The last of our Blackhills Pictures

While we were at the Blackhills we stopped at Bear Country were there were signs about how wild the animals are.  We were suppose to keep our windows rolled up at all times.  While we were in the bear cage, the workers came and feed the bears.  Thought it was hilarious that they fed the ‘wild’ bears hot dog buns but they loved them.  One bear went and grabbed 7 buns in his mouth then sat down right in front of our car.  The kids thought it was the coolest thing. IMG_0729Right after Bear country we headed up the road to a large maze.  It was a life-size maze which takes the average person an hour to get through.  There were bridges which added a whole different dimension to the maze.  In order to make it through the maze you had to make it to all four towers, get your paper stamped, and then find your way out again.  Luke was in high heaven as he tried to lead the way.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of the whole thing but here is what half of the maze looked like while Ted and kids found one of the towers.  IMG_0749-2As we finished up our time in South Dakota we headed up to North Dakota to visit some friends.


While we were driving down the road in between rain storms this happened…

IMG_0767-2a flat tire…bummer.  Anyways, we changed it quickly and headed on our way.  Considering that was our only casualty the whole trip, I don’t think it was that bad.  But to leave with a happy note….with all of the new memories that we made, all of the new experiences… probably our kids favorite activity.  A picnic on the road.  IMG_0758-2


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First day of school

This year I have 1 2nd grader and 1 3-day preschooler, and 2 2-day preschoolers.  Luke said he was a bit nervous his first day because he didn’t know if he would like his teacher but he had to be brave for the girls.  They were having their first day of pre-school. IMG_0784After we dropped of Luke, it was the girls turn.  IMG_0793

IMG_0799Ryan had to wait a day until it was his turn but he was a really excited when it finally came which is very different then last year.IMG_0801

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Black Hills Adventure Continued.

I know we have been home for about 2 weeks now but I am probably going to stretch my pictures out for 1 more post after this one because I just can’t decide what pictures to include.

So after we left the badlands, we headed off to the Black Hills.  Luke has been wanting to go to Mount Rushmore for about 2 years now, ever since he learned about it in kindergarten.  As we were going through Rapid City on the way to the Black Hills we saw a sign for Storybook Island (or something like that).   Ted remembered going there when he was Luke’s age.  Well, he didn’t remember really much about it just that he picked the spot out, Ted’s dad said they could go because it was free and Kenton (Ted’s brother) refusing to enjoy anything there at the park.  It’s basically a playground area with everything decorated as if from a story book.  The Pooh tree house was really cool.  I got a picture of the girls in Cinderella’s carriage but really my kids didn’t stay still in 1 place long enough for a picture.IMG_0646After the park we finally made it to Mount Rushmore, the long-awaited spot for our vacation.  I don’t know if the kids were impressed or not but we had fun walking around.  IMG_0661We spent 3 days touring the Black Hills area.  We managed to visit Wind Cave.  Luke loves touring caves so we always try to stop at one.  We usually pick a cave that has a 1 hour walking tour.  Before we started the tour, we quickly ate lunch.  I was a little worried because last cave tour we had to leave early because of a bathroom emergency.  We didn’t let the kids drink much during lunch even when Ryan started with the hiccups.  We got to our tour and started the steep descent down.  We were all enjoying ourselves when we got to the point were I think in every cave tour they talk about how dark it really is in the cave.  They have all of us stand still, they turn off the lights and we are all suppose to be amazed.  Well, this tour guide talked a little about the darkness and then asked us all to be very quite to totally experience the cave.  It was dark…..It was quite and guess what happened…..Ryan let go of a really loud hiccup.  An hour after he started the hiccups, he still had them.  Everyone started laughing.  Seriously only Ryan can get a tour group of 40 people to laugh uncontrollably.    IMG_0686 After we left the cave we headed through Custer State Park.  It was really a great park to drive around.  We saw tons of animals and the scenic drive was beautiful.  We got out to pet some of the ‘wild’ donkeys.  Luke didn’t want to stand by them because he just got nipped in the belly by one of them but apparently Ryan was not scared.  IMG_0690 I know it was probably illegal but we let the kids walk around in the van while we were driving so they could see all of the animals along the way.  We weren’t going that fast because there were animals crossing the road and sometimes sitting on the road too.  My kids thought they were getting away with sometime because they were not in their seats.  We only let them do it here and in one other park which I will get to next post.   IMG_0705

