The last day of September camp started our September out. (see August’s post for camp’s post) We actually made it home before dinner time and were able to clean out the motorhome, finish entering my consignment stuff, and go to bed at a decent hour.
Chester left the house to fly to Denver, CO at 4:30 am., on Wednesday after camp for his OHMA face to face meeting. They are checking out places to have the conference in 2016 I believe as well as working on other OHMA things. The kids and I all stayed home. I worked on tagging all my consignment stuff, fulfilling Cube orders, passing out HWGA flyers, and homeschooling the kids.
(Sept. 3)- Kaylin, Bryant, and Kolby were playing dogs. Kaylin was the owner and the boys were her Yorkie dogs. I got so tickled when I heard her calling their names. The boys were Norkie & Dorkie. Got to love rhymes. She wasn’t being mean at all, they just were good names for her Yorkies.
(Sept. 4-5)-At one point today I realized I hadn’t seen the kids for a bit and needed to go check on them. I walked outside and where did I find all four?
They were having a grand old time. I made them get down as i really didn’t want to have to take anyone to the doctor while Ches was out of town.
That evening Kolby came in for dinner and looked like he didn’t feel good. Sure enough I took his temperature and he had a fever over 100*. He wouldn’t eat and just wanted to lay on the couch pretty much the rest of the night.
I was up with Kolby several times during the night. His temperature got up to 104* at one point. Thankfully it went down a few degrees so we made it through the night without a trip to the doctor, at least that day! The next morning he still had the fever and just laid around. I was supposed to be dropping off all my consignment stuff and then volunteering for a few hours while the kids got to spend the day with Laura, but those plans changed. I ended up taking Kolby in to the doctor and left the other kids with Laura. I decided to take a load of my bigger items in to the consignment sale while we were in town. So after going to the doctor and being told he just had a virus, and would just have to let the sickness run it’s course, we headed over to Here Wee Grow Again. I was able to drop my stuff off squeezing in during a slower time. That was a huge help as while I was loading stuff I realized I had more things then I thought. It was so nice to have the big stuff out of the house and at the sale. Kolby did great for me all while I was dropping stuff off. He sat in the car, which I was able to park by the door, and he read books and played on a toy computer I had to sell. When the car was pretty much emptied he laid in the back while waiting for me. We made a few stops before getting home so Kolby was wiped out by the time we got back. He went to sleep and slept most of the afternoon. He seemed to feel a bit better after his nap.
The kids and I were able to go pick up Chester at the airport. We had been hoping to watch him land but didn’t get loaded up in time. We saw him fly over Deer Lake as well were pulling out onto 29. He was waiting at the curb when we pulled up. So thankful to have him home again! I don’t enjoy being separated!
We slept in today, then I loaded up yet another van load of stuff to take to the consignment sale. Next we got the guys all set and ready to head to Richmond, to the Richmond International Speedway! Laura had scored some free tickets to the Federated 400 for Bobby, Eric & his boys, and Chester, Cooper & Bryant. They all loaded up in our motorhome and headed down there to watch the race. They got a bit of a late start so jumped right into the craziness as soon as they arrived. They never even had time to go back and grab their dinner at the motorhome until after the race ended and they were ready to head home after midnight! I think they all enjoyed the experience. It was an uneventful race with no crashes or anything exciting like that. The boys brought home pieces of rubber from the tires of the race cars. They said if you walked down to go to the bathrooms right along the front rows you would just get pelted with rubber bits. When they got back to the motorhome after walking the track after the race, they cooked up some pizza and then headed home. It was after 2 when they arrived home. It ended up that Jeannine and Channing had stayed the night at Bobby and Laura’s, so Eric & his boys just camped out in our motorhome for the night before getting up and heading out to get ready for church. My Saturday didn’t go as planned. Kolby was feeling somewhat better so I loaded Kaylin and him up and headed in to drop my stuff off at HWGA. I parked by the door again and had the two of them stay in the car and watch a video while I dropped off all my stuff. They did great once again but when I got back out to the car to leave Kaylin was sitting in her chair shivering and it wasn’t cold! Sure enough she now had a fever. So much for running some errands. We just decided to stop by the library to grab some books and videos to entertain the kids while they were sick. Poor Kaylin didn’t even feel good enough to pick anything out. She just kept asking to go home. We got her home and down for a nap. She sleep the rest of the evening.
