Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pappy's BBQ

We have discovered the best BBQ in the world......
It's at Pappy's Smokehouse in St Louis.  I've had a lot of BBQ in my life.  I grew up in the south and I used to go to the Big Pig Jig every year.  I spent four years in North Carolina where we learned that BBQ can be vinegar based instead of tomato based.  The first time we tried it, we thought it was spoiled, but we gained an appreciation for vinegar based BBQ while we were there.

Don't be alarmed by the decor.

And don't be intimidated by the line.  When we arrived we were pleased to fine only one person waiting ahead of us in line.

Then we discovered that we were only at the head of the line waiting to get inside to get in line

The first time we ate there, we made it to the inside line in about five minutes.  The second time we ate there, we waited about thirty minutes to get to the inside line.  It just depends on how busy they are, but truly the lines moved fairly quickly.

When you make it inside, you are handed a menu to peruse while you wait in a line that snakes through the restaurant.  There are numerous signs advising you not to try to get a table until after you have placed your order.

Everything in you will itch to try to grab a table and park your stuff on it so that you can have a place to sit with your food.  

Don't do it.  Wait patiently.  They have a system.  

When you are getting close to the register to place your order there is a sign advising you that you should know what you want to order by now.  And you should, too.  You've not only been holding a menu, you've been staring at people's plates as their food is delivered.  Plus if you get up to the register and hem and haw and take up time still trying to make up your mind, you might get lynched.  All the folks in line behind you have been smelling the amazing BBQ smells and they've worked up an appetite.  Do not risk your life asking what the side orders are.  It was on the freaking menu.  Know before you get there.

After you order, they will find you a table.  I don't know if they ever have trouble seating people.  We've eaten there twice and we've been given a seat immediately after ordering and our food was delivered before Kerry even sat down.  

We went whole hog and ordered the Adam Bomb.

The Adam Bomb (named after Adam Richman of "Man vs. Food") consits of a full slab of ribs, a beef brisket sandwich, a pulled pork sandwich, 1/4 of a chicken, a frito pie, and four sides.  We chose sweet potato fries, pork-n-beans, potato salad and green beans.

On a previous visit we had also tried their fried corn on the cob which is fabulous, but we couldn't split it between the five of us.
Not only did we eat until we were stuffed, but we took home three carry out trays of left-overs.

Emily likes to make faces at the camera.  She's four.  
Fifteen!  I meant to say she's fifteen.  
Very fifteen.

We bought a bottle of their BBQ sauce because it was so glorious.  

Go try Pappy's.  You will not be disappointed.  We've been twice and we'll definitely go again!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Late Night or Early Morning?

Kerry gets up to exercise at 4:30 am several days a week.  I know, he's crazy.

He has a workout area set up in the basement, right next to Ben's bedroom.  This isn't generally an issue  because 1) Ben is usually at college during the week and Kerry doesn't get up as early on the weekends when Ben is home and 2) Ben is a rock solid sleeper and doesn't wake up before noon even if the fire alarm is going off, much less if someone is merely exercising nearby.

Now that Ben is in college and in charge of his own schedule he often stays up until 2:00 in the morning playing on his computer which in turn makes him sleep extra late the next day.  He tells me regularly that he is "technically an adult", a statement which makes me roll my eyes so far back in my head I can see the back of my skull some days.  Most adults don't stay up all night playing games and then sleep in until lunch, but whatever.  He makes good grades, hasn't formed a drug habit, doesn't drink or smoke and goes to church every Sunday.  The college years are pretty much the only time in his life he will have the luxury of late nights and late mornings, so I don't  harp at him.


One morning this week when Kerry went downstairs to work out, he found Ben lying in bed still playing on his computer.  He'd tried out a new game that his roommate was fond of and apparently was unable to let go of the mouse.

"Ben!  Have you been up all night??"

"Oh no, I just woke up, I haven't been up long," Ben responded.  At 4:30 in the morning.

Ben actually said that with a straight face.

That night during family game night, Kerry started teasing Ben about it.

"Oh yeah, Ben woke up at 4:30 in the morning and started playing a game on his computer."

"Ben did??  Ben???" The girls and I chorused.  We know the odds of Ben waking up early for anything less than an earthquake that splits the foundation of the house.

"I just happened to wake up at 5:00 and couldn't sleep so I decided to play a game."

"Ben, it was 4:30 in the morning," Kerry said.  Then he looked at me and mimed how Ben looked with his right hand on the mouse, barely able to hold his eyes open and looking blearily at me while swaying slightly. I started to snicker.

"Ben," I said grinning broadly, "You don't get out of bed until noon and then it's only after I've come down twice to tell you to get moving!  And you want us to believe that you woke up that early?"

"I don't see what the big deal is," Ben groused.  "I woke up early, so what??"

Kerry and I both started to laugh.  This was like catching your kid with chocolate all around his mouth while he steadfastly denies that he has had any candy.

