Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sunflowers Make Me Happy

Sunflowers are such happy flowers, don't you agree?

My sister has a row of them growing in her garden along one of my dad's soybean fields.

I took a few shots of them last week and decided to do a Wordless Wednesday post (does anyone still do these?) with them.

Here you go!

A little flower among the flowers. 

Can you see the bee? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Terra Cotta Warriors: A Must See in Indy

I had a couple of MUST DOs around Indianapolis this summer and one of them was to go to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

So I took a day off of work, convinced my sister to use her family pass to take her boys, our three nephews and, of course, me.

And it was awesome. My sister and I enjoyed it. Our 12-year-old nephew liked it. And my other nephews - aged 5, 6 & 9 - liked it. The baby seemed to enjoy it too, but who knows with babies.

In addition to all of the history shared in the exhibit - including some of the actual warriors - it had enough hands-on exhibits to keep the boys interested. I could have done without the giant drum that they could play, but that's just me and my ears!

I could only get the two youngest to put on masks and pose...

They were able to put together the pieces of a warrior like the archaeologists had to do. 

Never a serious pose from the redhead...

They could put on armor and post next to a couple warriors.

Not sure these are authentic poses...

They could even put their face on one of the warriors and email a postcard to their mom.

They all got sent but G-man's...luckily I captured a shot of it on the screen...

Here's a collage of the other 4 boys, including the baby.

If I sent out Christmas cards, this would be it!

There is so much more in the exhibit that I didn't capture on camera, including making their own clay Terra Cotta Warriors!

The exhibit is open until November 2, 2014 and this is the ONLY place to see it in the U.S. this year!

The museum is really embracing China with a new Take Me There: China exhibit (see my post about it here) and the Great Wall of China Slide in the foyer (the slide usually only makes an appearance during the winter holidays).

So, if you have a day in Indianapolis, I definitely recommend checking it out. There is an additional charge and timed tickets are required to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit. Find out more here.

I'm definitely going back with a couple of friends - sans kids - so I can explore the exhibits a bit more AND get my own photo as a Warrior!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Clearing the Hurdle

I have two voices in my head.

One that talks about everything I'm going to do today. What I'm going to accomplish. How productive I'm going to be.

The other one tries to convince me that everything can be done tomorrow. Just let it go. (Cue the popular Disney song.)

I have to admit. I listen to the latter more than I should. 

Especially when it comes to things I don't want to do.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's OK to listen to the "slacker" voice in my head sometimes but it's becoming a habit. 

I'm trying to break the habit and I think I cleared a hurdle this morning.

Instead of staying in bed to read or play on my phone, I got out of bed and ran!

This morning felt like a turning point. Like if I stayed in bed, I'd let the last 3 weeks of work go to waste. Like I'd go back to my old sedentary ways and never go back to the routine I am trying to make a habit.

Let me tell felt GOOD!

Now, if I would only listen more closely to the overachiever voice in my head when it comes to cleaning my house.

Oh well, one hurdle at a time, right?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Things Found in the Middle of My Kitchen Floor

I was checking my email yesterday and came across a comment on my blog from an "Anonymous" fan. You know the ones I am talking about...the spammers. How did I know this one was spam?

First, it said "Anonymous" as the name.

Second, it filtered into my SPAM folder .

Third, the comment read "This type of paragraph writing is exciting."

"Paragraph writing." That's hilarious. Obviously it was SPAM, have you ever seen a paragraph on this blog!

Now, if the comment said, "your use of the ellipsis is awe-inspiring" or "the way you use lists is mind-blowing," then I might take it more seriously!

However, I did notice that the comment was on an old blog post about the random items found in the middle of my kitchen floor after three weeks of travel.

That made me think about what was in the middle of my kitchen currently.

This is what was there...

That's not bad you say...a box of beer and the spoils from an Ikea shopping trip.

Well, I went to Ikea 10 days ago.

The beer and Capri Suns have been sitting there for a week before that.

And the only reason they still aren't sitting there is that I ran out of cold beer in the fridge!

This revelation has inspired me to start a new series here on the blog called "Things Found in the Middle of My Kitchen Floor (Really)."

It won't be a regularly scheduled post but it will appear every now and then when I walk in the house and realize that I once again have a pile of random stuff in the middle of the floor.

Feel free to share what's in the middle of your kitchen floor in my comments OR post a photo on my Facebook page with the hashtag - #KitchenFloorPile.

Who knows what will be next...#KitchenTablePile or #SpareRoomPile or #TVRoomChairPile. The possibilities are endless...though the next hashtag I might be using is #FutureEpisodeofHoarders.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tour of China Right Here at Home

Have you been to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis lately?

I took my nephews a couple of months ago to get a preview of one of TWO new exhibits focused on China.

Unfortunately, we were just a few days early to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. But we will definitely be going back to see them (this is the ONLY place to see them in the entire country in 2014)!

The entire museum is decked out in celebration of these new exhibits...they even brought back the giant slide to celebrate the Great Wall of China this summer.

Sidenote: One of my other nephews was chosen to be the child to go down the slide with Santa Claus a couple of years ago. What a fun experience!

Back to present day...

The "Take Me There: China" exhibit opened in early May and is a great hands-on exhibit for children of all ages. My nephews are almost 7 and almost 9 and I was worried that the older one might think it was too "young" for him...boy, was I wrong!

They had a great time...from riding the Bullet Train (the 9-year-old even referenced the bullet train weeks later so I guess it made an impression) to playing the instruments in the city square.

Here are some of the highlights from our visit.

Learning what their animal symbols are...

Creating his own opera "mask"

You can email the final product too!
(Saw something similar at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum!)

Moments later, this became a headlock... 

There's even an animal hospital where you can care for baby pandas!

They drew some Chinese symbols
and learned to say a few simple words in Chinese!

The play food - both here in the restaurant and in the home kitchen - 
was where they spent the most time...that surprised me!

We all practiced using chopsticks...I still can't use them. 

Of course, they had to play with their play food!

We spent over an hour in the exhibit (if it wasn't a school night, we could have spent more) and went home promising to take them back.

For more information about the Take Me There: China exhibit, go here. It's part of the regular exhibits at the museum.

The Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit is at the museum until November 2, 2014 and does require a timed entry ticket (at an additional cost to regular museum admission).

If you've been to either of these exhibits, what did you like best? Please leave me a comment.

NOTE: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis invited me to a special preview of the Take Me There: China exhibit. All photos and opinions above are my own...who else would claim them!


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