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by April

Spring Break March 23 – March 29th, 2014 : Part 1

March 31, 2014 in Missouri Ozarks by April


We left home at 7:30am and drove until 5:30 pm.  We had been excitedly anticipating seeing our family friends for months!  We couldn’t wait to see them again!  After arriving and unloading we played with some toys, ate some pizza, and happily collapsed into bed.

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Seeing the St. Louis arch made Brooke ecstatic that we were almost close… (only three and half hours to go!)

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Super Ed was requested to wrap up and deliver each child multiple times. I am pretty sure Ed needed a hot tub and a night off after the kids were through with him.

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Let the silliness begin!

Monday – Biking, Park, Water Pump Replacement, Bike Ride, Lambert’s

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I couldn’t help but try to soak in some of the morning sunshine each day.  The temps started in the mid thirties in the morning, but one or two days it was up into the low sixties by the late afternoon.

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We headed on our bikes to the neighborhood park.  It helped that Cody kept his bike helmet on at the park.  He walked right into a wood crossbeam at least once with full force and just kept right on walking…  He is one tough kid!

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Scott couldn’t help himself, he had the urge to have another on-the-road car repair.  Alright, I might be exaggerating just by a little… Scott discovered the water pump was leaking badly right before we left for our trip.  We took the smaller car because the larger car originally had a worse leak… Oh how we miss the journey van.  Sadly the journey van was sold in November.  Scott offered to let us keep it if I started the upkeep on the van.  Needless to say it is gone. :-(  We are currently on the hunt for a mini journey van.

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A picture from our 1 hour – 14 mile bike ride. We took the picture mid-ride, so my smile is still large. Despite the intense hills there was a strange satisfaction in surviving those hills even when I was struggling to “just keep swimming” (Finding Nemo). Kayla’s cheering me on helped quite a bit too!  I wish I had her back home!  I was so exhausted and euphoric near the end of the ride that I was chatting with the horses and cows who seemed to be the only members of the Neighborhood Watch they advertised every few fences!

Lambert’s!!! Home of the “throwed” rolls!

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Cody’s sorghum and hot throwed roll face is priceless!

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Our friends are amazing!  They not only put up with us invading their home, but they willingly trek off to Lambert’s with us every trip!  I can still feel how full I was that night.

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We had enough leftovers for another meal. See Scott carrying the to-go containers? The balloons are the best way to end a fantastic evening at Lambert’s.


Ice Cream – Orange Leaf – Swimming Center – Chinese – drive through (Who knew?)

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We stopped at an Orange Leaf (very similar to a Yum’s) ice cream shop before heading into our bathing suits.  I loved listening to my kids giggle with delight at the Ozark Community Center. We had an absolute blast with the giant pail of water dumping on us, the “toilet” bowl whirlpool that we went around and around in for what seemed like forever, and even the lockers in the locker room.  With adorable kids and boundless energy the fun never stops! Well, until bedtime… 🙂

by Scott

Day 9: Saturday, July 23rd: Springfield, MO to Home

July 23, 2011 in Missouri Ozarks by Scott


We left our friends’ home at 7:30 this morning.  We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to make it all the way home, but the kids did a great job entertaining themselves today.  We are at nine and a half hours in the car and almost home and we are happy to report there have been no major meltdowns.  Scott timed the rest area breaks well and we even played briefly at a park after our lunchtime break at a McDonald’s play land.  Speaking of the play land.  We originally stopped at the McDonald’s in Litchfield.  Just in case you are headed that way, their play area is harder to get to than usual.  See pile below.


So we laughed and took some pictures and headed to the McDonald’s play land in Springfield, IL.  It was slightly confusing to Brooke that after traveling half a day we were still in Springfield.  After we showed her on a map where we were she was okay with our progress.

We are headed to Meme and Pepe’s for dinner.  Thank you Meme and Pepe.  Due to the power outage and unfortunate plugging in of our fridge to a generator we no longer have a working fridge.  Thus we will be living out of a cooler for a little longer after our vacation.  Hopefully, Scott will make some progress on the fridge tomorrow.

It was a great time.  We didn’t stick to all of our plans, but that is the beauty of being flexible on a vacation.  Thanks again to our friends for their hospitality.

by Scott

Day 8: Friday, July 22nd

July 22, 2011 in Missouri Ozarks by Scott


The picnic table was a great place for the kids to eat their meals. The cute little Miss who shared her very fun playroom with us.

We headed out to Jump Mania today.  Scott and Ed had gone camera shopping Thursday night.  We aren’t convinced we love the new camera yet, but it has only been a few days.  The Jump place was a little wild and crazy, but the kids really enjoyed themselves.

DSCN0004DSCN0005DSCN0007DSCN0008DSCN0009DSCN0010DSCN0016DSCN0020DSCN0037DSCN0038DSCN0039Brooke had a lot of fun helping the little Miss climb.  She was also playing bodyguard for the little Miss against the big kids.  Brooke helped a bigger kid who was hurt and crying find her mom. (Proud glowing mom.) Brooke also made friends with the little girl in the pink shirt.  She actually asked the other little girl what she wanted to do.  Brooke was also a great help this night, as I was very dizzy and slightly nauseous.


