Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Screeching Halt....

So I may be being a tad over-dramatic (I know what you're all thinking, "Stephanie?!?! Dramatic?! Those two words don't belong in the same sentence!" You're too kind.) Anyways, today Ben and I continued our search for a house. We met a really nice realtor that we like very much. She has been sending us lists of houses to go through and we have sent her the ones we were interested in seeing. Many of the houses we had showed interest in have been going under contract right from under our noses unfortunately. But today we headed out to Stephens City, VA to view 6 properties that we had liked from the listings Julie (our realtor) had sent us a couple days ago. By the time we arrived (10AM this morning) to Julie's house (also in Stephens City) 3 of the 6 houses had gone under contract within the past 2 days. So she had pulled a few more houses to show us.

House 1
The first house was actually right across the street from Julie's house. The neighbors there were all very friendly, they waved to each other while driving by, etc. It was a really nice neighborhood feel. But unfortunately the house wasn't exactly what we had wanted. The biggest drawback, for me, was that there was no basement. So we left for house number two.

House 2
House 2 was in a newer allotment and was brand new itself. It was a beautiful house. We both liked it very much. It wasn't too big and had an unfinished basement that had the rough in for a bathroom. The kitchen was stunning: granite countertops, stainless steel appliances (GE Profile), dark wood cabinets....I loved it. The master bedroom was enormous! The master bath was really nice. Everything was perfect. On top of everything else, the subdivision was offering special financing for 30-year fixed mortgages at 4.875%. As if that rate was not good enough, they were also offering $10,000 towards closing costs, and a special mortgage rate of 3.8% fixed for the first two years and the 4.875% for the last 28 years. The price had also been reduced $100,000. Perfect.

Houses 3-6
Nothing to speak of. Water damage on the ceiling in one, lots of cracks in the other, nothing that compared to House numero 2.

The realtor took us out to lunch at a local Italian restaurant. The food was really good, and they even have homemade mozzarella sticks....yummy. I was sold. I loved the area all together, the neighborhood feeling was there that we miss so much from Ohio, the realtor could tell us all about the areas whether they were good or bad, how the schools were, if they were safe, etc. All things she isn't really supposed to tell us, but that we greatly appreciated and wanted to know.

Back to House 2
We decided that we would go back to the house that we both loved so much. We sat down with the sales consultant in the office and discussed numbers and the down payment. The down payment was $9,000. And we don't have $9,000 readily available. So we said we couldn't sign a contract at that moment but we wanted to see the house one more time. So as we went back to the house, another family was coming into the office to talk about the same house.

Ben and I talked all the way home about how we could come up the money so we could get this house. The whole time Ben is nervously biting his nails as I chatted away about what we could do where, all the while hoping that other family didn't buy the house.

They went into contract a couple hours later. I cried...stupid i know, but I let myself get really excited. And to be fair, I was upset not only because we loved the house, but because of what a great deal it was with all the incentives. We both felt like we really missed out on a wonderful opportunity. As the realtor said, if it was meant to be we would have gotten the house.....I just wish it had been meant to be. :(

Our search, for now, has come to a screeching halt.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Hunt is On

Ben and I have started to look for a house. We have mutually decided that although we love our apartment, we would rather be paying towards a mortgage rather than paying rent. Our biggest set back is the location we can afford. In order to get out of the $400,000-$500,000 range, our house hunt has led us an hour West. That, of course, means a much longer commute for Ben. We like the area we are looking well enough, but we will be sacrificing certain things (i.e. Ben's commute time and being close to just about everything). Nothing has been decided, and we certainly don't expect to be moving anytime soon. With the housing market being so low we figured now would be a good time to buy a house, if we find the right house at the right price.

Just today we walked through a house in Winchester (the area an hour West of our apartment) that was on Apple Pie Ridge Road. We really liked the house. It is a small house but it sits on 2 acres. I will be posting photos soon that I took while we were at the property.

On Friday we are heading back out to Winchester to check out another property. And I will do my best to keep everyone updated on our House Hunt. :)

What's a Puggle?

