Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I know, I must be crazy

So a couple of weeks ago I decided that with all my husbands travel I was not going to sit around our house all summer when we could be visiting friends and family in our areas. This is when the notion of a LONG drive was born. I thought I had devised a plan that included my husband. Nevertheless, the military would definitely not let that happen, figures. Anyway, I decided while I was on my cruise that it would be fun to go ahead and take the kids without the hubby. Crazy!!! Yeah, this woman must have gone psycho. NO, I was serious. With the help of the hubby in packing the car and making sure my GPS had all my coordinates input. He also made sure the car was spick and span clean and all car seats were in the proper position. And best of all made sure all the electronics were all powered correctly, that's very important. I think he really thought I was not going to attempt it without him or that I would not make it the entire way. Much to his surprise I did both. I actually surprised myself too. I really thought that by the last leg of the trip that I would be feeling like mashed potatoes by that point but I was still thinking correctly and still WIDE awake. I hated to see him walk back into the house. But duty calls and he had to work and will soon leave for another one of his own business trips. So my original plan is kinda working out. Daddy will be gone while we are gone. So I got up shortly before 6am and made sure everyone was dressed and ready and all the last minutes things were in the car. After a few good-byes with Daddy we were off at 6:38am, 8 minutes off schedule already. This did not seem like a good sign to me but I pressed-on. We soon would see signs to Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and finally Florida. We managed to drive for almost 15 hours for a total of 970 miles all in one day from start to finish with just Mommy and the 4 kiddos. We were thrilled to have made it to our good friends house for a nice stop and visit.

We will soon embark on the second half of our trip where we will drive another 800 miles to my families houses in Texas, my home sweet home. Wish me luck, its gonna be another long day and a very happy ending when my babies will see all 5 sets of their grandparents for the first time in yeah, almost 2 years. Here we come everyone, get ready cause the Haskins are about to arrive in true Texas style. HAHAHA, love you guys and I will see you in a few days, for the rest of you keep reading to see the adventures we have of our time in Texas, oh, and Florida. Adios

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Part III and final leg

WOW, so the next couple of days were pure bliss. I got up early to disembark at Progreso Cozumel for an excursion to the Mayan Ruins of Chichen-Itza. These ruins I have dreamed of visiting since I was a very young girl. I had a teacher rave about it when in Elementary school and another in high school and from that point on I was determined to go see these famous ruins.

Back to the early part, When I got up I was stunned to realize the sun had not yet risen and super excited to know that I was about to see it rise over the ocean.

This was a sight to behold. Our God really does reward us with beauty. Fantastic!!!

Then I was off the ship in a zippy to get on the bus to the ruins.

I met some neat people on the bus and kinda tagged along with a few to avoid any of the hustlers/hagglers that swarm to you if you look "American". I was in awe of this place. Absolutely amazing to think these people lived 1500 years ago and beat us in so many facets of life.

Later that day we had a Mexican fiesta on the ship since we were in Mexico. They had carved these beautiful watermelons and made these fantastic cakes. WOW, that was really cool. Then we danced on the deck. My Aunt and I got the Electric slide started. It took people for ever to figure out what we were doing though, Geez. But we did it and by the end of the song there was a good 75 people sliding with us.

We docked in Cozumel the next day and a couple of us took an excursion to a local resort to go snorkeling, relax and enjoy the beauty of this place.

We had a blast and totally feel in love with the water and atmosphere of tranquil Cozumel, Mexico. I really want Zeus to go back with me and take some brothers and sisters and in-laws with us. I would love it and I know he would too, plus it is so romantic.

I got Unbelievably sunburned on the backs of my legs from snorkeling so long. Oops, OK I get a terrible sunburn once every summer at least it was not my back this time.

My cousins little boy stepped on a sea urchin and got little spines in his foot, about 10-15 spines. So the crew at the hotel moved quickly to pour vinegar on it to release the pressure and reduce the pain and we had to have a urine donor so that they could pour "pee-pee" on it. It really was funny but glad he was ok.

