Tuesday, July 31, 2012

South Dakota!

One of the perks of traveling to other National Parks is that you get to take in all their beauty!  While on my week away to South Dakota I am being spoiled rotten off hours to make up for all the pain and punishment of having policies and procedures beat into my brain during the day!  Monday night we went through Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park.  The drive is breathtaking and indescribable!  I had initially told Bear I didn't want to see this territory with out him and the boys.  Well that changed in a hurry when the girls form the office told me, no way, no how was I going to come this close and not see it!  I saw animals in their natural habitat.  From buffalo to wild turkeys and pronghorn to prairie dogs!  I am kicking myself for leaving the nice camera at home and having to take pictures with my iPhone!  But at least I have something to show the kids...either way it doesn't describe the true beauty of the area.  We ate at the Blue Bell restaurant which was a great experience in itself.  We saw the destruction of the wild fire from last week.  The damage to the forests was so shocking to see, but the silver lining is that no homes were lost during the 9,000+ acre burn.  Tomorrow we are heading to Mount Rushmore and then out to dinner.  Thursday night it is back to Rapid City to a "block party" of some kind in their down town area.  Apparently every Thursday night the downtown is blocked off and there is all kinds of businesses that come together to have sales, street dances, music and food.  Convenient for me, since I am staying in Rapid City that night to catch an early morning flight out on Friday.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Bear!

When you turn 36, what do you really want for your birthday?  Well in Bear's case it was mimosa's, zucchini bread and to watch the sun rise.  So we made zucchini bread yesterday.  I ran to the liquor store for champagne. I ran to the grocery store for sparkling juice for the kids.  When I came home he asked where I had all been.  I told him and he said, "I wasn't serious."   Well, we did everything he wanted except watch the sun rise!  Forget it.  I half wanted to wake him up when it was rising but didn't.  We did add to the festivities and I made fried venison steaks.  We toasted a Happy Birthday to Bear with our mimosas and enjoyed a very odd yet satisfying breakfast.

Tammy sent a super funny jib jab. A little "jab" at Bear and I because we have been doing the Insanity Workout.

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cash Register=You WILL learn how to count back change!

 How many people reading this know how to count back change?  How many teenagers do you think know how to count back change?  With out the cash register, calculator, phone app...do most people know how anymore?  Well I learned at Fast Eddie's when I was 14 and by golly, my kids are going to know how too!

 The kids had ventured to the out door shop last night with Shelby.  I gave them $5 to buy lures and jigs and crap for something to do.  Then I came home with a cash register from my boss (since they are moving to Alaska, they are finding all sorts of things to pass on to my kids).  The thing still works and works well!  At first the boys were just banging around on it and printing out receipts and enjoying the fake money...

But I quickly realized that I could teach them about money a bit more.  Parker had learned some money handling, change counting and recognition this school year.  I am certain my kids' brains have rotted all summer and they don't remember a thing.  So we did a quick run through of the "monies" as Emmitt likes to call all money and set the kids to work.  Parker quickly made his own out door store and handed us each a pile of play cash.  We pitched in some real coins and he rang us up as we purchased items from his very cool store.  At one point he told me I couldn't be behind the register (I was only trying to help him give me my change back) and that I had to stand on the other side because I am a customer!  The nerve! 

Grandpa quickly realized that it was cheaper to buy fish from the store than it was to buy the jig.  Parker was charging like $70 for a jig and $3 for a gun case!  That concept was missed a bit.  But Bear sat there and helped him read the numbers on the register and count us back our correct change.  No granted he is a bit young to do the math part of counting back, but he quickly caught on to which bills were bigger and how to add the coins together.  It was pretty amazing at how fast it came back to him. 

Emmitt scored some huge discounts, I think he got one because he is the brother!  But the cash register sits in my living room and it's new to the boys, so of course they want to play with it, so I plan on cramming as much money math into them that I can!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Parker asks Siri...

So when you push a button on my "smart phone" you can ask it a question and it will usually search the web.  Parker does it often (when momma doesn't know the answer) and this time he asked it 'what crickets like to eat'...well, let's just say she was "unclear"....
by the way...crickets eat: other crickets, grass, bugs, and strawberries!  Which is what we fed them!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Destination Revealed-Valley Fair

