Friday, May 31, 2013

Piano Recital

Emma had another piano recital this evening.
She played Minuet in G by Bach and The Throne Room from Star Wars by John Williams.
She did a great job.

I hate my garden ...

... when I find one of these in it.
I just wanted to go and pick some lettuce for dinner. But that snake is in the way.
Actually, he is all tangled up in the netting to protect our blueberries from the birds.
So I steeled up my nerve and picked lettuce anyway.

My totally amazingly awesome neighbor and his boys came over later to free the snake.

I am so over gardening.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Camping in Shenandoah National Park, Big Meadows campground. 
We camped for 3 days and 2 nights.

First off, I need to say that it was very cold. When we woke up in the morning there was frost on the ground and on the cars. We double stuffed the girls -they slept inside two sleeping bags each. And so did I. We all wore hoodies to bed with the hood pulled tight around our face. As long as you tucked your head inside the sleeping bag it was fine. And I actually stayed fairly warm inside my two sleeping bags. It was waking up and getting out of the sleeping bags that was cold.

On Friday we took a hike on the Whiteoak Canyon Trail. There were two other families that came with us -Gold and Jones.
 Don't know what this is, but it was cool looking.
 Don't know what these were either, but they were everywhere. Fallen from the trees. Some sort of flower on the inside.
 An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

On Saturday we hiked the Dark Hallow Falls trail. We were joined by several families -Gold, Jones, Forster, and Henry.
(See how many layers we have on? Very cold)
 As we drove out of the park we got some great views. 
 We came out of the park a different way this time to try something new. We ended up on some back country roads and crossed over this covered bridge! What a surprise!

 We wanted to stop at the Route 11 Potato Chip factory. It's a local company with really good chips. And I can eat most of the flavored ones too! No MSG!
 On our way home we passed by this. I think we are going to have to check out this corn maze in this fall. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


A very strange things happened to me today. 
I went outside to water the plants I put in by the mailbox (I painted the mailbox post, got a new cover for the mailbox, and planted some phlox and russian sage at the end of April).
When I came back in my arm hurt. It looked like I had gotten several bug bites. Mosquitoes love me. The strange thing was that there were so many "bites" and they didn't itch. But the area was very hot.

I snapped a picture and ask my mom and sister what they thought. I decided to rub some Benedryl on my arm hoping that if it was from a strange bug that would help.  
The next morning it didn't look any different. I showed some friends who thought it might be poison ivy or chiggers. I didn't think it was simply because it didn't itch at all. Finally I decided to call the doctor's office and ask them what they thought. I told them I didn't want to come in. We were leaving to go camping in just a few hours. I still had to pack the food and some other things. I described it and they asked me how soon I could get there. Twenty-five minutes later I was sitting in the exam room. 

My doctor took one look at it and said, "You have Shingles."
She asked me if I had been under a lot of stress lately.

Well, I just finished the Food Drive, the Pinewood Derby activity, I'm packing up to go camping, and getting ready to take over as Senior President for our C.A.R. society. Oh, and did I mention I am a mom of two active girls, and it's the end of the school year with all those activities and things to do, and I have 3 different callings (or assignments) at church.

Why would I be stressed?

Okay, so I'm just a girl who can't say no.
I'm in a terrible fix.

Good news is I caught it early. I can now take a 7-day supply of some really strong, really huge anti-viral pills. She said I am fine to still go camping. Just keep the rash covered whenever I am around people. It is NOT airborne contagious, only contact. And be careful around babies who haven't had their chicken pox vaccine yet. The rash should heal in a week or two. The nerve pain can last a few months (much longer if you don't catch it early).

Actually, I was pretty scared by this diagnosis. My grandmother suffered from shingles for the last 10 or 11 years of her life. I remember how much pain she was in. I couldn't even hug her without hurting her.

Mine is not that bad. I have a weird tingling sensation (sort of like pins & needles) that radiates down my arm. When I sleep the inside of my arm feels tender when resting on my side. I wouldn't really say it is painful. Just uncomfortable. Bothersome. Annoying.

