TRAVEL GUIDE – INDIANA

WHERE: So, last weekend we headed for Indianapolis where we met the rest of the Wick crew.

WHY: To go to the Marsh Symphony on the Prairie. (Marsh as in Marsh Supermarket as in where Ken worked while in semnary – and where Kelli’s birth was announced over the store loudspeaker as shoppers picked up their lettuce in the produce aisle and bargained-shopped for mushrooms).

WHAT WAS HAPPENING: We heard the symphony play the music of Billy Joel. The evening was beautiful. The mass of people on colorful clothes (seemed to be a lot of red) was a great photo op. The kids were bouncing, dancing and jumping to the tune of just about anything played.

WHY NO PICTURES: The lack of pictures is not my choice. The brochure said no cameras, so I dutifully left it in the car – however, there were lots of cameras around. So, I missed the mass of people in their brightly-colored clothes photo op.

ANYTHING TO EAT: Their kettle corn was scrumptious. (Later the two girl munchkins and I finished it off in our hotel room while going to sleep to the background noise of the Iron Chef cooking flouder.) They were also selling big bowls of strawberries, topped with whipped cream, but I did not have any – but I’ve been thinking about them ever since. 🙂

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT: Definitely. Gorgeous night. Good music. Fun to be with family.

ROAD TRIP

If you’re ever driving south through Indiana 0n 65 and you have some kids in the car and they aren’t finding the scenery all that entertaining – stop at Fair Oak Farms.

The home to 30,000 cows (none of which you’ll get to meet personally), the farm includes a play area, a 3D movie (with some surprises), a bus tour, a birthing barn and a restaurant/gift shop. And yes, when they say birthing barn, that’s just what they mean, so be prepared for some questions. You can tell when a calf is about to be born because the traffic light out front turns green – and then the poor cow gets to give birth in front of a packed amphitheater.

The 5yo and I get ready to be entertained in 3D.

The 5yo and I get ready to be entertained in 3D.

The gigantic tramp/pillow was a big hit.

The gigantic tramp/pillow was a big hit.

DSC_0125

80 calves a day are born at the farm - and you can watch the poor mother cows as they labor to bear their babies. This one had a fairly easy time. The first one we saw was truly in pain and exhausted afterwards.

80 calves a day are born at the farm - and you can watch the poor mother cows as they labor to bear their babies. This one had a fairly easy time. The first one we saw was truly in pain and exhausted afterwards.

No matter where you are at the farm, there is glass between you and the cows. There is a 45 minute bus tour - but the bus itself goes down the center of the barn. Here we did get out (behind glass) to watch the cows on the milking carousel..

No matter where you are at the farm, there is glass between you and the cows. There is a 45 minute bus tour - but the bus itself goes down the center of the barn. Here we did get out (behind glass) to watch the cows on the milking carousel..

Each of the 30,000 cows are milked three times a day. (No bulls at Fair Oaks.)  They are milked on the Merry Milking Carousel - large enough for 72 cows. They get on and are milked for a total of eight minutes and then they get off. No one tells them to get off, they've learned when to do it. You can see all the cows waiting in line for their turn.

Each of the 30,000 cows are milked three times a day. (No bulls at Fair Oaks.) They are milked on the Merry Milking Carousel - large enough for 72 cows. They get on and are milked for a total of eight minutes and then they get off. No one tells them to get off, they've learned when to do it. You can see all the cows waiting in line for their turn.

WHAT’S NEW IN THE WORLD OF CHURCHES?

Wow, think back to that church you attended as a kid.  Technology was an overhead!

Here are some new inroads in church technology.

New Hope Churches (in Hawaii) makes use of the iPhone –

http://www.enewhope.org/news/000406/

Or, maybe you could add a “giving kiosk” to your church lobby, one church saw their giving double after they initiated such a kiosk.

http://www.securegive.com/

Churches are also using polling software such as Jarbyco for interactive questions or polls during the service.

http://www.jarbyco.com/

What’s next? What would be your ultimate piece of church technology?

LAST VACATION POST

Remember we had three goals on our trip:

1. Take the Apostle Island Cruise (the boat was broken)

2. Visit Split Rock (decided it was too expensive after already spending the day on the lakeshore)

3. Visit the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

After the very successful and pizza-laden cruise around the Duluth harbor, we drove to Hayward to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Our plan was to do a quick tour and then head back to Jeff and Cindy’s.

