Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Historic Alamance

This was a fun field trip we took last month to Historic Alamance for their Colonial Living Days.  They do a wonderful job with this event and I highly recommend attending if you are in the area.

We had reason for this outing to be even more special for us as we had friends join us.  Christopher's roommate, Joe, had his family visiting.  We met in August and really hit it off.  I was so excited that they were able to join us!  It was sweet to share our day together.  I wish I had gotten a good picture of all of us.  I also wish we had been able to hang out even longer as we enjoy them so much.

We learned about how cider is made and some of the children helped with the press. 

Then we tasted some fresh cider.  Yum!
We learned about the weapons that were used.  This was a demonstration of the rifle and how it worked.
The cannon firing came later in the day.
Its always neat to see these fired.  It was a little more sobering to think about how they were used though after watching the film reenactment of the battle that took place here.
There were a variety of stations around the site with various reenactors describing how things were done during the colonial time period.  Making candles.

Making yarn.
Writing with a quill pen.
How foods were cooked and the types of food that were eaten.
Reading more about the curing and storing of tobacco.  (Can you see the large leaves in the building in front of my boys?)
Blacksmith.  His tools were very interesting to lots of little hands.
We had a picnic lunch on site and then gathered for the firing of the cannon.  Can you see that one of my boys has prepared by covering his ears already?

Fun morning!  Its my favorite way to learn history.  History is fascinating.  Its stories about people and places.  I have loved learning more about the past and the people that made a difference in how we live our lives today.  Learning by watching, exploring and experiencing is a great way to make the lessons your own instead of something that gets lost in a book.  

More of the promised pictures - hopefully soon.  :-)


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm still learning how to use my new computer.  I have posts from the last few days which are waiting on uploaded pictures.  We celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family - in a new location.  New traditions and memories and yet still wonderful times being with those we love.  We also celebrated a special birthday!!!  More details to come on a Sweet 16!

For now, I'll play a little catch up.  For any that have been here awhile, you know that one of our sons has Type 1 diabetes.  He was diagnosed when he was 9 years old.  I feel fortunate that we caught it when we did and that we live in a time and an area in which we have access to great information and medical care.

I'll be honest though - its still hard.  Type 1, formerly called Juvenile Diabetes, is an auto-immune disease which strikes primarily children.  They did nothing to cause this disease and they could have done nothing to prevent this disease from striking.  It is not reversible.  It is not possible to live without insulin.  It is not curable. . . YET.

It is a disease that never takes a break.  All those times that you just pick up food or want a snack and don't think twice about it.  Its just not an option when you are diabetic.  Finger sticks multiple times a day are a reality.  Callouses and marks cover his fingers and abdomen from so many stick for blood draws and his pump site.  

Adding in prepuberty also puts a whole new spin on things.  I've read that it is hard.  I am watching it and all that I've read is true.  His numbers can still be so erratic and from so many different variables.  We are all doing our best to "manage" his diabetes but there are times when it just doesn't seem like enough.  We have recently made more changes to his insulin rates and are seeing better numbers.  

Its the lows that really scare me.  Sometimes he recognizes them, but other times it is just a surprise.  Like this one. 

That wasn't the worst one though.  And it scares me.  I'm thankful that he has always pulled out of his lows pretty easily and quickly.  Thank you God.

For all that we have experienced and for the many, many others who are living this reality too - we spend one morning a year hoping to raise awareness and money in the Walk for the Cure!

This year, the weather was awful and our team was small.  The walk had about 3000+ in attendance.  (Maybe half of last years.)  I'm glad we were able to go and thankfully the rain mostly held off!
There were various booths that we visited before the walk.  Hair painting.
Moes was giving out free samples and t-shirts too.
And then the walk began.  I think it was a little longer this year than last.
We are thankful for friends who support us on this journey.  So many who have taken time to learn about this disease, cook foods that are helpful, encourage us and even walk with us.  Support comes in many forms and I'm thankful for all of them!
We enjoyed lunch after the walk.
We had fun despite the weather.
Being with friends always makes things better!
We picked up some extra food at the end of the event.  I wanted to take a gluten free sandwich home for Eliana (I loved that they had this option!).  Did you know that 10 percent of Type 1s also develop Celiac disease.  As it was nearing the end of the day, they suggested that I take an entire bag of sandwiches!  Soon after, Roger also found that they were giving away the regular sandwiches too and got a box of them.

