Monday, August 30, 2010

This is the Place Civil War Days

Almost a month ago This is the Place Heritage Park hosted their annual Civil War Days. The kids and I went down to enjoy the festivities on Friday. I wish we could have stayed the entire weekend, but Saturday we headed out on our Albuquerque trip. We had a great time and the kids were pretty good, wild, but good.

Amanda and her children were also there for the day and the kids got along great. We rode the train as soon as we arrived and let the kids know that we were all going to have to take turns. 'Mom turns' (talking with the public, hanging out with the soldiers, singing civil war songs) and 'kid turns' (riding the train, visiting the petting zoo, going to the old fashioned playground).

I have been meaning to make all my kids bonnets and the night before I realized I still had not accomplished this task. So I began. I wanted Kendal to have a purple one with some gorgeous reproduction fabric I purchased in the Clara Barton collection. So I made one up. Too small. Emmitt got this one. I made another. Too big. So Kelsey got that one. I could not bring myself to having 3 matching bonnets, so Kendal finally got one the correct size in plain old muslin. I think they turned out darling.

The kids loved singing Goober Peas and listening to the dulcimer. So did everyone that heard Amanda playing. They could not help but join in.

Here is Austin, Skyler, and Jamin. Amanda and I set up our things in the Confederate camp and enjoyed the shade from the great trees surrounding the Rich home at This is the Place Park.

The kids were always hungry and continually snacking. I guess that is why they didn't eat their lunch we actually purchased at the park! Lesson learned!

This fellow just joined our group this summer and Emmitt climbed right up into his lap. He didn't seem to mind and told me how cute all my girls were. It was then that I went into the whole 'boys wore dresses' kick again. He thought it was great!

Our Union boys drilled a little for the public on Friday. On Saturday, the day I missed, they actually had 3 skirmishes that were such a hit. The soldiers loved it and the public loved it. I wish I could have been there for the all the smoke and action!

This is on our way to one of the 'kid turns' - the horses. They were so excited!

We were all singing songs while Amanda was playing her dulcimer for the public and Emmitt was just behind us playing around. A handful of the folks listening to us took pictures of him and I decided that I should too. He was such a good little boy.

The kids were so excited to ride the horses. It completely cracked me up. Both of their grandpas have plenty of horses to ride, but for some reason riding a horse tied up to a round machine that made it walk in a circle was just the highlight of the day. Maybe the clothing added to the experience! Ha ha!

I felt bad for these horses -walking in a small circle all day with rotten children on their backs! The horse I rode while growing up was named Roxy. She would have NEVER handled this abuse! One summer day my brother had her saddled up and was giving my little sister who was around 4 at the time a few rides up and down our lane. Now my parents' lane is long, like hundreds of yards long. After about 3 or 4 times up and down the lane, Roxy had had enough and bucked Tori off into the barbed wire fence. She still has a little scar on her cheek to prove Roxy's sauciness. She would have NEVER walked in a circle all day! Maybe for a few minutes, and then the horse behind her would have been kicked a few times too!

We went to the petting zoo and Emmitt loved the goats. The goats were being lazy and resting in the shade. Emmitt found this the perfect opportunity for a goat ride and promptly sat down on one. When it tired of the weight, it would get up and Emmitt would sit on another one. He was so cute.

Amanda hid a goat under her dress and the kids thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen. They laughed and laughed. So did I actually.

Kelsey was such a great help all day long. She is a sweetie and loved the day also.

The kids were interested in the pigs. Of all stinking things! Pigs! Here is Kendal, William, Lydia, Amanda, and a few assorted children loving the pig pen. I thought Kendal might topple over right into the muck!

Kendal was a good girl too. She likes to dress up in 'cibal war' dresses and is a pretty good sport. She wouldn't keep her cute little bonnet on though - figures!

Another 'kid turn' was at the playground. Emmitt was so happy to just run and play like a wild man. Earlier he had gone into a little play house with this kid and Emmitt came out with his sucker! The little boy didn't cry, just followed him out with a worried look on his face!

To buy us more 'mom turn' time, we sent the older kids on the train. They were great. The train conductor watched them for us and everyone was happy. Amanda and I got 15 minutes in the Union camp and with the public and the kids got 15 minutes of their fun time. It was so great, we did it 3 times!

Kelsey, Kendal, William, Lydia, and Thomas

I just love that bonnet!

