After so much going on last week, I fear I've fallen behind this week. But, thankfully, I'm becoming rested up and am ready to go again.
After my dad's side of the family visited on July 4th, some of my mom's side of the family came in the next afternoon for a few days of visiting. This would be the Krohe Family: my mom's sister, her husband, their children, and their daughter's husband and children. Unfortunately, I had problems with the camera again, so the photos I took of most of them turned out blurry. The Krohes had been down near the Lake of the Ozarks for the week and were continuing their vacation in St. Louis.
It is very odd, but my brother and I call our aunt "Aunt Sissy." I guess I couldn't say Ella Marie when I was small. So, since she's my mom's sister, the name was created and stuck. Uncle Wayne and Aunt Sissy have a huge motorhome, and they decided to stay close to downtown so we could easily travel to the sites. Immediately after arriving at the RV park, my cousins came out to greet me. Here is my cousin Janelle's oldest and youngest sons: Shai (6) and Tegan (approx. 3 months.) What a cute little boys!!!
We had a wonderful time catching up, playing cards, and goofing around. Our main outing during the long weekend was a trip to the St. Louis Zoo. It was a HOT day...very exhausting... but a good time. One of the highlights was the sea lion show. Here, Megan and Janelle wait for the show to begin. And, here are the girl sea lions.
This picture doesn't do much to show how HUGE this sea lion is, but maybe this 2nd picture can give you some perspective. These are the males, and the middle one is the size of at least two men - if not more!
Near the gorillas and monkeys, the Vanderploeg family stops for a picture. Shai is very unhappy about this, for some reason. Here are Janelle holding Tegan, Shai, Braiden, and Ryan.
That evening, we were all so happy when Ketra arrived. She was going to attend a wedding in the area, and it was wonderful that she could extend her trip and stay with me for a few days. The boys LOVE (I mean, LOOOOOOOOOVE) Ketra - especially since Shai has a Caterpillar bicycle and Ketra works at Caterpillar. So, they were thrilled when Ketra said she had something for them! Two Caterpillar shirts... and a beautiful Caterpillar blanket for little Tegan. Isn't the one for Braiden (r) especially appropriate?!?!? That just makes me laugh out loud!
On Saturday morning, the family started their trip up north...and came by my house for a big breakfast and a tour. With Ketra's help, I was able to get everything set up under the shade tree, and we had a really nice time visiting while enjoying the backyard setting. We were celebrating Aunt Sissy's birthday, so we had quite the spread: biscuits, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh watermelon and pineapple, assorted fresh fruit, cereal, 3 kinds of fruit juice, milk....and a cinnamon coffee cake with candles!!! Then, we had a nice long talk about movies while relaxing in the cool air in the house. (Since then, I've added to my already long list of movies I want to rent!) It was sad to see them go (and for Ketra to leave the next day), but I knew everyone needed to go home eventually. It just makes me look that much more forward to NEXT TIME when our families can get together!