Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Grandma and Grandpa Camp

Down and ready! Maybe that's the way grandparents need to be when they have been elected temporary softball parents for the weekend.

We were ready for the sunscreen application. We did fine on the multiple jugs of water for our player (and the spectators). We remembered the bag with all the "stuff" - the helmet, the bat, the glove and the mitt. But Grandma wasn't necessarily ready for two afternoons of 100-degree temperatures. But I survived and even made supper afterwards before collapsing on the couch. 

Best of all: The Dirt Eaters won their league! (It was probably all the raucous cheering from Grandma and Grandpa. OK, maybe the coaches and the girls had something to do with it.)

Jill and Eric were traveling for work, and it was our turn with the girls. Though we started in Topeka, we worked our way back home for the week. First, there was a stop at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson.

The girls have changed just a bit since their last visit in 2016.

Kinley - 2016, Evidently, Brooke wasn't standing still for a photo in 2016.


One small step in childhood; one giant leap toward the fast-approaching teen years! 

Last time, Brooke had to be held up to see out of the astronaut cutout.

This time, no extra boost was needed, but she was given the role of Space Alien by her big sister.

Unfortunately, much of the Hall of Space was closed for remodeling. But there was still plenty to see. (I just saw a news article that said the remodeling should be done by the end of July.)


Last time we were at the Cosmosphere, Kinley was 4. She had decided she wanted to be an astronaut and a Mommy. Brooke, at age 2, was not sharing her career goals at the time. However, now I'm not sure she would enjoy the accommodations.

Kinley has since moved on from the astronaut goal, but perhaps they will consider engineering. That was a focus of the Imax movie we saw, Cities of the Future.

Their favorite part (and probably Grandpa's and mine, too) was Doctor Goddard's Lab. 

What's not to like with fire and experiments?

They also built their own rockets and launched them in CosmoKids. 

The CosmoKids area had been added since we were there with the girls in 2016, and we thought it was a great addition to the facility. They also built their own habitat there.

I skillfully avoided the "which one is better" debate by making them work together.

They rode the simulator. That was the only thing that cost us extra. Parents and grandparents: If you haven't downloaded the Sunflower Summer app, you should. All four of us got into the Cosmosphere at NO COST. 

The next day, we returned to Hutchinson for an afternoon at Strataca, the underground salt museum. It was the favorite "tourist" stop for all of us.

Once we descended the 650 feet underground, we found a reference to Quivira, which is only a few miles from our farmstead.

Brooke had a Vanna White moment. No vowels were available to buy. However, there was plenty of salt.

I took a photo of a large family, and they returned the favor.

One of the most interesting areas to me is the Underground Vault and Storage. The business stores movie films and memorabilia, oil and gas data and other historical documents, including the movie, Salt, starring Angelina Jolie. Ironic, right?!

The first Twister movie is stored there. Maybe we'll see the second one this summer? (Or maybe not. I'm not a big fan of tornadoes.)

 But the train and tram tours were the favorite parts of all.


What came into the mine, stayed in the mine - including trash ...

...and vehicles. Grandpa liked the tractor.

We took a more in-depth tram ride called the Salt Safari (extra cost). For that tour, the guide handed us flashlights and said we were providing the light for him to see to drive and for us to view the mine. Lights were to remain on at all times - except when he wanted us to experience total darkness. We were glad to oblige!

Here's where we could pick up some salt to take home.

The Sunflower Summer app works at Strataca, too. 

Though those were our "tourist" parts of the visit, we also had plenty of other activities.

Both the girls had turns driving Grandpa's Gator. Brooke was tall enough to reach the pedals this time.

The girls were reintroduced to Will and Avery.

Kinley and I worked on mounting her 4-H photography. (Grandma fail: I didn't get any photos. But I had a good excuse. My fingers were sticky from helping Kinley get the adhesive-sprayed photos lined up on the mounting board.)

I did remember to get a few photos of Brooke working on her patriotic wreath for her 4-H craft project.

The girls met a friend at the Stafford Pool and had a treat at The Frosty Bean. (Grandpa was the chauffeur for that trip, so no photos.)

I did remind him to get a photo of their breakfast with Grandpa, Bob and the Boys at Joan's Cafe.

But then I was the person who forgot to get a photo when we visited Grandma and Grandpa Moore. We made up for it the next evening at the wedding rehearsal dinner for Brian and Taylor.

The week culminated in the wedding of Brian Moore and Taylor Clark on Saturday, June 29, at the Crystal Ballroom in Hutchinson. It was a beautiful wedding, and it was great fun to be together with the entire family. 

From left: Kinley, Eric, Jill, Brooke, Randy, me, Brent & Susan
My parents and Brian's proud grandparents

Me and Brent

We had to have one of we three, too - Jill, me and Susan!

Kinley and Brooke with my sister's grandchildren. They all looked pretty spiffy. We were missing Clara, the flower girl, in this photo. She was otherwise occupied.

Here's Lisa's whole crew - including Clara.

The proud parents of the groom, Brian. My brother, Kent, and sister-in-law, Suzanne.

My sister, Darci, and BIL, Andrew.

These girls were Dancing Queens at the reception.

We were all there celebrating the bride and groom, Brian and Taylor.

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Photo by BC Emery Photography, St. John

I didn't want to leave out the Best Person, Madison, Brian's sister, so I'll include this family photo from BC Emery Photography, too.

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What a wonderful time! Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Whew! Grandma and Grandpa had quite a week. I hope the girls did, too.


  1. A very special week in every way. Wonderful to see your Dad at the wedding.

    1. It was! Yes, we were thankful that he was feeling back to normal!