June 26- June 30 Las Vegas Baby :)

Las Vegas. What can I say. We had a great time :O)  It was so nice to get to spend some quality one on one time with Scott. Usually the time we spend together, just like most couples, is in the evening when both of us are tired from the day. But this time was precious because it was just him and I and we knew the kids were in good hands (A huge thanks to Mom and Dad), so there were no worries there. What did we do? We veged out, caught a couple of shows- a Cirque de Soleil show and a hypnotist (both of which were OK. not great but interesting to say the least ), gambled a little (broke even at the end) and did a bit of shopping and sightseeing. We checked out Fremont Street one evening which is where Binion's Casino is located (very important to the start of the World Series of Poker). While we were visiting the downtown area, we took a walk to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop which has it's own TV show (History channel I think, though I haven't seen the show before). It was an interesting place, but neither one of us are really into pawn shops so it was a quick visit. Scott played in a few poker tournaments. He won one of them and placed in the top ten in the other two. Not bad considering in the two he didn't win, he was playing against people who were there to play in the World Series of Poker. How cool is that?! We took an afternoon to get massages and spend some time at the spa. Very nice, although I would have preferred that my massage therapist didn't talk the ENTIRE time! I think he talked more than Abby does in an hour! Our hotel was AMAZING!!! Our room was over 700 square feet complete with a sunken living area and a bathroom with a TV! We even had a view of the Vegas strip from our room :) I would most definitely stay there again, although Scott would prefer to stay in a hotel more centrally located on the strip. It was a great vacation for Scott and I :)

The girls had fun at Grandma and Grandpa's house. I am thankful for the time they spent together since we live so far away and our girls miss out on the family activities throughout the year.

Now for a few lots of pictures :)

298 Scott Barb vegas (dh)

Good food, good drinks :)
286 vegas

285 Vegas

We visited Madam Tussauds Wax Museum. Pretty fun to pose with the celebrities :)

253 Scott Tiger Woods

241 Vegas

240 Vegas

226 Vegas

221 Vegas palm tree

Located in the hotel we stayed at!
215 Vegas Palazzo flags

201 Scott Barb Vegas

176 Vegas

157 Vegas Toby Keith


Saturday, June 25, 2011

We all took a drive around Devils Lake today to see how much it has risen. The water level blows my mind. There are so many roads in danger of going underwater and there are roads that have been swallowed by the lake. Not to mention the homes and farmland that has been devoured. It is heartbreaking to see the devastation and it is unbelievable that the lake has been rising for nearly 2 decades and nothing has been done to alleviate the situation.  The girls got bored of driving around and not being able to see much (guess we shouldn't have put them in the third row).  When we got back to Mom and Dad's, Susan and the kids were there and Sarah and her bunch showed up a little later. We had a great afternoon catching up and playing outside, topped off by a delicious dinner. It was so nice to see everyone and all the "little" ones have changed so much. Things like that make me wish we lived closer to our families. We miss out on so much and it is so hard to catch up in such a short time :-(

Just had to get a photo around a John Deere :-}
122 grandkids and mom and dad

052 devils lake

048devils lake


Friday, June 24, 2011

The girls played outside at Auntie Jenny's (we are most definitely going to have to get a trampoline) before meeting Scott's Dad for lunch. We had a nice visit with him, although Mckenzie was a bit cranky :-} Then we headed to ND to visit with my family. We made it to Devils Lake and we amazed to see how much the lake has risen. It is unbelievable. I never imagined people would be able to fish off of Highway 2! It was great to be back home and get to spend time with Mom and Dad. Mckenzie was a bit cautious at first, but she warmed up pretty quickly. Abby remembered both Grandma and Grandpa and she was so excited to see them.