Several weeks ago Ben and I were able to visit our friend Brett Custer back in Ohio. He had recently adopted a new member to his family. Brett named his new "son" Buster Custer. Buster is a Puggle, which is a mix between a Pug and a Beagle. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical on what the cross between those two types of dogs would look like, but Buster is absolutely adorable. Just see for yourself....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

When it rains...

If you haven't heard already...there has been yet another chapter to Ben's Accident Saga. A couple days ago Ben woke up with a lot of pain in his right wrist. After insisting that he call the doctor despite the fact that he had an appointment scheduled for the upcoming Tuesday, he reluctantly made the call.
So Friday we found out that his pain was for good reason. One of his pins had broken. Unfortunately the pin broke in a "bad spot" as the doctor said. The pin was partially in the bone and partially in the joint, hence the pain. So after finding out that Ben and I hadn't had anything to eat or drink yet, the doctor insisted on doing the surgery that evening. Otherwise, Dr Miller said he'd worry about Ben all weekend.
So long story short, the surgery went very well. Dr Miller took about an hour to fish out the broken piece of pin through a small incision on the top of his wrist. The pin did not cause any damage to his joint. He will be in a small splint for the next three weeks on his right wrist. But he has a removable brace on his left wrist and will start physical therapy on Monday for that wrist.
Just another bump in the road. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

As I promised...

As I have promised here are the rest of my photos from Wisconsin. They are mostly of the kids playing outside in the leaves. So enjoy the adorable Wisconsin kids...
Ben and I are planning on heading back to Virginia this Wednesday. He is getting his casts off on Tuesday (the 18th) as well as the pins pulled out (ouch!). Luckily it looks like we will be back in town for Thanksgiving so we are looking forward to seeing everyone again very soon. Thank you all for such a wonderful visit (in Wisconsin and Ohio).
And for everyone we don't get to see on Thanksgiving, Have a Happy Turkey Day! :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

On a roll...

So far I am enjoying my web album. I have been meaning to put these photos online. They are from the quick visit we had with the Lima family. Caleb and Owen are just the sweetest little boys.
I am still getting my Wisconsin photos in order and they will be posted asap. :)

Wisconsin Trip Part 1

Uncle Larry has helped me start Picasa Web albums. So enjoy this first round of Wisconsin photos. I have more photos from my other camera that i have yet to upload to the computer. So as soon as I get those organized, I will add them to the blog.

We really enjoyed ourselves in Wisconsin and wish we could have stayed longer. Hopefully we will be able to see everyone again soon.

Enjoy the slideshow. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Delayed Update...

While we were at the doctor's office last Friday, Ben was put in a hard cast on the right wrist. While he was being prepped, I was able to sneak a picture of the incision and pins. He has three pins sticking out (two are shown here). The sutures were taken out and the incision was steri-stripped. The pins all stayed in and were padded up before the cast was put on.
These two photos are of the x-rays showing Ben's newly acquired hardware. The above photo is oriented as if his arm was laying flat down and you were looking through from top to bottom. He has 9 screws total, 3 pins and 1 plate. You can see the screws really well in the picture below.

I got Ben cast tattoos just for fun. I actually emailed the company asking them if they had any firefighter-themed tattoos, and they emailed back saying that firefighters often go un-thanked and that they were going to send him a care package for free. And they sent him all different kinds of cast tattoos. We thought that was pretty nice considering the tattoos cost around $30-$40 depending on the size.
Everything else is going well. I was finally allowed back up into the bed after sleeping on the floor for two weeks. The doctor had given him the all clear to sleep without having his arms propped up on pillows. He still isn't allowed to pick anything up or do much with his arms at all. Aside from intermittent pain, he seems to be healing slowly but surely. I have just recently developed some kind of head cold/sinus infection that I am hoping to be rid of very soon. It is definitely a pain in the butt to be sick and have to take care of someone else and a dog at the same time. But I have been feeling a little better each day (nothing compared to what Ben is going through :) )
We are hoping to make our way back to Ohio soon and then up to Wisconsin to visit the family there. :) So we will be seeing you all pretty soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Visit

