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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Friday, March 12, 2010

Let the vacation begin!

We are now in Terre Haute. Just like our trip to Florida this summer, I am writing from the road. Kris is driving. We've got the music playing. The laptop is hooked up and my trusty Samsung Instinct is providing the internet that my laptop NEEDS. :-) Of course, by the time I actually post this we'll probably be at my parents' house, or on our way to West Virginia tomorrow because I am not quite sure how long my signal will stay strong between here and our exit--there are a lot of trees and it tends to interfere, so much so that I had to switch from Facebook to this! ;-)

I took a few pictures of some of the kids before we left today (Abbey was off in the other room doing something-though I have no clue what that something was). The house looked like a tornado had come through it! Granted, the small folded piles of clothes everywhere would lead one to believe it was a fairly 'tidy' tornado...but a tornado nonetheless! I didn't get everything done I wanted to, primarily because as always, I waited until the last minute to do EVERYTHING. Packing for 6 people is a lot harder and more time consuming than just packing for one or two! Not that this came as a surprise to me. This is our fourth spring break vacation in a row with four kids so it's not a new discovery. It just takes me a little aback me every time. Ok, maybe it does surprise me. And when it is all said and done, and we've got the van packed up and we actually leave, I am a tense, annoyed mess! I'm better now though. Thanks for asking. :-) It doesn't help that the kids were off school all day (and quite...um...not good), and Kris was at work, the house was a mess and I was left to do all the laundry and pack for everyone. The only thing I made Kris get together was his razor and contacts, though unless I press him he won't use either one of those! Yeah...he lasted a few months after our Florida/ocean/glasses fiasco wearing his contacts but it's back to glasses now. Every now and then he will put the contacts in. For about 2 hours. And the shaving...well...that's like it always is. If he has a meeting or a hot date, he'll shave. And unless I tell him to read this, he won't find out that I've said this for quite some time! And then I might get a look...but that's OK...he knows how I feel about shaving and contacts.

You know, I get made fun of on a fairly regular basis by certain people (you know who you are) because Kris and I listen to books. It isn't that we don't like to sit and read an actual 'real' book. It's that we don't have the time and we have a long commute to work. We both love to read and sometimes listening is the only chance we have to 'read' a good story. I know I've written about this before, so I won't dwell on it. I just wanted to share that I am extremely proud to have passed on this love to my children. Before we left, I loaded a couple of books on Kat and Kaleb's MP3 players. Geronimo Stilton for Kaleb and Ella Enchanted for Katherine. The library (at least St. Louis County) has a program called 'Overdrive'. You can check out digital books. It's the same as checking out a library book, in that you can only have it for a certain period of time. Instead of two weeks, we get the audio version of the book for three weeks. After three weeks, the book expires and you can't listen to it anymore--no it's not an honor system. The book just stops working on your device. It's a pretty cool way to go about it if you can finish a book in three weeks. Kaleb had finished the first of 3 Geronimo Stilton books before we even left the house! Kat is back there listening to hers, if the Dramamine hasn't knocked her out yet. We let Abbey 'use' my old Treo sometimes, and I have a book about a goose for her (that may sound random but it was one of the only ones I could find that would be more age-appropriate for her) that I need to put on there...she too will sit and listen to the books. 3 kids down, 1 to go!! I say we let her use it because it's quite a pricey device so we just aren't ready to entrust it to a 7 year old! Kris had given her his old Treo but the screen is cracked and doesn't really work as a touchscreen, which makes it hard for Abbey to navigate, and it makes me feel sorry for her so I'm nice and am letting her use mine. OK, enough about audio books. I just had to get that off of my chest. I've said it before and I will say it again...there's nothing wrong with listening to a book!! And Shane if you're reading this, yes it IS the same! Sort of! Same end result anyway.

Now, with that being said, here is a quick breakdown of our vacation plans, because I know you are all just dying with anticipation for a play-by-play of our trip. And if you didn't know that you were getting yourself into a play-by-play of the Bishop family vacation and you don't want to come along for the ride, I suggest you find another blog to read; for the next 8 days if you return here, you will be joining us on our trip!

Tonight we are driving to my parents house in IN. We won't be staying long. The visit here was a bit impromptu...we didn't add it to our trip until two days ago. We were originally going to get up and leave very early tomorrow morning to head to our hotel in West Virginia for the night. While we have added about two extra hours to our trip, it's split up. 4 hours tonight. Then 6.5 or so tomorrow, instead of the original 8.5/9 hours we were going to drive. I'm looking forward to seeing my side of the family.

So...here's the plan. We'll get to my parents' house in about an hour, though with the time change we'll be pushing 10:30pm. We'll get some sleep and then spend a few hours in the morning visiting with them. I think two of my nieces will be there too so the kids will get to see their cousins who (or is it whom?) they haven't seen since Thanksgiving. After leaving my parents house, we'll head to West Viriginia. The Dramamine will be given out generously at this point. Our oldest and youngest suffer from car sickness. Katherine was discovered a few years ago; Livvy we didn't learn about until it happened somewhere in West Virigina last year on our way to (or maybe from) Pennsylvania. We got into those mountains and the poor girl was a mess (quite literally)! Fortunately, Kaleb and Abbey have showed/shown (I hate when I don't know the proper word) no signs of this ailment, though we have extra Dramamine on hand and depending on my mood they may or may not be having some as well! Or perhaps I should say depending on THEIR mood. Because let's face it--if they NEED to sleep, is a little Dramamine going to hurt them? Not more than my frantic craziness and extreme anxiety if one of them starts throwing up! I went into full panic mode last year and do not want to repeat that. And I am sure that Kris definitely does not want a repeat episode of THAT!

Moving on...we'll stay the night in West Virginia and on Sunday we will be driving to Gordonsville, VA. I've never heard of Gordonsville before. There is a resort nestled there though called Shenandoah Crossing (http://www.shenandoah-crossing.com/). Now for those of you thinking we're just rolling in the money, we're really not! My mother-in-law has a plan with Blue-Green and so they allow us to use their points and Kris and I end up staying with the kids for free. By the way, my mother-in-law, her husband Dean, and my brother-in-law Brandon are also part of this trip so in the pictures that will later appear, that is who the 'extra' people are! We're staying in a 3 bedroom cabin at the resort, while my extended family will stay in another 3 bedroom cabin. These resorts are really nice. Kris and I have talked about it. If we had thousands of dollars to spend every year on vacation, that'd be nice. But we don't...and so we graciously accept the generosity of our family! The resort looks to be one of the better ones we've stayed at-I can't wait to get there and actually see it for myself.

We'll spend 5 nights there, leaving on Friday. We'll drive to Louisville for the night on the way home. This gives us about 8-9 hours driving the first day, and then 4-5 the last day. So we won't have to drive all day, get home really late, unpack and head right back to work. We'll actually be home on Saturday so we will have a day to recoup a little before we have to get back to the real world.

Now that all of the 'details' are out of the way, sit back and enjoy the trip with us. If this long, boring post has left you wondering why on earth you clicked the link to get here, well it can't be that bad because you're still reading!! ;-) Anyway, I promise to write about more interesting things as they develop. And they will develop. I hope!

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