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Showing posts from September, 2014

Our Third Annual Family Camp-out

Every September for the past three years we have gathered our friends and embarked on a camping trip at a local county park, Smithville Lake. We started off with 8 families, 14 children, and a total of 30 people spending one night under the stars.  This year we had 12 families, 16 kids, and a total of 36 people and for the first time ever we had more people spend two nights and not one. The weather this year resembled the first camping trip three years ago. Our first night was pretty brutal. The wind was strong up till about nine p.m. and then the clouds blew away and the temperature dropped.  Those of us who have been to every camping trip had a jolly time of reminiscing about the similarities!  Each year we have some type of "organized" activity. I based this year's theme on games from my childhood. My mother always took us to small town celebrations where we played the funniest games. This year's theme was Family Competition.  Luckily for us the cold,

Single Digits to Disney World

Disney World. Some parents cringe at the sound of it. Some parents tolerate it for the love of their children. Then there are the category of parents like I am in. I live for visits and trips to the Happiest Place on Earth. And our countdown to return to this magical place just hit single digits! Hot on the trail of our last Disney World trip (March 2013 ) I began making plans to return with some good friends of ours. They have a little girl the same age as The Short Chic and thought it would be awesome to go as a group so their daughter would have someone to share the experience with. As we began planning and decision making (on property vs off property/ driving vs flying) my husband suggested we reach out to a friend who has a Disney time share. He had offered us some time in the past. Not only did he agree to sell us some points he also agreed to go with us. That is how we became #DisneyPartyofTen ! Slowly we have observed milestones in our countdown. We customized our

Tour of Missouri: The Great Pershing Balloon Derby

Any other weekend it looks just like a farmer's field accessed by a country road off an under-traveled state highway. It is no different than the other farmer's fields that surround it. That all changes on Labor Day Weekend. That is when the farmer's field  transforms into a launching pad for a Hot Air Balloon Festival that has been occurring every Labor Day for the past thirty-eight years. The Great Pershing Balloon Derby occurs just west of Brookfield, Missouri every Labor Day weekend.  The festivities need a small amount of luck; the weather conditions have to be perfect to fly a hot air balloon. So, if the rain stays at bay and the winds are low it is worth the drive to this north-central community to see the balloons. The schedule is pretty much the same every year. There is a flight and night glow Friday night, Saturday and Sunday evenings of the festival. There is also morning flights on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings. There are small town festi

Tour of Missouri: Long Branch State Park

Labor Day Weekend we achieved one of our 2014 goals. We visited our fifth state park in a year and earned our Camper's Award from the State of Missouri. Long Branch State Park is located in Macon, Missouri right at the intersection of 36 and 63 Highways. For those of you from the Kansas City area it reminds me a lot of Smithville Lake. The lake is completely the focus of this state park. We explored the lake by driving around. It was apparent really quickly that this lake is huge. Not only did we find Long Branch Lake but we also found Macon Lake. Both entertained us. Long Branch has a camping area with electric hook-ups but they also have primitive camping available as well as hike-in camping. Our campsite was located in a tree grove which provided great coverage from the sun.  The shade coverage provided us with amazing sleep both nights because the sun was kept at bay. We also enjoyed two rain showers during our holiday weekend. We like to hike during our state par