We are having a great visit with the family so far and wanted to post a quick picture. I applied some cast tattoos to his left arm (notice the flames). I will post more later, I just wanted to let everyone know we are having a great time and Ben is doing well. :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

More Updates

Ben's parents came down for the surgery this past Thursday (they came on Wednesday). As they watched Ben try and get comfortable on our hand-me-down couch, they decided to look around for a new recliner or loveseat/couch for him. They came across a furniture store nearby. Long story short, they ended up getting a really nice leather reclining couch for him that we picked out. And as a surprise they got him a recliner to match. His arms are much happier in his new comfy recliner.

After they left on Sunday, I went to town rearranging the furniture while Ben laid in the bedroom watching TV (I had kicked him out). So these photos are of our new, beautiful, furniture in our newly rearranged living room.

As for an update on Ben. He is really looking forward to having his right arm casted on Friday. Previously I posted that the cast would be up to his elbow, when in fact it will be up past his elbow with a hinge so he can move his elbow. Pretty high tech. I think we have finally gotten rid of Ben's fever, he hasn't been running one for the last two days. Although the pain is still there and very prominent, he seems to be feeling a little better as each day passes. The Vicodin is certainly helping with that! Of course, Aida didn't help matters when she decided to pounce on his right arm a little earlier...oops.

So that is the update for now. I will hopefully be able to post an image of the x-ray of his right wrist after Friday. Until then, thank you all again and again for all your concern, thoughts, and prayers.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Surgery Results

I wanted to let everyone know that Ben's surgery went very well. Ben was in the OR for a little more than 3 hours. Dr Miller said that everything went well, but it took so long due to the amount of damage. Dr Miller ended up using 1 plate, something like 6 screws, and several pins. Ben is in an enormous amount of pain even being on the Vicodin. When we see the doctor next week, he told me that he can give me a copy of Ben's x-rays after the plate, screws and pins were put in. It looks very robotic. So look for those images to be making their way to the blog towards the end of next week.

We just got back a little bit ago and I am going to eat some dinner. I will post more later I just wanted to give everyone a quick update.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The CAT Scan Part II

Ok, this is pretty neat. We figured out that the CAT Scan Disc had the 3D images available. So I thought I would share with you a better visual of Ben's wrist. These three images are all from Ben's right wrist. You can definitely see the damage to the top of the radial bone in all three images. The ulna bone isn't broken too much but does have a small chip that is visible in the top image. The ulna is still slightly dislocated, but is reduced to the best position for the time being (according to the Ortho).
So enjoy these cool, but slightly disturbing images. :)
*On a side note, Ben was switched from Percocet to Vicodin and took his first dose about a half an hour ago....He is really happy right now.*

Chapter 2-The CAT Scan

Ben had his CAT Scan yesterday. Luckily we were given a copy of the images from the scan.
These images are oriented as if you cut the hand off and looked straight down the inside of the arm.
These two images are pretty good at showing the break in his right wrist. In the top image, take a look at the right cluster of bone...those pieces are supposed to be one solid piece. That is the main part of the break.
The second image shows the few small triangular-like shaped flecks of the bone that are going to need to be pinned.
The most recent update on Ben's surgery:
His surgery is scheduled for 11:30am tomorrow (Thursday). The plan is to be at the hospital by 10:15am. The surgery shouldn't take too long, about 1 to 2 hours. As long as everything goes smoothly he should be out of surgery and on his way by 3:00pm or so. The surgeon seems to think that as long as he can use a plate to secure the larger pieces back together, the surgery should go fairly quickly. He will still need to use pins to secure those small flecks of bone. However, should the larger pieces be too small for a plate, he will have to pin those as well, and it may take longer. If only pins are used, he may have to use an external clamp (those robot looking contraptions and bolts on the outside of the skin). Ideally he wants to be able to use a plate and pins and cast up the arm past the elbow. So we will have to see tomorrow.
I will try to update the blog after the surgery tomorrow. Thank you all again for your continued concern and prayers. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008


