Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield – Springfield, MO

Wilson's Creek National BattlefieldWilson’s Creek National battlefield is located just outside of Springfield, MO. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is a civil War Battlefield. The Battle of Wilson’s Creek took place on August 10, 1861 and was the Second Major battle of the Civil War. It was also the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River. It was here that Nathaniel Lyon, a Union General was killed in action. Nathaniel Lyon was the first Union General to be killed in action.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is your typical battlefield, it has a visitor’s center that you can look around and then there is the driving tour of the battlefield. On the driving tour, you can stop and get out of your vehicle and explore the stops at your leisure.

Some things that are of interest here are:

  • The Visitor’s Center – Make this your first stop as you will need to pay your entrance fee in order to get a token to open the gate to start your driving tour. There is several things to do here including watching a short movie.
  • The Ray House – This house was the home of the Ray family.
    The Ray House

    The Ray House

    John Ray watched the battle that ensued in his cornfield from his front porch, while his wife, 9 children, a slave woman and her 4 children and a mail carrier stayed in the basement of this house. The house was used as a Confederate field hospital. Also to note the body of General Nathaniel Lyon was brought here at the fighting’s end. If the house is open when you are there, you can look around it.

  • Bloody Hill – Here is where Lyon’s men held the high ground throughout the battle.
    The Lyon Marker

    The Lyon Monument.

    There is a ¾ of a mile trail that goes past the site of Totten’s Battery, the Lyon monument and a sinkhole where 30 union soldiers were buried.

Wilson’s Creek Battlefield is a great battlefield to tour for the history behind it.

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Some of my favorite things….

Lands Creek Log Cabins

My all time favorite musical is the Sound of Music. I grew up watching this movie and once we got married., we continued the tradition of watching this movie. In this musical, Julie Andrews sings a song about some of her favorite things. It is a fun song and it is acted out so well in the musical.

So what are some of my favorite things? Let me see there are so many things, but here are a few (hey are in no particular order):

  • Travel
  • Disney World
  • Family
  • God, faith and church.
  • Steak and Shake
  • Homemade jam
  • Homemade salsa
  • Nature
  • Hot tea – especially the Price of Wales tea by Twinings
  • Reading

So now that you know what some of my favorite things are, what are some of yours?

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Frugal Friday – Picking your own blueberries.

frugal friday

Our family loves blueberries, but we don’t buy them that often because I don’t want to  pay the price for them. Last year we found a local place where we could go and pick fresh blueberries. We liked that place, but we wanted to find a bigger place that we could pick at and that is what we did this year. We found a huge farm that had a lot of blueberry bushes on the property. I don’t think I have ever seen a place that huge. In our area you can pick blueberries from anywhere from $8 a gallon to about $15 a gallon. The place we went to charged $9 a gallon, which wasn’t that bad of a price. The berries were loaded on the bushes, we have picked several places and we have never seen the berries like that. So we were happy with our choice of where to pick blueberries.

Blueberries

We wound up picking 4 gallons of blueberries for a total of $36 for 4 gallons of blueberries. This was a good deal since we had went to the farmers market that morning and saw that venders were selling pints of blueberries for $4. So if we had bought 4 gallons worth of blueberries at the farmers market, it would have cost us $128 for the same amount of blueberries that we picked for $36. That is a huge savings.

Now that we have all these blueberries, we are going to freeze some, eat some  and also make some blueberry jam. I can’t wait.

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Summer Reading.

Reading has always been a big part of our families pastime, everyone loves to read. Of course some read more than others, but at least we are reading. Since reading is a big part of our lives, we look for ways to get our kids to read. One way we do that is to participate in the summer reading program at our library.

Every summer since our oldest was old enough to take part in the summer reading program at our local library, our family has participated in the summer reading program. We still participate in the summer reading program and this will probably be the last year that he can officially participate.

The kids have always enjoyed the summer reading program where they got to read or be read to in their younger years. They also enjoyed the programs that the library put on. Each week they have a different program with different people coming in and doing different things. There has been some interesting things at these programs over the years and some the kids liked more than others, but they were having fun and at the same time reading.

We love going to the library and picking out books that we can read. Our librarians are wonderful and they always love to see us coming since we check out tons of books. The funny part is that when summer comes along, our stack of books decrease. That’s Ok, summer is the time for fun and no school, but we always want the kids to enjoy reading. When school is in session, we get more books because we use some for school and study different topics, so we get more books.

