A few tidbits from our first ever “Girl’s Week!”

Well, I’d have to say our first ever Girl’s Week was a huge success! I’m judging that on how much fun we had and how late we stayed up and how many places we went to! Yep, I’d say it was hugely successful! My younger sister, Deb, and her hubby, Mike, were very gracious in letting me, my older sister, and my mom come in and stay for a whole week!
Cindy and I bunked out in the basement in the full size bed… for the first night! Then I moved to a mattress on the floor. We laughed and giggled and chatted each night like we used to when we slept in the same bed when we were younger…much younger! We looked at our favorite blogs on our ipads each night before we got into bed and shared ideas about our homes and what projects we were working on and hoped to work on next.

Mike makes the most wonderful homemade bread and we had toast each morning to get our day started! Can I hear a YUMMMMM? He is also a very talented artist and an Art Professor. One day when we were out galavanting around town, Mike did an oil painting of a wooded area with a wheelbarrow in the middle. The picture of him and the painting is nice, but the close up is a bit blurry…sorry!

[If you click on any picture, it will enlarge.]



Just about every picture hanging on the walls in their house has been done by Mike…he’s excellent at watercolors…He did this next painting while in Venice, Italy a few months ago. He took his art class and spent 2 or 3 weeks there!


I should have tried a little harder to get my pictures centered, but I was using my phone so they’re not so hot…




Deb and Mike experienced Empty Nest Syndrome in the last couple of years, so they each have a favorite kitty… Wink and Lucy! They are characters and provided the entertainment a few evenings for us. It’s amazing how much fun 2 cats can have with a paper bag…its’ also amazing how exhausting it can be…


Here’s a sweet picture of Deb with Wink…her kitty!


My brother and his family drove 6+ hours to come for the weekend and then we REALLY had a full house but lots of laughter and goings on… (that’s a word isn’t it?) He has a 17 year old daughter, twin boys and Bobby T, whom you all saw in the wedding pictures…My brother is an engineer and I’m pretty certain Bobby T (and his brothers) might be following in their daddy’s footsteps…talk about smart!



Deb’s house was pretty full…


On Saturday, the ladies in the group; me, my mom, Deb, Cindy, Jennifer (my sister in law) and Libby (her daughter), went to Branson, MO, to see “The Dixie Stampede,” a dinner attraction owned by Dolly Parton, with a show and a meal, and I have to tell you we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The performance is essentially a modern-day Wild West revue, pitting sections of the audience against each other in a good-natured way as “the South” and “the North” battle to win various horse riding competitions. It was put on in an arena like setting with a dirt floor, and the seating was all around it. There were horses and longhorn cattle and wagons and pigs and buffalo and chickens and lights and girls in ball gowns, and it just went on and on for about 2 hours. We laughed and cheered and cried. Dolly Parton doesn’t appear herself, but she sings a song called “Color Me America” for the finale, shown on a huge screen, and it left us all not knowing whether to stand and cheer or put our hand over our heart, or cry or pray… it was quite an anointed song!

The meal, which is made fresh, on location for each show, consisted of a whole rotisserie chicken (yes, we each got a whole chicken!), a slice of hickory smoked barbecue pork loin, creamy vegetable soup, a homemade biscuit, corn on the cob, a slice of an herb baked potato, an iced apple turnover, and lemonade, tea or coffee. You can get a vegetarian option that’s identical, except the meats are replaced with ‘Country Garden Hillbilly Pasta’. The fun part of the meal is it’s served without dining utensils. You use your fingers and somehow it just tastes better… at least I thought it did!

