Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Farm livin is the life for me....

Well, maybe not quite...

I enjoy the quiet and the wide open spaces, no neighbors so close you can see them brush their teeth, and the nature too.

I don't enjoy all the bugs!!! Not to mention the fire...
And not being able to just run to the store to pick something up. The nearest Wal-Mart is over 30 minutes away and their supercenter is half the size of the ones back home. Selection is limited.

There is a combination gas station, bait shop, convenience store, curio store nearby. However, a gallon of milk for $5 is a bit rich for my blood.....

I can't wait to be home and run to Target 5 minutes away for the laundry soap I forgot on the last trip (and to troll the clearance aisles....)


The fire nearby doubled in size today. It's now 3 square miles. We can see and smell smoke everywhere near the house we are staying in. We are leaving tomorrow morning early to start heading home. We saw tons of wildlife yesterday. Elk, coyotes, ravens the size of Gigi, deer, tons of buffalo, chipmunks, ground squirrels, trout swimming upstream to spawn and even three black bears. Waterfalls, geysers, and lots of mountains too. Gigi is running a fever too. I am praying that it is only the tooth that is coming in and not another ear infection....

Monday, July 28, 2008


Pray for me!!! Three reasons - two serious and one not so....

First, pray that the forest fire raging 20 miles from here stays 20 miles from here. It started Saturday with a lightning strike and has spread to over 600 acres. Those that we have asked about it don't seem too worried, but this city girl is terrified...

Second, I haven't been feeling well. Exhaustion probably has a role in it, but I think there's something else going on and I don't feel right....

Lastly, that all my children make it home in one piece. All this snipping, teasing and fighting is driving me batty!

On a good note, today was our first day in Yellowstone. We spent 8 hours exploring creeks, waterfalls, geysers (including Old Faithful) and looking for wildlife.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Aye, Aye, Aye

Adventures abound.

5 days down and we have visited -

Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD
Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, SD
Wall Drug, Wall, SD
Badlands, SD (only from a distance in a thunderstorm)
Mount Rushmore
Custer State Park and Black Hills Forest scenic drive
StoryBook Island in Rapid City, SD
President's Park in Lead, SD
Devil's Tower outside Sundance, SD
drove over BigHorn mountains (10,000 ft elevation) and saw SNOW!!

We have seen a lot of things that those in the natural would attribute to evolution and the Big Bang, etc. What it has done for me has solidified my belief in my Wonderful Creator.

His attention to detail in every mountain, every forest, every animal species, is all amazing.
We have seen two rainbows, too. What a great reminder of His Love for us. Yesterday two thunderstorms were on both sides of the highway and all we received were a few sprinkles.

I mentioned earlier that one of our motels had the pool right next to our room. It made for a little noise, but it was okay. What I failed to mention was that it was next to a helicopter tour landing pad.... or the Alpine Slide where you ride up the hillside on a ski chair lift and come down on a sled in a track....

Today, we were halfway down the BigHorn Mountains when we smelled something....
we pulled over and the brakes WERE ON FIRE!!!

So we grabbed our water bottles and doused the brakes and waited for them to cool down and as we descended the rest of the mountain, I prayed and called the town we were staying in (Can you say ROAMING fees?) to see if anyone could look at the brakes, on a Sunday. We found someone to look and them and it turned out that something was actually caught in one of the brakes on one side and that was what caught fire. He only charged us $6.00 to look at them, too!

We reached our rental vacation home tonight (after a trip to Super Wal-Mart - Don't try this with 4 children who have been cooped up in the van for 6 hours in a strange store).

Anyway, the vacation home is AMAZING! I wish we could stay longer. It is an old farmhouse that has been redecorated with all the modern conveiniences and decor. It has 50 acres of land to explore and is in a valley between two mountains. A stream runs through the property right next to the house.

I have taken well over 300 pictures. I'll have to sign up for a flicker account so I can show them all off when I get home.

It's amazing. God had been looking out for us and blessing us every step of the way....
even though Gigi cries now every time she even looks at the car seat.....

