Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer Days

Making ducky faces

Hanging with friends

Getting your yard flocked for a fundraiser

Making glow in the dark gaky stuff

Reading magazines

Chowing on banana bars that didn't turn out so great so you turn them into banana pancakes with layers of peanut butter, brown sugar, and syrup

hanging out at the marina

dancing to "gangham style"

having red-shirted dads holding baby bbq nights

waking up refreshed from naps

and even being a trooped despite some big summer bummers.

In a nut-shell, our summer is going great. I'm getting sad that we are already wrapping up July as August will be very busy and school will be started before we know it.

Sleeping Beauties

Following my friend Jen's advice, I have to remember to take pictures of my sleeping beauties more often!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Deck

If there is one place you can find my family around the house in the summer - it's the deck. I love that it's not in front of the TV, even after a long day at work or buzzing around at the beach. We're still on the deck. It's a great place that we've grown to just be at constantly. It's homey out there - and Grace's fairy garden is out there, so she loves to fiddle around with that while I read a book on the swing.

Annie loves the deck too - except she can be a pain up there as she's always trying to eat leaves or sticks off the floor. Babies.

Here's a random compilation of deck photos from this summer...

Like her Momma. Reading out on the swing in the peace and quiet.

Andrina and Grace! Love them together! 

Feet kicked up, reading magazines, soaking up the sun!

And having a nail salon party for the girls on the deck on Saturday morning. 

Naps on the deck are a m

Enjoying Father's Day breakfast with caramel rolls from Ramkota.

Hosting a get together with the Cummings Family! Was great to see Uncle Eric! And our family that lives in town that we don't see nearly enough.

Grace loves Cody's cousin Heather.

And I'll end it on a video. Sorry for the slobbery face, my annoying voice, and shakey camera!

We enjoy having friends and family over for BBQ, cards, or just hanging out. This summer our deck has been put to great use!

Funny Faces

Friday, July 19, 2013

Black Hills - Family FAM

I took a group of travel writers out on a familiarization tour of the Black Hills back in May. I thought I'd post a few of the pictures for any friends or family that are thinking about coming out on a trip. The attractions are diverse, the landscape is gorgeous, and the people are amazing!

Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City is an amazing place. It's fairly new, and features hand-on exhibits inside featuring four different ecosystems in South Dakota. They have 32 acres with more than 1.5 miles of trails. There is a pond that kids can learn to fish on, a mud pie creating area, and a treehouse. Some serious fun. Best of all it's FREE.

Custer State Park is a South Dakota GEM. It's a pristine state park, and also has a resort company within the park with multiple unique properties to stay at. Recreation opportunities in the park are diverse, from hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, paddle boating, horse back riding, swimming, wildlife/bird watching, camping, jeep rides, chuckwagon cookouts, and of course just relaxing. We took a Buffalo Safari Jeep Ride along the back roads of the Wildlife Loop. We had Dave as our guide, and he couldn't have been more fun. I had a seriously fun time - can't wait to bring Grace out there. 

The best part about these guided tours is they take you places the general public can't go. And they always know where the buffalo are, and take you right to them. A great time to visit the park is in May when the calves are fresh and you can watch them interact with the Momma. 

Our group.

And of course the beggin' burros are a Custer State Park favorite. I like to thin of them as the mascots for Custer State Park - the bison are the jocks, the burros are the mascots. They are just hilarious. It's likely that if you came here as a child, you probably remember both the bison and the burros. They leave an impression on a person!

Cozy little cabins scattered throughout the Black Hills. 

Justin and I at Big Thunder Gold Mine. He's a good travel partner - I can yell at him like I can my husband, he can tell me to take a chill pill, and we can joke around constantly. It's refreshing to have someone like this to work with!

After the tour of the gold mine you pan for gold!

And of course the 1880 Train!

There is SO much more to do in the Black Hills - this is just a super small sample!