Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Bear's Den

Have you ever wanted to eat dinner with two 400 pound black bears? I'm serious. This is a real thing. The bears are safely locked up, but they do sit at a table and eat. They pick through their food and swat at each other for the good stuff.

We are all headed toward their table

They sit and eat and have the table manners of a pack of elementary students

We are about 5 ft away from their table. There are multiple cages/fences/etc between us

 This was toward the end. They both have some food inside their arms that they are protecting

Here one of the trainers was having them do tricks for dessert. This allows them to check on the health of the bears without ever getting inside the cages

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sharkarosa (5)

In case you wanted to feed animals after the petting zoo, safari ride, and educational shows, there was still a chance! By this point we were out of the food we had bought. However, there was a lot of the food pellets on the ground just out of the reach of the animals and our kids felt bad about that. They said it's not nice to want something be able to see it and smell it, but just not reach it. So they spent a great deal of time feeding them.

They are used to feeding horses from when they took horseback riding lessons.

Yes, another camel. This one was temporarily separated from the herd because of an injury so it got lots of extra love.

Come back tomorrow for the story of two 400 pound bears eating at a table just a few feet away from us.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sharkarosa (4)

Sharkarosa also offers educational lectures. We attended one about kangaroos and another about reptiles. These are the photos from the reptile presentation.

They wanted to sit in the front row. They don't get that from me.

Of course he wanted to pet the snake.

He wanted to pet everything. He said they felt soft.
She said she prefers hugs to petting reptiles. She gets that from me.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Sharkarosa (3)

On Tuesday I wrote a post about how not all animals want to have their picture taken. The camels at Sharkarosa are in love with the camera. I had to narrow these down and there are still more photos of camels than all of the other animals combined.

I see you!

You can pet me! No, you can pet me!
(The camels would shove each other out of the way if you had a hand out and they weren't always looking for food.)

I like it when you scratch right there. He kept aligning himself so she would pet one specific spot.

If they smelled food they would lick. This was of course silly.

He solved that by dropping the food when they got close.

How high will it reach for the food?

Sure, I'll pose for a picture!

I like pictures. I will even smile.

Would you like a kiss?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sharkarosa (2)

One of the activities at Sharkarosa is to go on a safari ride out to the larger animals that live in herds. Some we could feed by putting food into the buckets on the side. Some we were told to just view and keep our hands away from. For the most part these were cool, but not great at photos.

 Hi there! 

We ended up with a lot of photos that look like this. A kid looking on with an animal eating from a bucket.

Different kid, different animal, basically the same photo though

We saw many cool animals that didn't want to pose nicely for a photograph - zebras, deer, emu, donkey, zorse, zedonk, alpaca, and sheep just to name a few.

They all live in large areas and some didn't even approach the trailer with the food so I'm sure they are well fed. There was one escapee who followed us out the gate, but we were able to watch them round it up and lure it back into the correct enclosure without any physical force and only minimal human contact which impressed me.

Monday, August 22, 2016


We heard about Sharkarosa from friends and decided to visit. This is an animal rescue/sanctuary that is open for tours, educational groups, etc. We started with the petting zoo.

Hi goats!

I like that the goats not only had things to climb on, but places to hide if they wanted to avoid people. These were clearly well cared for and loved. The workers knew all of their names and most of the goats answered to their names.

Tomorrow I will write about going on the safari ride to see some of the other animals.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Music Camp

The kids attended a week long music camp. The group had kids who were new to music and some who were experienced. They learned songs to sing, percussion instruments, guitar, and piano. For the final "concert" they each performed on one instrument. Both of ours were on guitar.

Sweet Son

Sweet Daughter
She went on to take a year of guitar lessons after this. I think the main reason she chose guitar was a crush on one of the guitar teachers, but his wife didn't seem to mind. Sweet Daughter was happy and now she can play many songs.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Tale of Two Beds, part 37

Ok, so we have tried everything to get these kids to sleep on a bed. They have done everything to avoid that. Here is part 37 in A Tale of Two Beds. I always debate what to tag these posts with - beds and sleep seem obvious, but gross motor and self-help skills? Only my kids would have a post about sleeping include those.

