Friday, April 29, 2011

The last launch of Space Shuttle Endeavor...or not!

Wednesday night, I got Micah from the nursery then headed to Jonah's Mission Friends class to get him. My friend Emily came down the hall calling my name. She proceeded to tell me that her uncle works in the control room of NASA and 4 passes for the VIP section of the Final launch of Endeavor. She asked if I wanted to take Jonah and go with she and Mandy. Um, YEP! My only catch was finding a babysitter. That would be a LONG day and Dan was already committed to do a funeral this morning and then sing with The Florida Worship Choir tonight in Brandon, FL. So, I immediately got on the hunt for a babysitter for Micah right after I called my friend Reagan to gloat. He is a massive fan of the Shuttle program and ALL things NASA.

One of my friends gladly took Micah so I could experience this with Jonah. I dropped him off to her at 9:30 a.m. and headed to meet Mandy and Emily. Kennedy Space Center is only 80 minutes from our house but they were expecting 750,000 people on the Space Coast for this final launch. So, we had to leave WAY earlier than you typically would to go that distance.

And, the three of us are directionally challenged so we were somewhat concerned about actually getting to the place we were supposed to be. The pass we were given had no physical address, only a map. None of us read maps very well either. We were SOLELY relying on our GPS to get us to KSC then hopeful someone would direct us once we got there. We knew we would be near the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and either in front of or behind the press.

It didn't take us long to get there since we left almost 6 hours before launch time. We barely got in any traffic at all. We made our way through all of the restricted areas by just showing our pink placard. It is amazing what a piece of paper will do for you on a day like this. We followed the directions that led us near the VAB so I snapped a quick picture of it since I was unsure if we would see it again. Little did I know, we were right next to it.

We pulled into our space and got out to see our first view of the Launch Pad. As you can see, we were on the back side of the Launch pad but as soon as lift-off happened, we would have a fabulous view. You can see the orange rocket booster (?) in order to tell where the shuttle is.
There were bleachers like you see on TV for the launches, tents set up with chairs and a huge area to view the launch. Or, you could spread your blankets out and use your own chairs. We chose this option since we had a busy 4 year old with us. I packed a backpack full of things to entertain him during the long wait. He quickly opened that, dumped it out to see what was in there and then gave me his most disgusted smile when I asked for a picture.

While we were enjoying a yummy picnic lunch, this helicopter flew over, people jumped up, grabbed cameras, started clapping and cheering. We had no idea who was in it but we took pictures just like everyone else. The guy on the loudspeaker was telling who it was but we couldn't hear for all the noise. People around us said it was the team of astronauts being taken to the buses for the trip over. There were lots of people inside that copter, so who knows? They flew very low, circled several times and waved. Whoever it was certainly entertained the crowd and made us think it was someone important.

This is our view of the VAB if we looked to our left. The launch pad was in front of us and to our right a little.

Jonah was great all day long. He went with the flow and hardly even complained about the long waits and long times in the car. I knew that he really wouldn't care much about the event except the few minutes that actually surrounded lift-off but I wanted him to experience this just so he could say he did. This really was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm glad he was there.

He loves Emily and Mandy so much. He has been around them since his first day in the nursery. Mandy took him on several special outings when I was so sick last year. Emily cuts his hair. He loves them both and they love him. It makes my heart happy to see him form special relationships with people.

As were were enjoying our nice lunch, the depressed sounding man came over the intercom once more to announce this mission had been scrubbed. While it was disappointing, it was no where near as disappointing than if we had sat there another 3 hours and then it be scrubbed seconds before. We had barely even started getting excited. So, rather than be bummed, we finished our picnic lunch in order to let some of the traffic get a head start. Then, we loaded up and headed home. Except, it took us one hour to go six miles. ONE HOUR TO GO SIX MILES! Ugh!

I can only imagine how awful the traffic would have been if it had been scrubbed closer to launch or if we had seen the actual launch. The area we were in was for 1600 spectators but there were only 300-500 there. (Remember, the launch was still 3 hours away) The other public spaces had lots of people but nothing like it would have been even 1 hour later. I believe the warnings on the news of it taking 6 hours to drive what is normally 1 hour. Thus, the reason I filled up with gas on the way there.

As we were pulling out, I snapped a few pictures of the things around us. We were located right in front of the press area. It was so cool to see all of the news media there. There were TONS of satellites and antennas.

While I'm sad the launch was scrubbed today, it really was a fun day. We laughed...A LOT! We gained confidence in our directional ability. We decided to never ever use a man's restroom. Did I mention that we laughed...A LOT?? Fun day!! Hope to see you soon, Endeavor!

Our day

I'm waiting to wake Jonah up for a super memorable (and fun, I hope) day. After dropping Micah off to spend the day with a family in our church, (longest time I've been away from him) Jonah and I are meeting two friends and heading to Kennedy Space Center (along with An expected crowd of 750,000) to see the final launch of The Endeavor.