Chapter 1- The ER
Yesterday around 11:30AM I got a call from Ben asking me to bring his wallet to Reston Hospital (he had left it at home). I said sure and then he dropped the oh-by-the-way comment of, "I broke both my wrists." So after my initial shocked feeling settled down I headed to the Hospital.
At P/T yesterday morning Ben was doing a cross-fit workout with the other firefighters. He had a barbell totaling in weight of 205lbs held straight over his head doing "push and jerks." I am not quite sure exactly what that exercise entails, but anyways, he had the barbell over his head and was told to keep his weight more on his heels. He somehow lost his balance, fell straight backwards and landed on the ground in a bench press position (elbows back on the floor with his forearms straight upwards). All the weight was absorbed by his wrists.
After many x-rays and hours in the ER trauma, we found that his left wrist was definitely broken but in more of a clean break. His right wrist, however, was completely dislocated and broken with "wafers" of bone shattered off. Needless to say, the right wrist was worse off. They put Ben out so they could "reduce" his right wrist. Both wrists were splinted up past his elbows.
Today, Monday, we went to see the Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr Miller, who will be operating on Ben's right wrist. He determined that his left wrist should heal well in a cast after about 5-6 weeks. So he removed Ben's splint and casted his left wrist up to his elbow so he now has mobility of his elbow. Dr Miller said that based on the x-rays he would need to either pin or plate (or both) Ben's right wrist back together. But in order to determine what he needs to do, the Doctor ordered a CAT scan of the wrist.
So tentatively, the CAT scan should be tomorrow, the pre-operation consultation will be Wednesday and his surgery will be Thursday. Although nothing is completely set in stone, this is the ideal schedule.
The Doctor doesn't think Ben will be back to work until February or March. But it is too soon to tell. We will have to see how surgery goes. I will try and keep this blog as updated as possible.
Thank you to everyone for all your thoughts and prayers. :)
(*The photo above is of Ben on his "cocktail" of pain meds* :) )

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just for Giggles...

Dad's attempt at giving birth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Surprise Weekend

The weekend is over. The family is back in Ohio. But here is a look back on the surprise weekend.
Mom and Dad arrived on Saturday. We mostly relaxed and made a dinner stop to Mighty Midgets BBQ. On Sunday, Ben had to work :( but I decided to put Mom and Dad to work. We took Aida to Bark N Bubbles to give her a bath. I helped a little bit, but Mom and Dad did most of the dirty work. It was a lot of fun. After Aida's bath, we quickly learned of Dad's low blood sugar. So we got him some food for lunch and just hung out for the rest of the evening.

Monday we headed for Great Falls National Park. It seemed that Mom and Dad enjoyed the break from the busy traffic and concrete buildings. The weather was beautiful and we had a great time walking around.
After the park, Ben gave us a tour of huge houses in the area. Seeing these houses made us all question what in the heck these people do for a living.

On the departure day, Ben and Dad went into Herndon to a bread shop to pick up some yummy honey whole wheat bread while Mom and I got ready to go. After breakfast we headed up to Baltimore's Inner Harbor to spend a few hours before their flight. The traffic wasn't too bad driving up to Baltimore after we took a detour around I-495 (it was a parking lot!). We ended up taking the George Washington Parkway thru DC, which turned out to be a really fun. We could see Georgetown, the Washington Monument, The Capitol Building, and some other monuments from the Parkway.

Once we got to Baltimore we had a heck of a time finding a parking spot. Ben ended up getting focused and making a u-turn very illegally. We parked in a lot that ended up costing us $26!!!! We ate at Phillips seafood restaurant that was supposed to have Baltimore's best crab cakes. The experience was not a good one. The service was very very slow, the food was not good (except Dad's crab cake and Ben's mashed potatoes), and we were left with only like fifteen minutes to walk around. Despite the bad restaurant experience, the company was good.

We walked around for a bit and called it a teaser for Mom and Dad encouraging them to come back for a longer stay so we could take them to Baltimore for an entire day.

