Thursday, May 28, 2009

And so on...

I just want thank the Safety Patrol in KY! What a wonderful department that was. They were there within 5-10 minutes of us stopping on Sunday and stayed till we were all safe and where we needed to be. Oh and of course the lady found us a mechanic to fix the van.

Thank you also to the Michigan DI team that stopped that Sunday to see if we needed anything.

Thank you to the semi that stopped to help in MN when my wheel came off.

Thank you to Chris for coming to rescue us. And I hope he gets better cause now he has streph throat.

Thank you to the wonderful DI kids we had this year. They were awesom and so good on this trip. They worked hard and know that they can achieve so much more. I, Chris and Kelsi are SOOOOOO Proud of them!

Busted Part Three...

OK, I might actually get this finished today. Don't hold your breath though. HAHA! Closing ceremonies were just as great as Opening ceremonies. Most of the kids were able to get their MudDI waters pin sets finished when some boys from Wisconsin showed up to trade with them. They were super nice and the girls were thrilled.

Ceremonies started out with the huge Power Cube! When opened it revealed six different puzzles that were completed by 2 elementary teams, 2 middle level teams and 2 high school teams. Each set of team competed against each other for the chance to win a $1000. It was so much fun to watch and to cheer the teams on! After that they announce the winners in each category of challenges. The girls actually sat on the edge of their seats to see if they would win. It was sweet. Kelsi and I knew better. HAHA! Private DI was last and before announcing the winners in each challenge that would show some of the challenges up on the big screen. Well Katie who hates loud noises and was pretty crabby through the whole ceremony saw her clip of her running around like a crazy flower. She was so excited and we were all screaming for her. Of course neither team won anything, but we were so proud of them. The 3rd graders took 36/43 and the 4th/5th graders took 52/54. At least neither team finished last. :)

After Closing ceremonies we went back to the dorm and dropped off our stuff and then made our way to the after party. There was pizza and drinks and tons of snacks, nachos, candy anything you could want. There was a DJ and Games to Go for the kids to play on. We danced, and ate and had a blast. Only downfall was when Katie got lost. It was scary but we found her soon enough and she learned her lesson. Party ended and midnight and that was when Meghan finally hit the wall and melted down. She didn't get to do the face painting that the other 3 girls had gotten done because the lady had to be finished. Katie cried too. They were all exhausted and they needed to go to bed.

I think I got to bed by 1 that night after packing everything up for the trip home the next morning.

Day six:
We hit the road at about 8:30, got coffee and breakfast and were ready to go home. Sheri was driving my van and we had Kaitlyn, Meghan, Lauren, and Mikayla with us. Well about 40 miles into Kentucky my cvan alarm goes off and the van is over heating. We called Bob and stopped on the side of the road. I am freaking out thinking we are never going to make it home. Tracy went walking up to find the mile marker and Bob investigated under my hood. At that time Kentucky's Safety Patrol pulled up behind Tracy and us to see what we needed. Apparently my Serpentine belt had come off, and my air conditioner pipe was cracked through. Sara the Safety Patrol called her mechanic and he agreed to stay back from his trip to Gaitlinberg to look at the van and fix it but he was in church and couldn't do it till 2 PM. It was like 10:30. So I am upset and crying because this is my van. Chris is at home freaking out cause he wasn't there etc. Finally the tow truck guy shows up with a flat bed trailer and gets my van loaded up. We had put Tennessee or BUST on the back and it was definitely BUST! The tow truck guy gets it loaded and off he goes with Tracy who said he was smoking, talking on the phone and crossing 4 lanes of traffic with my van on the back of his truck. He literally took us to some backwoods shop in KY! Bob was laughing that it was a scene out of Deliverance. We ditched the van at the shop and went off to have lunch in London, KY! After lunch we went shopping at Walmart till the guy called about the van. Good news was that we could drive it home without the a/c, but that would need to be repaired when we got home. Funny thing is it was new as of the day before we left ND.

So the mechanic put in a new waterpump because there was some play it int - that was a new pump as of Feb, and reset my serpentine belt. Taped up my A/C and we were off. We got to Seymour IN, where we had stayed the first night at 6 PM. Took us 9 hours to go 5 hours. UGH! No swimming for the kids in Madison that night and no comfy beds at the Marriot either for us adults. We pulled into Madison at 1:30 AM! UGH! Oh and in that time I thought my Ipod was stolen too. It was a stellar day.

