Friday, June 9, 2017

100 Acres Playdate

Check it out, I'm ready for some sunshine!  
The hair is out of my face, got the glasses, sunscreen, sun hat.  Let's Get Serious! 

The kids love playing on the sculpture Free Basket.  
The lines trace paths of a basketball. 

The Cuteness!

Look Ma! No Hands! 

We were having a fine time playing on these, until we got booted off by an employee.  

Wildflowers at the 100 Acres Park. 

Black Eyed Susan

Rest stop. 
We weren't there 20 minutes before the kids had to pee, wanted a snack, and drank half their waters.
But they were Cute. 

They Loved "climbing the yellow" as Jacob put it.  
I think that's the best description I've heard. 

Swinging brothers. 

My three yahoos! 

We played a bit while we waited for our friends to arrive.  

When they did arrive, they all wanted to play on the swing. 
Except Emily.  She's getting too cool for the littler kids, at the ripe age of 11.

Wild Kids in motion!

I love that they put this swing sculpture in.  The boys love it.  
And the swing was strong enough to even bare my weight! 
Kristin was extra helpful pushing Jacob on the swings. At one point they were swinging together, and I watched as they fell off together, and Kristin literally put her body down first to save Jacob, instinctively.  It was Awesome.  Kristin got scuffed up pretty good. Jacob only got dirty.  
Well done!  

Funky Bones sculpture time! 
The kids have been climbing this since they could climb.   But they didn't remember it.  
I guess it had been a long while since we'd visited this park. 

All our Yahoos! 
They really liked stomping on the head. 

These were new, telescopes!  And they didn't even cost any money! 
Just free for the seeing.

Jacob loved checking out the turtles on the logs. 

Chris was having a bit of trouble adjusting the viewfinder.  
But we finally got it, and enjoyed counting animals. 

Check me out.  I used my phone to capture my view! 

All the turtle cuteness on a log! 

Everybody say Picnic! 
Kathleen brought a couple picnic blankets, and we had our lunch on a spread in the shade. 
I love eating like we're french, apples and cheese.  I wish I'd had break or crackers, but not too shabby.  We took care of our water problem.  

All our yahoos "climbing the yellows"! 

They asked me to make a Slo Mo video. 
But poor Em had jumped off the rock first in a pre-emptive strike, and fell, and tweaked her wrist.  
She wasn't up for another attempt.  So she just made googley eyes and funny faces to start our slo mo video. Mission accomplished.  
It felt good to be silly all together again. 

Hiking view.  
Normally, I don't like photographing people's backsides, but there's something beautiful about being at the end of the group, and seeing the backs of my loved ones as they walk back to the car, exhausted from a great adventure.  And only two of us ended up bleeding.  
Hopefully no hospitals will need to be visited.  
But we worked up a good sweat, got nice and dirty, and had some laughs.  
Perfect for a summer's day. <3

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reading In Review

The last couple weeks, have been pretty interesting. I've been getting into doing a couple new things. Like reading. Perhaps to the neglect of my sons, I got to read some books for leisure. I know, it's wild, isn't it?! Books for leisure! I've been reading the same three books for 5 months. I've been Trying to read the Bible in a year, but the addition of Sam got me about 5 books within the bible behind. I also am about halfway through The Strong-Willed Child. And last but not least, I've been plugging through Your Baby:Week by Week. Of course all these are bathroom reading.
In June, we started reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince "to Sam", you know, a chapter or two as he drifted off to sleep each night. Once done, we saw the movie. However, I was so engrossed in the end of the that book, I picked up Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows. I finished it in 3 days.
Since it was such a refreshingly quick read, I got motivated to restart my bathroom reading books. However, they are NOT quick reads.

Then my girlfriend Carrie, lent me Twilight. I read it in 3 days too. I couldn't put it down. I had some thoughts, that I wanted to jot down. I liked it, but not as much as Harry Potter. There aren't subplots.
I can't really say it's well written, but it is an intriguing concept.

If your family says don't go out alone, don't.  Girl goes and does things her parents say not to, and gets in trouble.  Duh.  I learned that if we just listened to our parents, our problems would be so much less.
I did love the vision of the vampire skin sparkling in the sun in a meadow.  And the vampire who became a doctor rather than harm.  That was cool.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

19 years

Can you believe it's been 19 years since these two young whippersnappers got married?!

Last night before bed, we sat down and watched our Wedding video.  
We were so young, and we were so Blessed by having so many of our loved ones in one place at one time. It was like a wonderful Gift, being able to see all my Grandparents alive on video again.  My sister looks so young, and our cousins, Wow!  I look at the people they have become and it's amazing.  
I look at the people we have become, the family we have begun, and that's amazing too. 

