Sibling Day 2014

For 2014, we headed to the capital of our state, Jefferson City, MO. We decided to wear one of our previously made Sibling Day t-shirts. I mean, really, we wear them once a year. How many Sibling Day t-shirts can one person have?

Of course, the first thing we did was tour the capital and view all the artifacts on display. The building is just gorgeous, as are all old buildings that are built with such character and detail. I'm always amazed how much I learn--things that I think I should have learned in school, but... what can I say?

We then did our usual shopping at the local stores, had a bite to eat at a local sandwich shop. We wanted to tour the old prison, however, time didn't allow as the next tour was in the evening. But I heard it was worth seeing, if you're into that kind of thing.

Naturally, a Sibling Day is not complete without ice cream involved, and Jefferson City has a great ice cream place so we were all over that!

Where We've Been on Sibling Day

When we started this blog, I think we began in 2009 or, well, I don't know exactly.  I'm going to post what we all can remember from our past 20 years of Sibling Days. We may need to make some corrections along the way. I'm also not sure when we started taking pictures, but... that too may get updated as we come across any photos. Sibling Day began, if we haven't shared this yet, was when Suzanne, the oldest, invited the rest of us to a St. Louis Cardinals ballgame. We all had so much fun together--just the four of us--that we declared once a year, every year, we would get together making this our office Sibling Day. If there is something that sparks our memory at any of these events, we'll log them in a separate blog post.

1.  1995 Ballgame
2.  1996 – Alton, IL antiquing
3.  1997 – Washington, MO or Kirkwood, MO ???
4.  September 17, 1998 - Museum of Transport
5.  September 17, 1999 - Train to Springfield, IL
6.  March 31, 2000 - Cahokia Mounds
7.  Friday, August 17, 2001 - Pontoon Boat
8.  July 28, 2002 - Quincy
9.  June 30, 2003 - Forest Park
10. Friday, July 23, 2004 - Old Town Florissant
11. Thursday, August 18, 2005 - Missouri State Fair in Sedalia
12. Thursday, August 17, 2006 - Ballgame, Old Courthouse
13. Saturday, November 10, 2007 - Hannibal
14. Saturday, August 23, 2008 - Main Street St. Charles (My 60th surprise bday party)
15. Friday, August 11, 2009 - Nauvoo and Keokuk
16. Saturday, August 6, 2010 - Clarksville
17. Saturday, July 16, 2001 - Visit George & Rosemary; Eureka/Pacific
18. Saturday, September 29, 2012 - Shelbina, Benjamin House
19. Saturday, August 10, 2013 – Hermann
20. 2014 – Jefferson City, MO

Sibling Day 2013

From left to right:
Suzanne, Warren, Lynn, Ruth

Due to flooding, we weren't sure if the four of us siblings were going to be able to go to our destination on Saturday, August 10, 2013 to Hermann, MO. We had a back-up plan, but found out the town was not underwater, so away we went.

Once we arrived, Warren presented us with Tshirts for this event, like the Dr. Seuss Thing One, Thing Two - well, we added Thing Three and Thing Four.

We toured the town, had lunch of German sausage. We ventured to a wine garden to take in the view.

As always, we had a good time, had ice cream and then Warren had to head back home early so that his family could celebrate his birthday with him! And since I'm writing this almost two years later, the details are a bit foggy.

Sibling Day 2012

Sibling Day 2012 brought us first to the Benjamin House. And you can get a look at the Shelbina Mansion and have a better understanding as to what we were doing.

Our brother, Warren has been doing some work on the mansion for the current owner, Mike. We were lucky enough to get a personal tour from Mike and his wife. They have taken on quite a project, but they absolutely love it. And as you'll see, working hard on it and doing a great job.

Here's my photo of the front of the house:

When you view the website and learn some interesting facts about the house, you'll find out that it had running water, during a time when houses didn't have this luxury. I loved the faucet, which is one of the original faucets from that period.

The faucet was not directly under the basin - it was turned to the right, just like you see it. Apparently, if I remember Mike correctly, you turned the faucet part to the basin and that's when the water would run out - gravity pull.

I noticed a similar photo on the website of the same thing I found interesting - the latch on the window.

Mike spent a lot of time showing us everything from the top look out area to the basement. I found it all fascinating. One of my favorite areas was the attic. I have a picture, but I'm not sure if I should show it as I don't see it on their website and I'm wondering if Mike is keeping it a surprise. It was so cool. Sorry to tease you about it. A perfect place for anyone creative.... oh the possibilities were endless that were going through my mind.

After we finished the tour, we headed to Macon to have lunch at AJ's. Warren said some tourist place recommended it. It was okay. I probably would have liked it a lot more if I hadn't bit down on something hard (but tiny) in my salad which immediately gave me a headache - not to mention a toothache for the rest of the day.

