Monday, October 31, 2011

Trip To St. Louis, Part 4

On our last night in St. Louis, we ate at Mimi's Cafe.  Anthony was a bit of a handful, like usual, mostly because he is just so active.  I couldn't even get a picture of him that wasn't blurry!

The big three kids were all happily doing the little activity pages provided by the restaurant.  Joseph colored pages as well, not quite as intently as the other three.

A picture of our typical breakfast at the hotel.  We were very much the center of attention, as most of the other guests looked like they were staying for business.  I think we saw one other family (with one child).  It is weird to keep looking up and catching people staring at you. 

Anthony "helped" Daddy load up the minivan for the trip back home.

Every time we go somewhere, Anthony wriggles and wriggles until he gets his arms out of the restraints.

This was our last stop on the way back home.  It was very much needed.

I packed some bubbles along and had saved them until this stop, and let me tell you, they were a total lifesaver. 

It was sunny, warm, and windy.  Anthony got to run around in the grass, carrying his own container of bubbles.  He was grubby from travelling and very happy to be out of the van. 

When I have a chance, I will blog about our free afternoon when we were in St. Louis. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trip To St. Louis, Part 3

After our day of visiting with Sr. Mary Elizabeth, we stopped at Imo's Pizza for dinner.

The kids enjoyed our meal.

The people working there were very excited about the St. Louis Cardinals.  At the time the Cardinals were battling to see if they would go to the World Series.  (We are glad now that we didn't go to St. Louis the week after we did, because we would have been right in the middle of the World Series craziness!)

We went to the hotel pool all three days we stayed there.  The kids loved it!  Here are Joseph, Catherine, Dominic, and Anne sporting their goggles.

Anthony was a little scared at first, but he grew to love it, too.

Anne, practicing her back float.

Dominic lost his goggles the second time we went to the pool.  When I went to get them from the lost and found, I asked for more towels and the guy at the desk said, "Oh, you're the one with all the kids!"  I guess we stuck out a little.  :)

Little Miss Catherine

Anthony mostly wanted to just go in and out, in and out, in and out.

Joseph had a blast in the pool, happily paddling around and doing the Nestea Plunge.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Trip To St. Louis, Part 2

Sr. Mary Elizabeth gave the kids some saint items, which they loved.

I spent a lot of time outside during our full day of visiting at the convent.

Mostly because of this little guy.  He got very disruptive inside, but he was perfectly happy walking around outside, looking for and squealing at the many squirrels.

It was nice walking around the long driveway.

Occasionally, Anthony would let me take him back inside to get a drink or a snack.  Or to see Daddy.  Daddy took him outside a few times as well.

Look at that face!

The big boys had to blow off steam, too.

They kept getting sillier...

and sillier...

...and sillier.

Sr. Mary Elizabeth and Dan.  We had a lovely visit with her. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Trip To St. Louis, Part 1

Two weeks ago on a Tuesday, we loaded up the car and took off for the St. Louis suburbs to visit Dan's sister, Sr. Mary Elizabeth, who is a cloistered nun.

On the way we stopped for a picnic lunch.  We thought that rest stop was never going to come! It was worth it, though, as the kids could be outside and run around, most importantly Anthony.  Notice he is not even in this picture.  He was already off running around, playing in the leaves.

We all stopped to observe this frog(or is it a toad?) in the tree.

Back in the car, we finished the drive (It took 7 seven hours) and settled into the hotel.  We went swimming and then went out to eat at Red Lobster.  The next morning we drove over to the convent.

Driving up the long driveway to the convent.  It felt like we went from summer in Kansas to fall in Missouri.  The trees were turning colors there and it was especially beautiful in eastern Missouri.

Daddy and the kids going in the front door of the convent.

Dan getting the key to the guest parlor in the turnstile.
Anthony tried to go in through the door to the cloister!

In the guest parlor, we say hello to Sr. Mary Elizabeth, who drew back the curtains and is unlocking the bars.
The girls give Sr. Mary Elizabeth hugs and all the many pictures and notes they made for her.

Settling in for a nice visit.

We were able to spend a full day and then a half day visiting with Sr. Mary Elizabeth.  Both days she graciously brought us a hot meal for lunch.  Currently she is the cook for the convent, so she made the meals as well.  (She's a good cook!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Field Trip to Old Cowtown Museum, Part 2

I think we spent about five hours at Cowtown.  The first 2 hours were a bit busy because there were a lot of schoolkids there, but after that it was much slower.  Here the kids all took a turn grinding wheat.  They really loved all of the hand-on activities.

There was a display with bushel baskets of wheat, corn, soy beans, oats, sorghum, and milo that the kids could touch and examine.  Then on the table behind were examples of products containing those items. 

Here is my friend, with all of her kids.  Doesn't she have her hands full?  Ha, ha, just kidding.  Between us, though, we have 9 children, so yes, we both have our hands full!

Anne plays in the wheat, while Anthony tries to get his little hand in there.

Of course, as soon as he got his little hands in there, he began "sowing" the seeds. 

One part of Cowtown is a farm, complete with house, outbuildings, and animals.  Here Anne got to be the assistant, pouring the corn into the grinder.

The kids intently watched the horse-powered feed grinder.  Did you notice that my friend was smart, dressing her children in the same color shirt?  I'll definitely have to remember that one!

Then back to the gunnysack swing, where Joseph got a turn.

And what a thrill to pet the miniature ponies!

Our field trip to Cowtown was a resounding success!   I had never been there before and it was much bigger and better than I had anticipated.  We will definitely have to go again next year.