Friday, May 24, 2013

City Museum

Years ago, I took high school students to the City Museum in St. Louis on a journalism convention, and have been dying to take my girls ever since.

We used our Girl Scout cookie money to go on Saturday. Stephanie (another mom) and I took all the big girls, and Jennifer (another mom) brought her two daughters and Kaylin. Even though it was supposed to be Macy's troop, I'm so glad Kaylin got to go also.  Left Kearney at 7 am, and arrived by noon. Then it was game on--girls played and climbed and explored until they are were just exhausted. Here are some of the pictures.

Macy, Madelyn, and Kaylee in the "birdcage"

Kaylin, Danielle and Mira climbing out of the "bird cage"

The girls sliding down a skateboard ramp-like thing.

In the ball pit outside

We climbed 10 stories to the slide at the top. See all the curved stairs? Yep, that's what we went up. I was at the back, the only adult who went, and the girls did not stop up 10 stories. Practically ran, because they are 11-years-old and don't get tired. I was a sweaty mess by the time I made it to the top, trying to keep up with them.

Kaylin at the top of the 10-story slide

At the bottom, looking up at the stairs you have to climb

All the girls outside

Macy climbing over my head in a wire cage-like thing

Mira, Danielle, and Kaylin climbing. I think this is when Mira dropped her phone, and I had to lean across a fountain to retrieve the pieces for her.

This chair was freaky--you'd spin and feel like you were going to fall out, but didn't.

Macy about to drop down a slide. They said "you just fall down into a sewer"

It was a super fun trip. If you've never been to the City Museum, I highly recommend it. The girls had an amazing time, and I think they will remember it forever.

We tried to go to the Arch, but it had been sold out for 3 hours. Many disappointed girls. :( We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner, visited the City Museum for a littlle more, then headed home.

We left St. Louis at 9:00, got home at 1:30 am. Stephanie and I had to stop at two different rest stops to get out and stretch and wake up! It was a rough drive home. Made it home just as a storm was coming in; thankfully we didn't have to drive in it! That would have made it so much worse.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

A beautiful Mother's Day yesterday.

We went for a family walk/bike ride around Smithville Lake. Pulled 5 ticks off Macy; that is always fun. GROSS.

Before that, we met my mother for lunch at 54th Street. I asked my two girls for a picture, and I got sassy attitude from one and a snuggly picture from the other.
Here's my mom, the girls, and me.

I also got presents from the girls, had a wonderful service at church, got a nap, and Bobby grilled out for dinner. A perfect day!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Busy days!

Blogger loaded these pictures backwards, so we'll work back over the last few days.

Macy is old enough to be a considered a teen at Girl Scout camp this summer, which means she'll lead a group of younger Girl Scouts. I'm the Teen Coordinator, which is a fancy title and I haven't done much. Friday night all the teens had a training session/campout.

They learned all the Girl Scout songs to sing at camp, and we spent a long time after dinner talking about how to be good leaders, what to do if your little one cries for their mother, etc. The girls were very insightful in the different scenarios.

It was a COLD night in the tent. I pulled by hoodie over my head, and was basically all the way inside my sleeping bag. Apparently several trains came by overnight, but I was so tired (keep reading below) that I crashed and didn't hear anything.

The next morning we had omelettes cooked in a turkey fryer in freezer bags, and worked on the crafts the younger ones will be doing. That way our teens know how to do them!

Fun, fun campout.
Back up to Tuesday night. Macy's Girl Scout troop had a bake sale a couple weeks ago, and made $385 on muffins, cookies, cakes, etc. So amazing! I was floored. I was expecting to make maybe $75 or so. Boy, was I wrong!

Tuesday night we went shopping at Walmart for the supplies for our Blessing Bags. We bought $317 worth of shampoo, conditioner, combs, toothpaste, soap, etc. to make the bags. We had some donations, so we didn't have to buy it all. Here's the girls and the receipt from that shopping trip.
Ok, Back to Saturday. It's graduation party time! We went to Cassidy's. She is one of the best volleyball players for North, and last year she worked with Macy on her overhand serve. I'd like to point out the height differences. Cassidy is in the middle, and is 18. Macy is on the left, and is 11. Kaylin is on the right, and is 9. Interesting, huh?

I'm really going to miss Cass.
Moving back to Thursday night. Kaylin's Girl Scout troop got a heck of a deal at Great Wolf Lodge, and all the money benefited Big Brothers, Big Sisters. I pulled the girls out of school a tad early, and we headed out. We were there about  4 1/2  hours, and had an awesome time. Macy and her friend Jessica came with us too.
Still on Thursday night. After Great Wolf Lodge, Bobby met me at Zona and took the girls home. I went with my teacher friends to see The Great Gatsby on opening night, at 10 pm.  Here we are in our Gatsby shirts, feather boa's, and 1920's headpieces. I missed the pre-party due to swimming, but met them at the theater.
I didn't get to sleep until 1:30 ish, and the alarm went off at 6. That made for a long day, and was why I was tired on Friday night!

Many people have asked my review of the movie. Here's what I've been saying: It's an excellent movie. I had really, really high expectations, and it didn't live up to them. The book is still better than the movie.  But that said, it was still really good. It followed very true to the book (which is important) and many of the lines and passages were exactly right. I've read the book more times than I count, and there were little details pulled from the book all over that the average reader wouldn't pick up on, but I did. Yes, the music wasn't jazz, and yes, it was weird and cheesy in some parts. But overall, I would see it again (and will.) It was well-done.

If anything, I am happy for the spark it has provided in teaching the novel the last few weeks. Kids  were EXCITED about the book. There were at least 10 students I recognized in the movie theatre, and many told me they went to one of the other ones. All the teachers have been telling stories about students asking for copies of the book that don't have the class. The power of Leonardo DiCaprio. :)

It was a busy week. Nice to take time to relax!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The City

Last week I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in one of my most favorite cities, San Francisco. Known as "the city" to the locals, I just love this city. If I was about 15 years younger, and more hip, and more wealthy, I'd love to move there.

These pictures are in no order, and are only a portion of the ones I took.

Here's an instagram collage of one day: Chocolate at the mother-ship: Ghiradelli, sea lions down at Pier 39 (we stayed and watched them for a long time; at least 50 sea lions were there), several cable car rides (I LOVE hanging off the side of a cable car. So awesome!), and a visit to Alcatraz.

I took 3 students with me, and here we are at the Golden Gate bridge. We walked about 1/2 way across, and leaned over the side and spit. Kinda fun to watch the spit (and gum) sail like crazy in the wind. The bridge is just a beautiful, beautiful site.

This senior, Savana, has been to Anaheim, Seattle, Minneapolis, San Antonio, and now San Francisco with me, and we'll be in Spain together in just 1 month.  She reminds me of a little sister, for some reason.

Here we are at the crooked street, Lombard Street.
View from the middle of the street. You can see Alcatraz way in the distance.
Golden Gate Bridge
View on the bridge.
On Saturday afternoon, we blew off the 4 1/2 hour awards ceremony and took the ferry over to Sausalito. It was about a 40 minute boat ride, and Sausalito was just amazing.

This was my 3rd trip to The City, and I'm so happy that the convention is there in 2018 again.