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Friday, October 31, 2014

LEAVE it to my Kids to Have Some Fall Fun!!

Last Eve in KY

The last night that we were in KY with Nanny, Noel drove us to the Barren County State Park which is located just miles from Nanny's house.  We have passed it every time we have visited her, but we have never taken time to go see it.  We still didn't get to walk any of the nature trails there, but we did stop to look at the dam and to see where a lot of houseboats are parked.  I would like to come back here when we have more time to explore as it's really pretty.
It wasn't very peaceful on this side of the dam, however!!  You can see that Marissa is covering her ears from the loud noise of the water as it rushes in from the other side.

You can only see two of the houseboats in this picture, but there were 40 or 50 of them parked there, I would guess.  I think I would like to vacation on a houseboat someday.  Yeah, better add that to my bucket list!  LOL

And finally, just because I can, I decided to have a little fun with my editing software to re-create the pictures below...

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Nanny Update"

Just a quick update on Noel's Nanny:

Nanny was moved from the hospital in Bowling Green, KY to the nursing home in Scottsville, KY.  (We had all anticipated this move as a positive thing because she would be staying in the very facility that she works in and she would be within a few miles of her home and church friends, etc.)  Unfortunately, within 24 hours of being relocated, she fell during PT and fractured her hip in two places.  They do not think surgery is necessary but once again, she is in a lot of pain.

Thank you to those who have been praying for her.  Please continue as the Lord brings her to mind.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Over the River and Through the Woods ~ Part II


Pictures of our time with Nanny.
October 2012
We woke up Saturday morning at Nanny's house and once again, the weather was gorgeous, so we decided to go visit the "Lost River Cave" in downtown  Bowling Green.  We had tried to take Nanny there two years ago, but it rained and we ended up turning around and going back home.  This time we were sure to have better luck.
When we first got there, they had a nature area with a herb garden and a craft area.  They also had an obstacle course made out of tree trunks and some hanging hammocks so you could sleep in the trees like animals do.  None of the kids were crazy about those...

The gang posing in the Eagle's Nest.
As you can see, one of the eagles has a little bit of attitude!!

They also had this fun little Fox Hole.  The tunnel went about 25 yards under the ground, but it was pitch black inside so I'm sure that it felt much farther.  The kids walked past it several times before deciding that they did want to check it out. 

Yay!  Marissa was the first little fox cub who had the nerve to go all the way through.
Eventually, all three girls did make it.

After finishing up in the nature area, we followed the trail down to the river and the cave.  You could pay to take a boat tour through the caves, but we decided to just walk around it instead.  It turns out that the cave was a popular hide-out at one time.  Jesse James used it to hide from law enforcement after going on one of his robbing sprees.  It was also used back in the Civil War times for confederate and Union soldiers to hide out at various times before moving on to Nashville.   
The old mill that stands on the bank of the stream....

You can take the boats into the cave, or you can also just cross over on the bridge to this great little area where you can have weddings / receptions / other parties.  I think they also have a little nightlife on the weekends there.

Have you ever seen a chandelier hanging in the middle of a cave?

Marissa and Nolan were enjoying a little bit of dancing before we headed out again.

After we left the stream and the caves, we were able to take another small hike through the wooded area where they had some scarecrow displays set up for their Halloween haunted walks that took place on the weekends.

There was also this wooden blind set up with several birdfeeders behind the wall where you could stand and watch birds without them knowing.  Unfortunately, it's too late in the season for any birds to still be around.

This butterfly house would be really neat to visit in the summer months, I am sure.  It was full of dormant flowers and plants that the butterflies will enjoy next spring...again, just too late in the season for many to be out.

It is so hard to get this little guy to stand still long enough to take a picture!!

See what I mean?
He heard us mention the word "lunch" and he took off ahead of us again.

By the time that we got to the hospital, Nolan was ready for his nap so Noel took the girls up to visit Nanny while I sat in the car and read a book.  I didn't have to read for very long before I turned around to check on him and he was out.

Over the River & Through the Woods ~ Part I

We got a phone call two weeks ago telling us that Noel's "Nanny" was not doing well.  She had gone into the hospital to find out why her leg was hurting so badly and the doctors found several blood clots along with a mass in her abdomen.  A few days later, after a biopsy, it was determined that in addition to the blood clots, Nanny also has stage IV lymphoma. 

Family picture from our annual visit with Nanny just this past February.
Since fall break was coming up at the end of last week, we decided that we would take advantage of the vacation time and go down to the hospital in Bowling Green to visit her.  So, after Noel finished up his parent/teacher conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday, we packed up and headed out on Thursday morning.  Once again, all four kids did an amazing job on the six hour drive, despite road construction and several detours, and we arrived at the hospital late Thursday afternoon. 
We had found out the night before we left that Grandma had decided to take chemo treatments in the attempt to fight.  She said "she still has more people that she wants to tell about her Jesus" and trust me, with all of the nurses, doctors, and surgeons that have been in and out of her room these past two weeks, she is definitely taking advantage of every opportunity that she has!!  Her positive outlook on life even in the darkest of hours is an inspiration to many, that is for sure!!  With the aggressive nature of the cancer, the doctors didn't want to waste any time, so Nanny was already undergoing her "test" session with the chemo that Thursday night with a full blown treatment coming again on Friday night.  We are praising the Lord that she did well through both treatments.  Her heart has not shown any negative effects up to this point and even four days later, she isn't showing any signs of sickness!!
We were able to visit her for several hours a day for all three of the days that we were there and we are so thankful for that time!!  A hospital room isn't the easiest place to confine a 22 month old for very long however, so we decided to do some exploring of the area while we were there and to get out and enjoy the beautiful Indian Summer weather that we were having.  On Friday morning, before we arrived at the hospital, we found a little park and a riverwalk trail that we explored.  It wasn't quite as nice as what we had been hoping for, but it was still a nice way to enjoy the outdoors.
It looked really intriguing at first as we had to cross this old railroad bridge, but once we got to the other side, we found out that it was just a limestone path that went in a circle around a grass field.  


After taking a lap around the field, we passed a group of firefighters who were setting up equipment on the bridge.  There were a couple of men who were wearing bright red "recruit" shirts and we think that they were going to do some rescue simulations.  I wish that we could have stayed around to watch them repel from the bridge, but we needed to get back to the van to eat lunch before spending the afternoon with Nanny.
Another blessing about this trip is that we were able to stay at Nanny's house with Noel's parents, who had come down the week before.  The girls love when Gramie C is able to tuck them into bed at night and tell them stories off the top of her head, which she was able to do for them three nights!!  They also enjoyed some great tickling and cuddle time with Grandpa H.  Even in the midst of hurt and struggles, God is good, isn't He?