Monday, October 31, 2016

Back to the Zoo and more with Kaity

It was a little chilly this afternoon, but since the season is winding down and our snow-less days are numbered, I took Kaity for one last romp at the zoo. We were greeted by the geese and ducks (as usual) and we had some fun with them before we hiked over to see the pelicans.

We don't usually get to see the pelicans swimming. I didn't know they were so graceful! And aren't they so beautifully white?

The turkey posed very nicely for my camera today too! Kaity was pleased that he came over for a little chat with us.
 Since today IS Halloween, the zoo was all decked out for the occasion. The very best part of our visit today was the conversation Kaity had with Mr. Fox! Just like when we were here a few weeks ago, Mr. Fox was howling (if you can call it that) away in his little area. Kaity got all excited to see if she could mimic his sound ... and she did quite an excellent job! In fact, our little Kaity had quite the LONG conversation with Mr. Fox this afternoon. She was SO pleased! I think he was too! I will remember it for a very long time with deep down joy.
We went back home to my house and played with our animal friends for awhile and then we decided to do a little (very little) raking again this week.
Kaity is so much fun to watch when she is playing outside. She really lets loose. She is very physical, LOVES to run and jump and play. I love her so!

She let me bury her again this week. Such beautiful leaves!

Kaity was an excellent helper. We had a very big pile for her to jump in!

This is the "tent" we made for our animals this week. Kaity just loves to hid inside and tuck all of the little animals in for a nap. She is a little sweetheart.

Brendan at Deer Tracks ...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Raking is so much fun!

Isn't October the most gorgeous month? It would be my absolute favorite IF winter didn't follow so closely on its heals. I love the colors and smells and sounds. AND believe it or not, I love to rake leaves.

 I had a little helper yesterday too. Kaity and I had gone grocery shopping. She was my list scratcher-off-er at the grocery store. It gives her something to do AND let's her know she is IMPORTANT.
 I thought SURE we would find a kids' sized rake at Meijer, but there were NONE to be found. We put our groceries in my car and began the drive home. BUT the way home to my house goes right past LOWE'S! We parked our car and Kaity piggy-backed herself right into the store. We asked if there were any nice, small, sturdy rakes for kids and were directed where to find them! Yes! When we got to my house, raking was the first thing Kaity wanted to do.
 We began by raking, with Kaity using her shiny yellow rake (and her new princess work gloves) but the goal was not really to clear my yard of leaves. We decided to make a nice big pile of leaves that Kaity could run and jump in.
 Kaity thought it was an excellent idea, and put her whole heart into raking leaves into our pile.
 She had so much fun running and jumping into the pile.
 We had a leave fight too ... 

 Look at the happy face on this little child!
(My weird pumpkins and Kaity's little rake ... which will also be used by Brendan).

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Another sleepover with Ems

We dropped the kiddos back home after our playtime here at the Beach House. We actually ate some pizza over at their house, we took Matthew to Three Mile and then Emma came back home with me. I don't actually have any pictures from Saturday night. We got ourselves in our PJ's, grabbed our favorite blankets and watched, "It's a Wonderful Life!" This is one of my all time favorite movies. Emma did very well with it, even though is a very old movie! It is always provoking to think about what the world would be like had you never been born in it as well as to wonder how many people's lives have been affected for the good or bad because of your life.

Sunday morning we went to church and LOGOS class. What a wonderful sermon and class time we had together. Emma worshiped with us. What a blessing it was to have her next to me. Such a privilege.

