Saturday, July 31, 2010

Football Stadiums

With football being my favorite sport to watch we made some stops along the way on our vacation to see some big stadiums.

University of Indiana
Bloomington, In Tennessee Titans
Nashville, TN

Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium is something else... Huge...
I love the gable end pro football stadium.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Skating in Downtown Indy

We took the chance to have the kids ice skate while we were on vacation in Indiana. We searched the internet to find places to skate and found one in downtown Indianapolis within walking distance of something else that we wanted to see.

This picture is of the street we walked down to go into the skating rink. The building on the right is the rink. The level of the ice is about 8 feet below the sidewalk level. Looking in the windows you see down the bleachers to the ice. We had to park in a parking structure, $12, to have the kids skate $3.25 each. Kinda funny that we paid twice the amount of skating to park. This place in right across the street from the big convention center in downtown Indianapolis and kiddy corner from Lucas Oil Stadium the home of the Colts.

Here is Lexy doing what she loves.Isaac always enjoys skating as fast as he can around the ice.
Skating on the road like this always makes us appreciate Butch and the South Charleston Memorial Ice Arena. It is sooooo much nicer that anything else we have seen. (ie. cleaner, maintained, not beat up, much smooter ice, etc.) I have to admit that the ice rinks that we have been to in Utah were nice too, but the kids haven't skated there, yet. Thanks for taking good care of us Butch...!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Children's Museum in Indianapolis

Here are some of the other things that we did at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. The front of the building is a little damaged from the dinosaurs that seem to be roaming about.

There was an excellent dinosaur display on the inside too. It was less that a quarter of the whole museum, but we ended up with a lot of pictures from there. I don't have a good picture of it, but there were two levels of loft (2 and 3 story) overlooking the main dinosaur display room.

Here is a picture of one of their T-Rex's.

This is a shot of the head of a triceratops. If you look close you can see a bubble in front of him with Lexy's head sticking up.
These bubbles were in several places in the museum. Most of them required the children to crawl into a small room where they could then stand. There we a few in with the dinosaurs, several in the middle of the train exhibit, etc.

There was a cool bone dig up area. This one was better that the typical sand over the mold type. The sand was very large grain and they has some sort of sticky substance in it that required the effort to break it up and move it off of the bones. It make it seem like chipping rock. Our kids dug for a little bit.

I wasn't sure what this was, but Isaac figured it out...It's a giant fluid clock. On the left is the hours and on the right is the minutes. So the fluid fills to the level of different numbers to show the time. Isaac was standing in front of the clock at 1:35. You can see the dark blue dot to the left of him at the 1 o'clock level, the numbers are in faint green. And to the right of him you can see the squiggly tube is filled to the 35 minute mark.
One of the museum's flag ship displays in the big mass of blown glass. It is very colorful and reaches 4 stories in the atrium. Behind the sculpture you can see the different levels. There are ramps from level to level. It looked like it would be nice and easy for people pushing strollers.
Another display that they had was the Etch-A-Sketch area. It talked about the history of the toy, that had old ones and new ones. There was a whole section of extreme pictures that people have done on them. This one was my favorite.
There was also a giant Etch-A-Sketch. That thing was 8 feet tall, with knobs that were 18" diameter. Pretty cool.
The train area was cool. The have both a steam engine and a passenger car for the kids to look at. There were electric train sets all over the place, running overhead, in big displays, up little mountains, in tunnels, over tressels, etc. There were little cubbie holes where the kids could climb in behind the displays and watch the trains too.
This was in the train area. Kind of a fun picture of the Isaac and Lexy.
So, GREAT place. Highly recommended. It did have a cost. Family of four is $52, seemed to be well worth it. And I haven't mentioned the guitar display, the StarWars display, the miniature model rooms, the merry go round, the black light maze, the fun house mirrors, the science area, the rock climbing wall, the water table, the live fish habitat, the Egypt display, and on and on... And we can't forget the Barbie display.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Barbie at The Childrens Museum

There was a big big Barbie display at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. It was about as big as a gymnasium. Tons of girly, girly stuff to do. Lexy was in Barbie heaven. Isaac was on his best behavior because he had been lectured about, "We did Corvettes for you, now this is for her."

There where hundreds of Barbies in there. The fun things were the hands on items. Like...

Lexy did the fashion show, there were bins in the back with cloths to wear. Cameras flashing, music thumping, and plenty of seats for the crowd. There were only a few of us at the time, but she loved it..!!
This was one of here favorite Barbies on display.

Lexy and Amy drew out dresses, and outfits on the light tables.
About the time we thought that we were going to head out from the Barbie display and check out the rest of the place. A lady came by and asked if we wanted to go to the work room in the Barbie area and do a 45 min design workshop. Of course, Lexy was all about that. Amy and Lexy stayed while Isaac and I checked out more of the place.

