Sunday, March 1, 2009

Iowa, The Last Day of Week One

Saturday began as a lazy day for us. No one seemed ready to greet the day. Jaden was due to attend a friend's birthday party at the local Art Center from 2-4 p.m. Since he had spent the night at another little friend's house and was going to the party from there, it left us free until time to take the gift and drop it off. Our plan was to have our lunch, drop off the gift and then tour the art exhibitions while he attended his party. Since the girls were all being lazy, our plans changed and we dropped off the gift, went for lunch and then went back to tour the art exhibitions. No harm, no fowl!

We had lunch at a local restaurant, Culvers, which is known for their frozen custard. Alix had her lunch and was ready for her custard immediately. Katie and I, however, decided we would wait until after the Art Center for ours. Alix seemed to bask in the pleasure of having her Mom all to herself for an extended period of time. No little brother to share attention with! She laughed and talked and thoroughly enjoyed her lunch and then her custard. She and I spent several minutes perusing the custard menu to decide what I would have on our return later in the day!

We then left for the Art Center. By name, it is actually known as the Charles H. MacNider Museum and Arts Center. It is housed in a fine old English Tudor Revival style mansion that has been renovated and expanded to a total of 21,300 square feet and owns nearly 1000 pieces of art valued in the millions of dollars. It is located on the banks of the Winnebago River in a beautiful wooded setting, among the handsome Prairie School and Usonian designed homes of the Rock Crest/Rock Glen area of the city. Their exhibits included works of art from all media and styles. They also offer works of art by local and regional artists in the Gift Shop. It is a stop well worth your time if you're ever in Mason City.

After browsing the exhibits for a couple of hours and watching an impromptu puppet show performed by our own Alix and Jaden in the Bill Baird Puppet Exhibit, a visit to the Gift Shop and a quick visit to the 'necessary' rooms, we were off to our next stop.....the local public library. The Children's Area of the library was something to see! So much imagination and creativity coupled with ease of access made for a leisurely visit that Katie and I enjoyed equally as much as did the kids. Their reading room was wonderfully decorated to represent a conservatory and had massive windows overlooking the river. The views were awesome, creating an even more tranquil feel for the children to enjoy.

As we were leaving the library, I spied a large second-story Genealogy Room that was absolutely fabulous! I cannot contain my enthusiasm at the opportunity to spend time there complimenting my research! I plan to drive Katie to work one morning next week and spend the entire day in the Genealogy Room with my Family Tree files, my laptop, a pencil and a fresh pad for all my notes! I know I will make some major discoveries! Their resources are extensive and easily accessible. It may well turn out to be one of my favorite spots in Mason City!

After the library, it was time to scoot back over to Culvers for our frozen custard! I decided on a Mint-Oreo concrete mixer. I opted for the smallest size because I knew I had best not over extend my tummies ability to cope! The custard was so rich and smooth, the cookies were fresh and the mint/chocolate flavors made for a perfect end to a wonderful afternoon. We stopped by the video store on the way home. The kids rented a video game and a couple of movies.

After baths were completed, we snuggled up on the living room sofa with a fresh bowl of popcorn and watched Madagascar II. It was so funny and had such a nice story line. The animation was superb and the voice-overs were captivating. We all laughed till we nearly cried and thoroughly enjoyed the movie! Poor little Jaden was so tired from his sleep-over and birthday party that he didn't quite make it through the full movie. Katie had quite a time getting him up to bed, as he kept trying to go to sleep on the stairs on the way up to his room! It was yet another memory making day.

I am in complete awe at how God has blessed me with this time to rest and heal. Tomorrow begins week two of my visit. Our plans are to drive into Minnesota to visit the Mall of America. I have to say, I'm excited to see it! I've heard so much about it and can't wait to experience it for myself. So, until the next time, remember to love the Lord, accept yourself and appreciate your blessings.


bj said...

Oh, I am so thankful, too, for this wonderful time for you. It is BOUND to help the healing process so much.
Thanks for sharing all this with us...and have a blessed time...
xo bj

Laurie said...

Dear Diane,
Let me take a moment to extend my deepest sympathy for your recent loss. My heart goes out to you.
You are in my prayers.

Deb said...

As I read more about your adventures in Iowa I am growing more and more envious. Frozen custard and and ART museum! yahoo! Being an artist, I enjoy every opportunity I get to soak up a museum environment.

We promised Olivia a private movie night with Madagascar II since we missed movie night at school. I just couldn't seem to get out of bed after working (I work midnights).

Looking forward to your Mall of America adventure!

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Hi Diane, you sound like the bestest Aunt in the world. Those are lucky kids.And the pic of the cat is too darn cute ! Loved it !