Eric got me a gift of wooden panels, and though I was a little perplexed, he explained, these panels can become a raised garden.  Woohoo!  We can build it one or two planks deep now, and add on later. If we want to raise it up higher, it can become deeper  too.  That's going to be so nifty.  Obviously, it's too late to put in a garden this year, but hopefully by next summer, I'll be planting in my own garden! 
I got him a pack of DVDs with Ocean's 11,12, and 13.  I told him, "the thing at the place, I'll never forget it."  I won't ever forget our 'thing at the place' 19 years ago either.  <3

Selfie in the sun. 

Meanwhile, Eric's parents were kind and generous enough to watch all three yahoos while we escaped for a date night dinner.  
On a Tuesday - Madness! 

So we went to the Rathskeller downtown for German fare. 
I so wish I'd been able to take him to Germany this year. It's not financially wise, but since I've known him, he's wanted to go to Germany, and do a Luther tour, during the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation year.  But we can't be that financially irresponsible.  So we did German Dinner instead. 
Also, not too shabby. 

I got my jagerschnitzel, all that mushroomy goodness on top, and Eric got the schnitzel cordon bleu.  Mmmm.....

These two kids don't look that different than on 19 years ago. 
Though, life has changed, down in the core, we really haven't.  
I still love him, he's still my closest friend, and vice versa.  

I see relationships changing around me, and I'm so Thankful for this one. 
It's hard work, don't get me wrong, it's taken us some effort to get through the hard times, but it's been Totally Worth It. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Road Trip Adventure

One of the things that Sam studied this year was the Shawnee Indians.  He made a great presentation of his research. As I was researching, I realized I had never been to Prophetstown, where the leaders of the Shawnee tried to unite all the Indian Nations.  Tecumseh, the chief of the Shawnee, and his brother, The Prophet.  I had never been up to Prophetstown, there's a State Park there, and the Battle of Tippecanoe is up there past Lafayette too.  'Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.' was all I could remember.  I wanted to learn more. While discussing this all with my friend Kathy, I decided that when Summer rolled around, I wanted to go see Prophetstown.  I knew Sam would get a lot out of it, and me too.  I also figured other brothers would just have a good time on a road trip.  My friend Kathy was interested in joining us, so we met up yesterday to go north and see what there was to see.

Priorities, yo. 
First stop has to be Starbucks, with drinks for all!  
We also met halfway between our homes, at the Zionsville Starbucks, so drinks were necessary. 
I love that the boys all have drinks they like there now too.  

Welcome to Prophetstown State Park! 
As it turns out Kathy has the State Park pass, so she got us in free, which was bonus!

My sweetboys and I at the entry to Prophetstown.

We found the Blacksmith shop, on the ground by a 1920's farmhouse. 

Of course, all that drinking made us all have to Go.  As soon as we got to some sort of Civilization within the Park, we had to find the bathrooms.  The Bathrooms and Smithery were right across the 'street' from the Farmhouse. I found a tick two seconds after I got out of the car.  Ew.  It made me spray us like a maniac for the rest of the day. Ticks don't like Peppermint.

Ding Dong, the boys ring the farm dinner bell, though it was still pretty early. 

Check out this great iron stove.  
I used to have a tiny iron model that Grandpa Jim and Meb gave me.  I was able to take the handle and lift the burners, to show the boys where it was lit.  My kids know nothing of gas stoves, we're all electric now.  

Walking into the bedroom was like stepping into the past, it reminded me so much of my Grandparents and Great Grandparents. My Great Grandparent's photos were on the wall just like these! 

The kids loved checking out the great old sewing machine.  
I did too. I wanted to touch it all, and just hang out here. 
We hadn't even found any of the Indian stuff.  
This house belonged to owners of the land who donated it to become the State Park.

The piano player piano player piano room.  

Is it a rocking chair, or a rocking horse? 
Only Sam will ever know. 

Jacob finds Chickens to observe, and chase. 

This rooster had some things to say to Jacob. 

My city boy was chasing the chickens around, like some kind of joke. 

Now who's the Goose?  
This silly boy couldn't wait to chase the ducks too. 

The boys found some turkeys hiding in the shade. 
Now who's the turkey?  The birds, or the nuts in the heat?

The boys couldn't wait to take off and check out the barn. 

Oink Oink!

Sam popped back by to talk to the pigs hanging out in the shade. 
I wonder if he was trying to guess which one was the Birthday Pig.

The boys found the bunnies.
I kept walking around singing, "The bunneh, the bunneh, Ooo, I love the bunneh."
Too many Veggie Tales.

Ginger the great big bunneh.

 After our adventures at the Farm House, we opted to go over to the Nature Center, and see what was what.  But as soon as I opened the car, the kids took off.  Jacob specificially.   And as it turns out, Jacob found a bit of Nature before we even went indoors.  And the DNR guys came a running. 
Jacob found a snake! 