So, once they kicked out all the boys, they talked about how a designer would design a new dress. They drew there ideas on paper over an outline of Barbie. Then they when to work with tiny dressmaker forms to shape the dress and make sure that it was the correct size. Lexy, of course, picked pink for her dress.

Here is Lexy with both her pink dress and Amy's blue one. Look at that face, she is in heaven.
Momma and daughter with the new Barbie dresses that they made.
It is sooooo nice that Amy can do some of the recreation things with us now. Don't get me wrong she still studies most all of the time. But, we do get a little more time with her now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Isaac made the paper

The Charleston Daily Mail ran a short story on the Learn to Play Hockey program in Monday's paper. Isaac was in one of the pictures. It's a program for beginning hockey players, he is well above the beginning level, but I thought it would be nice to have the extra ice time, the interaction with the coaches and other players, and it was cheap. Fifty bucks for 6 weeks of one hour sessions, and a jersey to keep. And the kids with out equipment get skate, helmet, and stick rental for free.

Isaac is on the left center of the photo in black pants with a grey jacket. He is standing behind the chair getting ready to push another kid down the ice.
Here is a link to the story on the web.

Here is the text from the story...
Monday July 26, 2010
Program teaches hockey basics
by Bob Wojcieszak

The six-week "Learn to Play Hockey" program at the South Charleston Memorial Ice Arena is designed to teach the sport to kids who have no ice skating experience. Now in its third week, the camp teaches children as young as 3 first to stand on the ice and then to skate. They also learn some basic skating drills and how to handle a hockey stick and puck.
Bridget Phillips, the treasurer of the Charleston Amateur Hockey Association, who helped organize the program, said several of the participants already have expressed interest in joining a youth hockey league in the fall. The teams are open to children as young as 5.
She emphasized that the program and team play is safe for young ones. They aren't taught more advanced and aggressive maneuvers like checking until around age 12.
"The first couple of years, they're just learning how to play hockey," she said.
The skating rink is also using the interest in the class as an opportunity to build on their hockey programs overall. The arena purchased helmets and sticks for the program and to have on hand in the future.
Phillips said they hope to continue to host the "Learn to Play Hockey" program again after the next competitive hockey season is over.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dinner In Louisville

We stopped in Louisville on our vacation to have dinner. We were on the cheap with this trip, so we grilled brats and hot dogs in the park down by the river. (Not "in a van down by the river") It was a pretty cool place, lots to do. We spent a few minutes at a playground to let the kids burn off some energy. Isaac smacked around a puck and Lexy played badmitten while Amy and I got dinner ready.

This is a picture from our table where we ate. We found this neat old building front by the park. I wish I could have got a better picture of us in front of it, but I didn't have a tripod. I parked the Yukon in the road in front of it and set the timer with the camera on the roof of the car.
Right by where we had our dinner was a 12' tall statue of Abraham Lincoln. Isaac loves Abraham Lincoln. He likes history in general.

Isaac really enjoyed this statue. He didn't want to get down from there.

Lexy wanted a silly picture. She sat on Lincoln's hat and we snapped one for her.
Total cost of dinner that night for all 4 of is was about 8 bucks. We need to travel like that more often.

WonderLab Too

I figured that the climbing area of the WonderLab was too cool to leave off of the blog. As you can see it is build two stories tall, approx. 20 feet. The big leaf looking things are built of contoured plywood and covered in carpet. Then they stretched cables through holes drilled in the edges of keep the kids from falling.Here is Isaac way up in the top end. I was standing on the second level above the stairs to take this picture. Here is Lexy and Natasha making their way up. They didn't like it when I would shake the cables or grab at them. Lexy was I little scared of the height.
I have to be admit. I was trying to figure out how I could build one of these some day. It would be a cool way to have the kids go up to a reading loft or something.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I say it all the time... "Isaac loves to fish... too bad his dad is such a poor fisherman" He does, Isaac loves to fish and I suck at it. In June I finally bought a fishing and hunting license. Isaac was so happy. We got in a little fishing on the rivers by the house. We didn't even get a bite, but he was SOOOOO HAPPY. It sure is good for him to do some fishing. He is a very thankful, plesent boy when he has been fishing. On a Saturday morning in July I got him up early, early and we went to Kanawha State Forest to the pond to fish. Yes, he loved it.

This is the first very tiny fish that he pulled out. Kinda cute, Huh...

Then he got a little more serious. These little Perch seemed to like little bits of worm that morning.

Here is another one the pulled out. Look at the smile, he's having fun...!!!

He brought 3 home to show his mom. She was not impressed with him bringing them in the house, but she was happy to see that he was able to catch some fish. And she was glad to see him so happy.

Now, you may not be able to see it here but there is a beaver swiming in the pond. He is inline with the concrete spillway. It was fun to watch him swim down in the pond, climb up the bank, chew off a small branch, and drag it back up the pond.