President's Park was a bit of a bust. We

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Math

2 days
900 miles
3 tourist traps
3 thunderstorms
1 minivan
4 kids
1 nice hotel room
1 noisy motel room (near the pool)
unending wildlife sightings

all equal

a few whines (okay, maybe more than a few)
a lot of pictures
a lot of memories
a lot of fun

and six exhausted travelers....

I'll have to tell you later about the ordeal getting out of town the first day.... It will serve as a good reminder for future vacations....

a lot of tired travelers

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Competence in question....

Ever had one of those times where you are driving and end up on auto pilot and end up in another place, not the place you had planned on going?

I was immersed in my own thought world yesterday while running errands and passed our destination or turn a few times.

My son was oh so kind and told me that I was "uncompetent". Where a 5 yr old gets that word?

(BTW - I did inform him that the correct word usage was incompetent, and that he had no right to call me incompetent when he can't even tie his shoes.)

My dear Sha Sha then informed me that she had taught him the word over-confident the day before and she thought he was trying to impress me......

Didn't work.....

Friday, July 18, 2008

The "D" Word

The Boy came running into the room today and told me that Gigi just said the "D" word.

I'm thinking, "Where did she hear that? and Where did you learn the "D" word?"

So I ask him, "What D word is that?" Knowing that I could be possibly asking for trouble....

He pipes up "Daddy".

Hot or Cold...

You know you say something too much when you hear it out of your child's mouth.

I often tell my children to "Chill" when they get riled up. Today I found myself at a loss for words at which my 8 yr old NiNi said, "I know, I know, Chill!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Put me in coach..

The boy has been going to t-ball twice a week (when it hasn't rained) since the beginning of June. He hasn't shown a ton of interest, until tonight. His interest wasn't in hitting, batting, catching or throwing and especially not running. He was playing third base WHILE coaching the other teams runners. Every time one of them made it to third he'd urge them on and he must have been convincing because, every time, they hesitated and kept going (with the REAL coach yelling at them to go back to third!!)

I think we've found his talent, COACHING, or maybe a salesman.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do as I say.....

NiNi had an eye exam a couple of weeks ago and was excited to find out she needed glasses. Her big sister has been wearing them for 4 years and she idolizes her big sister. We went and picked them up yesterday and 2 hours later she wasn't wearing them. She complained that they were uncomfortable. I explained that it is an adjustment but that she can't just lay them down whereever she wants, or she will lose them. Then, I asked my children to help me find my glasses, because I couldn't find them...

new discovery

Gigi's most recent discovery is that there are things behind cabinet doors and in kitchen drawers. Even though she is sweet child #4, all the cabinets and drawers in this house don't have latches, since the boy was 2 when we moved here and he could care less about tupperware.
(Don't worry, anything dangerous is out of reach or locked up.)

So I am watching her clear out the tupperware cabinet every five minutes and putting it back. The advantage - I'm finding all kinds of things that have been "missing" since we moved in the house over 3 years ago! The lid to the cool tupperware snack cup, the insulated mug from the hospital that keeps drinks cold into the next millenium(even though the straw is a pain to clean), and lids to bowls I haven't seen in ages. She is my new "Flylady" helper.

It's also cute to see her "drinking" out of our huge plastic tea glasses!

Maybe I should help her dig out the stuff in the linen closet next....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No escape....

So yesterday was hubby's and my 16th anniversary. We havent' been out much alone in the last year. We were dreaming about a nice evening out alone. Last night we went to a nice restaurant, kid-free. After arriving, we were pleasantly surprised to see the restaurant had live jazz on Friday and Saturdays. What a nice touch!

As we were enjoying our salads and talking, the music started. About three songs in, I found myself starting to sing along in my head and stopped, mid-bite and stared at hubs. He asked me what was wrong....

"They are playing the theme song from Sesame Street!!!" He listened and confirmed my suspicion. Not only the theme from Sesame Street, but the Extended Play version. At least 4 loops thru with improv in between....

