Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wyoming Big Bear River Rats (Day 24)

I swear we will soon turn into loaves of bread the way we LOAF around the house! We play, color, explore, bake, cook, do dishes and laundry, do stuff on the computer ... somehow our days get filled. Oh, and since we discovered Skype, we did some of that with friends and then I got to see my dad's face on Skype and it was so cool! Then we play with the kittens:
He's not hurting el kitten ... just leashing it a little bit.

We grabbed Wendy's for dinner. I have a friend named Wendy and DANG I wish we were at her house for dinner instead. I don't even care if she serves us vegetarian porridge; just to be in the presence of our friends would be AMAH-ZING! Then we headed to the Riverwalk to eat. We had to fend off all the birds that wanted our food.
Can you spot the elk?

Can you find all 5 kids?

Then we went down by the river, where Joel was up for the challenge of getting everyone across this shallow part while I was on a couple of emotional phone calls home.

I want to cry when I see these pictures. Joel helped Sam and Eva across the river like the best big brother around.

Here's what we learned today in homeschooling:

  • Elk spotting
  • Buffalo spotting
  • Bird chasing
  • River forging
  • Rock throwing into rivers
  • Kitten loving and wrangling
  • Skyping (Dad, Andrea, Matt, Wendy, Julia)
  • Loafing
  • Town-going
  • Grass tossing into river
  • Dollar Tree shopping
  • River walking

Aron didn't get home until 10-ish. I've asked him to please work as much as possible so Scout Camp is not an issue and going home next Thursday isn't an issue. I just pray for peace at his job and for this project to end. Again I say he loves his company, just not this particular project. I think his boss thinks Aron is not happy at work, but it's just this one thing. I mean, I'm sure when his boss was on a job where he was working 80 hours a week, he probably got a little pissy, too.

I feel guilty relaxing and recharging, but it is so nice. I'm ready to take on the world when we get home!

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are missing out on some cool stuff every now and then!

Discovering Skype (Day 23 Wyoming)

We are officially the laziest people I know. We loafed and loafed and got showers and baths then finally went to town in the afternoon. We had to get more cash for our lodging (and pay ridiculous fees to take cash out on our credit card; probably unreimbursed). Then I had to hit the church where I left my steno pad ... YIKES! I can't be without my steno pad ... it's with me all the time and I keep all sorts of juicy notes on it. I let Eva write on it and she left it at church last Saturday. Whoever read it is probably praying for my soul as we speak. Thank you, because I need it!

I'm pretty sure we got ice cream cones in there somewhere because that's how we roll. Then we went to a playground. For those of you Evanstonians, it was close to Don Pedro's Mexican Restaurant and across the street. How's that for an address? The kids played while I talked on the phone with my dad forever about Aron's job situation. He's very understanding and helpful. He listens then offers helpful advice. He gave me a lot to think about.
Can you spot the kids?

Can you find the 2 little Macs in the trees?

After we got home we messed around some more, then around 9 p.m., just after Aron got home, we heard the laptop making strange little bubbly noises. I opened it up to see that my friend was calling on Skype! Our connection stinks ... we don't see a great picture, and the sound cuts out, but everyone can hear and see us just fine. We messed with that for a while like a new toy and it felt like the Jetsons! I like to answer the video phone  like this, "Kerrie isn't here right now." Or put up a cardboard photo of my family like George Jetson used to do when his boss called him.

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are missing out on some cool stuff every now and then!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

VACATION REQUEST DENIED ... again (Day 22) #Wyoming

Here's the first post on how my husband's company said they won't let us go on our family reunion vacation (today's post is about denying him Scout Camp):

This is an update in August 2013 to say that it was the LAST VACATION WE COULD HAVE GONE ON WITH MY GRANDFATHER, WHO IS NOW IN A NURSING HOME. So thank, you, husband's client, for valuing a natural gas project over relationships and life. You suck. Yes, I know we had a choice to walk away and if I had been able to see the future you bet your ass I would have driven home to Kansas in a hot second.

Moving on ...

Aron went to work on Memorial Day and I didn't take one dang picture. We loafed around the house like the laziest people you could ever find. We did some homeschooling, played with the kittens, fed the horse, ate, and that's about it.

Around 5:30 we could not stand it any longer and went to town for ice cream cones. I also hit the grocery store because Joel's ear has been clogged and he can't hear out of it. I'm trying hydrogen peroxide and olive oil first because I couldn't find an ear wax removal kit. Home remedies usually rock anyway.