On a side note, we ended up being gone for around 6 and a half hours with Aida being home alone the entire time. She behaved herself wonderfully with no accidents or problems. This morning when Aida and I got up, she quickly ran out into the living room apparently looking for her grandma and grandpa. It was cute, but we were both bummed that they weren't still here.

Overall our visit was a lot of fun. And we are looking forward to more fun come October 10th!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


As many of you probably have already heard, Mom and Dad came down to Virginia to surprise me for the weekend!!! The surprise was a complete success as i had no idea that something was up. Ben had told me that one of his fellow firefighters wanted to go into DC on Saturday to see some of the sights because he and his wife hadn't been into the city in years. So believing my husband, we headed into DC to meet his friend at a restaurant for an early lunch at 11 am. Once we showed up (40 minutes late) we walked into the restaurant and as the hostess was asking if she could help us, I spotted Mom and Dad in the corner booth. I just stood there with my mouth open and was speechless. The hostess asked me again if she could seat us, and all i could stammer was, "my my my parents. My parents are over there! They're over there!" And i pointed them out and she looked at me like i definitely had some screws loose and said, "ok..."
So, needless to say, i was surprised. It was a great surprise. A great weekend. We are both sad they're gone, but we are looking forward to another visit in two weeks and three days!!!
I have more pictures from our fun weekend and I will probably post them tomorrow. I just thought I would post my initial "Surprise!" photo. :)
It was a really great weekend.

Friday, September 12, 2008


On our most recent trip back to Ohio we were able to help Daniel move into his dorm. Our initial plan was to leave on Saturday so that Ben would have a day to relax before going back to work. But Ben decided on Saturday morning that we should stay and help Dan (and mom and Nathan) move down to Columbus. It was really nice being able to see Daniel's dorm room. While Nathan and Ben were racing down the hall in the University supplied moving bins, Mom and I helped Daniel unpack some of his things. However, Dan wanted to unpack things once we left (it would give him something to do). So I made his bed and we unpacked a few things, said our good byes, and headed back to good ol' Cuyahoga Falls.

Earlier in the week we picked Ben's parents up from the airport and went to dinner at Blue Canyon restaurant in Twinsburg. The food was great, except I had bitten into a stone or something in my mashed potatoes. They apologized profusely and gave us all dessert "on the house," and replaced my mashed potatoes. We celebrated Ben's mom's birthday with dessert. It was a nice time had by all.
I must have decided to go backwards with this posting, because this photo is from even earlier in the week. Aida's poor little paws had a serious allergic reaction to what we can only assume was seasonal allergies. She chewed on her back paws so much that she had raw spots. So we tried to help alleviate some of the irritation by pulling out her swimming pool. That dog could play in the water for hours on end. Her favorite part was to attack the hose spray. It was pretty humorous to watch.

And last but not least, Aida took a nap on her grandpa and grandma's couch and on uncle Dan's lap. How cute is this picture? It is hard to resist Aida's adorable face plopped down on whatever piece of furniture she wants to get invited up on. Even grandpa can't resist letting his grandpuppy up on his previously off limits to animals furniture.

I would like to make a special note to inform you that during a rousing game of Pictionary we all learned that Aunt Martha is a very talented artist. I mean, her rendition of a tongue depressor was down right inspiring....And during a game of Cranium, Uncle Larry gave an award winning charade's performance of Tyra Banks. The critics are raving about our talented family members...perhaps an encore is in the future? :)

Overall, we had a very fun visit. Unfortunately, we probably won't be back in Ohio for awhile. But we are looking forward to our guests in October: Mom, Dad, Aunt Martha and Uncle Larry. We're counting down: 4 weeks from today!

As always, we miss everyone! Love you all.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Lost Post

I have finally gotten around to posting on the blog. As you may notice, the photos on this post are not from our most recent visit to Ohio. I didn't want to just skip over this visit all together, so before i post photos from our most recent visit, here is a quick recap on the August visit.