We were able to sleep in on Sunday since we weren’t planning on going to meeting with sick kiddos. That was wonderful! I had been up too many times during the nights with kiddos while Ches was gone so was ready for some sleep. I was able to get school laid out for the week and clean up the house a little. In the afternoon Cooper came in saying he was cold and tired. Sure enough it was fever time for him. Kolby was better and Kaylin was improved by the evening.
Cooper stayed in bed most of the day not feeling well. I decided to go ahead and try to get school going for Bryant and Kaylin. We started in but then Bryant decided to get the sickness. He left school shivering and went and crashed on the couch. So much for getting a good week of school in. Kaylin and I were able to finish up her school and still have time for me to do other things I needed to do.
I left the kids with Chester this evening and went and shopped HWGA at 6:00 for volunteer shopping. I picked up Laura and took her with me. She went and did some errands until her shop time at 7:00. I was able to find a couple things the kids needed. Nice to shop when there wasn’t a crazy huge crowd. When I finished shopping I ran to Kroger to get some groceries while Laura shopped. I picked Laura up and made 2 quick stops at Harris Teeter and Target before heading home.
Tonight was a Jack ‘N Jill shower for Meredith Cangialosi and her fiancé Jeremy. They seem like such a sweet couple. The shower was outside at David and Janelle’s. We just stood around and visited and ate desserts and visited some more. They didn’t open gifts, it was just real relaxed and chatty. A number of Jeremy’s family came so we got to meet them all.
Oh! As we were pulling into David and Janelle’s property we got to see a black bear run across the road. Pretty exciting for us since we don’t see bear all that often.
Sept. 13-Today Chester took the kids to Lowes to do a Build and Grow project. I got up early and left to volunteer at Here Wee Grow Again. It was their first free public day so was CRAZY busy! I got there at 8:30am. and there already was a line of people waiting at the door even though it was drizzly. Doors opened at 9:00am and by then it was raining but it didn’t keep the people away. We had so many people that we would let people in and then have to shut the doors until some went out and then we’d let in another group. We had over 700 people come through today. I was in charge of larger baby equipment and toys. I helped people get their tear off tags so they didn’t have to carry around the big stuff while they continued shopping. I totally enjoy working the sale, seeing how much stuff people buy, etc. I just really enjoy the whole buy/resell thing! When we opened in the morning there were probably 20+ exersaucers. By the time I left at 3:45 there were only 2 left. It was kind of the joke that I was trying to see if I could sell all exersaucers that were there. Anyway I had a blast working and would have stayed longer but I had errands to run and I hadn’t planned on being gone all day. I did my errands and then came home. After dinner Russell, Emily and Jaden came over for the guys to work on music for tomorrow. Tonight I got an email from Karen (the lady in charge of HWGA) thanking me for helping out at the sale today and how she had appreciated my smile and positive attitude. I was able to write her back and let her know that yes, I had enjoyed myself today so that makes me smile but I really have something to smile about. I was able to share with her how the Lord has saved me and lives in my heart and that is why I am happy and smile. I was pretty excited about the chance to share with someone my love for the Lord. Usually when you have an opportunity it kind of puts you on the spot. I’m not the world’s greatest communicator, so I always feel like I blunder opportunities or wish I would have said something else. This was perfect because I could just sit back and type out what I wanted to say then delete it if it wasn’t how I wanted to say it and then try again. I never heard back from her but I was excited about the chance to talk about the Lord to someone else.