Day Seven:
So Memorial Day was a beautiful day. I found my Ipod! Thank God. AT least it wasn't stolen. We hit the road at 8:30-8:45 and didn't stop till we hit Maple Grove, MN. We were making great time and would be home by 4:30 PM. YEah!!!!! So we took our lunch to go and hit the road. Around the St Cloud exits the van started feeling like we were driving on a really bumpy road. It was get better than worse, then better than worse. Sheri called Bob and asked if the road was bumpy. He said yes, and you're not losing your wheel. So we said OK and continued to drive. I let go of the steering wheel and the van wasn't pulling or anything. But it kept getting worse and Sheri and I decided to pull over. Sheri called Bob and told him. We were about 1 1/2 miles from Avon, MN. We looked at the wheels, they were all straight and seemingly not falling apart. I called Chris and told him and he said go to Avon and meet Bob and have him look at it. We relayed that message to Bob and started driving. We literally drove two feet and the van went Thunk and tilted off to the right front! I thought I had driven in a hole. Sheri opened the door and said the wheel fell off! OMG! Are you fricking serious!

Yep there it lay with two lug nuts on the side of the road. I flipped my hazards on. and Sheri and I just hugged each other. Katilyn was crying, Marissa was crying and I was flipping out. I called Chris and he flipped out. We called Bob, they turned around and came back. What f'ing luck! I was just floored. We were all laughing at that point cause what else could we do. State troopers showed up, got us a tow truck and we hauled half the kids up to Albany at the DQ. I know the troopers thought we were nuts. Chris gave Lhonda the boys and headed out to pick us up in Albany. I was just thanking God that we had decided to pull over when we lost the wheel. Had I been going 75 in the left lane like I was it could have been awful. We could have been hit by another vehicle etc. I am just sick thinking about what could have happened.

So the van got towed to Albany, Chris came and picked us up and the girls were all thrilled to see him. They were talking non stop to him. Bob joked that my St. Christopher medal didn't work, but then I told him that St. Christopher is the patron saint of safe travel, not the patron saint of your van won't break down. So it did work. We were all safe. We made it home at 7:30 that night. THANK GOD!!!

So the story with the van. When my a/c was replaced it needed to have three screws tightened down. One in the back and two in front. The back is supposed to be tightened first, the belt set then everything is tightened down. Apparently the mechanic never tightened down the back bolt and we lost that. The system then tilted and the belt came off flying up and taking out the a/c pipe. As for the wheel? 3/5 posts that my lugnuts screw into were rusted through and the remaining 2 snapped. Why those three were rusted we have no idea. Maybe it sat in a snowbank too long, we don't know. It should be fixed by the end of today and Chris and Bob will go pick it up on Sat. I refuse to drive it and I have a feeling it will be traded off in the next couple of months.

So overall the trip was an awesome one. At very least it was one the kids or adults will ever forget. WE all had a blast and we are all home safe. I am still very tired, but we are getting back in our routine and guess what???? We are very psyched for next year's DESTINATION IMAGINATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Busted Part Two!

So other things happened on Day Three: The girls did some pin trading in the afternoon. Kelsi and I also got to go to the Team Managers room for treats and massages. Oh and my credit card got declined. Apparently they flagged it after I charged $400 plus for Dollywood tickets. Oh well got that cleared up though. When I got back to the girls trading pins, Katie was crying because it was hard for her. She is shy and didn't like going up to the kids to ask to trade, well some guy must have seen her crying and came up to her and said "I don't like trading pins and I don't want to take these home." and he handed her a bag with 10 NH pins in it. She was just thrilled! And then that made it easier for her.

Day Four: We went to Dollywood!!!! Oh the kids were excited. We got to see the Smokey Mountains and ride all the rides. Meghan went on her first roller coaster ever and it was called the TN Tornado and it went upside down three times. She was so excited! She wanted me to go but I said no way! I don't do the upside down thing. AHHHH!

The 3rd graders went off with Tracy to ride rides that were a little less scary and the other four adults and 5 kids went to ride more thrill rides. We decided to go on Mystery Mine. Didn't look so bad from the outside and looked like a ride I had been on at Valley Fair so I talked Meghan into going. Bob, Sheri, myself took, Meghan, Mikayla, Kaitlyn, Lauren and Zoe on this ride. Apparently Kelsi was the only smart one and she stayed behind. OMG!!!!!!!!!! It was the worst ride I had ever been on. Inside the building were two spots where the ride went straight up vertically and then dropped back down past vertical at 100 degrees. I swear I opened my one eye one and promptly closed it. We got off the ride and Mikayla was crying, and Meghan looked shell shocked like a bomb went off in front of her. My hands shook for 1/2 hour. Yikes!!! SO we all agreed to come back and get Mystery Mine t-shirts and wear them when we got back to Fargo.

