Saturday, September 4, 2010

Our CRAZY summer trip to Colorado and Nebraska!

To go, or not to go?..... That was the question!

We started our trip by traveling to Mesa and staying the night at Tiffany and Branson's house. The original plan was for all of us to wake up early the next morning, drive to the airport, and get on a flight with the buddy passes that my mom got for us. Well, early the next morning when my mom looked the flights up they were all over-booked! Any they were over booked for the next week. Well, I had been using this trip as bribery for the past month and there was no way that I was getting out of taking my girls to Colorado to see their cousins. so..... what did we do? We drove.  At about 2:30 pm. my mom and I finally jumped in the van after I had changed my mind about 20 times and Tiffany changed her mind about 40 times (sadly, with the final decision - not to go).
Funny story: Dani has always said that her "Grandma Colorado lives way up high in the sky." Well when we broke the news to her that we wouldn't be going on an airplane but that we were driving to Grandma's house, she was pretty upset. I was thinking that it was just because she wanted to go on the airplane but then she said "but how are we going to get up in the sky if we drive?" She really thought that my parents lived up in the sky because we always fly there! What a disappointment for a little girl to have to deal with.
Pit stop at Mickey D's
Not even 30 min. after we got back in the car they were all out! We finally arrived in Colorado at approximately 5:30 am. Totaling a whopping 15 hour drive. My mom was amazing and the girls were awesome!!! WAY TO GO GIRLS!
Now the fun didn't end there! We visited cousins that morning and then got in the car at about 4:00pm and drove another 9 hours to Nebraska to go and see my grand parents! The girls did great once again. They were wasted when we got there though. And the adults were delirious.

Great-Grandpa Stahlecker.
Looking out of the kitchen window at the wild turkeys. My grandparents have wild turkeys galore out where they live.

Turkeys and cows in the front yard.

Ballagh Family Reunion!
We got to drive another hour after that to go to a family reunion for my Grandma's family. We got to meet a lot of relatives that we didn't know we had and the kids got to play some more.
Abby climbed up on my Grandpa's knee and serenaded him with her saxophone from McDonald's for about 15 minutes.
we had a picnic at a fun park.

Dani and my little cousin Ellie both had bug catcher's. They came up with a master plan to bait the bugs with chips! Pretty smart little girls!

My cousin Brooke was so sweet with the girls. Abby loved her. (and her hair!)
The girls got to go swimming! It was super hot and humid and they were in heaven.
Then we went to this little church for a dinner. They had an awesome nursery room with tons of toys!
All of the Stahleckers who could make it. My grandparents, my dad, his two brothers, his sister, and a few of the grand / great- grand children.
Me and my sweet Grandpa!
Watering the flowers.
Eating the dirt!
Cutting and cleaning the trees out of the vista to the pond. Dani is such a good little worker. She helped my dad drag all of the tree branches up the hill for close to an hour.
My uncle Lonny got this bench for my grandpa for Father's day and Larry put it together for him.
The girls sitting on Grandpa's bench with him looking at the pond.
The girls put the box for the bench to good use!
Uncle Larry took us out to a good dinner one night.
Emily got a brand new roll un-rolled!
The girls found a turtle when they went on a walk with Grandma. They kept it in a bucket and Dani was determined to bring it home for a pet.

We finally convinced her that the river turtle would not be happy in the desert and that we had better let it go so it could find it's family.
Waving goodbye to their turtle.

Having a stare-down with the big cow in Grandma and Grandpa's front yard.

The beautiful pond! This picture was taken on a stormy night. This is the view out of my grandparents back door. This is one of my favorite "happy places."

The girls were a little confused about the whole "bait" thing. Threading those worms on the hook really is kind of creepy.
Abby caught the first fish!

She wanted to touch it's mouth.
Then she had to let it go because it was too little. (and we didn't feel like cleaning and eating it.)
Abby caught the 2nd fish!
Dani caught the 3rd fish!

Letting the fish go.
We took a drive up to my dad's Grandparent's old house.
It had a artisan (flowing) well that constantly runs. The sand hills of Nebraska is one of the few places in the US with a water table high enough to have one of these. The water was delicious!
Catching Fireflies!