The next day was another day at sea before making it back to Galveston. We hung out with the kids in the pool most of the day. That was fun but I was burnt so I stayed cover-up and just watched. We ate good and got packed so our luggage could be picked up.

All in all it was a fantastic trip. I want to thank both my Meemaw and my Nana for making this happen for me. I appreciate it so much. I needed a break from the daily grind around here and am most grateful for a once in a lifetime chance.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Part II

Enjoyed an amazing day at sea for day two. This night was our Captains Dinner and drink hour. We had free drinks for an hour, we all seemed to try a few different drinks to find one we really enjoyed. It was great to be able to enjoy the day with so many family members.

During the Captains drink hour the band was playing and many people were getting up on stage and dancing. My sweet cousin asked her Gramps(my Uncle Paul) if he would dance with her. It was such a sweet moment.

There was always someone to do something with or eat ice cream with. BTW, Ice cream and frozen yogurt are available 24/7 from self serve soft serve machines. Oh boy, my cousin tried her best to get the most cones out of the family. I do not remember what the number ended up being but it was a lot. Yum!!! We had a great day playing in the pool and watching the ice carving. Oh yes, they brought out this huge chunk of ice and this little man used a chisel to carve it into 2 birds and a heart. It was quite beautiful.

Did I mention you had food available 24/7. Yeah you could eat just about any time you wanted. It was awesome. They had many types and styles and dining areas. This must have been one of the best parts of the ship, the food. I tried lots of different types of food, some super yummy and others not so much. Good thing I could try something else. We spent some more time in the Chinatown club that evening after an extremely elegant dinner. I had Lobster tail and shrimp, I actually ordered 2 plates of them and ate both of them. YUMMY!!!

Before Dinner I caught another sweet moment on Camera. These 2 cousins loving on each other. WOW, I like having a big family. You can see and experience some of the most loving and beautiful events you can't see with a small one.

I felt just a Queen. The waiter pulls out your chair and puts a napkin in your lap and pushes your chair in. WOW, I could live like that, seriously. Can I teach my Husband to treat me like that? Probably not, just need him to pay for another cruise. It was really nice to sit with the family too.

I had to do a little flirting with the Matre D the night before to get all 15 of us near or at the same table but I accomplished my goal. Meemaw thought I was crazy. I had so much fun and enjoyed the sun as we relaxed.

Before Dinner there are several, I mean more than 10, different places or areas to have your picture made. Since it was formal night they had some really cool ones like the Stairs to the Titanic, A cruise ship and lots more. We had ours made a few times. Here is the results
The day at sea was an absolute amazing day. Meemaw and I turned in a little early because I had to get up very early the next day. I will share more with you in a few more hours. Thanks for reading

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fun, Fantasy, Family part I

Have you missed me?

I know you have and you are all dying to hear about all the fun I had while I was away.

This past week I was given the grand opportunity to accompany my Meemaw on a Cruise vacation with 13 other family members. This would be my VERY first cruise.

I really did not have a lot of time to devote to planning and researching like I had hoped.

So Friday afternoon I boarded a plane here in D.C. bound for Dallas-Fort Worth, Tx. I was delayed leaving D.C.

Then I had a layover in Nashville that ended up being a 2 hour layover instead of 35 minutes. Oh boy, All I could think about was what a way to start off my vacation. I really do not like airports to begin with either. It seems like a waste of time sitting waiting on that plane to get loaded. Then we were off and a rush that was with a Tornado within minutes of us we were pushing to get out of the way. That was the worst flight. We flew through 2 hellaous storms and all I could think of was Air France flight. We bounced around for about 45 minutes. Oh boy, That was the longest roller coaster ride I have ever ridden. I was extremely glad to be safely on the ground after that. I was thrilled to see my Dad and 2 younger brothers as well.

The next day we took off in a 3 car caravan for the 5 hour drive to Galveston, TX where our glorious Cruise ship was waiting. The drive down was very nice with a short stop for breakfast at Denny's. We were all so very excited. I was super happy to be reunited with my large extended family especially glad I would get to spend 5 days straight with them.

