Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baseball champs

Bryce is playing baseball again this spring, and his team has had a really good season!  He's been consistently getting hits,

and had a good fielding year,

and he's even tried pitching a few times!

He's a FAST runner, and always reading for the steal!

There's nothing better than crossing that plate!

These three guys have been on the same team since 3rd grade,

and Dad's been an assistant coach along with Coach Kathy for the last three years.

The boys have learned a lot about baseball, and have really developed their skills and abilities!  This year, they finished 1st in their division, with a record of 13 - 1!  Way to go!! 

They got their trophies last night, and were REALLY excited!

Dad was proud, too!

Next week is the playoffs, and they'll play against the winner of the other division in the League Championship (which just happens to be the team they beat last night!!)  Good Luck, boys!!  Play hard!!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Wrapping up our trip to Indiana Dunes & a Quilt-Along

Our last full day at Indiana Dunes started out sunny and warm, so we took the kids to the beach for a while.  The waves were pretty big, and we all had a good time playing in the water.  After awhile, we went back to the campers for lunch, and then drove over to the Chelburg Farm/Bailey Homestead in the National Park for a ranger-led tour at 2:30.  We were a little late getting there, but lucky for us, the ranger was still in the parking lot -- waiting for people to show up for the walking tour! 

We started out by taking the trail to the Chelburg Farm.  The Chelburg Family (let's see if I remember this correctly) were Swedish Immigrants, and one of the first settlers in this region.  We saw the maple sugar shack,

the chicken coop,

the barn,

and the house.

We saw the living room and the parlor where the family would have spent their evenings, and our guide showed the kids some of the games and toys that children of that time period would have had,

including this jar of marbles that was as valuable to kids then as a most sophisticated game system would be to kids today.  We also saw the kitchen, which was truly the hub of the home in those days -- all cooking, eating and bathing took place here.

Back outside, the kids tried their hands at some manual plowing in the potato field.

With their work complete (1 row plowed!), we headed back down the trail to the Bailey Homestead.

Joseph Bailey was a fur trader, and the kids were able to talk to some additional naturalists-in-training who were doing some reenactments in the fur trader cabin.

In the fur trader cabin, we saw various animal pelts -- coyote, raccoon, beaver, bear

Kylie wasn't too thrilled with the pelts, and not at all interested in touching them!

We completed our guided tour with a visit to Joseph and Mary Bailey's on-site chapel, now home to a resident squirrel.  We enjoyed our private guided tour, and the kids all got Junior Ranger badges out of it!

Back at the campground, it was just starting to rain.  We split up and had dinner in our campers, and then just called it a night.  The rain kept up for a while, so no campfire that night.

Wednesday morning was sunny and beautiful, but we needed to get packed up to go home (of course!).  Before I closed up the slides, I took a couple of pictures -- our new coffee table

and the new french door to the garage, with the panes cleaned off.

Back at home, I was catching up on blogs when I discovered the Charming Friends Quilt-Along on Paulette's blog.  I'm a little late in hearing about it, but I decided to jump right in.  I had 2 charm packs and coordinating fabric that I could use, so tonight I got started cutting the fabric and piecing the blocks.

I LOVE the colors -- it just screams summer!!  It's going to be a great little quilt!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mt. Baldy

Monday's weather promised to be pretty good, so we decided to take a trip to Mt. Baldy, at the eastern end of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

We took the trail from the parking lot to the beach, and Bryce and Kylie headed straight for the water!

The beach was pretty empty when we got there, and you could see the fog rolling in off the water.

Tom, Nicolas and I decided to climb to the summit of Mt. Baldy,

and we made it!

Tom thought he'd try to toss Nicolas down, but I think he under-estimated the boy's strength!

But then he decided to take the jump himself!

He's lucky he wasn't hurt!

The kids enjoyed their trip to the top of Mt. Baldy,

and we all enjoyed our day at the beach!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Nicolas!


Nicolas turns 14 today!  Happy Birthday!

After 8am mass at St. Ann of the Dunes, we gathered with Todd, Josh and Kylie and went to check out the Dune Interpretive Center.  We learned about how the dunes were formed, and how they are moving east every year.  Next was Nicolas' special birthday request

The Albanese Candy Factory!

Being Sunday, there was no production to watch, but plenty of people were there shopping!

We all picked out our favorites, and left with our yummy treats!

Back at the campground, the weather seemed pretty decent so the kids put on their swimsuits and we took a hike to the beach.  Through the woods, up the stairs, over the dune, and we were at the beach!

The 58 degree water was COLD, but that didn't stop Bryce or Kylie from going swimming

or Casey, either!

Once everybody was sufficiently frozen, we headed back.  Thinking we would take an easier trail back to the campground, we started over the dune.  Turns out the trail we took was even steeper than the one we came over on the way out, and we ended up at the peak of Mt. Holden.

Once we made it there, though, we were all set, and had a fairly easy hike back through the woods. 

Next order of business was dinner -- Nicolas chose BBQ ribs for his birthday dinner -- and then s'mores around the fire.  No more rain tonight, so we had a good evening around the campfire!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Indiana Dunes State Park

Saturday's drive was a short one -- just 65 miles -- from Nappanee to Indiana Dunes.  We took Route 6 west, and then north on Route 49 for an easy drive.  Our friend Todd left Shipshewana in time to catch right up to us as we left Newmar -- the timing couldn't have been better. 

Arriving at the park, we were lucky to find that our site had been vacated already, so we could set right up.  Todd wasn't so lucky, and had to kill some time on a nearby site.  We had reserved site 6, which I was told would be long enough for our rig.  That information proved to  be correct, and we had plenty of room -- Nicolas was even able to open up the back door.

For future reference, we walked around and noted several other sites that would accommodate us.  Once Todd was able to get set up, we took the kids down to the beach to check out the lake and the sand dunes.  Unfortunately, on the drive over from Nappanee, the temperature dropped a good 20 degrees . . . no longer warm enough for swimming!  The kids spent some time running up and down the dunes,

and then we headed back to the campers, as the sky was starting to look threatening.  Nicolas and I went on a Walmart run, and ran right into the severe weather!  We were hoping it missed the campground.  The severe weather did stay south, but we had steady rain most of the evening.  After a quick dinner of leftovers, the kids watched some movies with the rangers while Todd, Nicolas and I tried to get Nick's new TV up and running.  We finally managed to get sound, but still have quality issues with the picture.  We also discovered that the wiring of the various TVs into the switchbox is not the way we'd want it . . . we'll probably end up making some changes.  We finally gave up on it at midnight, and everybody turned in for the night.