It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Family Fun Goal: Put a Stamp in our National Park Passport

Overnight Trip to Springfield, IL

We were supposed to accomplish another Family Fun Goal during this same time: Camp not in our backyard. After weeks of unseasonably cool weather, it finally reached the 100s...the weekend we were supposed to tent camp.

We totally wimped out. (or showed how wise we are...depends on how you look at it!) We instead headed to Springfield, IL to take in a few tourist spots and hang out by the hotel pool (and sleep in air conditioning!).

First stop was the Lincoln Family Tomb

Next stop was the Lincoln home and neighborhood. 

Walking up this staircase is called, "Shaking Hands with Lincoln" because you are able to actually hold the banister that Lincoln held. Very neat but one day a hundred years from now, I am sure Park Rangers will be complaining about how we ruined and didn't preserve it for them! 

Great park ranger who taught us not only about Lincoln, Springfield, and that time in history but also what is required to be a Park Ranger. 

Checking out the Lincoln's kitchen and thankful we didn't have to cook over a wood stove like that during this heat!

These are the Lincoln's neighbors who shared more about their clothing and other time period information. 

JoJo and Asher filling out there Junior Ranger Books. 

The big kids turning in their Junior Ranger books to be checked, taking the oath, and then being pinned with Ranger badges. 

JoJo getting her National Parks Passport book stamped. 

Hanging out in the pool having serious life discussions. 

Being silly at Scheels. 

Wings for lunch...messy! I would tell you more about this restaurant but it closed the next day...yeah, we ate so many wings off the buffet, we put them out of business! 

Stopping at the playground on the way home. Trevor is the fun dad who plays with the kids while we watch from the bench. 

After melting on the playground, we headed for an ice cream cone. (and to put all the kids in the correct van...they had been bouncing between at each stop.) 

Our goal was to stay in the same budget as if we were tent camping. So here is the list of things we did excluding our hotel...which was cheap but not necessarily recommended! If you want to visit the same places:
Lincoln's Tomb - FREE
Lincoln Home National Historic Site - FREE
D'Arcys Pint - Restaurant (Eat a pony shoe!)
Scheels - Sports Equipment Store with several historical and scientific displays and an indoor ferris wheel
Decatur Zoo Playground - FREE


  1. I love the shaking hands with Lincoln! How cool is that?!! Will have to see that someday!
    Where did you get the parks book to get stamped? What an awesome idea!

  2. Excellent! I would love to do the same trip (and it sounds so much better than camping in super hot weather! lol).