Monday, August 13, 2007

Fun at Patoka

After music lessons were completed on Wednesday, Trey and Mom pulled out to catch up with the rest of the family who had started the voyage with the camper to Patoka Lake in Indiana. Since they were moving at a slower pace, we met just outside the park entrance. It was late when we finally got the camper set up and beds made. Sleep. . . zzzzzzzz

Thursday brought with it a four hour canoe trip down the Blue River, a spring fed river nearby. Eight canoes set off down the river, and even though the water level was down causing some of us to pull our canoes across some of the lower spots, it was well worth the investment of time and money. Trey, Bryce and Zachary flipped their canoe when Uncle Tom and Aunt Laura broadsided them! What fun! We stopped to cool off with a swim every once in a while, so the heat was kept at a minimum. We also found a terrific mud slide on a steep embankment that gave us loads of fun. Unfortunately, we left the camera at the campground for safekeeping so we have no pictures to share.

Corn hole was a big hit again this year. Granny and Amanda were definitely the all-around champion team.

Grilling, trash can turkey, swimming, and cowboy themed games made for a fun filled weekend spent with family. The evening "Mafia" games were quickly a hit with everyone, including the younger grandchildren.

After our annual Patoka Lake worship service held there in the campground, we ate dinner and started taking down camp. We said our tear-filled goodbyes to Bryce and Kya as they prepared to travel home with Aunt Laura and Uncle Tom to meet their parents who were returning from their mission trip to Haiti.

Another year of our Patoka Lake Fun had passed and more great memories were made. Next year it is our family's turn to plan the event. We are already thinking!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Summertime Adventures

Summertime is often filled with adventures for the daring. The following is one adventurous day in the life of the McDaniel Family from different perspectives.

Kya: "I saw a huge snake swimming in the water. Me and Bryce were swimming in the water and all of the kids. It was going into its hole. I screamed to death. I hopped back up on the dock. Then one day I looked out for the snake with Rachel. I saw it. Maggie bit it. Then Trey went inside to do his [music] lessons. While Trey was inside, Amanda and Bryce caught the snake. Bryce beat it in the head. It was one scary snake! Then we showed the family."

Rachel: "Kya and I were watching from up in the zip-line tower."

Bryce: "I killed the 4 foot 4 inch snake with the end of a maul. I hit it in the head around ten times until there was a big hole in the ground. We took these pictures for you guys. I hope you like them. P.S. Sorry, it was me and Amanda that killed the snake!"

Trey: "When I was in the pond trying to chase the snake to the bank, Bryce called to me saying that the snake was heading straight toward me! I looked and saw the snake swimming on top of the water. About ten feet away, it dove under the water. A couple seconds later, I felt "something" slide against my leg!!! It poked me three times before leaving. Then, next thing I know, it came back and slithered directly into the bottom edge of my swim trunks! Oh my!!! Then it left and went straight toward the dock. Thank goodness!!! I decided to get out after that. (are you surprised?) We decided to chase it down to get rid of it. Unfortunately, I had to leave the fun in the middle of it all to give guitar lessons. To my surprise, I came back out to help with the adventure and found that it was over! The snake looked bigger out of water than it did in!"

Bryce: "Amanda and I decided to stay outside and try to catch the snake. We thought Trey would be so happy with us and proud that we kept on going."

Amanda: "Our goal was to kill the snake before he was finished giving his lessons."

Bryce: "So about an hour later, we killed the 4'4" giant."

Amanda: "It was quite an adventure and Bryce and I were very proud of ourselves. We called ourselves the PPSP (which stands for the Professional Purple Snake Patrol)"

Bryce: "The Purple part in the PPSP stands for the inflatable purple raft that we were riding on at the time to chase the snakes out of the pond."

Amanda: "It was very exciting and we chased it around the pond for about an hour before finally Maggie chased it to the shore. It was quite an experience. In case you were worrying any, it was only a black snake or harmless water snake. It is a story we will never forget. I am planning on skinning it out and mounting it on a board to put in our nature museum. It will have a good story to tell with it."

Weekend Happenings

We finally got around to skirting the fleeces that Mark and Trey sheared from our Jacob sheep this spring. The wool is tucked safely away to wash at a later date and eventually card, spin, ply and knit into something special. This was a new experience for Bryce and Kya, our nephew and niece visiting from Ohio.

Kya, being new to the milking scene, worked hard to be able to completely milk a goat by herself. After a few days of practice, she finally accomplished the task. Buttermilk has become her new friend. Kya showers her with kisses each evening after she milks her.

Friday evening saw the family dividing and conquering. Rhonda and Mark went to a rehearsal for the Drew/Cunico wedding where Rhonda was to play the ceremony music, while the rest of the bunch gave a 1 1/2 hour concert on the square in McLeansboro. Kya and Bryce were happy to help out with this program.

Early Saturday morning, after finishing morning milking and chores, we arrived at Dolan Lake to sing the National Anthem for the Bobbye and Jerry Sloan Hand in Hand Run/ Walk Event. When other talent failed to show up, they requested that we sing a few additional songs while waiting for the race results to come in. We laughed aloud when we heard the humor of the honorary chairman-Frank Layden, former coach of the Utah Jazz basketball team. Bryce was excited to have been able to shake the hand of the famous Jerry Sloan. He thought it was neat that the head coach of the Utah Jazz grew up in Hamilton County! Actually, right down the dusty gravel road from Providence Prairie.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Welcome to our new blog dedicated to the musings and daily adventures that we encounter here on Providence Prairie! Here you will find what our bi-monthly newsletter calls . . . "A compilation of tittle-tattle for those who may be interested."