Conner Prairie ~ Mega Field Trip

Conner Prairie

For several years, I have been looking for an opportunity to visit Conner Prairie, thanks to Home Sweet Life. Carol, the author at Home Sweet Life, and her family have volunteered at Conner Prairie for years and so I have been following all of her posts.

Conner Prairie is a living history museum located just north of Indianapolis, Indiana. There is an admission price to this museum and it gives you access to almost everything on the site. You will find several areas to visit that represent different times in history, specifically Indiana history.

1836 Prairietown
1863 Civil War Journey
Lenape Indian Camp
Animal Encounters
William Conner House
Treetop Outpost
. . . and more.

Our first stop was, well, the gift shop. But after that, we visited the Lenape Indian Camp. We listened to stories told and watched while a man worked on beading. He talked with the girls about how the Lenape got beads, where they came from, etc. He also showed them the technique he used to attach beads and create the difficult patterns he was making.

We visited the animal encounter where we saw several different animals – sheep and goats mainly. These animals are special breeds (heirloom breeds?) and are very lovely.

We visited Prairietown where we saw the school and the potters and several other places. The school was one of my favorite places because the school teacher was very knowledgeable. She was able to answer all of the girls questions and tell us about how much of the town worked and the students learned. I was interested in the math triangle that was used. I also really liked the discipline policies, very family based.

The weaver’s shed was really interesting. The lady working there had a younger girl working with her. They both shared about the textiles they were working with and what they were doing. It was really interesting. Miss E was really interested in this part and happy to stay there for as long as she wanted. Miss J was more interesting the potters. The young ladies working there were creating ink wells and talking about how they did their work. The kiln was going to be fired in a week or so and they had quite a lot of items ready to be fired. Lots of questions came from that stop. Miss L really liked seeing the butterflies in the garden. 🙂

The treetop outpost was fun, with lots of exploration and hands-on activities. Miss J really enjoying this part, as well. Up and down and up and down. Miss E found the library at the bottom of the treehouse and stayed there for a while. Miss L spent some time with the giant building blocks and items.

The Civil War journey turned out to be interesting. This area had some technology built in and was fun. It covered the invasion of a group from the south and how they plundered a large area. There was a home there that incorporated some recorded video and audio that tells of how the invasion affected the family. There was a hospital building where the young man talked about much of the medicine available at the time. He also talked about how many soldiers had to have amputations to save their lives. He walked us through what an amputation would have been like. Um – almost too much information for me! One of the buildings included a recorded presentation that showed three different perspectives of the war.

The William Conner house stands overlooking the prairie that the area is named for. The home is furnished and has a number of interesting items. There are several interactive areas – in the kitchen there are spices to sniff and see if you can identify, in one of the rooms there is a building table where you can choose how to settle the land, there are letters to look at and trunks to explore.

I am certain I have left a ton out of this day long visit. It was a neat place. We go to meet Carol from Home Sweet Life (I was so excited!) and she acted our own tour guide. It made the day absolutely wonderful and interesting.

At Home.

This is part of a series titled Mega Field Trip.


To God Be The Glory ~ hymn

After our Sunday evening worship time, we have been holding a Girls Gathering. That’s just my name for it but it is a time where our girls can get together to lead songs and read scripture with each other. It is so important that girls have opportunity to learn these skills and become stronger and more confident in their own abilities to lead. They will have opportunity in building God’s kingdom where they need to be confident in reading scripture with others or leading a group of women or girls in song. If we don’t intentionally give them opportunity, they will struggle, even as adults.

And the desire is there! One of the young ladies read a scripture tonight but wasn’t brave enough to lead a song. Yet. And I know it is yet because she came up to me afterwards and said “Ms. Lori, I don’t know how to lead but I want to know.” After reassurance that most of the other girls in there were just learning as well, she said she would try next time. And a very young one, just about 3, said she wanted to lead Jesus Loves Me. She got to the front, took one look, and promptly changed her mind. But that’s okay because next time, she might be a bit braver and try again. One of these days, she’ll lead that song and we will all be singing proudly along with her as she gains the ability to lead praises to God.

That is what all this is about – giving God the glory through rejoicing, through song, through scripture. Coming before the Father to recognize what He has done for us, all he has given to us, recognizing the things God has done for us. The song chosen for today is To God Be The Glory. It just seemed so fitting when I was pondering on the bravery of the girls who are learning to step out of their comfort zones, to listen to their hearts desires to learn how to serve God. It makes my heart smile and I imagine God is doing the same as he looks down on these little ones.

