A few months ago when we were visiting Chicago Christine was wanting to go to the Natural History Museum to attend the Chocolate exhibit that they created to teach about all things chocolate. While we were in Chicago we learned that the exhibit was a traveling one and we just missed it! We found out that the next stop for it was Norman OK! A day before we came home we were able to visit the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The museum far exceeded our expectations. The Chocolate museum was very educational, I do think that the rest of the museum was more of a treat for us all. The Museum was very well done with an very large dinosaur exhibit. We saw the remains of a dinosaur with a neck that was 40 feet long as well as the largest dinosaur skull on earth! We had a great time learning about Oklahoma History!
Saturday Night Edward Jones sponsored a baseball night for the family. About 50 Edward Jones families attended a night game for the Sacramento Rivercats. Our tickets were behind the outfield on the back lawn. We brought our beach towels and jackets for a fun evening. I think that the best part was all of the yummy snacks that we all enjoyed (Kettle Corn, peanuts, cotton candy, fudge pops, chips and hot dogs). The girls are ready to return soon...as long as they are allowed to have snacks again as well.
We all went to St. Joe, Michigan to visit Nick, Stephan ie, Ben and Hannah. ( this post is written by ashley) Sorry this post is so late! We had a great time. Ben was always a ball of energy and Hannah was always so cute and smiling all the time. We enjoyed going to the beach, having pizza, playing in the waterpark, and lots more.
Then the Jacksons drove us to Chicago and we had fun there also. We went to the Federal Reserve bank and we got to see 1,000,000, dollars in ones! It weighed 1 ton!!! The American Girl Store was my favorite. We had a yummy lunch, Emily got her doll's hair done, and we each bought a new doll. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we can't wait to go back.
Friday night Ashley and I went to a Christian concert together at Arco Arena. The concert was the "Rock and Worship Roadshow" featuring Mercy Me. This concert did not allow you to reserve seats in advance; you had to get to the the arena early and wait in line. The waiting in line is not a big deal, except we had 35 mph winds and rain (sideways rain). We waited for 30 minutes under our umbrella's and were able to get some great seats for the show. There were 7 bands that played and we had a great time together.
Easter is tomorrow, so today we took some time to color and decorate our Easter eggs. It is fun to watch the girls get creative with their egg works of art.
Thursday we went on a field trip with some home-schooled friends to a wetlands area
about 40 minutes from our home. The girls have been involved in a co-op class with 5 other families on Wednesday mornings. Several of us moms attend a Bible study and the rest teach a class to the 18 kids. The past few weeks they have been learning about wetlands (characteristics of and the plants and animals that call it home).
Yesterday we were able to experience the wetlands hands on. The kids learned about insect activity in the pond. They were able
to use nets to pull up the tiniest creatures. They learned about migration by becoming birds and flapping their wings to get to their nesting or feeding spot. Unfortunately for Emily, she became the first bird to experience the loss of enough habitat (new subdivision, improper chemical use...) and became a dead bird. She was shocked, but a good sport and was able to assist the leader as a "ghost". Finally more habitat became available (conservation efforts, good rains...) and she was able to became a baby bird with a friend as her mommy.
The kids received a lesson in how to use binoculars, and were able to use them as we drove and walked through the wetlands viewing many varieties of birds. Ashley experienced a little too much hands on education about the clay soil when she and three other kids became stuck fast in the mud at the edge of a pond. They kept losing their shoes (which were so covered
in mud, I couldn't recognize them), falling down and eventually had to be carried out of the muck by the leaders. (The first thing she did when we got home was take a bath---she didn't even greet Sammy first!) Ashley was a little unnerved by it, but I told her she provided us great entertainment (I was laughing hysterically) and a good story.
The leaders of our field trip were wonderful. They loved nature and were excited to share with us. You can tell how passionate someone is when they see a piece of scat (poop) on the ground, put on a glove, and go through it to show us what was eaten, and therefore whose scat it was. We found fox scat (who had eaten a black bird--feathers, and a lizard--a scaly leg), and river otter scat (shells, and crab legs).
