We went out to Sibley State Park again this year to enjoy the fall colors and have a picnic lunch. The weather was warm and breezy. The kids got to work roasting brats and hot dogs.
After out appetite was filled, the gang headed for the beach, where Nora quickly went in. Evidently my advice to bring their swimsuits was not heeded.
Ella, our little fish, could care less that she was drenched.
So what do you do with a bunch of soaking wet kids when it is time to go home? Thankfully the gift shop was having it's end of season sale, and the girls and Corbin all received new shirts and sundresses! Lesson for next year: pack those swimsuits!
Our family enjoyed watching the Storm Chasers show on television before it was cancelled, so when we heard a tornado chase vehicle, called the TIV, was coming to Minnesota, we went to see it. It was much bigger than the television show made it seem! The kids quickly jumped inside and explored it all.
This vehicle was also used to hold the special IMAX film used to make the movie Tornado Alley. Here is a shot of the 360 degree rotating turret that held the special camera and film inside the TIV.
Here is a front view of the TIV. TIV stands for Tornado Intercept Vehicle. It is a custom made vehicle that has been driven inside actual tornadoes. The crew collected scientific data as well as the IMAX footage. Notice how small Ella looks standing next to it.
The kids all thought it was awesome!
Here is a side view. The side plates can go down, and huge stakes (the red things in front of the doors in the picture) drive into the ground to secure the vehicle before a tornado goes over it.
The kids thought it was really neat getting to see something that had been on a television show. Here's Rosa and Anna inside the TIV
To say Corbin was excited was a bit of an understatement.
Alex got a kick out of the warning around the rear license plate.
Caleb found the safety helmet of the maker of the IMAX movie, Sean Casey, under a seat. Sean wore it when the vehicle was inside tornadoes so he could keep filming.
Here's another picture of the girls exploring the TIV.
They all took turns "driving". Here's Nora:
Anna at the wheel:
Ella thought that was the best!
One last shot of the vehicle:
One of the meteorologists on the Storm Chasers show, Brandon Ivy, was also there. He was nice enough to visit with us for a while. Here he is with the kids.
It was a lot of fun seeing the TIV in person, but we all agreed we hope it never visits our neighborhood!
On a side note, while heading back to our vehicle we spotted a bat on a wall by the sidewalk. The little guy didn't seem to care that we were there; he just wanted to sleep!
Ever wonder what happens when teenagers get sent outside to play? Two words: strange things.
Talk about extreme body building, Corbin!
Oh, but wait, Caleb, too?
What a pair!
Oh, but what's this? They are moveable?!?
From buff bodybuilder to old hunchback in one easy step.
How to catch the elusive Alex on film? Easy, have one of his brothers take the picture.
What a bunch of hams!
Some of our friends invited us to a park for a shared lunch and some baseball and other fun. Rosa thought up and made some cookie "party hats" for the occasion.
Ella had fun running around the basketball court.
She also seemed to enjoy just rolling around in the grass.
We raked up a leaf pile for the kids to jump in. Here's Anna after jumping in.
Ella was quite the stunt baby! She jumped in with such gusto one usually reserves for water.
She didn't seem any worse for the wear, though.
Meanwhile, the baseball game was in underway. Here's Alex up to bat:
Nora's first swing was a miss...
but her next attempt was a hit!
Lee was busy keeping Ella entertained...
boy is she a busy baby!
We all had a fun time. Here's Caleb, thinking he's a bird again.
On to a different topic: cutting the kids hair myself has it's perks: we can be silly before finishing the haircut. Here's Corbin with a haircut that will never leave the confines of our house.
Once the Science Museum of Minnesota was showing the movie the TIV crew had made we went there to see it. We also explored the exhibits. Here's Corbin and Nora pretending they are on the news.
What a bunch of hams!
We took a break to eat the picnic lunch we brought. The day was so nice we ventured outside to eat.
Once lunch was over, we explored the place! We ventured back in time to see the ice age:
Caleb discovered how an electric car engine works;
and Anna and Ella had fun building with foam blocks.
Nora and Alex made their own spiral drawings:
and Corbin made some weird noises.
Sean Casey, the producer of the Tornado Alley movie, was there. We had an interesting conversation with him. Here are the kids with Sean.
The girls had fun with a giant chair:
and they all enjoyed shooting balls out of a huge air cannon:
sometimes science is fun!
Here's Alex at the tornado exhibit.
Number of Pictures: of
Lee and Ella play some tunes:
Anna makes a ball float:
and Nora sees one of her favorite animals: a crane.
We all had a fun time at the Museum. Back at home, Caleb was treated with a character from his favorite movie, Rio, for enduring the start of school. He had the talking Blu bird, but had never been able to find Jewel, so when I saw it for sale, I grabbed it. Here he is opening the surprise:
We also visited the Nelson Farm again this fall. Anna quickly made some friends by feeding the goats.
the llamas weren't so sure of her, though.
The farm had an Ag Olympics competition, and the kids tried various games. Here's Rosa trying the sack throw.
The kids all rode the wiggly cart rides. Here they are, waiting to go:
Corbin loved doing the wagon rides all by himself this year, since he was finally old enough!
Another round of cart rides followed:
Caleb and Rosa rode the wagons:
The weather had been so dry that the whole farmyard was very dusty. The kids looked like they were chimney sweeps after several cart rides down the dusty trail!
The girls had to have a ride on the ponies. Here's Anna:
Nora rode a real horse this year!
and Rosa on her pony:
The kids also all had way too much fun chasing the poor bunnies around. Here's Caleb with his catch:
Anna with hers:
Corbin with one:
and Rosa with hers:
Anna loved the little calf:
They all had fun with the bounce balls as well. Here's Caleb:
and Alex bouncing extra high:
Before we left the farm we had the kids joke around the photo cutout again this year:
Back at the home front, life was as interesting as always. A feral cat had followed Caleb home one day while he was walking his dog. We tried to find the owners, but it seemed the cat adopted us. He refused to leave our front porch, and it was getting quite cold at night. The bottom line? We now have another cat. Meet Nit Wit:
The family all loves him. He is a very playful and funny cat. He loves the indoor life now.
Finally, the kids had fun making and frosting gingerbread cookies this fall. Alex was kind enough to help Ella with hers, but I am not sure how thrilled he was about doing so.
Yes, they tasted great!