Thursday, May 10, 2012

From Arkansas to Missouri, back to Arkansas

Two states, lots of activity!
Last Thursday we went to the Ozark Folk Center, where we saw everything from brooms being made, to hand crafted knives using old railroad stakes. Of course, there was music. It is in Mountain View, after all!

Next was a trip up into Missouri. Mansfield, Missouri, to be specific. The home of Laura and Almanzo Wilder. We stayed at the "Laura Ingalls" RV park just up the road from the museum. Lots of grass, tons of lightning bugs to catch, quiet, and full of ticks. Pulled four off of Mary one evening. (Not the park's fault, obviously, it's the area.) It was probably the most neglected RV property we ever stayed, which is a terrible shame because it looked like it was once the most beautiful park. It has transferred ownership a few times and is currently for sale.

 The museum was well worth our time. We had a chance to see Pa's fiddle up close. Mary is really into the Little House books right now so she gets a lot of pictures from this area. She used her own money to buy a t-shirt of the farm house, and has really enjoyed dressing like Laura in an old costume that belonged to one of the twins.

This weekend we played for the Baker Seed Festival. We were taken around some twisty back roads, including a very tight turn that nearly landed the bus in a deep ditch. Gave us all a really big scare! Then there was the 4-wheeling to park in the pasture with the cows. It's a good thing we purchased all terrain tires for the bus. God was looking out for us, because we survived the weekend despite so many little things that could have been just awful.
This was our first real experience with HOT and HUMID combine. They were reaching record high spring temperatures the first day there, and though we are accustomed to those temperatures in the summer in Colorado, it was never in that much humidity. It was a rough day, since we were not as prepared as we should have been with snacks, juice, and water in which to handle the heat. Our performance drooped a bit as well, but I think everyone still enjoyed our music. It was all old time music for this one.
Sean spent every spare minute on these straw bales. he was putting pieces of straw in his mouth. Even played a fast Orange Blossom with straw in his mouth. Didn't miss a note, and didn't drop the straw.
I completely love this picture. Someone stuffed the banjo player into the slammer. Banjo players get no respect.
There are days when I wish I had one of these in my bus.
Back stage was the "jail" for the little old time village.
Too pretty!
Day two was great! Smaller crowds overall, but due to the cooling rain, we had good crowds under the shelter where we played. Music came together better, and we remembered the M&Ms this time. This picture was during an M&M break.
Nice festival! I hope they invite us back.
We celebrated the up-coming birthday of a soon-to-be 7-year-old. *SEVEN*. Honestly, where has the time gone? I didn't think I was blinking. Grandma and Papa had been joining us, but had to head back to Colorado, so we had an early party for Mary and the twins. She loved the little back pack we found at a gift shop. Woodland animals in their own back pack home.
The best part of all was meeting a "virtual" friend, Jennifer, and her lovely family. We had arranged in advance to borrow her little girls for a formal birthday party on the road. They hit it of in every way possible! They made and decorated cupcakes, planted flowers, dressed like princesses, and had the time of their lives. Mary said it's the best birthday ever.
Her official birthday is Saturday. After that the twins will turn 16. (I am demoting them. They only think they will get to be 18 because of some silly date on their birth certificate. However, as their parent, I believe I have special rights to overrule such things. Now that I think about it, I wonder if Mary would be okay with being five again?)

My babies are growing up. :(

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