Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pumpkin Farm Fun

We took Taj to the Colony Pumpkin patch again this year.  It is a little country inside the city.  The patch is literally only 6 blocks away from where I work.   We had a lot of fun there.  First thing Taj wanted to do was play in the corn box.  Yep, that is right instead of sand they put corn in the large box.
  Taj playing with a new friend.
This year since the weather was great we decided to ride on the hay rack ride.  We had a lot of fun
 Below Taj petting one of the chickens.
 In North Liberty one can have chickens in the city.  
I believe Iowa City is the only city in the corridor who cannot
at this time.  They are working on it. 
One can have up to six chickens.
 I just love the bond these two have.
After the hay rack ride we did another first, we went to the Corn Cannon.  I think a certain grandson talked his Papa into 2 more extra purchases.  Again, I loved listening to them giggle.
 One of the targets.
The pumpkin patch has a large play area for children to play.  The first thing Taj wanted to play on was the giant web.
 Naturally the web shooter came out, it has to when one is on a web.
 Next we went to the tube slide where Taj played with his Papa over the other children.
 Taj was having so much fun he kept calling out to his Papa to come down too.
 Of course, Papa being the great Papa he is...down he went.
After running around having Papa be the monster it was time for the bouncy house.  Taj loves bouncy houses.
 As usual we had a hard time getting him out of the bouncy house.
On our way out of the Lil' Pumpkin Playground Taj and Papa tried their hand at the gutter races.
 You can see how much fun he was having.  He had no idea I was taking his picture.
 Finally after two and a half hours of fun it was time to find the perfect pumpkins but...
 I could not pass up one more photo opportunity. 
I believe we are planning on this being an annual tradition as long as we have someone interested.  There is a corn maze too, one can go at night with flashlights and there are night hay rack rides and bon fires too.  We will keep this in mind when grandchildren are too old for the fun in the playground. 

Do you have any annual fall traditions?


Monday, October 19, 2015

Family...Somebody That I Used to Know

Have you ever felt like you have been living in a dream?  Sometimes I feel like that, lately I see all the conflict in my family and just want to scream and tell them to stop because we are family.   Conflict every where, my side of the family, my husband's side of the family, occasionally within our family.  One thing I am grateful for is the loving support of Todd and our children.

My Family...I am from a family of addictions.  I have posted how my Dad used to be an alcoholic and he was abusive but found his way.  I used to be in a marriage of abuse and found the strength to leave for my boys.  I have a couple of sisters who are addicts as well.  One of them has Grave's Disease and if she does not stop smoking she will be blind.  She is trying to be with the father of her son who will be 19 years old next month.  This man has been in prison most of this time.  This relationship is creating a major riff between my family.  I have two sisters who are at odds with one another.  One refuses to be around the other.  It made things very difficult going through our Dad's belongings.  I look at them and they are not the same people one bit I used to know.  I hold on to memories and have a hard time to let go because I want love and peace in all of our lives.

My husband's family...Thankfully there is no addictions on his side but there is the jealousy green monster. A huge riff has been created and now it looks like the holidays will be different.  I cannot go into to much about it but it is causing pain to my husband.

I think Christian's conflict with everything has taken it's toll with the children.  I am seeing more bickering and I hope it ends quick. 

Family means everything to Todd and I and maybe this is why everyone bickering and turning away from one another as if they do not exist or someone they used to know is crazy.  My Mom is doing this to one of my sisters.  My sister is doing this to the same sister.   My husband's family are doing this with one another as well, blocking one another on their phones.  How can family become this way?  They are becoming people they just used to know...

I am finding my strength more in my devotions to get through this bump in the road and plan to make my family's holiday the best yet.  Extended family means everything but if they don't want to come, they are only hurting themselves because we are going to concentrate on LOVE and FAMILY.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Living History Farms ~ Photography Days

In September the Living History Farms sponsored a photography day.  Living History Farms is located in Urbandale, Iowa.  Todd and I plan to go again some time and actually see the farm.  I debated on creating this post as an Iowa Adventure but since we saw so little, I just did not feel it was justified.  Living History Farms is basically an interactive outdoor history farm.  I remember going when I was a child for field trips.  This was Todd's first time and he was wanting to see the entire farm.  The farm is on the National Historical Sites.  The farm teaches us what it was like to farm in 1700, 1850, and 1900. There is also a little town called Walnut Hill from 1875.  All of this will be on our next visit possibly next Summer.  The farm host many events including the one we went to Photography Day.  One of the large photography studios host this event with many photographers from all over the Nation assisting with teaching classes and there are camera vendors for what else but sale their newest cameras.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed with many of the classes.  I thought this was going to be a two day event but I was wrong.  It was one day of classes you chose and there were many many classes to pick from and the class last for 45 minutes and the second day was optional for you to see the farm and practice more what you learned.  I thought the classes I chose, for the most part, would be good classes and provide opportunities to let you practice what they were teaching you.  The only one that actually did this was the very first one Todd and I went to and it was a class on taking pictures of younger children.  I learned a lot from that class for example, did you know if you are taking a picture of someone on a sunny day and the person you are photographing is in the sun you should have your flash on?  This helps prevent the person being washed out and helps prevent the drastic shading.  Who knew?  Not me!  It is actually better to photograph people in somewhat shade.  Here are some of my practice shots.  The models were the teacher's children and boy were they adorable.
 Above: An example without the flash and direct sunlight.  
They are washed out where the sun is hitting and drastic shadows.
Below:  The teacher I enjoyed the most.
 Above: One of the best poses for a small child and parent, 
the child over the parent's shoulder with the parent 
turning back to look at the child.
Below: My favorite indoor shot of the little girl.  
I love the shadowing
One of the events I was looking forward to was watching the Old Timer's Baseball game.  I gave up one of my classes to watch the game.  It was amazing.  I have always loved baseball, it is actually my favorite sport and Todd enjoys it as well.  They played with the 1870's rules  Did you know back in this time the players did not use gloves.  Seriously, no gloves also a rule they had back then is if you caught the ball after one bounce on the ground the batter is out, it is consider a catch?
We did enjoy most of the classes, it was not what I expected but I loved the surrounding.  While we waited for our class to begin I took some pictures of some of the buildings.
 Above and Below: Pictures of the inside of the General Store
 Above: A picture of part of the town.
Below: A picture just outside the barn.
 Above and below are photos of inside the police station.
 The beautiful old church
 Inside the church they had a quilt in the making.
 Below is the stain glass inside the church.
The stain glass is a replica of the giant quilt
created and used as a backdrop to the 1979
visit and mass Pope John Paul II did during his visit
to United States and during the Centennial Birthday 
Living History Farms.

We enjoyed seeing the old buildings in the town.  I was able to cross this off of my 50 x 50 list.


He Loves Me