Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kansas City, MO

My dad started an LDS church history tour company (kind of on accident, actually.  it's an interesting story, if anyone cares...) and he is very concerned with making the tours very affordable because he is just so passionate about LDS church history and wants everyone to be able to learn more about it! :)  One of the ways his company keeps the tour's costs down is by only having volunteer tour guides- other people who are as passionate about church history as my dad.  

For those of you who know about  why Jay decided to become Mormon, it is heavily related to the history and Jay is very passionate and therefore knowledgable about it as well. My dad pounced and quickly asked if he would be willing to direct a tour, several summers ago, and now he usually does two every summer.  Though the guides are not compensated with money, they are compensated by being allowed to bring someone along at no cost.  Typically, guides bring their spouse or another family member, but Jay has never done this because we have always had little kids.  (young kids + long bus rides and no playgrounds = you-know-what)  However, since we've never "cashed in" in the past, we asked if we might just get plane tickets with the group and then just visit a friend of mine from college (kinda... she went to RISD, I went to Brown) who happens to live in MO, instead of tagging along on the tour.  It all worked out and now, prepare yourselves for a lot of pictures.
Every day was packed with kid-filled activities, and nap-time and bed-time were for us- mostly spent sewing, organizing things, and chatting (3 of my favorite things!)
 We miraculously were able to squeeze 3 carseats in the back seat of her element- thanks to a friend who loaned us a slimmer one than Peach's monster.
We went to a pretty cool children's museum.  I don't have many pictures because The Frog practically ran from room to room, so excited to see and touch everything.  Since Angela's boy is even younger than Peach, after awhile she took them to the 2-and-under room (which they had to themselves) and I mostly followed The Frog in his rampage.

 Tuesday we went to a playground and then cooled off in some fountains near a shopping center.  The Frog L-O-V-E-D this.

 Peach and M... not so much.  They were more content to watch and snack.

 When it was clear we couldn't keep the youngin's from wandering to the street any longer, we packed it up (earlier than expected) and finished off at the pool where everyone had more fun.
 They had a nice little field behind their house- great to get out some of The Frog's energy (and to play with their two cute dogs which I have almost NO pictures of :( )
 The Frog was really excited to find this caterpillar.  He asked me to take it's picture before he put it in a bucket with lots of grass.
 There was a super-awesome petting zoo on the Kansas side of Kansas City (and it was FREE) that I kinda even wanted to go back to without the kids later so I could explore the nature walk part of it more.  This place was sooo big!  And sooo well thought out.

 One of my favorite parts was probably that they let you buy little bottles to feed the baby goats.  Peach loved the goats from the outside of the fence, but once we went in, they kept trying to munch on her shirt, and she was not a fan.

The Frog, feeding kids
 I couldn't believe how aggressive those goats were to get the milk!  They would literally jump all over you in hoards!
Ang & M
 Peach much preferred feeding from outside the fence.
 You could feed the ducks as well.

Peach admiring the bunnies
 They had SUCH a variety of animals- all the typical farm ones and even some owls, a bald eagle, and some bob cats!
This turkey would talk back to you if you made noise at it :)
 They had this super peaceful nature walk that I tried to make the kids go on in the stroller.  I totally felt like I was in the middle of a forest somewhere- it was quiet enough to enjoy the birds.  And they had this really cool area where they had all these enormous, hanging wind-chimes.  It sounded soooo cool.  I wanted to come back and walk the whole path on a date with Jay.
 The kids had enough after about 5 minutes though, so I turned around.
 We swam a LOT, since Ang's neighborhood had a pool.  One of our night-time sewing projects was to make towel ponchos.  Super easy and they are awesome!  I can't tell you how tired I am of trying to walk out to the car with the kids' towels constantly falling off and having to help them fix it and having filthy towels by the time we get home.  These are genius and SO simple- Walmart towel + 10" slit for their heads, and line the slit with ribbon so it doesn't fray.  I made some when I got home for my kids too. :)
 We probably went to 4 or 5 different parks while we were there as well.

 I just had to take a picture of the giant hay-rolls (do those have a name?) in the park background...
 I think the highlight for Peach was hanging out with the dogs.  Every time she woke up the first thing she asked about was where the dogs were.  Here she is with Jack (at first she was intimidated by his size, but she got used to him by the end)
 And little Jill.
 Just before leaving, we realized we never got a shot of us together, so here we are in our un-showered glory...
Thanks, Ang!! We had so much fun!  You are so generous to let us crowd out your house for a whole week.  You really know how make us feel welcome :)

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