Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sarasota Aquarium

An aquarium on the ocean should be great right? We had to go see for ourselves.

My favorite aquatic creatures

Two finger touch tank

That's a big frog!

Learning how nets catch fish and turtles

Hi turtle!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Teacher Appreciation

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
May 4-8 is Teacher Appreciation week. While everyone is scrambling to find something pinterest worthy gifts, I'm already a step ahead of the game. Educents is giving away a $10 gift card (no minimum purchase to new users, $10 off $20 purchase for current users) and 3 months of lesson plans.

I will combine these with something else - thank you notes written by my kids. When my kids were young they used to dictate what to write to me. They told me all kinds of interesting things. Sweet Son claimed one former teacher lived at an airport. Sweet Daughter mentioned another former teacher's favorite activity was watching Sweet Daughter play. These days the comments are more realistic and even sweeter. Sweet Daughter wrote that one teacher is good at following the rules. Sweet Son wrote that his favorite teacher makes learning easy.

While others are going overboard at the end of the year with gifts we have taken a different approach. Each month we have done something small to say thank you. Sometimes it's just a note or drawing from the kids. Sometimes it's a small gift card. We've done books from the book fair, edible treats, jewelry, etc. Teachers get a lot of encouragement at the end of each semester (December and May). It's those other months when the kids are all going crazy that they really need to know they are appreciated. I can't take credit for this idea. When I was a teacher, our parent group organized a monthly teacher appreciation for us. They had a different parent sign up for each month and suggested less than $10 be spent. The school my kids are at doesn't have a parent organization, but we have continued with the idea on our own.

Education has such an impact on ourselves and our little ones. Educents is here to help you pay it forward. In honor of Teacher Appreciation week, Educents & Peekapak have teamed up to provide your favorite educators with a gift basket worth over $40, which includes a FREE $10 Educents Gift Card & 3 months of Peekapak lesson plans (3 digital storybooks, 12 in-class lessons & 12 at-home activities) that teach Character Education and Language Arts.
So, whether it's your mom, your classroom teach er, your neighbors, or another special human being who taught you important lessons, thank them by giving them a FREE gift basket, on Educents!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sarasota Beach

Sarasota is known for some of the best beaches in the United States, so we had to go visit.

The kids building sand castles

The big kids and the Dads build this castle.

Watching the horse walking down the beach was a highlight for Sweet Son.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Jungle Gardens in Sarasota, Florida

We took a fairly quick weekend trip to Sarasota, Florida and met up with some friends. There were 3 families there - the Dad's have all been friends since at least high school. Between the 3 couples we had 5 kids which is always a recipe for a good time. We started at the Jungle Gardens.

Feeding and petting goats

The goats weren't shy.

Her idea was for him to put his leg in it's mouth.

His idea was for her to put her head in.

Attempting to feed the pink flamingos.

Standing like a flamingo

I will have more posts from this vacation all week and one day next week. We had such a great time!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tree Photos

We let the kids climb and play in the tree and just hoped for some great shots. Here are my favorites.

She really does always have that smile.

He was a bit frustrated we had him pause in his climbing so we could get a photo. Doesn't he look like a model? I mean who really climbs trees in that outfit? Other than my kid, of course.

The split in two tree works great for each kid having their own space to climb and explore.

She is so proud she is up high.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tree Photos

In the bluebonnet field there is a perfect climbing tree. We decided to attempt more family photos.

You can just barely see him, but still not a bad photo.

This was our attempt to fix it. This was also the point we gave up.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Educents Coupon!

As many of you know, I am an affiliate blogger for Educents. This means if you purchase something through my link, I get a small amount of money that I use as a credit to buy my kids curriculum or books. It doesn't cost you anything if you buy through my link. However, as an affiliate I can offer you an additional discount off the typical prices.

If you go to Educents and enter the coupon code PARENT010 you can get an additional 10% off the daily deals through April 27.

Here are some of my picks:

Life of Fred Elementary Math
Life of Fred - Elementary Math
We have this set (and paid more than this).

 Pull-Back Vehicles
These would be great for younger kids.

Minecraft® Library
Know anyone who is into Minecraft?

Science Club Subscription- FREE SHIPPING
I bought this Science Club subscription and we loved it. I highly suggest it.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bluebonnet photos, individuals

Some photos just remind me how much the kids are growing up. It's like seeing into the future.

She's 4, going on 15.

He's 4, and ready for a frat party.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bluebonnet Photos, siblings

My kids are cute, but I might be a bit biased. I just love seeing them interact and having photos of these interactions always makes me smile.

Posing with the very few flowers and having their hair blow out of their faces.

She always has that natural smile. He often has that more entertaining smile.

There are a whole series of them dancing in a field of wild flowers. This one was my favorite.

He is trying to give her a kiss.

She was more successful on her attempt.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bluebonnet Pictures

One of our annual traditions is taking pictures in fields of bluebonnets. This is a very common tradition in our state. :)

 Our first attempt at a family photo. He looks a bit goofy, haha.

 This is a sweet photo. 

This is what life is like most of the time.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Maker Fair, part 3

The maker fair at the Science museum had a couple of events during the day. When we heard they would let the kids do the diet coke and mentos experiment, we had to go.

The kids put on lab coats and goggles. The worker helped them pour a stack of mentos into the bottle.

There it goes!

Next up, same set up.

Another cool explosion.

I have no idea how many bottles of diet coke they went through. They were doing 2-3 kids every 5 minutes. They had it set up perfectly to run smoothly and everyone had a great time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Maker Fair, part 2

Continuing our discoveries at the Maker Fair, we ventured toward and into the building.

The kids are watching him heat up and melt the glass at the top of bottles into ducks.

They had to ask what this was. I'm old.

This was by far their favorite part. She played with that robot dog for 45 minutes. She would play ball, get it to sit, pet it, and on and on. He sat for 45 minutes learning how to disassemble, reassemble, and understand how the dog worked. (I keep the blog a year in the past, but here's a hint of what is to come - by the end of the year they both have their own robot dogs.)

Watching a 3D printer. There were a few different variations at the fair. Some were homemade, some were multicolor, and they were all working and had people to answer questions.

The final post about this amazing maker fair will post on Thursday. It involves explosions...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Maker Fair, part 1

Our local Science museum hosted a maker fair. This sounded like fun, so we spent an afternoon trying out so many new things!

This is literally a swimming pool half full of oobleck. If you have never made oobleck, please look up a recipe. I highly suggest playing with it outside.

Some people had built their own hover crafts. They were on lunch break, but let wonderful husband pull the kids around on them. Here Sweet Daughter is taking her turn.

 Then it was Sweet Son's turn. He spent his ride holding his headphones on because the motor was so loud for him.

Another area had different types, sizes, and styles of catapults set up for the kids to test and learn about. 

This post only covers some of the outside activities. There were also inside activities and scheduled events. I will cover those in the next few days.