Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sneak Peek

The school room is coming together nicely, get ready for a post about it next week!!!
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Beautiful Weather, Isn't It?

Today is gorgeous. High of 78* in beautiful Southern Illinois during the last few days of July. We have the windows open, diapers on the line, and a chicken boiling for chicken noodle soup for dinner.

I'm sure it won't last and will be back up in the 90's with high humidity, but today, is perfect, and we will praise God for giving us today and enjoy it.

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Oh Baby, The Places We Went

Interested in checking out the places we went?

Meramec State Park

Onondaga Cave

Riverside Wildlife Center

Meramec Caverns (boat ride and mining)

Rt 66 Museum

World's Largest Rocking Chair

Maramec Spring Park

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Meramec State Park- Vacation Day 4

Day four was our last morning in the cabin, we had to check out by 11. So we got up, dressed and loaded into the van to leave. It was also a special day, Alta officially turned 2 the last day of our vacation!

We went to the park store to pick out a souvenir for each kid, then checked out. We headed down to the camp grounds to help Dad and Nanoo pack up, which didn't take long. We saw them off towards home and we headed down I-44 toward St. James MO for one more last day of fun.

But first, we had to stop and get the kids' picture taken with the big bucket, which is a tradition for our family, the last time we vacationed here, the boys were 3 and 1.

Our next stop was the world's largest rocking chair in Cuba, MO. The kids thought it was hilarious and wanted to climb up on it.

After the rocking chair, we continued on to St. James and to Maramec Spring Park.

I absolutely love Maramec Springs. It is a beautiful place, full of history, full of nature. I just love it. The kids loved it too.

Maramec Spring was a booming iron works village in the 1840s-1870s. You can see the ruins of the furnaces, the mills, and a few chimneys. It is wonderful and has some much potential for learning.

In addition to the history, there are the springs, which house thousands of trout. You can feed the trout and watch them swim up to the surface in hundreds to eat the food you throw in. Of course, my favorite is the baby trout pools. Even baby fish are cute, haha.

Where the spring came up from the cave underground

Albino trout

Feeding the fish

Feeding the baby fish

So many fish

Just beautiful

There was also an awesome antique farm equipment museum in the park, but very few pictures were taken in there and none were very good. We were all very tired and cranky by that time.

After we had looked all over the park, we started the long 3 hour drive home. But we made it. And picked up the dogs, and loved on them and the cats, checked on the chickens and everything at home was still just as we remembered.

After all, there truly is, no place like home.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Meramec State Park- Vacation Day 3

On day 3, we woke up leisurely, then went and had breakfast with Dad and Nanoo. They decided to go visit family that lived in the area, while we went sight seeing again. We made plans that night to celebrate Ali's birthday at their camper.

After breakfast, we were off! First stop was Riverside Wildlife Center, in Stanton, MO.

At first glance, you think to yourself. Ummm, maybe we should just keep driving. But we went in, and it was wonderful!

We had a tour guide who told us all about the animals, how they care for them, how they acquired them, (most were unwanted exotic pets), and he would share a personal story about that animal. You could tell they really cared for the animals and each one was special in their own ways.

Every single worker was kind and had a smile on their face.

When you first go out into the animal sanctuary, you go by the alligators. Really close to the alligators. Really close. Close enough where they could eat you. Seriously.

After the alligators, were an iguana, chickens, pheasants, and a goat.

We also got to see a fox, bobcats, emus, and a few other animals. 

But the main attraction for me was the beautiful tigers, Jasmine and Jafar, and the lion, Leo.

After the outside animals, you go in to the reptile room. In the room they have a lot of snakes, a few turtles, a GIANT snapping turtle, as well as the move it move its, the lemurs. 

Someone was a little happy about holding a snake. 

We don't like to move it move it. At all. 

Ali would have spent all day sticking her tongue out at this guy.

Cute baby alligators

Petting the alligator

Park would not sit still

Landon petting the alligator. Parker would not go near it.

It was awesome, if you are ever near Stanton, go check them out! 

After the Wildlife Center, we went down the road a ways to Meramec Caverns. You may know this as Jesse James' hideout. Since we had toured the cave 2 years previously, and did Onondaga cave the day before, we skipped the cave tour. 

We did however, go on the riverboat ride. It happened to be the kids' first ever boat ride. They did awesome. And we learned a bit about the river and the wildlife in the river. 

A little nervous

Parker has his thinking tongue out.

This guy welcomed us back to shore.

After the boat ride, the kids "mined" for gold, rocks, fossils, and other things at the Meramec Mining Co.

My loves, with me photobombing.

Still has his thinking tongue out.

After mining, and getting some old fashioned drinks and candy in the fudge shop, we headed east on I44, and went to the Rt. 66 museum. 

The kids were not impressed with this, and had quite enough sight seeing for the day, so the museum was a quick walk through. 

Ali would not pose with them. 

After the museum, it was back to Sullivan, to go to Wal-Mart to buy Ali's birthday cake and get some pizzas and have a little birthday party. 

Papa and his namesake

Opening her puppy

Sitting with their Nanoo, one of their favorite people in the world. 

After the party, it was back to the cabin and time for baths and bed and get ready for the next day. 

Stay tuned for day 4!

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