At Home.

To God Be The Glory

To God Be The Glory

lyrics: Fanny Crosby (1875)
music: William H. Doane (1875)

1 To God be the glory, great things he hath done;
so loved he the world that he gave us his Son,
who yielded his life an atonement for sin,
and opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father through Jesus the Son,
and give him the glory, great things he hath done.

2 O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
to every believer the promise of God;
the vilest offender who truly believes,
that moment from Jesus a pardon receives. [Refrain]

3 Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done,
and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
but purer, and higher and greater will be
our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see. [Refrain]

Texas Bucket List – X: eXtra place to visit for W ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet


I couldn’t think of an X and I had too many W places I wanted to share so I decided to share another W place with you, since I had eXtras. 🙂 I know – it is pushing it. I’m okay with that today.

Sweetwater, TX, was one of the sites for the training of female pilots during WWII. The female pilots played important roles in the defense of America and freedom around the world during that time. They may not have been in direct front-line combat but they experienced many losses and contributed much needed help and experience.

In Sweetwater, there is a museum dedicated to these female pilots from WWII. They were called WASP. Women Airforce Service Pilots lived and trained in the barren area of west Texas at Avenger Field. This site how houses the National WASP Museum in one of the old hangars.

A visit to the WASP Museum does not take too long but it is very interesting. You can see more of our visit in this post I shared with you a couple of years ago. I also shared a couple of books with you about it – one is Flying Higher and is biographical in nature and another was fiction but interesting titled The All-Girl Filling Station. The WASP program figures in Secrets in the Sky by Melinda Rice, a juvenile fiction story about a young girl in Sweetwater who befriends some of the lady pilots. We used it as a read aloud several years ago and really enjoyed it.

At Home.

Mega Field Trip

Mega Field Trip

We returned a couple of weeks ago from a mega field trip and we had such a good time. We spent three weeks (almost) on the road, stopping at interesting places we found in between a couple of scheduled places. This trip was a few years in the making (and saving for) but it was definitely worth it.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing with you a number of the stops we made and encourage you to find your way there if you are ever able to. We do not regret a single stop.

Our only disappointment is that Hurricane Michael’s path altered the last few days of our trip. We had planned to return home along the Gulf Coast from central Florida. When we saw the anticipated arrival and place of landfall, we decided to change our plans. We headed farther north and then across so that we were out of the way of those who were making emergency plans and trying to evacuate. It is sad that the next time we are able to go through those areas they will look nothing like what we would have seen. However, we are safe and we did not disrupt those trying to get to safety. And that is what mattered.

So, here are a few of the places that I’ll be sharing about in the coming weeks, so you can look forward to them:

  • Conner Prairie
  • Wright Brothers Museum
  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Pocahontas State Park
  • Washington, DC
  • beach in Florida
  • New Bern, NC
  • and more.

I hope you join us as we recall some of the times we enjoyed on our meanderings.

At Home.

Gathering of Sisters ~ book review

Gathering of Sisters

Interest in family, in life, in day-to-day activity – it is what keeps us all moving forward and finding meaning in life, isn’t it?

Gathering of Sisters: A Year with My Old Order Mennonite Family by Darla Weaver is a book that records a year’s worth of family time between Darla and her sisters, their mom and their children. Each Tuesday, the girls gather at Mom’s house to spend time with each other, in work, in play, in helping, and in relaxing. They cook and eat. They read and discuss. They encourage and challenge. They even ridicule and tease a bit. After all, isn’t that what life is about?

Darla grew up the oldest of nine children, five of which were girls. When she married and moved to her own home a few miles away, she ended up making a weekly trek home to visit with her mother and family. This grew into a tradition, not by choice but by enjoyment. As her sisters also grew up and began their own families, they all acquired the habit of visiting home on Tuesdays. This “family check-in” became a time of joy and renewal for all of them.Gathering of Sisters cover

Darla allows us to see glimpses of her family, of her life, and of who they are. And that includes their intentional and purposeful following of Christ. Their religion is an inherent part of who they are and how their lives are lived and that comes across neatly in this book. Life is filled with joy, fellowship, and lots of food. Everyone has to eat, right? So each week we hear a bit about all of these things, including whether or not they can get the intense writing habit Darla has to ease a bit and be replaced with coloring and card-making. (This was a fun aspect of the story for me, as I enjoy writing and crafting.) Spoiler – at the end, we do see Darla pick up a colored pencil. 🙂

Family is of utmost importance and life revolves around that. From helping younger nieces and nephews in daily moments (tumbles, desires, upsets, and laughter) to helping a sister after the premature birth of a child, we watch this family live and grow as they serve God in their homes and lives.

