Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fair Oaks Farm

This weekend we took the kiddos on a little road trip to Fair Oaks, Indiana. 
There is an awesome dairy farm there we like to visit.
It is a day full of fun and education all in one!

This photo is for Uncle Shawn!

There is a narrated bus tour that takes you through the farm, the barns, the nursery, the milking carousel, etc.   It is a completely self-sustained farm.  They grow all their own feed and everything the cows need.  They clean the barns 3 times daily and the manure is used to power the visitor's center and other buildings.

Babies in the nursery.  So cute!

The milking carousel is one of the craziest things you will ever see!  The barn holds 500 cows at a time.  They filter in 1 by 1, get on the carousel, and a technician hooks up the milking vacuum.  It takes 8 1/2 minutes to make a complete rotation and they are completely milked.  Then the cow just backs out of her spot, turns around, and returns to the barn!  They are brought in 3 times a day for milking.  Fair Oaks has 3 of these carousels.

Rylee climbing the magnet wall. 

Mrs. Cowmoon

Ready for the 3D/4D movie!

Outside is a play area that the kids LOVED!

Of course, Evan had to ride the train first!  He wasn't happy the engine was already full, but he rode up there on his second trip around!

This was like bouncing on a huge blob of jello!  It was really big!  Only problem was it was super hot on the feet!

Evan took advantage of the sprinkler system! 

String Cheese maze

Tractor races!

By far, the coolest attraction at Fair Oaks Farm is the birthing barn.  They birth 80-100 calves EVERY DAY.  They fill each stall with a momma in labor, and you just sit and watch.  They have a vet standing by so if she needs help they can assist the birth.  We sat in there for about an hour and watched 3 heifers give birth, and the last one had TWINS!!!  So cute!

*Warning:  Video is a little graphic*  The cow on the left had just given birth and was cleaning up her baby.  The cow on the right is about to deliver.  Poor momma is having some big contractions!  You can see the front hoofs emerging.

Even though is was super hot outside, we had an UDDERly aMOOOsing day at Fair Oaks!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday

Wow!  Wednesday totally snuck up on me this week!  Not sure why, but my days are completely out of whack!

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday!

Our backyard patio.  I wish I could find a "before" picture of this space. 
Excuse the blinding sun in the pic! 

This is a 10' x 10' area in our backyard.  When we bought our house, there was a nasty crab apple tree there surrounded by the ring of hostas.  We cut down the tree, but left the stump until we decided what we wanted to do with the space.  It sat that way for about 2 years.  Basically it was a weed bed with a tree stump in the middle.  Awesome.  So we had the stump dug out, moved the hostas back a few feet (those hostas have been there for 40 years!)  and had the patio put in.  Then the Hubs added his landscaping flair.  We LOVE this space!  We have had 2 different gazebos over the patio, but both have gotten ruined in storms.  Grrrr...

Here's another (not great quality) pic...(taken from the 2nd story window!)

I know this is totally ridiculous and I am embarassed to admit it...but I love Proactive!  For some reason, my skin thinks it is 13 again and I am having horrible breakouts.  Really?  I thought once you graduated high school you graduated acne treatments.  But Proactive really helps!

Amazon Kindle!  I have had my Kindle for close to a year and I love it so much!  I love how easy it is to download books.  And the screen technology is uh-mazing!  I can sit out on my patio in the sun and still read the screen no problemo!  Only downfall....I wish Kindle was supported by Library on the Go (since I am uber cheapo and hate to pay for books when I will only read them once!) 

What are ya'll lovin' this week???

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Girl.....Scout

Rylee has been in Girl Scouts since she started Kindergarten.  I got suckered into was asked to be a leader when she started her first year, and have had this troop ever since.  Over the years, we have made so many memories together through Girl Scouting!  Rylee has earned countless badges, worked on numerous service projects, gone on several awesome trips, sold boxes and boxes of cookies, and made sooo many new friends!

At the end of each year, our troop decides where to go for the end of the year trip.  We try to make it someplace fun, where none of the girls have ever been, and somewhat adventerous.  This year we went to the Ozarks for 3 days.  We took an 8 mile canoe trip!  It was so much fun!  Since we had 2 adults and 6 girls, we had to have one canoe with NO adult in it.  Yikes!  Rylee has the most canoeing experience, so she was the head of that boat, and the girl with her didn't even know what a canoe was until we put her in one!  These two amazed me in every way.  The maturity, teamwork and responsibility they demonstrated was like nothing else!  At the end of the day they were the only ones who hadn't tipped their boat (that's another story!) or crashed into anything!  Rylee was the ONLY person in our group who was dry after 6 hours on the river! 

This year was pretty special.  She finished her third year as a Junior Girl Scout, which allowed her to bridge to Cadette Girl Scouts. 

She earned her Bronze Award, which is the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can earn.  It is also the third highest honor one can earn as a Girl Scout.  (The highest is the Gold Award~think the female equivalency to the Eagle Scout)  This award was a 2 year undertaking.  It was a lot of researching, planning, and executing of a project that had to take at least 15 hours to complete. 

She went to Girl Scout camp this summer, too.  She has gone several times, but this year was a little more exciting for her.  She wanted to go to the LIT (Leader in Training) camp this year since she wants to be a camp counselor when she is old enough.  For the LIT camp, she had to fill out a 4 page application and get 3 letters of recommendation (from people NOT related!)  Once all the applications were in, they were reviewed and only 12 from the state were offered a spot in the camp.  And yep, my girl was one of them!  She was soooo excited!  She had a blast at camp!  She made a lot of new friends and made memories to last a lifetime!

Could only get 1/2 the tent since another mom kept sticking her hiney in my pic!

Patiently letting me take pics so I would leave!!!

Rylee & her cousin Samantha.  They are 2 months apart in age and were at camp at the same time! 

Apparently, when mom's not around it's OK to draw all over yourself!  No wonder she loves camp!

I am glad that Rylee wants to continue with Girl Scouts even though some of her friends are dropping out since it's not the "coolest" thing to do.  She is excited to begin working on her Silver Award and continue with service projects.  The lessons she is learning are invaluable and it is making her a better person.  And as long as she wants to continue, I will lead her through it!!!

Girl Scout Law:
I will do my best
To be Honest and Fair,
Friendly and Helpful,
Considerate and Caring,
Courageous and Strong, and
Responsible for what I Say and Do,
and to
Respect Myself and Others,
Respect Authority,
Use Resources Wisely,
Make the World a Better Place,
and be a Sister to Every Girl Scout.