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Friday, May 23, 2014

Weekend Happenings, Blog Linkage, Pinterest Stuff (Tips for Travel with Kids)

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - We hit a big milestone this past Wednesday, May 21. Go ahead and read the story below originally posted this time last year, and then we'll talk some more.

POST FROM MAY, 2013 - On Monday, you may remember I used the sentence, "I've heard it's going to be epic." I was referring to the Summer of 2013, and I meant "epic" in the fantastic, good, wonderful kind of way.

The events which have transpired since Tuesday afternoon of this week have most definitely been epic, but not in the way I had previously imagined.

It's going to be a little hard to follow, but do the best you can... and keep in mind, the only "big" thing originally planned for Tuesday was attending Katie's graduation from high school!

1. Around 3:10 Tuesday afternoon, Roxie left the house to visit her sweet friend, Taylor, for an hour or so. At 3:15 Tuesday afternoon, Roxie called me to say she had been in an accident in front of the Elementary School. She told me she was fine, but I needed to hurry.

I literally put on shoes and walked out the door... and proceeded to get behind the S-L-O-W-E-S-T driver in the history of the world. He might as well have been driving a horse and buggy (with an almost-expired horse pulling the buggy) from the end of my street to the accident scene.

I was very calm... until The Chick called again and said, "Are you ever going to get here? I need you."

And then I was no longer calm.

And I might have had a few non-Christian thoughts run through my head.

Because The Chick needed me, and I desperately needed to be with her, you see.

When I did arrive, Roxie was standing next to a police officer and her little red car (with a very crumpled up front end) was sitting in a church parking lot.




I hopped out of the van, ran/walked over to The Chick, put my hand on her back and immediately removed it.

Roxie was the picture of poise and calm on the outside, but just touching her back I could feel the trembling. If I had held her or patted her or comforted her in any way, she would have started crying... and Roxie HATES to cry in front of people.

So I stood very close to her and listened as the police officer and the crossing guard told me the accident was not her fault and she could not have prevented it. A driver in front of her slamming on his brakes unexpectedly caused the accident... and no one was hurt... and a car can be repaired... and My Chick was going to be just fine.

We had the car towed, took care of business at the auto repair shop, etc., etc. and we finally arrived home. We had lost over an hour of "get ready for graduation" time, so we were running to and fro beautifying... and we were exactly 30 minutes late for Katie's graduation.

Which wasn't bad, because we had planned on being 30 minutes early.

In other words, we walked in with the graduating Seniors.


Katie!

2. I'm going to backtrack just a little. You already knew my niece and nephew, Amber and Jared, were expecting a baby. The baby was due in June. HOWEVER, Mackenzie decided to make an early appearance as some babies tend to do, and all day Tuesday and during graduation, we were waiting to hear about her arrival.

Around 8:00 p.m. (toward the end of the graduation ceremony), Mike received a text from his sister saying Mackenzie had arrived at 6:20, but they didn't have any other details yet.

Right in the middle of one happy event, we were blessed with more happy news.

Tuesday was turning out to be a very good day.


Mackenzie... then.


Mackenzie... now.

3. Mom, Austin and Zac were riding with me in The Big Gold Van to Ruby Tuesday's in Trussville for a celebratory dinner with family and friends. Mike and Roxie were following behind (because he had driven to the graduation ceremony straight from work).

Halfway to our destination, two Sheriff cars passed us with lights on and sirens blaring.

Within seconds of their passing, Mike called and told me to pull over at the next exit and let Roxie get in the van.

"Why?" I asked.

"Just do it," he said, shortly.

Something was wrong.

I pulled over at a gas station three or four minutes later and jumped out of the van. Roxie was climbing out of Mike's car crying.

The only thing I could think of was Baby Mackenzie, and I ran to Mike and asked him if the baby and Amber were okay.

"It's not the baby. It's Josh. There's been an armed robbery at the store, and his hand may be broken. He's okay other than his hand, but we have to go."

I ran back to the van, told Austin to take everyone to Katie's party and to stay close to Roxie and make sure everyone was okay. I would call him as soon as I talked to Josh and give him details.

We didn't talk much on the way to the store, but at some point during the five minute trip, Mike reached for his phone, looked at it and passed it to me.

A picture of our new great-niece, Mackenzie, was on the screen. She and Amber were doing well. She was tiny, but healthy and beautiful.

As soon as we arrived at the store, we spotted Josh. He walked over to the car holding his hand, and as I got out of the car and ran to him, Mike called over my shoulder, "Josh, tell Mom what happened."

And he did.

