Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Trip Goes On

So, this is what our lives have looked like for the past few weeks.

Yes, that's right, our trip is well on its way! When we heard the boys' diagnosis, we decided that we would make our trek around the country, but that it would be shortened so we could get back to NC for as much time in treatment here as possible. That meant that we cut out the West Coast (sorry, West Coasters - we'll have to wait until next time we're in the US to visit) and spent a lot of one-night visits, but we did decide that one month on the road was worth it as it would mean seeing a lot of you.

Anyway, so we've managed to make it over halfway on the trip, getting as far as Montana before turning around and heading back East. We're now with my (J's) brother in Kansas, after visits with Bobbie's brother, Jesse's relatives, and a lot of friends mixed in. It's been enjoyable, even for the kids, for the most part, in between 8-hour driving sessions. I'm just going to post a few pictures of the trip so far and let you enjoy them.

Smores with an old high school buddy and his family in Ohio:

Steven and Matthew with their cousins in Michigan:

We went to a petting zoo-type place with Bobbie's brother - our kids really liked it!

The boys even got to experience the magic of a bouncy castle and slide at a group function in Michigan. It was raining, so the camera lens was a bit wet, but it was one of the highlights of the trip for them, I think.

I put this in just for our teammate David to enjoy. I think maybe we should build one of these in T-land for the kids, no?

Before this trip, I was never much of a McDonald's guy, but the Playland things are a blast for the kids. Also, they're a great way to get out some energy during lunch on a long drive before a nap in the afternoon.

But the kids favorite thing by far was at our hotel in South Dakota. We called ahead and got an Econolodge to match the price for the cheapest hotel in town (a Motel 6), so we got a deal and decided to get a hotel. Probably good, as the only alternative was sleeping in the car.

Anyway, they had a pool with a waterslide. Steven was practically comatose from joy every time he went down it (Bobbie would have to sit with him, and then throw him to me as they came out the bottom of the slide so he wouldn't go underwater). I don't think I've ever seen him so excited - he's definitely a water person. Matthew, meanwhile, just sat in the hot tub and played with the bubbles. It was a great time for both of them, I think.

So, that's it for today. I'll get some of the photos from the Eastward swing of our trip uploaded soon, hopefully. Thanks for checking in with us, and of course, thanks for thinking of us. If we missed you on the trip, we really are sorry that it worked out this way. We really did want to thank all of you in person!

Thanks again for your support, and be sure to check in a week or so when we'll post more pictures from our journey.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Trip Begins

We've officially departed on our trip around the US to visit some of you. Of course, before we left Bobbie's parents made sure the boys weren't travelling on an empty stomach:

And a good workout around the yard:

I don't really want to write much so I'll let the pictures do all the talking. These first few are from our time in Pittsburgh, where my friend Caleb did an excellent job taking a few family pictures for us!

After we left their place we came on to visit Bobbie's brother in Michigan, which has been fun (and tasty) so far.

And that's it. Most of you have heard this by now, but the boys were diagnosed as both being somewhere on the autism spectrum, so we're dealing with that information. For that reason, we've cut short our scheduled trip, so if you're on the West Coast, we won't be able to get that far this time around. Maybe next time; hopefully we'll have a chance to call or email all of you at least while we're in the country. Please contact us if you want some more details, but in the meantime we appreciate your thoughts and lifting up both us and the boys at this time.

It's a lot to process as we plan our return, and we want to make these months in the US as productive as we can so that we're ready to serve the boys when we go back home in the winter. Thanks to all of you for being part of our team!