Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Wonderful Saturday

Today has been a great Saturday...I didn't even get out of my pjs until 5:00!

I woke up around 8:45 and got up to a very quiet house. Frank was helping Gene set up for Sunday School at the church, and when he got home, he had donuts from Ryal's. (I'm so glad Becky works there, because Frank loves to go visit her and that means I get treats!) Jacob slept til after 10, and Paige slept til noon!

I had a lot of cooking to do, so I decided to go ahead and get started. I made a honey bun cake for Gene's birthday, the pioneer woman's jalapeno appetizers, a green tomato casserole, and a cheese ring for Jamie's baby shower. Since I was already cooking with bacon, I fried up another package for BLT's for lunch. When Paige strolled into the kitchen at 11:58, she said "Yum, I woke up to the smell of bacon!" That NEVER happens at my house!

We ate BLT's for lunch using the tomatoes that Frank grew in our very own garden! I know, I thought he was crazy for planting it, but now I think he is a genius! Those three tomato bushes have so many tomatoes on them that they are breaking. The cucumber vine was growing all over the driveway, and I put it back into the garden's not looking so good now that I messed with it...oops.

Back to Saturday, after lunch I folded clothes while watching tv in bed, while Frank studied. When he was finished, we watched 3 episodes of Gilmore Girls downstairs. I took a shower, then we went to Gene and Cindy's for Gene's birthday. The Schulzes, Longs, and Stewarts were there, and I got to hold and feed sweet baby Micah. Frank hogged Maddi all to himself, so I never got a chance to hold her. We had a great dinner of fried chicken and comfort foods. It was all sooooooo good! Cindy and I sat with our feet in the pool while Paige swam, and had a chance to talk with relatively no interruptions. Good stuff. Great Saturday!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What I Learned Today

Where were you when you heard Michael Jackson died?

I happened to be eating dinner with my husband, sans kids. But that isn't the point. All over the news and on everyone's lips is the big news. But why is it more important that Michael Jackson died than any of the other people who died today? He was just a man. And if he hadn't sang songs we all heard on the radio (and saw on tv) we wouldn't have given him a second thought. But singing a song isn't the measure of a man, obviously. In my opinion, Michael Jackson wasn't a man, he was a freak, but I digress.

Unfortunately, I know about death. In two years, I lost my father, my mother, and my grandmother. My maternal grandparents died long before I was born, and my paternal grandfather died when I was 10. I am terrified of my husband or children dying. From the time they were born, if my child had a cold, I thought the worst was going to happen. If Frank doesn't get from point A to point B in the time I think it should take, before long I am imagining the knock on the door to tell me something has happened. I know, I'm a freak.

So where am I going with this? I don't know. I guess I just think we should be more concerned about the people who are in our lives, and love them with all our hearts, and quit wasting our time worrying about the Michael Jacksons in the world. And I'm talking about myself. I'm all about Jon and Kate, and celebrities, and scandal, and junk. And all the while I have two beautiful children, a wonderful husband, two sweet puppies, and many fabulous friends that are much more worth my time.

So, instead of thinking about where I was when Michael Jackson died...I just hope that I always remember that on June 25, 2009, I had a sweet dinner for two with my even sweeter hubby! (And that really is the point, isn't it?!)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Lincoln Presidential Museum

On Wednesday of our trip, we went to the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, IL. This was my favorite part of the trip! It was amazing! It is very high tech, and interactive, and you are able to really get to know Lincoln as a person, not just a historical figure. I'm sad to say, I hardly took any pictures at all. Much of the museum, you could not take pictures, but honestly, I was so busy enjoying the museum, I didn't think about taking pictures anyway. I can't adequately describe how cool the museum really was, but here is a link to the museum's website.
Here is our family with the Lincoln family...note that I am no longer able to stand behind Paige in baby is growing up!
Jacob and Paige with the Lincolns...arriving at the White House.