So much for an adult dinner. Just kidding, we still had a good time and a good laugh.

BTW - no homemade perfume concoction gift, but he did good!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Preparing future generations.....

Last night hubby snuck out to shop for our anniversary. He decided to take the boy for some father-son time and to prep him for the future. First, he swore him to secrecy. Not necessary, because they came home 2 hours later laughing and smelling strongly of women's perfume. They smelled like the salespeople had chased them with 50 testers! (Mixing all those scents is not good - trust me!) I've heard rumors that they had a perfume fight between the two of them, but I honestly don't want to know.

They came home empty-handed. I think its an excuse to get another chance to goof off, but it's no wonder they didn't find anything.....

The peanut gallery told me that -
The boy thought video games were the perfect choice and he and his dad also looked at big-screen tvs.

Hubby was also put out by a couple of salespeople at jewelry stores who suggested he must be in BIG trouble.

I'm glad they had fun, but I sure hope they weren't off trying to "mix" their own perfume concoction for me.....

If you catch a whiff of a blend of spicy, florals, oriental and clean scents, you'll know......

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dinner conversation

"Mommy, are you 20 feet tall?"

"Not anywhere close, I'm around 5 feet 5 inches."

"That's because you stopped growing when you quit drinking your milk."

Dad pipes in, "Or starting drinking coffee, you know it stunts your growth."

Note to family: Don't mess with my coffee!!!

Family vacations aka The joy of childhood.

It's no wonder that we didn't take too many big vacations as a kid. They are a lot of work.

Planning, budgeting, making reservations, packing lists, arrangements for obligations while you're away.....

I think I'd much rather be the kid who could....

1 - Offer "suggestions" about where to stay and what to do after looking at the tourism brochures. Along with the obligatory " but, what if we NEVER get to go there again?" and "It's ONLY $30 per person!"

2 - Plan on packing my whole room of toys (and start a month early - so I wouldn't miss any).

3 - Remind mom and dad of how many more days until we leave (not just daily, but hourly).

4 - Stand over mom's shoulder while she is doing computer research on landmarks, routes, fees, etc. to make sure she doesn't miss anything.

5 - Whine about needing to go to the bathroom 10 minutes after leaving home (and conspriring with siblings to do the same, staggered every 20 minutes or so for the rest of the trip.)

6 - Beg for souveniors because I didn't save my allowance that my parents asked me to save for just such a purpose.

7 - Have mom funnel me snacks, sugar-laced juices and kool-aid and surprises to keep me in a good mood.

8 - Leave something in every hotel along the way. (Just a little something for them to remember me by).

Ahh! The joy of childhood.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Stairs or elevator

At the dentist's office last week, my son asks as we walk in the door, are we taking the stairs or the alligator?

The alligator, son. (Snicker)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sha Sha is 10!

Double digits for my darling!!! It's hard to believe our family started 10 years ago. Our lives have changed so much and we were sooooooo clueless! Thank God for his grace....

My least favorite things to shop for...

3. Cars
2. Swimsuits
1. Bras...

Ugh! Enough said.....Had to do some shopping today.....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Woo Hoo I won!

First - I never win anything! I signed up on the big mama blog to win a Third Day CD and I won. She had 10 copies to give away and 331 people who left comments. I know the numbers were randomly generated, but that doesn't make me any less happy!

Thanks to Mrs. Nurse Boy who told me about the blog.....

shopping withdrawl

It's been soooo long since I trolled the clearance racks, I am having withdrawl.....

Not that hubby would complain.....

(I might actually pay full price for something....AACK!)

Now that's a new one....

The children often don't like what I offer them for dinner. Last night I made what I thought was a pretty safe baked chicken dish. Not a casserole, no fancy sauces or herbs. Just baked chicken with a garlic honey glaze. We've had it before, but last night no one would eat it, and of course, I made extra so we would have lunch today....

Anyway, as I was warming it up for lunch today Nini pipes up....

"Mom, I think I am allergic to that chicken.....AH-Choo!!"

Nice try, but it didn't work.....