Archive for June, 2010

I’ve Got a Little Brother!

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Welcome Timothy Daniel Osborn! Born today, Saturday June 19th at 5:11 PM at St Mary’s Hospital.

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Big Adventure Finishes With A Bang!!!

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

SDC12068I haven’t had time to post on day 5 of Joshua’s Mammoth Cave 2010 Adventure because we got a call last night at 1:30 AM EST in Indianapolis that mom’s water broke and she was on her way to the hospital. So we packed up and headed home, arriving at St Mary’s at about 6:00 AM.  Labor with Josh was only about 5  1/2 hours, so we weren’t sure if we would make it in time. But this time around, things are moving a lot slower and as of 4:00 PM Saturday, Timmy hadn’t graced us with his presence yet. Sounds like it will be within the hour though.

Blessings,

Clark, Julie, Josh & Timmy

Mammoth Cave Adventure Day 4: The Cave

Friday, June 18th, 2010

SDC12013After a fine night of sleep and a MOST excellent breakfast, we headed out Thursday AM for Mammoth Cave National Park. We got there over an hour before our 10:30 tour time just to make sure we had the tickets I ordered online the night before. After getting the tickets quickly and without a problem, we did some souvenir shopping in the gift shop of the Mammoth Cave Hotel.

After the obligatory warnings and disclaimers from our tour guide, we hopped on the tour bus for the short ride to the entrance for our tour. We took the “Grand Avenue” tour, a 4 1/2 hour tour that was about a 4 mile hike and 4 hours in the cave.  I found the majority of the tour a bit anticlimactic. There were some narrow passageways that were pretty cool and the size of the cave is pretty impressive (it is mammoth you know), but the majority of the tour wasn’t particularly awe-inspiring.  But the boys loved it all and the tour ends rather spectacularly at “Frozen Niagara”. 

SDC11979I visited Mammoth Cave in April of 1971 (when I was 7), but the only thing I had just a vague memory of was the Snowball Lunch room which was about an hour into our tour (and about 2 hours after our big breakfast).  Other than the spectacular finish at Niagara, I think the highlight of our tour was a resting spot where the guides demonstrated what total darkness and total silence was like.  It really was a “wow” moment and unlike anything I had experienced before.

Our guide shared a few stories along the way. The best one had to be about the guy who was on the same tour we were in 1993. He was towards the back of the pack taking a lot of pictures and he felt like the trailing guide was rushing him. So he found a spot where he could duck in undetected and the guide passed by him without seeing him. His idea was to hang back and join up with the next tour that followed.  What he didn’t know was that there wasn’t another Grand Avenue Tour that day!

The way the tours work is that the lights on the trail ahead get turned on by the guide in front and then turned off again by the guide at the back. So this man ended up sitting in that total darkness and total silence for 24 hours! Worse yet, the day of his tour was the day before his daughter’s wedding so he ended up missing it the next day. :(   When they found him on the trail, he was banging two rocks together to make noise. He said it wasn’t the total darkness that bothered him so much as the total silence.

SDC12027We got back to the visitor center right at 3:00 and after a couple stops, found our way back to Horse Cave and our Hampton Inn where after a late lunch, we spent most of the rest of the evening in the pool/pool area. Got the boys to bed early since we were going to lose an hour on Friday going back to Indy and the “Carribean Cove” waterpark.

We’ll be headed home first thing Saturday AM, so it remains to be seen when I’ll get around to posting on Friday’s fun. Graduation party Saturday afternoon and then Sunday is Father’s Day, so it might be Monday.  We’ll see I guess.

Blessings,

Clark & Josh

P.S. – The short video below is from a point on the trail where the guide chose Joshua to plug their “Wild Cave” tour where they do a lot of crawling through small spaces.

More from Day 3 at the Indy Zoo

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Three more videos for anyone who may be interested. The first is of the boys petting the sharks. The second is up and close with a walrus with an itch and an attitude. The last is of the penguins. It’s a little hard on the eyes thanks to the water on the glass and a shaky videographer.

