Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Museum

So, exciting news… we rearranged our house.  Well, most of it.  The bathrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, and the laundry room remain untouched.  The bedrooms, my office, and Jeremy’s office all found new homes.  This was prompted by a gift of a loft bed for Madison.  The girls have been asking for bunk beds.  It was a potential for their birthday presents.  Let’s just say their birthdays came a little early this year.  They LOVE their new shared room. Madison loves sleeping up high.  Jeremy and I love our grown-up room.  Jeremy will love his new (never wet) office when we get that moved this week.  It is a win-win.  Especially when the girls finally slept until 7:45 this morning!

That being said, we have been in the house, organizing spaces, enjoying the newness since Friday night.  But he girls (and myself) are getting a little stir crazy.  I actually heard Madison utter, “I’m bored!” this week.  This may be a normal occurrence in some homes, but I have been blessed by two girls with giant imaginations that rarely say those dreaded words. 

So, on Monday, we went to the swim gym after naps to get out of the house.  On Tuesday, we had a play date after naps with Grace and Tara.  On Wednesday, I took them to the Massillon Museum.  (Hence the title for this post…. you were wondering, weren’t you?)

The Massillon Museum is a small, free museum fairly close.  I don’t think I have ever taken them to a museum, so I didn’t know what to expect.  They looked at photographs.  They found some they liked.  (I didn’t see the sign to not take pictures on this level til we were leaving; I didn’t use flash.  Does that make it okay?)

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And, yes, I let my kids pick out their clothes.

We ventured up to the second floor to see the flapper dresses, the tribute to football, and the model circus.  For whatever reason, they were in the mood to pose and kept asking me to take pictures!

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The highlight was definitely the canon outside.  I don’t know if she should have climbed on it, but there was no sign to say otherwise.  So, I let her live a little…. and pose a lot!

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A man chilling outside across the street wondered over to ask if we wanted our picture taken together.  We did.

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So, as many of your kids go back to school, just know that we are still here trying to figure out how to not be bored.  I am little worried about the rest of the week…. hey, there is always the livestock auction, right?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chicken BBQ

This is an annual event in our town, as it is in many towns in the area.  Last year, we ate chicken, listened to music, bought donuts, rode horses, and watched the kiddie tractor pull.  This year, Madison wanted to participate in the tractor pull. 

So, we went.  We ate chicken and mingled with friends.  Then, our two impatient girls finally got to go ride the ponies.  We gave them two rides each – one on the little pony

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and one on the big pony.

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Ellie may be scared of cats and dogs, but she is not worried about climbing on the back of a full-size horse …. even if she isn’t sure about touching the muzzle of that same horse!  They loved it.

We also rode on a horse drawn wagon with our church friend, Merle. 

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When we got on, Ellie asked if the wagon was going to take us home.  The man heard her and said he would be happy to (once he learned how close we were).  So, we were chauffeured home by this:

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Not everyday that happens!

Well, the girls weren’t really ready to go home, so we snuck back and listened to music and talked to friends for another half an hour.  It was a beautiful night. 

Oh yeah, that tractor pull…. because the night was switched (the regularly scheduled night was feared to be a rain out), the tractor pull crew was unable to come out.  Maybe next year, Madison.  And watch out – we plan on her training a little to garner first prize in her division! 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kansas City!

I planned a trip to Kansas City to surprise my cousin.  She is an artist.  (I just like saying that I know a genuine-I-sell-my-art-and-people-buy-it artist.)  I LOVE her paintings, but I have not seen them hanging in a gallery before (well, once, but with a lot of other artists’ work).  I learned that she was going to have a major gallery show opening on August 1st at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in the Crossroads art district in Kansas City.  It is my understanding that this is one of the more prestigous galleries in that area.  She had shown her work there once before, but in the front room.  This time she was in the main gallery.  She had asked to share the space with another artist simply because the amount of work she would have had to produce to fill the space was too much.  The artist the gallery owners paired Kristin up with was equally amazing, but in a different medium.  She used dyed cloth and quilted some pretty amazing scenes.  Okay, I am getting ahead of myself…

I contacted Matthew (her husband) about us showing up unbeknownst to Kristin – if that would be overwhelming or okay.  He said she would absolutely love it, and bring as many people as would want to come along.  So, I checked with family and Sandy.  Sandy had not been to KC before, so she was excited for that opportunity as well as a chance to see Kristin’s work.  (She always asks me to steal one of Kristin’s pieces when I go!)  My sisters-in-law all had plans that weekend.  My mom was on board – more than willing to finally take a vacation.  The last decision was what to do with the girls.  At first I was going to take them both, but then I realized that I had signed Madison up for dance camp, and I didn’t want her missing two days of that.  So, Ellie was the lucky one!  (Madison was at first disappointed, but then excited when I explained she would have some play dates, a special daddy-daughter outing, and dance camp!) 

We left at 6am on Thursday morning. We stopped at St. Charles, Missouri, by about 4pm.  It is a great, little historic town.  I would make this a definite stop to explore sometime.  We had supper at the Bike Stop CafĂ© (that’s Ellie and I at the outdoor tables), walked a bit of the main street, meandered over to get a closer look at the huge Lewis and Clark and their dog statue.  We headed back to the hotel to swim.  Ellie and Grandma did a lot of “1-2-3 swim off the stairs” in the pool.  She became braver as time went on and took her swim vest off! 

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We left around 9am on Friday arriving to an empty house in Kansas City by about 1pm.  Kristin had insisted on going on a walk with her daughter and her sister, Jenny (who was in from Utah because she didn’t want to be left out of the surprise!)  We waited around for about 1/2 hour before seeing them coming down the street.  I hollered out the door, “Could you walk a little faster?  We have been waiting here forever for you!”  It took her a minute to figure out who I was, and then she came running.  When we got inside, my mom came down the stairs, surprising her for a second time.  Kristin was definitely amazed at all the people coming to support her.  It was a neat gift to be able to give her.  Ellie went down for a nap before ever eating lunch.  We all had sandwiches and visited. 

Before the opening, we met up with a my other KC area cousins (siblings of Kristin) for supper at Manny’s, a Mexican restaurant near the gallery.  It was a fantastic family reunion.  From Ellie to the right… Ellie, my mom, Allison and John (my cousin), Abby, Emily, Kate, Mark (my cousin) and Jenni with Ethan, Jenny (my cousin), and Sandy. 

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The gallery was breathtaking!  I am pretty sure that none of my pictures will do it justice, but I’ll post them and a link to Kristin’s website so you can see her work if you are interest.  (That is my cousin with me below)

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the top is Kristin’s and the bottom the quilt artist!

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Ellie and the artwork…

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Sandy, Ellie, and I visited a few more galleries in the area before it was waaaaay past Ellie’s bedtime.  We turned in by 10pm after a good day.

The rest of the time….

a trip to the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum (Matthew, Kristin, Sandy, and I)

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a get-together at John and Allison’s home in the country

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play time at a Franklin Park (awesome!)

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a morning walk (dry on Saturday, wet on Sunday), church on Sunday morning, a quiet afternoon/evening with a delicious meal of wood-fired pizza made by Matthew.  It was a time that I wouldn’t trade for the world. 

We headed back at 6am on Monday morning, stopped at a slightly shady hotel in Richmond, Indiana, left at 8am on Tuesday, and made it back in time to pick Madison up from dance camp at noon.  I couldn’t have asked for smoother travels or a better trip. 

Thank you, Matthew, for all your hard work cooking, hosting, and prepping.  Thank you, Kristin, for your welcoming spirit and your beautiful artwork.  Thank you, Mom and Sandy, for being great travel companions for Ellie and I.