We went to the Akron Aeros game on the first day we arrived. It was a lot of fun, though the weather was a bit chilly. I couldn't tell you if the Aeros actually won or not, but i can tell you that the fireworks at the end of the game were spectacular! I wish i would have gotten pictures from the fireworks show, but unfortunately i was too busy watching.

One of the main reasons we came back was to go to Sean and Lynsey's wedding. They had a beautiful day for a wedding, and a beautiful wedding all around. We had lots of fun with Matt, Cat and Brett at the reception (and Nathan). I got to see a lot of people i went to school with that i hadn't seen in years.

That visit Dad also had his veins stripped in his one leg (fun times). So that was another reason we came back, we wanted to help out as much as we could.

Once i get my photos off the camera, i will post from our most recent visit. I hope everyone is doing well, we miss you all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Anniversity!

It has officially been one year since Ben and I tied the knot!!! Whoo hoo! We decided that although another trip to Jamaica to celebrate our anniversary would have been tolerable we wanted to keep it low key this year. Well, i guess the lack of money played into our low key plan as well.... Anyways, we stuck around here for our one year festivities.
The day started out nice, Ben came home with beautiful flowers for me, and i made breakfast ( homemade waffles, yum!). And incidentally, Sara (my cousin) sent us an e-card that informed us that August 24th is in fact "Waffle Day" celebrating the waffle iron's patent date from many years ago. Who knew?! So i suppose making waffles on our nifty waffle iron will have to be a must on our anniversary's to come.
I gave Ben a "Manly Movie Night" as a gift for our anniversary. He is always talking about not having a guy around to watch a manly movie with, so i thought it would be nice to give him a voucher for one manly movie of his choice and a package of movie watching must-haves. I included a big box of popcorn, some milk duds, twix, and a six pack of IBC rootbeer. On top of the super cool movie package I put together all the paperwork I have been filling out and working on to officially change my last name. I put it all in a nice little folder with a ribbon around it. He was quite excited. Although we both go by "Mr and Mrs Roadruck," and have since the wedding, i thought it would be nice to make it completely official.
Speaking of anniversary, many of you may be curious as to the "Happy Anniversity!" title of this post. No, it is not a typo, rather it is a reference from many years ago. Back in the good old days when the family used to make a yearly "camping" trip to Cook Forest, PA, one of Mom and Dad's anniversaries happened to fall during the week we were there. So Aunt Martha and Uncle Larry got a cake from the closest store (an hour away!) and had them write "Happy Anniversary!" on the cake. Well, it turns out that somebody flunked 4th grade spelling, and wrote "Happy Anniversity!" instead. So it has become a joke to all who know the anniversity legend.

Okay, back to our celebration day...Later that day we took ourselves out to a nice dinner at Red Rock Canyon. It was delicious. Because the restaurant was practically right next door to Trader Joe's we just had to stop and pick up some mochi. I think the last time we had mochi was when our friend's Matt and Cat came down and Matt discovered his love for Trader Joe's mochi. We also made a quick stop to Cheesecake factory where Ben picked up his favorite, Banana Cream Cheesecake. And i got sinfully rich Fudge Cake. We figured that while frozen, year-old cake from our wedding sounded very appetizing, we wanted a back up. Once we were back to the apartment we broke into the old cake.

And you would not believe how good it was. No joke! The cake was just as good as it was freshly baked. We decided that since we were so nice about not smashing the cake in each other's face at the wedding, we would have fun on our we did.

After our "eating" our cake (Aida was our own little automatic vacuum cleaner as icing and crumbs fell on the floor), we watched our wedding video. And like the party animals that we are, we were in bed and asleep by 10:30.

Today we decided to extend our celebration by heading out to Great Falls Park. On the way however, we went "left for adventure!" (another inside joke) and ended up at Algonkian Regional Park. As soon as we pulled in we saw a deer taking her time walking across the road. Soon after we saw several more deer. I think in total we must have seen 6-7 fawns and around 5 doe's. There were so cute! As Mom would say, "It was a WONDERFUL Deer Day!"