 Sunday, after we ate our salad, Emma helped me repair my shell wreath. Gela found this at a yard sale and thought of me and bought it for me! How sweet of her! BUT, some of the shells were falling off. I bought some hot glue and a glue gun, and since I have very little (next to none) experience with using these items, Emma repaired the entire wreath for me!
 Emma also thought if might be fun to have a marble run competition, so she got out the bin full of stuff, divided it perfectly in half, and then set my timer for 10 minutes. We had 10 minutes to design a marble run. We both finished with plenty of time leftover and then it was time to test them out. We picked out our three marbles, set them at the top, and did the countdown. We ran them three or four different times. The marbles were not allowed to jump off, and if they got "stuck" somewhere, we could not help to free them. It was a good game and we both liked it.
 Going home time always comes too quickly, but we did finally take Emma back to her house by about 3:00. Next weekend is Halloween and their family has lots going on. So next weekend, might be one without grandchildren!
Completely repaired and restored

Monday, October 24, 2016

A NEW location with animals!!

This is a ridiculous amount of pictures to upload into ONE post, but if you only KNEW how many OTHER pictures I wanted to include, you would be impressed at my restraint!

The children and I went to Deer Tracks Junction Saturday, late afternoon/evening, and we had the time of our lives.
What a great place for children (of all ages!) to play. First of all, this great playground/fort area is completely free and the kids just had a blast here. This play area is nice and open and has such a great SECRET! Here is Emma showing me her excitement AND telling me that she can totally disappear down this well!

So, all the kiddos got in on the fun. When we arrived here, it was about 4:30 in the afternoon--so there was still plenty of light and the sun was actually shining, even though it was a little bit cold outside.

At first, Kaity was going to have NOTHING to do with this. She was appalled!
But it did not take her too very long before she wanted to explore just like the older kids.
There are secret entranceways to tunnels inside this covered wagon, as well as UNDER it!
These guys completely crack me up when they are set free to do whatever comes into their heads. Pure JOY.
We played out here in this play area for at least the first hour. But there was so much more to do!

I kept telling the kids that there were animals to see! But I could NOT get them away from this great playground!

I thought the boys were going to go into orbit over this fort ...
SO much fun!

I had already purchased tickets to see the animals that were on the other side of the main building ...
So ... I finally convinced them that we would come back to the playground after we had visited the animals.

This is Kaity, all proud of herself for climbing quite a high rope wall. She was so pleased to reach the top ... ALL BY HERSELF.

Finally! The animals. THE cutest little pigs I have ever laid eyes on in my life! Ah ... NOW the kids were interested!
How sweet is this?
The gentleness these kids can display with animals is ... shocking (!!) when you watch how rough they can play with each other!

The goats! Oh my!
Oh my goodness ... Budgie Birds and Bunnies too? (this picture is completely out of order)

There are actually TWO petting areas here at Deer Tracks. If you want to do both sides, it is $7/each. This is the area that actually has DEER. And even though they were behind wire, they were pretty lovely to see.
All of the children got to feed them and pet their loveliness ...

But back to the other side for a minute ... I took some pictures of the kiddos with the birds and bunnies ...
I love these pictures so much!
Isn't Emma such a beautiful young girl? She is growing up so much. I remember exactly what it was like to be fourteen!
And Christopher, when he wasn't busy photographing the animals with his new phone (!), found time to hold the bunnies too.
This deer was quite taken with Chris and posed ever so nicely for his camera.

Matthew! Matthew is amazing with animals too. He is so kind and gentle with them.
Matthew had a blast with the Budgies. Look at his expression (far right), showing off with how many birds landed in his hand at one time.
Dear Kaity held the bunny for about five minutes. She sat completely still (shocking) and held this soft bunny very close to her. She was so tender.
Inside the beautiful log cabin lodge, there are lots of things to look at. There were two rather interesting jail cells. Christopher decided to pose as Billy the Kid.
Jail does not suit you, Christopher! Not even with a jail frog friend.
We purchased tiny flashlights at the gift shop and headed back out to the playground. More exploring and playing hide 'n seek took place for such a happy time.

Isn't this just the cutest place ever?

I'm SO glad we went to Deer Tracks!
We then had ice cream sundaes over at my house. The ice cream was too expensive there at the lodge. I had THREE of their favorite flavors of ice cream which they enjoyed at a much better price at The Beach House.