Sunday, September 28, 2008

Another fun day at the Jacksonville Steam Show

The Prairie Land Steam Show is another of those annual events that we never miss. There are steam engines, tractors, wagon rides, horses, farm equipment, demonstrations, and just about anything else that a boy could want. A whole day of dirt, steam, and machines. You can't go wrong with that combination!

My boys riding the steam train. This was Kel's third trip of the day. And not his last.

Quite possibly the highlight of the day -- Kel got to learn how to drive a tractor! It wasn't easy to photograph, so these are the best that I got, but they had an obstacle course set up with wooden cows, cones, and a corn field. It was so exciting! Kel did great and got to choose his very own replica John Deere tractor afterwards.

This was at the log cutting demonstration. They have a big steam engine that runs the belt that runs the saw -- you'd be amazed at how long this whole process can captivate a four year old boy...

Eating home made ice cream on a hot September afternoon.

This was at the horse pull. I loved this event and thought I'd include a photo!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Monticello Railroad Days

Monticello Railroad Days was the highlight of this weekend and definitely something that will now be an annual family event. There were unlimited rides on three different trains (two separate routes and one short jaunt down to the shop area), motor cars, a hand car, train displays, model railways, and more. It was super!

This is the steam engine that they're renovating. It should be up and running within the year. Thrills! We'll be back often.

We got to operate a real hand car. We got it going pretty fast!

The nice woman who took this photo tastefully cut out my ugly hospital shoe. This fractured foot will be a thing of the past in no time -- and with no photos to remember it by!

Here we are at one of the motor cars. We had a long trip on this one.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wildlife Prairie Park

We spent the first of Kellan's teacher work day holidays this year at the Peoria Wildlife Prairie Park. I enjoy these extra "holidays" in the fall, but ask me again in March when I have to take yet another random day off work and the weather has been cold and wet for months and I'm ready to jump off the nearest mountain if only they actually had anything like topography in Illinois and... Oh, sorry about that. Side tracked. Anyway, it was a great day for the prairie park. The weather was gorgeous and all of the fall colours are starting to show. We stayed until they were closing the park, at which point Kellan asked if we could please return again the next day. He loves it there.

Because the park wasn't busy on a Friday, the engineer asked Kellan if he would like to drive the train. Thrill of thrills! So, Kel got to drive (with assistance) the entire route, as well as sounding the horn at crossings and getting a lesson on the local landscape and vegetation from the knowledgeable park volunteer. Here he is before we started, at the controls.

I'm not sure how many photos we have to take with dog statuary before Daddy gets the hint. Notice that boys with dogs are happy. Hint, hint.

Kel loved the old time farm machinery at the Pioneer Village exhibit.

He could happily have played in this caboose all day.

In the play room at the train depot. I'm not sure who did that painting on the wall, but, um...

These are truly awful, but at least proof that I was there! Setting the timer doesn't work so well for adjusting focus, light settings, etc.

Strategically hiding my ugly ortho shoe under the bench. Horribly washed out photos.

Some wildlife shots. It was a wildlife park after all!