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Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Look Back at Summer 2008

With school starting back, we are forced to say goodbye to summer break 2008! In some ways, it seems like only yesterday that we had our end of the school year party with friends to celebrate the beginning of summer break!

I love the the way it feels the first week of summer break. The weight of finishing school stuff just falls off of your shoulders. Even though you know that there are only three months of play time ahead of you, it feels like forever.
We've had a good summer. We've enjoyed so much time with friends, as well as family, yet still found plenty of time to just rest and hang out at home. I feel good about the school planning I have done for this school year and finally feel ready to start it! Goodbye summer break '08. We've had a great time!!!

And with the last pictures...football...it's obvious that fall is approaching. It's time to put away summer things and head into football and holidays!!!

Much Better!

Carnival finally sent out their memo today letting everyone know what their final decisions are concerning our cruise. Departure has been put off for two days to allow time for the storm to pass. I'm so relieved that we don't have to travel with all of the contraflow traffic and risk putting ourselves so close to the storm. I also did not feel good about leaving the kids during all of this. Of course, the kids were SO disappointed when they found out that they wouldn't be going to Jeff's parent's tonight! It makes me happy that they are that excited about where they will be while we are gone...it makes it easier to leave them.
So, the countdown starts again. I feel like, for the first time in a week, that I can really look forward to this trip without worrying! I'm relieved!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We Are Evacuating.....

......south!! As of today, we will be leaving tomorrow night to head for our embarkation port for our cruise. Unless Gustav turns, our port will be free and clear. By the time we get into the gulf, the hurricane should have already hit land. It does feel a little strange to be thinking of going anywhere for fun when there will be so much going on in our state, however, being home won't change anything either. We didn't get the travel insurance, so as long as our ship leaves, we will either be on it or lose our money. Between my kids being sick and Gustav I have not really had time to feel excited about the trip this week. I have packed, but not completely. Today, for the first time, I feel like I can look forward to next week. No one enjoys being with her children and doing things as a family as much as I do, but nothing compares to being completely alone with your spouse for a few days when it comes to strengthening a marriage. That's what I look forward to as much as anything. Okay, doing this stuff comes in a very close second!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We Found A New Place To Play!!

I wanted to take my Madison, Patrick, and Carter somewhere to paint ceramics, so I googled art shops in our area and found a GREAT place! This place opened nearly two years ago, but I just never knew about it. I'm always trying to find new things to do with the kids, so it surprises me that it took me so long to find this.

I got in on the fun too! Mine looks a little rough because it still needs to be fired. I'll take another photo of it after it is finished!
I know we'll be going back to this place. It will be so great to go there and let the kids actually make Christmas gifts for some of their family and friends! It's just so nice when I find something that all of us really enjoy. I just never know ahead of time how a new activity will be received by everyone. I knew as soon as we walked into the shop today that Madison, Patrick, and Carter were all going to get into it and enjoy it! We ended up staying for nearly 3 hours and had such a great time!!!

Images of Hurricane Gustav

No, these are not more images of the actual hurricane or the path that he is taking. We've seen plenty of those displayed across our televisions and computer screens. We've flipped through our TV channels and Googled "Hurricane Gustav" on our computers knowing that there are, in reality, no certainties anyway. The only certainties lie in where he has already been...not where he is going!
It was very humbling to come across these photos this morning. These are people who have already been in the path of Hurricane Gustav. It's one thing to HEAR and read about the devastation in these places, but to actually see the faces of those who lived through it is hard. There's so much more to this than "where will it hit" or "when will it hit" because the reality is that it has already hit somewhere. There have already been people killed and devastated by this hurricane! With the three year anniversary of Katrina approaching, the reality of what can happen is too fresh for those on the Gulf Coast. If not, then photos like this one will remind us....1,464 flags in a cemetery in New Orleans represent those who died there as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
All we can do is prepare of the worst and hope for the best. As long as we remember that, even if we are spared, that there were still lives lost and lives changed by Hurricane Gustav!