It has been a long time since Meg has posted in this blog so I was thinking that maybe I would take a stab at it. Since her last update we have mostly been rather tamely spending our winters in Florida and summers in Kansas, parked at my mom's old farmstead.
We found a nice park in Florida for the last two winters, right across the river from Kennedy Space Center. We watched rocket and shuttle launches and made friends within a tight-knit community of "snowbirds" who winter there every year. We also met some local families with kids near the boys' ages.
Last fall we made an excursion to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Turns out we have family there that flies balloons, so within moments of the first event we were helping to launch and chase balloons. It is great fun being part of a chase crew and the plan is to attend every year. Meg and Billy returned to Albuquerque in March to help "our Jan" with her goats kidding. Meg got to play midwife to several deliveries and seems to have really enjoyed the experience.
The side trip to Albuquerque is an example of the "away missions" we have been taking, where a subset of the family jets off to another part of the country for a few days to a few weeks. This has helped us all pursue some of our individual interests, and gives us some necessary time outside the five-person family dynamic. Meg took all three boys to Maryland last summer, and often visits friends on her own while the boys and I hold down the fort.
The boys are growing and generally doing well. The summers in Kansas are some of their favorite times. Who can complain about playing at the pool with your friends for hours a day? I really like the pool as a social activity. The kids get lots of exercise and social interaction. They end up playing games that, while competitive, are much more about everyone just having fun. While they still play together most of the time, they also have a chance to spend time with their own special friends.
Meg and I are still really enjoying our RV lifestyle, although the last couple of years have been a lot more sitting still than traveling. We have managed to visit our friends in Mississippi (who we met on the road back in 2008), helped with my mom's move to Houston, and seen and done lots more than all the fun stuff I already mentioned.
I have had kind of a slow summer as in mid-April I managed to smash off the end of my left pinkie. That put me on bed rest for a couple of weeks and made it hard to do much of anything all summer. It was all I could do to drive a grain truck for a friend during harvest.
Right now we are visiting (without our RV) in Maryland. Meg's expatriate brothers were both in town and there was a small family reunion event. We kept finding reasons to extend our visit, and we have now stayed over a month! It will be nice to be back "home" soon.