Sunday, August 22, 2010


It's the time of the year for us when we spend a lot of money! Seriously, why does everything have to be paid for NOW? Let's see.....there's B2's gymnastics beginning back up, both B1 and B2 take some extra softball lessons/classes, and Bruce's car just needed a new battery, windshield, and alternator (about $800 total). Not to mention that if we want to go in on Cardinals post-season tickets (an option available to us since we share season tickets with a group), we can pay for those now too and Blues tickets are going on sale here soon. Oh, and the insurance on our vehicles is due by the beginning of September. Yes, I do ralize that all of these but the car repairs and insurance should be considered "luxuries" and are totally not necessary. We declined the Cardinal tickets and instead of getting any kind of a major Blues package, are going to purchase a small pack of games, which are mostly on weeknights. They are the cheapeast seats out there. Ugh. Money. We are NEVER moving! I will suck it up and live in this house for the rest of my life. It's just fine for us and so what if we are a little crowded?.....I don't want to be house-poor and not be able to do this other stuff! Plus, our girls won't live here forever and we will have a little more space once they move out someday. If we get too old and can't make it up and down the stairs for laundry purposes, we can have some plumbing work done and somehow move it upstairs! Just the thought of packing up all our stuff, moving, and unpacking it all again makes my stomach hurt much work!

The beginning of the school year has gone well. B1's softball team is off to a good start and my classes seem good so far. I swear, this year is going to really be a breeze as compared to last year. I have done NO school work this weekend at all! It's awesome!

We went to the Illinois State Fair yesterday. We love the fair. We all have our favorite parts about it. For me, it's getting an order of cheese curds to share with B1, the butter cow, and seeing the decorated cakes that won ribbons. For Bruce, it's walking around to all of the tents and getting freebies. For B2, it's the rides and milking a cow, and for B1 I think it's the cheese curds and Ethnic Village. We saw Selena Gomez in concert last night too in the Grandstand. I think this was the first concert we attended specifically for B2. Mitchel Musso opened for her. All in all, it was a good show. The line at the souvenir stand was crazy long all night. B2 got a T-shirt which she plans to wear to school tomorrow.

That's about it for now. I'll probably post some pics of B1 playing ball for TMS here soon. Have a great week!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


When Bruce and I were driving home from our concert weekend in Louisville last month, I began to realize that I have been lucky enough to have seen many concerts in my life. Then I began to make a list of artists I've seen. I am sure I am missing some, but here are the ones I know I have seen. The star* means I've seen that artist at least twice.

1. Alan Jackson *
2. Bon Jovi
3. Brad Paisley
4. Carrie Underwood
5. Charley Pride
6. Cheetah Girls
7. Chicago
8. Darius Rucker
9. Dierks Bentley (several times)
10. Faith Hill
11. George Strait
12. Glorianna
13. Gretchen Wilson
14. Jason Aldean
15. Jonas Brothers
16. Journey
17. Keith Urban
18. Kellie Pickler
19. Kenny Chesney (many times)
20. Kenny Rogers
21. Lady Antebellum
22. LeAnne Rimes
23. Little Big Town
24. Martina McBride *
25. Miley Cyrus
26. Miranda Lambert
27. Montgomery Gentry
28. Phil Vasser
29. Prince *
30. Randy Travis (many times)
31. Rascal Flatts
32. REO Speedwagon *
33. Sammy Kershaw *
34. Sarah Evans
35. Steve Wariner
36. Styx
37. Sugarland *
38. Taylor Swift
39. 38 Special
40. Tim McGraw
41. Trace Adkins
42. Tracy Byrd *
43. Tracy Lawrence *
44. Willie Nelson
45. Zac Brown Band

Monday, August 9, 2010

Finally, Just a Regular Old Post!

Today is a little sad for me. Bruce started school today. I hated hearing his alarm go off this morning. Although I do enjoy my time once in awhile by myself or just with our girls, I like having him around. I like the fact that we are both teachers and get to spend our summers together. I like it that he is here to help get the girls where they need to be, he understands rushed dinners, and we are just simply on the "same page" for the most part. But anyway, he's at school today and I miss him not being here.

B1 and I watched her first "scary movie" on Saturday night. It was the updated version of "When A Stranger Calls" which is rated PG-13. There wasn't any bad language in it and only a couple of dead bodies so it wasn't too bad. I found myself doing the same thing I have always done during scary movies.....watching through my fingers when there's obviously a scary part coming! I don't think she was much phased by it and when it was over, I asked her if she wanted to sleep in the living room (instead of her own room in the basement) and she asked me, "Why?"

