Hey ya’ll, and a big howdy from the road!
Did the rifles alarm you? Don’t worry… it’s just us Missouri folk.
Scott and I will be in the Missouri/Arkansas area for the next week visiting his family! Until yesterday, we hadn’t realized it had been three years since we had been home. Really? That’s nuts. Obviously, a visit was looong overdue!
Flash Floods + Cake Decorating
Our trips to Scott’s old stomping grounds are always filled with car rides around the Missouri/Arkansas state line to see everyone. The first stop on our list was at his dad and step-mom’s.
If there’s one thing I can expect anywhere around this neck of the woods (literally), it’s some good eats.
Breakfast started bright and early around 8 a.m. with homemade Belgium waffles with a strawberry compote syrup and blueberry muffins.
With my stomach issues in the back of my mind, I have eased my way into eating regular flour and gluten-filled foods… and so far so good. Sometime on vacation, it’s inevitable.
Scott’s dad and step-mom live next to very few neighbors in the middle of the woods. There are only two ways out of his “neighborhood” and both of them require crossing over low bridges.
With flash flooding alerts consuming our phones throughout the night, we were all curious as to what kind of shape the roads were in. Well, I’ll just let you take a peek.
Holy flood! As we pulled up to the one-way bridge, my jaw dropped at the sight in front of us. With a strong current, water poured over fields, halfway up to cars and trucks, and over the bridge. And hello there, Mr. Cow.
It all looked like a scene from a movie! Looks like we weren’t going to be going anywhere for a while.
After perusing the grounds, we turned around and headed back home for the day. At least it’s a peaceful one!
Kirk and Kay built their house in the middle of nowhere, and created the perfect serenity house. Every time we go, I expect a little bit of peace and quiet and no cell phone service.
This trip, we met the newest addition to the Hesington family, Belle!
She looks full size in this photo, but she is actually only a 5 month old pup. She’s incredibly sweet and super snuggly!
As soon as we walked into the house I hear “Who wants to go shooting?”
Oh, of course… shooting. Because how else are you going to practice your accuracy but to grab your own rifle from the collection and shoot at clay pigeons?
While the boys (and Scott’s niece, Evan – get it girl!) were occupied loading bullets, the girls stayed busy inside decorating cakes. Kay bakes cakes professionally (and for fun) on the side, and always has a few extra cakes saved on the side for Scott’s nieces to decorate when they come visit.
Since Evan was outside, I decided to stay inside and decorate a cake! Can you guess which one is mine?
The bee hive (adorable right?) is Alex’s, the strawberry “fruit cake” or “short cake” is mine, and the 5th grade graduation cake is Bella’s to celebrate her going into middle school.
Of course, Kay helped us with a lot of tips and tricks, but for the most part we all handled the details on our own. It was a great time!
Ready to get outside, we walked around the property for a bit before lunch.
Last time we were here there were only a few chickens. Now it’s Chickens Gone Wild!
Kirk started introducing us to them by name, and I was really impressed that he could even tell them apart. Say hello to Charlie!
(He was just as unsure about this interaction as I was.)
As we made our way to their bountiful garden, I may or may not have encouraged Scott to show me his best gymnastics move on the wooden beam. I can’t help it… the guy has great form!
With a big bowl of fresh vegetables in hand, I was excited to get inside and chop them up for a fresh salad as part of our lunch.
Without lettuce, I improvised and created a new twist to my usual monster salad. This one included fresh cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, celery, and squash tossed in a mango olive oil and an orange citrus vinaigrette dressing.
Everyone seemed to love it, and I am now on a mission to find similar specialty oils when we get back home.
After a few hours of hanging at home, we set out in the newly fixed up vintage Ford Bronco to see if any of the water levels had gone down from the flood.
It’s as if nothing had ever happened!
This was the same exact location I pictured above with the cow stranded in the middle of the road. Can you believe it? I guess that is why they call it “Flash Flooding.”
Other areas, like this creek, weren’t so back to normal.
We ran into a handful of neighbors who were concerned for others that got affected by the water. Crazy stuff, huh Charlie?
Another hour or so later, it was time to hit the road and head over to Springfield to visit Scott’s mom and step-dad.
Meatloaf + Jungle Speed
I don’t think I can ever get used to the windy, hilly roads of the mid-west down here. I have gotten a bit car sick while riding in the car on my previous trips home, so I knew what to expect this time around.
Lucky for me, I came prepared with something to help settle my motion sickness.
Since Scott grew up here, he is not afraid to zip through the roads. This can make for an interesting ride, and I swear I felt like I was right back riding roller coasters at Cedar Point at times. Feeling more nauseated than normal, I decided to lay down and sleep the rest of the trip over.
My plan was a success and we arrived at his mom’s right in time for dinner. After a few rounds of hugs, it was time to dig into a smorgasbord of good Southern eats!
She was awesome and made all of Scott’s favorites, including her famous meatloaf I have been hearing about for years! It was delicious, and as you can imagine, I left the table happy and full.
We spent the remainder of the evening catching up, telling stories, having handstand contests, and playing Jungle Speed.
Have you ever heard of this game?
It is a matching card game that reminds me of a mix between UNO and War that tests your reflexes and requires you to not only recognize when you win the round, but grab the totem first to confirm your victory.
After more than a few rounds, and at least a few claw marks (Scott), I can attest that the game in an intense one!
So much fun!
Today, we are all off to Branson and then plan to spend the weekend at a condo on the lake. I couldn’t be more excited for it.
See ya there, and a Happy Friday!