December 16, 2011

Artist of the Month

December, 2011
Luke has been chosen as the Artist of the Month for the 1st grade at Monroe Primary school.  His painted self-portrait is hanging outside of the school office.

I am SO PROUD and excited to have such a gifted little boy!!!!!

Only the Beautiful Blankets...

Tucking my lovely little girl into bed the other night and she tells me...

MOM! Only the BEAUTIFUL blankets can touch my body.
(meaning the silky and furry ones)

My, Oh My!!!!  Where DOES she come up with these things!?!?!!!!

September 29, 2011


Lydia told me today that she was worried
that God is being squooshed.
(not squished... "squooshed")

I asked WHY, and her answer???

Because He's in her heart and her heart is not very big.


August 8, 2011

Who's There?

Lydia: Knock, Knock

Me: Who's There?

Lydia: See You Later, Alligator

Me: (*smiling heart*)

August 2, 2011

Life's got me again...

Life is super busy.  Yep.  I have to put a few things on the back burner.  Sadly, my blog didn't make the cut (again).  Surely though - hopefully sooner than later - I WILL be back.  I promise.
Maybe check back in a month or two.

July 23, 2011

Knock, Knock... Who's there? T W E E T

So only a few days after I blogged about the growing birds outside our house, they flew from their nest.  One of the three straggled behind the others though.  It hung out all day- first in our garage, then in our driveway and finally moving to our front doorstep.  It chirped all afternoon...
Here's a video of what we heard... for  h o u r s . . .

July 13, 2011

Sweet Tweets

For someone who doesn't care for birds (that would be ME), I sure do like seeing babies safely hatching around our home!!!!!  Here is Nest #2.  It's it a tough spot to get a clear photo, but there are 2-3 sweet little robins tucked in there!

July 12, 2011

One More Vacation Photo...

I just realized I missed one last photo that I wanted to include.  I suppose it's the perfect demonstration of a GREAT vacation ending...

July 9, 2011


I wondered what might be the best way to blog about our trip.
There is SO MUCH to tell!
SO, I'm going to do a timeline of all of our stops.  I'll include photos, which you can click on to enlarge if you're interested.
Here goes...
(Hang on to your britches, because this is a LONG post!)
DAY 1:
6/30/11, 2:30am We carried our sleeping kids to our car and left home.  They thankfully slept for HOURS.  We made it to Sioux Falls, Iowa (14 hours away) to stay the night. 

DAY 2:
The next morning we visited Sioux Falls.
It's amuses me to think of these breath-taking landscapes out in the middle of nowhere!  It was a fun place for the kids to burn some energy, because they could run and climb. 

We stopped at The Corn Palace.
This is a building that literally has it's exterior covered in corn.  They change it every year to create new pictures relating to current times.  Now... would I make a trip JUST to see this?  Probably not, HOWEVER it was pretty cool.  It has a terrific history and we really did enjoy our visit there!  So, if you ever happen to be in the neighborhood of Mitchell, South Dakota... take the break.

We made another stop at the famous Wall Drug.
What a strange mish-mash of "stuff".  Another interesting place to stretch our legs though.

Then we arrived at our "final" destination:
Rapid City, South Dakota

DAY 3:
Our first adventure was to drive through Bear Country USA.
This was actually really exciting!
We visited to view the progress of Crazy Horse.
A statue carved in a mountain... started nearly a hundred years ago by ONE MAN... one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  For perspective, Mount Rushmore's faces could all fit inside the head of Crazy Horse.  The story to go along with this- of the sculptor and the project's development is WONDERFUL!  It's inspiring and intriguing!  A DEFINITE MUST if you ever visit there!!!!  In the photos, you'll see the white scaled statue to see the three-dimensional finished project plan, with the real work-in-progress in the background.

