Sunday, June 24, 2018

Max's Eagle Project!!!


Super proud of my Max for deciding to do his Eagle Project with Lost Our Home Pet Rescue as this is an organization near and dear to our hearts!

This project was fantastic and Max absolutely worked hard and did his part.  We did a food drive for the shelter.  He also started his own trash bin cleaning service in our neighborhood to earn extra money for supplies for his project--he earned so much money that he's going to keep this little side business going!

Max the Trash Bin Man!!!

I spent a lot of time conversing with people on FB gathering donations from around the community and Max came with me to pick up donations.  Ethan spent hours driving Max to different Home Depots/Lowes/Sherman-Williams store to get donations of shelving supplies, paint, and painting supplies.  Chris and Max did all the measuring/shelf-planning at the shelter.  All the boys worked on the painting and shelf-hanging. 

The outpouring of support from our community and church members was incredible.  We received over 400 lbs of dry food and over 100 cans of canned food.  We also received towels, blankets, dog treats/toys, cat toys, litter boxes, bleach, peanut butter, and kitten replacement milk.

My older brother, K.C., was passing through AZ this weekend so he and his boys stayed to help us!  It sure is awesome when cousins get together!!!

Max & our supply stash!

Pre-planning with Tracey

Before shelves/organizing

Shelves IN!

Donations received for Max's project
organized and on the new shelves!


Shelving that spans the entire playroom--
high enough to keep out of a dog's reach:)

The shelter was having a "baby shower" right after our Eagle Project so we were also able to jump in and help decorate!!!

Help was also needed out back spraying out/cleaning pet carriers.  So Ethan & Seth took care of that!

Cousin Wyatt was in charge of
the doughnuts & sign in sheet:)

These AWESOME young men gave up their Saturday morning to come help us!  So grateful to their families for having them to the church at 6:30 am!

David, Kyler, Max, Kacin--front
Seth & Ethan--back

The real beneficiaries are the animals!!!  Cute puppies and kittens everywhere!!!



So grateful that we were able to help out our favorite shelter and so grateful for the hard work and lessons learned by everyone--especially Max.  I can honestly say this Eagle Project accomplished everything it was meant to accomplish and that my Max is a better person for doing it.  Crazy proud of my boy.


Yup!  You read the title right.  I almost became a widow last weekend!!!  Not even kidding!

It was a normal Saturday.  Max and I were out picking up donations for his Eagle Project.  We were headed home when I got a call from Carlie.  This is pretty much how that call went:

"Umm soooo dad was stung by something and came inside and collapsed on the couch.  His breathing was super scary and he was not responding to my questions.  So I called 911 so when you get here, there will be a firetruck and ambulance in our drive."

So we hurried home to find 5 paramedics bringing Chris back to life--his blood pressure bottomed out at 60/32!  His shirt/garment top were cut in half (along with his earbuds) and he had just regained consciousness when I walked into the door.  He has been stung by bees MANY times before and other than redness and slight swelling, no other problems.  I had to answer questions on his drug/alcohol use:)  But nothing was explaining what had happened.  The worse part was that he was completely unconscious for 5-6 minutes which was very concerning to the paramedics so he was sent to Gilbert Mercy hospital in an ambulance.  They were questioning if he had had a seizure or not.  Carlie was pre-occupied with calling 911 and finding Benadryl in our medicine cabinet for him to notice.  (Poor Tatum was hiding upstairs she was SOOO scared!)

The boys and I headed right over to the hospital.  He was connected to all kinds of machines when we got there but he was fine.  They ran all kinds of tests--heart/blood/brain--to see WHY he had this terrible reaction.  They found....NOTHING!  So they wanted to keep him overnight for further testing.  So we came home to get a few things for him.  We were planning on him spending Father's Day in the hospital but once we got back to the hospital, they decided to send him home.  So thankfully he was able to come home--after we hit up 2-24 hour pharmacies to get all his needed medications and epilepsy-pens--and you have never guessed the next day that this man was comatose and in the hospital the day before!

Craziness.  Chris now has an Epic-pen as a constant companion and he will NOT be allowed to do yard work alone anymore!  I THANK GOD that Carlie was home and that she had the calmness and state of mind to call the right people.

