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Yearly Archives: 2011


Spiderman spins his web.

And Spiderman’s sister is a little freaked out.

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Mammoth Cave.

Here are a few highlights from our trip to Mammoth Cave this morning!

What struck me most about Mammoth Cave was its sheer size (hence the name: the “mammoth” cave).  We did the Historic Tour, which covered only about two miles, but there are actually over 365 miles of passageways, and geologists think there could be 600 miles of yet undiscovered passageways.  That’s a lot of space for a lot of bats!

We did a whole lot of hiking on our tour – and by hiking, I mean walking hunched over like we had permanent back damage (especially during the “Tall Man’s Misery” passageway).  Only the kids were able to stand in the full upright position, and they thoroughly enjoyed giggling at the rest of us.

We also went through a passageway called “Fat Man’s Misery.”  I didn’t take any pictures of the actual passageway because it was really dark (plus I was too busy trying to breathe and remain calm), but I am pleased to report that I only had to turn partially sideways for this.  Everyone in our group made it through Fat Man’s Misery, but there were certainly people who polished the rocks more than others.  :)

The cave was also an excellent place to practice our shadow puppets.

It was so nice and cool when we were 300 feet below the ground.  Coming up out of the cave to 100 degree temperatures was quite a shock to my system, but it was good to see daylight again!

Check this out… my favorite part.  Due to some weird fungal disease affecting bats in Kentucky, all visitors are required to walk across a bio-security mat as soon as they come out of the cave.  It’s basically a mat covered in Lysol foam.  I am thinking about adopting this idea for my house.  Nothing says “Welcome to Our Home” like a Lysol mat at the front door, right?  Especially during strep throat season?  I love the idea.

We made it!  I am so glad we took this little day trip.  It was an educational experience for all of us, and hopefully  Torin & Parker will remember it for a long time.

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Summer’s swan song.

We wanted to squeeze every ounce of fun out of this summer before it came to a close, so the grand finale for the boys was a weekend in Chicago!  I dropped Dave and Parker off at the airport on Friday afternoon.  They met up with Uncle Dave when they got to the Windy City.

Narrated by Parker:  “The first day we went to a museum.  I saw a T. Rex, and elephant, and a whale.  Also, I saw some space stuff and a u-boat.”

“The dinosaur’s name was Sue.”

“Then we ate pizza.  Then we went to the top of Willis Tower.  I stood on the glass floor and danced and stomped but it did not break.”

“We went to Wrigley Field and saw a baseball game.  And we went to the Lego Store, but we did NOT go to American Girl.”

“We also went to Soldier Field.  There weren’t any soldiers there.  The sun was in my eyes in this picture.  I had a good time with Daddy and Uncle Dave.  The end.”

[One more thing: Don't feel too sorry for us girls.  Torin and I certainly didn't sit around all weekend and twiddle our thumbs.  However, we made a pact that our exact whereabouts shall forever remain a secret.  So if you happened to see us last weekend, mum's the word.  Thanks.]

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How we spent our summer vacation.

Last week we grabbed the grandparents and drove down to our favorite condo at Blue Mountain Beach.

We did lots of swimming and practiced our cannonballs.

We completely wore out the boardwalk with our wrinkly feet.

We played with our shell friends.

We almost lost Parker in the ocean (more than once).

We overindulged.  But it was worth it.

And I almost cried when it was time to come home.

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Let’s PARTY.

Since THIS describes my life right now:

You KNOW that Parker’s 7th birthday party theme had to be this:

I have to say, I was a little worried about having the party at home, especially when it started pouring down rain 45 minutes before party time… of course it was AFTER I had sprayed the yard for mosquitoes and hung tons of paper streamers all over our deck (FYI – soggy streamers don’t look very festive).  Luckily the rain stopped just in time for me to drag out all of the tables again right before the boys arrived.  It wasn’t quite as easy as renting one of the popular places around town, but it sure was so much fun!  I think Parker enjoyed it even more because it was at our house.   The boys bounced on our old blow-up jumper, splashed around in Parker’s water table, played Lego Bingo (I printed it out for free… ask me if you want details), and got a huge kick out of the donut game.

And a quick game of Twister before the grandparents left the next morning was very entertaining, especially from my vantage point.  :)

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Dessert Island.

I am good at a lot of things, but cooking is not one of them.  In fact, I have a whole pantry shelf full of various cookbooks that have never been used.  Good news… I think I’ve finally found some recipes that are easy enough for even me to follow.  Forget Southern Living and Cooking Light… my new favorite recipes come from my 8-year-old’s American Girl magazine.

This recipe had ingredients that I had actually heard of.  So hang on, because Torin and I are about to go all Pioneer Woman on you and share the recipe to create your own pudding paradise.  This is what you’ll need:

Step 1: Crush graham crackers with a rolling pin.

Step 2: Pour the crushed graham crackers on top of the pudding.

Step 3: Place a cookie stick in the cup. 

Step 4: Pay attention.  This is the tricky part.  You’re supposed to cut leaves out of green taffy, but we used red fruit roll-ups  Use a small amount of icing (or a great big blob, whatever you feel like) to attach the leaves to the top of the cookie stick.

Step 5: Place two chocolate candies in the “sand” for “coconuts.”

Finally, you can either be nice and share with a friend, or be like some people (I won’t name names) and totally renege on your promise to give your mama a bite.

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