SHOCKER: We got home after 7 p.m. and Aron was waiting on the porch for us! We are always waiting for him, and to see him waiting for us was a little strange, but nice!

We had lasagna for dinner and Aron told me his boss denied his vacation request for Scout Camp week. We've already paid $440 for Joel and Aron to go and I seriously doubt his company will reimburse us for that, not that we would accept it. It's very disappointing news ... since the start of the year poor Aron just keeps missing family things. It seems to me that his boss thinks "personal life" is an evil phrase to utter, even though Aron has hardly had one in 6 months. Look at the divorce rate at your company, sweetheart!

*edited 5/31/2 to add: I actually saw the email recently and in his defense, the boss did say he would see what he could do to get Aron covered for Scout camp.

Speaking of divorce rates, don't worry about us. We're just as in love as always. This job won't separate us. We've been through worse. But it's looking like some changes are on the horizon. Please pray, pray, pray that this project is FINALIZED before Scout Camp, which starts on Father's Day and runs for a week. That's the only way we see a good outcome. We're trying to remain positive ... Aron loves this job and has worked here for going on 15 years. We don't want one poorly run project to decide our future. In the meantime, I'd better get started on some of those magazine queries I've been toying with, just in case.

Oh, and the night ended with me trying to Skype with my best girlfriend, only I couldn't hear her and the picture was horrible. We'll try again! It was good to see her actual face, moving and trying to talk to me, and to see her kids. It made me homesick all over again.

Since I have no pics for you, here's something that recently happened when I went to the doctor. Aron has also been diagnosed with it, as I'm sure most of you have.

This is Kerrie signing out and telling you: Don't let the haters get you down. Get free of their grasp and you will do great things.

UPDATED 7/30/12 ... Forgot to let ya'll know how it went down. Picture an old Western where Aron faces off with his boss and tells him that he is going to Scout Camp and knows it might cost him his job. Then his boss realizes how important Aron is to the project and figures out how to get him covered for that week. The moral of the story is that if you are going to take a stand, make sure you are ready to back it up with your savings account or welfare (ha!) and make sure you are damn good at your job. The end.

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are missing out on some cool stuff every now and then!

Snow Day Sunday & Gassy Horses (Day 21)

Boo ya! Sunday was CRAZY ... mostly because we played in 27-degree weather with snow past our ankles while our family and friend counterparts withered in 90-degree heat in Kansas City. Sorry 'bout that, peeps.

Aron was off! We went to visit our kittens, who we had been too busy to see for two days, and they were ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!

Only crazy people like us would set out on a little mountain journey as the snow starts.

Once we got to Mirror Lake, the first thing Daddy had to do was ... well,  you know.

Our family, picture taken by a kind stranger passing by.

Sam deep in the snow. Michael was thrilled because this was more snow than we had gotten in KC all year! Too bad we were not dressed for it or we could have played all day!

Michael and Sam = 2 bumps in a log.

After we came down from the mountain we were still in Wasatch National Forest and found a little campground by the river. We talked about how much money we could save on lodging if we camped out down there, but it was COLD!

We ended the day by feeding horses grass.

The guys named a gassy horse Gassy and Fartsworth. Wish I had a video of it, but you can't get horse to fart on cue.

Aron's to do list consisted of having 2 consecutive days off so he could fix our van, but that was simply not meant to be. This week I have a little list of things to do.Who comes up with this stuff? This is the sense of humor I grew up with having the dad I have, so I love these ecards!

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are missing out on some cool stuff every now and then!

Monday, May 28, 2012

End the Day with Teen Titans (Wyoming Day 20)

So Saturday started by Aron being tracked down by his client. The phone rang and I figured someone would leave a voice mail message. I was wrong. Instead, the manager of the place had to come and knock on our door and make sure Aron knew that he was being tracked down. Then his boss in KC called to make sure he knew he was being tracked down. So in to work Aron went. Such is the life of a famous engineer and husband of the star of The Kerrie Show. It's not a bad life.

Sam started his day with 3 Blo-Pops at once. And yes, I brush his teeth all the time with his cool Cars toothbrush.

Then we hit the River Beach for only about 30 minutes because it was windy and chilly and we don't like having sand blown in our eyes.

