Category Archives: Uncategorized

Annual stats

Today the kids had their annual physicals and here are their stats:

Raine (age 11 years 9 months)
Height: 5’5″ (98%-ile) — that’s 4″ taller than last year!!!
Weight: 96 lbs (63%-ile)

Carter (age 10 in 2 weeks)
Height: 4’10” (91%-ile)
Weight: 62.13 lbs (23%-ile)

Both kids are long and lean and completely healthy!

Table Rock Lake – day 6

Thursday was our last full day in Missouri. Daddy and Carter went mountain biking one last time on the only trail they hadn’t biked yet (although they took a wrong turn so they weren’t able to do the full loop).

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Raine and I hiked the loop with Tucker.

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That afternoon we went swimming and started to pack so that we could leave the next morning.

Table Rock Lake – day 5

Carter had so much fun mountain biking on Tuesday that he wanted to go again on Wednesday. He and Daddy biked two connecting loops while Raine, Tucker, and I hiked the first loop.

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Mountain biking videos, day 1 and 2:

That afternoon we rented a tritoon boat and tubed the lake. The boat was awesome. It would fly over the water at 30mph without any bounce.

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That yellow sign in the background marks the Missouri/Arkansas state line.
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We swung by the condo and picked up Tucker, although I wouldn’t let him get in the water because I didn’t want to have a wet dog in the truck.
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We found a quite finger of the lake to stop for dinner and a swim.
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Daddy out on the tube… try as I might, I couldn’t flip ’em.
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Some videos from our afternoon of boating.

Table Rock Lake – day 4

Tuesday we started the day with a little mountain biking. Raine “hates” biking, so she offered to stay at the condo with Tucker while Daddy, Carter, and I set off to the state park to ride the trails.

Being the newbs that we are, we didn’t realize that each trail had a different difficulty level… or that we just happened to select the most difficult trail!!! Luckily, there was a cut-through in the middle so we only had to do half of the loop.

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Carter’s goal for our trip was to find a salamander, so he stopped to check every creek we crossed.
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All he found was this little crayfish.
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After making it out of the expert course, we headed over to an easier loop that promised a waterfall… I think this was it.
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All that biking was exhausting! Somebody needed a snack.
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He was a lot better when he finished than when he started!
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That afternoon we swam in the lake again.
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Sunset over the lake.
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Table Rock Lake – day 3

Monday we decided to explore Branson. Raine was dying to check out the local thrift shops so we stopped there first. Then we walked down to the river and along the banks.

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When we reached Main Street, we stop for a snow cone and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

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We drove the main highway through Branson, past all of the theaters and tourist attractions, and stopped at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

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The car museum was next door.

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As we looped back to the lake, we crossed the dam and stopped at the visitor center to take a photo… for obvious reasons.

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Back at the resort, we swam at the indoor pool (since it was warmer than the outdoor pool).

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We used one of the charcoal grills to cook brats and hamburgers for dinner. Then we roasted marshmallows to make s’mores for dessert.

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Here’s a view of the lake from the top of our building.
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Table Rock Lake – day 1

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Friday, June 19 we loaded up our rented pick-up truck and drove 7 hours to the Westgate Branson Lakes Resort on Table Rock Lake, just outside Branson, Missouri. Grandma and Grandpa Anderson had a “bonus week” through their timeshare that we used to rent our condo for next to nothing.

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Saturday we walked around Emerald Point and picked up some milk and eggs for breakfast from the marina store. The remainder of the day we spent kayaking and swimming in the lake. The water level was about 15 feet above normal and came up into the trees in front of the condo so we went down to the marina where the trees had been cleared.

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We thought Tucker hated water, so we were shocked when he headed straight into the lake and plopped down. He swam non-stop.
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By the time we got back to the condo, he was exhausted. Fortunately, we had a screened patio where he could dry off and nap.
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Raine and Carter vegged at the condo while Daddy and I ran to the local grocery store to pick up food for the week so that we could socially distance as much as possible on our vacation. We were glad that we did when we heard about a COVID-19 breakout at a restaurant in Branson!

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Germany – day 13

Jake’s family flew home on the 7th. We spent the day packing our bags and revisiting our favorite local spots.

The zipline… of course.
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Even Daddy got in on the action… barely skimming over the woodchips.
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That evening we walked around the giant cemetery across the street and then we walked down the street to see the home where Anne Frank was born.
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The next morning we headed to the airport and traveled home.

Germany – day 11-12

Sunday, January 5, we walked next door to attend church with the international (English speaking) ward. The church is near embassy row, where there is a large American embassy compound among those from other countries, so there were a lot of foreigners attending that ward.

We spent the morning, before church, at the zipline.
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You can hear the church bells ringing in this video of Raine on the zipline.

Monday, January 6, we went to downtown Frankfurt again. Raine and I rode the ubahn down earlier than everyone else so that Raine could get in some thrift-store shopping before we left. After that, we walked over to the Städel Museum, where we met everyone else, to see the Van Gogh exhibit.

Self portrait 1887
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There were so many beautiful paintings, ones you see in all of the art books, it was hard to decide which ones to take photos of.
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Not everyone appreciated seeing some of the most famous paintings in the world.
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We hurried through parts of the other exhibits because the kids were hungry, and bored. It would have taken a week to see all of it; every time you turned a corner there was another famous painting, like this Renoir.
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We walked across the Main River to the Zeil where we had lunch and did a little more shopping.
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Germany – day 10

On January 4, we stayed local and visited Römerkastell Saalburg und Archäologischer Park, a reconstructed Roman fort that was initially built in the first century AD, also part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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The archaeological park out front had extensively-excavated ruins from the original village outside the fort. The system for heating the floors in the bath was fascinating and far more advanced technologically than what I think of during that time period. I was also surprised by all the glass windowpanes and tools in the museum.
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I didn’t take many photos inside because there were simply too many really fascinating, ancient artifacts to decide which to photograph. This was a chest of ancient coins in the basement of one of the buildings.
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Raine wanted me to take photos of her on the grounds.
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After leaving the fort, we drove to the Frankfurt Temple.
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The visitor’s center was just about to close when we arrived, so we didn’t stay long.
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