Monday, April 6, 2009

Catch that boat!!!

Our Spring break was a few weeks ago, and what an adventure it was. We had planned on going to Puerto Rico, and up until on the way to the boat, did the kids figure out we weren't going to Puerto Rico. A couple of days before we left, Ivan and I decided to go on a cruise instead. We called around, compared prices, and got a pretty good deal, but I said, let's not tell the kids. So, we kept it a secret until we were in the taxi from the airport in New Orleans to the dock to get on the boat. When we were making our reservations, and comparing prices, 1 or 2 people told me, that we could start getting on the boat at 3:00 and it left at 5:00. We got to the dock at 4:05, thinking we were doing just fine on the time, and the boat was un-tied, and pulling away from the dock. After spending a couple of hours in the boat terminal, it was determined that really the only option we had, was to catch up to the boat. We spent Monday night in New Orleans, most of the day Tuesday was spent in airports. Since we fly stand-by, we have to do carry on for all of our luggage. And if the airplane allows it, a lot of times we will gate check our luggage. When we got off the plane in Houston, Kimball's bag was not at the gate check to pick up. We let Kimball go and try to find it, and partly because of that, and partly because we were now flying on a different airline, we missed the flight to Progresso, Mexico. We spent Tuesday night in Houston. Wednesday morning we flew to Cozumel, Mexico. We spent the day kind of relaxing, and playing on the beach at the all-inclusive resort we stayed at. The next morning when we woke up, we could see our boat from our motel. We did some souvenior shopping, then got on the boat around 1:00 Thursday afternoon. It pulled out of dock at 4:00, and we stayed on the boat until it got into New Orleans on Saturday morning. So, all in all our Spring break was pretty stressful! We wanted to go on a relaxing vacation when we got back! Marshal was thankful he was in Florida with his cousin. Quin was in military school.

Entertaining the kids in one of the many airports we were in

Yeah!! We made it to Cozumel!!.

After souvenir shopping, before getting on the boat.

Putt-putt on the top deck of the boat.

Ours is the one on the left.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quick run down of our happenings

Ok, I don't know how to add pictures at the end of what I have typed. So, enjoy the pictures, then keep scolling down for a little update.

Ivan and I at my first UK basketball game.

Orin made it to the county spelling bee. He came in first in his class, and second in his school, and through 2 rounds at the county.

Ivan and Orin playing with the Legos that Patrick got for his birthday.

Me, being goofy, with a pair of Lukas' sunglasses on that he got for his birthday.

Legos, again

Lukas turns 16!!

Kimball giving Patrick a piggy back ride up to bed.

Orin and Ivan playing a quick game of foosball before bed.

Ok, so it has been quite a while since I have had the time to write anything on here. Here is a quick run-down of things going on in the Armstrong house. Ivan is still working for the airlines, (for now), they let quite a few people go, and we thought he was going to be let go as well, but they decided to keep him on. So, since he/we still have flying privileges, we are going to Puerto Rico for Spring break next week. I have entered to run a half-marathon that is exactly one month from today. My mom, 2 sisters, 2 brothers and I are all doing it together. Kimball may also run it, depending on how his knee feels. Also, this Saturday I am going to a scrapbook convention in Louisville. YEAH for me!! Kimball has gone these past 2 days to take the test for his GED. He thinks he did pretty good on it. He is also doing some volunteer work at Eastern State Mental Hospital, and is liking that. Quin is in Fort Knox, Ky., at the Bluegras Challenge Academy. It is a program ran by the National Guard. He will be able to earn his GED, and some college credits. He started it in Jan., came home a couple of weekends ago, will get to come home one weekend a month from now on, and graduates in June. He is doing pretty good in the program. Lukas is liking the curb out in front of our house, to practice his skateboard moves on. He has decided to not take marching band next summer/school year. I would like to see him stay with it, but it does free up our summer quite a bit. Marshal has started playing LaCrosse, and really likes it. I didn't get to see his first game, but some friends of ours from church, said that he played really well. He also goes with Ivan in the mornings a few days a week to play basketball. Nicole had her first year of church Young Women's basketball. She is also currently playing soccer. Rebecca is on her first official ball team. She is playing soccer, and loving it! Orin and Patrick played basketball, and they are also playing soccer. Rebecca, Orin, & Patrick are all on the same soccer team. Orin and Patrick have also started baseball. (I know I'm crazy for letting them play 2 sports at the same time, and that kind of goes against our "rules", of only doing one thing at a time.) Oh, well, it's not as bad, since Kimball can drive and help run kids around. So, that is just a quick little run down of our lives.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Some recent pictures

Some recent pictures for Project 365.

This is all of what is left of our 18 foot cedar Christmas tree. I'm glad that we have tile floors, it makes cleaning up the needles a little bit easier. But, it still took all day to take all the decorations off, cut up the tree, and put it on the curb. Our garbage men didn't take it, so we had to cut it up some more, and we will be putting it out again this week.

It was cold and rainy, so we decided to bring in Ewok, (the dog), inside for a little while. We tied him up to one of our pillars in the front room, so he had limited range of motion. Oreo, (the cat), doesn't really care for Ewok very much, but we think that he liked that he could just stay out of Ewok's reach.

Saturday morning, Quin woke up to his bedroom flooded. Water had even leaked out into the rec room area of the basement. We dried it up as best as we could, then called somebody on Monday morning. They told us that the floater on our sewage pump had gone bad. The floater is the part that causes the pump to kick on when the water level rises, and pumps the water out to the street sewer. So, obviously, we couldn't keep the carpet, even if we had been able to get all the water out. We will proably put tile down, in case something ever were to happen again.

