A no-kids weekend

What?  A weekend away from our children?  Yes, I believe we will sneak away for the weekend.  Thanks for asking!

After safely transporting our children to my parents’ house, Blake and I were off on a no-kids weekend.  We got a later start than we wanted because Data Day is so important.  After stopping in Columbia for an awesome dinner that did not include wrestling a child or reminding a child of table manners…we were off to the big city of St. Louis.  On the way into St. Louis we discussed all the cool things we could do that night after we found our hotel, but let’s be honest.  We are old so after checking in, we went right to sleep.

  

Pretty swanky, huh?  What they don’t tell you is that the hardwood floors in each room make it perfect to her the older gentleman in the room next to you.  That’s right folks, you can even  hear his footsteps!!

Saturday morning we woke up, filled up on the hotel’s breakfast buffet and off we went!  Our destination…

This is funny for a lot of reasons.  I do not drink nor have any desire to do so in the near future.  I just thought if this were truly a no-kids weekend, we should do things we couldn’t do with the kids…hence we head to the brewery.

During the tour of the brewery, I took close notes.  Here are the things that I learned in no particular order:

  • Anheuser’s daughter married Busch.  (I always think quirky history facts like that are interesting)
  • The chandeliers in the brewery (and there were many) were bought at the 1904 World’s Fair!
  • During the prohibition era, when many breweries went out of business, AB stayed open selling pop and ice cream
  • There was a school house in the middle of the brewery property that they eventually bought because I think we can all agree that’s not the best place for a school
  • They mulch the beech wood that they use and give it to local parks to use

That’s right, I learned nothing about beer or how it’s made.  Actually the smell of the place made me literally sick to my stomach.  If you are interested in how beer is made, please see the following picture.  Any questions?  And no, I did not have any free samples at the end of the tour.  You couldn’t pay me to touch the stuff, but I did enjoy pretzels and Sierra Mist.

After our “exciting” tour, we got down to some semi-serious shopping…Blake was just as excited about the shopping as I was about the brewery.  And then on to the real reason we traveled across the state.

One of Blake’s fraternity brothers got married to a lovely girl.  It was a very fun, unique ceremony.  The wedding party played kazoos during one of the songs.

The ceremony was at The Contemporary Museum of Art

And the reception was held at The Third Degree Glass Factory

The faucets in the bathroom were so cool!  They were made out of blown glass.

I think we can all agree that the entire thing was way too cool for me.

Besides the super-fun atmosphere and the wedding that just spoke volumes about who the bride and groom were as people, I got to meet lots of Blake’s college friends (most for the first time).  We had a really great time, they are great people and I hope we get to hang out soon.

After the reception, Blake and I headed back to our “awesome” hotel where we got to jam to the music from the wedding reception that was happening 5 FLOORS BELOW US for awhile.  It was wonderful.

We had a much needed break from our kids and had a great time together.  I’m so lucky to not just have a great husband who helps around the house and is a great dad, but he is also my best friend and we have so much fun together.

 

 

Happy Birthday Parker!

Things to know about Parker…

    • Parker loves sports.  I fully believe it is something boys are born with.  He will never sit still but he will sit and watch a football game anytime  
    • Nothing is better than watching Parker watch WipeOut.  He gets to laughing so hard that he can hardly stand up…and when he recovers, he reenacts from the top of the couch

      A very windy day on Lake Erie

    • Before and after Parker’s nightly bath, he slips away from Blake, AKA Bath Man, and streaks through the house as fast as he can…giggly the entire way

  • Parker will make you stop whatever you are doing any time he sees a UPS truck, fire truck, dump truck…you get the picture?  
  • He can still tell you the entire story of the day I got my finger stuck in the trunk and he still looks at my gross finger and asks if I’m okay  
  • His vocabulary is much better than a just getting ready to turn two-year old.  He’s listening to everything you say and will repeat it back whether it was meant for his ears or not  
  • As crazy and wild as he is, he still likes to look at books.  Not read them because that takes to long, but he will look at the pictures  
  • Parker loves his Papa more than just about anything.  He gets mad when we call Grandma and Papa isn’t around to talk  
  • He is very passionate about what he wants…which is code for:  has quite the little temper  
  • He can get in the biggest trouble and all he has to do is smile at me with his little grin and blue eyes and I melt
  • He has approximately 11 hours from right now for his birthmark on his face to be gone…I’m not holding my breath
  • He loves his sister and especially loves when she includes him in whatever adventure she has planned  
  • If you don’t hear him…you better go check on him.  He has probably gotten himself into BIG trouble!