Kelsey took this picture of Emmitt and I. The afternoon was getting a little warm so we found some wonderful shade near the playground. Everyone was happy.

Kelsey wanted to learn about pottery, so we found the pottery lady, Bethany, and Kelsey watched her for awhile. She was in awe. Kelsey loves that sort of thing; she is such a creative girl.

When the afternoon wore on and the temperatures climbed, Kendal and Kelsey felt the need to get cool. They took of their dresses and played in the shade in their chemise, petticoats, and stays.
This is Kendal's petticoat. I meant to make her a stay and have separate petticoats that buttoned onto it, but I liked Emmitt's strapped petticoat so much, that is what I decided to do for Kendal. Here is the back of her strapped petticoat. She loves it. There should be two more buttons that attach the straps to the back of the petticoat, but alas, time is my enemy and so safety pins are doing that job. (the bonnets were more important!) So now I need to sew on buttons. The buttonholes are made, just no buttons yet. This type of petticoat is much more suitable for Kendal than the kind I made Kelsey. She thinks it is great!

Snacks under the trees in underthings! Oh the life!

Emmitt was barefoot; we took the hot shoes and stockings off, and so I thought he wouldn't stray too far. Wrong. I chased the little turkey down the boardwalk for the length of 4 houses!

Kendal was a true lady and got dressed again for dinner. She is such a funny girl. We had a wonderful dinner. Sugarfoot John cooked us an amazing civil war dinner. If only the real soldiers could have eaten as well! Matt came and got the kids after dinner when he finished work. I stayed for the evening and enjoyed that 'mom turn.'

After dinner when the park closed, we had a skirmish around the church. Some producer folks are making a civil war movie and they wanted to film some footage for it. They filmed the ladies (us) walking out of Sunday services at the church while a Union soldier ran up to us and told us to run, the Rebels were coming. It was wonderful and fabulous. They guys had a blast and we giggled after we ran from the church and hid behind the building.

Amanda and I

Here is 'Jimmy', Amanda, and I. Jimmy is really a female that dresses up and plays the part of a soldier. She does an excellent job. She came last year to this event for the first time and it took 2 days before the guys knew her impression. There really were hundreds of ladies that dressed as men and fought for their side of the war between the states. Some of them were found out, and many were never discovered. She does this impression to honor them.

We gathered around the artillery tent to watch the footage they recorded of the church skirmish. It was very fun to see the guys in action.

Friday night the guys rolled cartridges for the next day's battles. It made me imagine what an evening in a real civil war camp might have been like, well, not really because 150 years ago those boys had lost buddies that day in battle. Very sobering.

We have a great group of people in our organization. I appreciate everyone's friendship and the good times we have together.

Caleb and Amanda played together during the day and at night we sang with them for awhile. Okay, a long while. It was fun to sing with everyone. We love the civil war era songs. Actually, last night Kelsey was reading a Magic Treehouse book about the civil war and yelled at me to come to her bed. I went in where she was reading and she showed me the page and the words "tenting tonight on the old campground." She thought it was great that she new the song and the tune that the characters in the book were singing. She then said "I love that we do civil war mom." Me too.

Friday, August 27, 2010

the leaf

I really dislike cooking in the summer, so I don't that much. We eat easy food and we eat at the bar. I take the leaf out of the table because we only eat at the table a few times all summer, and besides, it makes a great sewing table!

Well, school started yesterday. That means I put the leaf back in the table and rearranged furniture, and CLEANED. I made a fabulous dinner last night and we all sat around the table again. It felt nice, very nice. It was a great kick off to school starting and getting in a routine again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kelsey amazes me again

When we were in Albuquerque last week the girls complained about all the restaurants we went to for dinner. Matt and I don't EVER go out together, so we took the opportunity to eat at fun places for us and not so fun places for the kids. So the last night in Albuquerque we ate at Denny's. It was good; the kids liked it and so did Matt and I.
In the little foyer of Denny's they had one of those claw games that you put 2 quarters into and you try to grab a stuffed animal with the claw. Now Kelsey LOVES stuffed animals. LOVES. When we sat down to order she asked me if she could go try the claw. I responded with "no way, that is a waste of money - you never win anything, just decide what you want for dinner." She continued her plea. Finally I said "Fine sweetie, you are right. You need to learn the hard way about those games. Yes, you can spend 2 of your quarters and go try to win an animal after we eat."

