Back Home!

We arrived home at about 12:30 this morning. It was so nice to be able to walk into a clean house…though now that we’ve been living in it for approximately 14 hours, you couldn’t tell it was ever clean! We had a friend stay here while we were gone, and seriously, you can not even tell she lived here for a month. It looked exactly the same…plus it was dusted and vacuumed and just as clean as I left it. Nice. Thanks, LD.

Since waking up this morning at 7:30 (thanks to Karson wanting to play with every toy in our house) I have really appreciated being able to take my time in the shower, run as much water as I need to clean dishes without having to worry about my tanks filling up, using as much toilet paper as I wanted, my garbage disposal, and even my laundry room…where I can dump all my stuff and do it at my leisure. Though camping is fun, it is definitely an adjustment in lifestyle – and especially with 4 kids!

This summer (or the last four weeks, rather) has been really difficult for our whole family. We enjoyed our time on the road, but it just seemed harder this year. I think a lot of it had to do with Sam’s mom being sick and then dying. I don’t regret being gone or the time we spent at the fairs. Most of the time it was enjoyable…I was just ready to come home.

I start working this week. I don’t have to work tomorrow, but I am going in around 8 because I have so much to do in my classroom. I think Sherry, my sister in law might be able to come and help out too. I feel like I can use all the help I can get. I found out this weekend that I have 27 kids in my class. And though I am glad for the high numbers for our district…I am freakin out at having a class with that many kindergarteners, and I am secretly hoping maybe a few won’t show up. It’s also going to be really challenging, because the other kindergarten teacher who I was going to rely on a lot, is going to be gone for several weeks. She had major surgery (unexpected) and has to go through chemo. We are praying for her that her body can fully heal. Anyway, so they needed a sub, but I think that another teacher is actually going to sub for Randi so that we don’t have 2 teachers trying to figure everything out…and that they may hire a sub for her class. That will be fun, because me and the other teacher are pretty good friends and I think we will have fun working together on stuff.

We are still trying to figure out what to do about childcare for Jasmin and Karson this school year…but we have some possibilities. Jasmin, our nanny, has decided to move on…though she will be watching the kids for me this week while we get everything settled as I go back to work.

in Gaylord

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated anyone on what’s going on with all of us.  Last week was a really tough week.  Shelly left on Wednesday morning to go back and be with Penny and help Sherry out.  So we worked the rest of the week, just me and Sam and Jasmin.  Along with taking care of the kids, Jasmin also did the pictures.  We did ok just the 3 of us.  But we were so busy.  There wasn’t a lot of down time.  We got the call that Penny had passed away on Friday morning.  It’s hard to think that we will never see her again.  I will miss her so much, but she is so much better off in Heaven.  I am sure she is having a blast.  Anyway on Sunday night we headed down to Gaylord, but the suburban broke down.  I had to leave sam there and drive the kids and our new babysitter to Gaylord to the hotel.  (When Jasmin’s mom came to pick her up on Saturday, she brought Sarah.  Sarah is a college student who was recommended by a good friend.)  Then I left and went to get Sam back in the UP.  He had gotten the show towed to a shop nearby.  I got there around 4 am.  We slept in the car until someone arrived…only to find out they weren’t doing any work this week because they are moving to a new location.  So we had to get it towed again to a dealer in Newberry.  Sam and I hitched the show to the truck and drove back to Gaylord.  We actually have a nice set up there.  There are two other free kids acts and we are all kind of together and they let us camp out behind the show which makes things very convenient.  Sherry and Kevin and their two kids came up and are staying at the hotel with Shelly and Mike.  We eat lunch and dinner at the camper and hang out around there all day. I think the kids are having a lot of fun playing with their cousins.  The weather has been nice and cool, though I have to say I was pretty cold last night.  I am hoping for time for a nap today, because last night Jasmin didn’t sleep well.  I got a new formula, and thought maybe that was it.  But I looked at her teeth this morning (2 front teeth) and her gums are white and swollen and now I am thinking it might be that more than the formula.  Anyway, maybe I will be able to write more later.  Gotta go for now.

