Friday, July 24, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Wedding Dress

Today at Kelly's Korner is Show Us Your Life...Wedding Dresses! I was married May 17, 2003 in an outdoor courtyard setting in New Orleans, LA. I LOVED my wedding was simple, yet elegant! I wore a floral headpiece rather than a veil and it was perfect! The top of the dress was beaded and beautiful. It certainly was a very special day! I'm anxious to view everyone's wedding dress photos. Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Earning His Keep

It's never too early to teach a three year old a little household responsibility. This would be one chore I would definitely not miss. ....taking out the trash! I'm looking forward to the day when Kyle can actually perform the chores completely on his own....for now I will enjoy all the help I can get!

As shown in these older posts, Kyle already enjoys doing laundry and mowing the grass!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beautiful Butterflies, Horses, and Slides

What do these three things have in common??? A morning full of fun for a certain three year old named Kyle. This past Sunday morning, we headed to a very popular, must see attraction in the STL area. Faust Park has many activities to keep the little ones entertained. First we visited The Butterfly House, a very pretty, tropical, tranquil setting which is home to approximately two thousand butterflies of eighty different varieties. Kyle is alway amazed when he walks in and is greeted by so many colorful butterflies. He attempts to touch and catch them (which of course isn't allowed), but they sure are fast movers so he doesn't have much success! As Kyle gets older it will be a great educational adventure for him to learn about different stages of a butterlies life, bugs, insects, etc.

After spending time with the butterflies, we took Kyle to ride a horse on the carousel and to the playground to burn off some of his energy. The carousel is indoors so it would also be perfect for a warm summer day when you are attempting to beat the heat. We have really been lucky the past couple of weeks with the wonderful weather we have been experiencing. I realize I have mentioned this in many past posts, but I'm amazed at the spring/fall like temperatures in the middle of July! Believe, I'm not complaining...I would take this any day of the year! Below are several pictures from our Sunday morning outing!

Welcome to The Butterfly House
Kyle is all smiles with his new butterfly friends. Mommy and Kyle stop to rest and enjoy the beautiful environment

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekly Blog Hop - Favorite Recipe

Welcome to Keeping Up With The Spences!

I am participating in the Weekly Blog Hop with the theme of sharing your favorite recipe. I have chosen to share a very simple, yet delicious crock pot recipe! My family LOVES this meal...even my VERY picky three year old son! I am very excited to "hop" on over to everyone's blog and acquire some new favorite recipes.

Crock Pot Ranch Chicken

2-4 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
1 8 oz. cream cheese

Combine chicken, soup, and dressing mix into the crock pot and cook 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. Add the cream cheese 30 minutes before serving. Serve over fettucine. Enjoy!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One Great Date

Saturday night, John and I had a wonderful date night. Everything was perfect from the gorgeous cool weather, delicious dinner, peaceful scenery, entertaining musical, and of course the company. First the weather has been unseasonably cool and this was an added treat to our date. We went to dinner at The Boathouse in Forest Park. The restaurant is located on Post Dispatch Lake with outdoor seating, a band, paddle boat/canoe rental, and great food. Our wait was about an hour so we sat by the peaceful and relaxing. For dinner we were lucky enough to get an outdoor table next to the water to enjoy the water and scenery a little longer. We both decided to order the tilapia sandwich and it was fabulous! The band began as we were eating dinner so we also had a little musical entertainment during dinner. It was a great choice for dinner and hope to go back soon to take Kyle on the paddle boats!

Patiently waiting for dinner to arrive. Our view from the dinner table
After dinner we had tickets to see the musical Godspell at The Muny. The Muny is located in Forest Park, as well, within walking distance to The Boathouse. The Muny is an outdoor musical theatre which seats about 11,000 people. There are seven musicals performed each summer. We actually were season ticket holders the two summers before Kyle was born and we always enjoyed the shows. We have seen Meet Me In St. Louis, Annie, The Music Man, 42nd Street, South Pacific...too name a few. Godspell was a great performance and very high energy. The best part of the show, however, was the fact that we had front row, center seats...literally. Our seats were typically where the orchestra is seated, but since the orchestra was behind the scenes for the performance there were actual seats in the orchestra pit. It was a completely new experience to be so up close to the stage. If we were any closer we would have had an acting or singing part in the musical. We may attempt to see either Camelot or Hairspray within the next week or two depending on ticket availability. It was such a great date...we had so much fun!

