Monday, July 14, 2014

Better Late Than Never

Forgive us followers, it has been forty five (45) days since our last blog due to complacency and rain.  More due to complacency than that other reason.

We are ready to bring in the slides, pull up the jacks, hit the open road, and get back on our tour of America.  Life has thrown us some real curve balls lately, but with God's help and guidance, we are overcoming them all.

We do not want you to think that all we have been doing is holding up in the RV not doing anything. We've just not blogged about it, is all.  Even though the rain has cancelled a couple of our activities, like the outing with the Clendenin Advent Christian Church to the West Virginia Power baseball game, we have gotten out and done some things.

For one thing the kids went to Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Big Chimney Baptist Church and had a blast.  The theme for this year's VBS was "One Nation, Under God" and they had plenty for the kids to do to include a dunking booth and horse back rides.  It also gave Misty and me a few hours alone to ourselves, of which we took full advantage of by going out to dinner and catching a movie.

Tia riding Babe at VBS.
Ian riding Babe.
Ethan riding Babe.  He just finished getting dunked in the dunking tank.
The kids have also been getting closer to nature every chance they could.  Between the frogs that were caught, the raccoon that keeps raiding our trash can, and granddaddy longlegs, they have been busy.
Tia holding a frog she caught one night.
Ethan's frog catch of the night.
Tia showing off her frog she caught.
Ethan and Ian closely examining a frog they caught.
Tia and her Granddaddy Longleg collection.
A baby toad or frog Tia caught at the playground.
Coon tracks leading to our trashcan.
Proof of what's been getting into the trash.

One evening nature really got close to us in the form of lighting striking a tree that was about one hundred yards from the RV.  Needless to say it got our attention.  

You know the saying that when you see lighting, count the seconds until you hear the thunder, and that is how many miles away the lighting is, well in this case there were no seconds in between.

God is awesome with his show of power!

Tree struck by lighting in campground.
A closer look at the damage of a lightning strike to a tree.
We doubt that this tree will survive its lighting strike.
Then there was the Forth of July festivities with the family which included a cookout, swimming, and Tia's birthday party, all rolled into one.  Anytime you mix hotdogs, hamburgers, birthday cake, ice cream, watermelon, and swimming, kids are bound to have a great time.  
The kids having fun swimming with their cousins during the 4th of July.
Tia, the birthday girl, coming up after being under water.
Ian with some hang time while jumping into the pool.
Our latest adventure was blackberry picking here at Lazy K.  The RV park is full of trails that have blackberry bushes growing all along them.  After getting permissions from the park owner if it was OK for us to pick them, we set out with me warning the kids, that in order to get the good berries, you had to get a few scratches.
Getting ready to go pick some blackberries.
Kenny, the owner of the RV park, told us where he picked almost three gallons of berries the day prior too and advised us where he had not picked yet, so we had a better chance of getting plenty of berries.  It was good advice and we got into the thick of it, literally.
Ethan going into the bush looking for the best blackberry.
As in any group of berry pickers, you have the devoted ones who will do just about anything to get the berries and then you have the less devoted, who love eating the berries, but are not as keen about picking them.  This was no different in our group.
Chloe, Misty, Tia, and Courtney picking blackberries.
Tia reaching for a blackberry.
Courtney saying something when we just staring picking.
Ethan picking his first blackberry of the season.
Bush that Kenny picked from the day before, so not as many ripe berries.
Ian trying his had at picking berries.
Tia showing me her first berry picked.
Family fun picking blackberries.
Tia getting a brier in her flip flop.  Not the best thing to wear when picking berries.
Nice, juicy blackberries.
Of course, yours truly, knows that in order to get the ripest, juiciest, sweetest blackberry, you have to sacrifice some blood, sweat, & tears.  I held back on the tears, but the other two were given freely.

My battle scars from berry picking and I've just started.

Ethan was my second with the next best devotion to the cause and was the one who went into the thickest cover to get the bestest berries.  I know bestest is not really a word, but who cares.
Ethan getting deep into the bush to get the best berries.
Ethan picking berries well inside the bush.
Avery was also a very good berry picker and picked more than anyone else, excluding me and Ethan.  The girls did pretty good and Misty, who is afraid of snakes, did not really pick much at all, but Ian was the worst one.  If he had to make a living as a blackberry picker, I'm afraid he would starve to death or at least, not make a very good living.

Speaking of snakes, while I was deep in the bush Misty says, "Don, don't move, I heard something move and I think there is a snake right next to you!",  well I look expecting to see a snake ready to strike, but instead see a baby bunny rabbit.  She is so scared of snakes, that anything she hears in the weeds has to be a snake.

I guess you had to be there to think it was funny.
Avery with his berries.
Ian with his berries.  He did have a few, but combined them with some in another container.
All in all though, we only picked for about thirty minutes and came up with about five quarts of berries, more than enough for a blackberry cobbler.
LivelyRV picking blackberries.
Courtney showing off what she has picked so far.
Tia's berries so far.
Now we are getting into the berries that no one has picked yet.
More and more ripe blackberries to pick.  We had to wade deep into the bushes for these.
Starting to get berry overload, there are so many.
Blackberries in paradise!
Tia, Dad, Chloe, Avery, Ethan, Ian, and Courtney with our harvest.  Notice my bleeding arm.
Tia, Misty, Chloe, Avery, Ethan, Ian, and Courtney showing off their berries.
Our spoils from the battle with the bush.  We only picked for about 30 minutes or so.
Avery posing with our berries we picked.
More than enough berries for our blackberry cobbler.
We soaked them for a while to get the worms out, which there were a few, but not many.  I always tell Misty that the worms add protein, but she is not impressed.  I'm sure I have eaten my fair share of worms in my lifetime since I will eat a few berries when picking.
Worms in the berries.
A worm trying to escape.
We have also spent time visiting family and friends while in West Virginia and have had a great time doing that.  

So those are a few things we have been up to the past few months.  We hear the west calling and will get there soon enough, but life keeps tripping us up and slowing us down.  We just need to trust in the Lord and do His will and all will be good.

God bless and may your path be clear of any obstacles.

Don, Misty, and Kids...

States we have visited and stayed in so far.


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