Monday, July 4, 2011

Proof that I really am making my kids read and do math every day this summer

Sitting here tonite listening to bombs bursting in air out my window in celebration of the 4th of July, I'm more than a little astounded that we've reached this summer milestone already.  I worry and wonder if we're just doing too much - too much 'schedule' and not enough 'free time' this summer  Then I consider what we've scheduled and I take a moment to step back and let myself relax - again.  After-all, what I insist the kids finish each morning is making their beds and brushing their teeth, two pages in their math workbook and a chore (like vacuuming the living room or cleaning out the dish washer).  In the afternoon while Sashi rests for an hour, all the kids are expected to read quietly.  The rest of our days - when the weather is decent - we can be found by the pool - or participating in one of our 'themed days' - depending on the day.  Certainly that can't be all bad.  It certainly does make time fly, though.  And I guess that's why I worry.  Maybe we should be bored and sit around all day.  Would that make me feel like a better mother?  Seriously.  Maybe on this mid-summer night, I need to take a breath, thank God for summer and for time with my kids - even the growing pains we're experiencing this year with maturing personalities - and enjoy it. 

What about you?  Is your summer flying by or are you finding yourself searching for activities to keep everyone out of trouble?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

More Last Tuesday Stuff

Man oh man is there a lot to talk about during the summer!  I'm getting further and further behind in my posts (I still have Father's Day stuff to talk about!) so I'm going for the "more bang for your buck" blogpost and showing you the rest of our Kansas City trip (before it's this Tuesday already)!

One of my favorite places to visit in Kansas City is the Steamboat Arabia.  It's basically one of 100s of boats that sank on the Missouri River in the 1800s.  The boat was fully loaded when it sank, so when they found it and dug it up (in the middle of a corn field) several years ago, they unearthed a 19th century storehouse of wares.  We're talking pickles - still edible, butter - still smelled fresh, dishes, hats, nails, door knobs, saws, boots, buttons, needles, pots, pans ... and 27 cents in change.  They have been cleaning the items for 15 years and project 10 more years of cleaning.  (They keep everything frozen before it gets cleaned.)  The museum is the first of its kind to restore fresh water sunken treasures.  It's really quite amazing.

Everything you see in the pictures was found under a cornfield on a sunken steamboat
headed for towns upriver in 1856!  Some towns didn't survive as a result of the wares not arriving.
 (Building supplies, food, etc.)

Lots of fun was had by all!  But we were hungry and needed to move on...

Kansas City, of course, is known for its barbeque.  We chose Arthur Bryants this time.  All four of the kids shared ONE sandwich - that's how huge they are! 

Tuesday we visited the top-rated place to take your kids in KC - Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead.  I don't remember this place from my childhood...oh wait.  I'd never been there before!  It opened in 1978, but was renamed for a fallen police officer in 1985.  Pretty cool place.  We didn't get to everything the kids wanted to do, but it's always good to leave something for next time, right?

The kids loved panning for gold.  Errr...precious gems.  I've told the kids stories of panning for gold in The Black Hills of South Dakota as a kid (at tourist traps - not as a prospector or anything like that), so they were pretty darn excited to dump their sand into the pans at this farm. 

So, there was fool's gold and some other cool rocks - T was disappointed a little (due to the We Buy Gold guys that stand out in front of those stores lately and Daddy telling them how much gold is worth...), but the rocks were still cool!

And horseback riding!

We missed fishing at Deanna Rose, but we made it to the American Girl Store.

Meiners was thrilled.  See him here, hiding in the bushes before we went in?  (and by 'we' and 'went in' I mean the girls went in to American Girl - the boys continued to hide in the corners...)

One girl went shopping.

One girl did not...

...Pooks was in a little trouble and wasn't allowed to shop...

Then home we went.  From start to finish, the trip lasted 36 hours. 

We sure enjoyed this whirlwind Traveling Tuesday!

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