Sept. 14-Today we had meeting and then came home for lunch. Ches wanted to mow the yard and I needed to get school ready for next week and pack a box to send to Dad and Mom with Don and Molly on their way home. I dove into my tasks and Ches headed out to mow the grass. His job didn’t go as smoothly as mine did and he had mower troubles and couldn’t get it fixed. He ran to town to get parts and worked and worked on the mower. He finally gave up around 6 and we decided to go ahead and head out to Roger and Lauren’s where they were having a work party and dinner at their garage apartment they are building. We felt bad showing up just in time for dinner but figured we go on out there to be a part. We stopped by Patrick and Jana’s on the way to give my box of stuff to send to the Midwest with Don and Molly. Kaylin was thrilled to make it to the triplets’ house. Jana had to go check on two of the girls so took Kaylin in to see them. Kaylin thought that was pretty neat. We headed on to Roger and Lauren’s after visiting for a little bit. Sure enough we were right in time for dinner. We ate and visited a little bit before everyone headed home. The work was pretty much done for the day so they weren’t working after dinner much. Oh well!
Sept. 15-Today Chester went and got a load of gravel from Bobby’s shop that they ended up not needing. The kids all helped him spread it out on the driveway. Much nicer!
Sept 16- We had our CERT meeting tonight. We ended up just going as a family. The kids played cars and toys on the floor while we did our meeting. Usually they have a door prize at our meetings. They asked Kaylin to pick a ticket out and she picked MINE! How fun! I won a $10 CiCi’s gift card.
Sept. 17-Tonight we went and sang at The Independence (the place where Mrs. Peg & Brian Baumgardner live). It is fun to go sing there as the older people really enjoy it and you can tell it means a lot to them. They are all with it so it isn’t as scary for the kids as it can be sometimes when going to a nursing home. After we finished up there some of us went to Wendy’s for a snack. Most everyone was getting a frosty but Kolby couldn’t have one since it is dairy. We told him we’d get him some fries. He was thrilled. He ate all his and asked for more. He ended up eating the rest of Jeremy and Joni’s and Kathryn Martin’s. He thought he was something else.
Sept. 18-Kolby picked up a new word from Bryant. (Not sure where Bryant learned it.) The word is hypotenuse. He thinks it is a name to call someone and when he is feeling ornery he was look at you and grin and say “Hi-Pot-Moose”, it is so funny.
The other night at our CERT meeting one of the members asked when we were going to get called out. He was wanting to go volunteer to look for a missing UVA girl. I hadn’t heard anything about anyone missing and didn’t really think that much about it. The CERT member was told that we had to just wait until we were called out and that it could be tomorrow or a year or longer. You just never know. Well that day came. We got our first CERT call out. Yesterday a request came through for help searching for the UVA girl that was missing, Hannah Graham. Wow! I knew it would happen sooner or later but never dreamed so soon after we had been talking about it. We were called out for Search and Rescue. Chester decided he could take the day off work and go help. I stayed home to take care of the kids and do school with them. Ches left here in the morning and went and waited to be put out on a task. It was a bit unorganized so they didn’t realize Chester was ready to go out and search for a bit so he didn’t get put on a team until 1:00pm. They were doing 4 hour shifts so he went and searched from 1-5pm. No luck, so he decided to go ahead and do one more shift. He ended up not getting home until 11:30 pm. That worried Bryant quite a bit as they now have a person of interest in the case and haven’t arrested him. Bryant was very worried that Chester might stumble across the bad guy! He really worried about it once it got dark. I was grading papers when it was time for the kids to go to bed. I put everyone to bed, but Bryant just couldn’t handle Chester not being back yet. I had Bryant come in and help me cut out papers for school the next week until he had relaxed enough to finally go to sleep. We would be working along and Bryant would say things like, “I know why you didn’t go volunteer Mom. If you were out searching you might be by yourself and you know that man is still out there and you know Mom, he might decide to take you too! And I know why you aren’t out there now especially, because it is dark and you shouldn’t be out by yourself when it is dark.” He definitely has been listening to us talk about the case.
Like I said Chester made it home around 11:30pm. Poor guy was exhausted. He looked sore and tired when he came in. Hours of hiking/crawling through brush and briars…Once he was struggling to make his way through some pretty dense brush and briars and all the sudden they came upon a man living in a tent back in the brush. Creepy! The man let them search his tent and then they continued on. About 10:30pm. Ches texted me to tell me that he was searching a cemetery. He was walking along shining his flashlight around when someone called out wondering what he was doing. Another homeless person but this one was living in the cemetery. Ok it may be dark and quiet there but wow, that would give me the creeps! Anyway thankful Chester made it home safely, but sad that they didn’t find Hannah.