Last night, we watched a movie called "Hachi" which was about an Akita that finds a home with a family. The Akita in the movie reminded us so much of our own dog, a Shiba Inu, which is basically a miniature version of an Akita. We saw previews of this movie on Friday night while watching a movie in our local park and knew we had to rent it ASAP. It turned out to be a kind of sad movie which left my heart heavy. Sigh. After B2 went to bed, I heard her in there crying. So I went in and asked what was wrong and she said she didn't know. Finally, I pulled from her that she was sad about the movie. She said she didn't want any of us to die. Oh boy. So I had to talk to her a bit about death and the fact that everyone dies except God and even so, we would all be together again one day, and we would also be with our beloved pets who have gone on before us. A little while later, she was crying again and as it turned out, she had a stomach ache. Finally, she fell asleep.

That's about it for now. I have a Girls Night Out tonight with friends and we are going to a tapas restaurant called Modesto. I've never been to any tapas restaurant before so this will be a new experience!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pictures From Vacation Day 9

This was the last full day of our vacation, DAY 9. We started in Albert Lea, MN and headed south into Iowa.

We first stopped in Clear Lake, Iowa. Here, on 2/3/59, a plane crashed in a corn field around 1:00am which was carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper as well as the pilot Roger Petersen. My parents were seniors in high school when this tragedy took place and I am interested in this type of pop culture, which is why we stopped here. You can read more about it here.

These glasses depict the beginning of a half-mile long trail back into the corn field to the crash site. Buddy Holly wore glasses similar to these.

Pictures from the crash site

The Field of Dreams from the road

And the sign next to the road

The farmhouse

On the field

Playing ball

"If you build it, they will come."

Carved into the bleachers from the movie. It says "Ray loves Annie."

We played in a little "pick up" game which was taking place. Here's B2 on first.

And B1 on first

On the bleachers

The wave

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Yesterday and Pictures from Vacation Day 8

We had a good day here yesterday. B1 made the middle school softball team! We celebrated last night by going to the Cardinal game and ended up with 4 seats in the diamond box area. We only really paid for 1 of these seats so it was a good night! I was shocked when the lady came up and asked us if we would like anything because I've never sat in the seats at Busch Stadium where you can order food right from your seat. We also had access to a little bar area where there were restrooms and it was air-conditioned. The temp at the start of the game was 99 and by the 10pm when the game ended, it had cooled a whole 7 degrees to 92. Wow! I'm not sure I've ever perspired that much at a Cardinal game. And with our seats being down low, we didn't feel the circulation of the air that you would get from higher up. Oh well....we had a good time and B1 got a ball tossed to her during batting practice!

Here are the photos from DAY 8 of our vacation:

Outside the Mall of America in Minneapolis

There is an acquarium inside the mall which we did not visit, but the girls still decided to act silly for this picture.

The shark mascot was walking all around the mall handing out coupons for the acquarium. I get the feeling it's not a really big draw for them!

1 view of the amusement park inside the mall.....

B2 in the Legoland area

Waiting in line to ride the roller coaster

The girls riding a smaller roller coaster where the car also spins

Posing next to the spinning roller coaster's tracks

The last time we were here, the amusement park was named "Camp Snoopy." Now, however, it is a Nickelodeon-themed park. Here are the girls with Spongebob and Patrick.

Bruce with Woody in Legoland

Walking in the mall

I LOVE this picture! It shows all 4 levels of the mall and B2 is trying to look diva-ish!

That's B1 and B2 up there on the log ride!

And coming down the hill.....

All 3 girls riding the drop ride

The next 5 pics are of B2 climbing in some sort of cage thing. She had to wear a harness and could go all over this thing, walking on tightropes and suspended bridges, climbing ladders, etc. She loved it and it was like 5 stories high!

A couple more views of the amusement park

My honeys!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pictures from Vacation Day 7

Finally, some more vacation photos. This was DAY 7. Once again, there are many pictures here!

In Mitchell, SD across the street from the Corn Palace

The Mitchell Corn Palace. My parents were here when they were young and on their honeymoon in 1963. They change the decorations/design of it each year and were actually working on part of it while we were there. Inside this building is kind of like a small convention center. The local high school plays their basketball games here as well as a nearby college. High school graduation is also held here.

Inside the Corn Palace

I thought this was cute!

Don't they look like angels.....ha ha.....NOT!

Being goofballs in the souvenir area

Bruce before eating his ear(s) of corn.....


And after.....

Next, we drove to DeSmet, SD, which was one of the hometowns of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She lived here with her family as a young girl for quite a few years and much of what she wrote about in the "Little House" books happened when they lived here. The buildings in these next 3 pictures were not actually lived in by the Ingalls family but are on the property and are "replica" sort of buildings from that period.

If you were a fan of the TV show, you know what is going on in these next pictures!

Supposedly, Pa planted these trees back in the 1800's

Animals in the barn.....

Inside Ma's Little House

Outside Ma's Little House

Wildflowers on the prairie

Bruce trying to lasso!

Pony rides.....

The stagecoach

The schoolhouse

The Ingalls Graves.....Pa is on the right (the large headstone), then Ma, then someone named AJ Wilder (not sure who this is), then Mary, and finally Carrie on the far left