Archive for October, 2012


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Fourth of July?????

Believe it or not, this past weekend, we were finally able to go to our town’s 4th of July fireworks display. Yes, it was October 6–just a little bit late!  I wrote about why this happened last summer in this entry. The summer on the Prairie was so hot and dry, that our county issued a fire ban right on the week of July 4. So, that knocked out all fireworks–private and public.  The local Kiwanas club along with the fire department usually puts on the public display, and they promised that they would still have the fireworks when conditions allowed. Well, the right conditions finally came…..in October!

What was really ironic about this whole thing was that we wondered all day if they were going to be able to have the fireworks because of SNOW!  Can you believe it?!  First it was cancelled because of the hot, dry conditions, then it looked like it could be cancelled again because of the cold, wet conditions!  Only on the Prairie……!  The snow did stop, however, just in time for the fireworks display.

I’ll tell you, it was weird having July 4 on October 6!  John had a good point:  if people can have Christmas in July, why not have July 4 in October!  🙂  It was really cold, so the kids bundled up in their winter coats and hats to go see the Independence Day fireworks.  The strangest part, though, was when the fire truck pulled in and drove around looking for just the right spot to park for the show.  Yep, you guessed it:  they pulled in right beside us!  It ended up being pretty neat, though, because one of the fire fighters told us all about how they set up and launch the fireworks.  He told us to look for certain ones that made neat patterns and how the ones who actually launch the rockets have to be specially licensed.  He gave us quite a new appreciation for how much work goes into these things, so that was cool.

The fireworks were nice despite the cold temperatures and overcast skies.  We all agreed, though, that the Fourth of July fireworks just aren’t quite the same in October!  Hopefully next year it’ll be back to normal!  (I bet we always remember this one though, and always talk about how we had fireworks in October!)

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If there is one slideshow to open on this blog, this one is it!  If you think that the Prairie Family is SERIOUS, SHY, and RESERVED, this slideshow will prove you wrong!  🙂  SPOILER ALERT:  This slideshow features Dan as Kapex Giganto and a happy scarecrow!

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This role of Gavroche is one that Kara and Luke would fight over!



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Our Fall Outing

A couple of weeks ago, the Prairie Family enjoyed a couple of days out-of-town.  We had been anticipating this trip for months, and I am happy to say that it met all of our expectations!

Early in the summer, I had gotten a brochure in the mail from the Salina Community Theater listing its shows for the 2012/2013 season.  I was surprised to see our all-time favorite musical “Les Miserables” at the top of their lineup.  We have loved the music from that show for many years–so much so, in fact, that Dan and I chose Cosette’s name after hearing it in several of the show’s songs.  (We liked the name and looked up its meaning, which ended up being “Victorious.” So, we coupled Cosette with Faith to ultimately settle on her name Cosette Faith–Victorious Faith.) We had never actually gone to a live performance of the musical, though, because the prices are just too high for all of us to go together.  For this community performance, though, the prices were very reasonable, so as soon as the tickets went on sale, we reserved our seats.  AND–good seats they were–right in the middle of the theater about 4 rows back from the stage!

Salina is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from where we live, so we took a couple of days to just enjoy some time away relaxing.  Our first stop was kind of unexpected, but not unfruitful!  We stopped to get fuel, and I realized that we were in a town that we regularly cover when we make our A Beka Kansas History Notebooks in 4th grade.  Each of the four older kids have done a page about The Cathedral of the Plains since it is a significant landmark in our area. So, I asked Dan if we could stop and take a look at it in person.  Kara will be doing her notebook next year, and I thought it would be neat for her to get her picture at the actual spot.  So, we took a look.  It was quite impressive–it is hard to imagine how they built such a structure back in the early 1900’s!

I cannot begin to express how much we enjoyed Les Mis.  We really didn’t know what to expect, to be honest, since it was going to be a community performance, but our attitudes about such things have definitely changed!  It is incredible what talent lies hidden around the Prairie, and I don’t think that the professional show could possibly be any better than what we saw!  The actor that played Marius was unbelievable–so full of emotion, and what a voice!  It was all done so well–everything from the costuming to the lights, to the orchestra, to the major and minor roles.  All was wonderful.

The story of Les Miserables is basically a story of redemption.  An ex-convict finds new life in God’s forgiveness and mercy, and he reaches out to extend that love and mercy to a young orphan that he raises as his own.  There are many thought-provoking sub-plots and morals to extract from this great story, and I would encourage anyone to see it–whether it be through the musical, the original novel, or one of the film adaptations.  In fact, the musical is being released as a feature film in December, so that is definitely something to look forward to!

We also enjoyed going to a nature museum and zoo while we were on our trip. I had been needing to get some pictures of the kids that I could use for this year’s school pictures, and I thought this particular place would give some unique backgrounds.  I am still at the beginning stages of sorting through the shots that I got, but I think they are going to be pretty good!

One exhibit that we will always remember from this trip was the black swan pond.  There were two black swans that literally put on spontaneous shows for the passers-by!  They would honk and dance, and then swim on to the next people to repeat their performance. We sat and watched them for quite awhile–and they followed us all around the pond putting on their little show.  It was adorable, and I am sure that if someone tried to make them do their thing, they wouldn’t do it!  🙂

So, I’ll close this entry with my usual slideshow, but I am going to put a few video clips from Les Mis (Not the performance that we saw, but a professional show) to give you a taste for this wonderful production–as well as for our own good memories!

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