Visiting Omaha: The Durham Museum

We went to Omaha on a “last hurrah before school starts” trip a few weeks ago. Omaha is the perfect place for it, because it’s only about three hours away, but is full of fun stuff to do and great places to eat and stay. And it’s far enough to feel like we’re taking a vacation.

I was given tickets to several places, and I was excited because we’d only ever been to one of them before (the zoo). The others were new to us and sounded like really fun places to take the kids. I was totally right about that.

I took a lot of pictures while we were there, so I’m going to split this into (at least) two posts and share my favorites.

We went to the Durham Museum first. I thought Ervin would like it, especially, because the website said they had model trains and real train cars. It turned out to be a really fun, interactive place.

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When you walk in, you see statues in the train station portion that start to talk when you get close to them, like they were real passengers. This lady was buying her ticket while the man told her the prices. Others around the main lobby were waiting on the bench seats and getting ready to board the train with their families.

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There was a line of train cars from different eras that were connected, and you could walk through them all before getting to the end. And, as I suspected, the model trains were enjoyed.

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They had a special Lost Egypt exhibit, too, that was very cool. The kids were a little creeped out by the mummy (which was real and thousands of years old, encased in a temperature-controlled box), but I thought it were absolutely fascinating. I couldn’t take any pictures of the teenage girl mummy, but the rest of the exhibit hall included a camel to “ride” on (very popular) and things to try out, like pulling ropes to feel what it would be like to build the pyramids, and shifting wind to see how it affects the sand in the desert.

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I thought the museum was going to be a little stuffy, and you know….museum-like, but it really turned out to be a great place to visit for all of us. There were things for the kids to do and touch and test around every corner, and the Soda Fountain was a great place to end it to pick out some candy (although, the treats and food looked really, really good, too).

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Some more of my favorites from the Durham Museum:

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If you’re in the Omaha area, definitely check out the Durham Museum with your family. And check out the website Omahaadventure.com and its app for coupons and special deals before you go.

I received complimentary tickets to the museum, but no compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.

Through the Lens Thursday: Faded

I took this picture at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo last week, in the aquarium. I’m digging the faded, ethereal, rainbow-like quality.

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is TRIANGLE.

Through the Lens Thursday: 9 o’clock

It’s just after 9 am on the first day back after our last summer trip, which means it’s the first day of our back to school “retraining,” since school starts next Thursday and these kids are a good three hours off of their school schedule.

Here we go.

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is FADED.

Through the Lens Thursday: Sharp

The kids got their new glasses, shoes, and haircuts for school (starting in just less than two weeks).

Don’t they look sharp?

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This was way overexposed, but I thought it looked kind of cool.

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is 9 o’clock.

Through the Lens Thursday: Shadow

Or, as I’m calling it “Self Portrait with Child”

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is SHARP.

#KC Starlight Broadway Series: Mary Poppins

We received tickets to the Starlight Broadway shows for review purposes.

The air was sweltering last night. You know when it’s the middle of the summer, and a storm is somewhere in the near future, and the air is perfectly still and heavy and so, so hot? That was last night when we went to the last Broadway show of the 2015 season at Starlight.

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BUT. Even though we were sweating and fanning ourselves, along with a theater full of other people, we were so excited to see Mary Poppins on stage. This was the one show of the season that was produced by Starlight (rather than a touring production), and had a lot of local talent in the cast. Let me tell you….Kansas City has some talented people. It was just as well done as any of the other shows this summer.

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I grew up watching Mary Poppins, the movie, and recently introduced it to my kids (who also love it). So I was surprised to watch it on stage with some pretty big character/plot differences. I wouldn’t say it was more “modern” really, but some things about the story had been changed. They weren’t any better or worse, though, just different.

The ending was fantastic, and totally made us smile as we walked out to our car. Where we promptly cranked up the A/C. Winking smile

I really do recommend this last show of the season. It’s running for NINE nights, and there’s bound to be a breeze for the rest of them. Pro tip: we learned last night that you can bring in one (unopened) bottle of water per person and that the $2 fans they sell at the service desks work really well.

Cast photo by Kelsey Clark

Tickets for Mary Poppins at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14 to $96. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

I received two complimentary tickets to the show but no other compensation. All opinions are 100% my own.

