We went to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. This is a drive through safari. You can feed the animals out of your hands. You drive exceptionally slowly so the kids didn't have to be in car seats and that was part of the fun in an of itself.
I will have more pictures and videos of some of the more exotic animals tomorrow.
Our kids have always spent a lot of time around the water, but they refuse to learn swimming from us. We found a great program near us. They have 3 kids to 2 teachers (or 2 kids to 1 teacher). Each session is only 4 days for 30 minutes per day, but it is awesome. They learned so much so quickly. They went from not wanting to leave the step to jumping off the diving board.
Here you can see both kids getting 1 on 1 attention. They have enough supplies and support for any situation or level.
At the end of day 3 both kids got to try the diving board.
Day 3 second attempt
Day 4 Sweet Daughter
Day 4 Sweet Son
You can hear Sweet Daughter cheering him on in the background.
Glen Rose, TX is home to Dinosaur Valley. There are preserved dinosaur footprints as well as fossils in this area. We had explained this to the kids before we ever went on the trip.
Sweet Daughter was telling their
swimming teacher about the trip. The teacher says how much she loves
Dinosaur Valley because you can see real dinosaur footprints (I start
nodding my head yes) next to real human footprints (still agreeing but hesitating)
which proves they lived at the same time (I'm no longer agreeing).
good news is Sweet Son replied with, "Dinosaurs are dead. Humans aren't.
Just because two things are next to each other doesn't mean they
happened at the same time." So at least I'm doing my part. After class Sweet Son kept coming up with examples like "if walk through mud that has rabbit prints, that doesn't mean the rabbit and I were walking together."
There is a great deal of documentation about these footprints. The area is rural and decades ago, even with the dinosaur footprints, no one was visiting. The owner decided he could get more visitors if he added human footprints next to the dinosaur ones. After his death, this all came out as the hoax Scientists knew that it was all along.
However, the damage is done. This area now also has a creationist museum and a large production of Biblical stories. Dinosaur Valley is now a park publicly controlled. The prints are on the river bed and the water was too high when we were there to see them.
We did get to walk around. We saw the way the river was eroding the bank and had great discussions of the way water can literally shape our world. We also walked through grasslands and learned about this disappearing habitat and it's impact. It was a great learning experience.
Dinosaur World has a trail you can walk along seeing statues of dinosaurs in family groupings. They aren't animatronic like the ones we see every Fall. I wasn't sure if the kids would really enjoy this or not. They did. They really, really did.
What? We're normal.
Maybe not normal, but we are entertaining!
We bought food to feed the fish.
The fish were a bit feisty once the food hit the water.
This photo is perfect in my opinion.
It was raining so we let them use the umbrella. They were sharing and getting along. The dinosaurs in the background really add a bit of interest to what would be a cute picture either way.
Glen Rose, TX is known for dinosaurs. One of the attractions is Dinosaur World. This is great for younger kids (1-8 year olds) who are interested in dinosaurs. It's small, cheesy, and really enjoyable.
These guys are in the playground area.
The kids went on a fossil dig. They got to keep 3 of the items they found.
Oh no! The T-Rex is eating him.
Looks like we are too late to save her.
We finished our visit at the playground. It was once again raining on and off.
There were two different play structures in addition to the swings and dinosaurs.
Tomorrow's post will show the dinosaur trail they are known for.
As promised here are some more pictures from Big Rocks Park in Glen Rose, TX. These are posed and help to give you a better idea of the size of the rocks.
We are standing on a rock - you can see the river with people in the background.
The family on rocks
The kids thought this one looked like a spaceship, so they are acting like aliens.
Have you ever been so inspired by nature that you break into song? I was only able to get part of this on video. He is singing "Boom-De-Yada". The video is shaky because I'm having to watch my step as I try to keep up on the rocks.
