Friday, August 28, 2015

This may be the only soccer picture I take all season

Soccer has started.

The boys are all playing soccer this fall.  Hey, it's good to stay busy, right?

4 boys=4 teams+6 practices+4 to 6 games a week

Did I mention that Cale and Marcus play at a different soccer club than Ewan and Liam?  

With a full week in the books, I am exhausted to say that every boy got to every thing they had to get to.  

Soccer season runs through mid-October.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

our kids went to school, too

Everyone has posted their kids first day of school pics.  I'm a little behind the game since I had to find time to upload the pics to my computer.  They've been in school almost two weeks now and are still happy to go in the morning.  Homework routines are starting.  Book order forms are coming home.  Fundraisers has begun (Ugh. 3 different ones, no less).  So, from where I sit, the school year is off to a great start.  For the boys-the girlies don't go to school until next week.

Marcus, the 7th grader.

I had to wake up early for the selfie-Marcus's bus comes at 7:05.

Andy and Cale manage to get in a quick game of Spellcaster before the bus came.

Ewan-3rd grade, Cale-5th grade and Liam-1st grade.

The elementary/primary bus stop gang.

It's a quieter house here, no lies about that.  Those who are left at home are very excited when the brothers return from school.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

final vacation pics-on the way home

On the way out of the park, we stopped to geo-cashe in two spots.  The first took a little bit of time to find.  The second was super easy.  The kids have fun looking for treasures.
This one was kept in a broccoli looking container.  

Then, we had to pet Lincoln.  I can't wait to take them to the statue of Lincoln in Springfield where everyone rubs his nose.

2nd cache.  Super easy to find.

Then we drove for the length of a movie and stopped for a late lunch in Bloomington.  As we were coming in, from a distance we saw Indiana  University's football stadium and wanted to do a closer drive-by.

Actually, we were able to pull right up, get out and look around.  So much for security. There were some ship pieces from a WWII destroyer right here.

And, a photo op for Ewan and Cale.  Future IU students?

And, then we went home.  

The end.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lincoln Boyhood Home

Right across the street from Lincoln State Park is the Lincoln Boyhood Home.  At first, I thought it was part of the state park, but it is actually a national memorial run by the National Park Service.  Having grown up in Illinois, I feel it is only fitting to inundate my children with the same amount of Abraham Lincoln information that I learned.  Of course, we went on one of the hottest days of the week. And, the humidity! At least it was a neat place to visit and explore.  The staff was very friendly and the time of day we went, I felt like we had the run of the park.
Stone carved pictures on the park building, very cool.

The Gettysburg Address.  I had to memorize this in 2nd grade.

We forced the kids to watch a video on the boyhood of Lincoln.  Look how excited they are. Also, notice that we are the only ones in the theater.

Marcus, not quite a tall as Lincoln, yet.  Standing in Lincoln's shoes (or replica shoes???)

Ewan, nowhere close.  Even with the help of a smurf.

The start of our trek through the park.  Since this is a national site, you can get your Junior Ranger badge here.  Liam had already earned his for the Smoky Mtns. and wanted to get another one-we love to collect things!  Cale got his booklet to earn his Junior Ranger badge, too.

This is a stone marker for Nancy Hank's (Lincoln's mother) grave.  For whatever reason, people throw pennies at the site.  Guess who had some in her purse?

Junior-Rangers-to-be. Working hard.

We walked to the area where they had 

My little townies don't get to see farm animals very much.

The boys got to use some tools.

On the way back, we walked on the Trail of Twelve Stones.  Each stop had a stone significant to Lincoln's life.  I don't know if these stones were replicas or the real thing.  There was one from the Illinois state capital and the White House.  Anyway, the walk was shaded, which made it bearable.  And, it was fun to read about the stones at each stop.

Yes, my kids stepped on all the rocks like they were claiming a territory.

Or, they tried to sit on them.

Back at the memorial, Cale and Liam finished their requirements for their Junior Ranger badges and were sworn in to protect the park.

A happy Ranger Liam.

And, the park profited well from our trip.  We left with memories, 2 fresh Junior Rangers, 3 stuffed buffaloes, a quill and ink writing set and a new vacation magnet for our refrigerator.

Monday, August 17, 2015

cottage pictures

More photos from our last vacation of the summer.  These are from the cottage we stayed in at Lincoln State Park.  It was nice to have a sturdy shelter to stay in.  We were at the cottage for most meals and down time in between activities.  There was no air conditioning and no doors for the rooms, except one. The cement floor became wet every day-weird.  Condensation, I guess. But, there was plenty of space for our family to make memories.

Kella, Liam, Ewan and Marcus slept in this room.

Cale got his own room.

Liam was pumped to sleep on the top bunk

explorer Kinley

The dining room table.

A little bit of high-tech time.  Notice Kella, already asleep.

Some low-tech time playing cards.

Andy, teaching proper fire skills.

More card games.

Posing in front of the cottage.

Good times.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ending summer with one more trip

The last hurrah for the summer was a trip to Lincoln State Park and Holiday World.  We rented a cottage at the state park which was way cheaper than the RV we stayed in last year, but did not have air-conditioning.  In July, in Indiana, that is roughing it.  Another time, I will post pictures about the state park and stuff we did there.  Our main goal this trip was to go to Holiday World for a day.  I only took a few photos before my phone died.  
The night before.  The cottage had no doors on most of the rooms=when we tried to put Kinley to bed, she could see around the sheet we hung over the door.  Plan "b"=let Kinley try to sleep in a bed with Mommy.  Plan "b" was not a success the first night.  Kinley was having way too much fun trying to climb all over me.  Plan "c"=put her back in the pack-n-play after everyone else had gone to bed.  She was tired and didn't take long to fall asleep.  Although, I guess she did wak up and complain to Andy several times that night.

We got up nice and early and made it to Holiday World in time to stand in line and wait for the gates to open.  Kinley began one of her massive temper tantrums to entertain the crowds while we were waiting.  The lines moved at a decent pace and we got into the park.  At that time Andy and the older boys took off to go ride the Thunderbird, the new roller coaster, and I took the smaller people to some smaller rides.  The first area we went to has rides that remind me of what you would find at a carnival.  They were just the right size for Liam (who rode all he could), Kella (who didn't ride any) and a couple for Kinley (who swung between full blown temper tantrum and happy-just imagine an entire day like that and you will know how Kinley acted this day). 

Kinley got to ride the fish, too.  Angry at first.  Happy for the ride,  Angry to get off.  Sigh.

Liam and the seahorse.

and the up and down ride.  

We made our way to Holidog's Funtown and rode the little train around.

Cool looking Liam.

We made it to Funtown in time to see a music show with people and people dressed like a dog and a cat.  Liam rode the little roller coaster there a couple times and Kinley fell in love with the splash park.

It was so hot that Kinley's clothes dried out quickly.

The three littles rode the canoe ride.

And, that's all the pics.

Other things we did that day:
eat an overpriced lunch in the 1 air-conditioned restaurant
spending the afternoon in the waterpark
Liam rode all the roller coasters he could-he was the right size for all the wooden ones
played in both wave pools
rode a couple water park rides
played some carnival games

We had fun and I can't help but think that next year will be easier because Kinley will be a year older.  And, I think we might spring for the 2 day pass again, just to give us more time and not feel rushed.

Success!  Plan "b" worked the next 2 nights.  I guess the goal is to totally wear out Kinley and then she is good to sleep in a bed.