  • Parker is a very picky eater but when you find what he is in the mood for, he will eat you out of house and home…for example:  4 ears of corn on Saturday
Parker can drive me crazy with his climbing and running and falling and…but I wouldn’t trade my boy for anyone else in the world.  God sure knows what He is doing.  
Happy 2nd Birthday Parker Clay!  I love you so much and can’t wait to see all the fun things you have in store for this next year!

Surprising Outcome

I love Patsy Cline.  I love Barbra Mandrell.  I love a good movie about country music.  I, however, did not expect to like Country Strong.

Come on…Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Leighton Meesters?  Although I like each one of them, I did not run out to pay $10 to watch the movie at the theater.

I recorded Country Strong a week or so ago but hadn’t gotten around to watching it.  I’ve been in the middle of sick kids, a bushel of apples that had my name on them, family pictures and the start of Parker’s birthday week.  Today I sat down at watched the movie…

It was really good!  I was afraid that the actors would be “trying” to sing and it would be cheesy but I really liked it!  It’s a pretty good story and the songs they sang were good!  That Garrett Hedlund is a cutie.  I hope to see him in more movies!  What a pleasant surprise on a gloomy Sunday.

Charlie

Have I mentioned we have added a member to our family? A few weeks ago we inherited a cat whom we named Charlie.

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This is an issue for a lot of reasons but mostly because I’m severely allergic. To his credit, Charlie has been a good cat. He prefers to be outside and he let’s my children maul him.
Until this week…
In the middle of strep throatpalooza 2011, Blake noticed Charlie had a big cut on his foot. I didn’t even realize Charlie left the backyard until last weekend so who knows where he got hurt. I thought he could tough it out but Blake is kinder than I am and decided Charlie needed to see the vet.
Good ole Charlie had exposed tendons and had to have stitched. $100+ later, Charlie now enjoys being inside.

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Look
Closely at that picture. Charlie is curled up on MY blanket and Paige gave him a new friend
Stay tuned for swollen, watery eyes and out if control sneezing…

Homemade Applesauce

I had an unexpected couple of days off this week.  Yesterday I was tied up playing nurse but today my patient is doing much better so I was able to get to work on a project that I have been thinking about for awhile.

I have wanted to make homemade applesauce for quite some time.  I thought my plan was crushed when I found out that our local orchard didn’t have any apples this year due to a late frost last spring.  Then I heard that one of the greenhouses got several bushels of apples in.  To my delight, my favorite delivery guys were headed that way yesterday so while I sat home with my sick girl, the guys picked up a bushel of apples for me.

I have a lot of ideas for these apples so you can wait in anticipation for my next installment.

Today I made applesauce.  I looked at several different recipes and then decided I would just play with it and see how it turned out.

I cut and peeled some apples.  I’m not sure how many but I decided to make a small batch until I was sure this was something my kids would eat.  I found the easiest way to prepare the apples was to use my apple cutter thing with the different sections in it (I’m so technical!) and then peel each slice.  I’m sure there is an easier more time efficient way but I’m not too good with a knife so this was the plan to keep me from cutting a finger off.

As I cut up the apples, I threw them in a big pot with a little bit of water.  Throughout the day there were several interruptions so I’m not sure how long they cooked but they started turning mushy so I figured that was a good thing.  (Maybe the title of this should be The Idiot’s Guide to Making Applesauce)

When it was good and mushy, I threw it in the food processor to get it nice and smooth.  (I like chunky applesauce but I’m in the minority in my house)  When it was nice and smooth, I put it back in the pot and added sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  I don’t have any measurements for this.  I just added and kept tasting it.

When it came to a boil, I put it in freezer-safe containers.  You could can it as well but I had some freezer containers that I wasn’t using and some room in the freezer so that’s what worked best for me.

If you have some apples laying around, I would suggest making your own applesauce, especially if you have little kids.  This applesauce is super yummy!  I’m planning on making another batch maybe later today because I can see that this batch is not going to last long around here!