Last night the youth group had a progressive dinner. We visited four different homes for appetizers, salad, main course and then dessert. It was so much fun! Judah loved it of course - youth group is one of his favorite activities with all the young people there to hold him and pay attention to him!
The pictures ended up loading in the reverse order of the homes we attended!
I had an 'a-ha' moment this week. I finally understand why my mother use to listen to talk radio all the time. It use to drive me insane that she would chose to listen to some boring man go on and on about world problems that we couldn't change anyway - but now I understand that small mystery.
It makes you feel smart! It makes you feel smart to listen to another human being talk about something that is outside the realm of your daily life. It makes you feel intelligent, like you actually really, truly do belong on this planet when they ask the listener "What do YOU think??" Like someone actually cares what YOU THINK - because even though 'all you do' as a mother is change diapers and outfits and wash clothes and nurse and do laundry, grocery shopping and housekeeping - you are still capable of thinking.
So even though as a child I vowed to never listen to talk radio, and instead would always play hip and cool music that my kids loved ... I think I have, yet again, changed my mind on something. I will listen to talk radio. I will make my kids sit quietly so that I can hear what is being discussed. I will talk to the steering wheel and tell it what I think of all the issues. And I will let my children discover on their own someday that mothers don't listen to talk radio to drive the children crazy. We listen to talk radio so that we don't go crazy.
AMY is starting a scavenger hunt on her blog on MAY 1st! She's got lots of cool prizes to give away, and the hunt offers the opportunity to search through other people's blogs, so make sure to check out her blog and join in the fun!
This evening I attended a conference created for military wives. It was wonderful. I had hesitated going because I hate fluffy, emotional speakers, and I was scared that this might be something like that. But I asked General Bradshaw and he had a friend who said it was really good and worthwhile and so I went. And I am so glad I did! The evening started with a delicious meal and dessert. There were tables set up for eight, and so we sat and talked and got to know each other while we ate. Once dinner was complete they welcomed us and then had a short time of praise and worship through singing. Next came the first speaker of the evening - Judy Rossi. She spoke on building a strong military marriage - basically just key elements to any good marriage - respect, commitment, support, encouragement, assurance and communication. I enjoyed hearing her ideas and thoughts on how those concepts can be done while your husband is deployed. I hope I never have to use those ideas, however they are stored away in my mind should I ever face that challenge. She also covered attitudes and actions that women can do while their husband is deployed to make it easier on them self. The second speaker was Doris Mincks, the founder of Wives of Warriors. She was widowed a few years ago, and just two weeks ago she remarried. The man she married is her sons wifes father. Which means her daughter in law is now her step daughter and her son is married to his step sister! We all got a good laugh out of that one! Doris spoke on the inevitable changes that military wives go through and how God never changes and He should be our support. She covered a variety of things that change can result in (bad stress, depression, etc.) and ways that those things can be dealt with. The conference is finishing up tomorrow morning, and I am really looking forward to going back! I highly recommend this conference to any military spouse or fiance!! It is excellent.
For 60 miles I saw huge signs letting everyone know that RUBY FALLS is up ahead and that RUBY FALLS is family friendly and that RUBY FALLS can't be missed. By the time I got to the exit for Ruby Falls I decided that if they put so much effort into telling me I couldn't miss it, then I truly could not miss it. How is this for a funny joke though - Ruby Falls is exit 174 on I-24 - the exact same exit that I bought a tire at on my way to see Chrissie and that I blogged about earlier. Small world, eh? So anyways, I exit to see this must see attraction. Turns out that Ruby Falls is a waterfall that is in a cave, and you have to pay $15 for an hour long tour of it. Sounded cool, but not alone with a baby. So I declined the tour and was slightly disappointed that I had exited for no reason. But then this nice man told me that I should drive to the top of the mountain to see Point Park. I am so glad I did! At the top of Lookout Mountain is a military national park -Chickamauga and Chattanooga. It was a battlefield between the Union and Confederate armies in 1863. Cool random fact about this battle: Ulysses S. Grant was the man that led the Union army and his aggressive strategy ended the siege of Chattanooga and as a result of his achievements there Abraham Lincoln rewarded him in 1864 by making him the general-in-chief of all Union armies. The park costs $3 admission.