Sept 19-Chester and I signed up to volunteer for CERT this evening to help do administrative stuff for a HUGE Search and Rescue effort that is happening this weekend. This search is open to the general public and they have over 1,600 people that have signed up to search. We had no idea what to expect but figured that we could handle registering/signing up people. We dropped the kids off at Bobby and Laura’s and headed to the John Paul Jones arena around 4:00. When we got there we were told to go to the briefing room where we would be given instructions on what we needed to do. There ended up being about 80 of us that volunteered to help organize the Search and Rescue group. When we sat down I could tell the man in charge had picked Chester out for something. Sure enough he came over and asked Chester’s name and then told him thanks for coming and that he now was putting Chester in charge of the 80 people in the room. Chester was the perfect man for the job. He knows how to be a leader and organize people well. He doesn’t mind talking to a crowd, etc. We got our briefing and then got our 80 volunteers all stationed in their proper job positions. I got to be Chester’s side kick. I got to run to do and run get that for people. I definitely had my workout by the time we got home, running up and down the flights of steps and bleachers. The whole Search and Rescue effort was being run out of JPJ. There were so many rooms being used. I got to see way more of JPJ then I ever realized was there.
It was fun to be involved but wow, I have been so sheltered. I try not to be a news junkie so I don’t hear about most things going on. The world is an awful place, with lots of people that need the Lord. So much hurt and heartache… Tonight I was out checking on our people that were running the front doors. While I was out there I noticed a lady walk up and she seemed to be trying to put herself together. She would clutch her purse and take a deep breath and then exhale and do it again. A murmur went around the ones standing out there. I had a feeling she was someone special but I didn’t recognize her. Several walked up and talked to her and then she was escorted inside to a backstage area. I realized later that she was Mrs. Harrington, the mother of Morgan Harrington, the 20 year old girl who had gone missing from a concert there at JPJ a few years ago. Morgan’s body was found a few months later on a farm nearby. Wow! No wonder the lady was trying to pull herself together, I’d have been a mess. A few other people came up and were escorted off backstage as well and I found out those people were relatives of Alexis Murphy another girl that had gone missing in the last year or so. She still hasn’t been found but there is a man that was charged with her murder. Both Mrs. Harrington and Alexis Murphy’s aunt spoke to the crowd of volunteers tonight thanking them for their help in trying to find Hannah and how much that means to the Graham family. They know as they have been there before themselves. How sad!
I think about 1,000 people showed up tonight for registration. We had to have everyone sign in and get a bracelet and then watch a briefing. They had to keep their bracelet on all weekend if they wanted to be able to help search. That would prove that they had gone to the briefing and knew what was going on. We ran out of time to get everyone signed up before the briefing so afterwards we had to get all the registered people out and then run all the unregistered people through. It was quite the process. So much was happening around there and I never really figured out who was managing the whole operation. People were just volunteering where they saw a need or where they had skills and it was falling in place. At one point Chester told me that a water truck was there trying to deliver water bottles but he was tied up and couldn’t take care of it. He gave me the name of the woman in charge of VDEM to go find to see what to do. I ran downstairs to the communications room. There were tons of official looking people down there. I felt like I was little me crashing an official meeting. I was able to find Kirby and tell her what was going on. She looked a bit overwhelmed and said I guess it just needs to be sat somewhere outside on the sidewalk. I don’t know I’m not familiar with this building. She was in charge but just as lost as the rest of us were. I told her I would take care of it. She said great you are now in charge of water deliveries. Great how did I get the responsibility put on me? Well thankfully one of our 80 volunteers tonight was the guy in charge of concessions there at JPJ. He had been making sure Chester and I had drinks since that was something he had resources for. I ran and looked him up and told him I wasn’t sure what to do with the water but Kirby had said just put it on the sidewalk and they’d figure it out later. He said oh no, he’d take care of it and got the guys to deliver the water around to the dock and stuck the water all in the fridge so the volunteers could have cold water the next day. It was neat how everyone was just helping out however best they could.