When we got down there we got unloaded and then realized that 2 of the youngsters passport cards were missing. Oh great, this is getting better. The staff were great allowing us to board the kiddos with minor disruption. Then we were off to lunch in the dining room and on to exploring our new home.
I was in complete awe by this point. How anything this large could float on water completely boggles my mind. The first day was so fantastic, especially having to don a life vest and listen to all the speeches about disembarking if a fire or heaven forbid, something tragic happen and be ordered to abandon ship. Geez, they scare the bgesus out of you for about 90 minutes and then say "alright have fun". Certainly strange but needed, I did not complain, I just took pictures. HAHAHA!!!

Then we were off to find our luggage and learn more about this massive floating vessel with 3000 people aboard. It was truly amazing. Here I was living a dream only without my husband and 4 children, you see this was suppose to be a mommy vacation. Many instances occurred when I desperately missed my own little family. I managed to stay busy with my Meemaw and family that I kept my sadness and loneliness at bay. We ate dinner in this "ritzy" restaurant. WOW, I would love to eat dinner every night with a white table cloth, with chair pulled out and napkin laid in my lap all by someone else. Oh yes, it was unbelievably fancy and boy did I soak it up. We met some neat people and I enjoyed fantastic Seafood and scrumptious dessert.

I was seeing stars I was so happy. IF it is better than this in heaven I am going to love it. Then we were off to find the rest of our crew to hang out for the evening.

We made it to a Club called Chinatown on the nightlife strip. There was a live band, "the Best sellers" playing wonderful music. It was oldies but goodies and some very popular stuff. This band played some awesome medleys. Several of us danced out hearts out, well, maybe until we were dripping with sweat. It was very enjoyable. I loved having a dance buddy and absolutely let loose.

After being completely exhausted we were off to bed for the first night. I was thrilled to open the room door to find a little folded friend on my bed. EXCELLENT, he was so cute.

Well, I will leave you here for now. Day 2 will come in 24 hours. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My special Hiatus

OH Bloggy buddies, I do not know whether to cry or scream right now. I am completely excited, stoked, and elated that as of tomorrow I will be on vacation. Yes, me, I am going away without the kids or hubby. I am on my way to the bright blue yonder otherwise known as Mexico.
I am taking a beautiful special cruise with my grandmother and several extended family members. This will be my very first cruise. I am not sure what I am feeling yet.

The past 2 months have been so jam packed with drama, business and loneliness that I have not had the opportunity to devote much thinking time to planning or preparing for this trip. Much less get excited about it. My grandmother has been doing her best to get me excited but I just had so many other things that I could not lose focus of what was the order of the day. I do think I am ready and should have all that I need, yet I am still nervous that I will leave something behind or forget to take that important thing. I will not be updating until I get back. I know, try not to cry I will be back very soon with LOADS of pictures and fun stories and memories to share with you. I will try to check my email a time or two while on the boat but other than that, that will be it.

Zeus is back in full swing and will be taking the reigns of the house and munchkins while I am gone. Please pray for him, he really does need it. Having been gone for basically 2 months he does not know what has REALLY been going on and how MOMMY runs things. I fear he is in for a rude awakening or lots of correcting by Zero and Omega. Its a good thing they are reliable little people. Zeus thinks this is going to be great, which he is right. I need a vacation and he needs alone time with the munchkins, it works out well for both of us. Have a great week and I will get to you when I return.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tons to share with you

WOW, Bloggy buddies this weekend has been terrific. I could have never imagined what would happen and how it would happen but I am thanking the Lord for all these blessings. It really does stump me what he can accomplish. Man, what a powerful God we have.

First, we started out with a slightly rainy Friday afternoon. I decided I would try to capture my garden with the rain drops. Here are a few pictures of what is happening there.

Zeus was suppose to be home Friday morning but due to several plane malfunctions and circumstances he was delayed more than a day. But, no time for tears because I had house guests coming in the late afternoon. They were coming from PA on their NC. This was pretty much the halfway point and with 4 kids and one of them a small infant they thought it would be best to hang out with us for the best sleepover ever. The invasion was fantastic. We all had dinner together, Baked Ham, Mashed Potatoes and salad and then tried to catch up on the last few months of each others lives. The kids friendships were not phased by the time, they went right back to where things had left off. It was so awesome.

