March Madness Kick-Off

My sister L and her family came up to kick off March Madness. It’s about a four hour hike from where they live and because Mizzou was playing on Friday afternoon, I left my key under the mat so they could come in as they please. Little did they know, they’d have to watch the game on a 19″ computer screen (thank you!) Papa J said that he placed his son W in front of the screen and then made W yell out what was going on. Apparently the screen was not big enough.

When we arrived home after work, it took zero minutes for J & R to make a beer run and then set up a mini ESPN-Zone. Three computers going, with different games on at once.

While this was taking place, we set up a TV that J brought and introduced our nieces and nephew to an oldie but goodie. Super Mario Bros 3. That’s right. Old school.
The next day, we took the little trio to a local state park (Devil’s Den State Park). We zig-zagged down the side of an Ozark mountain to reach the park, which gave us ample opportunities to find purple and white trees. At one point, we looked out the window and the side of the mountain went straight down. E politely asked R to not tumble the car down. She had read my mind apparently, but asked it in a much sweeter voice than I would. A park ranger was hosting a “Sensory Game”. Afterwards, there was a supposed to be a guided hike to the caves, but the weather had taken a turn for the worse and was sooooo cold. None of the kids complained though. I think I did though.
During the game, R paired up with W and I joined E. It involved sticking your hands into various pillow cases to feel items and listening to animal sounds. You had to guess what each thing/sound was. Oh yeah, you also had to smell something too. This was #8. I handed it over to E to guess what it was (vanilla essence). She looked me dead in the eye and said, “It’s permanent marker”. I laughed pretty hard and of course had to tell everyone around me.
Here’s me getting a kick out of E. She’s seriously witty. It’s scary. There’s W in the background sticking his hand into a pillowcase. They got almost everyone right (nerds alert!). E & I were the comedy relief.
Afterwards, we huddled up and ate a quick lunch outside. Watched K chase a duck around and made a pit stop at the waterfall to take family pictures. I forced them to sign a contract in blood stating they would come back when the weather was nicer and camp out with us. This park is so neat.

On the way home, we kidnapped W into our car and spent the ride back picking out chocolate morsels from the trail mix while gazing out the window. Well, some of us ate the trail mix. E konked out….
So W ate her share.
We divided the evening up between watching basketball and watching cookies bake.
The next morning, K and I were trying to enjoy our daily cup o’ joe, when we heard a dance party going on inside.

I think E won. All in all, a very fun weekend. Even though the weather was cold, the guys got a game of golf in and the girls (and W) watched Pee-Wee Herman’s Big Adventure. Neither L nor I had seen that movie in the longest time and laughed so hard during it. Too good!

Don’t forget about our camping trip guys. I will use force to bring you back down!

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