And the Lincolns looking a little lonely without the Meighans!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

St Louis Arch

Tuesday, after the Zoo, we went to the St Louis Arch. It is on the banks of the Mississippi, and is taller than the buildings around it...It is so big that you see it way before you actually get into downtown.
It is in the middle of a park, and the lobby and Museum of Westward Expansion is underground.
To get to the top, you ride in a "tram" that is kind of oval and has 5 seats. It is so small that I bumped my head going in on the way up and down. It feels a lot like being in a roller coaster, but you are confined, and thankfully, the bottom doesn't fall out underneath you. As you can see, Paige was a wee bit nervous.
Frank switched seats with her, and she got more nervous...
And I have a pic of her REALLY nervous, but she didn't want it on here!

At the top, there is sort of an enclosed bridge, and it has windows that overlook the city and the river. Here is Busch Stadium.
The sky line...see, it's up really high! Some of the buildings had roof top pools, and that was cool to see.
This is the Old's a museum you can tour.
This is a sculpture about the building of the Arch.
After we went up in the arch, we toured the Museum of Westward Expansion which is in the same building. This buffalo is HUGE, and the picture does not do it justice.
A covered wagon, obviously.
Floyd's Bluff
The museum was like a huge circle, and all the way around were pictures of places that Lewis and Clark wrote about and excerpts from their journals. Because my maiden name is Floyd, I had to get a pic of this one. It was all really neat. The perimeter was about their journey, and then inside the circle, were all kinds of relics from that time.
This was another place that Frank really seemed to enjoy, and I'm very glad we were able to experience it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

St Louis Zoo

Monday Evening, we arrived at our hotel in O'Fallon, IL (right outside of St Louis, MO) right behind a tornado! The tornado had knocked trees down on houses right behind the hotel, and tore the privacy fence panels down. It looked like the wind picked the panels up and threw them. There was no power at the hotel, but we were able to check in and put our stuff in a downstairs room. I am so thankful that we missed the actual tornado...we didn't even have any rain while driving. We went to eat at Red Robin and had fantastic hamburgers. Then we hung out at Barnes and Noble until we thought the lights might be back on. They were, but there were electrical problems at the hotel, so the air didn't work. The managers went from room to room to find one where everything worked, and they finally found one on the third floor. That is when we found out that the elevators didn't work either! But the air and the tv did, so we were good. We got up Tuesday morning and found out the hot water didn't work either! Now, THAT was not good! It was a beautiful hotel and the staff was very nice, and all of the problems were due to the storm, so we couldn't be upset with them...but with a COLD shower, it was hard not to be crabby.

Tuesday's adventure started with the St Louis Zoo. The zoo is larger than Central Park Zoo, and the admission is FREE! They have any kind of animal you can think are some of my favorites.
Kangaroos...there were also wallabies in there with them.
Penguins...this one is hiding in a little cave. We didn't stay at the penguin exhibit long...look on the rocks and you will see why we didn't hang around too long (it stunk!)
Sea Lions...kickin' it sea lion style!
Bears...that's a pink bowling ball!
Another bear chillaxin'.
Peahen with baby
Prairie dogs...They were soooo cute.
Tigers, they were about 1 year old and were playing.
ZebrasSome kind of primate...they had lots and lots of different kinds.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Drumroll Please....