However, we got there at 4:07 and it closed at 4:00.

We drove around town a little bit and thought about what to do and what we decided to do was find a hotel and stay an extra night. This would allow us to eat at the Lumberjack pancake house and go to the Lumberjack Show. This is the place where the Lumberjack World Championships take place (next weekend, actually) which you can see on ESPN.

Amazingly, we got room at a beautiful hotel on a lake, right next to the logging village.

We settled in and then went to see about the Lumberjack Pancake House (at the site of the show), only to find that a hand printed sign that this was the one day it was closed! (Not the show, just the restaurant), but Linda, the very nice lady at the ice cream stand, said we could get our dinner somewhere else, bring it back and eat it on their patio since no one was at the restaurant. That’s what we did – brought Subway back to the patio.

DSC_0006

The show itself was fun and the kids were totally into it. By the way, from the view of my pictures it looks as if no one was there – not true. The extra bleachers on the other side are for the World Championships. Our side was fairly full

The next morning we were at the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame when the gate opened. The big attraction here (and what they are known for) is the World’s Largest Muskie.

Otherwise – well … they have exciting exhibits like the “boat motor graveyard” and the history of fishing lures.

DSC_0083We then headed back to Jeff and Cindy’s quiet little corner of the woods – except this is the one week of the year that it’s not so quiet. 35,000 country music fans roll into town in their RVs ad camp out down the road at the Hodag Festival. Seriously, the deserted back roads suddenly have traffic jams and police hide behind trees waiting for partying drivers to speed by.  And at night you can hear the entertainment – so Thursday night I was literally serenaded to sleep by Glen Campbell singing Southern Nights. Yep, he was just down the road behind the mic.  DSC_0087DSC_0091 I think we’ll always remember this short vacation as the vacation that didn’t turn out at all like we were expecting, but we had a fantastic time doing the things we didn’t plan on doing.

The end 🙂

CRAZY DAY AND MORE PICTURES

So, this morning I had an interview on WMBI – which made me a little apprehensive, because people I knew would actually hear me (unlike interviews I’ve done in South Texas or Seattle). I was to go on at 10:00 – so I did my usual routine of locking myself into my “room” and waiting for the call.

Except at 10:00 – there was no call. I was sure Moody hadn’t messed it up and couldn’t figure out what was happening. Finally, at about 10:10, I opened the door and asked someone to get a book from my desk – a book with the radio confirmation information stuck inside. Meanwhile, someone had called my brother (because they couldn’t get me), asking where I was because Moody was looking for me. And then the corporate communication supervisor came by and I talked with her – she went off to call WMBI and to talk to our PR guy.  It was chaotic! We quickly discovered that the publicist had given WMBI the wrong number to call (she had switched one number).

So, finally I get on and the interview’s continuing and we get disconnected!  That is the only technical problems I’ve had on any of the interviews – and of course, it was the WMBI one. Oh, well. Life is like that sometimes 🙂

___________________

Anyhow – back to the trip.

Our day certainly hadn’t turned out the way we expected – no Apostle Island Cruise and no Split Rock Lighthouse (except for a far away picture). We headed for our hotel in Duluth – planning on walking along the harbor the next morning, then heading back to J&C’s, stopping in Hayward for the Freshwater Fish Hall of Fame on the way.DSC_0321

Besides the harbor being beautiful (especially on this sunshiny day)  and interesting (the huge boats are fascinating) – it has the renown lift bridge. When a boat comes through, the bridge goes up on pulleys and then comes down again after the boat is clear.

Then Cindy noticed that there was a Pizza Cruise through the harbor – an hour and a half with all the pizza, soda and cookies that you can eat.  That sounded fun and a good alternative for the missed Apostle Island cruise – so off we went!  How fun!

DSC_0453

TWO BLOG POSTS

I have some more vacation pictures – but here are two blog posts I’ve done this week:

On my Awana parenting blog – the second of the parenting verbs that shouldn’t be –

http://www2.awana.org/cs/blogs/apparentlyblogging/default.aspx

The second is a post on The Christian Post, online news media. I’ve been invited to be one of the bloggers on this site, but don’t know all the details yet.  But here is my first contribution.

http://www.christianpost.com/blogs/books

The above is why I don’t have much time to do a lot of long posts on here. 😦