Both Steffen and Joey's dental checkups did not go very well. Steffen had two cavities and Joey had one. Of course, Steffen's cavities had to be on opposite sides of the mouth and would require two appointments. I was able to squeeze one appointment in before camp, but the second appointment will have to wait until after camp. Also, when teeth are being cleaned the wire for the braces is removed, so this required a trip to the orthodontist to remove the wire, a trip to the dentist for cleaning, and then a trip back to the orthodontist to put the wires back on. In addition, the orthodontist and the dentist are on opposite sides of the peninsula. Run, run, run.
I also took Joey to see the optometrist for a yearly eye exam. Steffen has already had his earlier in the school year, after his glasses had broke and we had to replace them. As far back as Kindergarten, I have been saying that I thought Joey was color blind, but was dismissed. What does it take for school districts to listen to mother's when it comes to their children? Mother's are always right! He failed the color test at his last appointment. The doctor believes he has a blue-green deficiency. Not sure yet, if anything, we can do about his color blindness, but good to finally have a diagnosis.
My sister, Elizabeth and her family arrived Friday evening and stayed with us until Monday, when they boarded a plane, heading to Alaska for a few days in Anchorage and Denali, followed by an Alaskan cruise.
The following week, I picked up Michael from his mini-mission in Tacoma. The week was filled with shopping, shopping, and more shopping, but first he had to be released as a missionary for the Washington - Tacoma mission, then he had an interview with the Bishop, followed by an interview with the Stake President and was found to be worthy to go to the temple and receive his endowments. My sister, Cathy had arrived a few days prior with her youngest son, Spencer, and because my mother has night blindness and can not drive at night, I went to the airport to pick her up. It was a very long evening, as her flight had been delayed and did not arrive until 2:00 am. I had also squeezed in an appointment with my cardiologist. I have been very, very fatigued and not just because of all the running around. I just don't seem to have any energy at all and several friends and family members have made the comment how tired I look. He's not very happy with how fast my heart rate is and upped the dosage of my medication, but one of the side effects is tiredness. I think it's more than that. With being in consent a-fib, my heart and lungs are working harder and it's just hard to find stamina to do housework or enjoy a quick hike. He's scheduled a echocardiogram for me in late October.
I have to give a huge shout-out to Bartels and CTR Clothing in Chehalis, Washington. Joe again delivered for us. He was able to find Michael another suit in a very timely matter, was able to squeeze us in for a fitting and hemmed the pants while we ate lunch. We also purchased more white shirts and blacks socks. I highly recommend CTR Clothing for those seeking missionary attire. Then it was a trip to Wal-Mart to buy a couple new suitcases and a stop at Famous Footwear for a new pair of dress shoes. My sister could not believe how long it took us to go shopping, but when we live in the boonies - anywhere is a drive.
On Saturday, Michael went to the temple with Grandma and Grandpa and his aunt Cathy. Ed and I went for a nice drive and ended up visiting the Seattle Japanese Garden. We had a wonderful stroll through the gardens on a beautiful Seattle summer day. Then we took Michael out to a celebration dinner. On Sunday, he gave a wonderful talk in Sacrament meeting and several friends remarked how mature he had become in just three short months. It was also a day of miracles, as some church members gave both him and us money to help him on his mission. Praise Him! On Tuesday evening, we met with President Fields, so Michael could be set apart as a full-time missionary for the Utah - Salt Lake City mission. It was a very moving prayer and the Spirit was very strong in that room. We were all moved. Our time with Michael was too short, and after driving him to the airport early Wednesday morning, we tearfully said good-bye to him. Boy, do I miss that kid!
Unfortunately, this was the same weekend as Ed's mother's 80th birthday celebration (even through her birthday is July 30th). All his brothers and sisters and their families attended, but we were unable to make the trip to Idaho. However, this past weekend, because Ed had a four-day weekend because of his furlough, and we made the 7 1/2 hour drive to Grangeville, Idaho to spend a few days with his mother and to work on some family history research. We had a great visit and then even was able to stop and visit his sister, Carleen before heading home. The drive home was pretty uneventful, say for a funny story about a large bug that flew through an open window and being in ugly stop and go traffic between Cle Elem and Easton, Washington. Now I remember why I avoid Snoqualmie Pass - traffic is just ugly on the weekends coming over the mountains. Yet another example why this state NEEDS more lanes!! We also saw thick billowing clouds from a huge wildfire burning near Wenatchee. Fire danger is extreme as it has been a very dry summer.
We arrived home late evening and then I turned right back around to drive my sister Cathy, her husband, Tristen, and son, Spencer to the airport for a late red-eye flight and their flight had been delayed an hour before we even arrived.
The previous week, all the families made a long day trip to Mt. Rainier. Again the weather did not disappoint. It was gorgeous at Paradise and we enjoyed hiking a couple short waterfall trails. Elizabeth and family had to dash off in the early afternoon, so Ted could start his new job and they could close on their new house. The rest of the family continued puttering around the mountain and we even visited a few sights we had not seen before, then a drive to the Ohanapecosh visitor center (which was closed because of sequester) and Cathy and family headed towards Wenatchee for week of family camping and Ed and I with Grandma and Joey headed home.
This week, Joey is attending Boy Scout camp at Camp Habobas. This will be his first year, although he wasn't exactly thrilled about going, I hope he has a great time. Ed went with him yesterday, to help him get registered, set-up his tent, and get him signed up for classes. He will be taking a pathway to Tenderfoot class, Environmental Science, Chess, and Fishing. I know, he's always begging us to take him fishing, but neither Ed nor I fish, so I am sure he's going to have fun.
I was looking forward to some time alone this week. To catch up on writing and housework; however, last night my dad got really sick and we had to pick him up from camp. Unfortunately, we could not find an after hours clinic open late last night on the peninsula and he didn't want to go to the emergency room, so I drove him home. Him and my mom went to see his primary doctor this morning. I don't know anything else, yet. Makes me mad, that several years ago, before congress shoved the Unaffordable Healthcare Act down our throats, we were assured we could keep the same doctors, could keep the same coverage and insurance providers. Well, here in Mason county, where we live, all insurers have left and are not offering coverage, except Group Health, and there isn't a Group Health clinic in the county!! My parents did not have a choice, but to switch to Group Health. Ugh!
Steffen and Sarah have another week of working at scout camp and then Sarah flies home to Florida. Steffen will be attending band camp the following week. Joey has asked for swimming lessons, so I need to look into who offers them in August - I think the Navy base does. Tomorrow, Michael leaves the MTC and heads off to Utah-Salt Lake City Mission. On top of everything else going on, my laptop stopped holding a charge. Now waiting for a new battery. Hoping it arrives soon. I am going through withdrawals!