Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Star lab and Bats.

The girls went to Star Lab at the University a couple of towns over and seemed to really enjoy it. They learned a lot about the constellations and a few of the stories that go along with them. So now of course they are all excited to learn more about them! The lab is like a large tent and they blow it up in an open area inside one of the buildings.
Once your inside the fun starts! He starts with a view of Earth, then the solar system and then into the galaxy. So the girls got to learn a lot. Our friend Izzy and Her sister Sophie were spending the weekend with us so Izzy got to see the star lab as well.

 We even had a short time to  look thru a couple of the displays they had there that we thought were interesting.

And then...

Bats! Yep, Bats. The girls know I got a "fly over" by a bat one night while shutting up the chickens for the night. They thought maybe making a bat house might be a good idea to keep it happy and keep it here. So they've started learning a little more about bats (did you know that an adult bat can eat over a thousand insects in an hour?) and we visited the Department of Fish and wildlifes webpage and found lots of interesting information about the bats in our area. They even had a poster we could call and request so we did! A couple of days later we received this in the mail...

We got a very cool poster and a flyer about batty for bats AND they even sent us a 200 page book on naturescaping!

 The book has all kinds of information about what to plant to attract different types of wildlife! Hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, bats, etc. so we are all excited to start going thru it and finding what we can do to attract different things! Now to make a bat house and get it put up!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Zoo School

One of our favorite field trips each year is the Zoo with Zoo school. This time we got to learn about NW animals and got a few surprises as well. We met up with some friends, and after checking most everyone in for the fieldtrip headed into the zoo ourselves. Some of our first stops included the black bear..Who decided to go for a climb...

We visited Some of our favorite birds..
and practiced some climbing skills..
 Then Dominic found a favorite as well...
My little monkey girl decided to check to see how she measured up...

Before long it was time for our class! We had a great turn out and Fiona at the Zoo was again a wonderful hostess and presenter! The kids really like her.

Our first animal was a bird...the cute (and very tired!!) Screech Owl..

Then we got a special surprise! We got to see and pet a rubber boa which is one of Oregon's native species. Ours was actually the first class who got to see him and he handled is wonderfully! The snakes name...O'look!Unfortunately, I couldn't get a good picture of him.
The next animal was also a special treat! Apparently he doesn't do many classes and we were amount the rare classes to have him! He sure was a huge hit with the class! Our friend the mink!
Such a fun and silly little animal. He had all of us laughing and giggling at his antics! He eventually went thru his tube, into the water, grabbed his fish and slide back out onto the sheet. A very good entertainer!
After the class, it was off to ride the carousel that was visiting for a couple of weeks, then off to find more animals.

Of course there is always time to stop and grab a picture with some of our friends...

We are missing a couple of friends in the picture, but they didn't want to sit still long enough for it!
Dominic decided to play on the safari truck and you can see one of his new buddies behind him..
Both boys were having a pretty good time!

Then we found something Dominic thought was pretty awesome...

That boy does like his reptiles!
Kaitlyn has decided that maybe working at the zoo would be pretty cool and thinks maybe she should look at wildlife biology. She's also discovered the series "Scigirls" and is having a ball watching all the cool science episodes. OF course, now both girls want to build an underwater ROV...Which is now on our list of things to do this summer.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge

Welcome to the Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge. Again.  We love this place. Great place to take a nice walk with a lot of friends!
By the time we were done Dominic was pretty ready for a break!
The girls and their new friend had a ball and the girls have put their heads together and have planned a lot of playdays for all summer!

We spent almost 3 hours there, more than the 2 hours we were scheduled for! It was a lot of fun and we learned some of the history of the refuge (it used to be a farm) and we looked for wildlife tracks, I bought the girls a birding book and we all had a lot of fun. of course the weather is cloudy and grey today and we have rain for the next couple of days. Then back to nice weather and a couple more fieldtrips. The girls also picked up a grade 3 workbook to start using. most of the math is a review, but there are some other things in there that are new to them so it's a nice combination of old and new. It's an all in one volume (contains language arts, math, some history etc) instead of a one subject book. I figure this will give me a good idea of where to place them in the different areas.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Smith and Bybee Wetlands and Kelley Point Park - Portland Oregon

Had a wonderful day hanging with friends down at the wetlands, then took a fast trip over to Kelley Point Park (we'd never gone!).  First stop at Smith and Bybee were we met up with a couple of new faces and then headed out for a walk..some plants were in bloom...

