Thursday, July 31, 2008

silly milligans

It's a singing party! Leannora loves this spot on the stairway for singing. It has just the right echoing sound. She invites everyone to take turns using "singing books." Leannora's idea is that the children have special books to use off the piano. I think if you are an adult you are supposed to use the bigger hymnals. Nikao just likes to make lots of noise and he is not particular about which book he uses. Here he is using an I Spy book. I imagine this is much to Leannora's dismay. Usually Leannora's singing party is made up of various soloists. Each person must take a turn standing on the 2nd or 3rd step from the landing (for best accoustics) and the audience should be seated on chairs at the bottom of the stairway. Here I think Hogan must have done a firstborn convincing job on the value of a choir. Hogan used to call the hymnals "singnohs."

Children are such a wonderful blessing.

Home is a wonderful place.


1933 -- The first Humanist Manifesto is published. Co-author John Dewey, the noted philosopher and educator, calls for a synthesizing of all religions and "a socialized and cooperative economic order."
Co-signer C.F. Potter said in 1930:
"Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?"

What a quote, eh?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

milligan family vacation adventures

So, here's a few of our favorite vacation pictures from back in June. We journeyed down to Tennessee all in one day. The 10 hour drive took us 12 hours with a few stops to stretch. The children were amazing travelers! Yea! Our first destination was to visit with some friends near Pleasantville. We met the Otto family when we lived in Milwaukee. It was super fun to catch up with them again. They are pioneers at heart. They've built a really neat place on top of a thickly wooded mountain. We camped out at their home for a night, enjoyed a little hike around some of their property, and went swimming in a beautiful creek. A short but fun filled visit.

Then we were off to the Milligan family reunion in Lexington, Tn where Mark's grandparents have a beautiful second home. Most of the family was able to attend. We had a wonderful time getting to know the Milligan family in a whole new way. 4 fun filled days of swimming in Great Grandpa and Grandma's pool, eating yummy meals together, chatting, visiting, playing, fishing, home tours of family that lives nearby, a pontoon boat ride, a fantastic family slide show, and memories to treasure. Hogan learned to swim with confidence, Owen caught his first fish, Leannora LOVED the boat ride, Nikao LOVED all of Grandma's delicious food, and our happy Able boy enjoyed visiting with everybody! It was such a great time and we thank Grandpa and Grandma Milligan for their love and generosity. As well as all the family for making it possible to be together. On Sunday morning we were able to visit Grandpa and Grandma Milligan's church with them. It was a special blessing for us and them to attend the service as a family.

Our next stop was Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky. We traveled with Grandpa Bill and Grandma Sara and joined up with Grandpa and Grandma Strub once we arrived at the campground. Wowie! 2 sets of grandparents, tents, sleeping bags, living out of our van and in the outdoors - what more could a kid ask for? We stayed here for two nights because it was a close and inexpensive spot near THE CREATION MUSEUM!!! Woohooh! We were super excited about visiting the Creation Museum (which is near Cincinnati, but actually in Kentucky). It was fantastic! We were impressed with everything and had a super duper time. Especially because we had 2 sets of grandparents to share the day's adventures. To begin, we walked through the museum. Then we ate lunch at Noah's cafe. After lunch we strolled through the gardens. Then we finished up with enjoying the shows and bookstore. My (Kim) two favorite parts of the day were watching Nikao chase butterflies in the gardens and visiting the bookstore (I spent hours there!). Leannora liked the show where they splashed water on everyone. Mark took the boys to the planetarium. The dinosaur sculptures were great. The ark area was really awesome. The whole atmosphere of the museum was wonderful. Families everywhere! A humble,
intellectual, Biblical, creative, artistic, fascinating presentation of creation. We want to go back again sometime!

Our camping adventures continued. After saying goodbye to Grandpa and Grandma Strub (they were off to visit Pastor and Mrs. Zetterburg in Cincinnati - the pastor that married them) we packed up and drove to Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. Both of Mark's grandparents have some family memories at this park, so we thought it would be fun to visit and camp there on our way home. We picked out a wooded site near, but not too close the bathrooms and a playground. The campground was surprizingly full for the middle of the week. It must be close enough to Chicago that it's a popular place. We had some visitors in our campsite that night - four legs and ring tails. We watched one raccoon climb down the tree next to our picnic table before bed. They made off with some hamburger buns that were inside a camping tote! It rained just a bit the next morning while we were packing and loading up. Grandpa Bill and Grandma Sara were off pretty early so they could get to Dixon
for family visiting and still have time to get home. I guess they got home pretty late. We decided to stay and explore the park a bit before heading home. We were so glad we did. It was a beautiful park with neat trails and landscape. No wonder it's such a popular place! Mark wanted to take the boys hiking, so we all took off on some trails. We crossed the suspension bridge and adventured together as a family for a bit. The momma didn't feel up to being so adventurous, so I turned around with Able in the front pack and Leannora and Nikao each holding a hand. We probably impressed some people with the look of being rather bold. We made some lunch and cleaned up the van and played for a bit while Mark, Hogan, and Owen braved their rugged trail. Oh they looked so manly upon their return - dirt, sweat, smiles and full of stories.

So now it was time to head home. We were able to get home by about bedtime. Our adventures complete. Ahhh, the momma was so glad to be done living out of the van. It took a few weeks for the laundry to get done and for everything to find its place again. And the last little bit of news is the best. We learned of a surprize upon returning home. Our family is growing again as we are expecting Baby Milligan 6! Woohoo! Yea! Yahoo! Anyways, this pregnant momma needs to be done telling this story and get some rest. Hope you all enjoy hearing about our adventures.