Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Brand Stinkin' New

Last night was the long awaited Open House for Mission Trail Middle School. A lot of the rooms were open for parents and students to see and it was also an ice cream social. Savannah is SO excited. School starts in a mere 7 1/2 weeks on August 16. The big Commons Area is where they will set up lunch tables and the library is on the 2nd floor and overlooks it. Great place for boy watching. The cooking classroom was real nice and a whole bunch of KitchenAid mixers are ready to be pulled out of boxes. 6th Grade Pod was the largest out of the three grades and they had the main gymnasium and an "auxillary gym" whatever that is for. I never had that. Our little girl is turning into a young woman.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Wicked Fathers Day

Great Fathers Day weekend to St Louis. Mike was off on Friday so we left that morning. Lunch at Fuddruckers in Columbia, Mo. Mike did a temple session while the girls and I checked in at the Marriott and spent some time at the pool. The Dutchers from our ward were also in town so we had a nice chat while all the girls swam. Dinner of course had to be at Old Spaghetti Factory. On a whim we decided to go see Toy Story 3 at the theatre by OSF. I thought it was real cute. I did a temple session Sat morning and Matt and Bonnie were there also. Headed over to Union Station for lunch at Hard Rock Cafe and then bum around and feed the fish. Had to buy some fudge from The Fudgery and watch their show. There wasn't enough time to drive all the way back to the hotel, but not enough stuff that we hadn't done alread downtown so we just drove for a bit before dinner. Ate at OSF down in Lacelades Landing by the Arch then headed over to The Fabulous Fox Theatre for Wicked. Awesome as always. Headed home today and the girls slept 3 of the 4 hour drive. Gotta love it.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

I Knew There Was a Reason We Lived Here

Lenexa is named finalist for 2010 All-America City Award Lenexa has been named a finalist for the 2010 All-America City Award in recognition of its outstanding civic accomplishments and community involvement. Given annually by the National Civic League, the All-America City Award is the oldest and most prestigious civic recognition award in the country. Criteria for the award include innovation, inclusiveness, civic engagement, and cross sector collaboration to address pressing local challenges. Lenexa was one of 27 communities from across the country chosen as finalists. “We are honored to be included on such an impressive list of finalists for the 2010 All-America City Award,” said Mayor Mike Boehm. “Through our many festivals and community events Lenexa has maintained the atmosphere of a small town while having access to the amenities associated with being a suburban community in a major metropolitan area. We are very fortunate to have an engaged and supportive citizenry, an active business community, and strong civic and religious organizations all working together to address daily challenges without losing our focus on the future.” To become a finalist, each community completed an application describing three projects that address community challenges. Each of the finalists will send a delegation to the national conference in Kansas City in June to present their stories of positive community change to a jury of civic experts. From this group of finalists, 10 communities will be chosen as the winners of the 2010 All-America City Award, which will be announced on June 18. “These are some of the most innovative communities in the country,” notes National Civic League President Gloria Rubio-Cortes. “They give us hope and inspiration and teach us important lessons about leveraging the civic energy of ordinary people to address difficult challenges during some very tough economic times.” In addition to Lenexa, other finalists are as follows: Chandler, AZ; Bentonville, AR; Dublin, CA; Lynwood, CA; Rancho Cordova, CA; Vernon Central (neighborhood) CA; Miami Lakes, FL; North Miami. FL; Acworth, GA; Belleville, IL; Canton, IL; Noblesville, IN; Des Moines, IA; Scott County, KS; Bowling Green, KY; Salisbury, MD; Ferguson, MO; Riverside, MO; Lynbrook, NY; Gastonia, NC; West Chester, OH; Wyoming, OH; Mount Pleasant, SC; El Paso, TX; Abingdon, VA; Middleton, Wisconsin. The National Civic League is a 116-year-old nonpartisan nonprofit organization that strengthens democracy by increasing the capacity of the nation’s people to fully participate in and build healthy and prosperous communities across America.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This is It For While.....

Everyone got together for breakfast before we went our separate ways. We stopped in Wall, SD to see the famous Wall Drug that has been around since 1931. It started by offering weary travelers free ice water (and still does to this day). Drove only as far as Omaha because we wanted to hit the zoo. We have always loved this zoo and now they have a new Sky Ride to take across the zoo. The last three weeks has been loads of fun but I'm ready to slow things down just a bit and enjoy the lazy days of summer at home so we are done for awhile.

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Just To Turn Around and do it Again....

And two days later we left for a road trip up to Mt Rushmore in South Dakota. We left on a Thursday because there were some things our family wanted to do before meeting up with extended family. First stop was the Corn Palace in Mitchell SD. Every summer they redo the design with corn. It is used as a basketball court, a stage and theatre. I had never even heard of it.

Our family drove an hour to see Devils Tower. It was the first National Monument in the US. We hiked around the 1.3 mile trail and then stopped at a fish hatchery on our way back to Rapid City. We met up with everyone and went down the Presidents Alpine Slide a couple of times, then dinner at Powder House restaurant in Keystone.
Saturday we started at Reptile Garden. Then off to the Circle B Ranch for some horseback riding and a chuckwagon dinner. Great fun.
Sunday was Mt Rushmore. Went in the morning and walked the Presidents Trail. Had lunch at a deli in downtown Keystone, spent a rainy afternoon at Bear Country, then back to Mt Rushmore for their evening program.
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And For the Next Three Days....