Saturday early morning around 3am my phone rang and yes it was my dear hubby, Zeus asking me to come get him. I was elated since I had not seen him in 30 days. I graciously, ok, super fastly got dressed, ran a brush through my hair and pulled it up to make my self look somewhat presentable and out the door to get my man.

I cooked breakfast for the gang after my munchkins pounced Dad at the break of dawn. It is quite funny to see the excitement on their little faces when they find him in my bed after long trips. So cute.

Then our friends were out the door to finish their drive to NC. It was a very nice visit and I am so glad I was able to help them with baseballs, food and a warm place to sleep.

Then we as a family spent the day getting reacquainted. It really is strange how dynamics change when just one member of your family is missing. Getting back in routine is different because things are run completely differently when I am by myself with the munchkins. But, nonetheless, life would continue and I had things I needed to get done. So, I mowed the backyard and weed-eated while Zeus watched. Funny huh!!! I got the weeding done in the flower beds and got all Zeus' laundry started. What a chore that is, yuck. Did I mention I really really despise of laundry especially a month's worth. Zeus took the kids shopping because he was unable to get gifts from one of the stops he visited. So now we as a family own the latest and greatest Nintendo DSi. Oh yes, I have been wanting dreading this for a long time.

Sunday, the kids had made big plans and Zeus would have a few up his sleeve as well. The morning wake up call came a little after 8 when my family decided Mom did not need any more sleep and proceeded to jump on me and my bed until I got up. Lovely children I have.

We took a bike ride on the way to and from the pool.

Then the surprises were in store. The kids and Zeus planned to go to the movies and dinner but little did I know I would be thrust into dealing with a 2 week long situation that has been a sticky subject to say the least. I really thought this was a completely lost cause. But, my sweet dear husband had other plans. Yes, he would coax the person who I have been at odds with or not speaking with to come with him to the movies and then while he was filling up his car at the gas station would send her to my car for the ride. Interesting, thanks dear. I love being set up. He is so funny ruthless. Well, it turned out to be good but felt so weird because in my mind I never saw this happening again. I never saw talking to this person again. I never saw it mending. I hoped and wished and prayed it would but judging from past experiences never did I think things could come back. Now, expectations, I have none at this point and don't think I can. This is something that is going to have to work itself out and I hope that in 10 years we all look back at this and laugh and say Mr. H, you were right it was so "Saved by the Bell".

After a voice filled car ride we were off to see Battle of the Smithsonian with all 6 kids. Can I just say (in a completely annoying voice) thanks oh so much to the lady and daughter that did not move thus splitting up our group of 9. Yeah, she sat right in the middle of the row and we sat on either side of her. It was to her own disadvantage because of the children walking back and forth and the reaching and passing of popcorn and drinks. Oh well, it was a hilarious movie and definitely worth it. The kids were so entertained as were we adults.
Boom, Boom, Firepowa!!!

Then it was off to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant with a continuation of talk and fun as the 2 other adults raced through the word search, and 2 other juvenile games. Quite funny. I really don't think we ever "grow up".

Here are a few more garden pictures without the rain. I am extremely proud of my yard and garden this year. It is beautiful. I will share more on this later and will post LOTS more photos. It is finally a mature garden and for that I am so excited. Enjoy these few snapshots.

BTW, remember this blog post Its a wonderful life 2 weeks ago, well I took pictures of the little duck line this time. It is our regular routine at the pool now. Oh, thanks God for 4 wonderful precious beings.

So glad this was a absolutely memorable yet fun filled and accomplished weekend. I thank my husband for his support and view and down right annoying behavior that ultimately saved a relationship. I thank my friends for coming to see us. I thank my other friend for welcoming a renewal of ties. and I thank my kids for being such wonderful beings and always giving me something to smile about. I love you guys. I hope all you bloggy buddies have a fun filled week and that you too will have a few good surprises along the path. Blessings to all.