It’s FALL Y’all!

With winter fast approaching, we decided to go back to the STL area to spend some more time with my parents.  We planned to stay a month once again at Belleville Mobile Home and RV Estates in Fenton, MO.  We had our spot reserved from October 14 through November 15.

We didn’t have a lot of plans for this particular time in STL. We helped my dad sort through some Christmas decorations and other stuff and helped him get a little more organized on the unfinished side of the basement. As a result, Jack and I reorganized and moved the things we are storing there to the unfinished side of the basement.  I visited my mom in the nursing facility often.

This was a time we had planned to experiment with cooking in the RV.  It’s not really a lot different.  Outside grilling is about the same except we have a smaller, portable Weber gas grill that uses the small one pound LP gas containers.  It has a smaller grilling space but that is not that big of an adjustment.

However, inside the RV there is A LOT LESS space for food prep. It also has a three burner gas stove and a microwave/convection oven combo.  I’ve cooked with gas before, but it was a REALLY long time ago.  I liked it back then, so I’m sure I’ll like it again. I’ve never used a convection oven, so I’ll be doing some experimenting with that in the near future. Jack grilled some steaks, hamburgers, and hot dogs, and I cooked chili, spaghetti, and breakfasts. As you can see, I am not a gourmet cook at all! Each time we cooked a meal, food prep became easier, so I guess I’m adjusting to the smaller work space. We also had my dad over to eat with us several times. Once again, I forgot to take very many pictures, however, I did get one of the chili I made in my new electric skillet and one of our breakfasts:

Here is a pic of Zoey cuddling up to my dad on our couch.

At the end of October we had a special trip to Springfield, MO, planned. Jack’s mom (who lives in Springfield) had her 90th birthday on Nov. 1st. We planned a family celebration the weekend before her birthday at the Walnut Street Inn. All of her children, grandkids, great-grandkids, and great-great-grandkids were there for the celebration. Our oldest son, Jeff, flew in to STL from FL and rode down with us for the weekend (we took the car and left the RV). Other members of the family drove in from various places. Here are a few pictures of the celebration:

A few days after we returned from Springfield, I noticed some water on the floor between the refrigerator and the bathroom door. Jack thought it was just from the water he spilled that had not dried yet in the seams between the tiles. However, after a week of water seeping up through the seams between the tiles, we decided it must be a leak somewhere. When we couldn’t find the leak ourselves, we decided we needed to get a repair shop appointment at Camping World just outside of Springfield. We scheduled that appointment for Monday, Nov. 13, which meant we would be leaving the STL area a couple days earlier than planned just in case the RV had to be in the repair shop for a day or two.

Things didn’t quite go as we planned. On Sunday, Nov. 12, my mom became very ill and was admitted to the ICU at Mercy hospital. Jack and I decided he would go on to Springfield to Camping World for the repair appointment. I would stay in STL at my parents’ house with dad and spend a good portion of the days with mom in the ICU. Mom had picked up the norovirus (which is a dangerous virus for the elderly and very young children and infants), and after a few scary days she began to get better. She was well enough to leave the ICU by Wednesday. They moved her to a TCU room (Transition Care Unit) on Thursday when a bed became available because her dementia prevents her from being able to use the call button. On Friday the doctor told us she would likely go home on Saturday or Sunday. Therefore, I decided to leave early Saturday morning to drive to Springfield and join Jack.

We planned to drive half way to our next destination Saturday afternoon and finish the trip on Sunday. Again, things didn’t go as we planned. On my way to Springfield that morning the winds were terrible (20-30 mph sustained winds with 45 mph gusts)! It is unwise to drive an RV in that kind of wind! We stayed in Springfield Saturday night and then made the 7 hour trip all on Sunday. That was a really long day, however, I’m glad to report we made it safely to ……..

…….. I’ll let you know where we are in the next post. 🙂

So, for now … “On the Road Again!”


THE NANA FILES (aka: Summer Fun: July Edition – Part 2)

After Papa Jack’s birthday celebration on Monday, some storms rolled into our area (see the first post Summer Fun: July Edition by clicking here).

We woke up Tuesday morning to more storms with no chance of them clearing any time soon.  Swimming was obviously out of the question for the day, soooo, I had to pull out THE NANA FILES (aka: Pinterest ideas) to keep the kids busy and occupied.

After a little breakfast and a few cartoon shows, I completed setting up for the first activity.  I had purchased some little packages to “Grow Your Own Crystals.”  Each grandchild stirred the granules in the warm water (with a little help from Nana) and then poured them over the stones we placed in the little container.

Jade went first and chose the pink crystals.

Jade went first and chose the pink crystals.

Next it was Kylee's turn.

Next it was Kylee’s turn.  She chose purple.

Last, but certainly not least, Jackson mixed up his granules.

Last, but certainly not least, Jackson mixed up his green granules.

This is what they looked like after we completed all the directions.







Now on to the next activity.

Did you know that baking soda and vinegar are interesting ingredients to play with?  When you put vinegar in baking soda, it results in a bubbling reaction.  Kids love to watch it bubble!  Add in a variety of food coloring and you can make designs and pictures.

I mixed up small cups of vinegar with food coloring.  Each grandchild had four cups with colored vinegar (red, blue, green, and yellow) and an eye dropper.  I also gave them a cup with water to “rinse out” their eye dropper.  I used tin foil cake pans (the cheapest ones worked just fine and clean-up was a snap: just throw them away!) and filled the bottom with baking soda about an inch deep.

Once I showed them how to drop the colored vinegar solution in the baking soda, they got really creative.  Needless to say, they were occupied for quite some time — almost TWO HOURS!  I had purchased the largest box of cheap baking soda I could find (it almost looked like a cereal box it was so big!), so when the kids covered up all their baking soda with colored vinegar, I just poured on more baking soda and they started designing again.  It was fun to watch them play with it.







Running out of places to “color.”

It's getting a little "soup-y."

It’s getting a little “soup-y.”

I’d say they had fun playing around with this!

After lunch I invoked the rainy day Nana option:  TAKE THE GRANDKIDS TO THE MOVIES!  We went to the theater in our small town and saw Turbo.  It was a cute movie about a snail who wants to go fast and race.  It kind of had a moral to the story:  You CAN do anything you want if you just work hard and put your mind to it.

“What was the best part of the movie?” you ask.  I’ll tell you:  THE POPCORN WAS FREE!  Yes, I said FREE!  At our local theater, if you bring your own bowl to the movie on Mondays or Tuesdays, you get popcorn free.  🙂

All in all, the stormy, rainy day turned out pretty fun!

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