I needed a shower, but took a bath at Sam's insistence. He got in with me and we made it a Party Til You're Pruny bath. Then the snow started! So we drove to church in the mini blizzard and met Aron there. After that we went to TC's Steakhouse for dinner (they advertised on the church bulletin and I wanted to patronize them, and Aron said YES because they rock), which was amazing and warrants its own blog post. Below, the kids got to share a dessert.

Eva licked the bowl clean.
Parents of many, do you ever feel weird that your kids wear expensive name brands? Like Sam with his Gap jacket ... yet, all our stuff like that is hand-me-downs from the kindness of other people!

Got some gas at the Loaf n' Jug (why is the jug just loafin' around? is it just lazy?). Smith's for groceries. Decided WHY NOT turn the night into errand night? So on to WalMart ... I need a new book to read and settled on something called "Once" (usually I let the universe send me books and don't pick them out ... the ones at WalMart are either too easy or too deep for me right now). Everyone got a book or activity thing except Sam, who got a small basketball. Joel's now reading the book "Brave" before he sees the movie for his birthday.

SIDENOTE: Who else wants a stick shift minivan so they can feel badass? I miss my little 1978 stickshift Chevy Chevette sometimes!

Got to drive the Buick home with Michael and Callie in the back. Listened to that amazing XM satellite radio. Hadn't heard this one in a million years!

Got home by 10 and fired up some Teen Titans, a show we don't get at home that the boys used to love, and now they ALL love it and go into the woods and play it together.

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are missing out on some cool stuff every now and then!

TC's Steakhouse in Evanston, Wyoming

I have a new favorite restaurant. Too bad it's not located where I normally live. It's called TC's Steakhouse and it is amazing. The kids would not stop talking about how yummy everything was.

It's not like you'll never be anywhere near this place. It's right of I-80, which leads all over the place ... from New York to San Francisco! You have to hit this place on the way to ... well, wherever you are going!!!!

photo courtesy of
So I had grilled chicken, salad with a cool celery seed dressing and mashed potatoes. Joel is a big boy now and ordered the salmon. Aron got a pasta thing with chicken and sundried tomatoes. The kids were dying over the clam chowder. Their kids' mac and cheese is really penne pasta with yummy cheese sauce (nothing like Kraft, people). The menu is simple but everything anyone would love is represented.

But the DRINKS .. holy crap. I had a strawberry basil lemonade that was out of this world. Here's me enjoying it incredibly:
See how happy this lemonade makes me? My goal is to try them all.

So it was $5.25 ... I would spend that on a Starbuck's for a slice of happiness once a week for sure. And they grow the basil on-site! Aron had a blueberry lemonade. Other choices were rosemary infused, baja herb, sage and MINT. Andrew is the front of house/beverage manager and the one who comes up with these amazing concoctions. Check out their Facebook page to see their funky martinis (s'mores!). If I was a drinkin' gal, boy, would I hit THOSE!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

YouTube Kerrie Songs for Your Pleasure

Here's a little mix tape of Kerrie songs I compiled for your Sunday viewing pleasure.

"Kerrie" by Europe

"Hey, Kerrie Anne" by the Hollies

"Kerrie On My Wayward Son" by Kansas

"Kerrie On" (Come Sail Away) by Styx

Leave me your faves in the comments section. I saw something by Cypress Hill but was afraid to click on it :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Utah's Hogle Zoo (Wyoming Day 19)

This episode of The Kerrie Show is brought to you by ... my mom (Tutu) ... because she buys us a platinum membership to The Kansas City Zoo every Christmas, which got us into Utah's Hogle Zoo half price (about $25 for all 7 of us).

We finally made it to the zoo. We LOVE zoos! First we drove over the mountains, a way we've never gone. It was AMAZING ... so gorgeous, just as pretty as Colorado. It got down to 33 degrees up there and snowed on us! It took us 2 hours to get to Salt Lake City to the zoo, but the kids loved it and everybody was happy with their Blo-Pops on the trip. I love going new places and finding new ways ... reading a map and discovering things on my own is something I really dig. So enjoy the pictures from our fun day.

A baby elephant nursing. We don't see many baby animals at our zoo.

After the bird show, the kids gave dollars to the birdie to put in the donation box.

Baby meerkats!

A photo to prove I was there! Sam holding Cal's parasol.

Eva chillin' in the stroller. Weird to only have to take the single stroller these days. Would've packed the double but no room in the van trunk for the trip!

