Hunky Hubby (a.k.a. Captain Troy) was busy with Aviation camp all week and since my Mom and Dad will be taking off tomorrow for the great state of Delaware to see my brother and his family, I thought it would be a good time to go down to the Fox Valley and see my fam.
Ususally when I decide on a last minute trip, there is nothing exciting going on down in the city. But this time, I lucked out. It turns out that my sisters church was having their one day VBS on a day we would be there and also the Paine Art Museum was having a free day with fun activities for the kids.
A whole day where I can shop without kids and then I get to look like super mom by taking them to a fun outing that night!
I was sold.
The evening I arrived at my sisters, my mom and dad came up for dinner. It was super nice of them to drive up, and they even brought meat. Like 4 kinds.
My dad LOVES meat.
Wait, I think that is an understatement.
Anyway, we enjoyed a delicious meal together, walked the kids to the park that night and then had s'mores in their outdoor fireplace.
This is the stuff that will nominate me to be mom of the year, people.
I know, I know, we lost some 'best mom of the universe' points there.
Especially because when we asked him what he wanted to do he said he wanted to go home and eat tacos.
To make up for dragging him to the stores, his daddy offered to take us all to Hu Hot for lunch. Who can say no to that?
What a nice guy!
I love Hu Hot! It's like the only buffet I ever want to eat at!
This was shaping up to be a really spectacular day.
Shopping without my kids, my sisters company, and free delicious food!
So later, after taking a little nappy, and enjoying a quiet house, we left to pick up the 5 kids at the church so we could drive them down to Oshkosh for a cultural outing.
The only problem with this, is that everytime we go somewhere with all our kids, we have to take two cars. Why can't they invent a 10 passenger vehicle that is cool looking and gets good gas mileage? Is that too much to ask for?
The Paine art museum is actually a really cool house/mansion that was built around 1947 or 1956 or somewhere inbetween. It's pretty awesome.
So I didn't realize that you aren't allowed to take pictures inside the mansion. I managed to snap a couple before I found out. These pictures are of the great hall or possibly ballroom of the house. I absolutely love the attention to detail in older homes and especially in homes of luxury. In the top picture you can see a table and two chairs in the bow window. In the bottom picture is what that bow window looks like from outside.
Here is the front of the mansion. not all of it, but a large part.
This is a picture of the master bedroom suite. The bed would have been back to the left.
The dressing room for the lady of the house was across the hall.
Here is a side view of the house. This would have been the kitchen entrance and probably servant entrance.
There are also beautiful gardens surrounding the Paine mansion.
I wouldn't mind if the gardener there up and decided they wanted to make over my lawn.
I wouldn't complain one bit. Nope, not one bit.
They had some fun gardening activities outside in the gardens. Plus they gave away healthy snacks! We got cups full of grapes and yummy blueberries!
One of my boys won an octopus plant (similar to a venus flytrap)
One of the big hits was the ukelele demonstration. Especially because the kids got to try them out.
I actually love Ukelele music. It's really fun and soothing all at the same time.
Look at these details! I love it. I wish we did more of that kind of building today.
This would have been the front entrance to the house.
Here is the crew, after an enjoyable time at the museum. Although they did not appreciate the Ansel Adams exhibit as much as I would have liked. I kind of had to breeze through it. Ansel Adams has been a favorite photographer of mine for years. It was lovely to see some of his best works displayed at the museum.
Here is the crew minus 1. He didn't want to look at the camera. Can you guess which kid it was?
We all had a great time. I appreciate when museums attempt to include families and children.
Afterward we went to a really nice park in Oshkosh located right along the lake. We enjoyed our picnin supper and the kids played.
We got home in time to tuck them all into bed.
Where they were so ehausted they actually fell asleep.
The next day, it was so lovely out in the morning that my sister and I were able to go outside onto her lovely patio to enjoy the morning and read a little bit of God's word.
It was lurvely.
Oh yeah, and I also found out that my sister is an Indian giver (I know that isn't a politically correct term, but I thought about it and couldn't come up with another way to explain it). Last year she told me I could have these lovely washtubs. And then I forgot who told me I could have the lovely washtubs. But when I was doing my gardening this spring I kept asking myself "who told me they had wash tubs I could have?" And I never remembered.
Until I came to my sisters house.
And she proudly showed me MY washtubs that she had filled with beautiful flowers.
And she KNEW she had told me I could have them.
But now she loves them.
What am I supposed to do about that?
I am holding her personally responsible for finding me some new ones.
She redeemed herself slightly by helping me score some plants myself, all for a quarter apiece.
Bonus: Mom came up and took us out to lunch at Pizza Hut. What a great follow up to a nice morning.
So I guess all in all, it was a wonderful, impromptu visit.