Through the Lens Thursday: Fruit

This is totally late, and next week’s (DRESS) will be, too.

Moving on.

I’m completely failing as a gardener this year. Even though my dad and I made the vegetable garden a third the size that it was, with all of the rain and my lack of gardening skills, only two of the things I planted even sprouted….one pumpkin vine and one pepper (I think) plant.

Plus my flower garden in the front is overgrown with weeds. Sigh.

BUT, Henry and I bought strawberry plants several weeks ago, and they seem to be thriving. Hopefully, they’ll actually bear some fruit someday.

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

This week’s prompt is DRESS and next week’s is FOUR.

#KC Starlight Broadway Series: Cinderella

Despite a forecast that said the rain would clear by 8pm, or at the very least, the second act, we sat in a heavy-to-moderate drizzle for the entire production of Cinderella last night. The two girls, my mom and I went, but no one complained (even me…the complainer). We bought $1 ponchos and it was totally fine…even fun. (Sugared refreshments also helped)

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The show really was a fairy tale come to life. The costumes were colorful and gorgeous (and even magical at some points). The singing voices were on point (there was not a wrong note hit all night, and that incredible talent is the norm this season at Starlight). It was witty and full of fun, family-friendly humor.

It could have been boring, though….I mean, we’ve all heard the story of Cinderella a million times in a hundred different variations. But even though the original music from Rogers and Hammerstein was the same, the story was just different enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Beginning with a plot twist (no spoilers!) right before intermission, the classic fairy tale veers into an unpredictable, but pleasing, direction.

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From kcstarlight.com:

When the new touring production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic Cinderella opens at Starlight Theatre, it will delight audiences with magical costume transformations, outstanding orchestration and, most interestingly, plot twists that give a contemporary flavor to the beloved fairy tale!

Originally written for TV, Cinderella debuted on CBS in 1957 with a young Julie Andrews as the star.It didn’t make its Broadway debut until 2013, earning a Tony Award® and praise from the Broadway world. The new musical makes its Kansas City premiere at Starlight on July 7-12. This show gives audiences a look at a more modern Cinderella, a spirited soul who fights for her dreams and encourages those around her to do the same. In short, she’s much more than a pretty face in a beautiful ball gown!

ADDED BONUS: Families can come early for the free pre-show “Fairy Tale Festival” each night, offering free activities, games and fun for all. Starlight will be collecting donations of new and gently used children’s shoes for Operation Breakthrough at the festival in our “If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Bring It!” philanthropic effort!

 

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Tickets for Cinderella at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14 to $96. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

I received two complimentary tickets in exchange for my honest review, but love of fairy tales, pretty dresses, and all opinions are 100% my own.

Productions photos copyright Carol Rosegg

Through the Lens Thursday: Serene and Car

I totally missed last week. Not only we were deep in the trenches of bible school every day, but I’m still kind of getting used to being on summer break again (yes, even after two weeks).

There is absolutely nothing serene about four kids being home every day, but even more so, when apparently locusts that have been hiding underground for 17 years come out and have SO MUCH TO SAY. It’s deafening, and I’m not exaggerating. Swarms of them screeching together in all of the trees in our front yard.

So, this picture looks serene but actually wasn’t quiet or peaceful to take on my front porch. AT ALL.

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Even as I type this, the kids are making up some dance to a song they made up and yelling at each other because they’re not doing it right. Or something. SERENE, MUCH?

Now for car. Speaking of summer break, this is what it looks like any time I need to go anywhere.

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Happy summer, y’all!

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is TIE.

Through the Lens Thursday: Pattern

I thought about taking a picture of something patterned this week, but then I thought…no, it would be kind of fun to make a pattern out of pictures.

We dropped the big two off at overnight church camp yesterday and headed to the playground.

Truck, plane, plane, truck, plane, plane.

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Have a great weekend!

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Through The Lens Thursday is a self-improvement photography project that Alison of Writing, Wishing and I are doing this year (again!).

Don’t forget to join our Flickr group or share your own posts if you’d like to follow along and work on your own photography! And use the hashtag #throughthelensthursday to connect with others working on it, too.

Next week’s prompt is SERENE.