Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Strawberry Picking

We went strawberry picking at Hanns Family Farm, just a few minutes from Grove City. This was the first time everyone had been strawberry picking, except me. We used to go when I was a kid. We each got our own bag and picked away. Seth brought in the biggest loot, and Isabelle sure got a lot too. Parker didn't want much to do with it :)

Walking out to the fields

Working hard

Parker didn't want his picture taken

We ended up with 10 pounds of strawberries!! We ate some, froze some, made strawberry bread and strawberry freezer jam. Everything was very yummy!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Slate Run Historical Farm

Just a few minutes from Grove City is Slate Run Historical Farm in Canal Winchester. We went there on Memorial Day. This place is so neat! It's a living historical farm from the 1880's, complete with animals, barns, crops, a farmhouse, hand-made games and volunteers that do chores just as would have been done on the farm back in that time. The sounds and smells are certainly genuine.

The first animal we saw - a cow.

Trying out the walking stilts

A wooden game with marbles

The chickens fascinated Parker

Watching the field being plowed

A true "wheel barrel"

Examining sheep's wool

This table held hand-made toys

Living room of the farm house

This is a set of wooden blocks, but Shane made it a puzzle and the kids had to put the pieces back together this way. The volunteer said that's the first time she had seen anyone make it into a puzzle!

Wooden dancer

Fresh water

Parker liked going in and out of this door

Two sheep were born the previous day!

Trying out the old farm equipment

Pig pen

Climbing over the rocks was fun


This was used to plant seeds

Horses that pulled the plows

Isabelle really liked this horse

The barn

Parker looking at the bee hives behind the fence

Upstairs of the barn

A wooden bowling game

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trip to Michigan

This summer, Isabelle and I were able to go to "Uncle Louie's" house in Breckenridge, Michigan! He and Sonya have lived there for several years, but the timing has never been right for our family to make a trip there. My mom, dad and sister (Christy) planned a trip there the weekend of June 21st, so Isabelle and I were able to tag along. Along the way, we drove through Phillipsburg and saw the house where Mom grew up and the houses where her friends lived. It seems like it is still a nice, peaceful area full of character. With a stop for lunch at Subway along the way and a stop for gas, we made it to Steve's house in about 6 hours. It's a pretty drive and part of it is along country roads and through small towns. Close to Steve's house are fields of wind turbines which were fun to look at and we all theorized about how they work. Dad has a sci-fi novel going on in his imagination about these wind turbines that are actually aliens! It was fun to make up little stories about them. The weather couldn't have been better for driving and for our entire weekend.

Greeting us at the end of the driveway were Steve, Sonya, Tori (Sonya's daughter), Nathan (Sonya's son) and Ariana (Tori's friend) on 4-wheelers with these great signs:

The funny thing is, Christy wasn't with us because she drove separately and arrived about an hour and a half later! So when we knew she was almost there, everyone once again got on the 4-wheelers and rushed to the end of the driveway to greet her with their signs. She didn't seem to mind that her name was misspelled :)

With nothing on the agenda other than relaxing and having fun, we explored Steve's place. Sonya showed us this neat little area in the woods that they named "Countryville". It has a platform in the trees with a ladder to climb up to it. It's a nice hangout.

There is a large storage building/garage that houses many things, mostly "boy toys". Steve built a wood stove in it and plans to use it this winter when he's doing his "work" in the garage.

Wood stove
The pond was a great place to swim or relax on rafts. Isabelle swam for a long time each day. She also liked to feed the fish in the pond in the evenings. Steve has two geese and they always hung out together swimming in the pond or resting among the cattails.

The pond at dusk

Sonya, Ariana, Tori, Isabelle, Steve

Isabelle & Steve

Sonya, Christy, Isabelle
The duck duo
Canoe time with Isabelle & Steve
One neighbor has a dog, Bailey, who visited us for most of the weekend. She's the perfect dog for them - she stays outside during the day and goes to her own house at night. She loves to chase balls and sticks, jumping into the water after them. It was a little tricky, though, when we played Cornhole and Bailey would jump up and catch the bags in mid-air! Isabelle and Bailey got along really well :)


Bailey going after the ball in the pond
New friends
The quads were really fun! There are several trails around Steve's property including in the large wooded area. Some of these trails are nice and straight while others get pretty bumpy! Isabelle always rode with me, Christy, Mom or Tori and we were all very careful with her. She liked to ride through the woods, but none of us took her over the big hill.

First ride!

We got this!

Steve and our cousin Wilson (age 9)

Steve tearing it up

Wilson coming around the curve

Tori & Isabelle



Christy with her Mrs. Roper dress
The challenge for the weekend was to ride over this hill. It was intimidating, but once you got the courage up to try it, it was a lot of fun! 

Christy (driving) & Steve - finally over the big hill!
Other things we did during the weekend included driving into Breckenridge (a very, very small town) for shopping, grilling black and blue burgers and enjoying a visit from Robin, Hayley, Mara & Wilson.

Our cousins Hayley, Robin, Mara & Wilson (they live nearby)

Wilson, Robin, Hayley, Mara
Wilson, Isabelle, Nathan, Hayley, Tori, Mara

Here are a few shots of random things:

Mom rockin' it at Cornhole (we won!)

Wilson caught this guy in the pond

Riding along

Well-worn trail

Black & blue burgers - yum!

"Bob" the elephant watches over the property

Tori playing volleyball

And Nathan

Steve & Mom
The man of the house

Feeding the fish

Nathan, Dad & Christy hanging out on the porch (read: How we spent most of the weekend!)

Tori & Isabelle painting nails
We also had a mini birthday party for both Sonya & Christy.

Brother/Sister love
We headed home on Monday morning, again with perfect weather. This time we stopped to eat at a Wendy's in Indiana. Isabelle was glad that we stopped to eat in Indiana (on the trip up as well) so that she can say she has been in Indiana and not just through it.

We drove by Steve's work

Welcome to Indiana

It was a really great and relaxing weekend.

Steve and Sonya were very generous hosts and I can certainly see why the love it there. We hope that our whole family will get to visit soon!