We then met up with the younger kids for lunch and a couple of rides then split off again. We rode the Thunderhead - Meghan went twice and that was fun too. We ended the day with the Dollywood Express which we took around the park. It was a great day! Oh but what an awful ride that was. HAHAHA!

Day Five:

This was an early day as well. The Dotties had a ton of work to do on their set and to practice and it didn't go very well. My 3rd graders had their Instant Challenge and while they didn't completely complete the challenge, they never gave up, for which I was proud. After the IC they performed their TaDa! and did an awesome job. We then went to the University Center to see another Challenge in their catergory and they were amazed. It was a middle level team, 6-8 graders, but WOW!!! I taped it to show the others later. What a great job they did. They then went out and did their Chalk art and completed their health survery to recieve another pin. We then went to the KCC to trade pins while waiting for the other team to finish working.

Lunch was in the World's Fair Park again and we had pulled pork sandwiches. Food was awesome, you never wanted for anything as there was plenty of everything. Meghan was stressing about pin trading but I told her not to worry and I would help her out that afternoon. I had my own pins to trade too but I had been helping Katie with hers as well. The hardest was finding all the states participating in the MudDI waters pins. They were a set of 9 guitars from MT, ND, SD, IA, IL, IN, NE, MO and MN. You started out with all 9 from your state and then you traded the other 8 to complete the state. MT was extremely hard to find and our AD's were able to get 9 for us. I think only a couple of kids didn't complete their sets. But the hard thing was other people not doing MudDI waters wanted the set too, so they were trying to trade you for those pins.

So the 3rd graders traded pins while the other kids got ready for their performance. We went and saw another team perform the INstinct Messaging as our kids were and man was our team in trouble. Oh well. They performed and it was great. Their set stayed up, thankfully and they got through it. The experience alone was worth the trip and they are all pumped for next year. The parents on the other hand need the summer off!

So more pin trading while we waited for scores. The hot pin this year were the set of 8 California Hard Rock Cafe guitars. Meghan got one and Katie I think got two. Pins from other country were hot items too. Katie got one from Guatamala. Meghan and I both got ones from Korea. There were people lined up trading pins every where. Just kept going on and on. So we traded pins. Katie got upset again and not even 30 seconds after she started crying again another guy came up and told her "I don't want to bring these home. I think you should." and he gave her 10 CO pins to trade. And one of those was the one I had been searching for so yeah for me!!!!! I looked at Sheri and said, maybe I should start crying and I will get pins too. hahahaha!

But pretty much all the pins got traded. We came home with a few ND ones left but over all the experience of pin trading was worthwhile. After dinner we got all ready for Closing ceremonies and off we went.

Part three later...

Tennessee or BUST!!! It was more like BUSTED!!!

OMG!!! what a week! This will be the longest post ever I swear! First and foremost we made it to TN safely and thank God we made it home safely too despite a few extra stops along the way. But we'll get to that later!

Day one: Tues the 19th. We took off at about 8 AM after getting Starbucks and stopping to plug the DVD player back in in Bob's van. Bob's van had Katie, Marissa, Brenna, Lauren and Kaitlyn. Tracy and Bob were the adults. They led the pack. My van had Mikayla, Meghan, Zoe, Kelsi, Sheri and I. We drove long and hard the first day and made it to Seymour, IN that night about 12:30. That left us about 4 hrs and 45 minutes left the next day. The girls were all awesome or assume and Chris would say and they spent their time playing their Ds's, and watching movies.

