Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fast Growing

There is nothing like lifelong friends.  Jenny and I have been friends for almost 30 years.  Each year they come back to STL for Thanksgiving and we get together with the kids.  And amazingly, every year, the kids just pick up where they left off like they see each other all the time.  I love watching everyone grow year to year.  And I love spending time with Jenny catching up.  I wish they lived closer.

Science Experiment: Mini-volcanos

Lots of great things about Pinterest- for me one of the best things is that I can keep all of my PAT ideas organized.  Ben, Max, and Maura are always on board for trying out the experiments, crafts, etc... This one is super easy- baking soda, food coloring and vinegar- all three are now on my grocery list because we went through a lot of all three.

Asheville, NC

Shannon and I met in Asheville, NC for a girl's weekend.  We stayed at a cottage at The Pines that had two queen beds, a kitchenette and fireplace.  It was so much better than staying in a hotel because there was so much more space and we were surrounded by trees.  

Shannon brought eggs that had just hatched from her chicks.  We made a delicious egg scramble on our last morning.

We got a tip to try Early Girl Eatery.  The wait was about an hour so we walked around and checked out the shops in town.  Breakfast was worth the wait.  Shannon got something with tomato relish that was delicious.

I want to do something like this next year- looks like it was made for a Day of the Dead (Dios de los Muertos) celebration.

We went saddle shopping for Shannon.  Dang, saddles are expensive!  She didn't find the one she wanted but we did see lots of cute boots.

Then we went on a quest to find a spray for her trees that are getting eaten by a certain bug.  We found the plant shop that was suppose to carry the spray but no one could figure out exactly what she was looking for.  They also had these crazy plant cloning systems.  

After a day of walking and shopping we went to the Bavarian restaurant next to our cottage.  Large beers and sausages were ordered.

There were all sorts of German knick knacks like this hat with fishing tackle all over it.  The bartender told us where to find live music that night.  So after showering we went to Tressas.  The band was awesome and we danced for hours.  The band may get its own post later.

Before going to Tressas we went to find Shannon a pair of dancin' shoes.  She also ended up finding a cute top and sweater!

The next day we found this bakery called Well-Bred for breakfast.  We ate well all weekend!

We hit the road to head to The Biltmore Estate.  We took a detour through the Blueridge Parkway and thankfully realized we went the wrong direction before we ran out of gas.  The drive was beautiful.

The Biltmore Estate was amazing.  No photos were allowed inside.  

The Estate is incredible- stables, riding trails, lakes, a winery.  

After the Biltmore we went to an Italian restaurant and got dinner for carryout.  Back at the cottage I actually started a fire that stayed lit for awhile!  That night I drove around Asheville looking for a red box which I finally found at a Walmart.  I found Bridesmaids which was the perfect movie to wrap up our girl's weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

2011 World Series: GO CARDS!!!

Molly decked out as the rally squirrel.  The Cardinals came back this season and ended up being the Wild Card and winning the 2011 World Series.  We spent two weeks staying up late and watching the Playoff and World Series games.  It went to game 7- I watched it over at my parent's house with mom, dad and James.  Ben had an overnight camping weekend so he listened to the game around the campfire with friends- cool memory for him.  I have to thank my mom for raising me to make these sorts of family memories.  We will all remember being part of the 2011 World Series!

Waiting for the metro link to head down to the rally.

The metro link was crazy packed.  Charlie and I went in one car with the boys and were smashed like sardines.  MaeMae and Maura went in the car ahead of us.  It was a beautiful day so all of STL decided to go down to the parade and rally.

We were able to get  six seats but they were paired off in different locations in the stadium.  Ben and I were in Homer's Landing which was fun because we had never sat in that spot before.  It was also near where the players drove into the stadium so Ben got to see the players up close as they rode in.  And I'm pretty sure Albert Pujols made eye contact and waved right at him.

Fuzzy but there is the eye contact and wave to Ben :)

We love Yadi!  On Max and my to do list:  get his Yadi ball signed by Yadi!  We were shown where the Cardinals now park- maybe we will go early before a game next year and try to get that signature :)

Charlie ended up taking Max and Maura back to the car before the fireworks started because they were pretty much done with the whole experience.  Apparently, the Metrolink was crazy crowded even then.  They managed to get on and back to our car parked at Wash U.  We planned to ride the Metrolink back but the line was crazy.  It went from down the Metrolink  platform, up the stairs and down the sidewalk.  We decided to walk toward Union Station and they picked us up there without and hassles of traffic.

Trying to get a normal picture of MaeMae and Ben without one of they acting goofy- Ben here with crazy eyes!

It is so fun that Ben is at an age where he can go to things like this and handle the long walks, etc... that go with it.  And his love of baseball is pretty fun too!

Halloween 2011

                                        The princess, greaser and inventor  with Kimmy.

This is possibly our last Halloween having all the Sprich and Lottes kids together.  The older kids are getting to the age where they want to go out with other friends.  It will be sad to see that tradition come to an end but we have lots of great pictures through the years.
One of the girls in the neighborhood had this Barbie box as part of her costume- amazing!  The dad was letting the girls take turns posing in the box to have their picture taken.

Checking out Uncle James' new apps on his phone, always a favorite pass time.

The great candy trade.  We had a great turkey and sage chili made by James and mom's traditional delicious chili too.

Halloween wouldn't  be complete without a visit with MaMa.  Everyone gets a package of her infamous toffee cookies.  And tears can quickly be shed if people start stealing cookies from the kids!