Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kansas Adventures, September

While Sophia has ballet classes, Hannah gets to come to our home. September is almost over and we needed to get in our Kansas adventure for September (this month has gone fast!) So we decided to take Hannah on our excursion for this month.

We left Newton on Highway 81 going north all the way to Lindsborg. We had never been on most of this old highway before. We usually go on the interstate. It was just beautiful countryside with rolling hills. Something to be said about back roads.

One of the things we wanted to do on our Kansas adventures was to go on a bike trail that had been converted from old railroad beds. There is such a bike trail in Lindsborg. The Välkommen Trail is a 2.5 mile all-weather bicycle and pedestrian trail. The trail was converted from the abandoned Missouri – Pacific and Union Pacific rail beds.

We came across a little park and of course Hannah wanted to get off the bike and play for a little while!
I think this bridge is so quaint! We went across it to get back to the truck. After we loaded our bikes, we drove into Lindsborg, a charming little town with rich Swedish heritage. We had to stop at the Dala factory of course!

"What is a Dala horse? Its perhaps Sweden’s best known icon, a bluntly rounded, tail-free horse that is thought to have been first whittled out of wood by the fire during long cold Scandinavian nights. In recent years, Lindsborg adopted the Dala symbol of Swedish folk craft as a symbol of identity and welcome. Here you’ll see traditional Dala horses on front porches, on coffee mugs and even on the side of police cruisers."
This lady hand paints many items in the store and she painted Hannah's name on her own Dala horse. After leaving the factory where they not only make Dala horses but many other Swedish items, we strolled through the downtown, going in to a couple art galleries. One of the photographers who has a gallery in this town is a photographer for the National Geographic Magazine!
We stopped for a little snack at one gallery.
Leaving Lindsborg, we drove west and then north 3 miles to Coronado Heights, a scenic overlook and park.

"In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) built a picnic area and castle like building out of Dakota limestone. It is rather cool and the view is spectacular - reminiscent of the view from Sterling Castle in Scotland. The winding drive up to the heights is beautiful, with many trees, yucca, and sumac. The park has grills and fireplaces, including a fireplace in the "castle," which is otherwise unlighted except for the windows.

Coronado Heights receives its name from Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who visited central Kansas in 1541, looking for the Native American community of Quivira, where he was told 'trees hung with golden bells and ... pots and pans were beaten gold.' Coronado didn't find his gold, and it is unknown if he actually ascended the heights now named after him near Lindsborg, Kansas."

Hannah wanted to climb the "mountain" so when we found these steps, she and Papa climbed the rest of the way up, while I drove to the top of the hill.

Hannah wanted to go down those steps so this time I went with her, while Papa drove down the winding road.

A fun little day trip for our September Kansas adventure!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Going to see the milkman

Yesterday Jill told me that the homeschool group was going on a field trip to the Milkman's place. She asked if I'd like to go along. Of course!!

"Yee-Haw! Nana is coming on ouw field twip!" Sophia burst out!

So this morning we went to the dairy farm.

The Milkman's Wife told us about their farm. This is a 3rd generation dairy farm.
The Milkman told us that his cattle produce about 8 gallons of milk a day. But in peak production period (90 days after a calf is born) they can produce up to 16 gallons a day. That is a lot of milk! (I hope I got that information right)

What do the children see?
A new born calf - born just hours before and still wobbly on its' feet.

They have a barn that people can rent for weddings, rehearsal dinners, parties. Very neat!
At the end of the tour, the Milkman's Wife handed out home-made chocolate chip cookies and fresh milk! Mmmm! Thanks Kerry!

They have a store here and you can buy fresh milk, eggs, cheese curds, cupcakes... And a coffee bar to boot with free WiFi so you can do the coffeehouse thing!

The kids found the tree house and playground!

I could not resist this picture of the little Milkman's daughter!
Thank you Dan and Kerry for the wonderful fun morning you provided for us!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Japanese lessons

While Jill is teaching music lessons at Berean preschool, I watch the girls. We are having Japanese lessons. We began last week learning where Japan is; what the Japanese call their country; the 4 main islands; the flag.

Today we began with some of the greetings like good morning, good afternoon, etc. After lessons, we baked some cookies for Mom 2 Mom (recipe at end). We set aside 6 cookies for the girls to decorate for themselves! They just love those sprinkles!

While we made them, I told the girls how important it is to put in just the right ingredients - sugar, flour, eggs...

God also gives us a "recipe" of how to be a Christian. We need to put in love, kindness, gentleness...

If we put dirt, bugs or worms in our cookies, that would be no good. They might still be cookies, but - gross!!

And if a Chrstian adds rudeness, ungratefulness, selfishness - as we all do at some time or another since we are all imperfect and sometimes unlikeable people - well, we are still "cookies" but not too tastey!

There were a couple of times I had to tell the girls this morning - "let's add the right ingredients! Sweetness and kindness! Not dirt!"

Speaking of dirt....
making cookies with children can make quite a mess, but luckily the girls help clean up pretty good.
Then we got out the playdough to make more "cookies".

Sign that little people have been at my house!

Recipe for "Men's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies"
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup nuts
2 cups chocolate chips
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix shortening, butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, blend together dry ingredients. Mix all together. Mix in nuts and chocolate chips last of all. Drop by rounded tablespoonfulls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet (I do spray with cooking spray for easy removal) Bake 15 minutes. Enjoy!