Nothing like powdered donuts for breakfast :-}

038 Mckenie


Thursday, June 23, 2011

We were up bright and early to get the Philly airport on time. The girls were both super chatty and super happy on the way. The lines at the airport were surprisingly easy to get through. They always look so long, but having kids let you get into the family line for the security checkpoint and it goes pretty quick. The girls were both well behaved on both flights. Abby talked the entire time and Mckenzie snoozed a bit. We arrived in Sioux Falls and Scott's Grandma and sister met us at the airport. It was sure nice to see a couple of friendly faces waiting for us. We decided to get the family together for dinner out since it was so close to Scott's birthday and we thought it would be nice to see everyone. It was great to catch up all :)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy birthday to my sweet babe! Or shall I say anniversary celebration of your 27th year? It was a busy day around here. Packing, cleaning, swimming... Lots to get done. The girls were hilarious this afternoon. We were all hanging out in our room and the girls started tumbling around on the bed, so we told them they had to get off. The girls went to play in Abby's room and we could overhear the complaints coming from them. "It's not fair. Mom and Dad can be on the bed but we can't" "We should just go and not come back. It's not fair" and on and on. They pouted for a good while. We dropped Dakota off at the kennel this evening and the girls were heartbroken! They were crying and asking to say goodbye to Dakota. We tried to explain that Dakota was just off at a playdate and she was having lots of fun, but it didn't help. The girls just wanted their dog :( We had dinner out tonight to celebrate Scott's birthday. Nice night. Now to finish up some laundry...

023 Scott ipod color

020 scott and Abby

034 Mckenzie in pool


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It is the official start to summer and it was a nice one at that :) Cleaned house this morning and then we headed out to run some errands. We stopped at Chick fil A for lunch and let the girls play for awhile before heading to Target to pick up some new movies/books for our trip. I worked on packing for myself, but I couldn't finish since someone hadn't finished the laundry yet... Where is that silly laundry fairy??? Scott and I both said we didn't want to be packing tomorrow night, but I see that happening. It always does. We leave it to the last minute and then we are scrambling to get it done and still get to bed at a reasonable time. At least we aren't leaving at 6AM like we did last time. Mckenzie took a nap this afternoon so I thought it would be difficult to get her to sleep, but she went down without a fuss!

Monday, June 20, 2011

It was a quiet day around here. Scott worked on his final paper for his final class of his Master's program and I started packing for the girls. That turned out to be a bigger job than I had imagined as once I started in Mckenzie's room, I was reminded of a couple of tubs of Abby's old clothes that I needed to sort through and put away. Going through the clothes was like walking down memory lane. I can still see her in those little dresses (and boy did she have a LOT of dresses back then!) They were the last of the clothes Abby wore in Florida. In a way, it just feels like the final door has closed to that chapter in our lives. We have no more attachments there :( Anyway I digress... The girls are packed and Mckenzie is still asking if we can please go to Grandma and Grandpa's. I think she is a bit excited about this trip! Abby too, although she understands that it is still a few more days away.

Nothin' like an ice cream bar to top off a long day :)

068 copy mckenzie ice cream face


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Dad! Thanks for giving me the support and guidance and love I needed growing up :) Your good example of fatherhood helped me pick out a man who could offer all those things to my kids. So Thanks :) And, Happy Father's Day to my amazing husband! Our girls are so lucky to have you as their Daddy! I tried to let Scott sleep in this morning, but the dog and the girls had other plans :) So, Abby and I made breakfast for Scott while he played with Mckenzie. Abby was a great helper, setting the table, taking drink orders. I asked Abby what she wanted to drink and she started to answer and then told me to wait because she had to ask Daddy what he wanted first since it was Father's day. She is so sweet :) After lunch, we headed down towards the shore to play mini golf and use the batting cages. We all had lots of fun. It was cute to watch Abby play. Instead of tapping the ball into the hole, she would push the ball until it made it in. Once she almost got a hole in one and she was so excited!! Mckenzie got tired of playing, but had fun for the most part :) We ate dinner at a diner on the way home. It was pretty good. The girls shared a plate of linguine and watching them eat was hilarious!! Each took one end in her mouth and worked her way to the middle. They were laughing so hard that even the servers had to check out what they were doing!






