Saturday, March 27, 2010

Remembering a Dear Friend

Today we will be saying goodbye to a very dear friend of ours. Larry Daniel,age 53 was killed in a motorcycle accident this week on his way to work. Larry, leaves behind his wife Kelly, 2 children and 7 grandchildren. We are very saddened by his loss. Larry was a wonderful friend as evidenced last night by the huge outpouring of family friends at the visitation.
Dear friend you will be greatly missed! Our life was touched by your soft quiet ways and your love of family. The road you ride now will be eternal and the destination is ever before you. You truly lived the life you were given and will never be forgotten by those still on the journey.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


While on spring break, we visited the historic city of St Charles, MO. The downtown is filled filled wonderful old homes and shops to tempt you.One of our favorites was called Cobblestone. It was filled with so many wonderful things to look at. We had such a great time browsing through this bright and cheerful place.
Love the chair and the pillows! Look at the quill pen and the ink well!
I just fell in love with the little houses. Each one had a light inside, you could create an entire village with the different choices. I really loved the little church.
There were penny hook rugs, quilts, candles, pictures, furniture and just about everything you could think of. We spent alot of time in here, just browsing and wishing we had one of everything!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Laura Ingalls Wilder

My favorite part of my vacation was visiting the Laura Ingall Wilder musuem. I grew up reading her books and was so excited to visit her home. When we arrived it was already mid afternoon,so we only had a couple of hours until the museum closed.
The grounds are beautiful! Well maintained and they were actually tilling up a garden while we were there. The caretaker informed us they grow fresh vegetables every year.
Laura had an extra large mailbox to hold her fan mail. Even in the 1950's she received at least 50 letters a day. She had a special chair in her dining room and spent many hours replying to each and every letter. She was very serious about making sure that she took time out of her day to respond to each one.
Laura didn't start writing her books until she was in her 60's. For many years she had written articles for the local paper and they have been compiled into a book for everyone to read. A copy is available at the bookstore.
This is the side of the house, with a screened in back porch. This door leads into the kitchen, everything in the kitchen was handmade by Almanzo just for Laura. She was under 5 ft and her cabinets were built to accommodate her small stature. She had painted her kitchen a bright cheery yellow and the trim was in white. Her wood burning stove was the highlight of the kitchen! She had a pass through by the sink. After she cooked the food she would placed the dishes onto the ledge and push them through to the other side. The dining room was next door, she would place the dishes on the table and when she finished she could push them back through the opening to the kitchen, saving her many steps. By reading in her farm journal. I have discovered she was very conscious time and making sure she did not waste any of it. I believe she lived life to the fullest.
The stone fireplace was massive. It took 40 wagon loads of stone to construct the chimney. There were huge flat stones on the inside to form the mantel and sides of the fireplace.
The house started out as a small room with an add on kitchen, over the years it was added onto at least 9 more times to form a 10 room house.
It was a beautiful day to visit the grounds. We really enjoyed the museum and all of the many items on display. We saw Pa's fiddle, Laura's sewing machine, her school slates, the quilts her and Mary made when they were little girls. Several items of bead work, clothing, hats, jewelry and so many other items it was hard to take it all in.
At the end of the day, we were tired, but had a wonderful time. I wished I had arrived that morning to soak it all in. I will go back one day to see it again. What a wonderful heritage that has been preserved for our children to enjoy!
I hope that every child has the pleasure of reading Laura's books. It is a rare insight to a world we will never know again. A simple life, that was spent with family, friends and lived to the fullest. Laura's life was difficult, but she overcame every obstacle to make it the best she could. And she lived to the fullest everyday of her life! She is described as a delightful woman with a very vivacious personality. She loved to entertain guests and spend time with her beloved husband. I think she led an extraordinary life.
I encourage you to visit this home if in the area. It was wonderful!
Have a great week.


Spring Break Part Two

The second day of our trip, we had planned to head straight into Mansfield MO. Annie, wanted to take a detour to see Branson. I had explained to her that Branson, was about country shows and really more of a tourist trap for shopping and eating. She insisted that it must be something, because several of her friends had been there. So, off we went for a visit. After arriving in the city, she looked over at me and said"Im not impressed". OKAY! Now what?? Much of the city was not open at the time and the water parks were closed. I had read about Silver Dollar City, so I decided to drive out and see what it was all about. We were very happy that we did.
Silver Dollar City is about 15 miles west of Branson past the The Shepherd of the Hills(which was closed at the time).
We bought our tickets and headed into the park for a visit. They are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the park this year.
We were delighted by all of the things we saw. It is just like being dropped into the 1880"s. There were so many craftsmen and interesting shops to visit in. we watched a man blow glass and shape it into a candle holder. He went into great detail about the process of creating the glass piece. The shop next door contained about 90% of blown glassware made on the premises.