We have seen a launch from Daytona Beach, Titusville and our front yard. This time, thanks to Emily sharing 2 of her 4 VIP passes, we get to watch from the Vehicle Assembly Building on the grounds of KSC. It really is a once in a lifetime experience. Especially since this is the next to last launch...ever and the final launch of Endeavor.

Poor Dan, he is a lover of the space program but will miss it. While I would give him my spot, he is preaching a funeral this morning and singing with the Florida Worship Choir in Brandon, FL after that. So, his day of commitment would not allow him to go.

The launch is at 3:47 this afternoon but due to expected crowds, the 90 minute drive could take 3 hours. And, the drive home is expected to be 4-5 hours. So, we have packed food, a backpack of fun for Jonah and are ready for a full day.

I'm so glad for a special day with my big boy and two friends we both love so much. I love making memories with him. This will probably be a long day with lots of "boring" moments for him, but I hope the actual lift-off experience, at such a close range, is something he never forgets.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

They love each other

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The little Easter bunny

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A New way to blog

I found a great App for my IPhone that let's me do mobile blogging in a much easier platform. I'm trying it out using a couple of Instagram photos I have of Micah.

Have you used any apps for Blogging? Typically, I just email a photo to the blog then log in later to write about it. What about you? Do you mobile blog?

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"We just got some work to do!"

Most afternoons, Dan comes in from work, changes clothes, calls for his helper then goes outside to get some yard work done. Jonah always grabs his gloves and runs to help his daddy. He wants to do everything Dan does and Dan tries his best to let him.

Micah and I join them outside some of the time. I look at that little guy and realize it won't be long until he he is out there being the "chief hauler" while his brother does something else to help.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, I put a pair of shoes on Micah. We were heading to MOPs but I wanted a quick picture. Unfortunately, I could not get him to look at me because he was OBSESSED with his feet! I managed to get one picture of him looking at the camera because I put the camera even with his shoes and got down very low.

This wasn't his first pair of shoes but it is the first shoes he has worn since he started "noticing" things. I love watching him discover new things and begin to focus on them.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A blog post from Jonah

Jonah and I have have done several activities this afternoon. He has decided he wants to do a blog post. He picked one picture to post and he is going to tell me what to say. So, look under the picture for Jonah's words about it.

I want to play with Mikenzie always on the playground and Garret and Aaron. I am glad I went to Mathias' house and to a restaurant to get bouncy balls to play with. Okay? The next sentence will be short. These balls are for me to play with. And, when Daddy gets home, I'm going to play with my Spiderman Web shooter. Someday I want to go back to Nana's house with Mikenzie and make cookies again. That knife that I'm holding in my hand is to icing the cookie. I ate a lot of the icing right off that knife. That's all of the stuff. I have some more stuff to tell you. Sometimes, I would want to play with my Yoda kite. Sometimes, I want to play with my cars.

Upload it up, okay?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

We had an early morning at our house but it was so great. It is a rare occasion that we all get to go to church together since Dan leaves an hour before it begins. And, he usually has meetings all afternoon on Sunday so he takes his own car. There were no meetings today and we had lunch plans on the opposite side of town than our house. So, it just made sense to all ride together.

The boys got dressed and got to see their Easter baskets for just a few minutes before we had to rush out the door. Jonah was thrilled. Micah stared at his basket just like he stares at everything else. We could have given him a plastic straw and he would have been happy.

We got Micah a few things he would need for the upcoming months. He got three sippy cups since we will introduce that to him on his 6 month birthday. (Seriously, how is my BABY old enough to us a sippy cup?) He also got a sun hat for the beach/pool and Puffs. (Once it already time to give him puffs?) Jonah made a terrible adjustment to the sippy cup. He hated it. It appears that Micah already knows what to do with it.
Oh, how I love these three! I'm so blessed with the man God gave me to walk by my side on this journey. And, the two boys he loaned to us are just precious. I'm in awe of their sweetness and the way they remind me of God's feelings toward me. And, it really helps that they are SO cute!
The other reason we left early was to take some time to drive downtown to see all of the flowering crosses. Most every business downtown had a cross sponsored by someone in front of their business. The crosses were out on Friday but were just bare. Then, at 10 p.m. last night, people met downtown to decorate them. As people drove through DeLand this morning, they were greeted with these beautiful crosses. I love living in a town that still allows such a vivid reminder of Christ.

We took a family picture in the foyer before the first service. We obviously didn't realize just how bright the sun was in there. It was hard to get Jonah away from that cross when we finished. He had tons of questions for his daddy about the cross and the nails and the meaning. It has been so great to see his little heart being pricked and to see the questions come about Jesus and his sacrifice.