Saturday, June 18, 2011

Scott went for a massage this morning (an early gift for Father's Day) and the girls and I hung out at the house, making cards for Scott. Mckenzie just had to use glue to make her card so it was a bit of a mess, but Scott will love it anyway. Abby is getting so much better at writing so it was fun to see what she came up with :) When Scott came home, I ran a couple of errands. I was trying to find cases for the ipods we got for the girls, but I think we are going to have to order them online since they are not the current model. We went over to our friend's house this afternoon for swimming and a BBQ (can't forget the s'mores). The girls spent most of the day in the pool and were exhausted when we finally got home. Mckenzie didn't even make it out of the driveway before she was asleep, but it was 2.5 hours past her normal bedtime. We had a wonderful day just hanging out with our friends :)

085 Mckenzie swimming

093 copy Abby Sophia DH

095 Scott

099 girls by pool

Our Friend's Dog, Lola. She is such a cutie!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A pretty boring day around here today. Scott was home during the day because he had to fly tonight. We took the girls out for lunch at Pei Wei and spent the afternoon together. We had an appliance repairman look at the oven today and luckily it was a quick fix. Since that was working, I took the girls to the store to pick up some stuff to make a Father's Day gift. The girls had so much fun making it and I wish I could have taken some pictures, but it was a little complicated (spelling required out of rocks) and they needed all my attention. I found it kind of funny though that both girls told me how excited they were to eat the cookie they made for Scott. A "cookie" with rocks isn't exactly my first choice, although, Abby may have been able to lose a tooth like she so desperately wants :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Abby attended a Sweet and Sassy party for one of her friends today. The girls picked out their own fairy costumes (Abby was a little disappointed because they didn't have purple in her size so she settled on pink) and then got pampered. Abby got her nails painted (purple!!), her hair done in an up do with a crown, and then got her face painted. Then, they had a ceremony to announce each fairy. Abby was the Fairy of Targetland (they asked each child her favorite store)! Abby had a great time. I was a bit frustrated because I really wanted some pictures, but the lighting was horrible and I couldn't make it work. So, all the pictures I took were mediocre at best. Grrr. Maybe one day this whole manual thing will work for me! We had a friend over to the house to play (and watch Mckenzie while we were at the party). I love when Carlo comes over to play because the kids get along so well and it seems no one ever gets upset. Scott took the girls to gymnastics tonight. I am so glad that he is able to attend with them and I know the girls love having him go too! I went out with some friends for dinner tonight which gave Scott some time to do his homework.

050 Abby in chair at Sophia's party

060 Abby at Sophia's party


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Today was day 7 of Abby making her bed without whining so she was ecstatic to wear her new flip flops. She is now working towards an Olivia book, but in order to get that, she has to do 14 days without whining about making her bed. Mckenzie is working toward a book as well, but I need to figure out what her chore is. Tonight. So she can start working on it tomorrow. Any ideas? Scott was home during the day as he is flying tonight so we all took a trip to the grocery store and Target. I noticed Target isn't as expensive when he is with ;-) We bought a larger inflatable pool the other day so Scott and I can join the girls. The girls were so excited to get this new pool. Abby called it her huge pool. Mckenzie kept asking when they could swim. Both girls sat in their patio chairs and watched Scott inflate the pool. I love how a $20 pool can provide such excitement and entertainment! The girls and I went over to a friend's house to swim this afternoon. It turned out to be a little chilly in the water. The sun kept hiding behind the clouds and there was a chill to the breeze. So, we ended up playing inside after a little pool time. When we got home, the girls asked to check out our pool and it turns out our patio is so slanted that the water is leaking out. Crud. Not sure what we are going to do now. A pool without water is pretty worthless. On a good note, our oven should be fixed on Friday. I am really hoping so because I have a great idea for a Father's day present but I need an oven to do it.

Well, I don't think Abby is in focus in this picture, but for using manual on an action shot for the first time, I think it is pretty good.
007 Abby jumping in pool

012 Mckenzie swimming


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The girls met some friends at the park this afternoon. It was kind of chilly and I wished i had dressed the girls warmer, but they managed to keep warm by running around. Abby climbed the rockwall today without getting upset. Normally she gets halfway up and then she gets scared. Mckenzie was a bit clingy, but that seems to be her new normal since Scott has returned to work after his deployment. I can tell she wants to have fun, but it takes a lot of coaxing to get her to do it. I am hoping this is a short lived phase for her. This evening, the girls were playing by themselves in the living room and they were laughing so much and getting along so well. I went to find out what was making them so happy and they were taking turns standing on each other's backs. Silly little girls.

