Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weekend Fun: Exploring Madison County

It was a gorgeous weekend! We went on one of our Family Fun Day adventures to Madison County to do some exploring. Before we get to our Sunday Family Fun Day, we have Saturday. Matt had to work and the kids and I stuck around home. Since we were out of town all last weekend, I needed to do some much needed prepping for the coming daycare weeks (it's almost summer break which means more kids!!). Very happy I took the time to make up plans for the next few weeks. This week started out much easier with everything pre-planned and ready to go!

Saturday morning Elizabeth decided she was ready to be a big girl, tore off her diaper, handed it to me, and exclaimed "no more diaper mom." She only had a few accidents the entire day, but still isn't quite ready for "full time underwear" as Harrison calls it.
Being "piggies" with their lunch. I am not thrilled about this, but ever since we allowed the kids to watch "A Christmas Story" on Christmas Day, the two youngest minis will periodically exclaim "be piggies!" and do this. Elizabeth was only 18 months old at the time and still picked up on this!
Playing restaurant with animal crackers. Max made up menus, had an ordering pad, and poured drinks for his brother and sister. Elizabeth went between being a waitress to being served by Max.
The kids and I had planned on making chocolate chip cookies, but I discovered we were out of eggs, butter, and sugar (and no way to get them since the hubs was at work with the van). So we improvised by making chocolate covered animal crackers. Once the chocolate cooled a bit, I let the kids do what they wanted with the animal crackers. They tasted much better than they looked!

The temps finally warmed up on Saturday and the kids were able to play outside. First up was patio painting.
Harrison painted and then stepped in the wet paint with his bare feet.
Max painted the little helicopters that were all over the patio.
The boys helped me set up the newest sensory sandbox: Safari-land (see post for more details: http://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/05/sensory-sandbox-safari-land.html). They also happily played with it after it was all set up.
Swinging like a big girl.
The kids and daddy bought me flowers Saturday night. After bringing me my bouquet of flowers, Elizabeth grabbed it back from me, and proceeded to tear the flowers apart because she wanted "pretty in hair."

Sunday we took our time getting ready and slept in a bit....okay so it was one of those where the boys were up early, Matt went to the couch to doze while the boys played quietly (which they actually did for once!), and Elizabeth and I slept in. Once we were dressed and ready to go, we headed down to Madison County for our Sunday Family Fun Day. We had an excellent day and the kids loved doing the covered bridge tours.

The kids waiting to leave........according to them I was too busy getting THEIR things ready to go.
Our maps, Bridge information, and information about the town of Winterest. I read this to the kids on the way down (and also with each bridge or historical landmark we visited). The boys absolutely LOVED this part of our history lesson for the day and I'm a bit surprised that Max (almost 6) took in a lot of the information.
Our first stop: the Imes Bridge. We all loved looking at the architectural structure of the bridges.

2nd bridge: the Holliwell Bridge.

Apparently things didn't work out so well for Trinity and Seth.....or Trinity and the other 8 guys written on this bridge.
Walking the pathway to the Middle River.
The grass was going up her shorts! She didn't seem to mind too much as she picked dandelions, she did however have some trouble walking in the tall grass.
Checking out the river. The boys questioned why they couldn't go for a swim.

While down by the river and looking at the bridge from a different angle, we saw bird nests tucked under the bridge.
Our next stop was City Park where we had a picnic....and by picnic I mean we stopped at a Hardee's in town and the kids ate Hardee's for the very first time. This park is gorgeous and we were lucky enough to be there on a beautiful sunny and breezy day.
The boys had a great game of tag taking place on the playground.
Elizabeth tried to walk down the slide.
Elizabeth got a little help from Dad on the monkey bars.
Harrison loves the fireman pole at any park we go to.
City Park is so gorgeous that we had to take the long way to walk to our next bridge. I wish we had driven through the park more (on the gravel road) because we missed out on seeing Clark Tower and I'm sure more gorgeous nature sites.
This was right before Max informed me his "eyes feels weird" and watch him have an allergic reaction right before my eyes. Scary stuff but luckily we were prepared with the necessities so we could continue on with our tour.
The Cutler-Donahoe Bridge in City Park.
We drove by John Wayne's house and waved. Whenever I hear John Wayne, I think of my Grandpa Brownie who was a huge fan of western movies and John Wayne. I told the boys this and they said they are "ready to watch our first western movie."
The Winterset Art Center. I originally took this photo because their art center is a house. It wasn't until we were passed the house that I read about the history of the art center (it was a station on the Underground Railroad) that I wish we had stopped. Maybe next time.....
Next up was exploring at Pammel Park. We went to a friend's wedding there a couple of years ago and thought it was gorgeous and just now made the time to go back. The kids have been bird watching lately so they were particularly enthused about the Bird Blind. Unfortunately, Harrison's loud voice scared all of the birds away so we didn't get to see any cool birds.

Harrison needed a lift up to see and Max climbed his way up.
The kids were getting tired and I had figured this would be the end of our day, we would head home and the kids would nap in the car. But I was pleasantly surprised when the kids insisted we see more bridges. We skipped the Roseman Bridge because it was further west and taken the most time, so we headed north. Side note: we didn't see Roseman Bridge, yet the kids insist that was their favorite bridge we saw. Go figure.
Our attempts at selfies at the Hogback Bridge.

The Hogback Bridge.
Someone who lives nearby started a journal box for visitors to write in. I loved reading some of the entries and where people came from just to see the bridges: San Fransisco, New York, and my favorite-Spain.
One of the kid's favorite parts of the bridges was that they could look down into the small crevice and see the water flowing below.
Waving to Daddy on the other side of the bridge.
The stone school house. I was rather disappointed this wasn't open to visitors (you can walk around the grounds but can't go inside the school at all). It was built in 1874 using native limestone. The schoolhouse was in continuous use until 1945.
Our last stop of the adventure wasn't really a stop at all. This is the Cedar Bridge and the only bridge you can still drive across. The original Cedar Bridge was destroyed in a fire in 2002. Crews rebuilt the bridge using original materials and methods and opened to the public in 2004. The kids thought it was amazing that we could actually drive through one of these bridges.

On our drive back home, the boys crashed but Miss E was wide awake and had her doll talking on the phone to "Gramp Gramp" (aka-Grandpa).

This was by far one of our better adventures with no meltdowns, only one allergic reaction, and home in time for dinner! I was very surprised how much the kids loved touring the bridges and learning about them. I was completely prepared to only visit one or two bridges and have to kids lose interest, but they loved it more than Matt and I did. After we drove through our last bridge, evenElizabeth clapped her hands and said "next bridge!"

We're making some progress on our Summer 2014 To Do List! We haven't made our plans for our upcoming 3 day weekend (it's Memorial Day), but I'm sure we'll be crossing another adventure off of our To Do List. We've been spending a lot of our spare time working on invites and planning the big Birthday Bash. We can hardly believe that June is almost here, which means summer vacation, birthday's, and lots of fun!