Front and center

Kyle also had a fun night on his date with the same babysitter he has had the past two times. We were so glad Kyle didn't scare her off from their last date. Kyle really likes her and so does Mommy and Daddy. Kyle took a wagon walk, played outside, and had fun with someone other than Mommy and Daddy! It was an all around enjoyable night...couldn't have asked for things to be more perfect! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer Officially Begins

Summer is finally here for Kyle! He has been attending summer school (extended school year) for six weeks and yesterday was his last day. Kyle has four weeks off before the new school year begins. It will certainly be nice not to have to get up and be somewhere by a particular time. We will certainly enjoy sleeping a little later in the morning and moving at a slower pace than normal. They don't call it the lazy days of summer for nothing..right? We will enjoy plenty of Mommy/Son quality time the next month filled with plenty of fun activities to keep my little busy body on the move.

Today we have received a nice treat to begin Kyle's summer vacation....cooler, more pleasant temperatures rather than the typical record breaking heat we tend to see this time of year in St. Louis. Kyle spent the morning playing at the park enjoying the lovely weather. It's so hard to stay indoors when it's so nice outside...we must take advantage of the nice break while it lasts! We are looking forward to the weekend...Saturday is date night, so that is always a special treat! Hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend!

100 Years of Magic

The beginning of September we are taking Kyle to the Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic show in the St. Louis area. This will be our first experience to see a show on ice. Kyle isn't familiar with all of the Disney characters which will be featured in the show, but this will be a fun, magical introduction into the "Wonderful World of Disney". I'm certain I will have a recap once we attend the show!

Description of the show: Join the celebration as 65 of Disney's unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic! You'll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and all the Disney Princesses. Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you'll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge Vacation - Recap Two

Recap Two from our mini-vacation will focus on eating, which of course is our favorite activity to do on vacation! Our first night (Friday night), we ate in the Critter Cafe which is the restaurant inside the Great Wolf Lodge. We also ate breakfast there each morning, a "must" for us on vacation. Saturday night we ventured to the outdoor mall area close by the lodge and ate dinner at one of the many restaurants. We attempted to eat at several restaurants, but the wait was too long. We finally decided to try the T-Rex Cafe and it was the best decision. We did have to wait to be seated for dinner, but Kyle was throughly entertained, traveling into a prehistoric adventure. He was in awe of the life size animated dinasaurs throughout the establishment. We were seated for dinner close to a dinasour display which kept Kyle content during our meal. Another cool thing about the T-Rex Cafe was every half an hour they would have a meteor shower...the lights would dim/flash and you would hear the sound of thunder. We would love for a T-Rex Cafe to open in the St. Louis area....what a magical adventure for kids of all ages!

View from our table at dinner
Wooly Mammoth display Dinasour display
Prehistoric dinasour
Kyle is all smiles at dinner
Sunday night we drove over to Kansas City, MO. to eat dinner at Houston's Restaurant in the Country Club Plaza area of town. Houston's is one of my favorite restaurants so it was mandatory we eat there since we were so close by. The food is always top notch and the spinach/artichoke dip is delicious. We took a nice stroll through the Plaza area after dinner, but didn't stay too long so we could get back to the lodge to visit the waterpark one last time.

Below are a couple of photos taken outside of Houston's restaurant. I promise that I was actually on the vacation, but unfortuntaly, I didn't make my way into any of the pictures. Although, it's more imporant to document Kyle's fun times on the vacation!

Great Wolf Lodge Vacation - Recap One

We returned Monday afternoon from our mini-vacation to The Great Wolf Lodge. It was a nice relaxing getaway from our real world. As I mentioned in my previous post, Kyle wasn't very excited about the water park. As the vacation continued, he became more and more comfortable...partly because we made him do things he didn't necessarily want to do. We took him down the tube slides several times and also put him down the toddler slides. He always would fuss going up to the slide, but once he was on the slide he would light up with a big smile. He seemed very content lounging on the inter tube with Mommy and Daddy on the lazy river. This was probably our favorite activity in the water park...floating around and around without a care in the world.

After spending several hours in the morning and early afternoon at the water park we would head back for some quiet, down time. Kyle rarely napped, but did spend time in the "Wolf Den" resting up for his next adventure...usually dinner, water park activities, story time, a dance party in the lobby, playing chase with his new friends outside or shopping at the nearby outdoor mall.

Unfortunately, we didn't take too many pictures because it was difficult to take pictures in the water or the camera was on the other end of the water park. I hope you enjoy the pictures that we did manage to take.

Kyle...The Bellboy Kyle's nesting place
Kyle is ready to leave the room
and have some fun Kyle in the Great Wolf Lodge Water park
Kyle exploring the outdoor pool
Kyle a little hesitant going down the toddler slide
This is actually A LOT of fun!
Kyle playing chase with his new friends...the ducks!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Getting Our Paws Wet

The Spence Family left this morning for a mini-vacation to The Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, KS. The Great Wolf Lodge is a huge indoor waterpark...a dream come true for anyone who LOVES the water! This is our second trip to the lodge so we knew exactly what to, fun, and more fun! However, on the "fun scale" we would rate today as only a one out of three on the fun day scale. Kyle spent today getting his "feet wet", was overly tired from the drive, and since he didn't have an afternoon nap he wasn't in the best of moods to explore the waterpark. I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day since Kyle will be getting a great night sleep in the "Wolf Den".

