Friday, September 10, 2010

Quick Takes Friday

I am starting to wonder if the fact that I spend 10 minutes trying to log into blogger means that I should blog less, or if it means that my computer can't seem to remember that I have a blog...

So, on to the Quick Takes!

Eva is SIX...and I am still in shock. Her party was a success, although I didn't have the house as clean as I would have liked. Since I picked up a cold three days before (that I'm still fighting...) had one day where I just didn't feel well enough to do much, one day of leader training for girl scouts, and my parents showed up two hours early for the party, I guess it was what it was. Eva had a great time, and we had 18 guests (a small party for this family!) I found out that three pounds of steak and 1 1/2 pounds of chicken is just the right amount of meat kabobs for that many, but that I over cooked on the vegetable front. My mom was teasing me about the amount of food I was preparing, but most of it was gone by the end of the party.

We took a family vacation to the black hills over Labor day weekend, and FIL even gave hubby the time off to come with it was me, hubby, the girls, our exchange student, MIL, and her exchange student. We rented a cabin that could sleep up to 12 (it would be a tight squeeze with 12 people) and had a really good time. Our first stop was for lunch in Alliance, NE with a quick stop to show the exchange students Carhenge.

Next up on our trip was Storybook Village, a free attraction in Rapid City. The little girls had a great time, and the exchange students were very nice about spending a couple of hours in a park with over sized storybook toys and displays. Eva and Charlotte had a great time on the train ride (the engine was a riding lawnmower covered with wood to make it look like a train) which was the only charge in the place ($1 per ride). Grandma had a great time in the gift shop. Then we took the big kids to the mall (both forgot to pack something for the trip) but the first thing they both bought were cowboy hats!

Mount Rushmore was next. Both Eva and Charlotte completed the Junior Ranger program...Charlotte's was pretty simple, but Eva was old enough for a much harder book, so she had to find out a lot more information. We stayed for the night show, which includes a movie, and is very patriotic. The exchange students thought this was a little strange, as at home, they do not sing the national anthem (unless it is at a national football game!)


Next day we took a tour of part of the Wind Cave at Wind Cave National Park. We left Grandma and Charlotte above ground for the 450 stair cave tour, and they talked to everyone who came into the vending area, and bought out yet another gift shop (Storybook Island, Mount Rushmore AND Wind Cave). Eva did a great job on the tour, and it is just a very interesting place.

Later that day, after taking the big kids out for dinner at a German restaurant (which was dubbed pretty good, but not authentic...they had a good laugh about Wiener Schnitzel being on the menu, because it is from Vienna, not Germany. Honestly, my mom always told me that it was called Wiener Schnitzel because it is made from veal, but our Austrian exchange student assures me that it is usually made from pork, and the name comes from it's origins in Vienna.) we went to Crazy Horse Memorial to watch the night time laser show. It was also very interesting, but a little strange. Both very almost angry about how native Americans have been treated, but also very patriotic (flag waving, God Bless the USA, etc.) I had a good laugh that the first sponsor of the laser show was US Smokeless Tobacco.

On our way home, we stopped at Evan's Plunge, which was fun, if a little bit pricey (okay, it was by far our most expensive stop of the trip!) The little girls had a great time, and both even went down the big water slide (with a parent, of course!) We probably spent close to 2 hours playing in the pools, and afterwards we were all tired and ready to get home. Our absolute last stop of the trip was at McDonalds. The exchange students, who think of McDonalds and America as going together have been here close to a month, and had not been in a McDonald's yet. They wanted to stop at one for lunch in Rapid City, but we never could find our way back to the one we saw. So, we made a special stop for dinner on the way home. Our exchange student was excited to find out that ketchup was free. I told her that Americans would not put up with being charged for ketchup at McDonalds!

Now we are happily back home, and trying to get in the swing of the new school year. I keep thinking that at some point I may spend a little more time at home doing housework, but between homeschooling and running around after our exchange student, I fear that I am going to be away from home most of the year!

More quick takes at Conversion Dairy!


Christine said...

Did you stay at Custer St Park?

majellamom said...

No, we weren't in the park, just a couple miles outside, in a rural area (we had 5 miles of gravel roads to the cabin...which was a lot like home, only more curvy roads and lots more trees!)

Whimsy said...

"A family reunion in 1987 produced what has become America's best-known quirky Stonehenge"

So what are you doing for next year's family reunion???!!!