Poor boy has to sleep on the floor. If only he had a bed. 

Seriously? That's not how you are supposed to use a bed!

Ok, now they are clearly messing with us. They moved her twin mattress into his room, remade the bed with sheets and blankets, and then he crawled under his bed and they both fell asleep.

Why sleep in a dark room on a soft bed when you could sleep in a doorway with a bright light shining in your face?

Hah! He's not even asleep this time.

Once again, here are the links to the previous tales. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Frustration, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29, Part 30, Part 31, Part 32, Part 33, Part 34, Part 35, Part 36.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Final Project

Another school unit, another final project only this time instead of making instruments, they had to make a movie the old way. First they drew pictures and wrote the story. Then they glued them on a long piece of paper. Then we helped them create the movie box. They wound the movie up and by turning one rod they could play the movie. By turning the other rod they could rewind the movie.

She is laying out her movie and making sure the spacing is correct.

He is showing off his finished product.

Monday, August 15, 2016

School Project

After studying sound - sound waves, Alexander Graham Bell, instruments, etc. The final project for the unit was to create a new instrument.

He has a string instrument (box with paper strings on the bottom) with an attached keyboard. He did say it's best if you are taller to learn how to play it.

She created a percussion instrument. It has different things on it so depending on where you hit or rub it makes different sounds.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Sweet Daughter's Color Run

Once Sweet Daughter decided to run, she was in a race every month. This month it was a kids only color run. The rest of us (Wonderful Husband, Sweet Son, and myself) volunteered to be some of the color throwers. It was fun for everyone! She did a 5K without anyone pulling her along.

The only before photos we have are of the entire group of kids and I won't post their photos, so just trust me that shirt was white when she started.

 She always runs faster for a camera!

Her hair is blue in the back

A close up of the colors and her medal

She was covered from head to toe - literally the toes of her socks, inside her shoes, somehow also had color on them. I'm not even sure how she managed that.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

New Piano

The local college was having a sale on used pianos. We had put off buying one until we knew if at least one of the kids would stick with it. After 3 years of lessons and at least one of them on the piano for hours a day, we went ahead and bought a new piano!

Before, full sized keyboard

After, new piano

Sweet Daughter also decided it was time that Wonderful Husband learned to play piano and started giving him lessons. I'm not sure I could love this picture more.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cooking Pancakes

When you wake up and want pancakes, you better be willing to help. It's a life skill not just us being over tired.

See the concentration?

She is a pro!

She did help with the rest of the process, but these were the best photos. I love when kids get to do real cooking rather than just mixing. Besides nothing keeps you on your toes like handing a 5 year old a couple of raw eggs to crack.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Writing in another voice

Getting first graders to write a complete paragraph is difficult. Getting first graders to understand the point of view of someone else is difficult. Getting first graders to use their senses to describe things is difficult. So of course, our curriculum combined the topics! After reading Morning Girl, the kids had to write two paragraphs. One from the perspective of Morning Girl who is a teen girl that loves waking up early, helping her family, and is generally happy. The other from the perspective of Star Boy who is a younger boy that likes staying up late, makes noise, and plays jokes.

Morning Girl by Sweet Son
"I am excited. I think about the sea water. I see sun flowers. I hear the wind blow. I like to explore. Happiness is all around."

Star Boy by Sweet Son
"I feel good. I see stars and I hear bats. I think about bats. The night sky hides the bats so I can't see them. I am relaxed."

Star Boy by Sweet Daughter
"I am happy. I like to see stars. I like hearing owls. I am laying doun looking at the sky. I wonder what it's like tobe a star. I am excited." (Spelling is her own.)

Morning Girl by Sweet Daughter
"I am happy. I like seeing waves. I can hear birds tweet tweet. I would like diving in the ocean. I am splashing. Excitement is good."

Yes, they follow the same format. That's how you learn to write paragraphs. Not bad for 5 year olds just starting 1st grade though.