Monday, August 28, 2017

At some point over a week ago, I reached to grab a towel off the counter and this little cricket jumped out of it, which I did not appreciate at the time.  Since then, we have been noticing him in different places around the kitchen and getting a little excited when we see him every day.  Rose decided that Lucas would be a good name for him, and ever since he's had a name, Rose makes sure that he also has some toys to play with as well as plenty to eat.

For the last few weeks, my kids and the neighbors have been super into playing "volleyball" in the yard.  They use this sweet setup of two dog leashes suspended between two bikes and a big pink ball.

Towards the end of the summer, it was making me a little crazy because there was a LOT of drama about volleyball.  Some days they could play forever and be perfectly happy, but other days there was someone in the house every two minutes, complaining about the unfairness of something or other.

This last weekend, however, Steve told them they all had to stop playing volleyball because they are killing the grass.  There may have been tears from one or two of the children over the termination of their beloved game, but by today they had come up with a new game, and involved new neighbors as well.  Somehow Emma convinced not only her own siblings, but also four little neighbor girls, that it would be a good idea to pretend to be members of a city in which Emma is the mayor.  They played city out on the driveway for about three hours today, and even after they had to go home for dinner, the little girls came back afterwards to be bossed around by Emma some more!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Our last outing before school starts was a trip to the Mahaffie Farm and Stagecoach Stop.  I had heard about this place over the years but never really felt interested enough to go.  Last week, we drove by a statue of horses and a stagecoach and Noah suddenly developed an interest in traveling by stagecoach so I figured this would be a great place to finally try.  It was actually super cool and we all really enjoyed it.  A lot of the original farm is still there, and there are people roaming around who actually run the place like a real farm.  No one lives in the house, but they have a large garden and they raise animals, which they then actually use to cook food in an old cast iron stove to serve to the people who visit the farm.

When we got there, we explored a little museum about the family who built the farm in 1865 and what life was like for them.

On the actual farm, the first thing we did was go for a ride in a stagecoach that was actually built in 1850.  We rode around for a a bit, which was relaxing enough that I thought I could fall asleep, except for the scary thought that I would have toppled out the side.

The kitchen was in the basement, and there were fresh cookies waiting for us that had just come out of the old stove.  The lady there explained that, not only did the mother have to cook for her own family of ten in the tiny little kitchen with no running water or electricity, she also cooked for strangers who were stopping through on the stagecoach.  Their family also had a garden the size of a football field and lots of animals, so I'm guessing her children were a lot more helpful than mine are!

This lady works there and brings her darling little toddler every day, dressed like a baby from the 1800's.  What a sweet job situation!

I didn't intend to stop for ice cream, but we passed a Cold Stone on the way home and couldn't resist.  Cold Stone is our favorite, but all the ones close to us have closed so we couldn't pass up an opportunity to visit one!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Last weekend the kids and I went to a craft fair at the art museum.  The craft booths were nice to walk through, but everyone was mostly interested in the food trucks and the sculptures.

I am not a fan of this particular piece of artwork.  Super creepy.

There is a glass maze, and about two seconds after Rose walked inside, she came back out, crying and holding her head.  She had a big red bump on her forehead from where she had walked into the glass!  Emma and I tried not to giggle, but we weren't very successful.  Then, during the four or so minutes we spent walking through the maze, we saw two other little kids smack their faces pretty hard when walking right into a wall!  We felt sorry for the poor little kids who looked so surprised before they started to cry, but it was also a little amusing.

I love going to local coffee shops and I had heard of a new one that opened close by, so we stopped there after we left the art museum.  It took for-ev-er to get our drinks and I think Rose and Allie had definitely worn out their welcome by the time we did get them, so that was a stop that we could have done without.  Don't they look a little crazy in this picture?

Yesterday we went to Deanna Rose, one of our favorite places to go.  I love how Noah and Rose are holding hands in this picture, walking into the Native American encampment.

We only have three weekdays left before the older kids go back to school, so hopefully we can make the most of them!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Our week of exploring Kansas City continued yesterday.  We started off at Antioch Park, which we hadn't been to since Emma was a preschooler.  We walked around the lake, and were amazed at the number of turtles we saw.  Dozens of turtles, some fish, a bunch of ducks, and a few frogs - a fun amount of wildlife for just a small jaunt around the lake.

Do you see all those turtles?  The kids sat down to watch the ducks that were super close and then of course, more turtles just started showing up.  It was crazy!

Antioch Park has this pretty cool little village of buildings to play in, which kept everyone busy for awhile.

Lastly, the children climbed up on this rock, and then Noah decided to risk his life by jumping off the side.  He luckily survived, and then continued to climb up and jump off for the rest of the time we were there.

After the park we ate lunch at The Snack Shack, which was another success.  It was a cute place, and the food was yummy.

We strolled around downtown Overland Park after lunch for some relaxing and a little dancing.

Betty Rae's was next

and then on to Park Place for a little browsing and the afternoon farmer's market. We've hit up several farmer's markets in the last few weeks, and I like to let the kids pick out what we buy there so they will hopefully be excited about eating whatever it is.  The trouble is, a lot of people give out free samples of their stuff, especially people who are selling things other than just produce.  Once people have doled out five samples to my crew and engaged the kids in friendly conversations, I can't seem to walk away from their tables without buying something.  So, as we were leaving the market last night and I was regretting some of our purchases, I decided I wasn't going to take the kids to farmer's markets anymore.  However, the regrettable purchases - garlic basil homemade fettuccine, cashew "cheese", and a $10 jar of (delicious!) pickles - have all been consumed by now and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone, so I guess maybe our farmer's market trips are worth it after all.