In Marquette

Well we made it up to Marquette…it wasn’t that bad of a trip.  We arrived around 6 on Tuesday I think.  Set up camp…set the show. The fair didn’t start till today.  Our shows went pretty well.  We had a lot of people at our first show, but the other two were not as full.  It was really windy today, and with all the sand, it made everything really dirty.  After we finished the shows and cleaned up and ate our dinner (Croatian chicken from the Croatian chicken guy behind our show) we headed over to our hotel.  We get a hotel room with our contract for the duration of the fair…so we brought the kids swimming.  We don’t sleep here, just shower and hang in the pool during our down time.  It’s nice and the kids are really enjoying the swimming pool.  We were kind of surprised to find that there are no showers at this fair.  (we think maybe it’s a fairly new fairgrounds) So the first couple of days we were here, we had to go to the YMCA to take our showers.  It was great with the kids because they played in the kids gym and got to play in the pool…it even had a waterslide, and they only charged us 10.00 for a family day pass.  We also found a great vacation bible school for the kids at a church just down the road from the fair grounds.  They are doing Group’s Power Lab.  The church is really cool, and the workers are so friendly.  They are having a really great time there, and it gives them something different to do.

So we have three more days here and then on sunday we head to Escanaba.  It’s only an hour away, so it won’t be too bad.  We will be busy though on Monday because our show starts at 1 I think.  It doesn’t really take too long to set up the show…especially with 3 of us.

Sam’s mom is still not doing too well.  My mom got to go and help take care of her this week and I think that was good, Penny was glad she was there. Keep praying.

Pirate Island update

We are our way to Marquette.  We intended to travel the entire way from Saginaw yesterday, bet we were tired and it’s a lot of traveling with kids…so last night we stopped off in Indian River to a little spot we know.  It’s a really nice campground and since they have free wireless, I thought I might update you on what’s going on.  So I just got done washing up bottles for the baby and getting a new stash of cheerios ready for the diaper bag.  I am sitting here typing on tiny computer…it actually is half the size of a regular one, keyboard included…I’m not a very fast typer on this baby.

We hope to leave soon, this morning.  Shelly and Jasmin have all the kids in a camping cabin, which gave Sam and I some much needed time to ourselves…well we have the baby, but anyway…We just finished a very successful week at the Saginaw County Fair.  It wasn’t a very well attended fair, but our shows were enjoyed by most everyone who came.  We had a lot of great responses, and though we started out a little shaky at the beginning of the week, by the end the shows ran very smoothly.  Shelly does such a great job narrating the story.  The intention is that Sam and I learn it too.  I don’t have a cool pirate costume yet though…and even though I am willing, I never could do as great as she does.  Sam mostly stays behind the scenes and runs the sound, but goes out and talks to the kids in between shows with Shelly.  He’s even had kids ask for their picture with him.

Tear down went pretty quick the other night. Now that we are starting to figure out the tent and how it goes together.  I think it will go a lot faster setting it up than the first time.  It was really crazy, and it was like 1:00 in the morning when we finished packing everything up at the show.  Jasmin was with the kids in the camper sleeping.  Shelly had gone home to stay the night with Penny, or we would have had her help too.  Anyway, we were all ready, but next to us and behind us was the ferris wheel and a car that was being given away from a drawing, which hadn’t been moved yet.  When Sam pulled in of course, there was nothing there and the tongue of the trailer was on  that end and there was really not a lot of room to manuever a car to hook it up to the trailer.  Sam approached twice and then came in a different way that I suggested and with alot of backing up and pulling forward he eventually got lined up with the hitch and we could hook it up and back the trailer out.  It was pretty amazing that we got it out of there, we thought.  So Sam wanted me to take a picture with the camera phone.  So I started climbing up the bleachers…not thinking about how slippery they might be when they are wet with dew…and I fell. Not off completely, just a could of seats, but hurt my leg pretty bad.  It’s ok now though, just bruised…anyway, the picture of it is above, but it doesn’t really tell the story.  Anyway if you want to see the pictures from the Saginaw County Fair, check out the Pirate Island website.

More later!