Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vacation Pics

We're back from vacation, so I thought I'd share a few hi-lights.

We headed to MO, where we were to meet up with Billy's family. We're all spread out, so we picked a place somewhere in the middle and that happened to be the Branson area. Billy's sister's family got sick right before they were to come, and so were not able to make it. We were so sad!! Hopefully, we can try to get together again, soon.

We stopped first at our dear friends from long ago and far away (Bible School days). They live close to St. Louis. Two of their children were away visiting grandparents, but the younger two girls were more than happy to entertain Abby for a couple of days; lots of swimming and playing dress-up!
Abby, Sophie and Ellie

Abby and Ellie

I was sad when I realized that I didn't get a picture of Steve and Sarah the whole weekend.

We met up with Billy's parents in Kimberling City, a little town on Table Rock Lake. It was nice to relax and enjoy the view. I even got to do some reading.

Billy's Aunt came down for a short visit and took us to Big Cedar, a gorgeous, luxury resort located in the Ozark Mountains. It was beautiful, and naturally lent itself to taking photos.

We even encountered this skunk. So picturesque.

Being so close to Branson, we were able to do some "touristy" things, such as "Ride the Ducks."

We also went to a Chinese Acrobat show. It was amazing. No pictures were allowed during the show, but Abby wanted to "meet" the people after the show.

After experiencing swimming at Ellie's pool with goggles, Abby was sure she could never swim without them again. So we made a quick trip to the store. She wanted to wear them all the time.

Sarah let us borrow one of the girls' swim vest. Abby had a blast paddling around the whole pool!

Here's Abby and Grandma at the swingset.

Abby loved being able to see her Grandparents again. Hopefully, it won't be too long til we see them again.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dance Camp

This past week was Abby's first experience with official dance lessons. We signed her up for a week of Dance Camp. Her class was for 4- and 5-year-olds. She was so excited for class to start each day.

I was really impressed with the studio. Each day they had instruction on classical ballet (of course), but also learned about dance history, nutrition, anatomy, and watched ballet videos.

On Friday, they invited the parents to come the last 15 minutes for a little recital. They talked about what they learned and showed us three or four dances.

This is a dance about "popcorn."

Eating the "popcorn."

This is her pose for us at the very end. They had done a dance from the "Nutcracker" about the mice. That is why her face is painted.

Here's a two minute sampling of our ballet dancer in-the-making!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Gardening Update:
We (meaning my sister and I) tried to be conservative on the amount of tomato and pepper plants we put in this year. I am rather proud of us for only having a dozen tomatoes (6 each of Big Boys and Roma) and as many peppers (jalepeno and green bell). But we also put in yellow squash, zucchini, egg plant (which has since drowned), green beans, snap peas, spaghetti squash and butternut squash. Oh yes, I should mention that the onions and garlic have come to nothing as well. boo hoo.

Here's our neat little rows separated by strips of carpet. This year, we also used "Fair Compost" which is really just a nice name for horse p**p. It's cheap and it's great fertilizer!

Here's a little bitty yellow squash.

And here it is a week or so later. And it was tasty!

We found a snake in the garden one day and screamed calmly asked Billy to help. He removed it to the neighbors back bushes. Then a day or so later, we found this guy (or gal) nesting in the top of our bush BESIDE OUR FRONT PORCH. Fun!

But here's the problem: The snake is no longer in the top of the bush. My front flower bed is in need of weeding. I don't know where the snake is. I haven't been weeding. Anyone want to come weed for me?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sticking With The Current Theme...

...here are the hi-lights from our Fourth of July celebrations.

Waiting for the parade. We went early (but not early enough) and found a spot on Main Street.

Still waiting...

Here they come!!

Happy Marines.

Wow! That's LOUD!

Picnic Time! She was much more interested in running and playing with her many cousins than sitting down to eat. Although, she did have several pieces of watermelon. Yummy!

Later in the evening, we went to watch fireworks. Before they started, we lit a few (dozen) sparklers. This one is seriously smoky!

"What is this thing's problem?"

Yep, I was there, too. Lighting everyone up!!

The smile out-shines the sparkler!

Huddled up to watch the fireworks. That's my nephew JR and his dog, Callie. We did not bring our dogs to watch the fireworks. They are totally freaked out by the loud noises. Between the numerous thunderstorms and the Fourth of July celebrations, it was NOT a good week for them.

This is as good as it gets. :)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

A couple of pictures from last year...

We'll be watching our town parade, having a cook-out with family and watching fireworks! We might even sqeeze in a Patriotic Concert at a local church.

Hope your celebration with family and friends is spectacular!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New Shoes

Billy has always encouraged my running. He frequently tells me he's proud of me for doing the 5k races. Last time, he said I was inspiring him to start running. Only problem was, though, that he didn't have appropriate shoes.

So last Friday night, we went to the sporting goods store and he tried on a bunch of running shoes. The salesguy was most helpful. He kept suggesting better and better shoes. Finally, he pulled out the Saucony and had Billy try them on. "You won't believe the price." Billy was thinking they would be over $100. But, after trying them on, and feeling the cushyness (a real word!) of them, the guy said, "they're $40!" Woo hoo!

I said, do you have them in women's? Sure enough, they did. And with pink accents. How cute is that? And they were (are) SO cushy! I told Billy I could cut 5 minutes off my 5K time (slight exaggeration). And because of the price, I was able to talk Billy into buying them for me. Even though I just bought new running shoes in May.

Plus, I didn't have any socks on, so the super-duper-helpful salesguys let me try on a pair of "power sox" with the shoes. Wow. They felt awesome. And I have been having issues with my socks lately. And for $10 for 3 pair, we (I) thought it was a great deal. The check-out lady even let us use our $10-off coupon!

So now we have "matching" running shoes. I've already put 4.5 running miles on them and Billy has been breaking in his a little more slowly. :)