So the day after we get home from New York we head down south to Gardner, KS for the annual Kansas City Balloonfest. Unfortunately Mike was on beeper call that day and lo and behold they called him in literally the minute we had our chairs set up and ready to sit down. So the girls and I were the only ones to see it. We have never seen the one in Albuquerque and I am quite certain that this doesn't even come close, but it was still pretty amazing.

Sunday was the annual Celebration at the Station. I have always loved this but we've missed the past two years because we've been out of town. It is held downtown at Union Station. There are concessions, games, things to see, the Kansas City Symphony performs and the coup de gras a fantastic fireworks show. We couldn't have asked for better weather. For about an hour it was pretty hot but then it clouded over and I thought it was going to rain, but the temperatures were great.
And this brings us to Memorial Day. Our ward has an annual luau at Shawnee Mission Park and we were finally able to attend this year. There was a huge cooked pig lots of salads and desserts. One of our ward members is a professional DJ so he kept us rockin' and then we had an actual fire dancer from Fiji that has a show down in Branson that performed for us.
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Two More Days to Go.....

Because we liked Madagascar so much we wanted to go see what the Central Park Zoo was all about. The only animals from the movie that they have are the lemurs and penguins. However, the polar bear was pretty amazing. VERY small zoo. It was SO hot that day. We decided to walk back to our condo since it was only 6 blocks and had lunch at a little deli call Delissimo. I decided on a huge fruit bowl....nice and cold. Saw the new Shrek 3 movie at the theatre also across the street from condo. Pretty unusual going UP five flights of escalators to the theatre. Hit the local Jamba Juice and Johnny Rockets.

Thursday was our last day out. We slept in, had lunch at the Ritz Diner and again our flight was late out of Newark due to weather. We would have missed our connecting flight in Detroit so it was either stay one more night in NJ (get a rope) or stay in Detroit. We opted for NJ. Unfortunately since it was due to weather and not the airlines asking for volunteers to give up their seats the hotel stay was out of our pocket. Even though I wanted to rack up some airline credits for an extra night I was REALLY glad to get home.
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Start Spreading the News......

Our family was fortunate enough to go to New York City a couple of days after school got out. Mike attended a conference relating to work so airfare for the three of us is what we just had to pay. Since our flight left so early in the morning I decided to get a night at the Marriott up by our airport so we wouldn't have to get up so early or fly so far. (On a good day, we can get there in 30 minutes). So we did some swimming and hot tubbing then had dinner at Houlihans.

However, we got to the airport the next morning, got loaded onto the plane but had to get back off. Our flight into Detroit was delayed an hour because they had fog. We then had another delay at Detroit. When we finally arrived (3 hours after we should have), the girls got their first subway ride. It was slick. In all the sightseeing we did I think we rode most every subway they had. We checked into our penthouse condo at the Beekman Condominiums. I found it for much less than a hotel and we had a full kitchen! The girls thought it was awesome. The first floor was the kitchen and living room. Up the curved staircase was the bedroom and bathroom. Then up one more flight of stairs was the private balcony. Notice we had Johnny Rockets right across the street? We wanted to try Nathans Famous Hot Dogs but were actually unimpressed with them. Last we had to stop at The Food Emporium for a few groceries to last us that week.
First full day of touristy stuff. We did the Statue of Liberty, and ate lunch at this marvelous cafe on Ellis Island. We walked around Ground Zero (do you remember where you were on 9/11? We were driving back to Utah from Disneyland). Walked around Times Square and got the last Manhattan Night Tour out. Top of the double decker bus was kind of breezy and cold. The girls ended up falling asleep.
We decided not to go up in the Empire State Building to see the city, because we wanted to SEE the Empire State Building. So we decided on Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. 64 stories up gave an awesome view of the city. Took the subway to see the Manhattan Temple and a cute couple was coming in to do a session so they offered to take our picture. It was pretty amazing that once you walked up the stairs from the subway exit ~ bam: theres the temple. Went to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch, M&M World for fun stuff, Times Square again, and then to see The Lion King. There was also this quaint establishment across the street from the condo called Ritz Diner. We ate "dinner" there at midnight. I was amazed about how many people were still out walking their dogs, eating, or just socializing at midnight, on a Tuesday no less. Don't these people work?
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Growing Up....

Savannah will be going to middle school next year. She is SO excited. Cedar Creek Elementary Graduation was held on May 18. She looked very grown up. Mrs Pritchard the principal gave a short speech, then her teacher Ms Olberding handed all her class their certificates. We decided to give her flowers at the beginning so she'd feel special. A slide show of the kids in different activities and classes from Kindergarten on up was shown. Each child was then given a balloon (Mission Trail colors) and they were released into the sky outside. We were able to get a picture with our cute neighbor girl Kimberly and then Savannah's friends from class; Mia and Jenna.

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