Our friend’s parents invited us over for a delicious homemade meal and great company.  Brooke loved coloring and playing ball with the three dogs.  (She’s usually afraid of dogs.)  Cody colored, took apart puzzles, and tried stuffing crayons into a too small box.  It should also be noted that Cody who is also usually afraid of dogs, was kissing the dogs.

A special note of thanks (and apology) needs to be sent out to our friend.  Brooke found a quarter at the Jumpy Place and somehow it led to the “secret” of our friend having a special pocket in his ear where he kept quarters.  This resulted in our friend being begged the entire day to do the quarter trick again, which involved Brooke tapping on his head in several places, sometimes not so gingerly.  Brooke who takes nothing we tell her at face value, is fascinated by our friend’s special ear pocket for holding quarters.

Brooke stated that she was excited to go back home and see our extended family, but… She put her head down sadly.  Scott filled in, “but you are going to miss our friends.”  Brooke shook her head.

We are very thankful to our friends for their incredible generosity and we look forward to them coming up soon so we can return the favor.

by Scott

Day 7: Thursday, July 21st

July 21, 2011 in Missouri Ozarks by Scott

Scott started the day out with his first 20 mile bike ride since his accident.  He enjoyed getting himself lost amongst the farm fields and rolling hills.  The GPS helped him find his way back.

Our friends treated us to a neighborhood pool this day.  We ate pizza poolside and enjoyed the cool water and warming rays of the sun.  Cody was doing great at the pool, but as the day progressed he wasn’t doing so well.  He cried through dinner and didn’t eat anything.  Luckily one of our friends does a great giraffe impression and she distracted Cody long enough to stop the piercing crying at least for a few minutes.  The boys decided to take the girls to Bass Pro Shop after dinner while Cody and I spent some time out on the deck looking for the giraffe.

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by Scott

Day 6: Wednesday, July 20th James River

July 20, 2011 in Missouri Ozarks by Scott

On the recommendation of our friends’ father we set off for James River Southwest of Springfield, about 45 minutes away from our friends’ house.  Once again our friends were incredibly generous with their time and drove us out to the put in and then drove Scott to the take out to drop off the van and back to the put in.  Below is the information Scott gave me on the canoeing trip details.

36.2 Jamesville Bridge. Hwys. M and U.
36.3 Finley Creek, on left. 37.9 Tory Creek on left. Montague Spring,
2.5 miles up creek, reached via Hwy. O from Hwy. 65. The spring has a
flow of nearly 2 million gallons per day, is used to supply a private
trout hatchery and is one of the largest springs in this river
39.4 Silvet Lake Branch on right.
39.7 Hooten Town Access on right, on Hooten Town Road.


We played on the banks while the boys dropped the van off at the take out.


The kids found a fun island to play on.  The butterflies  were amazing here.  I never did get a good picture of them.  Several butterflies sat on Cody’s life vest for quite a while. Scott hypothesized that they like the color yellow.



Brooke and Cody loved getting their hats wet and then flinging the water out at us.  You can see Cody’s hat in the water in the picture up and to the right.  The cool water was much needed on the very hot day.  The water throwing escapades led to quite a bit of water in the bottom of the canoe.  Scott had forgotten his sponge to drain out the water, so he used my shirt to drain the canoe a bit.


We had put in at a tributary to the James River, Finley Creek.  Scott had to push us for a little while.  We weren’t in any hurry, which was good considering exactly two minutes into floating Cody asked for food.  We could still see our friends on the bank and we pulled to the opposite bank and ate part of our lunch, it was only 11:00.


Cody has a seat and a paddle his very own size, but he was having more fun with Mama’s paddle and Brooke’s seat.  Unfortunately these were the last pictures our little Cannon Power Shot SD 1200 took.  The Elph went for a swim while in a protective case in my life jacket.  Despite Scott’s effort to dry it out in rice for 24 hours, its display and picture taking ability never came back.  We are saddened over the loss of our Elph.

We were on the river for two hours and traveled about four miles.  Both Cody and Brooke loved hopping in and out of the boat.  We came back to home base for a nap while Scott and his friend built the kid-wash shown in Family Fun Magazine.  The kids loved hopping through it.

This was also the night that the kids’ health started to go downhill.  Cody’s eyes became progressively goopier as the day went on.  On the advice of our friends I called our pediatrician. The pediatrician’s office was able to call us in a prescription to a local pharmacy.  I didn’t think they were going to be able help us 530 miles away.  We were able to get a dose in before bed.  After his morning drops and a warm shower/ bath he was looking a lot less goopy.  Brooke unfortunately spent the entire night coughing.  I felt very bad having sickly children in the same house with a one month old.

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