After the Algonkian Park we headed over to Great Falls Park. It was beautiful! Aida was funny because she would hop up onto the stone wall that was barricading the visitors from getting too close to the river and would walk along the wall up against the wooded rail. It was quite a sight considering the width of the wall that she could walk on was only like 6 inches or so. Either way, she seemed to really enjoy herself.

After about an hour or so we headed out, as we were all tired and thirsty. I took a picture of the drive on the way out because i thought it was pretty in case you were wondering about the picture of the road. We decided that Aida just needed to have an ice cream cone for being such a good girl at the park. And while we were at it, we might as well treat ourselves too.

All in all, we had a wonderful anniversary. We are still very happy and can't believe it has already been a year! Thank you to everyone who wished us a Happy Anniversary and sent us cards, we feel very loved.
Hope you all enjoyed my very lengthy, full of pictures, post. Love you all!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Well, we finally got around to finding a set of dishes we liked! And thanks to the generosity of Mom and Dad we were able to get enough sets to have people over! Our last set of dishes were Ben's from when he first moved to Virginia. Ben loved them, and I did too, except over the last several months we have been working with only 3 bowls, 3 small plates and 4 big plates and no mugs. The dishes have been slowly chipping, cracking or all out busting apart (in the microwave). So needless to say, we are sooooooo happy to have 6 place settings!

So here is a quick picture of our first meal on our new plates.

I have a lot of pictures from this past visit that i am slowly working on. I will post another blog entry soon! I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats. :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Luray Virginia

So our fabulous weekend has unfortunately come to a close. The weather forecast called for rain all weekend, and we really lucked out. It rained here and there, but never for very long. The cabin was set back in the mountains, amongst the trees and cows.....yes, cows. But, as silly as it sounds, the cows were adorable and gave us all a good laugh. I took a bunch of pictures (upwards of 400 pictures...did you really expect any different?)
Below I have included several photos from our weekend...

We took a drive on Skyline Drive on the 4th of July. It was beautiful with mountains as far as you could see. Aida came along for the ride, but enjoyed riding with Grandma and Grandpa more than Ben, Daniel, Nathan, Liz and I. It started to drizzle towards the end of our drive, but it was still a very pretty view.

Here is the view from our cabin.

I have lots of pictures of the cows. There was an apple tree in the front yard of the cabin and those cows loved the apples.

The boys set off fireworks on the 4th of July and the last night (after Nate and Ben purchased more). This picture is of Ben and Daniel frolicking in the haze of a smoke bomb with sparklers.

The Luray Caverns were one of my favorite activities from the trip. It was unbelievable. I have tons of pictures from the caverns, so if anyone wants to see more stalactites and stalagmites :) just let me know. And Dad has just as many pics...Ben kept calling him Ansel Adams because of all the photos he was taking.

Although Ben's birthday isn't until the 17th, we all wanted to have a little celebration for him. So I had picked up a banana cream pie and decorated it. After the Happy Birthday song and pie we all played a big game of Cranium and of course laughed a lot.

I just thought this was a really cute picture. Aida was very happy to see the family and loved hanging out with Mom and Dad.

This photo is also from Skyline Drive.

All in all, we had a great vacation. The weekend seemed to go by way too fast. Sadly we did not see a bear, even with the trail of chum that i left from the fishing pond to the cabin's fence. But we did see some deer, rabbits and of course the cows. :)

The best end to the vacation came when Ben and I convinced (it didn't take much) Mom, Dad and Daniel to come back to our place for the night. We stopped at a little BBQ stand for lunch that we had been wanting to take the family to. After lunch we came back to the apartment and relaxed. Dad took a nap, Ben and Daniel played a video game, and mom and I researched wineries for their October trip with Aunt Martha and Uncle Larry. For dinner we took them (we drove, they payed :) ) to Fireworks pizza in Leesburg. It was a big hit.

We played Cranium again, and got guaranteed laughs. Mom honed her humming skills for the many humdingers and Dad brushed up on his silent acting.

Unfortunately, they left this morning. But it was very nice to have the extra time with them.

Hope everyone had a good 4th of July!