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The Badlands in Pictures

A storm was rolling in so the sky was changing a lot but here is the badlands in pictures.  IMG_0548







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Our new purchase

About  2 weeks ago Ted and I decided to make a new purchase.  We bought a pop-up.  I grew up camping in a tent and wanted to do that with our kids but I didn’t think I really wanted to do the tent thing.  I don’t sleep well to begin with and all of the repacking just did not appeal to my over-organized self.  I thought a pop-up would be a great solution especially sense we were planning on going on vacation through South Dakota in a week.   We were both a little scared how our mini-van would handle pulling that much weight but we decided to head off. We spent 8 nights and 9 days on the road.  The trip went great with a few minor problems but nothing we could not handle.  The kids had a blast.  Our first night we pulled in a bit late to our camp site but we had to wait until Ted was off work on Friday.  We got ready in the dark which wasn’t all bad because with a pop-up or glorified tent, we had lights just not water.  IMG_0475The next day we headed off to see the corn palace.  I remember being impressed with it when I was little so we decided to stop and look at the corn art and eat a bit of pop-corn too.  IMG_0500I think I enjoyed the drive just as much as all of the different activities we did along the way.  There were storms rolling through which made the sky deep blue.  The rain would only last 30 minutes and then the sun would come up. It was like this the whole trip.  IMG_0508It made for beautiful pictures in the badlands too but those will have to wait for another post.  Anyways, we also stopped at a prairie sod-house exhibit.  I have been to a lot of these type of exhibits but never one that allowed you to play and touch everything…and I mean everything.  They even provided dress-up clothes in case you wanted to view everything in the correct time-period clothing.  Our kids only wanted to wear the hats.  I was ok with that because I did not feel like putting on a dress, apron and bonnet either.  IMG_0519Our first couple of days were a bit rocky with the pop-up but we started to figure out what things worked the best for us including letting everyone have  a turn at dishes (because I am against disposable dishes even when camping).  I’ll fill you in how the rest of the trip went later.  IMG_0481

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Frisbee Golf

Our kids have really enjoyed playing frisbee golf lately.  We make Luke and Ryan play ahead of us and then the girls, Ted and I play together.  Quinn loves to tee off.  She takes it very seriously.IMG_0337

Before Lucia left for home, we took her Frisbee golfing too.  I don’t totally understand how she throws or tees off but somehow she gets it to work while looking like a ballerina.  This picture just makes me laugh.IMG_0337-Edit

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A 365 Photo Project

I am getting behind on posting my 365 photo challenge pictures so I thought I would try and pick out a few to get sort of caught up.

RISING…stars under Daddy’s watchful eye.  (Ryan in white, Luke in navy)IMG_0197


IN THE MIDDLE…He has one smart older brother and 2 incredibly cute identical Chinese twin sisters.  My dear sweet Ryan is in the middle but he can hold his own.  He is his own person, smart, sweet, loving and hilarious.  Quick story about Ryan.  This past weekend we were at church.  Luke was picked to hold the kids offering bucket.  Ryan announces to the whole church in a very loud voice, “That’s my brother!”  Pastor Roy saids, “Yeah, you do kind of look alike.”  Ryan answers back, “Yeah that is because I am wearing my brothers socks.”   Yeah Ryan, it’s because of the socks….did I say in front of the whole congregation.  IMG_0042A PILE….of corn…love this time of year. IMG_0382

GRATEFUL FOR…Where we are with the girls.  It has been a rocky few years.  IMG_0043-2

PET PEEVE…..someone clipping their fingernails. I don’t mind if I am using the clipper but if someone else is and I hear the little snap…not good.  IMG_0404


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