The Covered Bridges of Madison County, IA

May 22, 2015

No, I’m not talking about the movie.

We went to see the actual bridges.

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There were 19 covered bridges that were built in Madison County.

Only 6 remain.

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This is the Hallowell Covered Bridge.

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All of them were free to see.

And only about 45 minutes from Des Moines.

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This is the Cutler-Donahue Covered Bridge.  It’s in a city park.

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This is the Cedar Bridge.

It was originally built in 1883, was destroyed by arson in 2002, and rebuilt in 2004.

So it’s technically the youngest bridge.

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It’s the only covered bridge that you can drive on.

And we drove over it.

Twice!

The kids thought I was weird cause I was so excited about it.

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This is the Hogback Bridge.

By the time we got to this one, the kids were done with seeing bridges.

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But taking pictures of Mommy & Daddy were another matter.

The first one of the Hogback was taken by C.J.

This one was taken by Princess.

I love it!

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Big Brutus: West Mineral, Kansas

May 21, 2015

This was our first look at Big Brutus.

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It doesn’t look that big now.

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Now it looks bigger.

2015-05-13 16.12.59This is Big Brutus.

Those tiny color dots on the bottom are the kids and I.

He was used to take the dirt off so they could mine coal underneath.

It is 160 feet high and was operated by 3 men at a time.

There was even a break room in the thing.  It was the only air conditioned room in it.

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This is some of the cables that worked the shovel.  These were disconnected, so we were able to feel how heavy they were.  And they WERE heavy!

The room we were in here felt like a large warehouse.

Tim went to see Big Brutus as a kid and was able to climb up the boom (the thing connected to the shovel), but we were told that they had had to close that a long time ago for insurance reasons.

Umm… super high and no way to protect against falling off?

Uh… yeah!

It was rainy the day we went anyway, so I was glad that most of our self imposed tour was inside.

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There were times that I forgot we were in a giant steam shovel, simply because it was so big.

2015-05-13 16.09.22Artsy shot.

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The kids kept calling it the huge Mary Anne.

(It’s from Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel by Viginia Lee Burton for those who just said, “Who?!”  http://www.amazon.com/Mike-Mulligan-His-Steam-Shovel/dp/0618840192 )

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Handsome hubby & kids underneath Big Brutus.

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Cute kid shot.

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May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Coronado Heights Castle, Kansas

May 20, 2015

Yes, there is a castle in Kansas.

Granted it’s only a little over a hundred years old, but it’s a castle!

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First history.  Coronado was a Spanish Conquistador from Mexico City.  Someone told him that there was gold somewhere north, so he decided to go try and find it.  (He never really did find it.)  Coronado got as far as Kansas before going back to Mexico.

Someone decided, in the 1800’s, to build the castle in the spot where they thought he came.

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I love castles, so it was really cool.

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This was pretty much the inside of the castle.  There was an entryway with stairs going up to the top and then there was this room.  To the left there was a short wall parallel with the back wall that was a fireplace.  And someone had actually used it recently.  So that was kind of cool.

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There are some outer buildings, but we didn’t have time to truly explore them.  The road to it needs a little TLC, but it wasn’t bad to get the camper up there and down.  I am glad though that it wasn’t super touristy, or during the summer or there would have been more people trying to get up and down the road.  We took up a lot of the road.  For me, it was definitely worth the stop.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Kansas – Time with Family

May 19, 2015

After a brief time in Iowa, (don’t worry, we’re on our way back) we took Grandma M. & went to Kansas to see my oldest brother’s family.

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My youngest niece turned 2 on Mother’s Day.  It was so fun to go and spend time with them and get to know her.

She’s all 2.

Wild & crazy and I loved it!

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She also taught Super Man how to say pees & tank ou.

Thanks Mack!

(Hope Mommy & Daddy don’t mind if I call you Mack.  It’s a fun nick name…)

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Happy Birthday Mack!  And Uncle T too!  Love y’all!

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Happy Birthday E-Man!

May 18, 2015

It really doesn’t seem all that long ago I was calling my mother to tell her that I was having my baby today and not 5 weeks from now.  (And to get to the hospital right now!)

Ethan

Life has changed so much since was born and we’ve been blessed that he’s enjoyed the ride.

Ethan 18 mos

He is my social butterfly that LOVES people.  He’s the one that runs into his class at church and doesn’t care that I’m leaving him.

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He is the one that can keep himself occupied for hours with only his hands.

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And says daily at rest time, “but I want to play with my (big) brother!”  (He hates rest time for this reason.)

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Happy Birthday E-Man!  Keep laughing!

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May God bless your socks off!

Mommy


Atlanta, Georgia

May 18, 2015

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We celebrated E-Man’s birthday at the end of April.

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Since Handsome Hubby was in Ohio, we ate half the cupcake cake on his birthday and half when Daddy came back a few days later.

“Look, Mommy!  It’s orange!!”

That made all the difference.

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Handsome Hubby flew home very (VERY) early so he could be with us sooner.  So early, he got to see the sunrise from the plane.

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We went to the Coke Museum on the way to get him.  The kids loved trying popular pop from around the world.

Soda, for those of you in the South.

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Then we went to the zoo.

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I made them pick which animal they just HAD to see before we could leave the zoo.

Funny thing is, I can’t find any pictures of them…

Oh well.

Princess wanted to see the giraffes.  C.J. wanted the black rhinos.  E-Man wanted horses… but settled for zebras…  I like the gorillas and Handsome Hubby & Super Man didn’t care.

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Though I think their favorite were the goats.

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May God bless your socks off, as He has ours!

Rachel