My pictures aren’t the greatest because it was dark in the arena, but maybe you can get an idea…

Here’s our little “Girl’s Week” row…

IMG_20151017_145422_581 (1)


Along the side of the Arena, they have all the horses in stalls, so you can read about them… this was Nico. He was the beautiful horse that the emcee road on as he told the story…






I thought I had used up all my pictures of the Saturday excursion, but I found two more of Deb and me and one of Cindy and Deb outside the Dixie Stampede building. We smiled like that all week long… even early in the morning…while we ate our toast…and planned our day!

jeanne and deb at dixie stampede


I’ll have to finish my week with another post, probably tomorrow… I hope you’ve enjoyed reliving my week with me…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Wow, Jeanne, this was quite the blog! I sat here for quite awhile and had a whole cup of coffee just absorbing the whole trip!! It certainly did look like a lot of fun! You have the nicest family, and your mother should be proud of the “kids” she raised!

    Your brother-in-law is an amazing artist! I take it that he works at Mo. State, or Drury?
    I can’t believe he painted that picture of the woods and wheelbarrow in one day! I love his watercolors, especially the one with the pink flowers!

    Yep, cats and bags! Wow, those kitties are BIG! I’m a cat person too, and miss my Sophie
    a LOT!

    The Dixie Stampede looks so fun! Did you ever go on the Branson Belle? The set-up is similar, with a meal and a show also, but you’re on a boat for a cruise. You should try that sometime, and I should try the Dixie Stampede!

    Looks like your brother is the musical one in the family! He was surrounded with all those pretty girls?? Lucky him!

    Just wondering, are any of your sisters interested in dolls like you are, or is it just you?

    • HI Linda,
      Thanks so much for your sweet comments about everything I wrote in today’s post. It was a very packed week and there is no way I could tell all the things that we did, so I just hit the highlights. Yes, Linda, I would have to agree with you, I DO have the nicest family… I could not pick better sisters and sister and brother in laws and my brother is top notch!!! We always have a great time together.
      Mike is a professor at Evangel College and is extremely talented. He actually painted that picture in just a few hours… amazing isn’t he?
      We laughed and laughed at the shenanigans of the kitties… Wink sits up on his back haunches like a prairie dog and it’s so funny to see him do it.

      My niece, Molly, just got a new job at the Branson Belle…she’s their social media person and is loving it.

      My brother plays the guitar and my sister Deb plays the piano VERY well, so we can be musical if we like!

      None of my sisters are into dolls, just me… but they like what I do, and Cindy is always sending me things for them… She keeps an eye out for things I can use. In fact, today she sent me pictures of 2 wigs she found out shopping… they’ll fit the AG dolls…so I had her get my favorite one and I’ll see what I can do with it.
      Thanks so much Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Jeannie Brandon says:

    Where to start ????
    I have my coffee at hand. I am sitting in my “sittin’ chair” and watching the two cats eat their new flaked tuna delight. I did not expect to be so entertained on this early and wet Saturday morning. WOW WEEEE !!!! All week long I thought about what fun you must be having being away from home and on a jam packed week with the females of the family. How incredibly blessed you all are to gather with happiness and friendship and surrounded with love and acceptance to boot. I am delighted to hear that your dear mother was invited and able to participate in all the fun. That in itself is a gift you all have given her. I can’t imagine any that would surpass this. You all are an amazing family.
    The pictures are terrific even if taken with your phone. Good to put faces with the names. I am also so happy to see that your brother was able to join in on the fun and spend time with this sisters {as adults| though I’d make a bet that some child-like behavior occurred!
    The trip to Branson had to be super fun. I love that little city. Everything about it is delightful and interesting. Hope to get back there soon !

    • HI Jeannie,
      I’m glad to get your Saturday off to a great start! Well, if you wondered if we were having a good time all week, I hope my post, answered that for you. We had the BEST time! It was a long enough visit that we weren’t thinking about going home almost as soon as we arrived at Deb’s house. That part was nice.
      I know my mom had a wonderful time too. She likes to be in the thick of things…it doesn’t matter what we are doing…
      We were happy to all be together with Bob and his family too. He is so much fun to be around….his wife, Jennifer, is just like one of our sisters too!
      Thanks Jeannie,
      blessings, Jeanne

