Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Akron Zoo

This week we went to the Akron Zoo for the first day of school. The area public schools are back in session and the weather was fantastic, so what better way to start a new school year than a field trip! The Akron Zoo is a small, city zoo with some very nice animal displays. Here are a few pictures of some of the animals on exhibit.
The Komodo DragonA pair of black swans
A pair of bald eagles.
The jellyfish exhibit is fantastic!! It was new last year and has quickly become one of our favorites. They showcase many different kinds of jellyfish and even little baby moonjellies. I'm not sure what type this was- but they were absolutely beautiful.

And now for the newest additions to the zoo---5 month old baby jaguars. There are 3 of them and they love to play. We were able to watch them for quite a while.

The Akron Zoo is small enough to see all the animals in just a few hours. They have small play areas throughout the zoo that are great for the little ones, and most of the animals are actually awake, moving around, and up close. It's another favorite Ohio field trip.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mission Trip to Tennessee

Little A and LittleE headed south for a week long missions trip on Ice Mountain with Eagle Adventures/Eagle Ranch. Specifically, they were not only in Tennessee, but in North Carolina, as the state border cuts right through the camp..........and in Georgia, too. Here is a map showing the area.

They had all the comforts of home. A place to eat.................a place to shower...........and a place to sleep.
The bunkhouses were a bit cozy!! They were also a welcome site at the end of each day's hard work!

So, what kind of work did they do? They screened in a porch.........

.....and painted 2 houses in Ducktown, TN. That's next to Turtletown, by the way. LittleE has just finished taping the shutter and is getting ready to do her share of painting.
LittleA decided to go way up high, and not only painted but conquered her fear of "climbing high on unstable objects". Of course, safety rules were in place as some were holding the ladder below. It was hot and a little messy, but they did a great job along with the rest of the team. Some of those "paint spots" look awfully intentional though.

They also built a yard swing as well. Are those nails straight LittleA??
After the day's work, they went shopping for s'more fixin's to have at the evening campfire. Being from the north, they thought Piggly Wiggly was a funny name for a grocery. They went to a drive-in movie, and dinner out at a mexican restaurant.

They also went white water rafting for the first time. And LOVED IT! of course. Here they are coming back after a great trip down the river.

All in all, it was a great week and wonderful experience in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The 4-H Children's Garden at Michigan State U.

I love visiting the MSU horticulture gardens. They are absolutely beautiful and the children's garden is an extra special treat for the kids. If we lived closer, I would definitely take advantage of their programs for children. It is so full of color with little theme gardens throughout.
The Monet's Bridge is beautiful and relaxing.
LittleJ liked to sit and watch the fountains. Secretly, he was planning how to get in and play in those small flowing fountains! This quote comes from a children's picture book called Miss Rumphius.
The gardens are filled with the typical flowers and garden plants we see eveyday, BUT....there are also many unusual ones we don't see very often. Look at the colors on these!
They have a schoolyard garden where classrooms around the city come to plant and learn. I want to do this in my backyard!
They also have a little amphitheater, seen in the background, where they put on educational programs as well as theater productions. Gardening and fine arts definitely go together.Out of the children's garden and into the formal horticulture gardens, LittleJ found another fountain. I guess he was a little thirsty!The girls enjoyed hunting for and taking pictures of all the unusual finds. If you love flowers, this is a great place to visit. Enjoy!