Vacation recap…

Well, the Griswolds, I mean Tarapchaks, are back from vacation!!  Let’s see, what comes to mind.  Ah, yes, National Lampoon’s Vacation Part II.  Yes, it was an eventful vacation.  Let me give you a daily highlight list:

Day 1:  We were not in Florida for two hours and I tangled the rental mini van up with a fire hydrant.  The fire hydrant won by inflicting major damage to the driver’s side door.

Day 2:  If you are ever on Anna Maria Island and are traveling the back roads of said Island looking for a seafood restaurant, remember to obey all posted speed limits.  The police will pull you over and ticket you for speeding.

Day 3:  We were across the street visiting some neighbors, when Carley took a tumble off of something over at the house we were staying at.  In my haste to run over to help her, I ran through some wet grass.  When I hit the driveway, I literally hit the driveway.  My wet shoes slipped on the driveway and I went down faster then the Titanic.  At least my elbow broke my fall.  Not damage done, but a sore elbow for a few days.

Let’s see, the score is Vacation 3, Stef 0…

Day 4:  Finally, a day nothing happened to me.  Unfortunately, Carley was not so lucky today.  She took a tumble off the back of the golf cart and scraped herself up pretty good.

Day 5:  There is a major interchange of I-75 and Route 301 about a mile from where we were staying.  Today, an unfortunate accident occurred.  A tanker truck hauling fuel was run off the I-75 bridge and fell to Route 301 below.  The tanker exploded and caused major damage to the bridge above and the bridge is being shut down for weeks as it is being torn down and rebuilt.  You can read the story here.

Day 6-8:  Uneventful, thank heavens.  The only issues we had were caused by the above accident.  It caused our travel times to triple in getting anywhere.

So, we are back.  In spite of the items above, we did enjoy the beach everyday and some good restaurants.  We had a good time with the kids and, let’s face it, we made some memories for sure!! 

WOW, didn’t see this one coming…

Well, what do you say when your surgeon asks you if you want to live or die?  Uh, let me think for a minute, yep, I’ll take life.

Just got back from my surgeon appointment and it didn’t play out like I thought it would.  I have spent the last three to four weeks putting together what I am calling “The Summer of Memories”, only to have them all washed away in an instant.  I had trips planned to Chicago and Boston to see some ball games.  Another trip to Chicago with my wife and daughter.  AAHHHH!!!!  My summer is now called “The Summer of Recovery”.  I am being scheduled to have another surgery in the middle of June.  Although we have been told the cancer is growing slowly, it seems to be growing in many places that my surgeon does not like.  It is surrounding my liver, but not in the liver.  It is growing around my stomach, but not in my stomach.  It is growing in other areas and my surgeon says, let’s go and get it now.

We got rocked again today.  I was thinking I would be having surgery later this year, but the cancer is rearing it’s ugly head again and we need to fight a little harder.  I did not take this well.  I am not happy about this, but like he said, I can chose life or death and I think I like living.

So, we will reschedule the trips and I guess I get to drive Sandi crazy all summer.  Looks like I will save a bunch of money, too, as my golfing habit will be shut down this year.

Anyway, I need some prayer for some mental strength right now.  I knew this was coming, but not so soon.

REFUSING TO LOSE!!!

Gone Fishin’…

Yep, checking out for a few days to go to Florida for a deep sea fishing trip. Check out this crazy itinerary. Fourteen or so guys from my church are leaving for Pensacola, Fl on Thursday, early morning. Get up early on Friday for 10 hours of deep sea fishing. Having dinner that night at a local eatery that will prepare our fresh catch. If we get skunked, there is always a Fish-Fillet at McDonald’s. After dinner, back in the cars to drive home. Getting home about noon on Saturday. Just nuts! I am so psyched for this. I am sure I will have some great stories and pics, so look for an update in a few days. This is on my Bucket List. Well sort of. I cannot take my boys, but one year, I will. Outta here!!!

What did the King do…

Well, we are not sure of the whole story, but what we do know is that The King, aka Mr. Burger King, had a play place built into his fast food joint.  King thought it would be a great idea to have kids play after having a fine dining experience.  So far, I agree with his stance.  Why wouldn’t you want to keep patrons in your eatery for as long as possible.

Although there were no witnesses to the accident, we have proof that my Cinderella, did in fact break her finger playing in noted play place. Not sure if the King did it or not, but I have my suspicions.

Here is my little princess with her splint on the little finger of her left hand.

Gas Prices…

Yep, this is what my piggy bank looked like after I bought gas this morning!!

Still Learning To Receive…

Still a very hard lesson to learn. Again, this is not a self serving post, but rather another friend who is making a difference in our lives out of the goodness of their hearts. Here is an e-mail excerpt from a dear friend of mine and her husband and what they are doing. They have asked me to post this…

Hi all!

I loved reading the post by Russ on Stef’s blog March 26th about raising money for Stef to take a trip to Fenway – one of his “bucket list” items. My husband Dave and I have been wanting to challenge all of Stef’s friends, family and acquaintances to join us in trying to cross off ALL of the items on Stef’s “bucket list” and we were very excited that someone else has the same idea! We have decided to match the first $1,000 (dollar for dollar) given towards the goal of seeing Stef and his family enjoy EVERYTHING on that list! The check is already in the mail to them. Some other ways to contribute would be with air miles for the trips to Greece or California, or wave runners for summer fun – just take a look at the list and be creative! I’ve copied Stef’s list below.

From Stef’s blog (Jan 23, 2008):

“I really would like to see the movie “The Bucket List”. Maybe that will motivate me to get some things done that I would like to do. Such as (in no particular order):

1. Go to Greece and visit some of my family that I have never met.

2. Take Sandi to California, rent a convertible and travel up the coast of California and stay at some Bed & Breakfast places along the way.

3. Take the boys to a baseball game at Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.

4. Take the boys deep sea fishing.

5. Take Sandi and my daughter to Chicago for a weekend and go on a shopping spree.

6. Go big game hunting out west.

7. Buy some wave runners and take the kids out on weekends this summer and have some fun.

These are just a few things, as random as they are. The problem with this list is that we need to watch our funds due to the medical bills. Some of this may get done, but I know some will never get crossed off the list. Am I ok with that, I think so… I guess the most important thing is to just make sure that I spend as much time with my family as possible. That is what really matters to me. Yes, it would be great to do any one of the things on my list, but if I give up these opportunities to spend time with my wife and kids, I am ok with that. I am getting used to making sacrifices, if it means more time with the family and friends.”

Come on everybody, let’s bless the (red) socks off of our friend Stef!

Thanks ahead of time for this great gift to the Tarapchak family!

Laurel and David Pinson

Computer Screen Cleaner…

Yep, this has to be, hands down, the best screen cleaner on the market! Check it out here…

http://www.linein.org/media/screencleaner.swf

Thanks to Michael over at What Does It All Mean for this one.

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