Catching up….

I just noticed that it’s been awhile since I posted something meaningful. Sorry about that. When tax deadlines roll around, it’s a bit hectic…add to that Jon travelling for work, and being all important now (did I mention he got a promotion at work….SO proud), it’s been a crazy time at the Sutter house. I have some catching up to do, so we’ll start with Camping. On Labor Day weekend, Jon and I did a first in our marriage. We went camping all by our lonesome. Our little family loaded up and headed out to Saddler’s Creek State Park. This was our fourth time camping there, but our first time alone. I checked the forecast at 3, and it was ALL CLEAR! No clouds, no percent chances of rain (I like to call this foreshadowing if you haven’t picked up on it). Well, as I mentioned, Jon has been working crazy hard, so we did not leave our house until 6:30, and the park is an hour away. Usually, that would stress me out, but this time it was just us, and we had no schedule, so it was perfect….and how couldn’t it be…Jon bought me my favorite sugar cookies as a snack.

We got to our site, and we were quickly losing daylight, so Jon and decided to break up the tasks. I put up the tent, while he made fire and got started on supper. He would periodically help me unload things once I got the tent up. Thankfully, we got the tent up JUST IN TIME. The wind started swirling, and the drops started falling. Jon quickly rushed the girls into the tent and found safety. The storm continued for about 45 minutes. Our tent was literally blowing over above us. A little unsettling at times, but it was a nice time together, and we just chilled out until the storm ended, and then ventured out for supper. I think Jon’s fire survived the storm (must have been a good one).

As you can see from the pictures, we spent the time RELAXING. We took the girls swimming. I FINALLY finished my book that Jon bought me for my birthday, and we of course played some games and slept. There’s no need to mention who won the games again this weekend…Who are we kidding, I won again at Phase 10 AND Yahtzee. How could I forget the people that we met…The campsite next to us was occupied by a couple from North Carolina who were there for a bass fishing tournament. It made me miss my cousin from Michigan, because he and his wife are into fishing in tournaments, and I know they would have loved meeting them (and of course hanging out with us). The man was very kind to Jon. One evening, they went fishing at 10pm or so after the man had been up since 3. He was teaching Jon how to try different baits and what the best techniques were. While down there, he shared a lot of his story with Jon. He was a cancer survivor (at 50 or so), and he told Jon that he would have never made it through without his wife. He said there were days that he couldn’t move, and he didn’t even have the strength to get to the mailbox. He said it was at those times that he wanted to give up, but his wife encouraged him so much to keep going that he was there that day speaking to Jon. They had been married 24 years I think when we met them. While I don’t know their spiritual background, it was definitely encouraging to hear the effect a wife can have on her husband. Obviously, I hope to never face the trials they did, but I do hope I can support Jon the same ways that woman supported her husband.

Well, on that note, I’ll sign off and leave you with some pictures. Until next week.

Long awaited….

Were you expecting me to say something else. Well, sorry to disappoint, but I finally snagged some time to upload some pictures. I have been trying lately to take better pictures rather than taking lots of pictures if that makes sense. I can’t take credit for too many of the pictures from the Bible Study Ice Cream social, but can I just say I love kids. They are so uninhibited…is that a word? I think catching candid photos of kids is too funny. Like the picture where the sweet girl got in the back of the bike. She did it all on her own, and it was so precious. Or watching the kids run through the sprinkler. The one little girl asked me to run through it with her since there was a ring of adults around the outside of the sprinkler….I couldn’t resist.

I also loved watching the kids with the dogs. Look at the pic in the upper left corner. It looks like the boy is terrified, but I wish you could have heard the squeals of excitement when he saw the dogs. His mom said he didn’t really want to walk from the car to the house, but when she told him there were dogs, he began almost running to the house. So cute. I think my favorite picture though is the little girl in the middle trying to give Lexi a pretzel M&M. So cute. Would you believe we had adults at the social too? All of the ladies were from the Bible Study, and they brought their hubbies and obviously their kiddos too. Such a fun time of fellowship.

And back two weeks now…my pics from camping with Ethan. I can’t remember if I mentioned it in the original post, but Ethan helped me put up the tent. We didn’t even need Jon’s help! I was SO proud of him. It still makes my heart swell just thinking of how much fun he had. Even yesterday, he asked me if he could go back with us for Labor Day! Love him!

Camping…

Due to my long delay of not getting the pictures up with this post, I decided to post without pictures. I know blogging cardinal sin numero uno. I will catch them up next week, but I still wanted to share what we did this weekend even if I can’t show you in pictures yet. This was written in time for last Monday’s post, so don’t be confused that it talks of the week being over. J

 Another week of travel is behind me! Wouldn’t you know…I leave again Tuesday. Will it ever end?

Jon and I got home yesterday from another great camping trip. This one was very special because we took my nephew Ethan with us. It was his first time camping or fishing, and he says he had a great time! Ethan was REALLY good at casting his fishing rod which really surprised me since it was an adult rod, and he had never fished before. I was also surprised at how much he enjoyed fishing even though no one caught any fish. I would like to say the fish just weren’t biting, but in fact, they were…they were just biting people. Jon got nice little fish bite on his back.

We spent most of yesterday in the water, and Ethan’s little red cheeks would prove it. I wouldn’t trade anything for this past weekend. Jon got to go exploring and fishing, and of course we had our fair share of smores.

We came home exhausted and hot and found our upstairs air conditioning out of commission. The thermometer read 93 degrees. It looks like we may be sleeping on our air mattress a little longer. Hopefully, the home warranty company can get here early this week. Is it bad that I’m praying the unit is broken? The whole reason we have had the warranty was banking on the old units going bad, so yes, I’m crossing my fingers and toes.

