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Showing posts from September, 2015

Fourth Annual Family Camp-Out

Four years ago we started a tradition. It started off as a small idea. I wanted to go camping. Then I thought it would be funner with other people. So I whipped out an invitation and invited several families that had young children. To my amazement; several of them said yes. Without much effort; our annual family camp-out began. This year, our fourth year, we had 54 people say yes and joined us at Smithville Lake. Every year the Family Camp-out has landed on a different weekend in September. Amazingly, the weather pattern has followed us despite the weekend. It is usually windy and cold on Friday night followed by a sunny and warm Saturday.  This year was no exception.  The highlight of my Friday night was having my son home from college; even if he came home with two fractures in his right foot. This year we had plenty of activities planned. We tried our hand at screen printing. We held a raingutter regatta. There was even an impromptu bags tournament. We ended the

Simple Beauty

There is a simple beauty here in the Midwest. We don't have miles of ocean line. We don't have towering mountains. But we have beauty, none the less.  Simple things make me smile. Home canned vegetables lined up on a table waiting to cool. Clothes drying in the wind on a clothes line on a summer day.  I even find beauty in the falling snow. I love how it hangs on the branches of the Evergreen trees.  I love star filled nights. The simple beauty of fireflies I love how the lightening can light up the sky during a thunderstorm. Every year when I see fields of wheat or corn I see the beauty. There is so much work and love that goes into planting those fields.  One of my favorite sites is driving through the country and seeing these large round bales of hay. It feels all clean. It feels organized. It feels simple.

The Great Pershing Balloon Derby

We attended the Great Pershing Balloon Derby again this year. It was The Short Chic's second Derby. The Boy is away at college and could not attend. He has not attended since he was The Short Chic's age. I know what you are all thinking, if you have seen one derby you have seen them all. Except that is so not true! This year the weather was a huge factor in the Pershing Balloon Derby. Storms were moving into our area. The flight was delayed. There was much debate about the safety of flying. Many flyers chose not to launch. Others decided they would be able to do a quick launch. Last year the weather was not a factor and the balloons launched and raced. This year those that launched played a quick game of fox and hound. This year we had friends join us. My work friend Shannon and her family drove up from the Kansas City metro area. My friend Debbie and her family also joined us from the St. Joseph area. My mom joined us. We then ran into another work friend. I

Wordless Wednesday: The Groupie

Our love of Selfie photos has lead to the Selfie Stick.  Do you have one? Maybe you are amused by them....I was...until I got one. Now I think it is kinda fun! My friend Allen does not think it is fun. Or maybe he thought the first five were fun but the last eight or so where not? Either way, he still cringes at the mention of a selfie stick.  We took a selfie stick on our vacation and we took a large number of Groupies. Groupies are Selfies but only with a whole bunch of people. . From camp life to mountain climbing. From trail hiking to river rafting, From Montauk State Park to Elephant Rock State Park and onto Johnson's Shut-Ins, the entire vacation was full of fun memories. 

Tour of Missouri: Taum Sauk Mountian

When you say the word mountains, a certain image comes to one's mind. I personally picture the great Rocky Mountains in Colorado. I lived there for five years in my younger years and I still love the feeling I get when I travel west on I-70 and pass the Gennessee exit and get that first breathtaking view of the Rocky's.  When I think of mountains, I don't really think of my own state even though Missouri is part of the Ozark Mountain range. The mountains in Missouri are not nearly as majestic as the Rockies. They are smaller. They seem to be greener because the mountains do not soar high in the air above the point where vegetation thrives.   While we were on vacation in the southeast part of Missouri we learned the the highest point in Missouri is on Taum Sauk Mountain. That mountain was very close to where we were visiting.  A short drive from Johnson's Shut-Ins and we were at Taum Sauk.   Like any other state park we have visited, Taum Sauk Mountain is ea

Tour of Missouri: Black River Float Trip

We are a family that loves exploring. We explore by land and water. One of our favorite family past times is floating in the summer. Floating usually involves a canoe or a kayak and a river. It also usually involves some friends, some drinks, and maybe even some snacks. It almost always involves a fishing net and water guns.  We have gone canoeing with our camping buddies for the past several years. Each year in the dead of winter we start making a list of our summer plans. Perhaps this is one way we tolerate the winter!  We have floated on the  North Fork in 2013 , the  Niangua in 2014  in 2014, and this year we decided to float the Black River since we were already in the Southeast corner of the state. This year, not only did our camping buddies go with us, but so did her mom and her husband, as well as a work friend of mine and her family.  There were five canoes, 2 inflatable rafts, and 14 people in our floating group this year.  You can access the Black Rive