Monday, September 7, 2009


This weekend Seth (my twin brother), Michelle (his wife), and their three awesome kids James, Harmony, and Gabrielle came to visit! It was a fun-filled weekend with lots of adventures. We sure appreciated Seth and Michelle making the 12-hour trek to see our little piece of Iowa. Fall is a great time to visit and we were able to show the kids some of the great things about living in the country. It was also great having some new subjects to photograph. This is a long post, but I feel that I'm making up for my lack of posting over the last few weeks.
Here we go!...............

One of the first things we did was harvest apples from our own trees. Their visit had perfect timing- our Macintosh apples were at their peak!
Everyone helped! Here's Seth, Michelle, Gabby, and Harmony filling up one of many large containers. Now that everyone has gone home I have my work cut out for me making apple sauce. Lots of apple sauce. James is a great tree-climber and did a great job getting the highest apples. All the best apples were at the top of this particular tree, so James was a super big help. James and Harmony on the apple ladder.Gabby, being here cute self, demolishing an apple. For lunch on Friday we went to the local apple orchard for lunch. They make a great breadbowl with "scarecrow" soup (a creamy, cheesy, potato soup). They also have a kid's area with lots of activities and some goats. Here's Gabby feeding one of the friendly goats. Like Michelle, these kids have no fear of animals. They also have a tricycle race track. James and Harmony did a lot of racing. There are lots of kid parks in the area, so we had to check a few of them out. Brian and I hadn't been to any of these playgrounds before, but were pleasantly surprised by how much play equipment there was, and that we were the only ones there. We had the place to ourselves! We all had a great time.

Seth, Michelle, and the kids on the merry-go-round.James, holding on tight during a spin.
Gabby enjoyed the sunshine!
I did too!
Harmony going down the slide headfirst. James looking out from the top of the big slide. Uncle Brian was a little too big for some of the equipment...but that didn't stop him from joining right in! (It takes a lot of work to be the "cool" uncle, you know.) Aunt Hope and Uncle Brian at the park. This weekend there was a Dayton Rodeo and Carnival, so we went out to check it out. Brian and I didn't go last year, so we were excited to check it out. The rodeo started past the kid's bedtime, but we were still able to enjoy the carnival. There was a petting zoo, so we spend some time with more goats, sheep, a calf, and some ponies. Whenever we visit animals with Michelle (whether they be reindeer, sheep, goats, cows, etc.), it never seems to fail that she ends up having her hand in their mouths. These goats were no exception. Here's Gabby again being her brave self. Harmony making friends with a sheep. This little goat was just the ride size for James. Of course there were rides! Gabby was too little to go on, but James and Harmony had a great time!
Gabby got a ride on Uncle Brian's shoulders instead. We also had the opportunity to go to the Fort Dodge Fort Museum and Frontier Village. It was pretty fun. One of the buildings they had was an old one-room school house. James wasn't too happy about being in school.
There was even a jail. Everyone got a chance to be locked-up. Seth was very distraught about being in prison. The evening before everyone left, we built a fire and had a marshmallow roast around our firepit. The kids loved roasting marshmallows and eating s'mores and watermelon.Gabby was partial to the watermelon. I need to note that the dogs were having so much fun over the last few days that they could hardy contain themselves! You can see the delight in Dawson's eyes in this photo. (we felt the same way too!) The dogs received lots of hugs and pets, gave lots of kisses, ate many apples, chased a lot of balls, and were given many, many treats. They had one of the greatest weekends of their lives! They don't get kid visitors very often.
What a great weekend! Thanks, Seth and Michelle for coming!


jenrust said...

What cute kiddos! :) looks like you all had a great time!

laura said...

fun! ada would have loved all those animals too! how old is gabrielle?

Hope and Brian said...

Gabrielle is 18 months. It was a lot of fun!

Tim and Faith said...

LOVE the pics! Thanks Hope! Iowa sure looks pretty this time of year