We even got to see a good sized turtle! The picture is a little off, but the kids kept hitting the fence I was trying to steady myself on. LOL!
Dominic had a great time exploring!
We want to go back in a few weeks to see everything in bloom. Lots of the trees etc. had buds on there and I figure by a couple of weeks there should be some fun new stuff to look at. Then it was over to Kelley Point Park and lots of playing on the beach!

We found a great picnic area, a very cool spot to sit and watch the great big boats coming in (shipping channel) no water to play in due to the dangers but lots of fun other wise!  We are looking forward to exploring there a bit more!
All in all everyone had a great if somewhat tiring time!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Some Oregon History, and other fun stuff..

Friday we got up a bit early and headed out to the wildlife refuge again. We had to go by there anyway on our way to Oregon City and figured we might as well stop and let Kaitlyn spend her allowance on the book she's been wanting for almost a year now! Then we thought we'd take a small walk afterwards.
 First stop was the gift store and picked up the book, so we would have it on the walk...

Kaitlyn had a great time looking thru it and studying it while we followed the trail, even Dominic decided to take a peek at the book.
Then Kaitlyn discovered...Sasquatch!

Yep, We must be in the Pacific Northwest!
Then it was on to Willamette Falls and a little more about Oregon History.
The view point is just a side of the highway attraction but gave us a nice view of Mt. Hood (top photo) and the falls. Plus it was a nice stopping point to just get out and stretch.
This morning is was an up and out of the house for me as I had First Aid and CPR training (it had been awhile and I really needed to renew it!). It was a lot of fun, and the instructor (who also happened to be the search and rescue contact) is great. He found out I was signing up for an 8 week course with another friend of his as well. Small towns, you gotta love 'em. Tomorrow its a housework while I talk the husband into getting the kids out to the park and out of the house. Trying to clean house when a 20 month old just follows behind and dumps everything you just picked up, means the clean doesn't  last long if they are all home!

In other news I've been trying to persuade Dominic that a curling iron is NOT a light saber..I've also been losing the battle. He played light saber for a while...right up until he light sabered himself in the head. He got over his "injury" with in seconds and was on to more adventures!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Long, but fun day

We spent the day with friends (or at least the kids did, I was the "babysitter" while my mom-friend worked a double shift). The kids had a great time. We arrived first thing this morning and while the kids were all waking up we were in the living room when Ari - Wonderful Ari started acting a bit hyper and Kaitlyn told her she was crazy. Arianna in typical Ari fashion stated "I'm not crazy. I'm overreacting!" She was pretty darn proud of it too. What a ham!

So far this week we have learned about different types of rices, from different countries and are on the hunt for a few cool recipes to try that we can try some of the uncommon varieties. The girls made up a game "trampoline soccer" and then had baby brother play with them. He's not so sure about this trampoline thing and seems to think his sisters are out to get him!

The girls asked for a few workbooks to "play school" with and I tried to make sure I could find something that would interest them and still challenge them somewhat. Looks like they will start with grade 4 math and science workbooks and grade 2 vocabulary/spelling and reading. Now I just have to go take a look at the different ones and see which ones the kids actually like.

Today the girls went to the store and Arianna wanted to spend some of her allowance (they just got their first "paycheck") and it was very interesting watching them go thru the store and see what she might want to purchase. Kaitlyn isn't spending any of hers until after next week when she looks to see if her "paycheck" will cover the cost of the wildlife tracks book she has wanted for the last year.
Anyway, Arianna finally found what she wanted to purchase (she got 2 and gave one to Kaitlyn) and she went ahead of me to pay for her purchase. The teller ran her purchases and as Arianna handed the money to her, She told the teller what she expected back in change. It was pretty funny and thankfully Arianna seems to be very accurate and detailed when it comes to money. She did ask me if I though she was making a "wise decision" on her spending, I replied that I think she did well and she'll enjoy her lunch tomorrow!

Looking forward to some fun fieldtrips over the next 2 weeks! Kaitlyn has some photo shoots to do as well so we should be busy as normal!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

First Kayak

Our first Kayak arrived so of course we had to check it out and make sure everything was with it!

The kids all think it's pretty cool and Dominic was pretty upset we had to put it away. Hopefully he'll like it when it goes on the water too!