On top of all of that, I got to leave the boys with my parents while I visited my girlfriend Kristina in Baltimore and spend an entire day with Maria - canoeing on the black river. It was heavenly!!!
My dad found this little critter under the car our first day in St. Louis. The boys thought it was so cool! It reminded me of all the turtles my brother and I used to capture in our back yard as kids.
The other thing I took for granted were fireflies...the boys had so much fun chasing the fireflies at night! We never saw them in Texas or in Doha, so it was quite a thrill for them... the little things we take for granted ... turtles and fireflies! :-)
First stop in St Louis was the Magic House - puts the Houston Children's Museum to shame!!! I love it as much as the children!
|The Magic House is much bigger than when I was a kid, but the giant twisty slide still remains ...|
|Fascinated by the bubble room ...|
|They made a good construction team|
|Nicholas had to get a picture with the American flag!|
|They played in this tiny little hockey area forever!|
Next day ... Purina Farms ... another one of my favorite places in St. Louis. After wandering through the barn and petting the animals and milking the cow, I love to watch the daily dog shows! Of course, no trip is complete without a wagon ride. We've gone many many times over the years and we still love it. Of course it doesn't hurt that it's super close to my parents house and it's completely free! :-)
|petting the bunny|
|petting the pigs|
|Still love to ride the tractors. Jaden is officially too tall for this area, but it was a slow day and they were kind to let him in.|
|Me and my boys at the coy pond at Purina Farms|
My parents also live very close to Six Flags in St. Louis, so we bought season passes and went 4 or 5 times. The boys love to ride roller coasters and play in the waterpark. Jaden even rode on the Screamin' Eagle for the first time this year. Sadly Nicholas is still too short for most rides, so he was a little frustrated. I so clearly remember those years of wanting to ride, but not being tall enough ... I think I was in junior high before I could ride any of the "big" coasters.
|Boys with Dakota, Zoey and Cassie on the train at Six Flags.|
I loved getting away for a few days to visit Kristina in Baltimore. We didn't do a whole lot, which was perfect - we had lots of time to visit and catch up. Her expanding family and her new house were both amazing and beautiful!
|Most people assume we're sisters because we look so alike. Happened again on this trip at one of the restaurants we visited.|
|Kristina's girls - Maggie and Sadie ... it was super hot and sweaty, but we still played in their amazing backyard for a bit.|
Back to St. Louis ... we went to Grant's Farm for my cousin Melissa's son Spencer's birthday party. I don't really remember going to Grant's Farm much as a kid and it was a first for the boys, but it's a great place to hang out and play on a beautiful day. The weather was glorious!!
|like being back in Doha - boys wanted to ride the camel|
|feeding the camels|
|bald eagles really are amazing creatures!|
|Slip n Slide time!!!|
|Boys made jet packs out of materials from the recycling bin - |
cereal boxes, milk jugs, and a whole lot of duct tape!!
|Jaden started with bottle rockets before it got dark...|
|boys with Dakota parading around the field|
|take me out to the ball game|
|St. Louis Arch in the background|
|Me and Nicholas in our ball caps|
|Let's play ball!!|
|Me and Jaden|
|Me and Nicholas|
|ROAR!!! With Uncle Tony and Dakota in front of the Science Center|
|You can barely see the boys in the shadow of the T-Rex|
|air cannon used to knock over the pyramid of cups|
|they built an arch!|
|I have no idea who this girl is. The boys worked forever to uncover the print all by themselves in the dinosaur dig area. She showed up just in time to join the picture! :-)|
|Pool noodle swamp - SO MUCH FUN!!|