Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 1 Pictures

OK, so I figured out the picture thing, for today at least! Who knows if it will work tomorrow!

Anyway, here are the girls at the South Dakota sign. Now keep in mind, we entered SD on the east side and most of what we are going to see is on the west side of the state, so at this point in the day, we still had like 450 miles to go to get to where we want to actually start the sightseeing.....and we aren't there yet!

I thought this license plate was funny! It was on a truck at the place where we ate dinner tonight.

Vacation Day 1

As I have typed here in the past, my dad's mother used to go on family vacations with us all the time. While we were gone, she kept a journal of where we went, where we stayed, where we ate, etc. I began doing the same thing when I was a young girl. I used to write in a journal like Grandma did but now I type a word document on our laptop while we are gone and then print it out in hardcopy form once we get home.

For some reason, I am having trouble uploading pictures. I am not sure if this problem is going to get better as the trip goes on or not. If not, I will definitely be posting pictures once we get home.

Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29 & 30, 2010: We had Cardinal tickets for the game on Tuesday night. We went to the game after we stopped at White Castle for dinner for the girls. Bruce and I got Philly sandwiches at the game (so yummy!). It was a beautiful night in St. Louis – about 80 degrees! The Cardinals were up 8-0 after 7.5 innings so we decided to leave and get going on our vacation! We had to stop at St. Louis Mills Mall to finally give Donna the Miche purse she ordered from my party a month ago (she was going to the midnight showing of “Eclipse”) and then we were off! We drove as far as Columbia, MO and then stopped at a really nice Quality Inn Hotel. We went to sleep right away. In the morning (today), we got up about 6:30, got showered, and had breakfast at the hotel. It was a great hotel breakfast – eggs, biscuits and gravy, bacon, fruit, cereal, bagels, etc. We then spent most of the day driving. We got to Kansas City and then went north on I-29, into Iowa and finally South Dakota. At Sioux City, SD, we headed west again on I-80. Lunch was at Taco Bell in Council Bluffs, Iowa and dinner was at Al’s Oasis in Chamberlain, SD. We are now at an America’s Best Value Inn in Kadoka, SD. This hotel does not have a pool so we are playing cards in the room tonight while we watch TV. We are about 2 hours away from Deadwood, where we will go tomorrow!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Frank Girl Vacation Toes

It has become a tradition in our house to get pre-vacation pedicures. Seems like the cost of this tradition is going up every year too but oh well I guess! I think we started this in 2008 but maybe it was 2007.

My design.....since we are going to Mt. Rushmore and gonna be there on the 4th of July, what better design to get? I had never seen something like this before and I was pleasantly surprised!

B1's toes.....the last time she tried a French tip, we spent several days at waterparks (at Disney) and the tip didn't last as long as she (or I) would have liked. We won't be doing any water parks this trip, just swimming in hotel pools, so it should work better this time.

And B2's toes.....very appropriate for someone her age! Heck, I would even like this design for myself sometime!

OK, now this time for real, my next post will be from the road!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Ok, so I stopped the picture posts. I did 25 of them and was running out of ideas. I will be posting pics hopefully each day from our vacation, which begins officially on Wednesday. We have most of our stuff packed already though! Yep, I guess we are excited!

And we will be taking the new car on vacation. We have finally decided to say goodbye to our van and try to sell it. The tags are due at the end of this month and it's just starting to nickel-and-dime us more than we like. I tried to see if we could renew the tags monthly but no, you have to renew for an entire year and $106 is just pretty darn steep if you ask me! So we will be driving it for 2 more days and then we will sadly be done with it. That is the vehicle in which we brought B2 home from the hospital. I guess all good things must come to an end. :-(

I picked the first tomato today from my garden! June 27 - I think that's pretty good. They are really going to start ripening now and I for one cannot wait to eat tomatoes - love them!

I am about 1 hour's worth of work away from having our Disney 2008 vacation completely scrapbooked. Whew! Only 2 years later. My next scrapbooking goal is to catch my "everyday pictures" up so I am only 1 year behind with those and then begin on last year's vacation - Colorado. Will I ever catch up? Probably not, but that's OK because then I'll never be bored!

That's all for now. My next post will probably come from the road. Whoo-hoo!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

June 25, 2010

I took the girls and 2 friends to the City Museum tonight. These picture were taken with my phone so the quality is not good. Also, I am posting this well after midnight, but it's the best I could do! Ha!

