Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snow Day

After Millington, we headed to Little Rock, AR to visit friends of Dads. He met Mr. Eddie at the basic course and then he and mom met them both while living in MO, before any of us kids were born. So, like a lot of our "friends", I had never met them. We always end up having a great time though, and this was no exception. We planned on staying the weekend but thanks to the snow, we had to stay an extra day. The kids had two snow days, so they were home the whole time. They have two girls about J and my ages and a son around Kik's age. Their dog Sienna kept Konig company and I think Koney missed her once we left. I'll give you the highlights of our weekend:

~Playing in the snow

~Eddie teaching Zach guitar

~The girls: Amanda, Pooh, Natalie and I tie-dying t-shirts

~The boys: The BFG ,Jonny and Kik playing Nerf guns and video games

~The moms talking and exchanging recipes

~The dads exercising and walking the dogs

~Going to a mega church

~Watching the Super Bowl (Hooray for the Saints!)

~Amanda straightening mom's hair with a flat iron. She's almost unrecognizable!
~Kik riding Mr. Eddie's bike trainer

Since I happen to be part of the "girls group", I'm more savvy on what we did.

This consisted of playing apples to apples, doing crafts after a trip to Hobby Lobby, playing with the dogs, watching movies and learning cool card tricks.

After the dads had checked the roads to make sure they were safe to drive on, we said our goodbyes and headed south. We drove through Louisiana just to say we had been there, just not too close to New Orleans. (that would have been a mad house!)

We had a great visit and it was awesome seeing some more snow, you gotta love it!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Memphis Zoo

After some confusion, writing and re-writing. I’m finally posting my blog. Sorry it was such a long time! Okay let’s try this again:

When we lived in Millington we took Zoo school at the Memphis zoo. Z and Toley took it all 3 years; I just took it for the last year, so I don’t remember much. Toley remembers feeding a ton of cool animals and Z remembers writing reports about manatee’s and other boring stuff (which he reminded us of throughout the trip)

After piling up in our rental car (which Kik loved), we drove about a half ‘n’ hour to the zoo. Daddy rode back to see his old office and work. So mom took us in. We handed over our tickets, looked at the map and decided to go to the Cat…house…place first. The first cat(s) we saw was a black leopard and a spotted leopard sitting on a log together (like the pic). They were so beautiful, and stared straight at us so we got a good picture. Across from them were two gorgeous tigers. The one in the picture we all loved. Then there was a fluffy snow leopard all curled up in a corner, two Ocelots, a lynx, and two cheetahs. There were two lions were laying on a heated rock, and the girls wanted to just cuddle up in their manes. Good thing Daddy wasn’t there!

After that we went to the tropical bird house thingy. The “best animal in the zoo” as Toley calls it, was the pink cockatoo. He (or she) kept ducking its head up and down playing peek-a-boo with us behind a log. So cute! We sat there watching him for a little while.

We saw a lot of different tropical birds with many different colors, including two kookaburras; whose song we sang throughout the day. We went in a couple huge bird rooms and watched them as they flew around us. We walked around and saw some pelicans (who looked absolutely bored out of their minds) and some grumpy looking’ warthogs and a couple little piggy’s!

Next it was to the aquarium. It had...well what normal aquarium’s usually have! Fish. Fish, eels, turtles. One turtle was kind of creeping Toley and I out. It was looking at us and smiling a very…malicious smile! It was so creepy! Then over to the Komodo dragons, those things are so cool! But creepy. Kik didn’t really get why they weren’t moving, Toley thanked the big one for “posing” so well, and Z just said “cool! We should get one!”

After that we headed over the reptile area. There was a croc and an Alligator that tried to be still as it could and look like a log, Kik got a kick out of that! There was also a humongous snapping turtle, a bunch of snakes and lizard’s one of the snakes was eating a mouse which Kik loved and sat watching it the whole time.

At last we headed over to the picnic area and had lunch, which consisted of power bars, drinks, apples, carrots and Ritz crackers. Z-man's lunch consisted of Ritz and his precious root beer.

Next it was to the primate section. Which had a grand total of 1 monkey in the whole entire area, and he just sat staring at us the whole time. The weather was not nice and a bit chilly, so we didn't expect much, but one?! Oh and also NO: Hippos, Rhinos, Pandas or Giraffes! Actually we saw just the heads (on the body’s of course) peeking out in their cage thingy. Their whole enclosure was frozen and slippery. Z thought it would’ve been funny to see them out there. BOYS!!

So we walked on to see the Zebra’s and some antelope, an Elephant and a huge cage with two lazy polar bears in it. All they did was lie on the rock, we went over to wear they were closest and they walked away, so we followed them but then they turned around and went the other way! UH! Ha-ha. But whenever they tried to get up they would slump back down. It was very entertaining!

