Friday, July 30, 2010

A Birthday celebration and a rainy day.

Yesterday we got to help Grandma Peggy celebrate her birthday. Lauren made her a birthday crown, and all the grand kids were happy to help grandma blow out the candles.

Thursday was a very rainy day at our house. Lauren asked if it was a "thundering rain." I said it wasn't, so then she asked if she could go outside. She was very excited to go outside and use her umbrella. Emma watched from the garage at first, but then joined Lauren under the umbrella. I gave her her own umbrella, but she didn't care for that. She preferred just playing in the rain rather than trying to play and hold the umbrella.

A Trip to Iowa

On Sunday the girls and I headed to Iowa to see my sister Tammy. My mom went along, and was a big help keeping the girls occupied on the trip.

Lauren trying out Tammy's keyboard.

Emma helped Tammy make supper.

Playing crochet.

Lauren took the next two pictures.

On Monday afternoon we went swimming at the convent (one of Tammy's coworkers from hospice let us swim there).

Emma filled her swimmer diaper, and I hadn't brought an extra, so she had to wear a regular diaper, which became quite water logged.

Emma and Lauren approved of the "roni" at our favorite restaurant, Zio Johnno's.

Playing at a park.

Emma appreciated the very S-L-O-W slide.

Emma entertaining us.

Another storm

Last Friday a big storm passed through Mitchell. Our lake is back and sadly, the high winds took out one of our big trees. Thankfully nothing was damaged, but it will be quite a clean-up project once the water goes down again.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma Peggy!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010: Day 5

On Thursday morning, the girls finally got the hang of this vacation thing and slept in a little bit. The bad news was that what started out as a runny nose for Emma had turned into a full blown cold for both girls. Despite this, we had a nice relaxing morning at the camper, got up and had pancakes and cereal when everyone awoke. We headed into Rapid City so Lauren and Emma could go back and visit their friends at Storybook Island Again. Lauren was very glad to go see Ariel again, despite the issues with the color of her hair. Emma enjoyed seeing Barney again as well as some of the other displays. After about 45 minutes of seeing the girls struggle to breath and their red, irritated eyes, we opted to head out.

We headed to the mall to walk around for a little bit, Emma caught a quick snooze while we were there. We ate lunch at Fuddruckers where both girls scarfed down, to everyone’s surprise, macaroni and cheese. After this, we made the tough decision to head back to pack up the camper and head home. We figured the girls would be better off sleeping in their own beds. They did get to watch their new Barney video while Mom and Dad packed up the camper. At about 5:00, we were on the road home.

All in all, it was a great vacation. We all had a lot of fun, but were all glad to be home.

Summer Vacation 2010: Day 4

We toured through Bear Country in our truck and started out seeing elk, reindeer, wolves, donkeys, big horn sheep, deer, buffalo and of course bears. There were a few bears that even came up on the road around the vehicles. At the end of the vehicle tour, there was an area called Baby Country where we got out and walked around seeing baby skunks, wolves, raccoons, coyotes, foxes and bears. The girls were content but not overly impressed. Lauren got to ride in a train, but Emma had no interest. The best part for the girls was at the gift shop where they were each able to pick out their own t-shirts, both pink of course.

Next, we were back to the camp for a lunch of macaroni and hot dogs. It was an absolutely gorgeous afternoon so we ate outside and spent some time out there before rest time in the camper. After rest time, we were in the truck again, ready to head towards Deadwood. We drove through Rapid City, to Sturgis, and then south to Deadwood. We drove through the historic downtown area and then through Lead. We got out and looked down into the big open pit gold mine on the edge of Lead. We had another fancy supper out, this time at Taco John’s. After supper, we took an very scenic ride from Deadwood back to the camp on SD Hwy 385. We stopped and took some pictures at a very picturesque Lake Pactola. Once back at the camper, we went the playground to swing and ride the springy horses before calling it the end to another great day.
Emma playing in the camper before napping.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010: Day 3

It was a good night as it stayed warm enough that we did not have to run the heater in the camper. Jared's Aunt Judy and Uncle Gary picked Jared up to golf at a course called Red Rock, which was challenging to say the least. Jared won’t disclose his score, but it must not have been good as he lost at least a dozen balls. Jared said, " When this guy hits into knee high grass in rattle snake country, that ball is considered gone."

