Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Celebration of Heritage

Today is July 24 and no, we did not celebrate the pioneers arriving in Utah. Our family went to discover the heritage of our current area; Leavenworth, KS. Now if you know anything about the military; Leavenworth is where individuals in the military were sent to fulfill their debt to society. Leavenworth is only a 30 minute drive north of our home. It is the first city incorporated in the state of Kansas and Fort Leavenworth is known as the post that opened the West and is the oldest fort in continuous use west of the Mississippi. Melissa Ethridge was raised in this city. Lewis and Clark passed through in July 1804, Abraham Lincoln came in 1859 seeking the Republican nomination for President, John Wilkes Booth performed here in 1863, Susan B Anthony ran a newspaper. The Federal Penitentiary has held such criminals as George "Machine Gun" Kelly, Manuel Noreiga, and the Bird Man of Alcatraz: Robert Stroud served 28 years at Leavenworth before being transferred to Alcatraz. Buffalo Bill Cody is a native son, Wild Bill Hickok lived here for a time and met Calamity Jane while she was here. Fred Harvey of the Harvey House restaurants bought a mansion and lived there until his death. Generals Custer, Sherman, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Patton and Powell have walked these streets. The prison was the largest maximum security prison in the US until 2005. The walls are 40 feet high and 40 feet below ground. Fort Leavenworth is open to the public, but everyone over 16 must show a picture ID. They have a museum on site with relics from history (including the carriage Abraham Lincoln rode in). President Regan donated 3 pieces of the Berlin Wall to the Fort.

 
We took the local city trolley tour around town with a very informative driver. Passed some very historic homes, and the girls took a ride on the C.W. Parker Carousel. Charles Wallace Parker made Leavenworth, KS the carousel capital of the world by producing more carousels in Leavenworth than in any other city in the US. He brought his amusement company to Leavenworth in 1910. On display was the oldest operating, hand cranked, wooden carousel built around 1860 which is on loan from the National Carousel Association. We had lunch at Homer's which has been around since 1931. I didn't have one but their root beer floats looked divine.
 
What a wonderful day to experience the history of Kansas.
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Schlitterbahn Vacation Village is awesome. They completed Phase 1 in 2009. Not sure when the entire area is to be complete. When it is, it will having shopping, dining, a riverwalk, the water park, and even "tree house" hotel rooms you can stay overnight in. But for now the waterpark was a lot of fun. The main lazy river actually has tidal waves coming every few seconds that send you around the whole river. That was a blast. There was about an hour wait to do the "roller coaster" slide but the other three were only about a 15 minute wait. Would like to go again during the middle of the week when it isn't so crowded. I think when it is all finished it is going to give Great Wolf Lodge (just across the freeway) a run for its money.

 
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sometimes You Win.....

And sometimes you lose. Got the babysitter last night so we could enjoy another Royals Game. It was Buck Night which means that hot dogs, small drinks, peanuts, and twinkies are all just $1. It was also Fireworks Friday when they do an awesome fireworks show after the game. And it was 50/50 night. The KC Royals raise money for a particular charity and patrons can buy a raffle ticket for $1. They sell them up until the 5th inning. At the 8th inning they put the winning number up on the jumbo tron. The charity gets half the money collected and the winning individual gets the other half. They were raising money for the Kansa City School for the Deaf. Last night someone took home $4900. It is always fun to have a national team in our city even if we do lose the game.

 
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The Joys of Being a Girl

You know I have never agreed with moms piercing their babies ears. I think that is cruel and unusual punishment. Granted, they will never even remember the trauma they went through, but all they know is that someone is causing them severe pain and mom is allowing it to happen. I on the other hand had to wait until I was 12 to do it. We changed the rules a bit in our home. Figured if at 8 they were old enough to be baptized then they were old enough to make that decision to get pierced ears or not. Savannah was absolutely thrilled when she got it done. As you can see though, Haylie was a totally different story. Oh there were tears!! I don't think it helped that we had to wait behind 3 other women and there was only one employee in the store at the time AND only one piercing gun was working so it took twice as long. By the time it was her turn she was just a basket case. However, after the initial trauma was over she was all smiles and she came home with 38 pairs of earrings (and NOT clip ons).

 
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Happy #11 Savannah!

Savannah actually turned 11 in June but we were on a family trip to Mt Rushmore so her birthday party with friends was postponed until July. She invited several from school class and several from church. She originally wanted a "Twilight" theme to her party but I couldn't find anyone that had that kind of cake. So we just went with a girly pink.

 
We had moms drop the girls off at the De Soto Aquatic Center for a couple of hours of swim time, then it was back home for pizza, cake, ice cream, and presents. We all had a great time.
 
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010 Star Spangled Spectacular

Went to our annual Star Spangled Spectacular at Corporate Woods. We always love this. We go about 5p and stay until the fireworks are through. This year the weather was great up to a point. It was cloudy, not humid, a bit breezy. Didn't think it would rain. The fireworks were supposed to start about 9:30p and no joke, a downpour started about 9:15 and wouldn't let up. Needless to say we left and they officially cancelled with a rain date the next night. Unfortunately we didn't go back even though Mike was off again that Monday. Guess we'll have to wait until next year.

 
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Fun In Kansas City

My mother and my sisters family came to visit for 5 days the end of June. Had a total blast. They flew in on my niece Jessica's 19th birthday so we celebrated with a bbq in our backyard. Monday they wanted to go around and see some church sites again. Went to the Liberty Jail Visitors Center and out to Richmond Mo where Oliver Cowdery is buried.

 
That night was our awesome Kansas City Royals. AND WE WON!
 
Tuesday was spent at Worlds of Fun. Got to love all the thrill rides!
 
Wednesday we spent at the Kansas City Zoo.
 
The weather was absolutely divine. Never above 88 and very low humidity compared to what we had had the previous week.
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