I know that you have all been waiting with baited breath to hear more about Road Trip 09, so hear you go...the play by play for Springfield, MO.
Our hotel was a "vintage motor court" on Route 66. It was actually quite nice, and the lobby and outside was really cool 1950's looking. They even had old phone booths and cars in the parking lot. The room was a wonderful set up. It had a kingsized bed in the main room, and a little room with a futon/bunk bed and its own tv. Both tvs had dvd players, so this was the ideal set up for us.
We met up with Rick and had a late lunch/early dinner at Logan's. From there we went to Bass Pro...the main store which looks like it could eat the Macon store for a snack. It was 3 levels, and there were all kinds of water features and aquariums and wildlife mounts. Quite a bit of it was being remodeled, so it wasn't as good as it could be, but it was still really neat. They had race car simulators you could drive, and Paige was all about that...until we watched someone else do it, and she realized she'd get car sick. It was pretty intense. There was a restaurant with a gorgeous salt water aquarium behind the bar, and a "fine gun room" with guns upwards of $35,000. I'm happy to say that we left Bass Pro without buying anything. I didn't take my camera inside...didn't realize you would need a camera at Bass I don't have anything but cell phone pics from there, but it was really neat...and I'm not really a Bass Pro person so that's saying a lot.
After there, we went to Rick's daughter's house and visited for a little while, then went to the hotel to watch Gilmore Girls. We took a break to go to Andy's Frozen Custard and are now custard fans. Sunday, we went to church at a humongous church with Rick. The pastor there will be doing the sermon at the Souther Baptist Convention this year, and the choir will be performing there as well. I feel famous, now. After church, we had lunch at Rick's daughters, then the guys went to play golf and Paige and I went to the mall. I saw a mall cop on a segway (sp?) and it was the highlight of my day! We had barbeque that night for dinner...and more frozen custard.
Monday, we went to Wilson's Creek Battlefield, a Civil War battlefield. Frank LOVED it. I was happy Frank enjoyed it so much. You drove from site to site, and could hike and see more, but it was very muggy, and I was sweating like a pig just getting out of the truck, so we didn't hike. After driving through it, we went to the museum, and it was full of all kinds of neat things. Again, Frank really enjoyed it, and we were very patient and let him look as long as he wanted (it was air conditioned in there, which really helps with my patience.) Here are some pics from the couldn't have flash photography in the museum, so I didn't take any pics inside.
Frank read every word of every sign they had.
This is the house that was used as a hospital. It was way up a hill, and you can't go inside, so I just took a pic with the zoom on. Notice the artsy layout....on Jacob's camera, if you are outside, you can't see what you are taking a picture of, so I had to guess I had it aimed right....this pic, not so right.
Down from the house/hospital was the springhouse.

Like I said, Frank read every word of every sign.

They had cannons in several places...the kids liked that.

This was a really pretty place, I just wish it hadn't been so unbearably humid. I took some pretty flower pictures, but I'll save them for another post. (You know, so I can drag this out.)
After the battlefield, we saw Rick one more time to say goodbye, and headed to St. Louis. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment in the saga that is...Road Trip 09!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Road Trip 2009

Road Trip 2009
We had a great vacation...lots of miles, lots of laughter, lots of fun! In the interest of making my vacation last as long as possible, I'm going to drag it out by blogging about it for as long as I can...or at least until something interesting happens around here!
First stop...Alabama.

Next, Mississippi. We ate dinner at Vanelli's, an Italian/Greek restaurant in Tupelo. It was very good. I had spanakopita, Frank had ravioli, Paige had fettucinne, and Jacob had...a hamburger! We all had baklava for dessert...and were way too full for the drive to the hotel.

Next, we passed through Tennessee. On the way up, we just passed through, but we stopped in Memphis on the way back home...more about that later!

We spent Fri night in Arkansas, and drove through Sat...very long ride.

We arrived in Missouri, our ultimate destination, Saturday. We spent a few days in Springfield, then went to St. Louis.

The last state we visited was Illinois. All of these pictures were taken at Welcome Centers...notice the restroom sign beside Jacob! They were all very nice, and I think they must compete with each other for which one can be the best. Yay for us...that means clean facilities! I do promise that we did more than stop at Welcome Centers for potty breaks, and I will blog about all the juicy details later.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted!

