. She talks about “a-flies” every morning!

My birthday present from H1! So pretty!

H3’s cake. I normally would have made her one, but with our whirlwind trip to OH, it was going to be too much to try and get that together. Sam’s Club makes pretty good cakes!

My family surprised me with an ice cream cake!

H1 and H3 walking in my parents’ backyard

My dad watching H3 go down a slide at a park in OH. My parents were so kind as to drive around both days we were there and search out parks for H3 to run around on. She’s trying hard to say “Grandpa and Grandma”, but it comes out “Paw- paw and Maw-maw” (distinctly different from the “Pop-pop she calls H1’s dad)

H3 getting a look at her birthday present early in the morning. We found this kitchen marked 50% off just after Christmas last year, and I put it aside for her.

Playing at the park with Mommy later in the day. H1 had to work and had a football game that night, so it was Mommy-daughter day, and then Daddy-daughter time the next morning.

So that brings just about everything up to date through Sept 10th. School started back for H1 on the 7th and so far it’s gone well. The middle school called and asked me to substitute tomorrow, so I’ll be heading in for the day. Hopefully I’ll get lots of calls from both the m.s. and the h.s. this fall, but we’ll see! In the meantime, I’m enjoying cooler mornings by getting up a little earlier to walk the dog and make real breakfasts instead of the usual cereal! I’m working the sound board at church now too, and am moving from the 4-7 age Sunday school class to the 8-12 year olds later this month. The sound board has been fun and hopefully my new class will be too! That’s all the updates for now!