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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Amazing Race Part 1


Oh, Home Sweet Texas Home. I have never wanted to be home so bad. I have never loved TX road construction so much. I have never cared that it was 94 degrees outside with 50% humidity. I really love my home and the people that help make it that lovable!!!!

I am not sure how many segments of the Amazing Race there will be....but I documented the snot out of it by journaling and taking pictures...which is my favorite thing to do on trips or experiences.

Remember we started from AR since we needed to pick up Goober who went to student camp with my brother and sister in law.

The Amazing Race 6/22

We left today to head to Arkansas to grab Goober. The two littles have been counting down until they get to see their big brother again. They are also ready to hug and love on Baby Levi, CC and Papa for 2 days while we wait for Goober, Aunt Micah and Uncle Chris to get back.

Of course the van is PACKED with things we will need for the Amazing Race…we chose not to use our car top carrier or hitch as there would be many times we would have to leave those thing unsecure as we entered state parks, tours, etc. Plus, on the amazing race teams only race with one bag each so we limited each person to 1 bag.

The kids did great on the way to Arkansas, little did they know that that was their longest “leg” of the race. Baby Boy peed in his car seat within the first hour….I am going to blame the excitement over being able to play the Wii in the car though. Adam rigged a flatscreen behind the driver seat so that the kids can play games and watch movies over our 17 day trip. (please don’t think we aren’t truly enjoying God’s creation though..I am writing this on the morning of Day 4 and the kids have played 1 round of Super Smash Bros, watched 1 movie and Adam and I have not had cell service in 2 days)….its quite nice actually.

We had a great time in Arkansas…we brought what we thought was a watermelon from the school garden and it was actually the biggest spaghetti squash we had ever seen. Half of it fed 4 adults and 2 kiddos. We also spent a lot of time with Baby parents had been watching him all week. The kids fed him, helped change his diapers, but him down for naps, played with him and wanted to hold him. Ribbit wanted to DO EVERYTHING for him which was very sweet to see. Little Man got to go to the Harley store with his Papa and was in heaven. Ribbit also got to get her nails painted and learned how to play battleship on paper with CC. One of the sweetest memories was hearing Ribbit read “Ferdinand” out loud to all of us one night on the back porch and Levi just stared at the pages and listened along with my parents…it was picturesque to say the least.

I could eat him up!!! My favorite time both days was drinking coffee out on the back porch with everyone after breakfast!

Bedtime stories.

Papa's boys.

Babysitter in training!

Levi loves his swing!

She wanted to do everything except change his dirty diapers!
All this was great….but it made the beginning of the Amazing Race a little disappointing. You see, we picked up Goober and in less than 2 hours we were leaving to head out. Goober had THE BEST TIME at camp and talked about it the whole 20 minutes from the church back to Chris and Micah’s house. He loved his counselor, his friend Sam he made, he loved the worship, the go-carts, tubing on the lake with Micah and Chris. He also loved that he got to play x-box with Chris late at night, eat pizza and have 1 on 1 time with Baby Levi (he loves carrying him around like Superman). He was also exhausted from 5 days of camp and so……the tears came on hard and lasted well into Day 1 of our Amazing race. It reminded me of his past and how he has said Good Bye repeatedly to people he loves. It reminded me of his great love for his family which I am eternally grateful for..not all children who are adopted as late as Goober was will attach to their family like he has. In fact he didn’t stop crying until Aunt Micah sent a text saying he could come back anytime and Uncle Chris agreed and said maybe even before school starts again. 

He had a blast and made great new friends!
I'm so thankful for these two and their desire to be a part of our village as we raise our kiddos.
Push up competition with Sam...his camp bestie!
Adam and I had mixed emotions about his tears (as I guess all parents do)…especially when he said “ I didn’t even think about y’all the whole time I as gone”…hehe. We were excited that he was able to go do something on his own and hear from God and be with family…..but couldn’t he have missed us one bit?....Honestly though, I got a great big hug when he stepped off that bus and he willingly held my hand as we navigated through the crowds…I will take it!!!

He sure does love his Uncle Chris!
Being a pre-teen!
Love this SuperMan shot!!
My heart was beating so fast and I was sweaty as we approached departure time for the Amazing Race. We wrote a script for my brother that went something like this “ Harvell Family, you only thought you were heading out to see the Grand Canyon but you are actually heading out on a 15 leg Amazing Race around the West. Along the way you will face detours that will challenge you physically and mentally. You must work together and grow closer to God and closer as a family. You will find everything you need in your travel packs behind you. When I give you the first clue you must read it out loud and what you do after that is up to you. Safe travels. 3, 2, 1….

They were the video you can see that Goober is smiling and staring like we are taking a picture, not knowing what to think about the theme music and trying not to cry as we leave. They loved getting matching shirts and camel baks though!

Chris did great…he even had the Amazing Race theme song playing. Adam and I had stepped back behind the kids and put out their camel bak bookbags and changed into our Team Harvell shirts. They opened the clue, came and put on their shirts and we were off……well sorta….there were a lot of tears (especially from Goober) about leaving family and then everyone wanted a picture. So, most of the excitement came from Adam and I at first….but after the first detour the kids got excited!!!

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