Eva on the way home. Sam out-energied her and did NOT sleep.

I got them this light-up bubble gun that takes batteries. It's the Lazy Mom way.

Later, Sam put huge crayons in Daddy's muddy shoes and had a drink to celebrate.

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are really missing out on spoilers!

Staying Longer/Need Zoo Guest Posts (Wyoming Day 19)

We'll get down to business in a moment.

This day has made me start a new Category of posts on the blog: Zoos. I've been to 10 and the kids have been to 9 ... I think we need a new goal of hitting a zoo in every state (hell, why not in every COUNTRY?!) before we die. Until then, I'm happy to take guest review posts of any zoo you've been to (photos are a plus!). Here are the ones I'm writing about (Hogle Zoo will be another post full o' pix) or have written about, and you can take over the rest:

  1. Kansas City Zoo
  2. San Diego Zoo
  3. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  4. Phoenix Zoo
  5. Omaha Zoo (Henry Doorly)
  6. Deanna Rose Farmstead (it counts!)
  7. Topeka Zoo
  8. Dickerson Park Zoo
  9. Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City
  10. St. Louis Zoo
  11. Does SeaWorld in San Diego count???

So here's the "spoiler" I was talking about on The Kerrie Show's Facebook page.

We are staying an extra 10 days.

I know, it doesn't seem like a lot in the grand scheme of life. But when you plan for 20-ish and it turns into 30-ish there are things that occur:

  1. You disappoint your parents, who miss you and your kids.
  2. You disappoint family members because you're missing a family vacation that was planned a year ago.
  3. You disappoint your friends.
  4. You disappoint your kids, who were looking forward to seeing their friends. Michael is especially upset because he wants to see his Legos (we brought a tub of them) and he doesn't want to have to put lotion on all the time anymore.
  5. You need more checks.
  6. You have to beg people to continue watching your kids' little pets.
  7. You have to beg your stepdad to continue mowing your grass and getting your mail.
  8. You try to understand how your husband's boss could think from the start that you were staying INDEFINITELY with 5 kids. How does a normal person put their life on hold indefinitely? Mail and papers must be stopped or picked up; grass mowed; gardens watered and so much more. Must be nice on that planet.
  9. You have to make sure you can stay at the ranch because the hotel rooms in town are dinky winky.
  10. You have to try to figure out Skype so you can talk to your best girlfriend and her kids.
Anyway, we're staying because as you know the bosses didn't want Aron leaving to go home with us in the van on Memorial Day. We also knew he wouldn't be able to go on the family vacation. So I had a bright idea: why don't we just stay? Better than having him dump us off at home then leave Thursday, drive to a family vacation with out him and then be without him for 2 more weeks. So we get to be together longer AND secure his job for a few more weeks.

In the meantime, I have sent my application to Hooters International. I think it'll be a good fit.

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are really missing out on spoilers!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wyoming Day 18: Bear River State Park RiverWalk

This post is about Thursday and I'm frantically writing it Thursday night because Friday we are finally going to Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City!!! So we will be gone all day ... it takes 1.5 hours to get there from where we are so we plan to close the place down then drive home. I want to make sure you have something to read on Friday so here goes.

The morning started nice and slooooooooooow. The kids slept in, so I snuggled with Sam while I read a book (the 2nd Sweep book ... which is actually books 3-6 ... yes, it's about witches ... it's a young adult book and an easy read until I can find something else to read that's not as hard as War and Peace but not as easy as Twilight). I felt guilty for laying around in bed reading until I realized I NEVER do that at home. Like ever. Why is it hard for moms to treat themselves sometimes?

I made bacon and omelets for breakfast, with two little helpers on the counter.

A Lincoln Logs creation by Joel displayed on the ping pong table.
After breakfast we watched a little of the movie Backdraft ... Billy Baldwin, Kurt Russell, DeNiro and more. The point is Sam is CRAZY  over firetrucks and firemen so it was a decent movie for him to watch parts of. It's too dang long, though, so we took off to see the kittens for a while. Ting-a-ling, Milo, Pepe and Piss (because he is pissy, but when Callie holds him he is quiet as a mouse and content). Got an email from my mom ... AN EMAIL! She does not send email! It contained many cuss words (she gets that from me) about how much she misses us and how we can't leave for this long ever again. Such is the life of an only child :-)

Two kitties in my jacket! They give me my Baby Fix!