It's a Fox Snake.  
One of his cousins lived inside, in the Nature Center. 
We suspected he was going in for a visit. 

The kids were scared, but so were the guards. 
Once he was picked up, he brought the snakey over to say hi. 
He's not poisonous, but he could still bite.  I loved seeing the DNR guy admitting his fear, but still picking it up, and doing so safely, without harming the snake.  

The boys got to pet the snake. 
I was particularly proud of Sam and Chris touching it.  They had the sense to be afraid. 
Not Jacob, Jacob had to be restrained, he would've taken the thing home!

Gimme kiss!
Then the guys took a long walk and set him free in the weeds.  If he really wanted to come back, it was going to take him a fat long while. 

Meanwhile back at the Nature Center, Christopher found a great outfit to try on!
Firefighter Chris to the Rescue!

Sam Saves the Day! 
(He didn't get as dressed up as his brothers.

Firefighter Jacob to the rescue!  

Pretty Painted Turtle was swimming around in the Nature Center. 
There was an outdoor garden with a tiny pond, we hoped some of relatives would be out there, but no. Too hot. 

Kathy shows Sam the skull of a deer, and asks him what it is.  
They even compared/contrasted it with the skull of a raccoon.
It reminded me of the Field Museum, so many Stuffed Animals. (And not in the good way)
But the boys thought the bones and stuff they could play with were so cool. 

Chris found the deer antlers. 
I kind of love him for this. 

After getting the scoop, we crossed the street and hiked a bit to find Prophetstown.

Inside one of the log homes were a bunch of old style farm tools. 
This was the boy's favorite part!

Our Picnic lunch at Prophetstown. 
Since the original was burned down, they rebuild some of the key structures out in the fields.  There is very little nearby, and as it turned out, the longhouse behind us was being rebuilt as an Eagle Scout project.

Sam finds a model of Prophetstown inside the Chief's Long House. 

The boys gather around the 'fire' in the Chief's Council House. 

The boys exit the Medicine Cabin.  

We went back to find out how to prounounce the Prophet's real name.  It's Tenskwatawa. 
As it turns out the pronounciation is flexible. It can be Ten-SQUAT-a-wa or Ten-swa-TA-wa.
Yeah, we'll just all call him The Prophet. 
He thought that the only way to defeat the white man was to unite all the Indians together. 
But after the loss of the Battle of Tippecanoe, he and his brother were disgraced.  They lost not only the battle, but the war.

The Battle of Tippecanoe Memorial
Battle Ground, IN

They made this hill a National Landmark. 

While we were leaving Prophetstown, I saw a giant needle, rising above the trees from the fields below.  I was curious what that was, but we knew we were headed to 'Battle Ground'.  
As it turned out, the giant needle was the Tippecanoe Memorial. 

Jacob just wanted something to climb. 

In memory of those who lost their lives at the Battle of Tippecanoe, November 8, 1811.
Dang, this thing was tall. 

Guess who that general was, William Henry Harrison. 
Yup, the fella who became President, and the slogan was Tippecanoe and Tyler too.  
Tippecanoe was his nickname for winning the battle.

Stuffed snowy owl.  
This was an accidental death near the Battle Ground, so they stuffed him for the Nature Center.  
Beautiful.  Someday I want to see one in person. 

In case you also don't remember what happened at the Battle of Tippecanoe.  

Jacob Crockett.  
He really wanted one of these hats. 
In fact, all the boys wanted goodies from the Gift Shop.  
But it was enough that we had to pay real $$ to go into their bitty museum.  I wasn't spending $ on toys.  But then Kathy snuck around and got them all a treat, while we headed in.   
Ah, she knows how to spoil some sweetboys.   Rock Candy.  

One of the identifying features of Shawnee clothing was the fringe.  
I love that they had this sample out that the kids could play with and shake. 
They thought that rattling the fringe was Awesome. 

Shake that crazy fringe.

Check out these uniforms for the Dragoons and Drummer Boys.  
People were shorter back in these days.  The drummer was about Chris's height. Yipes.

Sam checks out the model of Prophetstown. 
Hey, we were just there! 

The biggest hit for the boys in this mini-museum was the canon.  
They climbed, shot, battled, and hit imaginary enemies.  
I also thought the flag behind them was interesting.  There are only 17 stars, because Indiana was just a Territory when all this happened.  It was another 5 years before we became a state.
Yeah, I have boys.  I'd have walked right by the canon, but they thought it was the bee's knees. 

Chris thought the Blunderbuss gun that the Dragoons used to use was pretty Awesome.  They had guns and rifles on display for every American war so far, which was pretty cool.  Of course, the littles just wanted to play with the canon. 

Meanwhile, they had some other great patriotic goodies in the Museum. 
Personally, I loved this dress.  I could rock this look.  Or maybe, in my spare time someday, I'll just make one of these for myself to wear for Patriotic Holidays.