Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vacation Day 5 - August 26, 2009

The kids were starting to have a difficult time from lack of sleep, so we decided to head out to Badlands National Park to give them a chance to sleep.

*We were singing and dancing to "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz to stop the girls from screaming.

*Mari laughed at me when I messed up the words.

*After telling Peder we were going to the Badlands he said, "I don't want to go to the Trouble lands."

*Peder was doing typical silly kid behavior on the dirt roads.  "Ahhhhhhhhhhh" for the bumpy road.

*"Ah BABY!  BAAAAAAAA!" when the girls saw the bison.

The following pictures were taken at Prairie Dog Town at Badlands National Park.  We did not see an prairie dogs there, but we saw over a hundred bison either scratching on posts or waiting for their turn.  I loved this baby.

Some of the bigger guys stood right over the posts and scratched their bellies on them.  It was pretty funny.

Me being artsy, trying to give a perspective as to how close the bison were to our van.


Everyone at all Wall Drug, with Jake's new girlfriend.  :)

Peder's cowboy buddy.  Crack me up.

*Emmy was terrified of the T-Rex when it was "looking for food."

*The kids got new little signs for their bedrooms to distract them while I was picking out a new necklace.

*The local radio station in Rapid City had a fun songs on the radio.  Something like "Whatever Happened To? Wednesday."  Funny songs like "Bust A Move" and "Neverending Story."  We were dancing like idiots and having fun.

*Emmy was a dancing machine.

*We got lost in Rapid City trying to find a main drag with a variety of restaurants.  Peder asked Jake, "Where are you going?"  Jake responded, "I don't know."  It was pretty hilarious.

*Mari heard a police siren and started imitating it.  The other 2 joined in and we had 3 police sirens in the car.

*We went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Rapid City.  The girls complained the whole time and we packed our dinner up and brought it back to the campground.

*Peder got a bag of Skittles at the end of the day for being so good at dinner.

Ladies of Grace - Sept. 30, 2009

My friend Beth does a weekly blog carnival called Ladies of Grace.  Here is her description:
Today is the day we share where we have experienced grace, given grace, or even just noticed our hearts softened and warmed - or hardened and cold - due to an experience... This is an experiment in noticing where our hearts are opened or closed in our daily lives - and learning from those moments as we move forward in our day-to-day lives.
So go check it out and give it a try yourself.  You may just learn a little about yourself along the way too.
I've had a lot of experiences since I last wrote this, but my experience happened today.  I went to get my hair cut and colored this afternoon while Jake was working from home and the kids were napping.  At one point when she was just about to start dying my hair a friend of hers came in.  This friend talked non-stop, looked rough and would interrupt at every chance she would get.  Finally my stylist "A" very graciously stopped what she was doing, gave her a hug and said she had to go.  I was a bit annoyed by the whole situation, until "A" filled me in, that is.  Apparently "A" knew this woman when they were younger and were acquaintances/friends.  They lost touch over the years until recently when "A" discovered that she lived down the street from her boyfriend.  "A" has been going to see her at least once a week because the woman is having a very difficult time.  Apparently she has chemical dependency issues and has a VERY difficult lot in life.  "A" was hoping to just be a friend for her and give her someone to rely on in her life...even though they had never really had a serious connection before.  Talk about Grace....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vacation Day 4 - Tuesday August 25th, 2009

Another hour and a half and I finally got another blog posted. FINALLY, Day 4!

This is how we found Emmy and Peder sleeping when we got inside from playing our game. We tried to move Peder so he wasn't laying on Emmy, but neither of them would have any of that and they moved back every time we tried to put him on his pillow.

*I saw 5 deer walking through the campground at 6a on my way to the bathroom.

We did a lot of things today. Starting with Bear Country USA. What a blast! We unbuckled the kids while we drove through (don't worry, we were going less then 5 mph the whole time) and they got to look out the windows and see all the animals.

*Mari would say for every animal, "Look the sheep!" And then she would yell "BAAAAAA!"

*Peder would say, "I wanna see more animals" within a minute of seeing one animal.
*Emmy would see all the animals and say, "Ahhhh, Baby!" Every single animal.

*Emmy blew a kiss to a sleeping Mountain Lion.

*Mari saying, "Daddy, what are you doing?" while peeking over his shoulder while he was driving through the park.

I think I'm SO funny. I may have been more excited then the kids at some points.

One of my favorite bears at the park.

The kids looking at a caterpillar. Jake tried to show Mari one earlier and she stepped on it. Oops.

Emmy practicing her senior picture poses.

One of the many baby bears playing around. They were so cute.

I find this picture hilarious. He wasn't crabby, but he sure looks it in this picture.

*While at Bear Country a couple told us that we have a beautiful family. I agree 100%.

Next we went to the Reptile Gardens. This is Jake and the kids watching the alligator show.

I love this picture. Look at that guy. He's smiling at you. :)

The kids petting a baby alligator. Very exciting and really cute.

Everyone looking at the fish in the pond.

Petting the HUGE turtles. I love these guys, they're my favorite.

Pretty butterfly on a flower at the Reptile Gardens.

Another pretty butterfly.

We went to the Roo Ranch and the kids got to pet several kangaroos.

This one was REALLY soft!
*Peder fed one of the animals at the Roo Ranch and later told us, "Feeding the big black animal was fun."
*Emmy was having me clean the dirt out of her mouth that she had been eating and when I was done asked me, "Is that better?" It made me laugh out loud.
*Mari would push Emmy and me on the hammock and would say, "Ready? GO!" Once she pushed us she would jump on.
*Every night I sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to Peder. On our last walk to the bathroom that night we stopped to look at the stars and he asked me to sing to the stars, so I did.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Vacation Day 3 - August 24th, 2009

This post took me an hour and a half to do, because Blogger is STILL not letting me load more then one picture at a time. I was hoping to get these all done tonight, but that's not going to happen. So once again, it may take awhile. Now....on to more vacation stories!

*All you can eat pancake breakfast at the campground.

*Jake rolling up his sleeves so I could see his flexing arm muscles while carrying the cooler.

*Saw mountain goats on the way to Mt. Rushmore.

*My camera battery died while taking pictures of the mountain goats. I asked a ranger at Mt. Rushmore if I could use an outlet in the book store/information center and he told me no. So I found an outlet in the bathroom and charged it there. REBEL!

*The kids were SO excited at seeing "the faces." (Yes, that's what they were called our whole vacation.)

My first picture of Mt. Rushmore after I got the battery all charged.

Absolutely amazing and breathtaking. Loved it.

Jake, Emmy, Peder and Mari in front of the faces.
Family pictures. I think we're cute.

The top area above the windows is where we got our picture taken. This was taken from the loop we walked. *We did the whole loop around the base of the mountain. Jake told me how proud he was of me for being able to do the whole thing. (A pretty major feat with my back and hip.)
*Mari telling me, "NO! I love Daddy, Mommy!"
*Mari wanted to be carried on the flat areas, but had to do all the steps by herself.

I took a picture of the stairs we had to go up at the end of the loop.
*Buying souvenirs. I love it!

We saw more mountain goats after leaving Mt. Rushmore on our way to Crazy Horse.

This picture is of Red Wing boots. I took a picture of it for Jake, because he grew up in Red Wing. Every year Red Wing Shoes donates a pair of boots to every person working at Crazy Horse.

Jake did notice a difference from when we were there last. Before we could see the whole horses face painted on the mountain, now the rock that has been blasted covers the bottom of the horse's face.

What it should look like when it's completed.
*Playing Phase 10 with Jake after the kids fell asleep.