Day two: off to KNoxville at about 8 AM. We arrived at about 1 PM. Kelsi and I got the teams registered and then it was off to the dorm rooms. We came out of registration with so much stuff. Holy cow! It was all very organized though and we were lucky and got our Dollywood tickets for Friday. Got put in Hess Hall on the 4th floor. Which unfortunately for the 11 of us girls was a male bathroom floor for Globals. So the 11 of us had to go to the 3rd or 5th floor for bathrooms and showers. UGH! but we got everyone settled and Sheri, Bob and Tracy took the kids and their pins to the Global pep rally while Kelsi and I tried to find where to bring my props for our challenge the next day. That's when the trouble started. We couldn't find out where to take my props. I got yelled at for driving where I shouldn't have in front of the convention center. No one could tell us where we were supposed to go. We finally started talking to the cops instead of the UT people cause they had a better clue. So we ended up at the loading dock at the KCEC building where my kids were supposed to perform at 11 the next day. The guys at the loading dock had no clue where I should put my 2x2x2 box and when I went in there was no other 2x2x2 boxes so I knew I wasn't supposed to be there. SO that was when I first started crying and called our AD Roxanne. She came down and we figured out where I was supposed to go. Meanwhile Kelsi and I are missing our team manager meeting. Got the props stored, got hugs from Roxanne and from big barrel of a guy from NY and then Brian took Kelsi to her meeting and I got to mine.

So after our meetings we made it to supper then I went off to the dorms to get our opening ceremony tickets and met up with Brian our other AD for ND and turned Mikayla, Meghan, Lauren, Marissa, Brenna and Katie over to him so they could march in with the other ND teams for opening ceremonies. And all I can say is WOW!! All the kids and people. The Stadium was packed! It was so awesome watching our kids walk in opening ceremonies carrying our State Flag! They had a lazer show and speeches. The kids were on webcam and then they dumped confetti on them afterwards. They were so thrilled and happy and what a cool experience!

Afterwards it was back to the dorms and showers for all 8 girls. What a chore that was! But got it done and was in bed by at least 11:30 PM. Right? UGH!

Day three: The Dotties - 4th/5th graders had their instant challenge early that morning so they were off to breakfast by 7 I think. They did a good job and their ending TaDa was awesome. Mystery Inc which is the thrid graders and my team ater breakfast and then headed up to the KCEC for their main challenge. They went through their box again and then we chilled till challenge. We got checked in at 9:50 and they showed their appraisers their stuff in their box and then it was off to the Studio to prepare their challenge solution. They got 30 minutes in there and it was the longest 30 minutes of my life. Sitting there not saying anything or reminding them to check their notes again was nerve racking. But we made it through and then they got to make sculpture out of playdoh for another appraiser while they waited to go in for their challenge. They made a question mark, octopus and a few other things the appraiser hadn't seen that day so that was fun for them.

So in for the challenge they went. I was extremely nervous for them. It was a big room and there were lots of people. The Dotties all showed up to see their challenge and they thought it was great. Their detective was Nate the Great played by Marissa, Brenna was Annie and Katie played a crazy talking flower. Their superstition was flowers on a ship bring bad luck. Their surprise element was a invisible padlock. I was so scared they wouldn't know what a padlock was, but they did and figured out how to put it into the play. They didn't go over time, and they had a blast, were loud enough too. The appraisers talked to them and then we all went upstairs for team pictures.

We had lunch at the World Fair Park and it was great. Pulled beef sandwiches. The food was endless at every meal, tons to eat, tons of drinks, water everything you could want and more. And there was hardly any waiting to get your meal. Very well organized and managed. After lunch Sheri, Tracy and Bob took the girls swimming while Kelsi and I attempted to drive to the convention center to pick up my props and drop hers off. That went a little more smoothly than my props trip went. We got the scores for Mystery Inc. They almost earned half of the 300 points they could have gotten getting a score of 147.96. I was very proud of them. The appraisers loved Katie's flower character. Kelsi picked up the pictures, I got the scores and props and then we made our way over to the KCC, where I realized I had been driving with my parking break on. UGH! I swear I am so stupid sometimes. But Chris assured me I would be fine. We dropped off the props and were dumbfounded by the other props. OMG!!! They were amazing compared to ours. Our teams have a lot of work to do next year. WOW!

We had dinner next and then went back to the dorms to let the kids work on what they were going to do for their Improv skit at the Improv Fiesta that night. They fought and disagreed, cried and finally got something together. They dedicated it to Chris because he couldn't make the trip. And they were great, again another proud moment for us. They then went over to the other Improv stage where they did challenges with a college Improv team. And what a blast. They all got to go on stage and perform and recieved a pin for doing so. They also got a pin from doing their skit too. Man were they excited.

Another late night and they made it to bed by 11 PM, Kelsi and I a bit later. Sigh!

Posting part 2 of the story later. Stay tuned!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two days left!

