Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day Trip with The Cousins. .

We were hoping for a slower week, since the fair was over. .but little luck there!!
It was a busy work week for me. .I was ready for Cami and I's little makeover by our favorite hair stylist Thursday after clinic. .and from there. .we went right on to Wichita to meet up with the cousins for an overnight stay at a pool-boasting hotel. .and then a day trip to Exploration Place!! Emma and Keith had never been to the children's museum since moving to Kansas over a year ago. So we thought it was time they checked it out!! 
Double bonus was that Aunt Lisa is a Star Wars fan. .and that just happened to be the traveling exhibit! There's lots of hands-on activities for the kids. .and crafty puzzle solving adults. .one of which I am NOT. .but my SIL is!! I think she could possibly still be dreaming of the solution to this puzzle that she never could quite figure! 
They tried out the tornado tube. .in which the wind speed is around 85 mph. . 
. .practiced driving airplanes and combines. .
. .played in a two story castle. .
. .turned toads into Knights in Shining Armour. . 
. .saw famous Kansas landmarks in a miniature setting. .complete with a train that circled the towns, lights and glowing campfires, a moving carnival, and kids swinging in their trees. . 
. .observed science in motion (a pendulum). .
. .and did a little role playing!
They met R2D2 and CP3O. .
real costumes from the real movie!!
Interestingly, there were little earpieces at each costume/prop station. .for persons to be able to have the history spoken to them. .
. .but pretty much, 
she just used them to have conversations with her make believe friends. .
and ordered some lunch. .
and broke up with her boyfriend!
You know. .
just a normal day!
The strangest little dude she saw all day!! It was a great trip. .
nice cool temperatures inside. .
as the temperatures continued to soar outside!! 
Peace Out. .
and have a GREAT week!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Once Upon a County Fair. .

W-O-W. .
It has been beyond crazy at our house for the last 2 weeks. .
Everyone runs different directions. .
Tristan started working a REAL job with our carpenter friend. .
Jeremy and Grant are booked out in the shop for weeks to come. .
My work weeks have been off schedule on days. .which discombobulates me!!
We've had fundraisers for youth group. .
and preparation for the fair. .
Trips out of town for funerals and driver's licensing. .
There's been chicken-killins. .
and coon hunts. .
The inside of our house looks like a cyclone has hit. .
and the outside of our house finds garden beds full of things that are sick of the prolonged and excessive heat!
And we are READY. .
for a break!!
Here's a mishmash of photos from the last week at the fair!
Tristan started a gun cabinet for his grandparents in wood class. He was able to finish it up the week before the fair! He has been pretty scarce around the last few weeks. .so I don't have any pictures since his birthday. .he actually took my camera in and photographed his cabinet himself! He received a red ribbon on this  piece. He entered some sticky buns, which earned rave reviews and a chance to take them to the state fair in September. He also entered several photos, one of which also gets a trip to the state fair!
Grant and I had to spend some time in our hot and weedy garden getting some of the crops harvested. We dug all the potatoes out. .Norland reds and Yukon golds. For the second year running, the reds have totally outproduced the golds. We also pulled all the carrots. .
which we are still enjoying!!
He got Reserve Champion on his plate of 5 Cosmic Purple carrots.They are really cool looking carrots!
Grant also will take a photo to the State Fair and will remake his Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze to be judged at the State level too. I loved how the tiny loaves turned out in this pan that my MIL gave me for Christmas!
Devin got a blue ribbon on his little rocket that I posted about last week. .He gets to take a photo to the State fair. .
in addition to his GRAND Champion Mocha Walnut Brownies!! That earned him an opportunity to sell them at the livestock premium auction Saturday  night!! He was all smiles as his brownies netted him about $200!!
Cami took her first attempt at the Farm Bureau Tractor Pull. .
Our tough little boys almost always took home a prize. .
Cami has girl muscles. .and barely got the tractor to move 10 feet!!
She also took some flowers to be judged. .and got a blue ribbon on a Denver Daisy, a blue on a pink Cosmo, a blue on a small mixed floral arrangement that she helped fix, and a red on some tiny spider zinnias that she insisted on taking! Overall, she was ONE excited little girl with all those ribbons!
The youth group took on 4 activities at our small fair-based carnival. .
Cotton candy. .
Which was a hit. .I wondered how long it took Lona to get it all out of her hair and off her body!
A dunk tank. .
which, I must admit. .felt pretty good with the heat. .
at least for the first 20 minutes, right before my fingers lost all feeling.
My mister ALSO took his turn. .
and seemingly, enjoyed the experience!
They also ran a jumbo inflated slide. .and an inflated bouncy house! Which is where Cami spent the majority of the evening! One of the perks of being a youth group sponsor is that, when my daughter runs out of money. .they just let her play for free!!
She has the end of a cotton candy cone in one hand and a root beer float in her other hand. .that, on top of a hot dog, a previously eaten cotton candy, and an icee slush!
She has an Iron Gut!!
Tristan won $100 at the carnival from a drawing that his mother lovingly signed him up for. .
But, instead of going halves with her. .
 he bought her a concession stand hot dog. .
Fair deal?? I think NOT!!
I was surprised by the "surprise" lilies I found blooming this weekend!! They are a little early!
After all that. .
we were glad to have the fair and all it's excitement and stress under our belt for 2012!!
Hard to believe that school starts THREE weeks from today. .
Where has the summer gone?
Hope you enjoy your week. .and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sweet Sixteen. . .