It made for an easy supper for us - and for a great treat for my oldest son and his suitemates/friends.  :-)

At the end of the day, I'm glad we were able to do something positive.  I'm thankful for JDRF and its tireless efforts in working to find a cure for diabetes.  I hope and pray that one day there will be a cure.  I'm also thankful for the assurance of a life in heaven where there is no sickness and disease.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  Revelation 21:4
Thank you for the encouragement that so many of you have offered me over the last few years as we have walked this path.  It isn't one that I would have chosen, but I trust that God will use it for good.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Last days

This is one of the posts that I've kind of put off.  There are just times when being reflective is hard or maybe that it can just be hard to share.  We went to the mountains last month to help my parents with packing and getting ready to move.  This move is one that came up quickly and we are all trusting is God's best plan.  That still doesn't always make it easy.  I think a move - even when a good thing - is still a LOT of work!  Thankfully my parents have some incredible friends that have helped so very much!

The mountains are such a beautiful place.  My Mom was born in the mountains of NC and so its always been home.  When Dad retired, they chose to stay here full time and it has been the place my children have almost always known.  (They moved here when Christopher and Rebecca were both very young.)

We've spent many holidays and regular days too here.   The scenery is always breathtaking.  I too love the mountains.  This is the view from the deck of my parent's home.  (Above and below)
 I went up early with the kids.  Christopher was off for fall break, but Roger had to work.  (He joined us later in the week-end.)  We went to a nearby park for a picnic lunch.  I'm not sure pictures do justice to a fall mountain day.
 Christopher set up his hammock and we got lunch ready
 What a scenic spot to relax!
 Yes, several of us also wanted to test it out.
 I love watching my children play and enjoy being together.  It does my mama's heart good to know that they not only love each other, but also like being together.
 Always someone to play with and something fun to do.
 This pair of smiles came just after a big hug!
 I thought he would end up in the river, but surprisingly, all of them stayed dry.
 Comfortable and fun!
 Price Lake.  I couldn't get the colors to show up in the photo like they were in person.  You'll just have to believe me on this one.
 Photo of my children.  Being on this road reminded all of us  of Christopher's marathon last summer.  We pulled over at this park to wait for him and to cheer for the runners.
 Can you guess where else we went on our long week-end?  If you are familiar with the area, you will recognize this train.  Tweetsie.  Its been awhile since we've visited and I just wasn't sure when we would be able to get back.
 I went with the 5 youngest and we had a great time!  It was a beautiful day.
 We rode a lot of rides!  Bumper cars ...
 Tilt a whirl...
 Merry go round and more.
 Who can resist all of these leaves?  Well, not us.
 Feeding the goats was a huge hit!
 I just love the expression on his face!  Pure delight!
 These were some hungry goats!
 This is the ride that the oldest 3 rode.  Then Daniel wanted to try it.  And Eliana too.  I really wasn't sure about that one, but she LOVED it!!!
 They rode a few times and then we rode another train.
 I took Eliana to the boats while the other kids rode the  yellow ride above some more.
 When we walked back over to that ride, Eliana cried when she saw that they were riding without her!  So more riding for everyone!
 As we were packing and preparing to leave, we talked about coming up one last time.  It helped me to think that this wasn't the "last time".  I knew though that it would be the last time for all of us to be there. Love this stair step type photo.
 One more of the grandkids with their Papa.
 As it turns out, for various reasons, we were not able to go back.  This was our last time there.  It was a sweet time with good memories.  We will now be starting to make memories in new places.  New traditions.  We've been gathering here for Thanksgiving for many,  many years.  This year will be different.  I'm  still looking forward to the most important part - being with family!  That is by far the best part of Thanksgiving.

In the midst of changes, I'm praying for hearts to embrace and give thanks.  I'm praying especially for my parents as this is a huge change for them and I know that being away from friends will not be easy.

Life has so many twists and turns.  Some we see coming and others take us by surprise.  I'm thankful that on this journey I have been blessed with family and friends to walk with me.  I'm thankful for a Father who loves me, guides me and sometimes carries me.
with love