Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sandboxes are ready to play in!

Hubby got the children sand to fill our sandboxes. The children are both so happy!
This is T in his turtle box.
D on the porch with her sand and water table. My children do share each others boxes. I love having lots of sand and sand toys for the children to play with. My children have so much fun playing in the sand. They will play for hours a day with the sand and sand toys. The only thing I don't like about having sandboxes is every year children who are not use to having sandboxes coming to playing in ours. I don't know why but once another child gets in a sandbox sand always gets tossed in the air or at another child. Within 2 minutes someone is screaming that they got sand in the eye. This has happened with children under 1year old and children as old as 10 years old. I feel it is something that will always happen when another child plays in the sand at our house. I have never figured out why this happens. I never see children doing this at the beach. My guess is at the beach the child's parents are so close that they don't let the children do it. I am so worried that a child's eye will get scratched or damaged by tossing sand around at my house. I don't ever let my children toss sand. When my children toss sand they are done playing in the sandbox for the day. That rule has kept little eyes safe when it is just my own children in the sand. We have had sandboxes every year for over 7 years now and each year soon as we get company I see sand flying in the air and it ends up hurting someone. Most of the time one of my children are the ones who get hurt from the sand being tossed at them from another child. Sometimes the child throwing sand gets it in his own eye. I don't know why some children think tossing sand is more fun than making castles, roads, digging and such but it always seems to be the thing other children like to do at my house. I am thinking this year I might just drag the sand into the garage when we know children are coming over. To keep all little eyes safe but they are so heavy I don't know if I will be able to do that all the time.... OR I guess I could make the children all wear swim goggles. That would also work. I doubt any children except my own would follow that rule. I worry that goggles would make the children think that I am OK with throwing sand when I am not. I think all that would happen is a child would be crying from a mouth and nose full of sand. I guess if other parents aren't worried about it I shouldn't be either but I can't keep from feeling bad when I see a little one crying from sand in the eye. I am sure it does hurt and I think it could scratch an eye and do some damage. If anyone has a solution to this problem PLEASE share with me! OH! back to my pictures I have a few more to share.....

After a lot of sand play D wanted to ride on her brothers tire swing. Daddy is giving her a push.
Daddy giving T a BIG push.

T having lots of fun!
I am so happy the snow is gone!!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spring has arrived!

I am so happy! Spring has arrived!!! Pictures of outside fun from today. T driving his sister around the yard.

D playing ball.
T giving his sister her first driving lesson.
Chickens in the yard.

D chasing the chickens.

running in the yard

Is anyone home?

T is still driving around the yard.

D couldn't run in the back field the grass is higher and the field is very bumpy. She had a hard time walking in it.

I am so happy spring has arrived. We are all a lot happier at my house today.


Our last stop was the best. I think this is the one stop my children will be talking about for a LONG time! They LOVED this stop. We didn't plan to visit Reptiland We just drove up to it on our way home. For a quick stop on the way home we got a lot more than we expected. Admission was very affordable adults $10 children $8 and children under 3 are free so this last minute idea cost us around $28. This place also has a free teacher's packet

We got to walk around seeing reptiles. One large building had 2 HUGE alligators! We got to see a lady tell us about them when she was standing inside with them. We had an open view because they are a little below us like a sunk in room. I hope you can see by the pictures we did stand VERY close to them. This is a picture I took when I first walked in the room. This picture I took when I stood at the wall that shows in the back of the above picture. He was right below me (OK, a 1/2 wall separated us).

We walked around looking at animals in outside habitats.

We got to feed an Emu. I don't know why they had Emus at the reptile park. My children liked feeding them. LOL! I guess that is why they have them at the park.

We went inside another building and saw lots of turtles, tortoises, frogs, lizards,snakes, and such. D liked to walk up and say to each of the animals.... Hi, A see me! Hi, Demi.

She was trying to say Hi, they see me! My name is Demi! LOL! She did this OVER and over to all of the animals. It was so cute. I wonder why she felt she should give them her name? I have never known her to tell adults or other children her name.

After that we went into another building (program building) we got to watch a movie that gave us lots of info on reptiles. It was followed by a lady showing us some reptiles. She explained more about them and answered questions. Then we got to touch them.

We went inside for her to give us more info on some of the reptiles. After that we got to see her feed some of them mice.


Pictures show reptiles eating large mice and baby mice below!!!!!!

After that we made a stop in the gift shop.... T had to get a large snake so he could pretend to be a snake handler. We tried to talk him into a book, shirt, hat, and other things but he had his heart set on a fake blue snake. LOL! D got a book on the rain forest (cat in the hat book) and we even got a cute baby shirt for the baby (due in Sept).

