Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zoo photos

Here are some photos from our trip to the St. Louis zoo two days ago.

Here we are watching the penguins. Actually, we are mocking a duck that was swimming in the puffin area of the exhibit. It was about 105 degrees with 98% humidity that day, but it felt like 35 degrees in the penguin house! So we figured the duck was masquerading as a puffin for the day, just to beat the heat. We even made up dialog for him ... "I'm just swimming along! Nothing to see here! I'm a puffin! Really! I swear!!"

Standing by the moving T-Rex in the dino exhibit ... notice how asher would not look at the Rex ... he was slightly terrified. Actually, if I could put a thought bubble above his head in this photo, it would read "Ummmm ... mommmmmm..... there's a little something standing right behind you....and I'm pretty sure I need a diaper change...."

Me and Rhylah by the elephants.

One of the dinos actually "spit" at you. You should have seen Gabriel jump out of his skin when that happened! Notice Mr. Asher clutching my leg in terror.

Gabe gets to hold a rock that was found in the tummy of a real T-Rex. The zoo experts were very friendly and chatted with us for a few moments at the end of the exhibit.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Best $7 ever

Today I took the kids shopping at the St. Louis Mills, factory outlet mall. The reason I did this is because it has been raining for two days and the kids desperately needed to burn some pent up energy. The mall is awesome, with a PBS kids playground inside, complete with a mini train the kids can ride, as well as a full sized carousel and toy and candy stores to die for. Needless to say, the boys had a blast!
The big hit of the trip, in my opinion, was the cute outfit I found at the Children's Place store. This outfit cost $47 when I was there at the start of summer. $35 for the dress and $12 for the hat. I came SOOO close to buying it back then. Boy am I glad I didn't! Because today, I bought the dress AND the hat for a combined total of ... drum roll please ... $7!! $5 for the dress, $2 for the hat! And gosh, doesn't my little sasparilla look cute as a button in it??? I think so!

She's been crawling all over the place for weeks now, so it was hard to get her to stand still for a photo. It took me nearly 45 minutes of shooting to get some photos that would work!

Look how tall she is! At almost 10 months old, she's certainly going to be a volleyball or basketball player at the rate she's growing!

Hmmm...maybe grandma won't notice if I play her piano!!

For those of you who are wondering, yes we're still in St. Louis. We close on our house next week, and will be true Michiganders, FINALLY!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer ... STL style

The kids and I have been enjoying some good fun, St. Louis style. Just yesterday, we took Grandma and went to the Botanical Gardens, which has a newly installed kids playground, complete with caves, riverboats, and tree houses ... pretty sweet! The boys had a BLAST! Afterwards, we had a picnic in Tower Grove Park and encountered a beautiful water fountain, that was obviously built for play. Tons of children were splashing and having a good time, and my boys lost no time joining them. Gabriel hopped right in, shorts and all, and luckily, I had a spare swim diaper for Asher in my car. Rhylah wanted so badly to join in the water fun, that we eventually just plunked her butt right in, diaper, clothes and everything, and just let her splash around. Hey, when there's a heat temp of 105 degrees, you can let your kids get drenched on a whim and then ride home in their car seats in just their diapers!! (or wet superman underwear, if you're a 6-year-old!) LOL! What a fun day!

Here we are at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens.

They have these huge colorful sculptures all over the park right now. The boys loved this one of course because it reminded them of the crystal skull .... Indiana Jones of course!!

Here we are feeding fish in the Japanese gardens. These fish were easily 2-3 feet long. They were ginormous!!

Here we are, sitting on a colorful lion statue which the boys LOVED climbing on. (It was allowed, don't worry! :)

At the fountain ... Miss Rhylah sits in the zero depth part of the "pool." Her face says it all. "Ahhh! So cool and refreshing on a hot, steamy Missouri day!!"

Mr. Asher overcomes his fear of water and begins to act very fishlike! I was so proud of him!

A great shot by grandma -- water stopped in midair!! Or mid-throw as the case may be..

I dip Rhylah's toes in the fountain.

The boys loved ducking into the fountain and hiding behind the curtain of water. Too fun!

Monday, July 07, 2008


Well, folks, it may seem like I dropped off the radar for awhile -- but yes, I'm still here! We've been quite busy in the past few in three different states, packing up an entire house and moving it into storage while we hunted for a new one... and let me tell you a little bit about that hunt.
After several evenings of viewings, our realtor showed us a gem of a home, which we toured laughingly ... since it was WAY out of our price range. But we couldn't get that darn house out of our heads. A 1914, arts & crafts, bungalow style home with three bedrooms and two full baths -- and ... drumroll please ... a master bedroom (with a fireplace)that was 28 by 14 feet!!! (My bedroom in our old house was cramped, to put it mildly.)
To make a long story short, we decided we couldn't NOT make an offer on this house, which had made such a lasting throwing caution to the wind, we offered a number that was just under what we could afford...figuring they would laugh their heads off. They didn't. They came down $15,000 in price. We came up $3,000. They came down another $15,000. And the house was ours...for about $40,000 less than their original asking price. Huzzah! Yes, I do indeed LOVE the current housing market! What fun! Anyway, here are some photos.

The house has been vacant for a year, and like all old homes, needs some TLC. Check out this lampost...yes, there is one under that climbing vine ... the vine busted out the glass and took up residence inside!

The strangest room in the house is the kitchen, which was built in the sunroom. (Which will be very pretty when the snow is flying and I'm making a big pot of chilli!). A vermont marble countertop is pretty much the extent of this room...

Along with an older-than-dirt cabinet to hold our dishes. Yes, this will be the first room to get gutted and remodeled...SOMEDAY!!!

Here is (half of) my bedroom -- With a HUGE closet and a fireplace! Nathan will no longer look like Gulliver in the land of the lilliputians when he walks around his bedroom!

Our living room has a great fireplace and french doors leading into the kitchen.

The stairway goes two ways at the way leads here, to the living room. The other way leads to an office...formerly, the old kitchen...but will now be a nice space for my desk -- a little hidey-hole to do my writing in!

Check out the ceiling in our dining room! Too fun!

Now all we do is wait for the VA loan to go through and hopefully, we close at the end of the month. I can not WAIT. In the meantime, I'll post more photos of the kids and the fun we're having in St. Louis with my folks as we wait for moving day!