To find the girls in the pictures: Emily is wearing a fluorescent yellow sweatshirt and Ashley light blue.
A couple of weeks ago we decided to take the kids to San Francisco for two days to experience the King Tut exhibit before it left town.
Upon arriving in San Francisco we were all very happy that we packed our big coats because it was freezing there. The first thing we did was visit the amazing Golden Gate Bridge overlook and take a small walk down the beach to let the kids play.
Then we drove to the Palace of Fine Arts (one of Cody's favorite places) for some photo moments...Then the rain started.
We decided to tour the Boudin's bakery where San Francisco Sourdough bread started. After we walked 10 blocks to get there, Cody realized that he had left his wallet in the car. What would a trip be without some good stories to tell later. After eating a great meal, we walked to the the pier to see the sea lions...it was now dark so all we could see were their shapes and could hear them occasionally. Before going to our hotel room, we needed to make a pitstop at Giradelli's for a late night snack!
We were glad to get to out hotel room which gave us a grand view of the city. We enjoyed seeing a cop arrest someone from 25 floors up. Who needs T.V.?
The King Tut exhibit was very interesting and crowded. There were 10 rooms of artifacts to view. After about 6 rooms, we felt like we had thoroughly experienced the Egyptian culture (lots of people in a small space). It was amazing to see these items that had been used since before Jesus walked the earth.
We went next door to the Japanese tea gardens. The gardens were in full bloom and amazingly beautiful. We had Japanese tea and cookies before we left. We also visited 2 other gardens and
the ocean before we made our way home. We all had a great trip.
This weekend the organization Feed My Starving Children came to town. They assemble and distribute food packets to countries around the world with severely starving people. These are people that are thrilled to receive one meal per day. If they eat two meals a day, they are considered wealthy. That was a sobering thought as we considered the solid three meals plus two snacks we enjoy each day. FMSC travel to different cities each week giving people in different areas of the country the opportunity to volunteer and be a part of something bigger than themselves. Ashley and I signed up to help in a 2 hour time slot on Friday. Cody and Ashley helped for 2 hours on Saturday. (Emily was too young this year, so she was fortunate to be able to have a playdate with a great friend from her old class.)
In the host church, we entered a clean room (hair nets required, much to Ashley's dismay). There were many centers set up around the room where we gathered and put bags together assembly style. Each bag contained a scoop of vitamin/mineral/flavoring, a scoop of dehydrated vegetables, a scoop of protein rich soy, and a scoop of rice. When the families receive the bags, all they have to do is add water and heat. Each bag contains 6 high calorie, nutrient rich meals. When Ashley and I served, I opened and held each bag under a funnel catching ingredients. I then gave the bag to Ashley and she weighed it. She added or removed rice to get the bag to the desired weight. When Cody and Ashley served, they each scooped ingredients.
It was a great experience. In the four hours we served, enough meals were packaged to feed over 120 children for a year.
This afternoon we drove an hour up to the snow. We started to get nervous 40 minutes into the drive when we were in the mountains and still not seeing any snow. We began to think of last week's sun and 70 degree weather. Once we started to see patches of snow, we all began to breathe a little easier. We like a small snow park just off the freeway. It has a few groomed hills to sled down. Since it was Monday and all the other kids were in school, we had the whole area to ourselves. It was a blast! Ashley was very cautious, and I eventually had to push her down the hill to get started. Halfway down the hill she decided it was great. Emily took to it just like a penguin. She would still be there if it were up to her. Unfortunately, Dad and Mom were getting tired of trudging back up the hill. We needed a ski lift.
So now I have a blog?! Wow, that is a crazy thought! I have never really thought much about blogs (until I watched the movie Julie and Julia), or followed a blog...until about a month ago.
My sister-in-law started a blog to bring the family that are far, near. Through it, we can be a part of their everyday life, read what is happening, see pictures and videos. What a precious gift it is to be able to see my sweet nephew and niece grow.
This blog is dedicated to Ashley and Emily's Nana and Mama in Oklahoma. I wanted an opportunity to bring them near and invite them into our everyday.