Each year we take our kids on a "destination unknown".  One year we really had no idea where we were going and we ended up at the zoo...the trip where Emmitt fell on the lemur cage and got a huge goose egg on his forehead and where he half drowned himself doing the alligator roll in the pool...This year, we totally knew where we were going, but wouldn't tell the kids anything.  We left town on a Friday night and pulled into Bart and Cy's around midnight!  The boys didn't fall asleep until Pine City!  It was a long drive, full of bad drivers, construction and a broken iPod jack for the speakers.  Once we got into the very nice, very un-childproofed home, with 2 elderly cats (one whose one his 11th life and the other who doesn't like people) we crashed.  That was until I started getting texts from a drunk brother in law dancing his heart out on Pride Weekend.  And those two guys never even came home!  Once we finally saw the uncles in the morning we headed out for breakfast.  We hit up our old campuses and places we used to live.  Emmitt asked if daddy went to school at a zoo because of all the cages around the U of MN.  We ended up on Randolph down from St. Kates at the Copperdome for giant waffles and crepes...then it headed to our destination unknown.  Valley Fair.  The kids had no clue, and as you can see from the video, they thought it was a water park! We hit up all the rides in the Camp Snoopy area.  Which used to be at the Mall of America.  So it was nice to let the kids just ride and ride.  One of our first rides was the octopus/spider one and the boys were not sure if they were happy or totally freaked out by it.  Bear instantly got motion sick from the round and round and that basically did it for him.  But once Parker realized he was more scared than his baby brother he had to one up him.  He cleared the 48" mark with his hair and braved the white roller coaster with momma!  If I had only videotaped that one!  I have never seen so many emotions on a kids face...ever.  We ate and drank slushies and played games and rode rides. We hit the water park for a little bit and left about 6 that night.  We were totally wiped out.  But I was quick to let Emmitt and Parker know that they did great walking all day long.  This was our first trip without the stroller, leash, big camera and we all fit our stuff in one suitcase...we simply enjoyed it being that much easier.  We got back to Bart and Cyrus's and headed out for Sushi.  Bart found this little place that welcomed us in the back patio area, even though we were a table of 5 with no reservations (which included my two kids).  The kids got the coolest "pop" we have all ever seen. Bart ordered for us and we all ate until our hearts were content.  Bear, Bart and Sushi...a great combination.  Those two drank enough saki to get themselves a headache in the morning, while I sat and enjoyed watching my boys dazzle the waitress with their new Japanese Language skills.  It was a weekend full of memories...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Funday!

We are all exhausted!  But I've been such a blog slacker that before I go to bed I have to make an effort.
Parker has been rhyming his days with a word...like Pieday Friday!  So we shared a piece of Grandma's pie.  Hat-ur-day Saturday, Sunday Funday (Monday too!)...so we had a fun day.  Yesterday (I'm not sure any of us wore hats) but we worked around the house on projects and 85 loads of laundry (which are not mine anymore since I wear the same uniform for a week!)...but today we have good ole family fun!  Started with me thinking I was going to church by myself, leading to Emmitt screaming in the driveway that he was coming with-complete in his workout clothes from our morning "insane" workout...blue camo pants and an orange muscle shirt.  That fact that nobody commented was great, the fact was we were at church on time.  Then the boys made a squirrel trap (see video below) and we ended up at Sha-Sha for lunch wearing our swimsuits.  Over fed the 3 chipmunks that were there and headed to the beach after lunch.  Parker is a fish! If that kid doesn't have gills and fins by the end of summer I will be surprised.  They are finally at the age where Bear and I can lay on the beach and watch them play.  But it always ends with us being in the water with them anyways.  And both of us agreed that the water takes the pressure off of our aching muscles from that ridiculous workout we have been doing together.  We hung at the beach for a few hours and headed home. Bear fell asleep and the kids checked their trap (no squirrel) and then off to the "afternoon" showing of Brave.  Every person we talked to said it was scary, but we warned the kids that it's just a movie.  We had our fill of popcorn and slushies and then home to bed.  We are wore out, but boy was it a day full of memories...after all that's what it's all about.

 Emmitt thought the chippies came out of this big momma...

 oh...and the rest of the peanuts are in the squirrel trap in the front yard..

and I should mention the trap is made out of a coors light box..

the squirrel trap

You never know what they will come up with...today it was a squirrel trap!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Lost back in the archives of my blog are the Easter pics!  My little men in their pink...they were a total hit!  The big kids are growing amazingly fast, too fast and my little Ruby Jay was a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e in her Easter dress, especially bending over to pick up her eggs.

Grandma Audrey The Easter Bunny hid color coded eggs all over Grandma's house.  Each kid had a color and you could not tell the others if you found one of their eggs.  Of course the eggs were hidden with a difficulty level based on the child's age.  Or so we thought.  We had more fun watching Grandma A watch the kids hunt for eggs...it was priceless!

It was really cold on Easter, hence her red little nose...but it was a great day spent with family.  We went to church in the morning where I led the kids in a bell routine and then headed home for our Easter egg hunt. 
We ate out at Ray at Mom and Dave's for lunch.  Deb's was so sick that it was hard to watch but she did manage to get herself ready and then lay on the couch until a 6 hour ride home!  YUCK!

We left Ray early afternoon and headed out to Loman for supper.  Casey had made us supper and we enjoyed another egg hunt.  Ruby's first!  The boys loved shouting to her the location of another egg!

Shelby Lynn...just shy of turning 13 in this picture...

4 of these pictures of Debs kids became a collage for her Mother's Day present.  They are just getting too big...but not too big to let their auntie capture some great pics of them being who they are.

Another great weekend spent with family...