Mammoth Cave Adventure Day 3: Indy Zoo

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

SDC11956Wednesday was Day 3 of our adventure and we checked out of the motel and headed to the Indianapolis Zoo. We tried (to no avail) to get there early since the forecast was for a lot of sun and 86. As it turned out, thanks to a nice breeze, a lot of shady areas and lots of stuff to see indoors, it really didn’t matter.

Among the zoo highlights were the seals and sea lions (video below), a dolphin show, an underwater dolphin viewing area, shark petting, penguins, a walrus, a polar bear and a couple rides on a small roller coaster. We’ve got a lot of video from the zoo and I’ll be working on getting some of it on YouTube. My connection at the hotel doesn’t seem to allow for quick uploading, so I’ll have to wait til I get home to do most of it.

 SDC11931We left the zoo around 2:30 to head out for Kentucky and Mammoth Cave. Other than a slight delay in Louisville, the trip went very smoothly and we arrived just before 6:00… or so we thought.  Turns out this part of KY is on Central Time, so it was actually only 5. It was nice to pick up the extra hour, though since we’re headed back to Indy on Friday, we’ll lose it again.

The highlight of Wed for me was the Hampton Inn we’re staying at in Horse Cave, KY. It was a big time upgrade from our Days Inn in Indy and I got a normal night sleep for the first time in about 3 months. Yeah! :)

Today (Thursday) was Mammoth Cave day, but I’m afraid once again you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about that. It’s time for me to get this posted and see about getting another good night of sleep.

Blessings,

Clark (& Josh)

Mammoth Cave Adventure: Day 2 in Indy

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

SDC11839After a fine continental breakfast at our motel, it was off to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The museum is billed as one of the largest in the world and it did not disappoint. At least not much anyway. CMI boasts 4 different levels of attractions from my favorite the “Dinosphere” on the lower level to the “Science Works Science Port” on level 4.  One of the main attractions for the boys was a “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” exhibit that proved to be a little less than we were all expecting. But all the other things to do and see there more than made up for that and we would highly recommend the stop for anyone with kids driving this way or even for a 2-3 days get away. We made it to Indy through Chicago in right around 5 hours.

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We spent about 5 1/2 hours at CMI and then headed out to find another amusement place called “Xscape” that Josh found online. Unfortunately, when we got there we found it closed for a week or two as it had been recently purchased by another company and was undergoing some renovation. Naturally, the boys were a bit disappointed, so it was back to Snapper’s for another round of jumping, games, bowling and laser tag.

Another round of severe weather rolled through Central Indiana about the same time as the night before. If we had left about 10 minutes earlier, we would have beat the storms back to the motel. Since this time there was a severe t-storm warning for our county, we got off I-65 and found cover under the entrance to a nearby hotel. Winds were pretty strong and the power in the hotel went out while we sat there, but all in all it really wasn’t too bad.

After something to eat, the boys managed to find enough energy for another pre-bedtime swim. They were both out pretty quick when their heads hit the pillow and I spent more time than I probably should have uploading pics and video and writing yesterday’s post.

Day 3 (today/Wed) was spent at the Indy Zoo and then traveling to the hotel in Horse Cave, KY where I’m writing this now. The boys have been swimming for a couple hours now and should get to sleep a little earlier tonight as we’re not doing anything else. Depending how things go, I may create today’s post yet today or I might just keep it a day behind.

Happy Birthday Mom/Wifey!!!

Blessings,

Clark & Josh

Mammoth Cave Adventure, Day 1

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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So I’m already a day behind on this and I have no idea if or when I’ll catch up, but here goes anyway. Josh and I and his good buddy Spencer left Cottage Grove Monday AM to drive to Indianapolis, the first stop on our Mammoth Cave adventure. We’ll be in Indy for two days, highlighted by trips to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum and the Indy Zoo. I’m told that the former is one of the largest of its kind in the world.