Unfortunately, I failed to bring the cord adapter for the camera so I'm unable to download pictures while we are here. I'm sure everyone is extremely disappointed (Ha!), but beware for a picture overload once we return home. We are off to get a little sleep in hopes that we have "A Great Wolf Time" tomorrow. Good bye from Kansas City!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Show Us Where You Live Friday - Foyers/Entrance Ways

This week on Show Us Where You Live-Friday the highlighted area is the foyer and entrance way. This is the final week of the home tour series, but Kelly will be continuing each Friday with more fun and exciting themes. I have really enjoyed providing everyone a glimpse into each area of our home and it certainly has been fun viewing each of your homes.

I love the foyer in our home because it is a two story entry and is very open, which provides plenty of natural light. The entry way opens into the living room on the right, dining room on the left, family room, and also the stairs leading to the second level. Enjoy the tour and have a wonderful weekend!

Welcome to our Home! The Entrance

View of the front door from inside Foyer looking into the living room

View as you step inside leading to the family room

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Can Laundry Be Fun?

When asked, I'm sure the majority of people would certainly say "No, laundry isn't fun"! Typically, I would agree with the majority, however at this time I would say doing laundry IS fun! I'm sure you are on the edge of your seat wondering why I feel this way. This week we purchased a new washing machine and dryer. Our old set was eighteen years old, so it was time! It's probably a bad sign when John asked if the tornado sirens were sounding and the noise was actually our washing machine...LOL!

I have been drooling over the new style front loading washing machines and was convinced that would be what we would purchase. Much to my surprise, we didn't and decided to get the top loading machine. They are high efficiency machines and require a certain type of laundry detergent labeled "HE". They are also so much larger than our old ones, you would think we had a family of ten. Granted, on a daily basis we probably don't need anything this large, but it will certainly be nice to have...especially when I want to wash a king size comforter. There are many settings and controls to learn about, although my favorite feature is the touch control, instead of the dial. For now, I'm enjoying doing laundry, but I'm sure once the newness wears off it will become much less exciting!

Goodbye for now...I'm off to wash, dry and fold!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th Festivities

The Spence Family had a wonderful 4th of July! The holiday can be summed up in several, friends, food, and fireworks! We did plan to take Kyle to our neighborhood Children's 4th of July parade with his very festive, red, white, and blue wagon, but unfortunately the weather didn't fully cooperate and we woke up to a downpour. The rain stopped soon before the parade was to begin, but we still decided to skip the parade since the weather was unpredictable.

Saturday evening we did have a small get together with a couple of other families at our house. We barbequed...hamburgers, bratwurst, and chicken, enjoyed adult conversation, and watched the children play. Kyle did have a little "goody bag" for each of his little friends, complete with an American Flag, a red, white, and blue lei, bubbles, candy, and everyone's favorite, a star balloon. Later in the evening we headed out to view some fireworks hosted by a local park. Everyone had an enjoyable time and was a great way to spend the holiday!

Weekly Blog Hop - 7/7/09: Favorite Photo

Welcome to Keeping Up With The Spences!

I am participating in the "Blog Hop", with the theme of your favorite photo. It was such a difficult decision, but chose the following picture of our three year old son, Kyle. This picture was taken when he met Thomas The Train. Kyle LOVES Thomas the Train and this particular day was such a "magical" and exciting day for Kyle. The picture definitely shows the essence of Kyle's personality!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from The Spence Family!

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable day with family and friends! We have several fun, festive activities planned for the holiday...certainly hoping the weather will cooperate! Have fun and most safe!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Show Us Where You Live Friday - Yard

It's Friday...a holiday weekend and another edition of Kelly's, Show Us Where You Live - Friday! The yard and garage is the feature home tour this week! My tour will only consist of the yard, since our garage isn't very fun and exciting. It's your typical garage with two cars, lawn maintenance equipment, storage cabinets, etc.

The yard however, is one of my favorite areas of the house. My husband and I LOVE working in the yard and have done many landscaping projects since we purchased our home five years ago. This spring, we completed many home improvement projects in our back yard, such as replacing boards on the deck, staining the deck, hanging lattice around the bottom area of the deck, and replace the patio. We spend plenty of time in our backyard with our three year old so we attempted to have the area child friendly, as well as attractive. Enjoy the tour!

I'm looking forward to viewing everyone's pictures posted for the home tour! Hope everyone has a Happy 4th of July!

Welcome to our Home!