Sunday, July 25, 2010

Little House on the Prairie

WOW!! What an adventure we've had. We had such a GREAT time!!! I planned ahead and packed most of our meals so we wouldn't have to eat out and brought lots of snacks too! I didn't plan out every minute of our time there, but made a list of everything that was available during each part of the day. Then we just had FUN!! We left our house Friday morning at 6am and it wasn't too long before the van was pretty quiet. This is what Pillar and I discovered. LOL (I should also mention that we were blessed with a full tank of gas as a thank you gift!! Perfect timing!!)We took our time and made several fun stops along the way. You know......we enjoyed the journey!! Did you know that the real character of Linus was born and raised in Sleepy Eye, MN?
This year we have a membership to the Historical Society and with it FREE admission to 26 sites all around the state. We stopped off at this one where there were beautiful prairie grasses and flowers that have been preserved. The grass whistled in the wind. It felt like something right out of a Little House book. So peaceful. So beautiful.
There is a section of rock that the Indians used for ceremonies where more than 1900 ancient carvings or petroglyphs are found. We were able to recognize bison, hand prints or signatures, lightening and so many amazing designs.
We also got to use an atlatl to throw arrows at a fake bison off in the distance. It was amazing how far and how fast those arrows would fly. They said the Indians could throw up to 100 mph and kill a bison with one shot!!
The weather was absolutely beautiful when we arrived at Walnut Grove. A lot of the advertised special events were on Saturday so we didn't have to fight the crowds at all! It was PERFECT!! I think we took something like 80-90 pics so I'll try to just hit the highlights. We did so much!! lol
Pillar in an old time jail cell!

Because of the lack of enthusiasm in the students in this little schoolhouse.......
The teacher had the put one of them in the corner! Really......Rosebud just wanted to see what "Willie's" corner felt like! LOL
The dugout house in the background is a replica of the one Laura Ingles Wilder lived in when she was seven. Dirt floors and so very very tiny. Hard to imagine them all living in such a small space. While we were inside checking it out we discovered that we were not alone......a mouse had joined us! But I'll spare you the details AND that pic! lol
We ate a picnic lunch down on the banks of Plum Creek. It was picturesque! The water was so refreshing on a hot summer's day.
We, of course, had to go wading!! And yes, someone did fall in! LOL

Rosebud also lost/dropped/temporarily forgot her flip flops! But we found them before they floated too far down the creek! LOL
We went to the Mercantile where the couple that owned and operated it were so fantastic that we made a special trip to go see them again! They were so kind and made the girls feel very special. They asked them riddles, made us laugh and sold us candy sticks for $.10/each. What a deal! They also gave us free "left over" fudge the next day we came back. It was the best ever!!!
When we arrived at the pageant Friday night the stars of the show just happened to be sitting right there in the wagon in front of us! They smiled for pics and then they drove off
into the sunset to start the pageant.The weather changed for the worse that night. There was constant lightening and rumbling thunder with intermittent down pouring rain. We got soaked but still had a blast! The pageant continued as if the weather was sunny and calm. lol
The actress who played Nellie on the TV series was there on Saturday signing books and answering questions. The answers to my girls questions were #1 Yes ~ she is still acting. In fact, she just made a movie over in France. #2 Yes ~ she had a lot of fun on the set of the TV series. It was a good experience. #3 ~ Yes, she had control over the title of her book. And she went on further to explain how it came about. (We thought the title was completely inapropriate and disturbing considering she was representing a family show.)
There were lots of arts and crafts at the festival. The girls got to make corn husk dolls. Very cute!
And we finished off our trip by making a stop at Nellie's Cafe'. We all ordered a Nellie Burger that was very delicious. It was a quaint little restaurant with fascinating pictures and information all over the walls. It was a little different than we expected, but well worth the wait!
It was a wonderful experience. I'm so glad we did it!! I wanted to reward the girls for all their help and great attitudes this year. I love experiences like this where we enjoy the journey as much as the final destination. We made memories that will last a lifetime!! Thank you Lord for giving us such a blessed time together!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Surprise, Surprise!!

One day this week I woke up REALLY early. :-( Much much too early! And so after much trying and failing to go back to sleep, I gave in, went to the couch and tried to finish my very good book. However, I actually fell back asleep. This is a good thing!! But when Rosebud woke up and saw me strangely asleep on the couch, she thought I wasn't feeling well and decided to fix me breakfast to cheer me up! So sweet! She made our favorite.....scrambled eggs w/cheese, bacon and buttered toast. Yummy!! It was perfect!! And it was a wonderful way to start the day!This week our good friend went into labor a little early and had her beautiful 9lb 11oz baby boy! I helped take care of her children for awhile and these are all our girls being goofy at the park. I love these pics!!