Many of us look at the Mennonite community and wonder. This book opens up a lot of that community to me (at least from this central Texas perspective I have) and I can now relate more to their lives. I strive to put God first and serve my family as homemaker. This is what these sister do, too. I have dreams and desires and have to make concessions about what I can or cannot purchase. These sisters do, also. (I was very much able to relate to the worn-out shoe story where Darla talks about not purchasing a pair of shoes for herself so she can get something her family needs.) Church and God come first for the sisters and I am striving for that, too. Struggles, failures, successes and growth – all of this is something we all have and this book shows these parts of life in living color and in all their glory. Yes, glory. For without a few struggles, the hopefulness is not as sweet. Without a failure, we don’t understand and celebrate success. Gathering of Sisters gives up a glimpse of this in the life of this family and shows us that it is common among us all.

Darla Weaver wears many hats. In addition to a members of the Old Order Mennonite community living in the hills of southern Ohio, she is a wife, mother, homemaker, gardener, and writer. She has written other books in addition to Gathering of Sisters, including Water My Soul and Many Lighted Windows. At the end of the book, there is an interview with Darla that sheds even more light on the community she lives in and their beliefs, as well as a “Day In The Life” feature that shows what one day looks like for her.

Herald Press ( is the publisher of Gathering of Sisters. Gathering of Sisters is the sixth book in the Plainspoken series from Herald Press. Each Plainspoken book is written by Amish and Mennonite people about their daily lives and deeply rooted faith. Each book includes “A Day in the Life of the Author” and the author’s answers to FAQs about the Amish and Mennonites. The book has a cover price of $14.99 and is a softback book of about 265 pages.

There is an excerpt available for you to read if you are interested in learning more.

At Home.

weaver - blog tour graphic

Open My Heart ~ hymn

This is one I will let speak for itself. But what a good reminder for us today.

At Home.

Texas Bucket List – W: Washington-On-The-Brazos ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

W - Washington only

Last summer, At Home Dad and I visited the “birthplace of Texas.” It is called Washington-On-The-Brazos. It is the city of Washington which happens to be located on the Brazos River. We enjoyed it so much that we went back and took the girls. It was a fantastic history experience for them.

There is a little hall there that has been recreated to be like the original site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. There is fantastic visitor center that houses an exhibit about the declaring of independence of Texas from Mexico and how those years as an independent nation went. Then it covers the period until Texas became a state of the United States of America. It is a well done exhibit that really shares the history, people, and artifacts that bring history to life.

The delegates that met in Independence Hall were important men from a wide-spread area. They came and participated because they wanted to do what was right and have a say in getting things set down well. These 59 men and the work they did in creating a Declaration of Independence and Constitution are often overshadowed by the fall of the Alamo, as they occurred within days of each other. However, they were a part of the same fight for freedom that the people of Texas were fighting. So many people played a part in this fight for freedom and this exhibit showcased a lot of them.

On site, there is also the Star of the Republic Museum. It houses and exhibits thousands of artifacts from the period of Texas as an independent nation. The artifacts are fascinating and the history that accompanies them is well done. The purpose of the museum is to “collect and preserve the material culture of the Texas Republic (1836-1846) and to interpret the history, cultures, diversity and values of early Texans.” There is a chronological history of Texas, with artifacts to support each part. The second floor showcases different styles of home and the affluence of different people. There are also artifacts from different professions, past times, and necessary items. It is fascinating.

If you want to see a living history site, you can also visit the Barrington Farm. It is a reproduction of a farm from the end of the time of the Republic of Texas. It is based on the Anson Jones family. Dr. Jones was the last president of the Republic of Texas and this was his home. It is worked authentically with people dressed in period clothing. We were a bit disappointed in this site but it could have been because the people were all busy with a school tour. It was interesting to look through the authentically furnished dog-run cabin, see the gardens, the smokehouse, and other buildings needed to run a farm.

Washington-On-The-Brazos is a great site to visit. Take a picnic lunch, walk some of the grounds, explore the museums and sites, and drink in the Texas outdoors. A definite recommmend!

At Home.


This is a weekly series and will be linked weekly with the Blogging Through The Alphabet co-hosts:
Amanda at Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten at Doodle Mom
Jennifer at Worth a Bowed Head
Kimberley at Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie at My Life As Mrs. Cooks
Hilary at Walking Fruitfully

%d bloggers like this: