Thursday, March 23, 2017

James' Field trip to Wonderworks

The 1st grade and kindergarten classes at James' school had their very first field trip to Wonderworks in Orlando. I thought it was pretty ambitious of a trip for a first field trip, but it went great! There were 8 parents just from James' class who signed up to chaperone so you could tell that the parents were a little nervous about their little ones going on such a big trip :) Since there were so many chaperones each group only had 2 or 3 kids in it. This was my group: James and boy named Michael from his class.

The kids were sooooo excited to ride a charter bus to Orlando and back. They watched a movie and had the best time playing with the seats, pretending to be in a space shuttle.

The exterior of Wonderworks is built to look upside down. I'm not exactly sure why...we had a list of science questions to answer as we went around the exhibits but the kids were too excited to stop focus at each thing.

Look at these cute kiddos!! 

Included in their admission was lunch, one game of laser tag, and one time in the 4D ride experience. Of course, James made a beeline for the laser tag, they wanted to do that first thing!

Then we went over to the 4D ride that made it feel like you were falling down the great wall of china. It was really fun!

There were two more floors of science based exhibits with optical illusions, weather related experiences, a bed of nails, etc... This bubble station area was by far the favorite. We went back there a few times once we had seen everything.

James tried so hard to put himself in a person sized bubble.

The space area had a space suit you could lean inside, a command module you could lay down in and flip the buttons, and a cool zero gravity ride, but the boys were too small for the ride.

James loooooved this virtual air hockey game. Every time he would hit the puck on the screen and it would bounce away he would laugh and laugh and laugh.

After having lunch, seeing the exhibits, and going to the gift shop we still had some time left over before we had to get back on the bus. That last hour was the worst!! Trying to find how to entertain them and find things they wanted to do without getting too wild was hard. I was soooo happy to get back on the charter bus. We left the school around 8:30am and got back to the school around 3:30pm. It was a long day, but so much fun!

Doing some catching up

I'm trying to catch up on everything we have been doing! On top of being busy, we've had a round of sickness make its way through everyone again. This time I avoided catching it, but Anthony actually caught and took antibiotics for the second time in his entire life! James had the runniest nose I have ever seen and he ended up with a rash on the sides of his mouth from constantly wiping. Poor guy! I took a picture to send to Anthony to show him the rash, so of course it had to be silly.

Then Rett wanted a turn to get his picture take. Look at that hair! It is out of control, but I can't bear to cut it.

One night James' homework assignment was to draw the president and write a fact about him. So he did and wrote that he is 70 years old (I googled it). I didn't want him to think that I was laughing at his picture so kept my smiles to myself and furiously texted this picture to my family. Awesome!

Rett's turn with the sickness:

Playing with the chickens is our new fun activity. They love to roost on things, so they get much calmer if you take them out and let them sit on your arm or your shoulder. It is so fun to watch them play and push each other off the roost.

James loved having Bellatrix stay on his shoulder for a long time. Thankfully she pooped on the carpet and not down the back of his shirt!

Now with two, one on each shoulder.

Anthony took the boys to Bealls Outlet to buy me some presents for my birthday. This was one of my favorites. We put it up on the outside of the house right by the front door.

We bought a 1/4 pig from a local farm that we have been getting milk from, so we have been experimenting with more pork dishes. I pulled some of the pork chops from the freezer to cook, look at these things! They are huge!

This is the very beginning of our chicken coop. We are doing a "hoop house" style that will be totally enclosed so that the chickens won't be out free ranging without supervision. We have just heard too many stories about the predators around here getting to them. It doesn't look like much yet, but I will post once it gets closer to being completed. Aside from the wire mesh, we are using mostly materials from the habitat for humanity thrift store and dumpster materials from a neighborhood that is building new houses. 

James is still very attached to his fairy house door. Every morning when Anthony gets up to get ready for work, he moves it around so when James wakes up he is sure the fairies did it. He will get close to the door and talk to the fairies behind the door :)

We took an after school trip to the beach. James wanted to play with his toy lawn mower in the water and Rett reeeeeally wanted to chase the birds. He is making a face at me because I won't let him.

We discovered that a large gopher tortoise lives on the edge of our front yard. We've seen him around the compost pile a few times.