"At 4:30 in the morning?  You, of all people??"

The more he denied it the funnier it got and every so often Kerry would mimic Ben trying to hold his eyes open and peer around the table at us until we were laughing so hard that Kerry and I were actually leaning on each other to hold each other up.

"Of course you just happened to wake up before dawn and decided to play a game on your computer!  Of course, you didn't stay up all night!"

Teens really think we just sit around and drool on ourselves, don't they?

Or I guess I should say "technical adults" think "actual adults" just drool, don't they?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Draw A Chore

We have a "chore jar" in our house.  It contains slips of paper on which are written lots of little oddball chores that don't get done on regular basis: scrub around the handles of all the faucets on all the sinks; clean every light switch, etc.  There are also some goofy ones:  give Daddy a head massage and tell him how much you appreciate him; get out of chore free but consider this a warning, etc.  When the kids forget to clean up after themselves and I have to tell them to do it, they have to pull a chore from the chore jar.

Emily has an amazing knack for pulling the slips that are goofy instead of pulling a slip with an actual chore.  This week, she pulled the slip of paper which had "write a song about cleaning the house and perform it for your family" on it.

Here is her contribution to the musical cleaning industry:

Monday, May 20, 2013


Miss Katie eyeballing a frog leg.

Miss Katie actually eating a frog leg!

That girl's got gumption!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Missouri Botanical Garden

We recently decided to go check out the Missouri Botanical Garden.  I wasn't sure the girls would enjoy it.  Looking at plants just doesn't hold the same appeal as going to ride roller coasters.  But Emily had been on a field trip to a botanical garden with her Biology classmates and had actually been pestering us to take her again.  So off we went!

One of the first things you see when you walk in is this amazing glass sculpture hanging thingy.  It is incredible.  The bottom portion is clear glass.  It gets bluer (more blue?) as it goes until the top is made completely of  deep blue glass.  It looks like a giant plant.  The clear part is the root under ground and the blue part is the flower.  At least that's what it looked like to me.

Close-up of the "roots"

Even closer close-up of the roots.

Even if you are not huge fan of plants, there are plenty of other things to see there.

Like these sculptures!

And even these cool glass sculptures.

Some of the sculptures declined to be kissed.

But other sculptures are up for a good game of patty cake.

This is a really nifty area inside a greenhouse.  It had some cool Moroccan style tiles and fountains as well as this roman style entrance.  I can't believe no one got more pictures of this!

I know that the girls took pictures of this area but I can't find them.  Katie and Emily each had a camera.  Katie took over 100 photos and Emily took almost 300!  I had to buy her a new SD card while we were there.  GG and Leonard were with us and I can't find one photo with them in it!

(eta:  I just found this photo showing some of the tiles and a fountain)
Oh wait, if you look back at the photo of Katie playing patty cake, you can see GG and Leonard in the background looking at a map.

But I do have a picture of this leaf.

And this knot hole.

And stuff.


More leaves




Bees making honey.

Girls who forget to take pictures of people.

And now for your viewing pleasure, here is but a small portion of the photos the girls took on this outing.  If I can remember how to make a slideshow, I'll upload a lot more and you can pretend you are at the garden with us!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Little Shop of Horrors!!

 Ben just finished up a production of "Little Shop of Horrors".  He played Mr Mushnik, the man who owns the flower shop.  This is one of my favorite musicals!  I made the kids watch it years ago because I think it's hilarious.  Emily and Katie both thought it was more horrifying than hilarious although now that Emily is older she finds it funny.  Katie plugged her ears through portions of the show.  She doesn't think a giant man-eating plant is amusing.

Warning:  While there are plenty of photos of the entire show, I am frankly mostly only sort-of probably interested in the ones that contain my personal child whom I produced after seventeen hours of labor.  I think there were other people in the play too, but I don't know any of them, so the following pics are mostly just because Ben is in them:

 And....having said that - here's one without Ben in it.

 Mr Mushnik and Seymour
The guy who played Seymour was very good.
But Ben was awesome.
I'm not biased or anything.

 Presenting Audrey II - a strange and interesting plant.

 The ladder was quite talented and convincing in its role.
I really believed it was a ladder, you know?

 The guy who played the dentist was exceptionally talented. 
Ben isn't even in this photo but I'm posting this here anyway,
 that's how good he was.


 A nefarious plan develops

Singing his adorable little heart out

Dancing his adorable little heart out

I like to think he was waving at me in the audience right here.

 Discovering a dastardly deed

 WHAT?!?!  You mean the plant opens up???

 WHAT?!?!?  You mean you hid money inside the plant that opens up and clearly has teeth but I'm not going to notice that because clearly it's not dangerous!


There comes a moment in every mother's life when she should watch her child get eaten by a giant carnivorous herb.   There's something deeply gratifying about the experience.

 Seventeen hours of labor.

 Full cast
That guy in the suit was really good!