Some pictures and facts:
Point Park's Entrance Gate was constructed in 1905 by the US Corps of Engineers and is the largest replica of the Corps' insignia in the world.
This large monument is in the center of the park. It is called the New York Peace Memorial. On top of the shaft a Union and Confederate soldier shake hands under one flag, signifying peace and brotherly love. The monument is 95 feet high. Two 12 pounder Napoleon Cannons, named for Emperor Napoleon III of France, identify one of three Confederate artillery positions inside the park that mark a very small segment of the siege lines that once encircled Chattanooga. This type of smooth-bore cannon was one of the standard weapons used by both sides during the civil war. The guns could fire a 12 pound projectile 1,700 yards.
If you click on these pictures the images will become big enough for you to read what is written on each plaque.
What should have been a five and a half hour drive turned into a nine hour ordeal. While driving the whole vehicle started to shake. I was talking on the phone to Paul at the time, and he told me to get over to the side right away. I'm sure I would have eventually figured that out on my own, but it was nice to have Paul on the other end of the phone. So I pull over and get out to look, and sure enough one of the tires is flat as anything. As annoying as that was, I was secretly excited to be able to use the roadside assistance that we pay $2 a month to belong to. I called up our roadside assistance and the dude shows up thirty minutes later. He was a very nice young man, but he was an absolute idiot. It took him just over an hour to put the spare tire on the car. Once the spare was on he told me I should buy a new tire as soon as possible. Why on earth do they make spare tires so stinkin' small?? I spent too much time trying to find someone who sold tires - exit 181 off of I-24 does not have a single tire store, just in case you ever need a tire. Go to exit 174. I get to a Walmart and the ultimate in hick dudes comes out to change the tire for me. I love the south, but man, they've got some funny people! So, he changes the tire, and when he is done he wants to know if I want to purchase a warranty on the one tire I just bought. Get this: I pay $9.00 for a warranty, which means they will repair or replace the tire up to 25% of the tires life, beyond 25% they will pro-rate the life of the tire. Makes sense. BUT in order to get that I need to pay $7.50 to purchase the Balance and Rotation, which is good for the life of the tire. So I asked the dude "What is the point in paying for the rotation of one tire?" All I wanted was to have my one tire covered in case another nail found its way into the tire, but you couldn't purchase that plan without having purchased the other package. And it makes sense if they made me pay for all four tires to be covered for rotation and balance, but it didn't make sense for only one tire to be covered. Apparently no one has thought up that question before, as my hick town car mechanic went and got his genius co-workers and they spent a good deal of time trying to figure that one out. In the end I told them not to worry about it ... brain cells seemed scarce enough around there, I didn't want to be the cause of them losing any more! So that was the grand tire adventure. It took three and a half hours to get that done.
Judah was so good the whole time - he was born for road trips! He fussed only when he was hungry or when we were going through mountains, and I can only presume then that his ears were popping. Poor baby.
We are now with Chrissie, which was the point of this whole trip!! She is working right now, but I am going to meet up with her for lunch, so I should get going and dress Judah!
Tomorrow is our two year anniversary and we won't even be together! Paul gets up early in the morning for PT and I am leaving a little bit later for Tennessee. I thought I would post wedding pictures tonight, in case there isn't time tomorrow!
I know everyone says it - but I can't believe how quickly these past two years have gone!! It's been an amazing two years!
On Friday we drove to Hilton Head Island to see the Dent's and the Snook's who were there on vacation! It was fun to see some friends from back home again!! Here are some pictures from the day, in no particular order!