We went on a weekend trip to Glen Rose, TX and I had heard about this unique park. It is called Big Rocks Park and that is the best name possible. It is literally a relatively small park filled with really big rocks. There is also a stream and people were swimming when we were there, but we mostly just explored the rocks.
It rained on and off while we were there.
Most of the rocks have natural hand holds which makes them fun to climb.
These photos only show some of the rocks that we were climbing and jumping from rock to rock.
This was one of those "they might be twins" moments.
Here I'm standing at the top of a rock taking a photo of the kids climbing up.
I'm not sure she could get her leg up any higher!
There will be more photos of this park tomorrow. This was just a really cool place to stop on your way to somewhere else. The kids loved climbing and exploring. I have heard that other people discovered snakes under rocks, but we didn't. We saw some poison ivy near the outside perimeter, but it was easy to avoid. There was one secluded area that had some adult trash items, but our kids just mentioned there was garbage and moved on without learning about them. (whew!)
While the kids both attend a Montessori school that we LOVE. I'm also doing some school work with them at home. This assignment was to write a report about an animal. The curriculum explained the format. i.e. first page is a cover page with the title, second page says where the animal lives, etc. They did such a great job that I thought I saved them... Only I write this blog a year in the past and I can't find the pictures. I did find an email I wrote bragging about them so I know what they said and what the kids drew. You just have to use your imagination, haha. I copied what they wrote and put in parenthesis what they drew.
Sweet Daughter's "The Camel Report"
The Camel (drawing of a large pink camel)
camel is found in the desert. (colored in various places on a world map
that camels live - 7 different areas over 5 continents)
The camel eats grass and drinks water every 17 days. (drawing of grass and very small lake)
The camel's habitat is a desert. (she colored 90% of the page brown sand and just the top part blue sky, nothing else)
Interesting facts about the camel are that it carries water, it has a long neck, and people ride camels. (no drawings)
Sweet Son's "The Great Blue Heron Report"
The Great Blue Heron (drawing of a tall yellow bird)
The great blue heron is found in rivers. (colored in all of North America)
The great blue heron eats fish and drinks water. (drawing of fish in water)
The great blue heron's habitat is a river. (he colored a river with grass around it)
facts about the great blue heron are that they are vertebrates, they
fish with their beaks, and their wingspan is 6 feet like Mr. Bobby. (no
The kids have been riding their Balance Bike
for a couple of years now. They go fast and understand balance and steering. So, we decided to let them try regular pedal bikes - no training wheels.
Sweet Daughter loved the idea. She jumped on and tried and within about 10 minutes was riding on her own.
Sweet Son loved the bike. It has a button on the front and if you push it, you hear train sounds. He had little desire to actually ride the bike though. It took a lot of convincing, but once he got on it and tried it took about 15 minutes before he was riding on his own.
Did I mention how much we loved those Balance Bikes
? This transition was so easy and fun. They both learned to ride a bike without training wheels at 4 and a half years old. Awesome.
Wonderful Husband's office has festivals twice a year for employees and their families. There's a live band, games, free food, and inflatable toys/slides/mazes. We were so wrapped up in the moments and enjoying our time as a family we only have two good pictures. I won't apologize for the lack of pictures though because it's more important to have quality time than photos.
After 3 seasons of horseback riding, I realized this would be our last. The kids love it, but it's getting to be too much. It's not close to our house and as our schedules get busier something had to give. Since the seasons were short anyway - can't ride if it's too hot, too cold, or rainy - I knew we could find other sports to take up our time. Hopefully cheaper ones as well, haha.
Sweet Daughter leading Annie
Sweet Son getting all the gear to put on the horse.
Sweet Son doing 2 point with no hands
Sweet Son having his horse do figure 8's without an instructor leading.
The kids learned so much and I can't say just how much of a help this program was for us. The increased gross motor skills were obvious, but the increased social skills, the awareness of the needs of others, the confidence were all noticeable as well. If you are able to let your kids try out a good riding program, go for it. You won't regret it.