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Monday, May 31, 2010

Rt 66 and Mermec Caves

Just three miles off of exit #230 on Rt. 66/hwy 44 south out of St. Louis in the town of Stanton you will find one of the coolest caves I have ever been to called the Meramec. Seriously these are cool. The prices are not cheap with adults costing $19.50 and children $9.50; however, Roman was free. The tour last over 80 minutes and the trails inside are easy to walk along with few stairs to climb. If you have ever seen the old 1960's film of Lassie or the late 1970's film of Tom Sawyer then you have seen clips of this cave. Once used during the civil war for ammunition making and later a hang out for the famous bandit Jesse James you will not be bored. Next stop Branson, Missouri. See you there!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

St. Louis

Hello from the Gateway to the West!

After playing yesterday with my friend Sandy and her children in Nashville, TN we headed to St. Louis today. St. Louis is a fantastic city. The arch was built in 1965 as a tribute to Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase. The boys has so much fun going to the top. The ride takes 4 minutes up and 3 minutes down with a view platform at the top. The tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children over age 3. There is a really cool Westward Expansion museum on site that is free along with an addition price for the movie about Lewis and Clark exploration. We skipped the movie. The arch is located along the banks of the Mississippi . It is stunning! While we are were waiting we were lucky to catch a demonstration of what took place during the Battle of St. Louis.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer Reading!

School got out on Friday, and since then we have been hanging by the pool. Nothing like sun and water to tire out my tribe of boys. We head out this weekend for another road trip. Can you guess where? I will give you some clues: 12 hours drive northwest of Atlanta, new home to country western music and performances, and lakes and hiking galore. Do you know where we are going? If so leave me your guess in the comment box. Anyway, I was in the book store last week buying books for the boys to read when I came across this book. When My Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park. Great if you are sitting on a plane and have a few hours to read or even read by the pool. The Story is about a young girl who lives in Korea during War World II. While the story is fictional the author states that many of the facts in the story to be true. I found this in the children's section, but it more for ages 11 and above. Lovely story of family love and pride for ones country. A must read!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May Movie Review!

I think May has been the best movie line up in a long time. While my father was here we hit the movies just about every other day. Crazy, I know, but he loves movies and if it means that I get to sit next too him then who am I to complain. Actually, I love to go to movies too, so it is not such a bad deal. The first movie we saw was Date Night. I was prepared for this one to be kind of stupid because usually I love movies with a little more depth, but it was the perfect medicine to ease the stress of all that has been going on. I laughed so hard I almost -well you know peed my pants. I can't wait for this one to come on DVD, so that I can watch it with my husband.



Then we went to see Robin Hood. Well, if you go for Russel Crow then you will not be disappointed. I think they were using this movie to set up for a sequel because this movie explained more about how Robin Hood became who he was. This movie is made for men. Not to deep and tons of battle scenes. Sorry Men not offense!

The third one, while not an academy award winner is Letters to Juliet. Fantastic landscapes of Italy and for this alone is worth the admission price. It is like going on a mini vacation. Amanda Siegfried is becoming my new favorite actress. I think she is fast becoming the next Julia Roberts. While the movie is predictable and sappy. It worked for me. Your classic chick flick! Everyone needs a little romance in their lives right even it only for 90 minutes on the screen.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Red

Harris with receiving his new belt from coach Mike

Winston kicking the board.

I am still trying to catch up from all that has gone on in the last couple of weeks. On Wednesday, Harris received his red belt and Winston got his second stripe on his green belt.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Moving On!

Yesterday, my oldest graduated from elementary school. It was bitter sweet because while I am happy that he is learning and growing, I know it is just a matter of time before he will be all grown up. It really does seem like yesterday that it was his first day of Kindergarten. Now he will be moving on to 6 th grade and middle school. Not all of his friends will be going to the same school about 1/2 will be going to the other middle school in our area. The school had a really nice promotion ceremony for the children to celebrate their accomplishments over the last few years followed by a reception afterwards. Today the children will take a bus to see their new middle schools, and then afterward their will be a dance and BBQ.