We got to Indy around 4:00 local time (I completely forgot that Indiana was EST and we would lose an hour). The timing was good as we arrived just after a severe t-storm had blown through and about 1 hour before a tornado crossed I-65 up at Lafayette.  After getting settled at our hotel, we headed out for a local biz called “Snappers Fun Zone” (or something like that).  The boys had a great time which unfortunately had to be cut a little short by another round of storms. There were tornados north and south of Indy, but all we saw was really heavy rain.  We hit it about 5 minutes before getting back to the hotel and drove the remainder of the way like everyone else: very slowly and with the hazards on.

Our long day finished with a late dinner and even later swim and I’ll leave you with a couple videos from the day (below). The second one is all of 11 seconds b/c the camera battery died. :(

Blessings,

Clark (Josh & Spence)

There’s No Place Like the Road

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Joshua and I arrived back in Wisconsin via the Van Galder bus due to the cancellation of several flights (incl ours) out of O’Hare. So Julie picked us up at the “Park-n-Ride” despite the presence of these conspicuous looking characters:

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Conspicuous Looking Characters

 Of course they turned out to be our very good friends who had dressed up special just for Joshua’s return.

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After a nice homecoming with Pumkin, Esther & Jessie (Josh’s cats), we enjoyed a meal with friends and posed for a gaggle of photos that were being taken by a Wisconsin State Journal photographer. They’ve been working on a story about Josh & SCID that I believe will run next Sunday for anyone who’s interested.

Then Sunday AM we got up to travel to Eau Claire for a graduation party of one of Josh’s cousins. After almost 3 months away from home, we managed a whole 18 hours or so before hitting the road again!

 Upon our arrival in Eau Claire, it took Josh all of about 2 minutes to find his way past all of the greetings of everyone who was so happy to see him to the highlight attraction of this party: the rented inflatable fun house thingee…

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It was great to see so much family together in Eau Claire. Josh had managed to connect with some of his cousins on Skype from NIH, but this is the first time people had seen him in person since March, so it was fun to watch.

After about 4 hours in Eau Claire, we turned around and headed back to Cottage Grove to get packed for Joshua’s next “big adventure”: a 6-day trek to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. He and I have been talking about it ever since Josh visited Cave of the Mounds 3-4 years ago. We wanted him to be able to do something special after his NIH confinement and this is what he chose. So after another 12 hours or so at home and a follow-up blood test at Dean Care on Monday AM, Josh and I and his good buddy Spencer hit the road once again for our…

MAMMOTH CAVE ADVENTURE!

More on that in our next post…

Blessings,

Clark (Josh, Julie & Timmy)

Free at Last!

Monday, June 14th, 2010

SDC11757As most of you know by now, after 81 days in an isolation room at NIH, last Friday Joshua got sprung! Then on Saturday, he and I flew back to Madison. Well, actually we flew to Chicago, had our flight cancelled and took the bus back to Madison, but home is home. :)

Josh remains off his medicine and seems to be doing well. They will continue to monitor him with weekly blood tests and we’ll be going out to NIH for follow ups once a month for awhile. A trip to Duke for a “booster” bone marrow transplant remains a possibility, but for now, it’s off to Mammoth Cave and to enjoy summer for awhile.

Hopefully you’ll see some posts, pics, video along the way.

Below is a less-than-spectacular video of Josh getting out of his room. I had the camcorder in one hand and the laptop in the other so that mom could watch live on Skype.

 

Many Blessings,

Clark (Julie, Josh & Timmy)

WE ARE OUTTA HERE!!!

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Josh will be discharged from his room tomorrow and we are leaving Saturday AM!

“Toxic Metabolytes” dropped from 19 to 10.8 (goal is under 10:)

I hope to have a little more complete update before we leave, but I just wanted to let everyone know.

Thanks again so much for all your prayers, thoughts, encouragement & support.

Blessings

Clark (Julie, Josh & Timmy)