When I prayed with him Friday night, I said "...and God, please continue to draw Jonah close to you and help him come to know Jesus at an early age." He stopped me in the middle of my prayer and said "Why do you always say that. I know who Jesus is. We talk about him all the time and that is all I ever hear about at church!" Maybe I should rethink my wording.

The drool on Micah's outfit should explain to you why he most always wears a bib. I ordered these matching clothes a little too late to get Micah's monogrammed. I realized it didn't really matter because no one would see it because of the bib. But, I did take it off for a few pictures so I guess a monogram would have been nice afterall.
And, what church post would be complete without a picture of Micah and Miller? Those little cuties love each other, usually dress like each other and make their mommy's hearts so happy. We adore our little guys and so love how much their little friendship is developing. And, for all of you who know how many clothes they have that match, you should know that I actually ordered the outfit Miller is wearing for Micah to wear for Easter. There was a mix up with my order so it didn't happen. So, we would have one more set of matching clothes for these two.

After I left their room, the little kids were about to head out on their egg hunt. It seems so odd that Jonah isn't in this group anymore. He is such a big kid now. No time to be sad though because it won't be long until Micah is in this group.
I went to Jonah's Sunday School class to get him and his friend Aaron was laid out on the bean bag. Jonah came over for a picture but ended up laying down beside him. Who knew little ones could be so tired at 10:00 a.m.??

Ella was very happy to see Jonah but not so happy to have her picture taken beside him. Mathias, on the other hand, was very happy to have a picture taken with his buddy.
After church was over and the crowd died down, we took a picture in front of the cross. I wish we had one from last year but I was so sick and had to leave church early. Dan says someone took one him alone after church since we were already gone. How sad! :-( It was so great to be there as a whole family this year. (Even better that Micah was on the the outside rather than the inside where he made me so sick!)
Jonah took a picture with the Braswell ladies. He loves them so much and they are so good to him. They were all in solid colors and looked like Easter eggs.

We went to Dan's office to change clothes before heading out to Frank and Margie's house for the afternoon. I wanted a cute picture of the boys but Micah was INTRIGUED with the grass. I could not get him to look at the camera for anything!

So, I decided to lay them down in the grass. I was snapping away when I saw ants crawling on Jonah's shirt. I quickly handed Micah off to Dan and jerked Jonah up and started swatting them off of him while trying to not let him know they were there. (In case you don't know, he is highly allergic to ants and if he sees one, he totally melts down because he is so scared of the reaction!) Fortunately, he never clued in and I got them all off with no bites. Whew!
We got to Frank and Margie's house and immediately saw these yummy treats. She and Cathi are way too creative. I love how special they make things for everyone.

Micah was entertained by Jeff. Then Kelsey...Betty...Audrey...Cathi...Judy...Margie...(you get the point!) He napped for over an hour in the pack and play but other than that, he was never put down. He was passed from person to person and entertained for the 4+ hours we were there.

Several adults hid the hundred (plus) eggs while the kids waited not so patiently inside. Nicole was so sweet to help Jonah find eggs. He isn't all that aggressive in situations like this so having a little help was good for him.

I spent some sweet time on the hammock with my big boy. We talked for 20+ minutes about what he learned in Sunday School and how special Easter was. Then, Dan brought Micah out and we took a few pictures on the hammock together. Now, I want a hammock. I loved it! (Notice Jonah's smile in the next picture. I've never seen him smile like that?)
When we went out to the hammock, I didn't grab a bib. Micah started to spit up so rather than get it on his clothes, Dan grabbed him and flipped him over. The wind was blowing so hard that it all landed on me. Ugh! I would have rather it hit his clothes. ;-)

Frank and Margie had a stash of bunnies for all the kids. Jonah picked his then got to pick one for Micah. He marched right up to Micah and gave him his. That kid is all about making sure his brother gets equal treatment.

We ended our time there with Pap pushing Jonah on the hammock. We had a wonderful day with all of them. There were probably 25-30 people there and it was so much fun. We always feel so loved when we are with them. My boys think they are grandparents and they certainly treat them that way. We are blessed for knowing them and being included in their lives.
Our day ended at home with Jonah going next door to play with Jaxon while we unloaded the car and fed Micah. I walked next door to get him and ended up visiting for a few minutes while the boys finished playing. Jonah came home, took a shower, ate supper and was sound asleep by 7 p.m. Micah was out too. After this long (but wonderful) day, I have a feeling we won't be far behind them.

Easter is my most favorite holiday and this year was no exception. I love what it represents. I love celebrating a RISEN Lord. I love that my Sunday School teacher fought back tears as he talked about the sacrifice of Jesus. I love that our church service was a party celebrating what Jesus has done. I love that I can teach my boys WHY we celebrate this day. I love that I am His and He is Mine! Hallelujah, what a day!


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