Busy At the Markhams

No lazy summer days here…though we are fitting in tons of summer fun:) Since coming back from the beach, we have been doing school work (trying to get ahead to make up for when we go to Australia in the fall).
Jack spent five days at Go Tell Camp with other youth from church. He came back happy, tired, and full of stories about the inspirational messages he heard while he was there.
While Jack was at camp, Katrina’s friend, Kaley, spent most of that time with us (and many days thereafter). The girls have been taking full advantage of summer and enjoying being able to visit and play as much as they want to. One day while Jack was at camp, we met some 4-H friends and went swimming at Miller Park Pool.

For the 4th of July, we planned to go on a cool hike that is held every year here in Bedford County. It is a sunset hike up to the top of Sharp Top Mountain. . Normally there are two ways to get to the top of Sharp Top. Ride a bus that lets you off near the top or hike up from the bottom. I have never ridden the bus, we have always hiked. On the 4th of July, they let people walk up the road to the top. Once at the top, you can see fireworks displays from a multitude of surrounding communities. However, the weather deterioriated and we weren’t looking forward to driving an hour only to be told the hike was cancelled or worse, get on the top of the mountain in a Thunderstorm…so we stayed home and lit up our own fireworks. We did fireworks for an hour and had a blast. One of the benefits of living on a country road!

The week after the fourth, we spent running the roads. Jack had an orthodontist appointment, the kids had piano lessons. They both had friends to come visit. Jack enjoyed being able to spend time with his friend, Eric, who we hadn’t been able to catch up with for a few months. Jack got a hair cut. I got a perm. We got the piano tuned. And we went to Miller Park Pool again.

Then we got to the week of the 13th. I took my Xterra to get the oil changed and tires rotated before our trip to Illinois. We bathed the dogs..boy, that was fun! Ginger absolutely, positively hates water… Plato loves it though!
Then on the 15th, we hopped in the Xterra and headed for Roanoke. First we met some homeschool friends and Bruce, my oldest, at The Red Palace for an excellent Chinese buffet. We were on a bit of a schedule, so we arrived about 10 minutes before opening time (11) and at 5 minutes til, we realized the door was open. We spoke with the people inside and they said we could come on in. So we sat down to a yummy lunch. At exactly 11:45, Carole told us it was time to wrap it up and move on. We paid and headed ‘across town’ to get to the Valley View Grande Cinema. We all had used Fandango to get tickets for the 12:20 showing of Harry Potter: The Half-Blood Prince. After the movie, we talked a few moments, then headed our separate ways. The movie was good for what it was. You really can’t compare the movies to the books because they leave out so much.
We left with Bruce and headed back to his apartment. The kids played Wii and we talked and visited for a few hours. Ryan got back from work around 5:30 and we visited some more before heading to Red Robin for dinner. I love, love, love their hamburgers! Then we headed home. About 30 minutes into our hour long drive, we ran into traffic. There had been an accident. We sat there for awhile thinking we would be allowed through, but we learned that a car had flipped and both lanes were blocked, so we turned around and found an alternate route home. It took us 2 hours total to get home that night.
Then on the 16th, we were up early as we were headed to meet 4-H friends at Holliday Lake State Park in Appomattox. It is about an hour drive and we had some stops to make along the way. When we were 1/2 way there, we ran into sprinkles. It was overcast and we were not happy that the rain that was supposed to arrive later in the day looked like it might show up earlier. But, fortunately, there were never more than sprinkles and by early afternoon the sun was out and it was a beautiful day! We swam, jumped off the dock, and rented paddleboats. When we went to the boat house to rent the paddle boats, I indulged in my Monopoly and playing card obsessions. They had a Virginia State Park Monopoly which I bought, they also had some really cool playing cards – I bought three decks! One had birds, one had vegetables and one had flowers.

The paddleboat adventure was fun. We took turns. When Katrina and I came back in from our turn, we paddled up to the dock and then I reached over to hook us up. As luck would have it, the boat moved backward at the same time. I was leaning forward and fell into the lake…the bottom was slimy, my pride was in tatters, but I was fine! There was no way to climb out onto the dock, so I had to swim around the point to the swimming area. A life guard came over to fuss at me until I told her what had happened… Boy, was I a bit embarrassed!
Well, one more cool thing happened before we disembarked for Illinois, but that will be another entry.

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