048 Mckenzie flowers

027 Abby monkey bars


Monday, June 13, 2011

Scott had a very early sim this morning so he was home by lunch. The girls and I like days like this, though I doubt Scott enjoys getting up so early. Scott took the girls out on an errand and I ran one of my own. I got one gift for Scott, but it is so hard to buy gifts for him and it doesn't help that his birthday falls so close to Father's day. We met back at home and then did some shopping together. Mckenzie needed a suitcase for her visit to Grandma and Grandpa's and we were lucky enough to find one she liked. Scott needed some new clothes. Can you believe he asked to go shopping for clothes? I was shocked when I heard! The kids were watching a movie in the car and it was so cute to listen to them laugh. Big, tummy laughs. They melt my heart :)We ate out a restaurant we have been wanting to try but just never got around to it. I'm glad we did. Great food and service. Abby has been into asking a million and two questions again. She seems to go in cycles. Sometimes, she doesn't hardly ask a question and other times, she doesn't stop for an answer in between questions.


I wanted to get a picture of the moon tonight, but I couldn't hold still enough to get a clear photo (guess I need a tripod). So, I played around and made a heart. Thought it was kind of fun :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We had a graduation party to go to for one of Abby's friends. It was at a local park and the kids had a blast chasing butterflies and playing on the playground.  Scott helped a friend move a TV tonight so we hung out at their house for awhile. It was dinnertime by the time we left so we headed to Pei Wei for some Chinese. I think we should have gone home instead because Mckenzie was a real grumpy gus at the restaurant.





Saturday, June 11, 2011

Scott took Mckenzie to her gymnastics lesson today. He was amazed to she how much she has progressed since the last time he went with her. Abby and I went to a birthday party for one her of friends today. She had a great time playing with her classmates. Scott wanted to get out of the house this afternoon, so we went for a drive, stopping by an RV dealership. The kids had a blast checking out all the RV's. We took the kids to Chick fil A for dinner and let the kids run around a little while since it was raining. I didn't take any photos of the kids today. I brought my camera with on our drives in hopes of finding a great park or field to take a picture, but no such luck with the rain :(


Friday, June 10, 2011

Abby had a make up session for gymnastics today and Scott stayed home with Mckenzie. I was hoping she would sleep in for him since he didn't get home from a flight last night until 3:30 am, but no such luck. The girls and I hung out in the backyard while Scott was at work today. I filled the pool again and apparently it was too tempting because the girls got in before it had warmed up from the sun. Silly kids ended up swimming in their clothes! The groundhog has been teasing Dakota again and Dakota was barking and running around the shed like crazy. She was trying to dig and ended up filthy, consequently getting the kitchen floor filthy as well. So, even though I had just mopped, I got to do it again. Gotta love having a dog! We went out to dinner tonight. The girls were sooooo good! I love when that happens!


048 cherry cream


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Abby made her bed for the second day in a row now without asking. It is really nice to just have it done without me having to remind her a million and two times to do it. I think it helps that we have promised her a new pair of sandals if she makes her bed seven days in a row without a fuss. I think it is good to teach her that if she wants something, she has to work for it. Scott had the morning off since he is flying tonight. It was nice to have him around. He took the girls with him to register his truck here in NJ. It would have been nice to keep our FL tags as they are much cheaper, but since we don't have our house there anymore, we can't do that :( The girls went swimming this afternoon and then it was off to gymnastics. Mckenzie was a little hard to reign in during class, but she was really tired and hadn't been there for a few weeks. It is raining tonight and I am so glad for that. Our grass is looking pretty shabby and the sprinkler system company has yet to come by to turn our system on.

Practicing on manual again. I seem to have trouble focusing. I am not sure what I am doing wrong, but at least half of my photos are focused on something else or are completely out of focus. Kind of frustrating. One day I will learn. Until then, my children will have blurry memories!



