The road is flooded out from the Des Moines River. It always is. This is actually part of the reason the kids like to go there. The kids wore their bathing suits most of the day.
Next, we went for a hike.
The kids love the hiking part. You're hiking for hours on a trail that never seems to end. You keep thinking, "I'm sure we're almost there," but you're not. The kids always laugh and run ahead and say, "Come on!" about a million times. Stanley and Freckles had to stop to rest too.
Freckles is kind of a sickly kid, if you ask me. One of those scared-of-nature types. Allergies or something. We took a couple of breaks.See that green stuff in the foreground? That's poison ivy.
Then, to everyone's delight, we spotted this great little "cave."
You probably can't see it well in this picture, but there's a brown sign just to the left of the white fence in front of this "cave." It's teeny. Can't see it? Yeah, we didn't either.Up the side of the rocks! Cadence is obviously recovered from her broken collarbone, just in time to break something else. More green stuff. Yep, that's poison ivy too.Chad and Stanley, chillin' in the cliffs yo. After many shouts of, "Jesus, be careful!" and "Jesus, don't do that!" (should have named them all Jesus), we moved out. That's when we saw the sign.Oops. We moved on to the flooded road, aka the Swimming Area.Chad got busy damming up the road. Dams are his passion. They soon enlisted the help of about 6 other kids. Too bad my kids are lonely social outcasts and don't know how to interact with others.No matter how many other kids come around, my girls are still best pals.
Our next adventure with Stanley took place Down on the Farm. Well ok, it wasn't really a farm, but my friend's house is in a rural area, surrounded by crops. Does that count? We were happy to discover an old friend from Seattle was also visiting that day. Her daughter is just a few months older than Riley, and we hadn't seen them since last summer. Stanley donned his best farmer clothes (courtesy of Chad), and buddied up to the resident pet, a bantam rooster named Lone Ranger.
Notice the kids are holding Lone Ranger. He doesn't know he's a chicken and doesn't hang out with the other chickens. Hence his name. He spends his days guarding the garage so the other chickens don't get in, and hanging out around people.
Next was the corn field.
Children of the Corn. Remind me to make Cadence wear sandals the next time she wears those capris. Sheesh. Then they mowed the yard a bit. Stanley got to drive.This was taken before any mowing actually occurred. I think they mowed about 15 feet before running off to do something else. Kids are flighty like that.This green stuff is not poison ivy. It's actually soybean plants, although it does look a lot like poison ivy from a distance. Leaves of three and all that.
And speaking of poison ivy, Stanley suffered the effects of a whole day's worth of exposure:
Thankfully, my kids didn't get it. I mean worse than they already had it. Which was not too bad.
Now for the bad news.This Stanley didn't make it. According to Riley, his extremities have turned black from frostbite. I don't know how many times I've said, "Wear your gloves. Frostbite will make your fingers turn black and fall off." (scare tactic parenting works like a charm) His lungs are intact, but the rest of his organs are "mixed up." His bladder, the dark swirly thing at the bottom, is full because the frostbite has rendered his ridiculously large penis functionally inactive. Poor Stanley. At first glance, you might think Stanley just got lost in the frozen mountains, but look closer. His brains have all come out of his head. We suspect foul play.