What we always manage doing during our Sibling Day is hitting an antique store or some flea market or some kind of eye catching place that will take our money. And in Macon, there was an antique mall. I spotted a huge 8 gallon crock that I thought was super-dooper cheap and couldn't pass up. Not after all the crock shopping I did after watching Julie and Julia. You know Ms. Childs' has many crocks that hold her kitchen utensils. This one is way too big for utensils. I'm not sure what we are going to do with it. We all managed to walk away with a few items.

After the antiquing fun, and another thing we try to fit in during our Sibling Day is having a treat - namely ice cream. Can you believe that there wasn't an ice cream joint to be found unless we wanted to travel a good 30 miles. We resorted to McDonald's and their McFlurry's - or at least that's what I think they're called. None of us are particular especially if that's the only ice cream around.

We then managed to find one more spot to check out, although it closed 15 minutes after we stepped in. Everything shuts down in these little towns by 6:00, even on Saturday night. We headed back to Warren's. Some cats on their property had kittens. Two litters.  

Now tell me these aren't the most adorable things ever? I guess I went a little crazy taking pictures.

Not sure if any of these grown cats are the parents of the litters, but... they were pretty cute looking too. Although I wouldn't give them Parent of the Year Award. They totally ignored these crying, hungry babies. I'm pretty sure they wanted to get the heck out of Dodge!

We sisters left Warren's and traveled the two and half hours to get back home, making one stop of course.

Oh, on the way up there, my nephew, Josh would have been so proud hearing his Aunt Lynn belt out a few songs along with Adelle (I don't know this artist, if I have her name spelled correctly or not). I changed the words of course, but we won't mention my lyrics... but I believe I got a chuckle or two out of my two di-di's. (Di-di is another word for sister... created by my two daugthers.)

I'm not sure if I have forgotten anything, but there you are... Sibling Day 2012.

Sibling Day 2011 - Pacific and Eureka

If you've followed this blog at all, you'll know it's about us siblings. Every year the four of us get together and spend the day hanging out somewhere. Just the four of us.

Here we are this year with our Uncle George (our Dad's younger brother). He's the only male left of the nine siblings in his family. Our Aunt Lee is the only sister still alive.

My brother Warren planned this sibling day, well, sort of. He wanted to visit Uncle George and we made that our first stop. Much to our surprise Aunt Rosemary prepared lunch for us. Aunt Rosemary and our cousin Barb were baking cookies for a wedding next weekend. Uncle George's oldest daughter Deb's daughter is getting married. Are you confused yet? Uncle George had six children (Deb, Barb, Renee, Steve, Michael and Sandy) with his first wife. He's been with Aunt Rosemary (his second wife) for the past 30+ years. There, that might make things less confusing.

We had a delicious lunch of chicken wings, pasta salad, chips and dip. And a special treat... we were allowed to taste the cookies for the wedding. We left their beautiful home stuffed like the four little pigs, but not before a few pictures were taken--and Uncle George showing us his favorite toy. A laughing/rolling alligator. He said if you're ever kind of in the dumps, this alligator will get you out of it. You couldn't help but laugh. If I ever see one to buy, I'm nabbing it. I thought it was a riot.

Normally we have a sibling day pretty much planned. We're loose with how we go about our day, but there's some sort of agenda... unless you leave it to the brother to plan. But it doesn't take much to entertain us, so we went into downtown Eureka to browse through antique stores. Except that downtown Eureka doesn't have any antique stores any more, just in case you're wondering. We did find a few places in the Eureka area that we browsed around in. We all like to find some kind of souvenir to remember the day.

I don't know about my siblings, but I can't remember which souvenirs are from which year much less if the item is from sibling day, but it's still fun. We wait until we find something that jumps out at us. Just the thing that calls us to take it home. I purchased an old fountain pen. Suzanne found a shoe-shaped initialed luggage tag (she loves shoes, and you can see the post about the sibling day where we ended up surprising her for her 60th birthday--all around a shoe theme). Ruth found a Santa. I forgot what this particular one is called where there is one Santa (or whatever the figure is) inside the other that is smaller and you open it and then there is a smaller one yet. But instead of a smaller Santa, inside were a bunch of tiny elves. Ruth collects Santa's. Warren found a hat. You can see him sporting it in the picture below.

All in all, even with the hot weather, we all had a cool day.

And here we are at the end of the day. Oh yeah, did I tell you that we now wear matching shirts? Those numbers are our birth order.

Ruth's Birthday Dinner

Not only do we have an annual sibling day, but also we three sisters (since brother is out of town) take turns cooking a dinner for each other for our birthdays. I cooked Friday and we celebrated Ruth’s birthday (which was August 9). This was the first Friday (these dinners usually take place on a Friday evening) that worked with all of our schedules (mainly Suzanne’s).

I made Ruth narrow down the category in which I’d plan the menu: chicken, beef, fish, pasta, soup. She chose soup and salad. Needless to say, there’s always a dessert and she narrowed that down in the chocolate category.