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Abby was so cute this morning. She came in to my room this morning to let me know that she had gotten dressed, made her bed, brushed her hair and teeth and was on her way downstairs to get a yogurt. Sounds like she doesn't need me anymore! Abby had a friend over this afternoon and then we went swimming in our little pool after her friend left. The girls were so excited to go swimming, even though it is just a little splash pool. We went to Pei Wei for dinner, partly because the oven is broken (although considering how hot it was here today, I highly doubt I would have used it) and partly because Scott wanted to go shoe shopping. The kids just love Pei Wei and always seem to clean their plates without too much nagging by us!

I played around with shooting on manual today. Not pretty, but I have to start somewhere I guess.



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The girls were upset that Scott wasn't here again this morning, but they settled down quicker than yesterday. I am sure it will take some time before they stop worrying that he is going to be gone for an extended amount of time again. Abby had orientation to kindergarten today and Scott went along with her. She got to make a picture, check out a classroom and a bus, and learn a little bit about her upcoming school experience. She was very excited about the whole thing! I was relieved to hear the school buses have seatbelts. That was one of my hold ups in regards to letting Abby ride the bus. So maybe she will be a bus rider this fall, although it seems silly to me since we live 5 minutes from school. Mckenzie had a friend over to play this afternoon and she was so excited! She didn't stop talking the entire time Ava was here! She got tired out though and fell asleep on my leg while eating a pretzel! Scott took the girls out for an ice cream treat tonight. I guess I should pick the house up again before bed. I cleaned all morning, but looking at it now, you would never know...



Monday, June 6, 2011

Back to real life today. Scott's time off is over and we are back to a normal routine. The girls were a little upset that Scott wasn't here when they woke up. It took some convincing that he was only going in to work for a little while and not on another trip. We didn't do much of anything today. I was going to take the girls outside, but the lawn guys sprayed it today, so the yard was off limits. We didn't get out of our pj's until mid afternoon and spent the day playing games. I really needed to go to the grocery store, but I decided to wait until Scott got home so I could go alone. Our dinner tonight was most definitely not the best meal ever, although Abby was raving over it. Mckenzie said it was the best meal ever too, but that was before she even took one bite! I forgot we were out of milk so when I ended up using coffee creamer to make our mashed potatoes. Sweet Italian Cream does NOT make for good mashed potatoes!!!! I ran to the grocery store and Scott got the girls down to bed. Poor Scott couldn't find Mckenzie's pacifier and I had the only spare in my purse. But, she fell asleep without it and didn't even cry. I am sure when she wakes up in the middle of the night she will want it, but it gives me hope for taking it away all together!!!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

We skipped church this morning and took it easy. I think we are all a little tired from being on the go so much. I took Abby and a friend of hers to a birthday party for another friend this afternoon. The kids had fun playing and it was nice to chat with some friends. Scott and Mckenzie stayed home and played outside. Scott is preparing to go back to work tomorrow so he was busy organizing his checklists. We heard a noise a little bit ago and it turns out Abby decided to climb into our bed. Silly little girl :)


Playing Angry Birds on my iPhone is a new favorite passtime!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

We had planned on getting up early and going to breakfast before heading to the amusement park this morning, but the girls were both so restless last night that we let them sleep in. I don't know how many times Mckenzie lost her pacifier, but it seemed as if one of us was up every thirty minutes to find it for her! She probably loses it that often at home but we are just too far away to hear her searching for it. So, Scott went across the street and brought back McDonalds for breakfast. We got to the park just after it opened which turned out to be a good thing as we didn't have to wait in line for very long. We had a great day despite a few rain showers in the afternoon and a couple of small fits from the girls. Mckenzie was too little for a handful of the rides and she got very upset that she couldn't ride with Abby. So, we learned to take Mckenzie on a different ride while Abby did the ones she couldn't. That worked out pretty well. Abby loved the roller coaster and Mckenzie really liked the carousel. We left around dinner time and stopped at a restaurant before heading home. Mckenzie fell asleep shortly after getting in the car and Abby asked a million questions on the way home. I love her curious mind! We all had a fantastic day, but we are exhausted! It feels like we have been running non stop since Scott got home.



A fish in the stream that runs through the park. I guess he liked to eat the duck food!







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