B2 got called to help the magician

The entire group in the cave area

B1 and her friend at Dairy Queen before we left for St. Louis

B2 and her friend.....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010

Here's a picture of B1 as we drove to her softball game tonight. Ha ha! She doesn't know I took this picture with my phone (or that I am putting it on my blog!). I asked her before we left if she wanted to take a nap while we drove to the game and she said no. Sure, she didn't! LOL!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010

Here is the story behind my gourd birdhouse:

A couple years ago, I noticed that some friends of ours had a gourd which had been painted and made into a sort of birdhouse. Theirs was painted with the mascot of the high school where he teaches (also the town where they live). I commented on it and said that I thought it was neat. Dan (our friend) said that his dad had made it for him and he would ask his dad to make one for me with a Knight on it for Triad. I told him tha he didn't have to do that but he insisted that his father had plenty of time on his hands and it would most likely not be a problem.

Some time went by and we eventually saw Dan's dad at some event, at which time I think maybe the gourd topic came up again. He said he was working on it and would get it to me when he had it done. Some more time went by. We went to a trivia night in their town and Bruce and I noticed that 2 of the silent auction items were gourds painted again with their hometown's high school's mascot. Oh woe is me; I guess I will never get my gourd...... :-(

Then came this May when we went to a birthday party at Dan and his family's house for their son. Bruce told me that I should act sad that I never got my gourd. So I played into that and when we saw Dan's dad that day, I said something like, "Wow! That's sure a nice gourd Dan has hanging in his tree!" Dan's dad just smiled and honestly I can't remember what he said to me at that point. I just figured he was busy and my gourd was on the back burner for him. Then it came time for present opening. People were taking the presents from the kitchen out to the garage for Dan's son to open them and Dan's wife comes to me with a bag and says, "This is for you, from Paul (Dan's dad)." Oh boy, I KNEW what was in there and now I was gonna have to eat my words!

So I went to the garage and yelled to Bruce, "Look Bruce! I got a present!" Dan's dad was just sitting there in his lawn chair with a big old grin on his face. It was pretty priceless! I played right into his hands! He started mocking my whining about my gourd and it was too funny!

So anyway, now my birdhouse gourd is attached to our flag pole out front. I wanted to put it somewhere that people would actually see it and the only tree we have in the front is too far away from where people walk. I don't think any birds will actually make their home there but I love the decoration!

Thank you, Paul!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 22, 2010

First of all, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my parents who were married 47 years ago today.....quite an accomplishment!

One week from tonight, we will be on our way to South Dakota. I am very excited! I love just about any vacation we take as a family. We have Cardinal tickets that night and after the game, we will head west. We plan to drive for a couple of hours, get a cheap motel room for the night, and then get up and continue driving in the morning.

Among other sites, we will definitely visit Mt. Rushmore. Our hope was to watch the July 4 fireworks over Mt. Rushmore but I have now found out that SD is having a dry summer and the chance of the fireworks there starting a fire is greater than usual, so there won't be any fireworks this year. Bummer for us but we'll make due!

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

Yesterday (Father's Day) was Shinza's 7th birthday. We always celebrate with her by giving her a Twinkie with a candle in it. This year, we gave it to her outside while some people were still at our house for our BBQ.

Here she is waiting patiently for B2 to let go of her.....

Posing for the picture.....

Mmm, mmm good!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June 20, 2010


Here are just a few snaps I shot this morning while Bruce opened his gifts.

The girls made him a picture frame.....

Last weekend, we sneakily purchased a T-shirt for him that he was looking at.....

Bruce and the wonderful girls who made him a dad.....

Saturday, June 19, 2010

June 19, 2010

These are some pictures of the flowers around our house.

My dad plants flowers in this pot for me every year as a Mother's Day gift. When he planted the plants this year, they were all green (no blooms) and I thought it looked a little more scarce than in previous years. Ha, I guess I was wrong!

This is hanging by our front door. Every year, I try to pick out a basket that seems to have a lot of blooms, is kind of "droopy" (hangs down below the actual basket), and will actually survive all summer in the heat. I have been faithful this year with watering it and so far, so good!

This little pot is on our back patio. When I planted the flowers in it this year, I added Miracle Grow and I added too much of it! A couple of the plants died within a week and I had to replace them. But eventually, I think the Miracle Grow worked.

This is the hydrangea bush in our landscaping in the back yard by the sunroom. My dad planted this for us about 5 years ago and every year it seems to be fuller and prettier. I love it!

Close-up of a couple hydrangea flowers

When we go on vacation here in a week or so, I know my dad will be faithful and come over and water my flowers every couple of days, so they should be in good hands while we are gone!

Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18, 2010

I pulled out an old photo album that Bruce's mom had given to him a couple of years ago. I thought there was a picture in there of him in the Batmobile at the Lake of the Ozarks and sure enough, I found it. So here is a picture from probably about 1975 and then I also reposted the picture from last weekend. Too funny!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

B1 and B2 cooked dinner for us last night. They and I went shopping yesterday morning to pick up some ingredients they needed but we didn't have. The menu was to be kept quiet as to surprise Bruce. Here's what they made:

"Drink" orange smoothies.....