Above are a few pictures of Harris with his friends. Harris with Mark, receiving his completion certificate, Harris and Jake, the final walk, Harris and I , Harris with his math teacher Miss. Richmond, and Harris with Robert.
Congratulations Harris!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mary Poppins

Last week when my father was here we took the boys to see Mary Poppins. Winston fell asleep about a 1/2 hour into the show. He just couldn't keep his eyes open. Everyone around us was amazed at how he was curled up in his seat and fast asleep. I guess 8p show time was just too late for him; especially, after a long week at school. Harris loved it. He loved how Mary Poppins flew up through the audience and how Burt climbed the walls. If you know the Disney version you will be surprised at some of the changes. I can't decide if I liked them or not. We all loved the stepping time scene! This is the third time I have attended plays at this theater (Fox), and while the theater is gorgeous inside it is really hard to see the actors faces with my price budget. I think I am going to stick with local performances. I just can't bring myself to pay over a hundred dollars per ticket. Overall, the play was great!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Collections

Do you collect anything? As a child I collected patches. The kind you iron on your backpack or sew on. The ones that had pictures from states or cities. I found so much joy in those patches. They were a declaration to where I had been. Funny to think back on it that I have always loved to travel. My mother collected porcelain ducks. They were all the rage in the 80's. I use to joke with her that when she died not to leave them to me. My grandmother collected spoons. I remember my mother carefully searching Europe for spoons when I was 17 and we were backpacking Europe for 10 weeks. They were treasures to my grandmother who would never have a chance to go overseas. Today I no longer collect anything. I find that collections or things begin to own you, but since I am not the only person in my house we have many things. Sometimes I think to much stuff; especially when you compare it to other families around the world. My boys have collections. First it began with Web Kinz. Between the three of them they have 25 of them. Then came Pokemon cards. These I kind of despise because I find them all over the house. Then came Baklugan Balls. Little plastic balls that when they come into contact with a magnet they spring open and display some little monster/dragon guy. They are my boys treasures.


Web Kinz Class Photo
Baklugan Balls
Pokemon cards

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Winston's Baptism




Acts 2:38: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy 8th Birthday!


Winston Happy Birthday! We love you so much!
You bring so much joy to our home.
You are funny!
You are kind.
You are a great reader.
You are super strong.

Thanks for being a part of our family!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Insanity

Wednesday
dressed, feed, and got two boys on the bus
put the dishes in the dish washer
started a load of laundry
got third little man dressed and feed
Walked 7 miles with a friend
feed lunch to littlest man
checked e-mail and a few blogs
ran to Sears to pick up sport coats for the boys
went to the Paperie to get paper for programs
dragged into toy store where littlest scored toy
and I bought middle son a birthday present
swung by California Pizza Company
got lunch to take home
Soon as I got home got a phone call
that it was trophy day at chess
Took son to Orthodontist after dropping
little man off with grandma.
Went home feed boys dinner out of freezer leftovers
Took boys to Karate
Lifted weights while waiting
ate ice cream with grandpa
Put boys to bed
went grocery shopping
*did you see no mention of shower for me
that is right because I didn't have time.
Thursday will be similar except that I
need to go to Costco to pick up photos
for the program. Will spend time with my dad
while I am making the programs.
Attend a dedication ceremony
for my son's friend who died of cancer in November.
Friday I have to get my hair blown out
go to dinner with my dad
Then we are going to see Mary Poppins the play
Saturday will be the last day of German
School for the year with end of the year carnival.
Get my nails done
pick up cake and food for son's baptism on Sunday
Go to see Robin Hood
Sunday go to church
come home to finish making food
Go back to the church and set up
Baptism
Reception
Clean up
Collapse!!!!!!!
all while PMS ing and eating everything
not tied down which might make it
impossible to fit in the dress I had made for me.
Start all over again with going to dentist,
well check-up for Winston, Karate Tournament,
5th grade graduation, buy
gifts for teachers for the last day of school.
* Did I mention the thermometer in garage is
reading 95 degree and the thermostat is broken.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BBQ Ribs and Mother's Day

