Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012 in Review

I've been reading all of the end-of-the-year posts, and I thought I would try to put something up, even though I've only blogged here about two times this year.

January 2012...I do not have one photo of January. I don't know what we did. I know we were in Greer, SC for New Year's day, and then we came home.  

February 2012 It snowed for exactly one day.  We did not get any snow the rest of the winter.

March 2012...Katie turned 8! She requested a strawberry cake from Southern Living.  It was a beast.  She had a little family party with neighbors and an Easter Egg Hunt, and then her one big wish was to go horseback riding, so we did that as a family.

 Katie is really into long dresses, long tresses, and cowboy boots.

We also went to the Kansas City Zoo.

April 2012 is brought to you by baseball season, and a band concert.  

  June 2012 included probably the most adventurous family vacation we've ever taken, to South Dakota.  We spent the night in a little cabin at the Laura Ingalls Homestead, which was AWESOME.

 Then we went to Big Bend National Park, where a hailstorm knocked over our tent and soaked everything in it.  ON MY BIRTHDAY.  So we drove 30 miles to find a hotel.

The rest of our visit was lovely.

 We were fiercely photobombed at Mt. Rushmore- that place was crowded!

And then we stayed in a cabin at Custer State Park for 3 nights.  That was my favorite place of the trip, actually- it is so beautiful there and there are lakes and bison and all kinds of pretty views and wildlife.  It was amazing.  We also took a side trip to Wind Cave National Park, which was pretty cool, too

.  On the way home from South Dakota, we stopped for the night in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  While on paper it looks like a beautiful and historic venue, in reality it was 101 degrees and the air conditioner in my car decided to die.  So we hiked in 101 degrees to see the monument and then we drove across Nebraska for 12 hours in 101 degrees.  I feel that I have experienced the pain of being a pioneer.  And oh my goodness, the sweat.  My car smelled like a Six Flags ride for weeks.
Not a happy pioneer.
Another thing that happened in June is that I went to work full time at State Farm.  I had been part time there for about a year, and while I've enjoyed having the extra income, it has been hard to be away from my family for 40 hours a week, especially in summer.  We found a great babysitter, so that helped, but it is still not an easy transition.  

The rest of the summer was good- we had some visits from some Dallas friends and we took them camping at Roaring River State Park- one of my favorite spots to go, and only an hour or so from the house.

In September, my in-laws came to visit, and I took exactly one photo:

And of course, school started.  My kids are in 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades this year.  How is that possible??


I should probably call it quits for now, hopefully I will be back soon to finish out the year.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hi! I took a trip!

Well we drove to South Dakota.  I made a photo book.  Here it is! 
Start your own Shutterfly Photo Book today.

Start your own Shutterfly Photo Book today.

Wow, that Shutterfly link is difficult to see.  Sorry to say I spent the entire evening trying to upload to that site, so this site ain't gettin any.  

The first day, we drove 10 hours, with a stop at Sioux Falls for an hour or so.  Then we drove to De Smet, SD to see the Laura Ingalls Homestead.  It was SO awesome.  Grace and I wore braids.  The kids drove a covered wagon and made corn cob dolls and homemade jump ropes.  

Then we went to Badlands National Park.  We put the tent up. A storm came and knocked it down and hail started falling right as we jumped into the car.  We tied the tent to the picnic table and drove to a hotel.  Thankfully when we came back the next morning, everything was no worse for wear, and dried out pretty quickly.   

We hiked.  We sweated. The AC broke in my car.  It was SO beautiful, though.  We sat and watched a town of prairie dogs for about 45 minutes.  We saw some breathtaking sunsets. 

After 3 nights at Badlands, we drove to Custer State Park to stay in a cabin in the mountains for 3 more nights.  We saw Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, briefly.  Custer was so amazing. It was absolutely gorgeous.  We hiked, we swam, we drove scenic drives through tunnels.  We saw 62 bison.  

The last two days of the trip were a bit of a downer- I had planned a day of driving through Nebraska's Fossil Freeway, ending at Scottsbluff National Monument and staying in a hotel before a 12 hour drive home the next day.  Unfortunately, I did not plan for a broken air conditioner and 101 degree heat.  Morale was low on the Oregon Trail in those days, my friends.  But we made it home and took showers, so it ended well.   

We had a great time.  

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Day Off

I had my first day off in quite a few weeks, and it was gorgeous, so I grabbed my camera and took some shots around my new(ish) town.  I really do love living here.  I also REALLY loved having a day to just goof off by myself.  A rare treasure, for sure.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


My girls and their BFF, our neighbor Gracie, got a serious case of the giggles today- they could not stop laughing.  The minute they would calm down, Katie would snort, and they would collapse into uncontrollable laughter again.  Usually they freak out when I grab my camera to try to document their "real life", but this time they barely noticed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year's

I've been thinking of spending some time learning more about photography, as sort of a New Year's resolution.  I don't know what that will look like yet.  I also don't know if more photos will show up here- it takes forever to upload them on this site!  But we shall see.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


We celebrated Grace's 11th birthday yesterday, on 11/11/11.  Since it was such a special birthday, and since my shy little 'new kid at school' has had some difficulty making new friends at middle school this year, we decided to throw a huge party.  (Yes, she is in middle school now.  Hand me my dentures.)  Most of the kids that came were from church, but two of her new school friends came out, and that is a start. 

Three hammy girls: Katie, our neighbor, and Grace
We had a murder mystery party, thanks to my friend Kyla's recommendation, and it was a huge hit.  The kids all dressed up as different characters, and they got to ham it up throughout the evening, accusing one another of a crime while having to defend their own innocence.  It was so much fun.  We used the Mansion Mystery kit from, and it really worked out well.  The only downside was that a few of the kids struggled to read the lines, and that combined with the silliness that took over toward the end caused them to miss a lot of the clues to who the killer was.  It was fun, though, to see their surprise when the killer was revealed.  Even the culprit himself had no idea what was coming.  We had a great party.    

The kiddos

The kiddos

Kidney Peril Updates
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