Stacey and the girls headed over to Old McDonald’s farm which is located right next to the campground. Stacey quickly realized it was not an ideal place to go considering Emma is not horribly fond of animals. She was not impressed with the turkeys and various animals running around. After the farm, the girls got to go swimming back at the campground. Once Jared returned from golfing, we loaded up two tired girls and headed for Custer State Park for Needle’s Highway and the wildlife loop. Emma was asleep before we were even out of the campground and Lauren joined her moments later. We had a nice peaceful drive through the park with two and sometimes three sleeping girls. The girls woke up towards the end and were able to see a few of the buffalo, antelope, and donkeys along the way.

Lauren took this picture of the goats.

Lauren briefly tried to pet the goats, but didn't want to try feeding them.

Emma enjoyed the somewhat secure area of the playground where
not too many animals ventured.

Emma & Lauren feeding the fish.

Lauren sleeping on our drive through Custer State Park.

Both girls had been in the train, but at the last minute, Emma decided she didn't want to go.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010: Day 2

Day 2:
On Monday morning we were up with the sunshine with Lauren crawling in with us on our side of the camper. We were able to stave her off for a while before she decided she was hungry, then we made enough noise that Emma was up too. We had a nice breakfast outside the camper of pancakes, juice, and coffee. After we showered up, we were off for the day to our first destination which was Dinosaur Park. This was especially fun for Stacey and I as we had many childhood trips to the DP. After climbing to the top and enjoying the great view of Rapid City we had a few photo ops with the giant concrete creatures.

Next we were off to Storybook Island. We got to walk around the park and see all of the different scenes from various fairy tales. The girls were able to ride a train around the park. Lauren’s favorite was the statue of Ariel from The Little Mermaid; however, she was quite observant to notice that her hair was not the right color red (which I am assuming to avoid Copyright laws from Walt Disney), she wanted to go back later in the day to see if they painted it the right color yet. Emma’s favorite was to see, and hug the statue of Barney. They must have enjoyed it as they have already asked to go back.

After the Island, we were back to the campground for lunch and naps. Emma fell asleep on the way which was just fine with us. After a hot dog and watching Snow White, Lauren was out too. We could see the sky clouding up and getting quite dark, so we battened down the hatches, and with good reason as it quickly began to rain, and rain, and hail and HAIL! It hailed very hard for about 20 minutes and when it was over, the ground was mostly white and we had two awake little girls.

After we re-grouped, we headed for Mount Rushmore or Rount Mushmore according to a Silly three year old. We were able to get a few nice pictures from the top and then made the mistake of taking the trail down and around. Our first mistake was that we had 2 strollers and that there were approx 300 stairs down and 300 back up. Our 2nd mistake was to have a very tired, and head-strong 1 year old. When we put her down, she wanted up, when she was up, she wanted down. When she was in the stroller, she wanted to push the stroller. Needless to say, we were glad to make it back to the truck and I think most of the Asian tourists who saw her tantrums were too.

From here we left and took the drive past Crazy Horse monument and through Hill City. We then headed back to camp and into Rapid for supper and supplies. We ate at one of Stacey’s favorite restaurants in Rapid, Sanford’s Grub and Pub. The girls were good, ate their “roni” and teamed up with another little girl from a neighboring table to keep most of our section entertained with their dancing skills. After supper it was back to camp for swinging, sliding and campfire. We had marshmallows, s’mores, and the sticky fingers that accompany them. After a shower, we had another good bed time with the help of uncle Barney.

Emma, having some "creative" time to start her day.

Lauren enjoying her time in the camper.

Who's foot is bigger?

What a good looking family!

Emma peaking her head out of a house at Storybook Island.

Mom and Dad in Pooh's tree house (photograph by Lauren).

It's Ariel, but something isn't quite right!

Emma was able to help Mom and Dad out when we got tired.

Lauren at Snow White's house, she was able to point out that Doc was missing his glasses, in fact he was.

Train at Storybook Island.

Hail Storm!