Monday, May 27, 2013

catching up: south dakota

i am SO behind on blogging.  since summer of 2013 is almost here
i thought i'd start with summer of 2012 and go from there .....

last july, our first 'big' road trip.
our first trip to south dakota --
(the state my mom was born and raised).

zoe and ella were VERY excited to go on a
road-trip and even more excited to road-trip
with grama dianne!!  they loved their hot-pink
rolling suitcases (road-trip gift from grama)
and couldn't wait to get going.

but of course a road-trip means a lot of photos.
so first, grama and the girls .....

me and the girls .....

.... and heading to the car!!

All strapped in and ready to go:

first stop, the world's largest ball of twine.  it took the guy
who made it 29 years to complete.  he never married.
(that part cracked us up).

grama dianne -- born and raised in south dakota,
driving to south dakota, referring to her map.
(that cracked me up).

how ella travelled most of the time, with a sweet
smile on her face.

goodbye minnesota, hello stinky border south dakota!!

it really was really stinky (we're thinking there was a hog farm
nearby) .....

how zoe travelled a bit of the time, sweet little sleeper.

first stop in de smet, the learning center in town:

zoe printing her name with her eyes closed, using similar
tools mary used when she first went blind.

ella and zoe's hotel hightlight #1:  a t.v in the room
where we slept!!

ella and zoe's motel highlight #2:  a pool just down the hall!!

ella and zoe's motel highlight #3:  an ice-cream machine!!
lowpoint (but funny), the 'out of order' sign taped to it.

ella and zoe's motel highlight #4:  a piano!!
lowpoing (but also funny), the 'out of order' sign taped to it.

ella with her hero:  photo taken before we left grama's house,
and there are many reasons grama is ella's hero (zoe's too) --
but the biggest reason happened during this trip.
ella choked on a piece of hard candy.  it got stuck in their throat
completely.  she couldn't talk or make any sort of noise.  it was
absolutely terrifying and i completely panicked (none of my
training on what to do during an emergency kicked in at all).
i tried to pat her back to get it out (which you're not supposed to do),
but the candy piece of stuck tight.  my mom performed the heimlich two
times before the candy shot out of her mouth.  she didn't lose consciousness
but was starting to go limp.  it was HORRIBLE and it's hard for me to even
think back about it.  so those two have an even more special bond now because
of that experience ......

breakfast in the motel, with zoe's 'boyfriend' sitting behind
us (another silly that made us laugh) ....

start of our tour at the laura ingalls homestead .....

ella driving the covered wagon to the school house....

..... and loving every minute of it!!

getting ready for school:

i was chosen to play laura and read a script that was
vivid in describing what she saw, so mary (who was now
blind) could 'see' with my words.  ella and zoe were so
excited i was laura!! : )

ringing the lunch bell:

i loved the sayings on these 100+ year old
school chairs -- "Try Again":

"Never Give Up":

zoe driving the wagon back to the homestead ....

.... and loving every minute of it (despite the VERY gassy horses)!

making corn dolls and rope .....

the outhouse : )

grama 'walking' the girls at their request ~


quick trip to madison, south dakota (where my grandparent's
lived and my mom grew up) ~

 And then on to souix falls to visit my uncle and auntie,
and the girls' "cousin" Sophie, who was a HUGE trip highlight
for so many fun reasons .....

(she's an adorable puppy that's soft, fluffy, sweet, likes to go for
walks and has an adorable wardrobe too .....)

meeting my great aunt max ....

posing with my uncle and auntie .....

what a trip!!!