We finished up around 9:15pm. They were really asking for ones that were there helping this evening to come tomorrow to help out as well since we “knew the ropes” and they wouldn’t have to train new people. It was a way bigger deal than I ever dreamed of. Lots of coordination as they have to account for everyone that goes out on the field and then they have to get everyone back in and signed out. There were so many organizations there: different Search & Rescue teams, Dog teams, VDEM, CERT, Radio teams, people that just bring radios to be used, etc., etc. We had just planned on volunteering tonight and being done but realized they needed help.
We left there VERY READY for dinner so stopped by Chipotle and grabbed a burrito. Yummy!
Sept 20-Chester got up this morning at 6:00 and went back to JPJ to help get the search teams out to the field to start their searches. Cooper and Bryant got up at 7:45am. to go yard saleing with Bobby and Laura. A lady came by around 8:45 to buy sometime from me off of Craigslist. We got to talking about the Hannah Graham case. I have had so many emotions go through me this week-anger, fear, frustration, pity, compassion, etc. I have been mad at Hannah for being careless-being out alone at night, not dressing modestly, drinking (under-age at that), etc. I have been frustrated with her parents for letting her be in college off by herself where she would be in a susceptible position. Mad at the one who took Hannah and how one can be so cruel and merciless. Anyway I was talking to this lady and I made a comment about a few dumb choices Hannah had made-being out alone and under-age drinking. This lady just shook her head and told me, ‘I just really feel compassion for Hannah. Not long ago I was a college student and I made dumb mistakes also and it could have been me, but thankfully it wasn’t. I didn’t know better on somethings. I just really feel compassion for Hannah’. Wow, she didn’t know better… Really made me think and I have been thanking the Lord for the training/raising I had. Just common sense things to me aren’t common sense to everyone, some girls aren’t trained to know what is smart and careful. Made me have a lot more pity and compassion for Hannah.
Chester made it home about noon and we loaded the kids and their bikes up and went out to Stanardsville to the Bike Rodeo. The kids just did a little obstacle course, got their bikes checked out to make sure they were working properly and safe to ride, and then they got a little hand signals lesson. They were grilling up free hot dogs for the kids. After lunch they did a raffle. They gave away 6 bikes. We didn’t win any bikes but Kolby won a bike bell and Kaylin won a bike bottle. I think the kids enjoyed it. Laura had brought Kenley and Channing so the boys enjoyed riding bikes together.
Sept 21-Chester ended up getting up at 6:00am. today again to go help get the teams of volunteers out on the field again to search. He ended up working until 5:00pm this evening. I took the kids to meeting and then came back home and mowed the grass. I was proud of doing something to help Chester out since he was giving of his time. I wanted to be there with him but we just can’t dump the kids every time something goes on. My part was watching them so he could be able to volunteer. Anyway I mowed the grass and got the house cleaned up and ready for everyone to come over this evening for a gathering. Chester got home at 5:30 and was going to move the cars so that we could fit more cars in the driveway. He hopped in the Jeep and shut his door and heard glass tickling. What on earth? He got out and looked and the back driver-side window on the hard-top had shattered. The only thing we could figure out was in my helpfulness today in mowing I had thrown a rock into the window. Bummer! So much for being such a huge help.
We had a gathering here tonight. Everyone brought something for dinner and we just sat around outside and visited and ate. Beautiful fall weather!
Kaylin went and stayed the night at Bobby and Laura’s house tonight as Laura is taking her to see the play The Little Mermaid in the morning with Grandmommy, Jeannine, Channing, and Rose Ellen Bledsoe.
Sept 22-This afternoon after school Shauna came and picked up the boys and took them to Sweet Frog where they met Kaylin and Laura on their way home. Kaylin got to stay with Shauna and they had frozen yogurt and then went shopping at Target where Shauna bought them each a little present. Then she brought them home. They loved riding in her Mini Cooper with the top down.
