Parents gone. So sad! But I did NOT cry. I just kept telling myself I’d see them this summer. It helped that it is Cole’s 14th birthday and he went with me to take them to the airport. Tonight as I was tucking Gabe in, I thought he was holding Tinkerbell but it was only his stuffed black cat. It won’t feel like they’re gone, just yet. Will probably hit in a day or two. It has been so nice having them here!!! They are less trouble than the kids. I kept joking I’d send the kids back and keep the parents. I’ll have to write up a tribute to Cole for his birthday a day late. I just can’t do it today!!!

Bag Fever (Maybe I Need A Vacation?)

I love these bags. This weekender bag is genius. I am going to have to make one. Someday. Thank goodness for “someday” because then I don’t have to admit that it will actually never get done. I am feeling this need to learn how to do everything at least once and cannot figure out why. Midlife crisis, I guess. This ruffle bag seems much more doable and an easy way to dress up your recycled grocery t-shirt bags. Yeah, I’ll try that one first. They’re both beautiful and found on The Weekender blog.

Silver Dollar City


We skipped out of town on a last minute vacation to Branson, Missouri. What a fun filled place for families! We spent two entire days at Silver Dollar City and my kids now claim it’s their favorite amusement park. Granted their only other theme park experiences include Adventureland in Des Moines, Noah’s Ark Waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells and Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. Two fun-filled days and the driving wasn’t bad, either. Don and I ate at a restaurant that we would drive out of the way for again called Lambert’s. There are only three in the U.S. You must find them. Soon. Worth every mile. They throw the rolls at you and walk around with huge vats of fried okra (surprisingly fabulous) and potatoes and onions and the like and heap things on your plate while you’re eating. If I ranked my vacations by eating establishments, this would rank tops! Perhaps a tie with the German restaurant we ate at in Hill City, South Dakota. Food is such an important part of my life. I must exercise a whole lot this week!

The Highlighter Cabin

I heart Mike and Julie. We just enjoyed the best weekend! Big thanks to our friendly neighbors who took us up to their Highlighter Cabin. The kids had so much fun packed into one day and two nights that they’ve ever had. It might as well have been Club Med or a spa for me because Julie planned and cooked every meal and provided paper and plastic utensils so there was no cleanup. You heard me right. I felt like I had signed up for the best vacation ever. AND we got to take the dog. NO kidding.

Ben spent most of the time playing with Marcie and her kennel.

Cole had his first tubing experience! We loved their 1971 boat (we are such boat newbies).

The cutest little “island” in the middle of the lake where we played in the sand for hours!

Gabe had the most fish caught – at least 11 and I wasn’t keeping track! He had bluegill, crappie, catfish, largemouth bass and a white bass. I think. Very nice casting skills for a 7 year old!

Jack caught his first fish or two – including the cutest catfish. I say they’re cute while they’re kittenfish but when they get to be catfish…ugly!

Not to be outdone by his boys (cough cough), Don had a little fun fishing as well…THANKS, MIKE & JULIE (and Marcie the dog)! WE HAD A BLAST. Call me if you need some Prozac. I don’t actually have any but I could probably talk you down off the ledge.