Thursday, July 30, 2015


Since getting home, we haven't ventured out too much... we've just spent our time settling back in and relaxing and enjoying being in our own space again. We had a Great vacation, but was it ever tiring!

The other day I let the kids get in the jetted tub to cool off and play...


After turning the jets off, I dumped in a ton of water beads... 

These things are so cool, they were given to us after VBS!

They ended up playing in here for close to an hour!
(The bathroom was drenched, but it was a fair trade)

I love my new Canada shirt that Laura found for me!

On Tuesday night, we joined a bunch of friends for Free Night at the Zoo...

I have no idea who this guy is, but Caleb liked him =)

A picture of just these two before Caleb decided to cooperate

Big smile now!

Most of the group we went with - it was super hot, but fun!

Jade, Eden and Jade spent half the day with us yesterday... the swimming ended up being a bust due to thunder and lightening, but the kids had a blast being together again after weeks of not seeing each other!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Days Twelve and Thirteen - St. Louis and Ashland!

Man, I'm ashamed at how long it has taken me to finish up these trip posts!

Here they are, the final two days of our wonderful "CAN/MI/MO Summer Family Vacation of 2015!"

On Friday, we drove from Grayling, MI to St. Louis, MO!

We surprised the kids with a trip to the Arch.   I had been up in it as a (young) child, but Philip had never been, and we thought it would be a fun thing to do on our way through!   It was!

On the short walk to the Arch from our hotel

So awesome

I love that we were able to set up this shot!
Philip leaned the camera back on one of his shoes to get this angle =)

The Ole' Mississippi!

Ready to go up!
(I remember the cars being this small, but as a child, it didn't bother me... as an adult, I realized I have a tiny bit of claustrophobia!) =)

The kids looking out the windows at the top

It was super cool to be able to see a Cardinals game going on!

 That's our hotel right there with the flag on top

 Such a great city!

 At the highest point in the middle!

 Down some steps to get back on the tram to go down (we came up one side and went down the other, so we can say we did the whole thing!) =)

Fro Yo on the walk back!
(You can see a carriage in the background - there were Lots of them!)

After a good night's sleep, we had breakfast at the famous Goody Goody Diner.   It was Fantastic!!   We will Definitely go back when we are in St. Louis again!

We got to put a pin on our city on their map!

All of the kids spent a Ton of time coloring their pictures beautifully, which made for an even better breakfast experience! =)

We drove a couple of hours to Ahland, MO to where two of Philip's mom's brothers live on a joint property.    I had never been and Philip hadn't been in 20 years, so it was great to be there!

They have multiple feeders hanging outside their dining room and we saw 12 to 15 hummingbirds at a time out there!

Marie laid out a Beautiful spread for lunch - some of it was fresh from their garden!

Uncle Hank and Aunt Marie on the left, Uncle Dave, Aunt Pat and Hannah on the right

Aunt Marie was soo sweet about entertaining the kids!

After lunch we drove up the driveway to see Uncle Dave and Aunt Pat's house:

The kids loved Hannah's treehouse!

Caleb spying on us with some homemade binoculars he found

Happy on the big swing!

Moriah, Marie, and a pretty cat

Hannah with a snakeskin they found in the tree house!

Caleb and this cat were Adorable playing together with this stick!

Doll house supreme!

Uncle Dave took us for a quick drive over to see the Missouri River up close!

A quick snap of Uncle Hank and Aunt Marie before we left

We hadn't seen any of this family in quite some time and it was very special to get to see them in their own homes and to be blessed with their hospitality!    They are only about five hours away, so we will likely plan more visits on our way home from trips North!

Day Eleven

It took me all the way until our last day to get in the water!   I had been chilly most of the time there and had NO desire to get in the water!   But, finally on the last day, I agreed to go tubing.   It Was the warmest day, although I still wore a long sleeved shirt over my bathing suit.   Uncle Ty promised he would give me an easy ride and I wouldn't even need to get wet!

Our kids with Kiah and Micah on the dock

Before going out on the tube, I needed to get my jet ski fix (obviously I got Myself a little wet here!)

Philip and Moriah

I convinced Keenan to go tubing with me, even though it's really not his thing

All set to go!

I actually ended up totally dunking myself here, while trying to maneuver my tube out over the wake =)
(The water was quite pleasant, actually!)

Moriah and I (this girl could not get Enough tubing!    She must have gone 12 or 15 times!)

Love this one of my handsome guys!

Water lovin' girl!

Micah and Kiah

So happy!

Davis and I switching tubes!

Davis performing his signature move...

I almost peed myself from laughing so hard!

...and his valiant, but vain attempt to jump back to his own tube =)

Kiah and Riah

Keenan is amazing in a kayak!

Caleb getting ready to jet ski with Philip

The two blond beauties again

Caleb was so brave, and even went out on the jet ski and second and third time after Philip dumped them off!

My three sunny cuties

Keenan and Charlie going for a ride

What a perfect day on the water!   I'm soo glad I went out! =)