I pulled out Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Julia Childs) and Celebrate with Paula Deen.

The salad was my own—just chopped up teeny tiny—everything: romaine lettuce, celery, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, tomato and green onions. Choice of dressing was Champagne Pear Vinaigrette or Cranberry & Walnut with Gorgonzola. I made two soups the day before: Garlic Soup (Childs) and Shrimp & Lobster Bisque (Deen) – the bisque won out for dinner. The Molten Lava Cakes (Deen) sounded chocolately enough and topped with homemade vanilla ice cream, how could I go wrong? The cakes didn’t molt like I wanted as I think I needed a deeper custard cup, but all in all it was pretty yummy.

Since Ruth is the expert bread maker, and one's bread doesn't compare, and I was short on time, I bought a loaf of French baguette from Bread Co.

Suzanne had a gift for both of us—a journal full of love. I picked out some “fortunes” from my craft stuff and wrapped them up without looking at them so we had a fortune after our meal. Seemed like they were appropriate for each of us. I can only remember parts of Suzanne’s—Master retreating… and Ruth’s—Go for it. Mine: “However long the night, the dawn will break.” and (they’re two sided): “If you fail to practice your art, it will soon disappear.” Both nice reminders of what’s happening with me now. I will glue my fortune in my journal of love.

We finished off the evening getting in the hot tub yacking about whatever came to mind. I’m glad we do birthday dinners. It’s nice in so many ways.

Sibling Day 2010 – Clarksville, MO and Warren’s 60th Surprise Birthday Party

Here we are after lunch with our cute stick figure sibling day shirts made by Susan Martin.

It’s too bad we didn’t start this blog 16 years ago when our 1st annual Sibling Day began—we decided it was 1995 when Suzanne invited us all to the St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball game. We had so much fun we declared to do something once a year, just the four of us and we haven’t missed a year since.

This year we planned to meet in Clarksville. My siblings remembered going as kids, taking a ride on the famous skylift that overlooks the Mississippi River. I have no recollection and maybe I was mad not being allowed to ride the skylift—only Sue and Warren rode it while Ruth and I stayed with our mom and dad who were afraid of heights. I didn’t get to ride the skylift this year either as it was closed for renovations.

After we picked up Warren from Palmyra (a 2 ½ hour drive from St. Louis where us sisters live) we headed to Clarksville. We all thought Clarksville was a little closer to Warren, but turns out after the detour we spent close to another 2 hours on the road. Since it was close enough to lunch and we were all starving, we ate as soon as we arrived. It worked out perfect since we didn’t want to eat late knowing we had to get Warren home for his surprise party that would entail lasagna, cake and ice cream.

I had to pretend that I needed to be home early and cut our day short. It felt like we just got to Clarksville when we had to turn around and drive back to Warren’s, but we managed to walk the downtown area visiting the local artists. There was a Native American drum painter, a creator of wood, leather turned purse and belt creations (one of which called my name), and the Windsor Chair shop made with hand tools. We saw glass, pottery and antique stores and had to check out the Cool Beans coffeehouse. Despite the short time we had fun.

The Windsor chair maker Warren lives at the end of a dirt road. When we pulled up I didn’t see any cars. I wondered whether anyone showed up for the party not imagining where his wife (Michelle) would have hid all the vehicles. We climbed out of the car and stood on the porch while Warren talked with his boys. Michelle went inside and then told Warren to come in so she could take pictures with his sisters before we left. He finally walked in and we followed, but there weren’t any people. I wondered whether I should say surprise when finally everyone crept out of the bedrooms and shouted surprise. Needless to say Warren was surprised as was I—and relieved that there were more to the party than his three sisters.

We all ate, sang Happy Birthday and had cake and ice cream. Like Suzanne’s surprise birthday party, this one we won’t forget either.

Here we are acting goofy - okay some of us anyway...
Speaking of forgetting, when we had lunch we tried to remember all the years and what we did on Sibling Day and to the best of all of our recollections, here’s what we came up with:

1) 1995 – Baseball game at the old stadium
2) 1996 – Alton, IL
3) 1997 – Camping at Black River
4) 1998 – Kirkwood, MO
5) 1999 – Pontoon boat ride on Mark Twain Lake
6) 2000 – Cahokia Mounds in IL
7) 2001 – Train ride to Springfield, MO
8) 2002 – Quincy, IL
9) 2003 – Forest Park
10) 2004 – Sedalia, MO State Fair
11) 2005 – Florissant, MO
12) 2006 – Baseball game at new stadium
13) 2007 – Hannibal, MO
14) 2008 – St. Charles, MO and Sue’s 60th Surprise Birthday
15) 2009 – Navoo, IL
16) 2010 – Clarksville, MO and Warren’s 60th Surprise Birthday