I have to say that Rob and I are so proud of our children! When we went into the building to see the movie and touch the reptiles other children yelled, ran around, played with noisy toys and didn't listen at all. Our son sat still in his seat listening and watching the movie and paying attention to the speaker. He knew all the answers to the questions she asked about the movie. He asked a few questions about the reptiles. Even our youngest touched the reptiles the way the lady said needed to be done so the animals didn't get hurt. The lady had a hard time getting the other children to listen to her. If our children didn't listen we would have taken them back to the car to go home. I am so happy that they showed so much respect at this unplanned stop we made. We always expect them to listen, behave, and pay attention but we rarely stop someplace without telling them HOW we expect them to act first. This was so unplanned we didn't think to say anything about how they needed to act at all. Many other times on this trip we saw our children being respectful and kind. I am so happy because I sometimes feel that people often don't feel they need to show respect to not only to other people but with places and other people's possessions. My children seem to understand that we (Daddy and Mommy) want them to do this always. I am so happy they understand how we need to behave when we are guest places. I have wondered for sometime if they understood what is often expected from a guest. I talk to them all the time about this but most of the time I hear so and so does this or that. I NEVER want them to think I am saying so and so parents are doing things wrong because I believe that all parents are lead to raise children in different ways so I often say that so and so is learning other things that you will learn soon and when you are learning what they already know maybe they will be learning what you already know. I try to tell them that all parents try to teach the same things we just choose different times to teach it. I never want my child to say to another you are a bad person because you do this or that. Of course I have to say my son has embarrassed me in public a few times when he says look that child's mommy hasn't taught him not to do this or that yet! I hope my children try to set an example at all times for others. I am glad to see that they do understand this (most of the time). I hope to never leave a place and have someone say.... I am so glad they left or I hope they don't come back anytime soon. I have such wonderful children!

That is all of our trip. We hope to take a bunch more trips soon. I made a list of places we might want to see and hubby has picked out the ones he thinks are fun and he is planning them out for us. He is working out his schedule and vacation time to go on more of trips right now.

Penn's cave wildlife tour.

We started out Friday morning driving to Penn's cave. We went on the wildlife tour first it was a fun thing to do. We rode on a safari bus we saw white-tailed deer (something we see lots of every day in our own yard).
Except in our yard we never see any white ones!

We also saw wolves, wild mustangs, wild burrows, black bears, bison,
Texas longhorn cattle and a few other animals. It was a warm day so they had the windows out of the safari bus and we got to be right next to many of the animals. I think if D was sitting on the other side of the bus with her Daddy she would have reached out and pet the Elk that was right outside the window. I wonder if that is why the driver parked in the areas she did. A lot of the adventure was us in the bus and the animal in the open so it was kind of like the people are caged not the animals. LOL! A few of the animals in the park are in cages so we got out of the bus in a few spots to see them.

After the wildlife tour we got something to eat then we went into the cave. I thought it was so fun going into the cave. We rode a boat into the cave and got to see all the formations. We went to Luray Caverns in Virginia a few years ago and I thought that was neat but now comparing the two I have to say I liked Penn's cave a LOT better. The one in Virginia was all paved and you had big rails all over. Penn's Cave is more natural looking. You get on a boat and even have to duck in several places in the cave to keep from hitting your head on the cave. How much closer can you get? KWIM? We didn't stand in long lines with ropes all over like we did in Luray Caverns I didn't see any place to make waiting lines with ropes. This adventure was so much more fun. I should tell you that this still being April we didn't go in the middle of the busy season so that might have been part of why we got to enjoy it so much more than the one we saw in Virginia. I do think that because this park is outside with farm land and wildlife all around adds a more natural feel to the park. The Luray Caverns felt like a huge paved parking lot with a long waiting in lines with ropes all over more than exploring a cave to me. Penn's Cave felt more natural to me. It was easy for me to picture in my head the man walking the land and discovering the cave opening long ago. If you are planning a trip to Penn's Cave or if your child has an interest in caves, bats, pollution, stalactites, stalagmites, rocks, and such you can download a free teachers activity guide

Here are some pictures we took in the cave. The cave has lots more to see than what I am showing in the pictures. I only picked out a few pictures (same with the wildlife park) I don't have time to load a ton of pictures and I doubt anyone other than my children would want to see out 300 pictures of our trip. LOL!

Going into the cave.

In case you are wondering the water looks green because of the minerals in it. It is hard water (I am guessing it picks up the minerals from the rocks as it comes into the cave). The water that drips down inside the cave runs out the end of the cave and it makes Lake Nitanee.
We did one more very fun thing on our trip. I will post that next. I hope to get that up tonight. Please remember I have dial up so this takes a long time to do.