We are on day 2 of Road Trip '09. We have been through Alabama...where they have rocking chairs on a lovely porch to welcome you at the Welcome Center.Mississippi...where they give you a free coke at the Welcome Center. They also have a wonderful Greek/Italian Restaurant in Tupelo.
Then to Tennessee and Arkansas, but there was no Welcome Center into either, and the "Welcome To Arkansas" sign is in the middle of the bridge over the Mississippi River, so no pic, sorry.

And finally, to Missouri!
We are staying at a cool 50's style motor court on "Historic Rt 66" and there are tons of old cars everywhere. We met up with Rick and had a late lunch, then we went to the humongous Bass Pro Shop and then to see his daughter and her family. Her boys are too cute! We are settled in for the night to watch Gilmore Girls...but not until after this...
Frozen Custard...O M G! Like really silky ice melts fast though, and I tried to get a picture of Paige's Chocolate Melt Down, but she refused.
Tomorrow it's church with Rick's family in the morning, barbecue for lunch, then golf for the guys, and shopping for us girls. Vacation, its a good thing!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where did this week go?

My first week of summer has flown by, and I feel like I haven't accomplished anything! Monday started strong with cleaning the kitchen, and tackling huge amounts of laundry, but then I think I kind of fizzled out past there. Jacob and Paige had friends over Tuesday, and then went with the friends to the movies in Macon, so Frank and I had an evening to ourselves. We went to eat hamburgers at South of Philly...which we found out is a happening bar for college kids at night. Yea, we were definitely out of place. We came home and watched episodes of Gilmore Girls. Now that's more our style. Jacob and Paige came home with friends in tow to spend the night, and I heard a lot of giggling all night long. Wednesday, after the friends left, Paige broke her glasses so we had to get them fixed. Then we had supper at church and a night of more Gilmore Girls. Thursday, I cleaned my closet (well, cleaned at it) and did more laundry to get ready for our trip...which is tomorrow, and no, I haven't packed yet. We went to the orthodontist, and Paige, being the precocious genius that she is, is cutting her 12 year molars. Which isn't so good when you are only 9 and still haven't lost all of your baby teeth. She has teeth coming in every where, and has to have two more baby teeth removed by the dentist. Poor kid has lost more teeth via the dentist than the old fashioned way. It looks like she will be getting her second set of braces sooner rather than later...I just hope that we can put it off until Jacob is out of his. When we got home, I cleaned out the fridge and cooked all the fresh food we had so that it won't go to waste while we are gone. Supper tonight is dirty rice, cabbage, corn on the cob, and deviled eggs. YUM! And I'm baking cookies for our trip. I guess I have gotten more accomplished this week (at least today) than I thought...but I still have to pack!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer Days

Sleeping late, relaxing by the pool, no worries. If only it really worked out that way! Deep cleaning, yard work, itchy bug bites, that's more like it. We spent Sat morning spreading 75 bales of pine straw in the yard...and 100 more are supposed to be delivered today. I've always wanted a nice yard...I just had no idea how much work it was going to be! Both Fri and Sat night were spent with friends. I finally discovered the Rivers Crossing shopping center in Macon. Oh. Wow. I can't wait to go back to actually shop. Sunday was a nice lazy day...our kids were at a friend's house, so Frank and I watched a movie in the basement. Good times. Monday started the deep cleaning process. I worked on the kitchen, and did umpteen loads of laundry. We are leaving Fri morning on vacation, and there is a lot I'd like to do before we leave. I'm starting to freak out about how much it's going to cost, but I keep telling myself, 1. it's less than last year's trip to Costa Rica, and 2. time goes by too fast not to make the most of it. Neither Frank nor I ever went on vacations as kids, and I don't want that for our kids. So, no matter how aggravating they can be, I want them to see and do. We invested in dvd players for the ride, and hopefully, that will cut down on some of the ruckus. We're going to Missouri...2 days in Springfield visiting with Rick, then 3 days in St. Louis. We'll go camping at least one weekend, and I'm still trying to finagle a trip to the beach in some how. Summer days...good times...bug bites and all!