Two of Ivan's partners, Rick & Jay Mohler, came out for a few days to meet and discuss things. I took this picture from our balcony.

This is Nicole after her all city concert. She was fifth chair.

This is not a very good picture of me, but, I think it shows us having fun on a Sunday evening, playing spoons.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More tree story, and other stuff

A litle bit more on putting our tree up. So we tried to hoist it up in front of the window, but we couldn't get it more than a few feet off the ground. Lukas, Nicole, and I were trying to keep the bucket (what we used for the tree stand), from sliding, as everyone else tried to lift it up, but the bucket kept sliding further and further along the wall in front of the window. At one point Nicole got trapped between the tree and the wall. So, then we went to plan B, which was to have a couple of boys stand up on the balcony, tie a rope around the tree, and have them lift the tree, while the rest of us pushed and arranged it in the bucket, then trying to scoot it over in front of the window. Well, once we got it upright, we started to scoot it, but it was too tall, and wouldn't make it under a part of the vaulted ceiling. So, then on to plan C, and that was to tie it and leave it right where it was. It is tied to the pillar with tie-downs and ropes. The whole thing was actually quite funny, and we were all laughing. All in all I think the tree looks pretty good, but I think the one we get next year will be a few feet shorter.

I am ordering a scrapbooking kit called Project 365. You are supposed to take a picture everyday of the year, and write a little note about it. So, I am going to try and keep up with that on here.

This picture was taken on Dec. 28, 2008. (I took two of them, and mom's eyes were closed in both.) We had my mom and J.R. over for dinner. We had pulled pork, corn, baked potatoes, and brownies & ice cream, to eat. While we were in the great room visiting and talking, Patrick was driving his remote control Hummer he had gotten for Christmas, up and down ramps he had made. Marshal also got out a remote control car, and was driving it around. So, it was kind of loud, but nothing too unusual for a house full of boys. J.R. came from a family of mostly boys, and my mom kept saying, that she just wasn't as used to this, meaning all of the racquet.
This picture was taken Dec. 29, 2008. It is of Rebecca, (9 years old), and my niece, Ella Kate Cooper, (4 1/2 years old). We had my dad, Arlene, my brother Timmy and his wife, Jennifer and their daughter,Ella Kate, my brother Daniel, and his girlfriend Megan over for dinner. We had Papa John's Pizza and pineapple cream cheese desert to eat. It was fun to sit around the table and talk, and laugh. Ella Kate had a lot of fun playing with Rebecca, and was upset when it was time to leave. It's so nice having family close by to visit with and see.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting our tree

For the third year now, we went out to my mom's 15 acres, which was an old Christmas tree farm. Since moving into a bigger house, with taller ceilings, we decided to get a taller/bigger tree this year. However, it was VERY hard to get it put up where you would usually put a tree, in front of a window. So, we strapped, tied, roped, it to one of our concrete pillars and banister.

Does it fit? Is it too tall?

Nope, it will work just fine right here!

Ivan is doing quite well with his recovery. He says that he is about 80-85%. Tomorrow we go to get a pin put in his right pinky, to repair a torn tendon. (A basketball injury.) It has to stay in for 8 weeks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Has it really been a month already?

Yes, it has been a month since Ivan's surgery. We went to the follow up appointment with the dr. last week. Everything looks/sounds good. A couple of things the dr. said, there is a possibility that he may not have to have this valve replaced, that it could do him out. They have been using these type of valves for 15-20 years. The dr. also said that if he were to go to a dr., that wasn't aware of his replaced valve, the dr. may not know that he has a fake one in. He is still taking a few pain pills during the day, and can drive as long as he hasn't taken any pain meds for 4-6 hours. He has more and more energy everyday, but can still get tired. We were talking last night, comparing this surgery to the first, and he is SO much farther along than the first time around. He was still on IV antibiotics, and maybe oxygen at this point. So, all in all, things are going well.

We are busy getting ready, and excited, for our company that is coming for Thanksgiving. Then, before you know it, it will be time to start getting ready for Christmas.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ivan's Surgery

As some of you may know Ivan's mechanical aortic heart valve that he has had in for 9 1/2 years, has been leaking for some time now. So, we have known that it was going to have to be replaced. Well, this past summer, one of the wires, (that were put in to hold his bone together after the first surgery), came un-twisted. We didn't think too much about it, but went to the cardiac surgeon. He told Ivan that he could put him a little bit under and take out the 3-4 loose wires, or put him all the way under and go on and replace the leaky valve. After praying and fasting about it, we decided that it was time to go on and have a new valve put in. Dr. Robert Salley is the one who performed the surgery. He is very well known, one of the drs. that Ivan consulted with when we lived in Cheyenne, Wy., have heard of Dr. Salley. You couldn't find anything neutral, much less negative, about him. So, on Oct. 17, 2008 he underwent open heart sugery for the second time. The surgery lasted for about 5 1/2 hours, and went well. The dr. said that there were 2 healed bulges/abcesses (no infection at all), and the leak that we already knew about, around the old valve. The old valve was 25 millimeter, and the new one is 29 millimeter, (which is the biggest they make). His cardiologist said that we should notice a big difference in his energy level, etc. He was in ICU until Sunday evening, then in a regular room. I have stayed at the hospital with him for the past 2 nights. He is feeling pretty good, his pain is under control, he is up and walking. He got 2 units of blood yesterday. We should be able to go home tomorrow sometime.

The kids are doing pretty good, being on good behavior for our family who have been watching them. Most of them have been up here to see him. We are so grateful to have family that lives close, and are willing to pitch in and help out, and for all the yummy meals that have been provided for our family. Patrick is the age that Kimball was when Ivan had surgery the first time. I will post another update soon.