We saw building depicting an actual village with everyone dressed in pioneer clothing. There was a sheriff at the entrance who would deputize the little boys as they came in and pin a shiny star on their shirt.
The wilderness church was simply beautiful. We stole a few moments to take in the sun shining through the windows. A crocheted prayer cloth was on the wall, and simple logs had been crafted for benches.
The day was gorgeous and we were able to take our time exploring the park.
We visited the Apple Butter store. If you love apples this is the place to visit. Every type of merchandise imaginable was in the store, including homemade apple dumplings with ice cream!
I loved the wood carving store. Many different types of items large and small were available. Many craft tools, patterns and DVD instructions were handy if you wanted to give it a try. Classes are available during the year.
Huck had a huge mining operation going on . Slews were set up to search for treasure, panning for gold and other gems. You buy a sack of sand and search through it in the screened pan. I am sure my grandsons would love this.

This is every little boys dream! Water, sand and treasure hunting!
The saloon had shows throughout the day as well as other forms of singing, magic shows and entertainment.
Now, this is one form of entertainment I can live without. The line was long, but the ride worth the wait I am told. No thanks!
While my girl rode the rollercoaster, I just walked around for awhile and enjoyed the sights and sounds.
An old fashioned one room schoolhouse. I didnt get to go inside this one, it was very crowded and dark inside.
Love admiring the craftsmanship of the old buildings.
I really enjoyed listening to the music being played on the porch of the old log home. Inside the house it is set up just as it would be in the 1880's. A woodburning cookstove was lit and a lady was cooking lunch on it. The bedroom side of the cabin had a metal bed with a quilt covering, lots of pioneer essentials were on display to look at.
We ended our stay at Silver Dollar City and went back into Branson to spend the night and travel on to Mansfield the next day! Hope you are enjoying the photos, we had a blast. I love to spend time with my girl and had such a great time laughing, looking and relaxing in the Ozarks. Come back tomorrow for our visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder Home.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break Vacation Part 1

There is nothing better than a get away to refresh your mind and body! I have always loved the Ozark mountains and try to visit at least a couple of times a year. This year, my 16 year old daughter and I decided to take a short trip and pack in as many things as we could in a few days. We took off to Eureka Springs as our first destination. It has to be one of my favorite destinations and Annie just fell in love with it!
We visited War Eagle Grist Mill outside of Rogers, Arkansas. I wanted to show her a real working grist mill and let her experience the beautiful countryside of the Ozarks.
I love the apple butter and stocked up on a few jars to enjoy until our next visit. I always buy several sacks of the fresh biscuit mix. I keep them in the freezer to stay fresh. Just a couple of cups and you can whip up hot biscuits in a flash!
Love the bridge! Last year during the craft show, hundreds of people walked across to enjoy the vendors and all of the wonderful things to see and do.
We loved standing on the bridge and listening to the flowing water. It was a cool day, but the sun shown brightly and not a cloud in the sky!
The inside of the mill contains the storage, gift shop and on the third floor, you can enjoy a hot homemade Ozark breakfast!
Since this was my daughters first trip and we had so much to see. I had to hit the highlights of the town. We visited the Christ of the Ozarks, Thorn crown Chapel, and all of the historic downtown. We spent the day shopping and visited all of my favorite little shops. I bought a few gifts for the girls and a treat or two for myself!
I took her out to the Crescent Hotel to show her where we had married last year. There was a wedding going on at the time in the same spot!
She toured the hotel and went out on the back porch to view the mountains. At night the Christ of the Ozarks is lit and you can see it from the hotel.
After all of the tours, we were starving and decided that some Bar-B-Q was just what we needed. Bubba's is right on the main road in the city and if you can get a parking spot you can eat a wonderful meal. Annie, had sauce dripping everywhere. It was messy eating, but sooo good!
We spent the night in a nice little hotel, got a good night sleep and then we took off the next day to travel into Missouri. Our original plan was to go to Mansfield Mo and then on to St Charles. Well, we decided to visit Branson as well. I will post those photos in the next few days! Have a great week.