The doctor and I are hoping this just goes away. And I may never have to think about it again. I may or may not get it again when I'm older. My chances are the same as everyone else who has had the chicken pox (or the vaccine). But there is a possibility that it might come back in the next couple of years. If that happens, then I'll have some tests done to see what's wrong with my immune system.

I took this shot just 3 days later.

How am I doing now (7 weeks later)?

It is something that comes and goes when I least expect it. Some days I'm fine. Other days it hurts. Like when I went to the grocery store last week. All of the sudden my hand hurt really bad every time I pushed the cart. Like hurt to tears. Then another time I was timing at one of Emma's swim meets. I was fine and then my left arm and leg got all pins & needles. Not that it really hurt, but it was uncomfortable and I kept trying to shake it out which didn't make any difference. It's always my left side. That's where my rash was. Didn't realize it would affect my leg too. The hardest part has been that my neck is really stiff and has been causing headaches. I'd say I maybe had about 8 or 9 days in June that I did NOT have a headache. Some of them were really bad. It's getting better now. But I couldn't watch the fireworks on the 4th because I had a headache and the flashes were making it worse. Anyway, the rash has almost completely disappeared, but the nerves can take a while to heal. If I'm still having trouble when school starts I will need to see my doctor again. I've been going to the chiropractor too. A lot more now because of the shingles. He said the location of my rash was connected to my C5/C6. That's where my neck is the tightest. So, he's been working on it. It seems to help for about a day and a half then it gets tight again. It's so weird. Like I'm fine and I'm not even thinking about it and then I'm sitting in church on Sunday and my elbow starts hurting.

Even now, while I am writing this, my leg has started tingling and radiating from my upper thigh down to my toes.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

C.A.R. and Star Trek

I know. Children of the American Revolution and Star Trek don't actually go together. But it's my blog.

We had our CAR Society meeting at the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum. It was supposed to be outside at the benches, but it was pouring down rain. Luckily the museum was free today!

Today we were voting on new officers. There were two nominations for president, Spencer and Emma. They both read speeches about what they wanted to do as president. They both did a great job.
 Time to vote!
 Emma didn't get president, but she will be serving as vice president.

After the meeting the kids had fun exploring the museum. Rebekah loved the country store and pretended to be the shopkeeper. Other kids enjoyed riding around on the little tractors.

Now for a little Star Trek fun. Clay and I went to the new movie theater to see the latest Star Trek movie. As part of the fun, the theater had a cut-out picture of the original cast. Meet the new Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pinewood Derby

I thought I would never have to worry about doing a pinewood derby since I have girls. 
I was wrong.
We put on a pinewood derby night for the Activity Day girls at church. 
This was not your typical derby. Check out the decorations.
 First we had the pit stop for the girls to make adjustments for to meet the weight requirements.
Thankfully, the Cub Master set up the track for us. We added the cones and checkered flags :) And the  display table for the cars. Look at those cute candy cars one of our leaders made!
Next we had a couple of fun games for the girls to do while waiting for all the cars to get checked in.
I was in charge of Derby Darts. I guess it was a kind of a cross between darts and shuffleboard. We made a target on the floor. The idea was to aim and roll your car to stop in the center of the bullseye. 
We had a scavenger hunt for the girls. We printed out about 10 different road signs and hid them throughout the room. The girls had a sheet to make off as they found them.

The final game was "Straight as an Arrow". A simple test to see how well your car is aligned. See how far your car can go before it crosses the line. 
This was a Daddy/Daughter activity. We set up this little backdrop to take pictures of each girl with their father (or mom) and their car.

Finally, it was time for the race.  
 After the race was time for refreshments. We set up a donut bar. 
Here are all the cars the girls made. My favorite was the giraffe face car. So cute!! I also loved the floral car covered with duct tape. What a great idea.
Here's Emma's car. She designed her car to look like Crumbelina DiCarmello. She was one of the Sugar Rush racers in Wreck-It Ralph. There is a sticky-sugary-sweet dance-along song for the Sugar Rush game that you can listen to here. I think I just got a sugar rush from watching that video.

 Emma did a great job copying the car. Here car finished in the middle for the race. But Emma won the Straight As An Arrow game and came in a close 2nd in Derby Darts.