We don't have pictures of the rest of the day because we left the camera at home. We headed straight for McDonald's again since it was a chilly day and played inside for quite a while. I got to talk to my friend for a while and the boys talked to her kids. Did you know you can buy Happy Meal toys by themselves for like $1.25? A shout-out to Candace, who is the sweetest person there and puts up with us coming to the counter like 500 times each time we go.

After that it was warming up a bit so we headed to Bear River State Park ... the RiverWalk. It's so cool. I posted some pics of it from the first weekend we were here. We walked along the river forever. I finally got Aron on the phone and he told me they are still giving him trouble about coming home with us on Monday. I think he should tell his boss that my DAD will kick Aron's and the bossman's bungaloids if I am sent home in a rickety van with 5 kidlets. That almost happened on the way here, and my dad was ready to follow me if he had to. You don't mess with a woman's father.

He also told me that he probably can't go on our lake vacation with my family. I get all stoic and strong and "we can make it work no matter what" but sometimes I am a human woman and I do get emotional and I do break down. After we hung up, I walked behind the kids crying. Not sobbing, so as to scare them. Just sad, quiet crying. I'm not so much crying for myself (kinda; I love my man and would love to see him more ... have barely had time with him since February). I'm crying for the time the kids are missing with him. I'm crying for the way his bosses do not seem to be able to read a vacation request in advance or know what "we are leaving in 3 weeks" means. Aron is a hard worker, a good man. He bends over backwards for his employer and has for 15 years there. I'm wondering about the future.

Shake it off.

Oh, when we first got to the park it was a total scene from The Birds ... seagulls EVERYWHERE flying low and going nuts! Michael loved chasing them away and being loud. It was only in the 50s here today. I ran into a woman at McD's who lives here now and she wore a KANSAS shirt. She said she lived in Overland Park and that she would move back in a second! I'm torn; it's gorgeous here but I miss everyone so much.

As we walked the final part of the walk, Sam and I held hands and I looked at our shadows. I cried a little more when I realized someday his shadow would be taller than mine and would we still hold hands? We drove a little in the park and saw baby buffalo ("in captivity" says my smart son Joel) and elk. I miss home, yet I will so badly miss it here.

Let's just say we played chicken in the road some more with the cows when we got back to the ranch. Aron got home by 8 p.m. and made sure the big kids got showers before dinner so I could type up this bloggy post! He's making brownies with Sam and Eva right now, it's about 9:30 p.m. and more is brewing that I can't discuss now, so stay tuned.

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are really missing out on spoilers!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wyoming Day 17; It Never Ends, Does It?

Ventured out of the old homestead around 2 and encountered closed gates in two places on the gravel road. That's where a 10-year-old son comes in handy: he hopped out and hitched a ride on the gate as he opened it for us to pass through. The reason the gates were closed was because it was apparently mating season a while back. There are calves EVERYWHERE.

A brown cow hung with 7 black calves. Do you think they cross-nurse?

Gorgeous snowy mountain with a bazillion cowels on the grass (that's what Sam calls them).

We hit the McDonald's Playland for the 2nd day in a row. Yes, we got Happy Meals ... a splurge! Notice the seats! The McDonald's off I-80 in Evanston, Wyoming is the best! There are TVs in the bathrooms! Why they show CNBC in the women's bathroom is beyond me. Shouldn't they be showing SoapNet or something? I know, I'm sexist. Anyway, it's clean and everyone is nice and it's a huge play area and they have WiFi of course.

Later, some ice cream. Mommy is a pushover!

Stayed there 2 hours then hit the grocery store, which takes forever since I don't know where anything is and I'm herding cats the whole time. Then, OH MAN, see the picture below because after we drove around for a bit we hit major rush-hour traffic. Can you believe this?! Bumper to bumper.

The kids immediately got into our grocery store booty of froot  rollups. Why must the sit on the table to eat? Oh, right, because I allow it!

We call this kid Sammy the Olive. He loves to put massive olives on his fingers and partake.

The night ended with me writing and Daddy (who got home by 9 p.m.!!!) reading to Sam.

If you missed any installments of the Real World: Wyoming series, head to the right-hand side of this here blog, look for Categories, then click on Wyoming. And if you aren't following The Kerrie Show on Facebook, you are really missing out on spoilers!


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