"Side dish" chicken and dumplings.....

"Main course" pizza roll-ups (pizza dough with sauce, string cheese, and pepperoni rolled inside).....

"Dessert" chocolate chip cookie cups with ice cream and hard-shell topping.....

I must say that everything was very tasty and it was awesome not having to cook dinner myself!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010

Ok so first of all - our dog is scared of 3 things: going to the vet, thunderstorms, and the timer/buzzer sound on our stove. She shakes when she hears it. Today, Bruce and the girls were making a frozen pizza and some toasted ravioli for lunch and using the stove, setting the timer, etc. She was scared so she came and joined me in the basement, where I was doing laundry and eventually got in the shower. Towards the end of my shower, I notice the curtain move a little and I wondered if one of my family members was going to try to throw cold water on me (we do this to each other occasionally). I look and no, it's Shinza, looking like she's gonna hop right in, which she did! Our basement shower is a stand-up shower with concrete blocks around the bottom of it to keep the water from going everywhere in our basement. She jumped over the block and came in. Gees! So I shushed her out and right after that, the came in again! I shushed her again and this time I thought she was gone. So I close my eyes to rinse the conditioner out of my hair, turn off the water, squeeze water out of my hair, pull the curtain to the side, look around the room for her and don't see her. No, because she again was standing right next to my feet, looking up at me! Wow, scardy-cat dog!

We had over 4 inches of rain fall here yesterday in less than an hour. That is a lot of water! Here are some pictures I took shortly afterwards.

This was taken standing on our driveway looking down the sidewalk.

This one was taken from the neighbor's driveway, looking in the same direction as the picture above.

This is the intersection at the end of our street!

And the yard right next to that intersection!

The water was rushing into this drainage ditch so fast it almost sounded like a small waterfall.

It was pretty amazing though too, as fast as that water came, it drained away pretty quickly as well. Our church had a bit of flooding but I don't believe anything was damaged majorly. Someone posted a picture on Facebook of their kids swimming in a ditch right after the storm.....only in a small town! An hour or so after the storm, the sun was out and shining and soon, the sidewalks were clear again!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010

It's been too long (several years) since I had the girls' picture taken together. So today we went to Portrait Innovations in Fairview Heights. I really didn't know a lot about the place but had heard a few good things. As it turned out, I was very happy with the service and quality of the pictures. And the fact that we got to bring them home today (along with a disc of ALL the pics they took) wasn't bad either. All in all, we did get a lot of picture for the price I paid. Satisfied customer here!

Here are some of the photos they shot of our beautiful daughters!

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010

This was one of my birthday gifts this year from Bruce and the girls.....a Kenny Chesney football jersey! It's a Tennessee Titans jersey, as you can see, with "Chesney" on the back. I have wanted one of these for a long time and I actually told Bruce (a couple of weeks before my birthday) that with the money my parents gave me for my birthday, I planned to purchase one for myself! But I didn't have to!

I think I look really tan in this picture. I really don't think my tan is all that great; I think it's just the orange color reflecting on my skin, or something!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

June 13, 2010

First off.....notice my countdown at the top of my blog posts? is now UNDER 400! Whoo-hoo!!!!!

B2 made this yard decoration / stepping stone in a paint class she took last spring. I have had it in the house ever since but she voiced that she would like it displayed outside, so now it is in our front landscaping.

This is the decoration that she made this spring in another paint class. This one, right now, is in our sunroom.

And this is a stone given to me by my friend Melissa for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. It is out in front of our house. See the little rocks with our names on them? We purchased those (and others with the girls' names on them) at the Gypsy Caravan.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 12, 2010

More pictures from the Ozarks.....

This was B2's breakfast this morning - yep, ONE HUGE cinnamon roll! Every time we go to Bagnell Damn, we eat breakfast at a place in the strip called Stewart's. They are known for these rolls. She ordered only this for breakfast. B1, Bruce, and I ordered regular breakfasts, ate some of this roll, and there was still some roll left over. It was really yummy though!

Here are Bruce and the girls outside one of Bruce's childhood favorite spots....."Dogpatch"

Bruce said that he bets his mom has a picture of him as a kid in front of this same Batmobile car. It used to work but now is just a nostalgic decoration outside the arcade.

B1 and B2 had a lot of questions about the dam and how it works. We drove down to the bottom part of the dam to show them. There were a lot of fish down here, jumping really high out of the water! It was pretty neat!