  3. Jeanne you are so blessed with a wonderful life and family. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • Hi Marsha,
      Thanks so much for your comments and yes, I really am blessed with a wonderful family. I wish everyone had what we have!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. OH MY! First, I was in tears looking at Mike’s forest painting. Not only did it look like a real photo but it looked like a place I had been to many times as a child. The sun streaming through the trees…wow!! Mike’s forest painting reminds me of Ken Marshall’s painting if Mike knows who he is. Absolutely sensational talent Mike!! And his watercolors!! Oh my, just beautiful. I tend to love the watercolors.
    Jeanne, I am so glad you girls had so much fun. What a wonderful family and I am sure your momma is very proud of all her children. I can just hear you and your sister giggling downstairs at night! It reminds me of several of my sisters- nieces overnight get-togethers. You would have thought we were giggling teenagers. Age didn’t matter!
    Being with family gives one so much encouragement of being loved and centered.
    Loved the kitties too. So comical.
    And lastly, Jeanne, loved the picture of you, dear heart. You are just a doll!!
    Have a great day!!

    • HI Paula,
      Thanks so much for your compliments on Mike’s paintings… He REALLY is a great artist and these few pictures are only a very small sample of his talent. While we were in Springfield, we got to go to the Faculty Art show where he was one of the featured artists. It was neat to see his work all on display. I like his water colors too… I wish my camera had captured the way they really look in person… they are incredible.

      It was a long over due time together with each other…and I’m hoping it’s not the last time we do this. We got up each morning and made a list of what we could do that day. We always had things left over on our list at the end of the day… just too many things to do and see… oh well…

      Thanks so much for your kind comments Paula,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Wow, Jeanne, you certainly did have an exciting week and are so blessed to have a wonderful family. Your brother-in-love is a very talented artist. I really love the woodland painting.
    Yes, kitties are a blast. They can have more fun with a ball of paper or a straw than you can imagine.
    Branson, MO is a place we want to go. My daughter grew up watching Lawrence Welk reruns because I remember when I was a child watching it with my grandparents every Saturday night. We also would like to see on the Laura Ingalls sites around there as well. We had planned a trip but, then decided to go to Prince Edward Island, Canada to see the L.M Mongomery and Anne of Green Gables sites because something was going on in St. Louis that made driving through there unsafe right then.
    I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of you and your family. You all look so happy together.

    • Thanks so much Laura, for your sweet comments on my family and our week together. Everyone should try and plan a week like this…it was a memory maker for sure!

      I hope you’ll get the chance to go to Branson sometime. There is so much to do and see there… I’m glad we did it! We had the Laura Ingalls house on a list at one time, but didn’t make it there…
      Thanks so much for taking time to read my adventures…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. I was looking at the Mason jars in the before picture at the Dixie and thinking, how would I drink from that? Then saw the later photo of the straws! Perfect. Hope they gave you lots of napkins with no utensils :).
    Glad you and lovely family had such a nice get together. Mike’s watercolors are amazing.

    • HI Joy,
      They thought of everything with the meal…we got hot little cloths passed out to us after the meal was served. It was really fun to eat this way… and since everyone was eating with their fingers too, nobody felt silly doing it.
      Thanks for your kind comments…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. As I read your description of the meal and no tableware, I wondered about eating the creamy soup. I guess you drank it from the bowl. Great post with a warm feeling spread outward from your family time together.

    • HI Jan,
      You were right…the soup was served in a soup bowl with a handle so you just tipped it up. It was very fun to eat this way… in between all the laughing…
      The whole week gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling… glad it rubbed off on you too…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Oh wow, thanks so much for sharing your trip with us! Looks like it was lots of fun. The dinner show sounds really good too–well, except for the part about eating without utensils. I ‘m not sure if I would have enjoyed that. Also, your brother-in-law’s paintings are lovely.

    • Hi Carolyn, oh it was fun pulling your chicken off with your fingers and drinking your soup using a cup. Nobody gave it a second thought once we got started.
      Thanks so much Carolyn…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    Your family is as good looking as they are nice and talented. You are a fortunate bunch, and it looks like you know and appreciate it. It’s going to be fun anticipating where you’ll go next year.

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