Across from them was a huge glass tank with a bunch of sea lions in it. They were swimming around gracefully with their eyes closed like nothing mattered. So cute, mommy and I agreed that we could stay there all day! Then we saw two bald eagles sitting on a tree in their cage. Along with a raven...yes a raven. Ooo lets go see a raven! Ha-ha, poor Mr. Raven. We did glance at him though. But the eagles are always so majestic it’s hard to take your eyes of them!
On the way to the Teton Trek,a new exhibit at the zoo, mommy said that one of us would have to work at a zoo so she could sit there all day for free. Z said “well, you can count me out!”
The Teton trek had two very comical grizzlies and several white wolves running around. It also had a fire place outside which was, I think, Mommy’s favorite part!
The wolves looked at us for a while, then all trotted off somewhere else. It was probably lunch time or something. So we went over to see the grizzlies, they were just lumbering around. One of them was banging on the door, probably looking for food, the other just walked around lazily and clumsily. He had something in his mouth at one point but then dropped it in the little stream running through their enclosure. He tried to get it back by sticking out one paw and trying to reach it, but failed. It was a very good show though!

All in all I thought it was a really good day! Although I always think zoos are good. On the way out, mommy saw a gift shop. Uh-oh. We didn’t stay there for too long though. She actually didn’t buy anything! Just the kids, Kik got a little leopard he named Millie (for Millington), I got a long blue fuzzy snake I named Montgomery (Monte python for short) and Toley got a really big, cute, fuzzy, plush giraffe she named him: Simon James Alexander Ragsdale III. Don’t ask.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Millington Tennessee

After leaving Texas we drove north, spent a night in OK (just to say we have been there) and headed to Millington, TN. As most of you know, we used to live there. Todd worked for the Corp of Engineers in Memphis and we lived on a small Navy base in Millington 30 miles north.


It was suppose to be a short visit, but we ended up getting iced in! YES ICE! It snowed/rained ice for 24 hours and it was a mess. We were glad we got in when we did so we could just batton down the hatches and hang out until the weather got better.

In the mean time, I looked up my friends. We had been emailing back and forth for a few weeks and I was REALLY looking forward to some girl time. There is always something going on with these women and I wanted to get in on some of it!

The storm finally subsided and my friends Liz and Kathy decided to brave the icy roads and we all went out to lunch. It was so much fun to catch up. I hadn't seen them in 7 years, so it was just awesome to hear about how they were doing, how life had changed and how it had stayed the same. Not to mention an awesome meal at the Neighborhood Bistro!

Liz, me and Kathy

The next day Liz got a bunch of ladies together and we all had a pot luck. Again, a great time to see the people I miss from TN and catch up on their lives.

Two day later was their monthly homeschool meeting, so off I went to yet another gathering. By the time I got home (well after midnight) I was thoroughly exhausted from all our long talks. But, also totally refreshed! The very next day a bunch of us went out to lunch and did some shopping.

Friday morning I got in one last visit with another dear friend Teresa for coffee at Starbucks. Later on another friend Rene showed up and sipped some coffee with us, so all in all I got my fill!! It is so nice to have some great conversation with with some amazing women. I thank all of them for giving me a boost in energy and love!!! God has blessed me with women here and there to encourage and keep me going in my walk with Him and as a homeschooler. My visit was much needed and I feel sooooo much better having spent quality time with people I truly care about.

By the end of our Millington visit my family was asking me who I was and if they had seen their mother!! HA! I was gone so much and I am so grateful for a family who understands their wife/mom.

Oh, and I thought I would tell you about one last little thing.........SKUNK! Yes, our beloved dog Konig decided that it would be fun to chase a skunk and see if he could catch it. He did, but as you know, that isn't the end of the story. Here he is, the day before the ice hit in freezing temps getting himself a bath. Doesn't he look pathetic? He was none to happy and neither was I. Peroxide, baking soda and liquid soap. Did the job about 85%. That had to be good enough since the storm hit that night and he had to come in after being banned for the day.

XO Mom

Friday, February 5, 2010

1 Feb ½ Year on the Road

By the numbers:

Days on the road since we left Marquette: 184

Gallons of gas: 2118 (9.09 MPG)
Campsites: 65
US States: 30 (MI, WI, IL, IN, OH, WV, VA, MD, DE, NJ, PA, NY, MN, ND, MT, AK, WA, OR, ID, UT, WY, CO, NV, CA, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, TN)
Canadian Provinces: 4 (OR, AL, BC, YT)
Military posts/bases: 21
Friends we’ve visited: 11 families
Visitors to the RV: 2
Lowest temp: 15 – Albuquerque, NM
Highest temp: 95 – Shelby, MT
Most snow: Millington, TN: 3" and ice (we go to AK and the coldest we've been in TN)
Times Z has done the dishes in Mom's pink gloves: hmmm...