Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Jam Packed June and Lots of Pictures

Anyone know where June went?

I think I remember seeing it fly by...anyone else?

Here's our June in a nutshell...

We went to Wimberly with the Garratts.

We decided to each stay in a camper down by the river.

Anyone thinking of Chris Farly right now?

The Feldmans let us borrow their camper and their son for our trip.

We left College Station with a hee-honking camper trailer behind our Expedition.

About 45 minutes into the trip, it was obvious...our car was not doing well. Our car was WELL within the range for being able to haul the camper trailer...so something weirdo was happening, for sure.

Obviously, our vehicle only likes being close to home. When driving around our town, it's perfectly fine. When we start to leave our town...it throws a fit.

We stopped and put the trailer on the back of the Garratt's Suburban, so our car could have a little rest.

Things seemed to be fine....for about thirty minutes.

Then, our car started knocking...dying...stalling...shaking...

And then it died for real.

Cardiac arrest on the side of the road.

So there we are...half way between home and our destination.

It's already about 9 p.m.

We have 6 kids in our car.

We're far from home, in the middle of NOWHERE...really...nothing but farmland and road in sight.

Could things get any worse?

This is our life we're talking about here, so yes...the answer is yes...things can always get more and more ridiculous. Until we've hit "unbelievable" then the story is never over.

We pull over, with our dead car and find out our vehicle has decided to give up the ghost right in the middle of a TORNADO WARNING.

Do you know what a tornado warning is?

It means an actual tornado has been spotted.

What on earth are we going to do?

In the middle of tornado winds...I'm not joking...they were so strong at some points, I could not get my car door open, or the door on the camper trailer open.

Wind and dirt were flying everywhere...and so was some rain.

In the middle of all that, we have to first, get all the stuff out of the Garratt's suburban into the camper trailer they are pulling for us, then all of our stuff out of our car into the camper trailer and then all six of our kids, carseats and all into the Garratt's Suburban.

That's so much fun to do in the middle of a tornado.

And, some litter bug had thrown a poop diaper out on the side of the road, and we just happened to break down right next to it. I know this seems minor, but I'm just saying...when your car breaks down late at night, in the middle of a tornado, and you have to jump over a diaper filled with poo during your 100 trips back and forth loading up children and luggage...well, it just seems like a cruel joke.

So now it's time to play a little game...

How long does it take to get from College Station to Wimberly?

2 hours you say?

No, I'm sorry...you're wrong. It takes 5 hours.

How many people can a Suburban hold?

7 you say?

Thanks for playing but a Suburban can hold 12 people.

We left our car on the side of the road, and decided to head OUT of the tornado and get to Wimberly.

Aaron and I were in the very back of the Suburban for the remainder of the trip. As soon as things settled down, I said, "Honey...why is our life always so ridiculous?"

All he could do was shake his head. He looked a little green, thinking about our engine needing to be replaced. Apparently, we could adopt a kid and a half for what engines cost.

Mike was in the front seat, and we hear him say...

"It's so weird. It never hardly rains around here."

I said to Aaron, "I feel so sorry for them. We shouldn't do things with people, because then our weird life becomes their weird life."

And that's when it started to hail. Really. It started hailing on us...big chunks of ice falling out of the sky.

I hear Mike say, "Is that hail?"

I said to Aaron..."Of course it's hail. I swear, I think people think we make this stuff up. I hate that the Garratts are involved in this, but we have proof...this junk really happens to us."

I really wish sometimes that I didn't have so much to write about.

So, we left our car on the side of the road in Bastrop, and finally arrived in Wimberly.

It was late.

By this time, it was POURING rain.

Yes...you got it.

We had to set up the camper trailers and unload everything and everyone in a downpour.

Did we mention this was our very first time to EVER use a camper trailer? We had no idea what we were doing...and wow...it's fun to figure out how to set up a camper trailer in the middle of the night, with sleepy, crabby kids while God dumps buckets of water on top of the whole chaotic scene.

After that nightmare, we actually ended up having a great couple days at the river. But, we had to figure out how to get our cranky car home.

Mike's parents drove two vehicles up to Wimberly. How nice is that? Mike pulled the trailer home with one of the trucks. We drove the Suburban. My sweet brother met us in Bastrop and loaded our broken car on a big trailer. At this point, it's about 103 degrees, and Aaron, Mike and Jason had to be out in that heat, for HOURS getting the car loaded up on the trailer. Maybe Aaron can explain in the comment section how he almost died at this point. I don't like to think about it or talk about it...but not joking...the man could have died.

Then, in one of the most amazing feats I've ever witnessed, my super hero brother backed that trailer up, with our huge Expedition on it into our long, hilly drive way...effortlessly. He's such a stud.

Although a lot of crappy things happened during our "vacation" I came home overwhelmed by how blessed we are. We honestly have the best friends and family people could ever hope to have in their lives.

Once home, it was confirmed...our engine was completely broken, something unheard of for the age of our car. We had to replace it. That normally can cost about $8,000.

Good thing my husband, Sherman, Mike and Aaron Landin are also super heroes, because those guys bought an engine and replaced our broken one for a fixed one by themselves.


I think replacing an engine in an Expedition is probably equivalent to performing open heart surgery or something.

They took my entire car apart and put it back together.

I'm convinced...there is absolutely nothing Aaron can't do.

Our bratty car is back on the road once again.

Here are pics from Wimberly, from the Texas Red's Festival and from our day trip to Barton Springs.

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What a crazy month!


Jessica said...

I'm sad I missed the Barton Springs trip. Can we plan the next Austin trip when Jessica's in town?

Molly said...

I love your stories! So sorry they happen to you, but they are pretty hilarious to read about. I agree with you about the engine being much like heart surgery. That's incredible! Love those pictures and Hudson's hair looks great momma!

Bob & Judy said...

Love seeing pics of those handsome fellas! And you look great in your modest swimsuit, by the way.

I don't know what we would all do if - some generations back - the Hendrick men hadn't learned to do absolutely everything. Thank you, Grandpa Hendrick for teaching Poppi, and Poppi for teaching Aaron. The gift goes on.

Hope you're feeling better. Much love. Grandma

lisasmith said...

You make me laugh so hard !!

Brooke said...

wow. the stories get better and better. i'm just glad that my family is a half-generation older than your family. if we were the same, we would've all been friends and the Brandon family stories come close to nightmares sometimes.... Bev and Heather together would've been trouble with a capital T. but this is what life is made of... and it's these stories that allow us to have tears in our eyes from fits of laughter every time the Brandon clan is together now in our "grown-up" years.... your boys will have a TON to tell in their time too! :)

Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

You are a WONDERFUL writer (and mom, wife, daughter and friend). I'm sorry that your month was so tough, but it is HILARIOUS reading about your experiences. The way you write, you could make the mundane interesting....but to have all of this REALLY happen, WOW! Have you ever thought about checking the weather forecast before you leave home? Just a thought..... THANKS for the HILARIOUS updates. I hope July is MUCH calmer for you!

D.O. said...

Audible laughter in a coffee shop... well done.

I miss y'all more than I miss almost anything, by the way.