The day came. .
and went.
Amazing what 15 years of growth to the baby picture above has turned into!!
Of course, there were gifts. .
and a little sister that was more than happy to help him see what they were!
 A beautiful, breathless day spent at the lake with his dad and some of his buddies. .
boating. .skiing. .wakeboarding. .
kneeboarding. .tubing. .
snacking. .swimming. .
and burying people in the sand. .
You know. .everything that goes along with a day at the lake!

Tristan is very fond of the huge chocolate chip cookies that are all decorated up with icing. Because we don't live down the street from a large grocery store or bakery (an hour away. .to be exact) those cookies can be hard to come by at the right time. I've figured out that they can be duplicated at home fairly easily.
 I made a rectangle this time, but have also used my round pizza stones. I bought a large tube of chocolate chip cookie dough (we DO have that in our stores) and cut it into rounds, smashing them together with my fingers.
Bake at 350 for about 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Another 1/2 tube of dough would have made it a little thicker, which would have been more consistent with the store boughten ones. Or you can easily just make a smaller cookie. It really started out as a true rectangle. .but someone kept coming by and thieving dough off the corner before I could get it in the oven! That ever happen at your house?? I used the whipped buttercream frosting I posted about the other day to decorate it. YUM!
A cake decorator I am NOT. .and as I was messing around with different tips. .I ended up with the two blue lines. .not even sure WHAT I was doing. .then I had to decide what I could make them into. The best I could come up with was putting an eyeball on their tops. .and a green star that looked like a stocking cap. .and gave them a wake board (or whatever). The guys didn't say much. .just gave me crossways looks like I'd gone crazy. My defense was that it was LATE at night!!
Anywho. .
The countdown is on for our vacation. .and we couldn't be more ready. .
BUT. .
we must first survive the annual County Fair this week. .
and a half dozen other obstacles between now and then. .
It's hot. .and we need rain. .
but the kids are still growing. .the flowers are still blooming. .the garden is producing. .
and life marches on!!
We ARE so blessed!!
Have a superb week!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Double Birthday Party

Last week we did LOTS of partying!!
We enjoyed the company of friends while listening to a talented young man sing for several hours July 3rd. .
And of course, there was July 4th. .
Saturday evening we met up again and celebrated our two early July birthdays.
We were glad to see our family from the McPherson area. .and not just because he brought his vehicle completely LOADED with explosives!!
Does this kid look like he just ate the canary!! As many parachutes as one small child can carry!! Granny always buys plenty of these because. .
1. they are fun. .
2. everyone likes to chase them down. .
even if they aren't always the ones who catch them.
There are always plenty to pass around and share. .
Cause the little army guys that float down from the sky on the parachutes are COOL!
There was a lot of organizing of the explosives that had to be done before it got dark. .
And lots of fireworks that didn't need the dark to be fun. .
These two were enjoying some high flying spinners. .that occasionally spun themselves in locations that were not expected!!
Grandma outdid herself on the cakes!! Two golf cakes for the family golfers!! Are those not adorable!!
Someone is going to be Sweet SIXTEEN!!
They only paused for a moment to eat cake and ice cream. .
because there were things to be blown up. .
And that certainly takes precedence!!
Papa took a chair, far enough back to be out of the way of mis-firing explosives. .
and enjoyed the show!
Granddad did the same. .Don't you love Granny's perienniel hibiscus plants in the background?? Blooms as big as plates!! Seriously!
Even princesses enjoy starting things ablaze. .even though hers didn't pop. .they just smoked! Though it was dark and I couldn't see for SURE. .I believe her dad actually took her to light some of the big ones. .
Missed me, missed me. . .
We have lemon cake in the freezer. .as well as leftover Fresh Peach Ice cream (made my yours truly). .and look forward to birthday partying yet to come! The official school calendar arrived in the mail this week. .and so now it really feels like the countdown on summer break has started!
It's nearly the weekend. .
Hang in there!