Now, this next place was one of my favorite stops.  The Cosmos!  The photos will NOT do it justice, because HOLY MOLY this place is INSANE!  It's illusion at its best!  Not goofy stuff either; it seriously messes with your mind!  It's a cabin built in the 1950's on an extremely steep wooded hillside.  They designed the walls and such though to mess with visual logic.  We watched tennis balls and water roll uphill.  We stumbled in all different directions.  We stood and hung at bizarre angles.  People appeared unbelievably tall.  To further my point... EVEN CRAIG was impressed and baffled by some of the demonstrations!  It's certainly a hidden phenomena, and DEFINITELY too difficult to describe!
(these are the strangers across the room, but I seriously couldn't get my balance enough to turn and photo our own family)
(Notice this photo of a man standing opposite of Lydia. The man was actually around 6 feet tall. Not only did Lydia in actuality measure up to about his waist, but the teenager and woman behind her were ALSO nearly 6 feet tall!!!! How in the world does he appear to be so much taller as they stood opposite one another?!?!?!!) 

We ended our first day (yep... this was just our first day!) with a dinner theater - CHUCKWAGON.  Great Food and Great Music.

DAY 4:
In the morning we headed to Wyoming to see Devil's Tower.
It's a huge rock formation sticking up all by its lonesome.  We hiked around the entire base, watching daring rock climbers scale the sides.  It was about a mile walk, and the kids had a good time searching for and checking off items in their "Junior Park Ranger" books- which earned them a certificate and badge when they finished.
(if you click to enlarge the next photo, and look closely you'll see 2 rock climbers- one in a white shirt and one in a red shirt; they are TINY, because the mountain is HUGE)
Our Junior Park Rangers!

We then drove to Deadwood.
Here we took a bus tour to an old cemetery to visit the grave site of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane.  The stories we heard were interesting.  Back in town there was an exciting real live cowboy shoot-out. (we had to stand around an extra bit of time to prove to Lydia that there truly weren't dead men laying in the road!)

DAY 5:
Fourth of July!  We started with a return to Crazy Horse.
They had a scheduled dynamite blast to clear more of the mountain. I took a video of it. You'll hear a man yell, "FIRE IN THE HOLE" as we counted down. Then you see the blast of debris and dust... THEN you hear the bang. The delay of sound was startling! We actually FELT the "boom".  - The kids had the best seat in the house.
(this is the VIDEO if you're interested)

On to Big Thunder Gold Mine,
where we took a tour of a mine and had a chance to pan for gold. 

In the afternoon we walked around in Keystone,
which is where we took a chairlift ride up a mountainside in order to breeze down it on an Alpine Slide.  YAHOO!!

Then Mount Rushmore.
We hiked up close to the mountain, and that night watched their daily lighting show.  It included a short patriotic program and lowering of the American flag.  It was a gorgeous evening!

On our way back to the hotel, we happened to drive right up close to a huge community fireworks display.  We pulled over so we could watch it from our car.  An outstanding ending to another great day!

DAY 6:
We took an adventurous tour into the depths of Rushmore Cave.
A natural cave that went down, down, down.  It was cold and damp, and we were truly impressed.
Plus, Craig and Luke flew down a zipline while were at Rushmore Cave.  It was long and fast... too fast for me to snap a photo!

The final adventure was reserved for Craig.  The kids and I walked around shopping in Custer while he hiked over 6 miles on a rugged trail to the top of Harney Peak.  This is the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe, at an elevation of 7242 feet.  The tower at the top was built in 1939.  A side note is that he did it in a remarkably short amount of time!  And he took some awesome photos...

Here is the tunnel we had to drive through to get to this trail. 
This last photo shows the teeny tower
in the distance at the very tippy-top of the mountain.

DAY 7:
7/6/11, 6 am We checked out of the hotel and hit the road.  Our original plan was to stop halfway, then we changed it to MORE than halfway, then we decided to just drive it all.  Yep... 22 hours later... I'll do the math for you- 4am on 7/7 we arrived home.  YAY US!  The drive was easy (straight and flat), and our kids were great!  This ranks as probably the best vacation we've ever had!

If you made it this far... THANKS for reading about our adventure,
and I hope you enjoyed your virtual vacation!