31 August 2007

Scioto Downs

After visiting German Village we stopped by to watch the horse races at Scioto (pronounced "SIGH-O-TUH") Downs. We thought it was going to be regular horse races with a jockey and all but instead it was these cart races (AKA "open harness racing"). It was pretty interesting but sad because they whipped the crap out of the horses near the end of each race. Plus, after each race, it took them like 5 hours to set up for the next race. They had to bring out several vehicles for the prep. Then the next heat had to warm up for 5-10 minutes before the race. Very slow.

But very slow just seems to be the pace over here. Fast food here is not actually very fast sometimes. I waited like 15 minutes at KFC one time just to get to the front line to order and that was only with like three people in front of me. And people don't seem to get frustrated with it. It's seriously wierd. Much different from the Northwest.

Anyway, enough ranting and raving. Here are the pics...

Visit to German Village

Last Saturday we decided to head to downtown Columbus to visit German Village (Steve and Mel Weissenberger would feel right at home even though it's not quite like Leavenworth). German Village is a 233 acre historic neighborhood built by German immigrants in the 1800s and people are currently in the process of restoring the area. We parked the car and just walked around. We visited Schmidt's Sausage Haus and had the buffet which had an awesome potato salad, kraut, varieties of sausages, etc. It was very, very tasty! We also went to this humongous bookstore called The Book Loft which has like 32 rooms full of books. It was totally crazy. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

30 August 2007

National Museum of the United States Air Force

Two weekends ago we went to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, OH. We probably could have spent several days there because there was three huge hangars full of stuff and then some and there was a ton of stuff to read. Instead of reading everything, we sort of glided through (no pun intended) in 4 hours so that we could see everything.

We did not get to see the Presidential airplane section since it was in a secure area and there were no vacancies left for the day so we'll probably go back. The extra nice thing about it is that the museum free. What is not free is the IMAX movie and the food (which was outrageously expensive). We saw the IMAX movie called "Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag" which was semi-exciting. All of the other movies were completely unrelated to flight and we thought that it would sort of odd to go to a flight museum to see a movie on Nascar or undersea adventures. Anyway, here are the pictures...

Chillicothe Pool

We found out a little late in our stay that there was a nice public pool in Chillicothe, OH. It's an Olympic sized pool with a high dive, medium diving board, and a slide. The kids only got to go to the pool three times before it closes. They tried to go one last time last week and the pool had already been drained. Not sure what's up with that. Anyway, here are some pictures of them jumping in to get cooled off.

Blue Jacket Drama

Several weeks ago we went to the outdoor Indian drama Blue Jacket. It was similar to the outdoor drama Tecumseh. According to some stories and the outdoor drama, Blue Jacket was a white man who was adopted by the Shawnee Indians and later became a war chief. According to Wikipedia, this is hogwash. Whatever the real history is, we all enjoyed the drama immensely though we did not feel that it was quite as good as Tecumseh. Mostly it was just "different." There were less battle scenes but one was really cool because they shot firey arrows at a fort. There was less pyrotechnics and special effects. Tecumseh had cool special effects of a scalping and white man gutting. It really looked real. I wished I could have recorded it. Anyway, this time we got pictures. The dude on the left was the Indian who kept appearing everytime someone dying. Our theory is that he represents the "Great Spirit." The dude on the right is Blue Jacket.

24 August 2007

An Afternoon at Longaberger

We got up late several Saturdays ago and couldn't think of what to do so we decided to take a trip to Frazeysburg, OH to see the basket making capital of the world: Longaberger. Not really much to see here except baskets--big ones, small ones, fat ones, skinny ones, round ones, square ones, brown ones, red ones. The kids and Nicole will go back sometime soon to tour the plant during the week when it's running and make baskets themselves when they do their homeschool field trip day. Anyway, here are some pics.

Micah's Two Front Teeth

Micah is finally starting to lose his teeth. He lost his right front top tooth at Pizza Hut in Waverly. That one came out really easy. The left front top one, however, was another story. Micah, Nicole, and I all yanked on that several times to no avail. Finally after getting home from the National Air Force Museum I pulled it out. Micah was very excited as you can tell from the pictures.