Sept 23-Today we had another appointment with Michelle Dion, the nutritionalist. We all had lots of improvement on our charts since we last saw her. Michelle definitely got to see a day in the life of Chester and Heidi…
The kids were playing outside. Cooper ended up scraping his knee up. He wasn’t dying we could tell so Chester finished up typing whatever he was working on and went and checked him out. There was no blood just scrapes. Well a while later we hear loud crying and hear Kaylin say he’s bleeding. Chester ran out to see what was going on. Kolby had been swinging and fallen out of his swing. He completely bit through his lip with at least 2 teeth, scraped his chin up, and banged and cut his ear. He was bleeding all over. His poor lip swelled up but that actually was good because it pushed the cut on the outside of his lip together. We got it to stop bleeding and figured he would heal with some TLC. I held him for a while and he eventually went to sleep. We figured that a nap would give his lip a little bit of a chance to start healing. While he slept we continued our appointment with Michelle. Just as we were finishing up Kolby woke up and did something and that got his lip and mouth to bleeding again. We decided that we might should take him in for stitches. We ended up texting in pictures of the cuts to our doctor and they told us if it didn’t stop bleeding we needed to come in but if it stopped bleeding the swelling was keeping the outside cut closed so that would be the one they would be worried about for stitches. We got the bleeding stopped so didn’t have to take him in thankfully. We tried to keep him low key the rest of the day which is nearly impossible with a 2 year old.
We packed up and were able to head out to Camp Post today around 3:00pm. Blaine Bledsoe was able to go with us. Several families had been wanting to go camping so we had the great idea of just getting a camp and inviting anyone who wanted to go camping to go. So that is what we did. We arrived around 5:00pm and after much thought and discussion finally got parked and set up. We had quite the turn out. I’ll try to remember everyone who came: Mike & Maureen Stienz, Ned & Sarah Loyd, Camden & Brodie Patton, Alan & Beverly Patton, Chaunteé Pitts, Nate & Cheree Seaborn, Clare & Molly Patton, Richard & Debbie Seaborn, Jennings & Ashton Cotten, Julie Seaborn, Robby & Abby Cox, Weldon & Lorianne Stogsdill, Bronwyn Cotten, Brett & Leah Corle, Shauna Rutt, Heidi Brown & her girls, Cynthia Corle, and Jimmy & Stephanie Earheart. David & Janelle Rutt came up for the day on Sunday and Robert & Jill Cox were able to come up after work on Saturday and then came back for the day Sunday. Saturday some did an extensive hike while others went on a bike ride and the rest of up held the fort down at camp. Sunday there was another hike while the rest of us went down to the river or went fishing. Saturday night we did a communal grill so everyone pretty much, cooked their dinner together and ate in the pavilion. After dinner we played glow-in-the-dark wiffle ball. That was a riot. We all had to wear glow in the dark bracelets and then the ball was stuffed with glow sticks and we taped glow sticks down the bat so you could see where the bat was swinging. We were able to play with everyone as no one had an advantage over another. Sunday after the hike we played Swedish baseball. Talk about mind-bending! Wow! I don’t remember ever being so confused learning to play a game. Once I figured it out I had a BLAST! We ended up tying like 105 to 105 or something absurd like that. While we played Swedish Baseball the little girls and a couple boys painted. Heidi Brown had brought canvases and paints. They had a hay day painting away. I really enjoyed the weekend just relaxing and getting to spend time together with different ones. Can’t wait to do it again!
On a side note-On the way to camp Bryant was telling us about how he had a few teeth that were so loose he was sure to lose one at camp. Sure enough at dinner on Friday night out popped his tooth. He was quite excited to loose his second tooth!
Sept 29-Today was Channing’s birthday so we were invited over to Eric and Jeannine’s for a party. We headed over there about 5:00pm. Bobby & Laura and Robert, Lisa, and Allen (I think that’s their names. Anyway the lady rented Eric and Jeannine’s apartment for a while.) were there as well. We had supper and then watched Channing open presents, had cake and shot off fireworks. I tried to get a picture of Channing but he was too busy having fun to stand still long enough for a picture!