Friday, June 12, 2015

I was texting with various children this evening as they were making their way from the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to find the trailer (????) and then find ice cream (!!!!) and then have dinner in the trailer.  Anyway.... somehow in the midst of the text conversation, I received this:
Naturally, I responded with:
What I got back in reply -- as texts!!-- was AWESOME...

"Meet georgie. He was a cool guy, but then something made him sad. His friend Phillip made a joke and that made georgie happy again. Then Georgie got a turban and met kazookie, a bad guy. Kazookie burned Georgie to a crisp and so he was dead. Now we see a troop of dancers who danced at Georgie's funeral. Two or these dancers, Malinda and Malone met (they were from different dance troops) and fell in love. The monkey saw and was so astonished that he told all of his animal friends and they had fruit to celebrate. The moon also saw Malinda and Malone and was happy for them, but he was also a bit embarrassed and so turned his back. He didn't forget about them though and sent some yummy corn, apples and pineapples as a gift of good heartfelt wishes to the happy couple. In his will Georgie left all that he had to his good skiing friend freekazinksky.  freekazinksky used all that he inherited to buy a bunch of things for charity. First he found a bunch of taxi drivers who all had hidden talent and made them into the number one world class basketball team. Then he took ambulances and made them into trains as well as just cars. Then he repaired all the roads in the world so that people didn't have to fly helicopters to get to their apartments and hospitals. Then freekazinksky went to a foreign country and made even more money which he used to make a new brand that made clothing, accessories, and medicine. Then he was quiet when he was supposed to be and so therefore started a revolution of loud noises and weird symbols. freekazinksky did all of this in memory of his dear departed friend, Georgie. The end."

Can't forget the epilogue...

I love my family.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 2 - Destination Van Wert, Ohio

After having tire issues on Day One, Day Two was bound to be better, right? I left the kids at the campsite and ventured into Zanesville to get gas for the Suburban, affectionately called Lizzie by our family.  The campground was on the top of a steep, curving road. Every time I navigated around the turns, a rubbing noise came from the front tires.  Great, exactly how I needed my day to start, before my coffee had kicked in.

Nothing obvious was stuck under the chassis, so I proceeded to the closest gas station every nerve on edge. I inspected each tire, checked tire pressure, checked oil level and even peered into the depths of the engine while filling up at the gas station.  Again, nothing obvious stood out as the cause of the rubbing. I began the return trip to the campground, nearly certain our Epic Stringer Zoo Road Trip 2015 was doomed before it really got started.

It wasn't until I was halfway up the winding road to the campground when I happened to glance at the dial that shifts Lizzie into 4 wheel drive. How had she been shifted into four wheel, front wheel drive? I shifted over to 2 wheel drive and every turn was silent! Somehow in the stress of driving through mountains in Ohio during horrendous thunderstorms, I must have shifted into four wheel drive when I intended to turn on the headlights (an identical dial right next to the four wheel drive dial).

Mystery solved! Onward the Zoo continued to Van Wert, Ohio, where we spent the evening with Eliah's buddy from Ethiopia, Kuchman, and his family. It was an amazing night to say the least. After some initial shyness, Eliah and Kuchman picked up where they left off and were quickly playing together. Val, Nick, Caitlin, Gabe, Lilly and Kuchman were a blessing to our nomadic family! I can not wait until we can see them again! Our visit with them deserves a post all of it's own...

Monday, June 08, 2015

It could have been better

Today began the Epic Stringer Zoo Road Trip of 2015. We left home at 10:05, only 5 minutes later than planned! Definitely a minor miracle for us.  It was a gorgeous day in southern Maryland, blue skies and sun accompanied us into the mountains of western Maryland. (Note to self: check GPS routing against Google and an atlas BEFOREHAND departure.) We stopped at a rest area for lunch and there I noticed it... A less than fully inflated tire on the trailer. Grr. After attempting and failing to inflate the tire at the closest gas station, I decided to put the spare tire on instead.  Praise God for his provision and protection! It turned out the flat tire had a large bulge on the inside wall. I am so thankful that we did not experience a blow out on our first leg of this trip! I'm a bit gun-shy with the other tires now though, as all 5 tires were replaced only 3 days ago. Now we are camped at Wolfie's Kampground in Zanesville, Ohio.  It looks like a nice enough campground, but we arrived at dusk, so we were unable to enjoy the pool or playground. I'm exhausted, between the tire, Wyatt's nervous whimpering from the back of the Suburban ( and the torrential downpours it has been a much longer day than I had anticipated. Here's hoping for an uneventful and restful night!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

T minus 5 days

Here we go again!  

