Apple picking at the farm

Driving the tractor with Bopaw

Driving the tractor with Bopaw

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Doing doughnuts in the field!

Doing doughnuts in the field!

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Ian runs to see the turkeys

Ian runs to see the turkeys

Ian secretly masterminding an escape plan for the piglets, which was carried out that very night

Ian secretly masterminding an escape plan for the piglets, which was carried out that very night

Lost in the straw maze

Lost in the straw maze

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Playing in the fort

Playing in the fort

Katra, Suzie and Mamaw help Ian guard the fort

Katra, Suzie and Mamaw help Ian guard the fort

Kyle helps Bopaw fix the tractor

Kyle helps Bopaw fix the tractor

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Ok, Kyle. You distract Bopaw and I'll hotwire this thing.

Ok, Kyle. You distract Bopaw and I'll hotwire this thing.

Ian testing Suzie's patience

Ian testing Suzie's patience

Off to pick some apples

Off to pick some apples

This looks like fun.

This looks like fun.

Kyle picks his first apple

Kyle picks his first apple

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Ian picks his first apple

Ian picks his first apple

One apple picked. Time for some quality control.

One apple picked. Time for some quality control.

Mamaw helps Kyle grade the apples he picked

Mamaw helps Kyle grade the apples he picked

Graded, polished, and ready to go!

Graded, polished, and ready to go!

This was apple #3, I think

This was apple #3, I think

The mischief-makers exploring the barn

The mischief-makers exploring the barn

Time for a hayride!

Time for a hayride!

Dogs. The most hilarious thing ever.

Dogs. The most hilarious thing ever.

Chase enjoying the ride

Chase enjoying the ride

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I believe it's about time for a silly face.

I believe it's about time for a silly face.

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Just enough time left for a quick wagon ride.

Just enough time left for a quick wagon ride.

Taking the long way

On the way back home from Springfield, we had beautiful weather and a little extra time, so we decided to take the scenic route. We drove along old route 66 for part of the way, went through towns with names like “Farmer City” and “Cornland” and stayed off the interstate the whole way. It took longer to get home, but it was well worth the extra time.

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At one point, Katra started joking about the old horror movie “Children of the Corn”. Then, literally 2 minutes later, we drove past this sign:

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Wind turbines south of Dwight, IL on Rte. 47

Wind turbines south of Dwight, IL on Rte. 47

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A disassembled wind turbine waiting to be installed. It's hard to see, but that is a very long flatbed trailer it is sitting on.

A disassembled wind turbine waiting to be installed. It's hard to see, but that is a very long flatbed trailer it is sitting on.

2009 State Fair

This weekend we made our annual pilgrimage to the Illinois State Fair. It’s amazing what they’re dipping in batter and frying these days.

On the way there we saw this incredible rainbow. It was several times as wide as your typical rainbow, but didn’t form a full arc.

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In the dairy barn we learned two things:

(1) someone has enough time and extra butter on their hands to create a full size 3D sculpture of a young Lincoln with a cow

(2) It is impossible to get Ian and Kyle looking through the face holes at the same time:

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Next, being summer, it was time for a little road construction work:

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In the evening we took the boys on some amusement park rides.

The kiddie roller coaster, always a big hit

The kiddie roller coaster, always a big hit

Ian couldn't wait to drive the cars. Naturally he picked the purple and blue beach buggy that looked like some kind of Scooby Doo nightmare

Ian couldn't wait to drive the cars. Naturally he picked the purple and blue beach buggy that looked like some kind of Scooby Doo nightmare

The boys and I went on the tilt-a-whirl

The boys and I went on the tilt-a-whirl

Katra took Ian on the merry-go-round

Katra took Ian on the merry-go-round

Kyle and I went on the big ferris wheel

Kyle and I went on the big ferris wheel

The highlight of the evening for both boys was the bungee jump. The whole time Kyle and I were in the ferris wheel we were looking down over the bungee jump, and he kept asking to go on it, so we decided to give it a try. They had two versions of this: a full size version for older kids and adults and a small version for young kids. Each one had four separate platforms, so both boys were able to ride at the same time.

First they were strapped in to the harness:

Ian started jumping as soon as we put him up on the cushion. The poor guy could barely get him strapped in.

Ian started jumping as soon as we put him up on the cushion. The poor guy could barely get him strapped in.

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The people running the ride were very friendly and helpful. They only took the boys as high as they wanted to go (which, after a couple of jumps, was as high as they could go) and even asked us before gently taking Kyle through a flip.

Both Kyle and Ian loved the ride immediately. Ian was laughing and waving as he was flying through the air, to the point where  a small crowd gathered around to watch. Kyle was a little more reserved, but it was clear as soon as he got off that he had loved it.

I can fly!

I can fly!

wheeeeeeeee!!!!!

wheeeeeeeee!!!!!

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After the bungee jump, we all went on the giant slide. Katra took Kyle down and I took Ian.

Five Grandchildren

Back row: Gabe, Shane Joe. Front row: Grandma Ellen, Kyle, Grandpa Bob, Ian

Back row: Gabe, Shane, Joe. Front row: Grandma Ellen, Kyle, Grandpa Bob, Ian

Ian and Kyle go off exploring

Ian and Kyle go exploring

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Kyle demonstrates the "Advanced" Perfect Push-up

Kyle demonstrates the "Advanced" Perfect Push-up

Ian parks some cars

Ian parks some cars

TRACTORS!

On our recent trip to Missouri, Grandma and Grandpa Knoernschild (“Mamaw” and “Bopaw”) took Kyle and Ian to the tractor dealer. The boys were thrilled. Climbing around on tractors is WAY better than any playground.

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