Carlie's 18th Birthday!!!

So no big party or fireworks or anything for Carlie--we did all that for her graduation so she was fine with a low-key 18th birthday.  We did take her and her BFF Kayleah to Freddy's for dinner and came home for ice-cream cake.  I took her shopping for new clothes and we also hit the Bath & Body Works sale.

Happiest 18th Birthday to my Carlie Mae.  I can't believe I have an "adult" child now!  Love you to the moon and back!
Carlie & Milo!!!


We spent our last full day in Munich.  We walked everywhere, saw the biggest cuckoo clock, ate at the Hard Rock Cafe, and finished the day with...GELATO of course!  

I always love a good street musician:

We set off for the Munich Airport to head back home.  Apparently teenage boys raise red flags in airport security.  So poor Ethan had a few more security stations to go through while Chris and I watched from afar!  Craziness!!!  Thank goodness we had plenty of time!

Ethan being "detained"

So another fantastic European vacation in the books.  How I love this tradition we have created for our kids.  Having one-on-one time with them is so precious to me now as I am facing my kids leaving home sooner than later.  Gosh we've raised some good kids!  I hope Ethan enjoyed his time!  We LOVE you tons and tons Ethan Christopher and I hope you know that!

Munich: Dachau

I came to Dachau when I was 16 years old and on tour with the American Musical Ambassadors (way back in 1993).  This place left such an impression on me that I've been wanting to go back ever since.  And coming back as an adult, I learned so much more that I missed as a teenager.  

I cannot fathom all of the horrors that happened here and I learned that even after these people were "liberated" many had even more and worse horrors ahead of them--their homes were overtaken by others or gone altogether and the brutality of the Russian soldiers who were considered "allies" was unbelievable.  What a terrible chapter in our humankind history but I am so grateful that this camp has been preserved so that we can understand, move forward, have empathy, and honor these people who lost everything.  How I wish I could do more--like their Temple work!

This particular camp was meant to hold 6,000 prisoners.  At the time of "liberation" it held more than 30,000.  The front gate to the camp:  "Work sets you free."  

Sinks used by prisoners


The gas showers

After the prisoners were killed,
their clothes were thrown into these
rooms for disinfecting.

Pistol Range for Execution
Execution Wall

There are two mass graves here at this sight with thousands of unknown people.  I have faith and hope that someday all these wrongs will be made right.

Munich: Schwangau

Chris and I had visited the Neuschwanstein Castle once before but just HAD to do it again!!!  But this time we also visited the 2nd smaller castle--the Hohenschwangau Castle which was the boyhood castle of King Ludwig II.

Now it is quite the hike to get here but once again, we took the challenge head on and once again, Ethan left us in the dust!  He's like the Energizer Bunny!!!  

Hohenschwangau Castle:  
This castle is actually still privately owned by the Royal Family of Bavaria--pretty much just "royal" in name only.  However, they are kind enough to allow it to be a museum for tourists.  This castle has been perfectly preserved.  All the paint and fixtures are original. It is just down the hill a little ways from the bigger castle.  Once again, totally worth every step to see these views.  The camera does a pretty good job capturing it but nothing beats being there and seeing it for yourself.  

We have a LONG hike ahead!


Neuschwanstein Castle:
This castle was never completed but what is complete is absolutely incredible.  King Ludwig II was considered an "eccentric" or "mad" King.  His ideas were pretty fabulous and lavish--which would have been fine if he weren't a king with a job to do:)  He did die under very mysterious circumstances and there are several theories surrounding his untimely death.  I have no theories of my own, I just wish I could see the blueprints of everything else this man had planned!  I'm sure it was amazing.  

View of the Hohenschwangau
from the Neuschwanstein

So if I'm ranking our crazy undertakings, this would be the order of our climbs from the most hard to less hard--but they were all SUPER hard! 
#1--The hike to the castles (I was sore for days!!!)
#2-The climb up the Eiffel Tower
#3-The climb to the Sacred Heart Basilica

So I ate way more gelato than I needed to on this trip but I actually LOST weight thanks to these hikes:)