Trip to Kansas

Well, I am just now getting around to posting about our trip to Kansas two weeks ago. We had a wonderful time. And (drum roll please)… we flew. Yep, some special drugs and having the kids along helped me to get beyond my fear of flying. Great flights both ways helped (read: no turbulence and/or weird sounds). We arrived in Kansas on July 15 and immediately grabbed our rental SUV (Jeep). Paula had a conference in Kansas City on Wednesday morning so we headed to the Mellards for the evening. We spent a few days with the Mellards and then headed off to Junction city to see my family. The kids actually went to JC a day earlier and had loads of fun.
Paula and I were able to see most of our old KU buddies at a CRL function on Wednesday evening. That was also Paula’s birthday so we left a little early and met Ashley Mellard and her fiance for dinner and chats at Free State Brewery. Fun times.
In Junction City, we spent time with my family…all of them in the area. In fact, we also had the pleasure of seeing Peter and Barbie and their kids who were in from Colorado. More Fun times.
These trips always make me want to go house shopping and move back to Lawrence. What a great place it is. I taught two online classes this summer (my first) and was able to work almost every day from my home office. Perhaps some day we can live anyway and still “attend” work.
I will try and get Paula to add more to the story…

Ann Arbor

Paula finally jumps into the fray…

We had a very exciting weekend a few weeks back (I am just now getting this posted). Friday afternoon I took Ellie and Josh to Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is Michigan’s version of Lawrence. It’s a great town — home of U of M, but we like it best because Kate Johnson, Ellie and Josh’s former night-time babysitter lives there. Kate is getting married in November and has asked Ellie to be a flower girl. Ann Arbor is two hours away, so I decided to drive over on Friday and spend the night. Kate talked me in to taking both kids. Josh was in an interesting mood on the way down. We have a VCR in the car which he likes to think is his own. He is somewhat obsessed with it. He picks the movie to be watched and then holds the next two tapes in his hands. This day his attention span was very short. About every ten minutes he wanted a new movie. After the third movie, I told him he had to watch the whole thing. Ellie agreed. It was a Thomas train. She likes Thomas and especially likes the “Little Engines” performed by a children’s choir at the end of the movie. Josh was mad and proceeded to yell at me in his own little way, for the twenty minutes. I finally told him he would need a road side time-out and started to slow the car down. Miraculously he decided that Thomas the train wasn’t so bad after all. Why it took me twenty minutes to figure this out is a question I am still asking myself.
Kate met us at the hotel and had gifts for the kids. Josh has a tough time remembering Kate, but Ellie requires a whole 45 seconds to warm up to her. We had dinner at Applebees. We like this restaurant because Ellie can get her favorite vegetable broccoli as a side, Josh can get his chicken and fries, and everyone gets a cookie. After dinner we went to Kate and Chris’s apartment to play with Dexter the dog. The kids were so wound up. They fed Dexter and played ball with him. Josh shared a water bottle with him. Then Josh decided to show off his tackling skills. He tackled Ellie about a dozen times before she had enough and walloped him. Somehow they managed to find all this extremely funny. I’m not sure I’ve seen them this wild and know that my description doesn’t come close to describing their behavior.
The next day was really fun. Ellie and Josh were terrific at breakfast. We ate in the hotel, and they were great. Kate joined us. After breakfast we headed to Kate’s parents’ house, and then off to the dress store. Ellie thoroughly enjoyed trying on her dresses. She had three different ones on, and each time she would twirl around grinning and batting her eyes. The fact that Josh had his nose a little pushed out of shape became obvious when he started knocking things over and stomping his feet. Finally it was time to go. Josh slept for the entire two hours while Ellie lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes. Good thing too because Ellie and Josh were hosting a cousins sleep over the rest of the weekend!!

Early July

Well, we’ve been busy the past week or so. I bought a new car last week — a convertible VW bug. It’s black with tan leather interior. For my birthday on the 2nd, the kids got me a VW baseball cap (it’s plain with the little VW logo). Pretty nifty. So far, Ellie and Joshua are not too keen on riding with the top down. Ellie doesn’t like how it messes up her hair. They’ll come around. 😉

We had a nice 4th of July. We had brats and grilled chicken and blew bubbles and played with sparklers. Actually, Ellie twirled the sparklers and Joshua watched. Ellie burned herself with the sparklers (you knew it would happen) and we cut the fireworks short. She had just finished twirling one and it went out. Ellie stuck it in the cup of water we had and then reached back to move it and it was still hot. The end of the sparklers.

We made reservations to fly to Kansas in a few weeks. Should be a nice trip and flying (as much as I hate flying) has to be better than 14 hours tucked in the minivan with bathroom breaks every 12 miles. We’ll spend some time in Lawrence and in Junction City so it should be a busy 5 days. We’re looking forward to it.

Oh yeah, I added some recent photos so check them out. I have more photos taken today today, but I have a lot of papers to grade for the online class I am teaching so who knows when they’ll be added as well???