Well, she put in her 2 quarters and grabbed a red bear. She loved it, but Scooby Doo was right there on top too. So I said "sure, give it a try" as I was just irritatedly happy about her previous win. So, she grabbed Scooby Doo. Then she saw a cute pink and black poodle. She gave Emmitt the red bear and Kendal Scooby. Scooby Doo is one of Kendal's new faves since we got a Scooby Doo dvd from the library a few weeks ago. Kelsey cashed in another dollar for quarters. The Claw finally did what it was made to do and took her money. She really wanted that poodle. I let her try again and she grabbed it. She got 3 nice sized (like 18 inch tall) little friends for $2. I ate my words, but only because she is Kelsey, not because I trust the claw.
She started third grade today. She is a great little girl and we all love her so much. What would we do without Kelsey?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

i have been gone from my house for 8 days!

We got home this afternoon after being gone from my home for 8 days! That is too long for this homebody! Matt had some continuing education credits that he needed to take and so we headed down to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the AABP (American Association of Bovine Practitioners) meeting.

On the way down we stopped and stretched our legs walking around the Monticello Temple.

We then spent the evening and night in Cortez, Colorado. Matt and I used to live there when he first got out of vet school, so it was great memories for us. We took the kids to watch the Indians dance at the cultural center. We used to live only a few blocks from there and I remember going to sleep in the evenings to the sound of the drums.

We spent a day at Mesa Verde National Park. The kids sure enjoyed it. Here is Emmitt loving a diorama. He kept barking at the little dog on the other side of the glass!

There were signs everywhere all over the SPRUCE TREE HOUSE ruin that said not to climb on the walls. Kendal had a VERY hard time with this rule! Here I am whisking her down again before we all got in trouble!

Mesa Verde was great and the kids ate it up, but it was a little too warm. Our next trip there will be in October or April!

We made it to Albuquerque and Matt went to meetings for three full days. The kids and I swam, did our school clothes shopping, and played tourist. I must boast in saying that Emmitt had a 2 hour nap everyday we were there. The girls were great to be quiet and watch a movie while I pulled the curtains and turned off all the lights in the hotel room and read a book in the dark. My kids were such great kids.

We played in Old Town for a half a day. We all went to eat in Old Town the previous night and Matt and I were so impressed with the Mexican restaurant we ate at. The food was fabulous and the building was built in the 1840s and was still in use. When the kids and I went back the next day we visited the rattlesnake museum, and old convent and church, a civil war battlefield, and shopped the shops and browsed what the Indians had for sale on their blankets.

This is the San Felipe de Neri church. The original was founded in 1707 but collapsed in 1792. This church was then built in 1793 with 5 foot wide adobe walls. It is pretty amazing and it is still in use. The Union army leased the rectory of the church for a few years after the civil war and in 1881 a two story convent was built on the west side and was occupied until the late 1970s. It is now a gift shop and my girls were in awe at all the pictures of Jesus, crosses, necklaces, and tokens for sale. At one time there was also a school for boys on the north side near the courtyard.

Of course I have to include some civil war info! In April of 1862 there was the Skirmish of Albuquerque where a small detachment of Confederate Brigadier General Sibley's men were outnumbered 6 to 1 by Union forces led by Colonel Canby and they still held the city of Albuquerque. Later, when the Confederates retreated back to Texas, the artillery commander, Major Teel, buried 8 cannon barrels about 500 feet from the San Felipe de Neri church so the Union forces could not obtain them. 27 years later in 1889, Major Teel returned to Albuquerque and dug up all 8 cannon barrels that were in a chile pepper patch. 2 of these cannon remain in Albuquerque and here are my girls with them. See? The civil war is bound to find me and me to find it!

On our way back home from Albuquerque we stopped at 4 Corners. It was a quick stop, but worth the $9 it cost to get in! Emmitt has been in more states in his one year of life than I had been until I was in college. Crazy!

We thought of a unique pose for Kelsey - different from the crawling position most people do. She kept saying "Hurry dad, take the picture, my hands are burning! Hurry dad!"

We had a fabulous trip and Matt said he learned so much in his embryo transfer class. It was nice to get away, but it was so much nicer to come home and find everything well here. I am quite a homebody. I was worried about my garden and yard. We got some nice rain and the corn is fine and even bigger, and the lawn looks good too.


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