The other thing the we saw was a big, big turtle. We didn't get a picture of him. He must have been 24" diameter, he came up for air twice that we saw him that morning.

Good times.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


We did some hiking way back on July 3rd. Amy had the weekend off'ish, and wanted to spend some time outside with the kids. We chose to hike at the Kanawha State Forest. We printed out a map that shows the bike and hiking trails, picked one, and packed a lunch. Everyone was happy and ready to go when we got out of the car and headed up the hill.

This is a shot of Lexy, Amy and Trisha. They were nice enough to turn around and look back at me long enough to snap a quick picture.

Not too long after the happy picture above, the kids were thinking the the bugs, heat, and hills were not too much fun. We got some unhappy feedback. Amy, Trisha and I just kept on trucking and tried to point out the happy stuff. We did see some cool things. We found a plant that the leaves grow in a circle, we found an old mine road and some small waterfalls.

Isaac and Lexy found an old log that looked like a surf board. They did have fun mountain surfing for a bit.

Amy had packed us a great lunch. We sat down right on the trail and ate our lunch. As you can tell from Isaac's head. It was hot and humid.

Friday, July 23, 2010


We used our Clay Center membership while on vacation again. We went to WonderLab in Bloomington, IN. It was really cool. For those of you that have been to the Clay Center's hands on science area, this place was two stories of the same foot print with more packed in to every square foot. There was a giant climbing area for the kids to climb up two stories in a cable caged plant. All the kids loved to climb up in that. There was a Blue Man Group pipe with the music to several songs, Isaac and I played the StarWars theme song. There was a nice little salt water aquarium with clown fish and coral. Water experiments, a strobe drum behind a guitar to see the waves in the strings, a fan table with PVC pipe to float ping pong balls, a vertical jump measuring wall where you slapped the button as high as you could, a series of clear tubes mounted to a wall with a fan blowing balls up and out through it, a fog table with foam blocks to direct were the fog went, balls mounted on a cable that rocketed up to the ceiling, on and on and on...

This is Lexy and Natasha sitting on a bench in the WonderLab garden just outside.
This one is Isaac and Travis operating crane. There where three controls. The crane move radially, you could move the cable from the center to the outer edge of the circle and then the raising and lowering of the cable. Each box in the cage had a key hole that the cable could hook on to. We stacked up a big stack of blocks and then knocked them over. Pretty fun.

Here is Lexy gathering up a 'cloud bubble'. There were about 5 stations with bubble experiments. One of the used cables and soapy water to create a bubble, like the one at the Clay Center, but this one then had a hair dryer mounted to blow the bubble out. I would create huge 18" to 24" bubbles.

This picture of Isaac is outside in the garden. The station that he is by uses solar panel that they can rotate up and down, round and round to catch the most sun. There is an energy gage that tells them how much power that they are capturing. Then there is a bell, a fan and a few LEDs. It shows them how much power each item needs to operate. Very cool...

The WonderLab was awesome...!!! Thanks Aunt Jean for telling us about it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


One of the places that we visited on our vacation last week was the Corvette Factory and the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY. We saw the museum last year when we drove to Nashville, TN to visit with the Eppley's. We decided to visit with Isaac in mind. He has been into cars off and on for the last two years. It ended up being something that everyone really enjoyed.
We started at the NCM but the tour of the factory started in about an hour. So, we watched the history of Corvettes video and drove over to the factory. They didn't even allow cell phones in the factory. So, no pictures... :( I was a super cool place. Amy keeps saying that is was like a live, in person How It's Made. We spent about 2 hours walking through the plant on a guided tour. It was very clean. We watch them start with the frames, add the body in pieces, drop in the seats, add the dash, test the electronic; then the car raised up into the ceiling. They turn around in the ceiling and drop back down to the production line where they meet up the the power train. The wheels, engine, transmission, drive line and suspension are all assembled and the 'trimed out' car lowers on top and they are attached. What a neat tingle we all got as we got close to the testing area and hear them start up the brand new Corvettes. Each one is tested at 70 MPH in a booth, then run on a 1/4 mile track and blasted with 12 gallons per minute of water. Lots of testing to make sure that they are ready.
After the factory tour and some lunch we headed back to the museum.
Unfortunately we couldn't use the premium parking.This was a sweet little statue of a '50's Vette done with camouflage and dedicated to American soldiers.
Lexy found a pink Corvette in the museum. She was having fun anyway, but this put it over the top for her. Even the premium parking was full at one point in the day...
There were a half a dozen cars in the breezeway of the museum building. They all had these little signs in from of them.
One thing that Isaac was into was that during the introduction video that talked about the history of Corvettes they mentioned that there is only one (1) 1983 Corvette. And it was in the museum. Here is a picture of Isaac with that car.