Going on Vacation!!

Hello everyone! Hope you're all staying warm!

Today (well, Monday the 19th) is my 18th wedding anniversary. We didn't do much to celebrate it today other than running around paying bills and getting errands done together. But that's alright. We couldn't really afford to celebrate big, and besides I still had to work tonight.

The big news is tomorrow we're all leaving for Florida to visit Christopher's grandparents who are in poor health and cannot travel anymore. We figured since we had requested time off for our vacation this week, we might as well go now. We did not realize at the time that the kids had Fall Break last week, and that would have been a better time to go. Also, this week is very bad for the kids to leave school. It's Spirit Week at the highschool and it's Corina's senior year. Since she's the main soprano and the choir is singing at the Homecoming game and she was nominated for Homecoming Court (just found out she didn't make it), she's going to get to stay here. We'll have friends checking on her. I think she'll be fine though. She is excited to have the house to herself to clean and rearrange furniture... I admit it would be nice to come home to a clean house! LOL

Rhiannon was accepted to have a tuition paid trip to a 20th anniversary Fall of the Berlin Wall celebration at Vanderbilt University, and has to attend a certain number of hours of seminars and classes plus the essay she had to write. She missed a few early on, and now she will not be able to get enough hours if she comes with us. Christopher is going to call the Gifted teacher in the morning and find out if there is some kind of alternative we can do. If there isn't then, he and I have some serious discussion ahead of us. He is adamant that she's going to Florida. I think she needs to do what it takes to go to Vandy. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and will look very good on college apps. Christopher's mother is supposed to go down during the Christmas break and can take them with her then. I would prefer we all go together now, but life gets in the way.

On top of all that, I'm not so thrilled with the shape of our van. The sliding door doesn't shut completely, so we've been bunjee-cording it closed, and have just installed a ratchet strap on it. I think it may require replacing the whole sliding door, which we just could not get done before this trip. Totally not ideal for a 10+ hour trip on interstates. It still needs an oil change which Christopher needs to get done in the morning, and he also noticed one tire has a bulging area so we need to get a replacement tire for that. After filling the tank 2-3 times for the trip down there, I actually do not think we'll have any money left for anything while we are there. Which sucks since we have 2-3 kids plus ourselves to keep from starving. I love his grandmother to death but she's not your typical Southern gramma. She's from Michigan and is just not accustomed to cooking for a large crowd. I can't just take over her kitchen, and besides they have very strict dietary issues. I want to just get our own groceries, take my iron skillet and saucepan and just cook our own meals. We'll see what happens...

As for coming home, we're praying there's nothing wrong with Christopher's direct deposit Friday night so we can pay for the hotel room and get gas home. I was supposed to have cash to cover it, but it has dwindled away to not much with things popping up here and there. I'd totally forgotten the first payment for the 8th grade trip to Washington DC was due, so that has to be covered. We are stretched WAY too thin. I'm hopping nothing snaps while we're so far from home. :(

Please keep us in your prayers. I will try to post at least short updates while we're there. I am taking my laptop. The hotel has wifi, but if we only take two kids, we might just forget the hotel... which means dialup Sigh.....