Two days left till we leave for TN!!!! We are leaving Tues morning between 7:30 and 8. I am really excited. I have the team box packed and laundry is almost done. Tonight I will pack the bags with the clothes while I watch 3 hours of Survivor. yeah~! Tomorrow will be spent running around and doing odds and ends before the trip and at 7:30 PM everyone should have their bags here and we can pack the van. Hope it all fits. We have a total of 13 people going and hopefully it will be a smooth trip. Only bump being that tomorrow my van needs to go in to get a leak fixed in the air conditioner compressor or something like that. Chris assures me the mechanic, KNOWS it has to leave for TN on Tues. ASSURES ME IT WILL BE DONE! UGH! We shall see.

The garage sale was yesterday and with the silent auction we raised about $1700. Overall fundraising efforts have earned us $8400. Our goal was $10,000, but I am pretty happy with what we raised. I think everyone is.

Opening and Closing ceremonies will be webcast live. They will start at 6:30 PM CST on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Click here to get to the link. Maybe you will see us. Both Katie and Meghan will be walking in opening ceremonies. And both teams including Kelsi and I should be walking in closing ceremonies! We'll try to wave!

Anyway wish us luck. Wahoo!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One week left!

Well we leave in one week! Are we ready??? Um??? highly unlikely! But we will go and make the best of what we do. The list is long this week of things to do. AHHHHH!

Katie got her hair cut for Locks Of Love last Saturday. It is way cute and she is so happy! The girls and Ryan ran in the Fargo Marathon. The girls ran the mile and Ryan the half mile. It is always so much fun to watch all the kids run in. Chris didn't run this year though. It was so cold too and we had a lot to do of course.

I am going to bring Chris's laptop to TN in hopes that I can get on here and keep everyone posted with how things are going. Katie's team has their main challenge on Thurs and their instant challenge on Sat. Meghan's team is just the opposite. We have Friday off to go to Dollywood. Wahoo!

Well better start working on that list. UGH!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


OK! Holy crap! It has been a long time since I have updated this blog. Hope you didn't think we got sucked into the river and washed away.

The river crested about 2 1/2 weeks ago at about 34.1 ft. Lot lower than the first time around. We did find out that we get to claim all our hours of flood prep and repair on our flood insurance claim up to 150 hours. We probably put that much in... NO? We did finally get the furniture back in the basement for Katie's 1st Communion and Confirmation last weekend. What a relief!

So anyway... Katie's 1st Communion and Confirmation was beautiful and it was nice spending time with everyone. If you are looking for pictures don't hold your breath. I won't be getting to them anytime soon I am afraid.

Things are winding down???? Maybe. Dance is done, but soccer for Ryan is kicking up. Faith Formation is done, but we are still working every week on Destination Imagination. Meghan has two more meetings before we go on May 19th, and Katie has 5 more. UGGHHHH! We were going to travel on a coach bus with the Casselton teams, but they raised the price and we decided to drive ourselves. So we are taking our van and the Lewis's van, filled with props, luggage and 13 people. hahaha! Fun fricking trip! hahaha! Fundraising is going fairly well. We are gather silent auction items and rummage sale items for the May 16th Fundraiser. Donations have come in from the donation letters we sent out. We don't have a number yet of what we have brought in, but it has been rumored that we recieved two $1000 donations. The kids have worked 2 Bingo Nights at the school and are to receive the $$ for that.

Last night Chris and I went to the Billy Joel/ Elton John concert. It was amazing. I am dumbfounded how those two can just fly across those piano keys. It was an awesome concert and we had a blast. I have loved Billy Joel since I was 8 and my parents took me to see my sister's band the Flyers play at the Monti Club. The drummer Keitzel would play "It's still rock n roll to me!" everytime we would go.

The Fargo marathon is this weekend. The kids are running on Friday night for the kids race. Not sure if Chris is running the 5K, but we are going up to Tanie's house to watch the marathoners run by. Typically we would have just walked over to the neighbors house, but because of the flood and the clay dikes, the marathon had to be re-routed. Now they are running a big loop twice. Fun!

The girls and I went out and bought flip flops and shorts today for the summer and for the trip. I also let them buy their Nintendo Dsi's today too. So now they will have something do to on the 20 hr trip to Tennessee.

I can't remember if I covered everything. I am hoping to get caught up by the 4th of July. This spring has been extremely nasty to us, and the trip to Global Finals is taking up all our time. So I apoligize for not keeping this updated, but it has been INSANE. No other word for it. *sigh*