Two masked robbers (one male and one female) came into the store just as it was time to close. They made everyone get on the floor.

The male made the manager open the safe... and then the female made Josh get off the floor, put a gun in his face, and told him to put the "code" in to open the registers.

Josh told her there wasn't a code... it needed a key. He didn't have a key.

She was shaking badly and the gun was pointed at Josh's face. He was afraid she was going to accidentally pull the trigger, so he reached up and pushed the gun hand down away from his face.

She screamed and the man ran over. Josh pulled the woman in front of him so the man wouldn't shoot. He then fell to the floor and put his hands over his head... and the man beat his head (his hands were covering his head) with the pistol handle... again and again.

The manager saw what was happening to Josh, yelled, "Here's the money!" and the two grabbed the money and ran out the door.

The paramedics checked Josh's hand and because it was so swollen (and he could still move his fingers), they said to ice it overnight and let the swelling go down before we had an X-ray taken the next day.

He had a cut on his shoulder, a knot on the back of his head and his back and knee were pulled from falling to the floor the second time.

Other than that, he was physically okay.

4. Wednesday, Josh and I spent some mother/son time at the Emergency Room getting X-rays. We'll have to double check next week with an orthopedic when the swelling goes down more, but right now it looks like there are no broken bones in his hand.

God takes care of us every day, but Tuesday of this past week, He was all over our family.

We are blessed.

I've learned two things during the past week, and I'll pass them along in case you or a family member are ever involved in a violent crime.

LESSON NO. 1 - In our case, we had talked to Josh and knew he was basically okay. However, it was wrong of me and Mike to send Roxie, Austin and family to a party. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard, "I just need to 'see' Josh." And that's what has happened this week. Everyone has 'seen' and 'touched' and 'held' Josh.

After a violent crime, it is important to be able to do those things.

LESSON NO. 2 - The security tape of the robbery and part of Josh's attack was played on two newscasts for Crime Stoppers Wednesday. And I watched it. And I watched it again. And I watched it in slow motion.

And I literally became sick to my stomach.

For me, as Josh's Mom, there was no need for me to see the crime. Lesson No. 2 may not apply to you and yours, but think about it if you are ever put in that position.

I experienced some very strong emotions watching Josh being robbed, and although they cut most of the actual attack, knowing what happened next was too much for me.

What's next?

Josh returns to work today. This is his decision... definitely not mine. Prayers, please.

The criminals have not been captured yet. More prayers, please.

ONE YEAR LATER - They never captured the robbers. As far as we know, they never even came close.

Josh continued to work for Fred's until he moved to Hanceville in August of 2013 while attending Wallace.

Although the employees at the store were very good to Josh (before and after the robbery), this Mom was happy when that chapter of his life closed, and he moved on to something different.



We had a little "I Survived a Pistol-Whippin' at Fred's" Party Wednesday night after church. Friends and family gathered around to eat cake and celebrate Josh for a little while in the middle of a busy week.

And while it may not be an annual event, I think it did need to be remembered "one more time."

On May 21, 2013, our family had much to be thankful.

Much like May 21, 2014!

RANDOMNESS #2 - I know the following will be shocking information, but after "being on" Instagram for a little more than a week, I am hooked.

Love, love, love The Instagram.

I have posted three pictures so far, and I'm planning my fourth as we speak!

Also, I have an idea I wanted to run past you...

I have posted a picture a day FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR on two separate blogs (check under My Blog List for Belinda's Project 365 and Belinda's Project Life). I started on a third year, but my blog "shut down" in the middle of the project, and I wasn't able to complete it.

What if I did the same thing on Instagram beginning June 1, 2014 and posted a pic every day until June 1, 2015?

Wouldn't that be fun?

I'm glad you think so, too.

Beginning June 1, 2014, I will be posting a pic a day for the next 365 days to document my life.

And just so you know, it's going to be more interesting than usual because the following events are scheduled to take place within that year:

1. Roxie is going to Guatemala for the first time, so there will be sad, sad pictures of her leaving and joyous, joyous pics of her returning to her Mama!

2. Stephanie and Brad are getting married in September and Austin and Melia are getting married in October. There will be multitudes of pictures of all of the events leading up to the two weddings.

3. Roxie will be a Senior for the first time ever, AND she will be graduating next Spring.

4. Josh will be attending JSU for the first time ever.

5. We're having massive renovations done to our home during this time period.

And those are just some of the "new" things which will be happening. All of the holidays, birthdays, etc., etc. will be celebrated as usual... and photographed.