It doesn't need to be Mother's Day to make ribs for in our family, we can eat them any time of the year. We love ribs, and after many years of research I have come up with the best recipe that will be just as mouth watering as any BBQ joint. First though let me tell you about my Mother's Day! My sweet husband took the boys to the park for two hours so that I could get ready for church in peace and quiet. It was wonderful! When we got to church the children prepared a couple of songs about families and mothers. Such sweet voices. Then we came home and shared the day with some good friends (The Butterfields) who are moving to the other side of town. While I know it is only the other side of town we will miss them. So back to the ribs, that is what we ate along with fruit salad, pesto bow tie pasta, potatoes salad, and for dessert chocolate Guinness cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Georgia Country Ribs: Take one half rack per two people cut in half and place in crock pot for up to 4 hours. I can fit about 2 slabs in my pot. When finished ribs should be soft, but not falling off the bone. Rinse and place in a marinade of 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of chili, and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Multiply this recipe for each 1/2 rack of ribs you make. If you like your ribs salty than add salt, but I find it unnecessary. After an hour place on the BBQ and grill. They will melt in your mouth and what is nice about this recipe is that the sauce is sweet and tangy and not spicy, so it is perfect for the little ones in your home. Like more spice than add more chili powder or even a dash of Tabasco.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Party in Atlanta

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the confirmation and celebration of our good friends daughter. It was so wonderful to see this beautiful family come together in their faith. Our friends are Italian, and boy do they no how to throw a party. That is one thing I love about Atlanta is that it truly is an international city with people from all over the world. Back to the party! Can I just say that I made the mistake of thinking the appetisers were the meal. I should have known better because I have been around enough Italians to know better. The food was excellent. The meal started off with salami, prosciutto, olives, roasted peppers and zucchini, cibatta, tomatoes, and mozzarella. Followed by lasagna and roast beef with roasted eggplant and salad. If that was enough, a white sponge cake with cream and fruit filling, Tiramisu, and Crostatta. So much for my diet. The children were completely entertained with jumping on the trampoline and playing soccer, while us adults talked about the situation in Europe right now, summer vacation plans, and life. The day couldn't be more perfect. Thanks for inviting our family!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!
Ute and Nancy


Before I was Myself
You made Me, Me
Before I was myself you made me, me
With love and patience, discipline and tears,
Then bit by bit stepped back to set me free,
Allowing me to sail upon my sea,
Though well within the headlands of your fears
Before I was myself you made me, me
With dreams enough of what I was to be
And hopes that would be sculpted by the years,
Then bit by bit stepped back to set me free,
Relinquishing your powers gradually
To let me shape myself among my peers.
Before I was myself you made me, me,
And being good and wise,
you gracefully As dancers when the last sweet cadence nears
Bit by bit stepped back to set me free.
For love inspires learning naturally:
The mind assents to what the heart reveres.
And so it was through love you made me,
me By slowly stepping back to set me free.

copy right by, Nicholas Gordon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Atlanta Aquarium

Loggerhead Turtles
The world of Jellyfish

We had a wonderful day today at the aquarium. Since the older boys were in school we invited some friends along with us. Roman had such fun running with his friend from one tank to another. Boy can these boys run. I think they might have a future as marathon runners. I am tired. Day like this make me so happy that I live in such a wonderful city. To top it off, on the way home from Karate we saw the most beautiful sunset. The sun was a giant peach hanging to the bottom of the sky with swirls of purple and yellow clouds.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

At the moment

At the moment, it is raining buckets outside and I am on my way to the gym. It feels like a sauna outside. Since January I have lost 23 pounds. Boy it is hard work to lose weight. I would like to lose another 20 by July. I am saying my prayers. The weight seems to come off slowly.
At the moment, I am loving Oven Roasted Coco Almonds by Emerald. They make such a yummy healthy snack.

At the moment, I love the my 11 year old son still feels comfortable enough to crawl into bed with me when he is scared of the lightning outside.
At the moment, I love when I hear my 3 year old say funny things like the other day I heard him say "I am going to kick the bad guys butt's." I was totally shocked. I asked him what he said,"kicking bad guys butt's. Too funny. I laughed super hard. I know I shouldn't do this because this is only going to encourage him to say it more; however, I just couldn't help myself. Where did he learn this?
At the moment, while I don't get to watch a lot of TV because I tend to fall asleep. I love these three shows. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution-you will never look at a chicken nugget the same way. Glee because I was a glee girl, and Who do you Think you are?
At the moment, I am making preparations for the end of the school year on the 21st. My 11 year old went on a 2 day trip with his 5Th grade class. Finalizing all the details for my 8 year olds baptism, and googling things to do in Branson, Missouri where we will travel at the end of this month for vacation.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A job well done!

My son Harris was honored this weekend along with other students from around Atlanta for passing his yearly German examinations. Last year he received an 85% and this year he achieved a 95%. We are so happy that our hard work is paying off. It is not easy to choose to teach your children a second language, but the awards are well worth it. We are so proud of him! Good job Harris!