We were disappointed that, due to construction, we couldn’t go to the top of the Arch. But it was breathtaking to see, nonetheless. Jack was scared to even go close to it. He pulled back and kept insisting, “I don’t want to go up!”. It’s nearly impossible to get a good picture, especially because it was almost dark and the flash kept wrecking the shots. But this one is pretty good. We’ll just have to make another visit after the construction is finished!
When I was 11, my grandparents took me on a trip down to Florida, over to New Orleans and back up to the mid-west. One of the most memorable moments of that trip, besides Cafe du Monde, was Lambert’s Home of the Throwed Rolls. I knew my kids would love the novelty of throwing anything, but especially food, and especially in a restaurant. So we made a point to stop by on our way to Kansas City. Our table was laden with good, Southern food. Peas and Macaroni. Ribs and fried chicken. Potatoes and gravy. And rolls. I think my kids kept eating them, just so the waiter would keep throwing them.
Forget trick-or-treating in the country! You’d have to walk miles for a few snack size candy bars. We opted to visit the church’s fall festival, instead. There were fun games for the kids. Food for everyone. More candy than anyone needs. And a fun light show presenting the gospel. The little ones had a blast tossing washers, digging for dinos, tossing bean bags, shooting water guns, dunking basketballs and collecting candy. Good thing our dress up bin is so well stocked. We decided to go at the last minute but costumes are never a problem at this house!
This year our family has made the huge (to me, anyway) commitment to become involved on a robotics team. First Tech Challenge. It is a robotics team for high school age children. Although my 7 and 8 year old sometimes attend and are quite helpful, I’m told. Jeremie is the coach and they meet weekly for 3 (or so) hours at a time. We are thankful to a local church for allowing us to use their facility. One reason because it is so close to us. Less time travelling means more time building and programming. Katie and Tommy both are on the team and it has been fun to see theirs, and all the kids on the team’s, different strengths emerge. Some natural leaders. Some quiet thinkers. Some strong personalities. Some laid back. All effective. Working toward a common goal. I love the opportunity this provides for the kids and dads coaching. The only thing I don’t love is not being able to walk through one room of my house because of “robot gear”.
I should’ve waited. But there wasn’t going to be a full moon anyway. And you never know what you might meet in the garden at midnight. So I went ahead and planted in the afternoon. Garlic. Oh, how I love to plant garlic. And grow garlic. And harvest garlic. And eat garlic. When I was a child, I tried to sneak a sachet of garlic into my clothes drawers because it smelled so good! Last year, I didn’t get to plant garlic because I had a bit of a temper tantrum. So I was ready for this October 31st! It was warm outside. In the 80s. I raked back some leaf mulch and used my rake to make a shallow row. You can tell I’m not German, like Paul Gautchi, because crooked, uneven rows don’t bother me a bit! And that’s good because I had two little helpers in the garden with me today! I will be able to see the garlic sprouts, green, all winter long from my deck. My mouth will water as I wait to harvest in the summer. Chesnook. Korean Red. Lorz. German White. It was a fun day, doing what I love.
But in just a few hours we got to see a “hammy” polar bear. He just loved to goof around with the kids. Ruthie was thrilled to see the zebras. She has zebras on many of her clothes and to see “real” ones, was just too much fun! The lions, tigers and bears were all amazing. I loved to see the elephants bathing in the pool. So quiet and peaceful. And the hippos! Did you know that hippos have pink milk?! We had perfect weather for this activity and I just marvel at our Maker’s creativity. All the animals, big and small, are just so fascinating to watch.
While the older girls were enjoying the dirt and dust of the barn arena in KC, the rest of us were enjoying the lovely downtown area. We saw a fabulous electric train display at the gorgeous Union Station. The kids were fascinated by all the tiny models of people, animals, towns, and trains. It was really loud in there with all those engines going! Then we took the skybridge over to the Crown Plaza where we visited Lego Land. I. Just. Can’t. Even. All those legos! All those bricks! All those mini figures! It was such a fun experience for my kids that adore Legos. Then we headed over to Kaleidoscope. This is an area hosted by the Hallmark Company. It is full of different arts and crafts stations for the kids to create, create, and create some more. The kids made artwork, then turned it into a puzzle. They painted. It was so fun to see them all engaged to intently. And Benja…that boy and his tape. Unlimited tape, tubes and paper. He was in heaven! Kansas City was a lovely city. Just a little, big city. I had heard negative things about it (the armpit of the midwest?) but I thought it was wonderful!
The older girls competed in a national livestock judging competition in Kansas City, Mo. What a fun reason to visit this iconic facility, that may soon be leaving the area. It was a long event that required a great attention to detail and critical thinking. The girls judged many types of livestock with their team-mates and other teams from around the nation. And then they were required to give sets of oral reasons to judges as to why they placed certain animals in that order. Quick decision making, a critical eye, confidence, poise, knowledge. All these things are required to be successful. And the kids did an amazing job. To compete at this level is such an honor. We are very grateful to their coaches at the extension office and to Melinda who took the time out of her busy schedule to hear and critique reasons, message back and forth, and drive home from across the state for evening practices. We look forward to a very bright future with this successful team!
The finest horsewoman I’ve ever seen has just completed her first show. And our old trail horse, Buddy?? Well, he surprised us all by cleaning up real nice. You can tell that he is not as collected as he ought to be, though. He is used to being used for Western Pleasure. Picture a dirty cowboy, used to riding miles to check fences, being asked to don a tux and execute a tango with an elegant partner. Ha! Charlotte loves her horse! She competed this weekend at a horse show at McCoy Briar Creek Farm. Dressage is a discipline when horse and rider complete maneuvers around a ring to showcase smooth transitions, balance, memorized turns and gaits. She placed 4th in her class and we were so proud. Dressage is a highly disciplined sport and Charlotte and Buddy are novices. Next she competed in two different hunter/jumping courses. She had to memorize the course, then ride her horse around the arena, over jumps, keeping a correct diagonal. Wow! She did fantastic! Placed third in both! Charlotte has only had a handful of formal lessons and she is having a great time soaking up all the knowledge her trainer can share.