Thursday, March 11, 2010

What in the world???

Chris loves motorcycles, and Daytona was having the world famous motorcycle bike show and/or convention while we were in Florida, so one afternoon we went to Daytona to experience the black leather jacket, tatoo, biker mamma, beer girl, motorcycle gang, Harley extravaganza! Every where you looked was an experience. Chris didn't notice anything but the bikes, handlebars, the seats, chrome pipes, motorcycle hats, coats, patches... Not me.... I noticed the people - girls in black leather pants and jackets with tiny little shirts. I noticed tatoos covering an entire body. I would have to say it was quite an enjoyable experience. I'm glad I went, once anyway.

The Aligator Farm

Chris and Sara got back from their mission trip to Nairobi Africa at the end of January and shame on us, it took us until the first week of March to hop on an airplane to hear all about thier experience. They had an incredible experience the month they were on this medical mission. If you want to read all about their trip, go to and to see their pictures log onto

When Chris and Sara got back from Africa they had brought their boys wooden carved Safari animals to play with. Grant loved his animals and wanted to play with them constantly. So we would set up the Fisher Price farm but have to take out all of the cows, sheep, pigs, horses and replace them with elephants, rhino's, hippos, giraffers, zebras, lions and tigers. Inevitably a great big T-Rex Dinosaur would come and eat them up and Grandma would have to rescue all the Safari animals! Grandma would pull out a little green teething rattle in the shape of an aligator to help me rescue these poor safari animals from the big bad T-Rex Dinosaur!

Grant has always been enamored with aligators so while we were there we visited an Aligator farm. The farm was really spectacular.
We had fun purchasing Mason a birthday present and then Steve bought Sara a bird feeder for all of the cardinals in their area. We also saw five or six eagles over the pond in their back yard.

If you know the Beutler family well at all, you know our favorite place to visit is in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. I think every time we go there, we rent a log cabin and enjoy the rustic beauty of the mountains. Jason and Kendra have decided that they want to establish a new business venture by organizing all of the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/ Sevierville log cabins into one website so they took off for four days to begin their new business adventure. That meant that Grandma and Grandpa got to keep the kids during this time.

It was really easy to watch the kids over the weekend. We played mini pool, built a marble run, built a great spaceship out of boxes and went to church about 5 times (now that Lent has begun). Jaybin said "man you guys go to church alot"! We tried to explain to him that his Daddy practically lived at church when he was a little boy...but Jaybin thought that would not be a fun life!

I did great getting the kids up and dressed and to church on time, I don't know what happened when I had to get the kids up and dressed and to school on time. That was a nightmare.
I missed the bus one morning and the other day I was 2 minutes late getting to the bus stop when Kinsen got off the bus and the bus driver was calling Kinsen's mother (who was in Gatlinburg TN)... Boy did I blow it! I'm sure Kendra thought her mother-in-law was quite the irresponsible care-giver. It seems so different to me that a child cannot be let off the bus without the guardian being there when it is only 500 feet to the house... Different culture than when I went to school. My brothers and sister and I would walk a long way to school...

A Winter Get-a-way

Last minute, spur of the moment, the first weekend of February we decided to go to the Ice and Snow Festival in Frankenmuth Michigan. We had been to this festival about 10 years ago when we took our staff at New Haven UMC there for a staff retreat. It is alot of fun to see the talented ice and snow sculpturers sculpt their art. It really is incredible. I do have to say however, that the snow sculpture that really made me smile was one that a small Kindergardener made... It was a little snowman that looked like the ones my kids used to make when they were 4 and 5 years old. I do think it was my favorite. Of course the ice sculpture of the strong man (Steve attached) came in close second!
We went to Zenders for their famous chicken dinner. They serve "all you can eat" dinners and neither of us eat like we used to. We both ate one piece of chicken and one helping of mashed potatoes, etc...and couldn't eat any more. That is so disappointing! I think I miss those days when we could eat and eat and eat to be we eat a little bit and are miserable. I say if you are going to enjoy eating, you should be able to REALLY eat! My favorite thing to eat in Frankenmuth is fried chicken livers and onions. Steve bought me an entire quart of chicken livers on our way out of town...I ate those until I had heartburn for 2 days!
Stephen didn't do too well in the sub-zero temperatures. Since his heart attack, he does not weather the cold very well. We tried to keep his mouth/nose covered, but he still suffered with breathing and chest hurting. When we got home he had a dry, hacking cough for days. We got out the humidifiers and kept him inside for a couple of weeks. It really disappoints him when he realizes that he has to put boundaries on his life now. I can imagine the disappointment it would be to recognize that if you go skiing, or sledding, or even walking at a snow festival, you are going to pay for it later. We all take so much of our life for granted and never recognize that there are people out there that simply can't do things they used to - that hurts your feelings when you come to realize that. The "be stong" person that I am says "that's just life...buck up and get on with it"; and then my heart takes over and weaps in grief with him. We did have a wonderful time just getting away for a couple of days. That was well worth it all!