So even though it is summer break, we try to get the kids to read something that they are interested in and not what they are doing for school. Kids should enjoy their summer and their own choice of good books.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder Home – Mansfield, MO

Museum

Museum

Our family has been to the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield, MO 3 times now. Last time was just a couple of years ago, but we missed seeing the Rock House while we were there due to icy roads. So when we were back in the area, we went to the museum again. We were quite surprised when we found out that they were going to open a new museum so we also got to see that.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is the author of the Little House books that are so popular with the kids. She wrote these beloved books at her home in Mansfield. Today you can go visit her home where she wrote these books. The home is just like she left it when she died, so it feels like you are stepping back in time.

So many people make the trip to Mansfield, MO just so that they can see this historic site. The Laura Ingalls Wilder home site has a new museum as well as the home and the Rock House on the property. You can visit all three place when you buy the admission tickets. Tickets are: $14 for adults and $7 for kids.

The museum is a new building that houses a museum with all sorts of memorabilia from Laura’s life. There is also a movie that you can watch if you care to. This is also where you pay to get into the museum and the houses.

Laura Ingalls Wilder House

Laura Ingalls Wilder House

After you see the museum, you can go on up to the main house where you can tour the house. This is a guided tour and you are not allowed to take pictures in the house.

The Rock House

The Rock House

Then when you are finished, you will have to drive up the road to the Rock House, which is the house Rose built for her parents. This house is quite smaller than the main house, but is still quite interesting to see.

So if you have any Little House on The Prairie fans in your house, be sure and go see this treasure in Mansfield, MO.

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Summer is here. What is on your list to do this summer?

The Gulf at Louraine RdAh summer, that time of year that people love or hate. Personally I am not a big fan of summer. Summer means heat, heat and more heat. Can you tell I hate the heat? I personally think I am in the wrong part of the country. I live in South Mississippi and that means heat and humidity, but I love the cooler weather. When summer hits here, I always start to think about Alaska and the cooler weather. I always bring up moving to Alaska in the heat of the summer and my family just ignores me now. Once the heat and humidity stops here, I am just happy living right where I am.

So what do I do during the summer? Well, I try to stay as cool as possible and that usually means staying inside. I don’t like going outside much because of the heat, but once it cools off I am ready to be outdoors again.

Besides being inside a lot, summer also means canning season. We have a garden and we grow some things, but we also go to a u-pick it farm and pick a ton of tomatoes, peppers, onions and a few other things. So we can some things and then we freeze other things.

We also try to do things that are inside, like taking the kids to the summer reading program. Only 1 of the kids is still old enough to participate, but the other child usually goes with us and will read in another part of the library.

So what do you do in the summer?

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Frugal Friday – Painting an old rusting freezer.

frugal fridayYears ago we bought our chest freezer and it has been a good freezer this whole time. The only problem that we have been having with it is that the top is starting to rust. It has been doing this for some time now, and we have been talking about what to do about it. We decided to try to spray paint it with a rustoleum type of spray paint. We decided on a color and our original intent was to just paint the top of the freezer, but after doing the top and really liking the result, we decided to paint the whole thing.

Our rusty freezer top.

Our rusty freezer top.

freezer painted

Our painted freezer.

Yup, we really painted our freezer.

We really like the way the freezer looks and now we hope it lasts and stops the rust from spreading. So far so good, it looks like we did just that.

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Baker Creek Seed Company – Mansfield, MO

Bakers Creek Seed company

Bakers Creek Seed Store and gardens.

A few years ago, our family went to Mansfield, MO to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder house. While we were there we found out about a place called Baker Creek Seed Company. We wound up going there that trip and we looked around the village and bought some seeds and came home with a catalogue for their seeds. Every year since that trip we have bought seeds from them. One of the things we found about in the catalogue was the Spring Planting Festival and we decided to go to it. So we made plans to go up to Mansfield, MO just for us to go to the Spring Planting Festival. We figured while we were there, we would also do some things around southern MO.

As this was our second trip to Bakers Creek Seed Company, we kind of had an idea of what to expect, but I don’t think we were that prepared for the festival. Don’t get me wrong, we really enjoyed the festival and everything they had for this 2 day event, but we were quite surprised how busy this was on festival days. The first day was a whole lot busier than the second. At this festival they had spears lined up for both days, speaking on different topics. They also had vendors selling just about everything from gardening stuff, plants, food, old timey things, etc. It was definitely worth going to and we would go back again sometime. It is a 12 hour trip for us, so it takes a little more planning for us to go to the festival every year.