 *Update: Air conditioning has a mind of its own…it keeps working, then not. We can’t have the warranty come if it happens to start working because then we have to pay, so we’re waiting it out until it dies. Last night was our first night not on the air mattress.

**Update 2: Here are some pictures on facebook. You do NOT have to have facebook to view them.

Rain in the forecast?

The week started a bit slow…Jon left Monday for Atlanta, and he thankfully was able to return on Wednesday. We spent the evening chilling at home and watching a movie together. The real adventure was the last part of the week. Thursday, I was scheduled to watch my niece and nephew. If you aren’t around kids much, it’s SO fun to watch them grow and learn new things. I picked them up from the sitter, and we headed to our favorite place…Chick-fil-A. Madelyn was SO proud of herself because she learned how to climb the jungle gym all by herself. I don’t know what was more incredible seeing her so proud or watching Ethan teach her how to do it. He is such a good big brother. We rounded out the night by playing soccer in the backyard, bowling in the playroom, and enjoying our time together.

Friday started bright and early…like I arrived at work at 6:30AM! I went in early so that I could leave early because Jon and I were headed camping again, and I needed to pack everything. There is something to be said for sleeping under the stars and experiencing God’s creation first-hand…including the 15-20mph winds and the severe thunderstorms. Yes, it happened. 

Jon and I headed to Sadlers Creek State Park in Anderson, SC with some great friends of ours. I had stalked the forecast, because we have had severe thunderstorms every night for the past two weeks. The forecast looked incredible, absolutely no rain. Well, we drove through some crazy rain and were afraid it was following us. When we arrived, we saw a huge storm cloud but thought for sure it was passing us. Just to be safe, we waited to set up our tent until it passed (which it did). We started putting up the tent and the 15-20 mph winds started. No lie our tent was pretty much laying down even though it was standing up (trying to picture that just boggles the mind, but it happened). We tied it down as tight as we could and got the rain fly tied down just in time. Jon and Mocha pretty much dove into the tent before the sky opened up. We were hunkered down in our tent for a little over an hour which turned out great because I got a short little nap which was much needed. I was really surprised that Mocha and Lexi slept through the storm even the loud thunder and the bright lightning. It was Mocha’s first time ever camping, so I am sure she was trying to figure out what happened to her comfortable home. Thankfully, our tent didn’t let too much water in for the unusual setup, and the canopy out front even proved helpful in providing shelter between the showers.

I think the highlight…besides getting to spend the extra time with Jon was watching the girls swim for the first time. They were so funny to watch. Mocha didn’t like the getting in, but once she was in, she was very chill, yes I just said chill. I mean check her out in the pictures…there is no other way to describe it. Lexi, on the other hand loved the jumping around at the bank, but wasn’t so certain about the swimming when her feet couldn’t touch. Jon would take them out and then I would call them to swim to me. Lexi’s face looked like she was smiling when she was swimming, but I’m not delusional it was just her way of not dying. 🙂 They are so EXHAUSTED…which is every parent’s dream. Hoping that they sleep through the night!

Got some fun stuff on the schedule for this week…here’s to hoping that work isn’t too boring, but if it is…I’ll just look back at last weekend’s pictures and rejoice that God gives me the weekends to enjoy His awesome creation.

Birthday and Camping…what could get better.

For Jon’s birthday, we got to go to Lemongrass. According to TripAdvisor, it’s the best restaurant in the Chinese, Asian, Thai, Japanese cuisines. Jon says he enjoyed it. We splurged and got a little appetizer which was really good. Some spicy shrimp cocktails. For the main course, Jon got Duck Curry, and I got Sweet Basil Chicken. He jokes that I am finally coming around with the whole Thai thing. We shall see. For his birthday, I bought him a Multi-clad stainless steel set of cookware. I know crazy, but he liked it. I tried to get a picture of him seeing it, but the timer was a bit off with his entrance.

 On Friday, we left after work to go to Kings Mountain. I had been praying all week about the weather, because we got some terrible storms at the end of the week, and the forecast called for rain all day/night Friday night. I just wanted to get our tent up, and then it could rain, but I didn’t want to set the tent up in the rain. The Lord answered prayer! The weather was perfect. No rain and not too hot. A special thanks to my family for supplying us with our camping gear between my birthday and our Christmas gifts. Our tent seriously could house an army, but we (and Lexi) were so thankful for it.

 Lexi was exhausted before we even started, but we had a great time with her (pic bottom left is the ride up). She does so well at the campsite. She literally only barked once. At one point, Jon and Buddy left to go get more ice and water since we were going through it pretty quickly, well Catelynn and Lexi patiently waited for their “dads” to come home (bottom middle). And, it wouldn’t be a vacation without getting my exercise in, right? Courtney was a trooper, and we did our 4 min run and 2 min walk series for 3.5 miles, then we walked 3.5 miles back. Not too shabby (middle right…after the workout). We were headed to a visitor’s center that we hoped would bring us right back to camp, but alas, it didn’t, so we just turned around to come home. Poor Lexi had already done about 5-6 miles with Jon and Buddy earlier in the day, so she was VERY exhausted when we got back to camp (bottom right, second one in).

Our camping trips would not be complete without Jon’s campfire heated coffee, his smores that everyone loves, and of course breaking open a can of black beans with an axe since we couldn’t find the can opener. I will be honest, I was afraid we would be making a trip to the ER. That rounds out the weekend. Today, we hope to spend the day with some friends, but I have to finish a major project for school, so we shall see. Off to work on that project a bit more. See you next week!