The Craziest 2.5 Months of my Life

I'm finally doing it -- I'm sitting down and attempting to recount all that has happened in the Charlebois household in the last month or so. I have no idea how long it will take.
In the last 2.5 months we have had a baby, moved to a new home, gone on a 2-week roadtrip, come down with the stomach flu, recovered, and had one Christmas celebration. I guess I'll just update you on the last month since our move.
We moved to our new home in Dayton, MN (not Ohio...sorry for the confusion to some) the weekend of November 21st. We LOVE the new place. It's a 3-bed/2-bath farmhouse nestled on 7 acres, about a mile behind the new Super Target in Maple Grove. It's close enough into the city that we have access to every convenience, yet far enough out that it feels like the country. The neighbors have horses that graze along our property lines every afternoon, and snowmobiles are racing by all the time. In addition to having a 2-car garage, it also has a 20 x 40 heated workshop for JP to work his business out of. The house was built in 1918, but has been almost completely remodeled. One of our favorite features is the heated tile floors in the kitchen and downstairs bathroom. A BIG thanks to everyone who showed up to help us move that day -- we certainly could not have done it without you.
About a week after we moved in, we re-packed our bags and left on a two-week road trip. My brother, Micah, was graduating from basic training at Fort Benning, GA, so we drove down with his 8-month pregnant wife and two sons to watch the ceremonies. There were 4 kids under the age of three in one van -- and they did GREAT!
The trip got off to a rough start. JP came down with the 24-hour stomach bug the morning we hit the road. He spent the whole first day in the back of the truck as Missy and I juggled driving and caring for the kids. For some reason we thought it would also be a good idea to leave at 4:30 in the morning, thinking the kids would fall right back to sleep in the car. Zachary did fall asleep; Malachi took a while, but finally slept; Rae, however, never did fall asleep. You can imagine how tired she was later in the day. They were all exhausted by nap time.
**Note: notice in the pictures, JP built a lofted bed in the back of our 1983 Chevy Sportvan. The luggage went underneath, and the top was padded for comfort. It also had hinges on it so we could access our luggage from inside the van. The truck ran great -- it was such a blessing. We had plenty of room for 4 car seats, 4 adults, all our luggage, and room to lay down.***

The second day went a whole lot better. JP was feeling better and was able to resume bearing much of the load. We decided from that point on to take our time and only drive 5-6 hours a day for the sake of the kids and our sanity.
On day three we stopped in Chattanooga, TN for lunch. We decided to drive up Lookout Mountain and see what we could see. We visited Point Park, the site of the Civil War battle for Chattanooga. The view from Point Park was amazing -- maybe one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. From the top of the mountain you could see 7 different states and the snow-capped Smoky Mountains in the distance.

By day three, we made it to Georgia. We had one full day to rest and get the kids adjusted to the new time zone. Then the big reunion day arrived! We first saw Micah at his "Turning Blue" ceremony. That's when he officially became an infantryman. The reunion between Micah and his family was so sweet, it was hard to hold off the tears. They hadn't seen him in 4 months! The boys both went right up to him with big hugs and kisses.
The next day, Micah officially graduated and became a free man for a few weeks. The ceremony was pretty cool. Because of Micah's high performance during basic training, he got to be part of a demonstration at the beginning of the ceremony. He rode out in a tank, then they all ran out, threw smoke grenades, and came creeping out through the smoke with their weapons...it was pretty cool and the boys (especially Malachi) LOVED it. Micah had mailed his boys official army fatigues, just like his, which they wore to the graduation. They were a hit -- complete strangers were coming up to take their pictures.
Micah is on the far right

The next day, we left Georgia (with Micah!) for Memphis, TN to visit Me-Maw (my mom's mom) and the rest of our aunts, uncles, and cousins in that area. This was also the first time we were able to introduce Ruby to her namesake, and Me-Maw and Ruby were nearly inseperable. We had a great visit, surrounded by all the southern hospitality and cooking you could imagine.
The next and final stop on our way home was in Geneseo, Illinois to visit our Uncle Hank and Aunt Gail. The visit was short, but very sweet. It was wonderful to see them. For those of you who don't know, my uncle was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a year and a half ago. He is a miracle -- he's already lived six months longer than the doctors said he would, and the cancer is actually shrinking. It was absolutely wonderful to see him looking and feeling so well. We had dinner with them, then they followed us back to our hotel to watch the kids swim (their favorite hotel activity).
Throughout the trip, Malachi and Zach struggled with a stomach bug, but by the end of the trip Zach had it in full swing. The poor little guy had the squirts most of the ride home, which made traveling hard for him AND for Missy. Rae didn't catch the bug until after we got home, and was pretty miserable for the time she did have it. Yesterday was probably the first full day of health for our whole family, and it feels good to be well!
This is all I have energy to post tonight. Later I will post pictures and stories from our Charlebois family Christmas celebration. Thanks for your patience! :) It's good to be back.

1 comment:

James Eric and Alyssa Rose said...

Great post hon! did it take 2.5 hours like we talked about? I love seeing all the pictures of your trip. Ruby looks so big already!
Love ya, Lys