On the first trip to Bakers Creek, it was in early spring and they just had a snow/ice storm a couple of days before, so things were covered in snow. That didn’t stop us though, we had a great time wandering around the village in the snow and buying seeds at the store.

This time for the Spring Planting Festival, it was so crowded. There was definitely a lot more people than what I had expected. Even though they said this festival attracts 10,000 people, it didn’t seem like that many people in certain areas. There was ample space for people to be spread out. Some areas were more crowded than others, but that is to be expected. We just avoided those areas on the first day.

The Spring Planting Festival is a 2 day event held on the first Sunday and Monday of May. They do charge an entrance fee for the festival ($5 for adults over 16, under 16 are free.) If you go anytime other than the Spring Planting Festival it is going to be free.

So what exactly is Bakers Creek Seed Company? It is a seed Company that sells heirloom seeds, it also has a pioneer village set up on their farm. They do grow some things on the farm as well as have some animals.

The pioneer village has many buildings in which you can go in and look around. They do have a restaurant where you can eat if it is open when you are there. Some of the buildings that are there are a restaurant, a bakery (they sell the best cinnamon rolls there), a mercantile, a jail, blacksmith as well as other things. they also have a seed store, where you can buy seeds as well as other things.

Entrance to the village.

Entrance to the village.

Ozark hotel

Ozark Hotel.

Nellie's Restaurant and Mercantile

Nellie’s Restaurant and Mercantile

Apothecary

Apothecary

sheep

Sheep.

Baker Creek Seed Company is a great place to stop at if you are near Mansfield, MO. Take some time to enjoy this place, your kids will truly love it. Also you might just wind up enjoying it also, it is like stepping back into yesteryear.

 

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Granny’s Coleslaw Recipe

Granny's coleslaw recipeGrowing up, my grandmother made the most delicious coleslaw. She would make this coleslaw and bring it for family get to gathers. In fact when she couldn’t make this anymore, she passed the recipe on to my sister, who made it after that.

Our family loved this recipe and it was always a treat to have this at family dinners. this is  something that I still make, but not as often as I like.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 1-2 bags of shredded cabbage.
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sugar
  • can of pineapple drained – optional

Directions:

  1. Using your food processor, shred your cabbage. shred the cabbage
  2. When finished, put cabbage in a large bowl.
  3. Add 2 cups of mayonnaise.
  4. Then add 1 cup sugar.
  5. Add the pineapple if you want to include it. Most of the time I don’t add the pineapple.
  6. Stir mixture together. Note: When you stir the mixture it wont all stir together at first. You have to let it sit for about 10 minutes and then it will start to get juicy and then you can mix it some more.finished coleslaw
  7. Once it is all mixed together, put in the fridge to cool.Granny's coleslaw recipe
  8. Serve and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy my grandmothers recipe for coleslaw. It is really good.

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Memories from the past….

This past week was a memorable one, friends of ours daughter got married on Saturday. We have been looking forward to attending this wedding for a while now. In fact our oldest son was asked to video it. Which we happily did. In the process of videoing  it, we went to the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. This was such a blessing to us as we got to see some members of this special family that we haven’t seen in years. As an added bonus we got a surprise also. We got to see some other friends that we haven’t seen in about 10 plus years.

This was such a blessing to us as a couple.  Some of these people we have spent hours pouring our lives into at church and at another ministry. It was so nice to see how these people turned out and how they are using their gifts to glorify the Lord.

The wedding was super nice and the happy couple couldn’t be happier. So much took place behind the scenes to make this special day happen. But most people would not have noticed some of what going on behind the scenes, you see there was some special people that was slaving away making and preparing food so that others could enjoy the meal at the rehearsal dinner as well as at the wedding itself. It took time and energy to get it all done. It was also done by people who really don’t like to be in the limelight and prefer to be behind the scenes doing what they do best.

You see, sometimes you just have to listen to what God is telling you to do, use your gifts to glorify Him and don’t do it for the wrong reasons. It doesn’t matter what people think, it only matters what God thinks.

That is what I came away with this weekend as we saw people from the past, it was fun doing what God wanted us to do back then and that is what all that mattered. we were able to plant a seed that God then watered. Then we were able to see a glimpse of what that seed became. I am so thankful for that opportunity.

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