Snow Creek Skiing near Kansas City MO

Back in February we went to Snow Creek up near Kansas City, MO for a fun day of skiing.

It was a first for most of us, although my husband has gone before, which was evident considering he was just crazy on the skis…. braving all the expert courses with ease.  (I stuck to the small hills with the kids).

Anyways,

The place was a blast. The price was affordable since we went as a homeschool group (only $25 a person), and we had so much fun, we are planning on going back each year!

If you are in the area, check them out. It doesn’t seem like much at first, it is mainly fake snow they create there, but once you put on the gear you start to feel like you are at an actual ski resort.

They offer skiing, snowboarding and tubing (on certain days).

Here is a short video I put together of our trip.

Askinosie Chocolate Factory Tour

I recently found out about this neat chocolate factory tour, and wanted to take the kids. Since the weather has been pretty cold lately, I felt like we needed to get out of the house for a few hours, so we hopped in the car and headed towards Springfield, MO. I was pretty bummed to find out once I got there the GoPro was dead… so I managed to get a few iPhone pics instead.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThe Askinosie Chocolate Tour was pretty awesome. It’s located in downtown Springfield, a place they are trying to help revitalize. The founder, Steve Askinosie, sold his first candy bar in 2007. Since then he’s been creating chocolate bars and they are sold online and throughout 700 stores.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetOne thing I highly enjoyed and connected with was how the company cares about its farmers, and its community. They are a small company of about 15 employees, yet they give so much back. They have a great working relationship with a local homeless and women’s shelter. The women from the shelter actually tear down the burlap bags that the beans are shipped in to reuse for packaging. They are all about reusing, reducing, and helping others. An awesome message that was an added bonus because I didn’t know any of this until we took the tour!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetLocal Springfield community high schoolers are able to be a part of Chocolate University, the company chooses 14 students each year to travel with Steve Askinosie to one of the farms and learn all about being an entrepreneur, local culture, and the business of chocolate. Talk about an amazing experience!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThe kids really had a fun time; they have been talking about this morning to their cousins.. how they gets beans from farmers to make chocolate.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetAll three chose their favorite candy bar afterwards to enjoy later. Both Turner and Caden chose White Chocolate and Lilly chose a special bar for the holidays: Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate, which she says tastes exactly like pumpkin pie. The White Chocolate was by far the best, I think… but I’m not a dark chocolate fan.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIf you are ever in the area, I highly recommend the tour, just a bit of warning…. stay away from the cocoa nibs!

Pioneer Day at George Washington Carver

We generally head out to George Washington Carver National Monument at least once a year. It is so beautiful and peaceful, with a great walking trail and history also.

The kids and I headed there last week for a homeschool Pioneer Day they were having, which included candle dipping and white washing.

Both kids loved the activities, I wish there would have been more, but the 2 they had were good fun.

If you’re ever in the area I would encourage you to stop by, it’s a great way to spend an hour or two.

Springfield MO Discovery Center

We visited the Springfield, MO Discovery Center a few days ago during free admission day.

The kids had a really good time. Turner really seemed to be into understanding why or how things work.

Lilly’s favorite part was walking through the dark room with ‘stars’ and spinning with her brother.

They both eagerly want to go back, however, honestly, I’m not sure I would ever pay the full admission price. They have increased the prices in the last few years to $10 for adults. It just doesn’t seem worth it to me. By time I take my family, I’m spending around $40 to walk in the door.

It was a good time, but it also seemed like some of the exhibits could be more exciting and kept up better. I was very disappointed in the Culture/Regions of the World area. Things seemed dirty and a lot was missing. They really need to invest in this area, an entire revamp would be more like it.

There were areas designated for younger kids, but honestly I think kids 6 and up benefit the most, and if you take the time to read the signs you can learn a lot.

All video was shot using our new GoPro Hero 3+.  It’s amazing and a wonderful purchase, I highly recommend.

Walking through Caves

Somehow I managed to become part of a local homeschool group on Facebook. I don’t remember joining, but it all worked out in the end. I’m not one who joins groups and even though I homeschool our kids, I still think there are ‘weird’ homeschoolers out there…. and yes, I saw some on this trip.  However, it was so cool to be able to visit a place as a group and get an amazing discount. — Bonus: We didn’t even have to hangout with the weirdos 🙂

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So we all met up at this neat cave called Bluff Dwellers Cave in Noel, MO. This was the 2nd walk through cave we have been in, the other being at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 presetIt is SO BIG!  Tall, deep, dark, and still growing. The water drips on you as you walk through.

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Processed with VSCOcam with m3 presetA little water pool in the cave.

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We all really enjoyed the trip. Our tour guide was pretty lame, but it was still cool. If you’re ever in the area, I encourage to take a look around.