Friends and family edition

We had an awesome, awesome trip down to Florida and back. We were able to see so many friends and family on this trip – it was great. Thanks everyone for your hospitality! The trip started with a quick visit to West Lafayette where we saw college roommates. Then we headed to Rochester and on to Indy. Each stop was great. I’ve got so many pictures I’m going to post those and not do that much typing now. Enjoy.

From Rochester to Indy. It was great to just hang out by the pool all day – the kids had a blast. Jackie taught us all some new dives 🙂

After leaving Indy we headed straight to Mammoth Cave. It was cool. The kids liked it – especially Colleen who is now saying she wants to see more caves. Our guide was very funny and made it a great two hour tour.

Here’s Beth proving that there is definitely a climate & temperature difference once you exit the cave.

When I was in New Hampshire a month or two ago I remember somebody talking about all of the bats dying on the East Cost. After you left Mammoth Cave they had you walk across a foam solution that killed whatever it is that’s killing bats. I was wearing sandals…so my shoes and my feet are now bat friendly.

We stayed in Huntsville, Alabama and made a quick visit to the national space museum. They had tons of really cool stuff. I don’t consider myself that into space but just being there made me want to learn a lot more about past missions and equipment.

Fried green tomatoes – yummy! Also included in this meal were collard greens, buttermilk fried chicken, and gumbo. We finished this off with grits for breakfast the next morning. It was all great…well, except for the collard greens which were nasty 🙂

Somewhere in Alabama.

Here’s the view from our balcony. It was a great location and the hotel had everything we needed. And we luckily only lost one towel from the balcony all week 🙂 Ooops.

Hanging out with the cousins. Having fun. Playing in the sun.

How can you come down here and not play mini-golf at one of the huge, super-cool places. I was the score keeper and coincidentally cleaned up on the mini-golf course.

We also went on a 2-hour pirate cruise. They did a great job with this. The trip included tatoos, a squirt gun fight, swabbing the deck, sword fighting, firing a cannon, and hoisting up a treasure chest from the deep sea. The kids loved it. We also got to see dolphins swim right up to the boat which was cool.

If you squint you can see dolphin fins in the distance over Megan’s head. So cool.

Megan turned six – woohoo! We have always had parties at our house. Megan wanted to go to pump-it-up this year so we gave in. Not my favorite way to throw a party but their staff was great and Megan and her friends had a great time.

The Relay for Life has come and gone. It was very stormy that day so it got moved inside the high school…but then the high school lost power (I was actually outside of the high school driving a fire truck to monitor sparking power lines about 100′ from the high school while my family was inside the high school) so the event started in a backup location with no power – not an ideal situation but everything worked out. Beth and all 3 kids stayed maybe until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. and then Colleen and a friend stayed with me until about 2:00 a.m. There are activities every hour so they learned how to do the Thriller dance starting at 1:00 a.m., and participated in a frozen t-shirt contest after that, plus gourney rides, snacks, etc. It is a fun yet powerful event.

Here’s how I spent the night of my 40th birthday…fire training…out on the lake in our fire boat. The pump on the boat is loud, hence the ear protection. We can spray water from the lake out through the hose on the boat – wheeee!

This is back before our trip too. The tres amigos showing off their new trophies at the end of baseball season. These three have played basketball and baseball together this year (and are in the same scout troop) – and they are all three playing football together starting in another week or two. Baseball was great for Christopher – he really improved a ton which was fun to watch.

Today was the model rocket event for our scout pack. I was in charge of organizing it this year. Today started off with thunder storms (last night) and a windy & very cloudy morning. I went to the field early today to test a few rockets and see how the field was. There were clouds all around us and I was very, very close to postponing the rocket event until tomorrow. The weather forecasters were all saying to do your indoor stuff today and that tomorrow would be beautiful. Well…I took a chance on the weather clearing and it did just that. We had a beautiful day and a great rocket event. Maybe about 20 scouts showed up and it seemed like everyone had a good time. I enjoy building new rockets and then launching them. I had two unique rockets this year that were crowd pleasers 🙂

Here’s the Decaffinator. It is made out of styrofoam cups that I hot-glued together. I had no idea how well this rocket would fly but it actually flew very straight and was fun to watch. After its second launch the first 4 cups broke off…but I was still able to launch it one more time – just as a much shorter version. The kit showed a picture of a 14′ rocket made out of 116 cups…maybe I’ll work on that one for next year 🙂

And here’s a 2-stage flying saucer. It has two motors – so it went up a bit, paused, and then the 2nd engine ignited. At that point the saucer split into two separate pieces – the first piece falls back to earth and the 2nd piece shoots up even higher. One of the coolest things about this “rocket” was that as each piece fell back down they spun in a cool way (and slow and straight enoug that scouts caught them each time).

I was very relieved to pull off a successful rocket event this year and am already looking forward to next year.

Mom & Dad – Stay strong! You’re in our prayers every day. Keep those attitudes positive and this will all be behind us soon enough!

Wow – lots of photos! This post got to be quite long – wake up now!!!!!