If you want to go ahead and get on the Instagram Train, you can begin following me today at "enchantingb." I won't mind one little bit.

And I'll be happy to follow you right back.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Roxie is doing a Pinterest thing and covering her walls in pictures. As you can imagine, I like it.

I like it a lot.


She'll be adding a new "batch" of pics at the end of every month throughout her Senior year.

That's the plan, at least.

Blog Linkage - Go to www.missionalmotherhood.com and read any and all posts you haven't already read. This blog is going to help/encourage/motivate so many moms out in cyberspace. It is wonderful!

Pinterest Stuff

Tips for Travel with Kids

Mike and I were road trip people before kids, and we definitely remained road trip people with kids. The following tips are great if you're just starting the "road trip thang," or if you are seasoned veterans like us.

1. Slow down. Plan for a slower pace than you might usually attempt if solo or as a couple. Be realistic about what you can see and do with kids in tow. DO NOT cram too much into your itinerary. The less you feel you have to see, the more enjoyable and stress-free for everyone.

For the most part, the pace of the trip should be set to what your youngest child can handle. Build into your agenda time for stops along the way for bathroom breaks, snack breaks and nap time. If you can avoid cranky children it will make for a much more pleasant experience. (Amen, and amen!)

2. Be flexible. (With everything, everyday and everyone. Be FLEXIBLE.)

3. Stay at a hotel with a pool and/or game room. Kids love both of these options. Does the pool have any special features like a slide or waterfalls. (Remember, staying at a "fun" hotel is as much a part of the vacation to the kids as going to a lot of different activities.)

4. Stay at hotels that offer continental breakfast. Brink snacks from home (juice boxes, peanut butter crackers, cheese sticks, fruit, etc.). If your family enjoys sandwiches and picnics, bring the ingredients for simple lunch or dinner picnics (bread, peanut butter, jelly, etc., etc.).

5. Do the free stuff. Many things to see and enjoy are absolutely free. See a street fair, concert or cultural event. Catch a sunset, take a walk or bike, play in the park, swim at the beach or lake, climb a mountain.

Attend museums and tourist sites on FREE DAYS or when they are discounted.

6. Learn a new skill together. Life is "all about the memories." By doing something new together, your children will be impressed with your sense of adventure and curiosity. Learn to kayak, snorkel, surf or spot wildlife in nature. Find something that is new to all of you and share the joy of learning together.

7. Travel with an open mind.

8. Expect the unexpected. Attitude is everything. No matter how much you plan and prepare, things can and will go wrong. Just go with the flow and everything will work out. Good or bad, an experience will make a memory which will last a lifetime. Make sure how you react to the experience makes for a good memory.

9. You were a kid once. Try and put yourself in your kids' shoes. Remember what you were like as a small child or teenager, and how you liked to travel and the things you enjoyed doing.

All of these tips came from www.ytravelblog.com. Great, great resource.

Weekend Happenings

1. Mikie will be working on Budget this weekend. No surprise there. If it is May, it is also BUDGET TIME!

2. Roxie is having a multitude of chicks over Friday night to celebrate the end of the school year. These girls aren't Juniors any longer.

THEY ARE SENIORS!

Be still my heart.

3. Austin and Josh will be scrambling to get out of the house Friday night. (And I don't blame them!)

4. Roxie will be working Saturday for her first time as an official lifeguard for Summer 2014. She is more than ready and I'm happy for her. Your first job is always so exciting, isn't it?

5. Stephanie and Brad are having a "Meet the Wedding Party BBQ" on Saturday night, so some of us will be attending that fun event.

6. Mackenzie will be celebrating her first birthday with a party in Oxford on Sunday afternoon, and I'm definitely going to represent the family. It's a Cupcake Party. Cannot wait!

Sometime this weekend, Roxie and I are going to try to finish up any and all shopping for her Guatemala trip which will be here before I know it.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the trip.

I'm still having a great deal of difficulty with the wrapping of my head.

Have a wonderful, long Memorial Day Weekend. I'll be back Tuesday with Mackenzie's First Birthday pics, some pics from Brad and Stephanie's cookout and a little of this and a little more of that.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing about May 2013, as my oldest will be getting a job this summer, I am glad to know that in the midst of very very bad events that God will watch over us and protect us. Thank you for that reminder. Now just an idea for you, have lots of daytrips you can do while construction is happening at the house, as you may not want to be supervising the whole time. Daytrip to go see family and friends. Daytrip to parks and zoo in cooler temps. Daytrip to the mall in warmer weather. Take care of yourself during this renovation time as it can be very Stressful. Andrea

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