My dad took Dani and I out one night to catch fireflies. If you have never seen these little creatures you can not even imagine the sight that we saw that night. It was absolutely breath-taking looking out into the dark sky as the fireflies twinkled and sparkled all around us. Dani looked around and said, "this is magical, It's like we're in a whole nother world!"

We caught 8 of them. She was pretty excited.
Grandma bought the bug catching kits for the girls. She took them on a walk with their bug catching tools and they had a lot of fun looking for creatures.
My Grandparents live in the sand hills and instead of dirt, they have sand. Their driveway is the finest, softest sand. The girls loved playing in it.
Saying goodbye to Linda, Bob, Brooke, and Ellie.
Playing around in the house.
Emmie is showing off her cute "outie"
We mowed my grandparent's huge lawn. The girls had to go in shifts with me.

Emily helped Uncle Larry park the mower.
Sweet Abby saying goodbye to Great Grandpa.

It was so much fun to see Grandma, Grandpa, and Larry!

4th of July!


some intense "snake" lighting!

We watched fireworks from Shonn and Ticia's back porch.

Abby fell asleep holding Ticia's silky hair!

The next night we watched the neighbors light some pretty awesome fireworks.

Bear Creek Lake

The kids had a blast digging in the sand and building a village.

We buried all of the kids in the sand. The girls were all made into mermaids (special anatomy features added by Dani)
Mikey got worn out!
The babies fought over Binky's in the pack-n-play.
Abby coloring her cup.

Dani LOVED hanging out way out in the lake! One time she called me out to her and I really didn't want to go in because it was cold but I thought that she needed my help. I got almost to her and she kept asking for me to come all of the way. I said what do you need Dani? And she said "can you still touch the bottom? She was totally just coaxing me out to see if I could swim where I couldn't touch! Then I started laughing and she was cracking up, think that she was pretty clever.
Dani thought that she found the real purpose for her sunglasses! I guess that all of that mermaid sculpting made her mind go wild.

Around the house!

Having a "tea party" with the cousins.

Uncle Shonn's story time.
I caught them all just hanging out on the landing of the stairs one day.
The kids did a lot of dressing up with grandma's chest of dress-ups. Dani's favorite dress was my Prom dress from my junior year. Wow! That was a beauty!
Sweet Abby is so sweet with little babies!
Snuggle time with Grandpa.
More story time.

Cute Sophia!
Tuckered out!
The one-eyed Monster!
Aunt Monica with the BFF's. Anna is trying out Abby's thumb sucking tricks. She wasn't a very big fan.
The little BFF's behind Nate and Monica's beautiful flowers.

The Park
We missed our brother Jake but it looks like a little piece of him was here with us. In the form of graffiti.
My crazy brothers.
Doing "skater Jo's". Don't ask, it's from our elementary school days. Basically you swing as high as you can and then flip onto your stomach while you are swinging. Kind of fun watching my brothers act like they are 10yrs. again.
Cool hat dad!


Fun in Grandpa and Grandma's backyard!
The tree amigos with their water guns!

Mikey was so happy about eating his ice cream that he couldn't bare the thought of leaving it to go to the bathroom. No worries, his chair has a great drainage system. He didn't even mention it, we just discovered the puddle underneath him.

Mountain trip
Nate and Monica took us to this cool little hut up in the Rockies for a weenie roast and some fun.
Dani was so bugged about having to wear jeans! We finally compromised to putting the skirt over the jeans. Where did this girlie-girl come from?

The kids loved this bridge!
Time to Go Home!
Heston flew up about 1 week after we drove and then our family drove back together.  With all of the driving combined our girls were in the car for almost 50 hours! They were so good. We couldn't have asked for better little troopers. Looks like all of our trips from now on will be driving. Now we know that we can do it!

1 comment:


Wow! Looks like I missed a fun trip. I'm glad you got to go. I love all the pictures. Your girls are so cute. I love what Dani said about Grandma and Grandpa's being magical. That is so funny. It is magical!! Wish I would have come.