I got to talking to one of the mom's in James' kindergarten class and she mentioned that she is ordering a large number of silkie and frizzle chicks to be delivered in June and that she needs to find a home for them. I told her we would love to take some! These chickens are so funny looking, but they are supposed to be the friendliest and most pet-like of chickens so it will be interesting to add them to our flock.

Anthony fed the little snake in a 5 gallon bucket right before going to bed and he didn't want to move her back into her cage right away because moving them right after is bad for their digestion. So he decided to let her stay the night in the bucket, thinking that it was secure enough that she couldn't get out. Nope! The next morning she was gone! I looked everywhere I could think of for her, under couches, behind appliances, but I couldn't find her. We figured that she would turn up once she started getting hungry, but it was disconcerting not knowing where she could pop up. Thankfully a few days later Anthony was putting a book back on the kids bookshelf and spotted a nose sticking out.

We've started letting the chicks get some fresh air and bugs in the the half finished coop. It isn't totally secure, so we just sit out there with them to supervise. They love stretching their wings and pecking around!

Rett is playing his first season of soccer this year. He is so excited! We tried on his soccer cleats and shin guards and kicked the soccer ball around outside. He is a natural!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Beginning of February

James' school held a walk-a-thon to raise money for their new gym and I stayed to help with the kindergarten and 1st grade. They had a course laid out with obstacles for the kids to do and each kid got a punch card to keep track of how many laps they did. The goal was for them to get 10 punches for doing 10 laps (the equivalent of 2 1/2 miles). James ran almost the entire time and did 7 laps! Only a few of the older 1st graders ended up doing all 10 laps. When time was up, all the kids got to line up and get a necklace with a charm for every 2 laps they did. James wore that necklace every day for a week!

On a walk down our street we encountered a gopher tortoise! After we played with him for awhile, we put him back and watched him go inside his home.

The tortoise lives right next to the goats, so we had to say hi to them.

Playing zoo animals with Rett:

The feed store had chickens in stock, and I couldn't resist!! They are all girls so we don't have to worry about having to get rid of any of them as they get older. I got four different varieties that lay 4 different colored eggs so in 6 months we will definitely know who is laying and who isn't.

We bought the previous owner's riding lawn mower from them, but we realized that it needs some work done to it. James doesn't care that it doesn't cut the grass, he just loves to ride it around!

We took James to pick strawberries with us this time. There were so many big strawberries! We ended up just walking around and only picking the super big ones.

James "spying" the perfect strawberry:

Rett would pick them, put them in his container, and then immediately get it out and eat it.

The highlight of strawberry picking was playing in the freshly tilled dirt. There were large compacted pieces of dirt that looked like rocks, but when you threw them they would explode. It was the best part of their day!

The mom of one of James' friends from his VPK class last year messaged me on Facebook to say that Ethan had been wanting to play with James for awhile. We set up a time and went over to their house a week later. Every time I mentioned it, James wasn't happy about it and kept saying that he didn't want to. I think he was just nervous about playing together when he hadn't seen in him a long time. Once we got there, they had a blast and played for over 3 hours!! They played nerf guns, legos, and ate popcorn.

Rett has been fighting naps during the day, but if he does fall asleep he is so difficult to wake up! When I get him up to go get James from school, he groans and rolls over to go back to sleep.

Poor James caught the sickness that was going around his classroom. At least 6 different kids were out at different times last week! I ended up having to go pick him up from school in the middle of the day for the first time ever. He spent the rest of the day lying on the couch like this. It was so strange to see him so still!

We were going to the store and we called to Rett to get his shoes on. We didn't know what he was wearing, assuming he had his clothes on. He got James shoes on and then told us he was ready to go...at some point he had taken all of his clothes off, then put his underwear back on inside out and backwards.

I tried to get some better pictures of the chicks. It wasn't easy! I decided to give them Harry Potter-themed names: Hufflepuff, Bellatrix, Buckbeak, and Ginny.

James got a new primary teacher and on her first Sunday she asked Anthony to dress up like King Benjamin and visit his class. He did a great job!

James loved it! Anthony tried to convince him that it wasn't him, it was really King Benjamin. On the way home from church James insisted, "I know it was you because of your hair and your glasses...it was you right? Tell the truth!!" We loved that he still had a little uncertainty about it :)