st louis family vacation, day 3

This sign is right in front of my aunt and uncles house, and when I saw it I wondered if maybe my uncle had it put up before we arrived! So I had my kids make funny faces, to prove what we should all be cautious with these crazy children around.
Our next day in St. Louis was blissful. I spent the morning in the parkway with the girls picking purple flowers and listening to Elsie tell me the elaborate storyline of what we were pretending...and even though she was talking non-stop, I apparently wasn't actually listening because I don't remember any of it. At some point a mother has to think her own thoughts for a while...
Then Uncle Mark told the kids that he would give them a penny for every gumball they picked up and put in a bucket. These are really sharp seed things that take over their boulevard. My big kids were thrilled with this challenge and in no time had picked up 500 gumballs each. Uncle Mark was a bit taken aback, but he did pay up. And then said the challenge was over. Ha!

Also, does your family have your own special words for things? In our family, since the kids were little, anything sharp or pointy and round has been called a Bomby Knocker. This is so matter-of-fact around here I never really stopped to consider how funny it is that we call prickly things bomby knockers. But while the kids were excitedly telling Uncle Mark how many Bomby Knockers they had found I finally snapped out of it and asked, "where did that word come from?" And Ivar reminded me that when they were really little we read a book in the doctor's office waiting room about a giant who had a big weapon called a Bomby Knocker and that I had encouraged the use of this funny word.

So now I encourage you to use it too...
This day was magical. We went to The Jewel Box in Forest Park where the tulips were positively spectacular. I couldn't get enough. It was like my body was starving for color like this, and all of the sudden I got a feast.
After walking around The Jewel Box we drove over to The St Louis Zoo, also in Forest Park. Honestly, this whole trip we never left a two mile radius (oh, except Lulu's). Everything was so easy and convenient. And we LOVED the zoo. First, it was free, which was amazing. Second, the animals there were really exciting...I had never seen a hippopotamus up close, and we got to see them very, very up close.

We walked and walked all over the zoo and made a really special family memory. 

And then we came back home and Yang Yang and Nui Nui had brought pizza and salad for supper. Yang Yang is my Aunt Jane's nephew who has lived in St. Louis for the last 25 years...so he is very much my cousin, and my only one on that side of the family! His wife is out of the country for work, and his daughter Nui Nui is adored by my kids. She slept over this night and they passed notes back and forth via Uncle Mark bringing the notes up and down the stairs. I only heard about this in the morning...I was sound asleep.
And hilariously, this is the only picture from this day of Nui Nui. (There is one tomorrow!) Rory took this pic while they were praying over the food.
We had Family Worship with everyone that night in the room where Ivar and Elsie slept and as we prayed a huge thunderstorm came through and filled the room with booms and bangs. Then Rory played Hobby Farmer with the big kids and after this big day of bomby knockers, stunning tulips, rhinoceroses and pizza parties the little kids and I fell fast asleep. While the big kids passed notes back and forth...

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