Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer Re-Cap

With the kids going back to school this week, I thought I'd do a little Summer re-cap since I know I've missed blogging a lot of these things.

We started the Summer with opening our pool. We've spent a lot of time in the pool this Summer and are really enjoying it. Jackson has almost learned to swim and Avery is doing really well swimming around in her puddle jumper.

Jackson did a little track camp, finished up his Spring soccer season and also played on 2 baseball teams.

We signed Avery up for a little dance class at our community center and she loved it so much that just last week I signed her up for a dance class at a dance studio near our home. We are super excited to watch her dance!

We spent many evenings outside playing with our neighborhood friends.

We took a trip to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Avery, My Mother-In-Law and I took a little road-trip to Kansas City to visit family.

We celebrated Fathers Day.

We went with all the neighborhood friends to see the movie Cars 3 at the theater.

We took a couple trips to the Zoo.

Jake and I had a date night at the Muny to see The Little Mermaid.

We went to a 4th of July carnival with our neighborhood friends.

We celebrated 4th of July with a big pool party at our house.

Jake and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary with an amazing trip to Washington State!

While Jake and I were away on our trip, my parents took the kids to the lake house that my dad has been working at recently where Jackson caught his first fish!!

Jackson went to a birthday party at Sky Zone for a friend from preschool.

We also went to a birthday party for a friend of ours from church. It was at a water park!!

We took a little family day trip to Casey, IL to see several of the World's Largest Things.

Jackson lost his first and second tooth.

We spent a Saturday at Swing Around Fun Town!


We've had such a wonderful Summer, and though I'm sad to see it go, we are looking forward to the new school year! 




Monday, August 14, 2017

Back To School Photo Session

With the kids starting back to school this week, I thought I'd take them out and take a few "back to school" themed photos of them. We went last Thursday evening to a little park near our house and then I also took them to each of their schools for a few pictures since I know the first day will be hectic. It started getting dark a little earlier than I'd hoped, but I still really like the way they turned out.


How is my handsome boy already starting Kindergarten? It just goes by way too fast.













Thursday, August 3, 2017

Casey, IL - Big Things in a Small Town

This past Saturday, Jake and I took the kids and Jake's mom on a little daytrip to a town called Casey, IL which is about 2 1/2 hours away from us. I had first heard about this town from another blogger, Ashley at Under the Sycamore. She took her family there back in the Spring and it looked like such a fun town.


The town is so unique because it has 8 of the World's Largest Items, along with several other BIG items.


After seeing Ashley's post, I decided to do a little research for myself and see if there was a list out there that had all the World's Largest Items according to State and sure enough, I found this list. So lucky for us, we live in an area with quite a few Largest Things nearby and that's when I started planning a fun little family day trip to cross several of these items off our list.

First we stopped by the World's Largest Ketchup Bottle which just happens to be in a town just about 30 minutes from us. In fact, I used to live in Collinsville with my parents after graduating high school and it's where my sister lives now. We've seen the ketchup bottle numerous times, but hadn't ever stopped to take a picture with it, so we made this our first stop of the day.


While planning our trip to Casey, I noticed that there was another Largest Item on the way. The World's Largest Cross, in Effingham, IL. My goal for the day was to get a picture of one or both of my kids with each Large Item, and thankfully they cooperated to some extent. Ha.


I've seen this cross before on our drive to Indianapolis earlier this year, but we hadn't stopped to check it out. It's beautiful and quite the site to see. Around the cross are all 10 Commandments on stone plaques. Each one has a button that you can push and a man tells you about that particular commandment. There is also a museum that tells you all about how they built the cross.



We made it to Casey just in time for lunch. We had planned to eat at the Richards Farm Restaurant, which just so happened to be right next to the World's Largest Pitchfork. I would highly recommend eating here. It was really good and such a cool restaurant. It is in an old barn, which made for a really cool atmosphere. The food was good too!




The Largest Pitchfork happened to be surrounded by a beautiful little garden, so we walked around there and took few pictures.



Next on our list was to find the World's Largest Golf Tee. This happened to be at the Casey Country Club, just down the street. Since Jake's an avid golfer, he appreciated this largest item. ;-)


Next we headed down to Main Street where a majority of the Largest Items were. We were able to park and just walk around the adorable little town to find a majority of the rest of the items. Needless to say they aren't hard to spot. Ha.

The Largest Item the town is most proud of is the World's Largest Rocking Chair. It weighs 46,200 pounds and took them two years to complete. I also forgot to mention that each Large Item in this town has a corresponding bible verse on it, which I found to be so cool.


Right across the Street is the World's Largest Wind Chime which you can actually pull a rope and it will really chime.


After that, we walked down to this adorable little store which had the World's Largest Crochet Hook and Knitting Needles!


Such a fitting bible verse and one of my favorites.

Right down the street is a very big pencil. Not the world's largest, but very large nonetheless.


And just around the corner is a very large spinning top that actually spins! The kids thought this was pretty cool.


The train goes right through the town, so they had this cute little train station candy depot and this cute little caboose right outside.




Inside the candy depot was the World's Largest Wooden Shoes.


Going right out of the Candy Depot the opposite way from where we came is this cute little bridge, fountain and garden leading up to the World's Largest Mailbox. The World's Largest Mailbox was my favorite big thing in the town. You can really climb stairs and go inside and you can really mail letters inside the mailbox!! So cool.






Right across the street from the Mailbox is a very Large Bird Cage and it actually has a real swing inside!


From there we walked over to a very large Yard Stick!


Along the street we saw this cool mural, so I had to get a picture.


We also found a large ear of corn and a large cactus on Main Street.


And Jackson loved this very large bicycle.


Here are a couple pictures that show just how large the rocking chair and wind chime were next to buildings in the town!



There were a couple other large items right outside of town! A large toy airplane at the airport and a large coin at the bank!




So that was our fun adventure through a very small town with very BIG things!!