The Zoo is gearing up for another cross-country trek.  This time the kids, dogs and I will head to Ohio, then pick up Route 66, visit the Grand Canyon, admire the trees in Sequoia, enjoy a brief visit with Nana and Papa.  Next a visit with my extended family in South Lake Tahoe, and back to Lake Almanor to enjoy the Fourth of July with the Stringer Clan.  Next on the itinerary is Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, the Wisconsin Dells, Ohio and home.

All in all, this trip will cover 21 states, over 7500 miles and seven weeks.

This will be the 4th and 5th coast-to-coast trek for our trailer.  It is showing it's age, but after new tires and an inspection, we should be good to go.

Katelynn has found many fun little stops along Route 66, and we are all excited to explore our country through Eliah's eyes. He has no idea how large and diverse the United States is. I can not wait to share some of our favorite places with him.

Over the next two months, my plan is to spend a few minutes each night updating the blog, much like I did in 2007 when the girls, goldens and I drove from CA to MD and back.  Join us in our adventure!  We're glad to have you.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wibbley Wobbley Timey Wimey

I can hardly believe it has been over a year since I last blogged. Where does the time go? Facebook has been a fun adventure, and I definitely spend way too much time there, however, it has not helped me with the writing itch. Life has sped by way too quickly in the 15 months since Trygve came into our lives. Katelynn is now in 6th grade, active in the youth group, and growing taller by the minute. Emily is in 4th grade, making friends every time she turns around. Beth, our "verb" in the family, still is a force to be reckoned with - but is having fun conquering first grade. Hailey, as petite as ever, just goes with the flow as long as the flow is to her liking.

Eli is now 13 1/2 years old. I can hardly believe this fabulous dog has been with Scott and I for so long. He has become such a defining force in our family. He still loves to play ball, and will even try to outrun Abbey. He is such a handsome boy!

Abbey is our proverbial dumb blond. Still a bit ditzy, but sweet as ever. She has conquered the top dog spot in the family, and won't give that up to the young upstart!

Trygve has firmly planted himself in our hearts. I think even Scott kinda likes him. If he isn't out doing mouse patrol in the yard, you can usually find him cuddled on my left side, keeping me warm as I knit or play around on facebook.

Scott and I are busy trying to keep up with this Zoo. I am ringing handbells in the local community choir and working with the 6th grade girls at youth group. Scott is attempting to keep his sanity as he struggles to do more with less at work. Both of us are so grateful to be home for a week long "staycation". (Vacation at home, nicknamed by a friend.)

Enjoy the pictures, I got a new camera for Christmas, so many more will be posted soon!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Meet our newest family member!

The Stringer Zoo has grown again. This past weekend I flew from Baltimore Washington International airport to Seattle-Tacoma airport to pick up a small bundle of fur and kisses. "Ali" was born on July 19, 2008 along with two sisters.

It has been a whirlwind of emotions and a blur of sleeplessness all viewed from the top of Cloud Nine. It is just like having a newborn baby, except no one is making meals for us or helping out with the girls. :) Needless to say, we did not get any school done on Monday or Tuesday, but we are almost back on track today.

It took a while to figure out a name for this fabulous little man. So after a bit of deliberation, little Ali is now known as Trygve. (Pronounced Trig-vuh.) It means trustworthy in Norwegian - or so I've heard. We've been calling him Tryg, and he is quickly catching on to his name.

He is extremely smart, and is already sitting on command, almost mastered down and is quickly learning how to crawl across the floor on his belly. I can hardly believe how fast he has realized that I won't let him out of his crate or X-pen unless he is sitting down! It is so amazing to see this little wiggly puppy quickly plant his rear on the ground even as his tail is still wagging uncontrollably. I never thought that I'd ever encounter a young dog that has the self restraint and brain power to override his desires. So far Trygve has far exceeded any expectations I have had. I think I'm being spoiled!

By the way, the foot in the last picture is for size comparison. Tryg is a little boy - weighing in at 6.2 pounds today at the vet. But I'm also hoping that you'll admire the fabulous hand-knit sock on my foot. :)

More pictures and narrative to come, I just wanted to give a quick update!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

12:05 AM and no signs of slowing.

I really wish the 2008 Summer Olympics would be shown in real time. I'm up way too late (again) watching women flip, tumble, spin and fly through the air. Why? Does this really have any bearing on my life? Will it really matter tomorrow morning if the USA gets a medal in women's gymnastics? No.

However, I am an American. A fairly proud one at that. I disagree with the direction our country is headed sometimes, I am really frustrated with the choices facing me this election year, yet I am an AMERICAN. I can disagree. I can worship the Almighty God with no fear of being arrested. I have the privilege of teaching my children at home with minimal government interference.

Having God's blessing to be born into this beautiful country is all it took, but over my short lifetime the realization of what it means has taken hold. I love my country, its good and its bad.

So this is why I sit here in the middle of the night watching sports that I could never do, nor even understand. I'm cheering on women and men who are doing amazing things, representing the country we share.

Because I am an AMERICAN!