Saturday, July 19, 2008

Topsail Island, 2008

Finally, I have an opportunity to catch up (again!) and fill you in on my wonderful, exciting life. Last Sunday, Tom took Addie, Sam, Chelcie, Abby, Sarah Hope, Jennifer, and Cassie to his parents' beach house on Topsail Island, North Carolina. The intent was for them to have a last "hurrah" before heading off to college. Drew, Andrew, Dane and I made plans to meet them down there on Tuesday after I have a day or two of intense Reach Them time.
Once I saw Tom and the girls (plus Sam) off, I went to church alone and sat alone. It felt so lonely without my family or friends around me. The Littles, my parents, and the Knowlings all played hooky from NorthStar. Fortunately, the Bowlings and Chris Ellis took me in and kept me from feeling invisible.
After church, I went by Koko's to pick up a little lunch for Drew and me. Then I spent the rest of the day working on Reach Them materials as planned. I can't remember the details of the day because too much time has passed!

Monday morning, Sherry and I went for a walk and Nathan joined us. It was nice to have some youthful energy along with us. At noon, I had the pleasure of meeting Anthony Ingram and Hugh Nystrom at Panera. Hugh is the director of ChildHelp, an organization that advocates for children and foster families. I felt like I was with kindred spirits. Definitely, people who understand my love for kids and the critical nature of our mission. My friend, Jenny Davis, from A.L. Lotts called to let me know that she'd had a stroke and was scheduled for open heart surgery on July 30th. I couldn't believe it! She is in my prayers and I hope if you're reading this you'll add Jenny to your prayer list too.
Late Monday afternoon, I headed over to PetSafe to meet with Laurie regarding the Two Rivers event. Chris, Anthony, Anderson, Ed, Theresa, and Laurie were there. It was a very well run, productive meeting! We're on our way! After the meeting, Anderson, Ed, and I met to discuss our options with Chick-fil-a and how best to approach them with the lack of funding. We were all a little "burned out" so we came up with a viable plan and left it at that.
Drew and I rented Jumper and I was not into the movie at all, so I left Drew watching the movie to make some phone calls.
Tuesday morning, Sherry and I walked to Best Bagels for breakfast, but it was CLOSED! So we opted for Plan B- would you believe it? Panera! After our walk, I tied up a few Reach Them loose ends regarding our invitation to Two Rivers and then prepared to leave for the beach.

The boys showed up at two as planned and we were on the road by 2:05 with a quick stop at Knoxville Pediatrics for Chelcie's shot record. We made great time to the beach. No stops 'til Hickory and the boys made great traveling companions! I was introduced ( by immersion ) into a whole new world of music. I laughed a lot and enjoyed their goofy sense of humor.
Once we finally arrived at the beach, after one wrong turn that led us through dark and scary places, we crashed immediately. The boys piled into one room with two twin beds(?) I bunked with Addie and Sam in the king-sized bed, and Tom sacrificed by sleeping in the upstairs bedroom. All the girls were asleep already, so I didn't even see them until the next day.
Wednesday was a typical beach day. Lots of heat, sand, sun, and book reading. I started the first book in the "F" series by Karen Kingsbury and made my way through over half of it. The Shack is being passed around. Tom finished it and now Chelcie is taking it on. The highlight of the day was the boys vs. girls football game on the beach. My understanding is that the girls dominated, but that's no surprise to me, afterall, those boys were distracted! I managed to sneak away to check my email about 3 and was surprised to see that I had over 40 messages all related to RT4! Ugh! I knew my time online was limited, so I answered them as briefly as I could and got back to house as soon as possible.

Thursday was a repeat of Wednesday with the exception of eating on the back deck of our favorite seafood restaurant. Cassie and I were computer geeks together as we parked in an "unsecured network" zone and checked our messages. Cassie was trying to buy season tickets to the Auburn football games, but she didn't have any luck.

The girls (and Sam) and I headed for home about 7 Friday morning. We made pretty good time and arrived safely back home about 4:30. I immediately got to work on the laundry. Sam went to Evan's house to spend the night, so my two girls and I went to Moe's (What? We were having withdrawals!). We ran onto Trevor, Kelsey, and Mr. Brown right after I asked Chelcie if she'd heard from Trevor lately. It was funny! Then we made a quick run to Kroger for some cinnamon wheat thins (one of my many vices) and milk, followed by a quick fun through the Sonic drive-thru for a bag of ice (another vice).

Tom and the boys made it home about 9:30 and I was already down for the count! Our A/C went out, so our house was steaming hot! I could only lie prostrate on my bed under the fan and think cool thoughts.

This morning we were up and at 'em for the Ulster Project's Car Wash at the Bread Box. Then we shared lunch with the the Storms family at Qdoba. Or rather, Sherry, Tom, Addie, Sam and I had lunch at Qdoba. Katrina, Chelcie, Drew, Dane, Nathan, and Lisa headed to Jason's Deli. We all joined back up after lunch for a little ice cream and laughter.

A tree is down in the front yard, so I think a little branch removal is in store for the afternoon. Stand by for fascinating photos documenting the occasion.

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