The highlight of this park is this little spinner thing. They get soooooo dizzy from it. Just look at Miracle's hair!
I know these pics are blurry but they capture their faces well. I still laugh every time I see them!!
Still spinning......
To think.....they do this to themselves on purpose!! LOL
And last but not least I found the deal of the century on a new bike for Miracle this week. She's needed a new one for awhile and I really wanted to find her one for her birthday coming up. God is so faithful. It's a very nice, practically brand new red bike for only $25!!! The woman bought it last summer then hurt herself and could never ride it. Pics will be coming soon. I want to get one with Miracle riding it.
Hope your summer has had a few surprises as well!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Our Week in Review

It's been busy over here, but in a fun way! I know our schedule will change dramatically next month as well as being a bit discouraged myself with how very slowly the healing process is going. So.......I just keep busy! I find it's a good way to keep better control of my thoughts and not focus so much on what I "can't" do instead of all the things I CAN! Hope deferred makes the heart sick. So everyday I am choosing to have Hope in HIM!

My surgeon is a good hour into the cities for us. So whenever we drive in I try to make a day of it and do something fun while we're there. This time we went to the Science Museum. Pillar did an experiment with live fly larva. I'll spare the details for those with a queasy stomach! LOL

Here they are dissecting, pulling apart and then examining the chromosomes.

A neighboring town had their Riverfest Days last week too. They put on a great parade with fireworks that night. A friend just happens to live close to the school where the fireworks are done. So we got to sit comfortably on her back deck and watch them! It was GREAT!!

Rosebud and her friend at the parade were born about 10 days apart and have a lot of fun together!
Pillar took this pic at the parade and I thought she did a great job!! It helps to have such a cute subject! LOL

We also went to the county fair where some old friends were competing in the 4H horse competitions. We were able to spend most of the day behind the scenes and watch all that is involved in showing horses. The girls LOVED it!! This is Becca and her horse Evy.

This is Shelley and her horse Codiac riding English. Of all their dress changes, I think this one was my favorite. It was amazing to me all the different rules for each type of riding. These kids practice A LOT!!
The girls were able to hang out in the stables, help care for the horses in between shows, and just generally "hang out." It was a great experience!

Becca could make her horse smile. It was so cute. Hard to get a pic of though!!

Becca's first of several ribbons. She would later win a first place!! We were so proud of her!!
Rosebud walking and cooling down Evy. Can I just tell you that she thought she was in heaven??? LOL
And last but not least before we left the fairgrounds we went on a couple rides. The zipper was a blast! I have the greatest memories of tricking my own mom to ride on this with me as a teen and making it spin so fast she screamed like an ax murderer was after her. I know I probably shouldn't get so much joy at the memory.....but I do! LOL
This was the girls second choice.....a new one for all of us. We weren't disappointed!!
We've also been swimming just about every day, sometimes twice a day! There of course were a million more things accomplished this week, but none seem very blog worthy. So I'll just say that I hope you're having a great summer! It's going to be over before we know it.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July at the Kelley Farm

It was hot and humid today, but we were with good friends so we hardly noticed at all! It seems every time we go to the Kelley Farm there is something "new" happening. Today was no different. In honor of the 4th.....150 years ago......part of a "real" passionate speech was given to show us what the farmers were going through at that time. What they were fighting for. What they believed in. It was very well done. The kids even got to raise banners and shout out during the speech. Although the girls didn't do this because they thought it would be "rude." lol All the kids got to play Townball out in the fields. What FUN!!! It's similar to baseball but with a few modifications to the rules. lol No strikes, any hit is a good hit, and you can throw the ball at the person to get them out. Just try not to aim at the "head." lol
Can you find the ball? Yep, this was a miss. But she didn't give up and hit a home run next! Wahoooo! The only one of the game! That's my girl!! Go Miracle!!
Those are all our kids out in the field. And that VERY cute pregnant lady is my good friend. Isn't she just the cutest thing? I don't think I ever looked that good with only 3 weeks left!
The dad's got involved too. It was a family game and we they had sooooo much fun!
It never did rain like the weatherman predicted. Yeah!! We were sooooo grateful!
This was the sign that our girls got to wave at the speech. It was a great way to get the kids involved in the process.
At one point one of the farmers asked Pillar to go to the barn and get a ladder. I'm not sure what I expected......but it wasn't this big heavy thing! As you can see she had a smile on her face and was up to the challenge!
Rosebud and Katie were transporting water from the single water pump in the center of the farm to the pigs down at the far edge. They worked together, got wet, and laughed the whole time doing it!
Aren't they just sweet working together?
But filling up the HUGE trough one bucket at a time was just too slow. So Rosebud gave this thing a try. It was REALLY heavy, not everyone could lift it. But she was determined. There's not much she can't accomplish when she puts her mind to it!
She also wanted to feed the horses but had to get fresh hay. Instead of just getting a handful.....she brought a whole wheelbarrow full!
She had to push it all the way back uphill when she was done unloading it. Her little cheeks were so red from pushing hard. She loves everything about farming. When she grows up....she wants to marry a farmer!
I'm not sure what this game was called but the kids had to push these metal rings across the yard using wooden sticks. It was much harder than they thought because the metal rings weren't perfect! And the bigger they were, the harder they were!
It was a really great day! We won't be watching any fireworks this year, although I can hear them going off even now as I type. Usually we do, but we had so much fun today that the girls don't mind at all. I hope you enjoyed your day as well!