5 Responses to “Friends and family edition”

  1. Brooks Thompson says:

    Wow, you sure had a fun, action-packed vacation. I’m so glad you got some good pictures with Grandma T. You all looked great! Sure looked like everyone had fun in the pool at the Egold’s. Did you forget to include a picture of Jackie doing dives into the pool???? The picture of all your old room mates was great – did Shipper ever get married? Colleen is getting so much older looking – her hair looks longer and curly. She’s a pretty young lady and is looking more and more like Beth all the time!!! I can’t believe Megan actually had a PINK top on in her birthday picture. I thought that was a NO-NO!!! Christopher looked like he was having fun swabbing the deck, getting his trophy and at the rocket launch. Looked like you did a great job organizing the event. That was so nice of you all to make luminaries for dad – we did the same at the walk here in Nashua this year. Glad you’re all safe and sound at home again and enjoying the rest of summer before school starts. I love seeing your blog and all the pictures. Love, Mom

  2. Dad and Grandpa T says:

    Ditto for me on the pics and update – WOW, what a summer it’s been.

    So glad yours was great and that we had a chance to visit with part of your family. I like your idea for a 2012 Minnesota vacation. Another “carrot” for me to get healthly again and when I get around to it another item for the “list.”

    The summer (and year) of 2011 will be one I will gladly get behind me. A few months ago I never thought of myself as a “human pin (needle) cushion.” Last Fri. in Lebanon they took 15 viles of blood – a new record for me (it had been 8). It’s bad enough with all the labs, but injecting myself twice a day doesn’t add much fun. So far, Beth has never let me down, so I’m still trusting her word that it’s OK to keep injecting the drug derived from E coli. To be honest, the first time was a real test of my faith in God and trust in the medical team caring for me.

    I won’t go into detail on the photos. Mom’s comments covered them well. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed them all and also so glad that your family and Daniel’s were able to see Grandma again and share some good times in Rochester and Indy. One photo I must comment on is the one of the luminaries. Very touching and appreciated. It’s the “carrot” of the thoughts and prayers of family and friends that will pull me through this and make this fight worth fighting. Thank you so much!

    Will close for now. Hopefully, we’ll still be able to get your blog updates in the future. I went to Staples yesterday and bought some goodies. Our Comcast service hasn’t been very reliable, so I bought a new router to eliminate that as a source of trouble. I bought some other goodies too – just doing my part to keep the economy treading water. The new router should also enable my new tablet to connect to the internet. I could connect at the hospital so I know it’s not the pad. As soon as I log off I plan to start plugging in the new stuff. Hope it all works – wish me luck and thanks again for the update.


    Dad & Grandpa T.

  3. Dad and Grandpa T says:

    One other thing. I was looking at your blog tonight – please tell Christopher that I especially liked his picture with Grandma T – he has a real nice smile AND his teeth are showing. Also, please tell Megan she still has a pretty smile (even though there are some spaces in front right now).
    Tell ‘m all to keep smiling and I’ll do the same – I do whenever I think of our seven young gems (in MN, MA & NH).

    One reason I was looking at your blog was to see if I could easily copy your pics to print and put in the digital photo frame – found out that it is really quite simple and the paper print quality is good. So, another project to add to my list when I can’t go out this fall.

    Just to update you. I spent 26 hours in the hospital this weekend. Nothing serious or unsual. Just folloiwng doctor’s orders. They anticipate temps to rise during this treatment when white blood cells are nil. When my temp reached the point they said I called and was told to get to the ER. Probably wasn’t all bad as I hadn’t been sleeping for several nights before. Besides catching up on my sleep, the oconolgist I started with and had to leave because she isn’t part of our health care providers was on duty Sunday. She came in and sat down and we had a chance to chat awhile. She is Indian and gets an A++ from me for bedside manner and calming patients in sometimes difficult and emotional times. You can understand why I would not want to leave her care, but the care I’ve had since I consider top also.

    Didn’t intend to go on this much, so will close and head to bed.

    Well, just one more thing while I’m thinking of it. While I was looking at your blog this afternoon I looked at the pic of Beth with the congratulations sign. Is she now working for Beckman Coulter? From the date of the pic I assumed that’s her current employer. I looked at the website and now have full confidence when I inject the 2 shots of E coli into me. Not that I didn’t trust her Purdue education and degrees, but that company seems to very much involved in making people like me better. Tell her thanks and keep up the good work.

    That’s really it for now – goodnight.

  4. Purdue Pete says:

    Hey. It’s great to get so many responses – thanks for all the comments. This weekend escaped from us, sorry I didn’t call towards the end of the week. I went out Sunday to pick weeds for an hour and came back inside 8 hours later (and still had to mow after that). Glad you at least got to talk to your initial doctor while in the hospital and glad you’re doing well. Yep, Beth works for Beckman – well, Danaher now (they acquired Beckman earlier this year). I think Danaher also makes Craftsman Tools so they are a bit diversified beyond just medical equipment. I think if you want to get auto-notifications when my blog is updated that you scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the RSS link. Hopefully that takes care of it and makes it easier to see updates and comment responses. Get some sleep and keep staying strong and well!!!

  5. Dad and Grandpa T says:

    Craftsman tools too? I was told when startting at Lowe’s that the same company that makes Craftsman also makes Kobalt for Lowe’s. Any truth to that rumor that you know of? Really doesn’t matter and I have plenty of time to try to check it out. I’ll also take a look at the RSS link.

    For now I need to get to bed and try to give my remaining stem cells a rest and chance to build after losing 12,000,000 of their buddies today. Yeah!! – I’m so thankful for those results.

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