06 August 2007

Our "Flight" to Dayton, OH

Last Sunday after church we took a short 1.5 hour "flight" (I drive really fast) over to Dayton, Ohio to check out the aviation heritage of the state. We typed in the first address to the GPS and it took us downtown to the first stop of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Parks: The Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center. When we first drove up we thought it was closed because there was absolutley no one there and you could just park on the street. So we didn't know if we were supposed to be here. So we went inside and no one was in their either except for a very eager national park attendant. He was very excited and informative. Anyway, there was a national park film crew making a video for the park that wanted to have us in their film. Needless to say we are probably famous by now.

The aviation parks are strewn about the town and the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center was just the first of four that we would visit that day. The next stop was about 75 steps away at the Wright Cycle Company building which was the actual building that the Wrigth brothers ran their cycle company out of (except located several feet from its original location and restored).

After watching a very cool video narrated by Martin Sheen on the Wright brothers and taking some pictures we piled into the car to drive to the next site several miles away. First we visited the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center where Nicole spotted a dude with the longest dreds that we had ever seen (we even have a picture to prove it). The kids are posing next to the Wright Memorial.

The last stop was the Huffman Prairie Flying Field where all of their Ohio test flights were done. Apparently it was some dude's cow pasture. It was cool to be at this historic spot but it was basically just an empty field and therefore not very exciting for the kids. We wandered around there for about 15 minutes. Next time we visit Dayton we'll go to the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

05 August 2007

Check Out All of the Mug

This is something Rebekkah says whenever it's so muggy out that you can see it. And why doesn't this make sense? I mean when there is a lot of fog we say it's foggy. So if it's really muggy why can't we call it mug. Adjective: Foggy, Muggy...Noun: Fog, Mug. It makes sense to me. Anyway we thought it was hilarious and had to share it with everyone.

In other news, we have visited a really cool church in our town which is not at all "hicky." We were very surprised. As someone else who I work with that had visited commented, it includes all of the Christians in Waverly/Piketon/Chillicothe who are not hicks. They even have a website with a forum! (But seriously, I need to get over my prejudice against about 80% of the residents in this area. I don't know why I have such a disdain for rednecks/hicks.). Their lobby looks like a Starbucks where they serve coffee and such. The auditorium/sanctuary looks sort of like a living room with multiple centerpieces (each consisting of a celtic looking crosses, material, and candles) strewn about the room. The setup is very intriguing and not something I ever expected to find in rural Southern Ohio.

The pastor is lower 40s (I'd guess), the praise music is quite contemporary, and they are currently experimenting with a new arrangement for their service: chairs in a circle. Apparently the new experimentation is an idea "borrowed" from Mars Hill in Michigan. It is different but I think I like it. The praise band plays in the middle of the room and consists of a vocalist, bongoist (or is it congaist or mangoist?), keyboardist, and guitarist. There is a screen set up at the north and south ends of the room to make it so you don't have to turn too much to see the words. The only wierd thing that will take some adjusting to get used to, is that you are looking at eachother the whole time and therefore cannot fall asleep (it's more than just the pastor that sees you fall asleep).

The church is a non-denominational community church called River Valley Community Church. According to the pastor, the history of the church is from the early 90s as part of the Vineyard but because of what was going on at the time with the Toronto Blessing in the denomination, they chose not to affiliate themselves with the Vineyard. Now they are a blend of ex-Catholics, ex-Baptists, ex-Methodists, ex-Lutherans, ex-Presbyterians, etc. We're very excited about continuing to go here and felt that we have found a church home while we are here.

On another note, we went to a fabulous outdoor historical drama called Tecumseh! in Chillicothe. We were very impressed with it though we all agreed that it could have been about 30 minutes shorter. Nicole read a book on Tecumseh on the trip over to Ohio and she said that the drama was mostly accurate though she got a different impression on a few items from the book she read. The short version is that Tecumseh was a Shawnee hero who saw through the sneakiness of the "whites" and would not make any peace treaties with them. He sought to defeat the "Americans" by uniting all of the different Indian tribes. He almost succeeded but all of his efforts were thwarted by the schism created by his deceptive, power-hungry younger brother. He was killed in the War of 1812.