Last Wednesday, we were invited to a homeschooling friend's house (along with another family) for story time, an activity and a picnic. My friend's father works in the library system and volunteers for story time in each grandchild's classroom once, in second grade. (He has close to 20 grandchildren.) He read three giant books and after the third wonderful book, Pumpkin Pumpkin
he set up a seed planting station and each child planted their very own pumpkin seeds. (Ours have grown and are ready for the garden!!) Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice picnic with our friends.
Later that week, my mom visited unexpectedly! She stayed a couple of days and we took the kids to their first rodeo! The booklet given at the ticket stand had full page explanations of each competition event which was useful because I'm not rodeo savvy. Each little one picked out their very own cowboy/girl hat and each rode a pony before the show was over. It was a fun night and I'm glad we got to share it with my mom.
The next week, we attended the last homeschool day of the year at our local nature center. We learned about solar energy and made a solar oven and baked our very own S'mores! ~We saw a poison ivy plant up close and fed the huge fish in their pond!
On our way to the nature center, my sister called. She told me that her husband's flight from Iraq into AL had been delayed at the ATL connection and he would be staying overnight. ~She planned to drive up with their three year old and surprise him! (It was also their wedding anniversary!) Yay!! We got to spend nearly five hours playing with my little niece while Aunt Bee surprised her husband at the airport and enjoyed a nice anniversary dinner out!
|this bus comfortably fit all eight of us|
|the baby zebra was super friendly|
The next morning, we ALL decided to take a trip to Wild Animal Safari. All eight of us rode a zebra bus, with Uncle J driving, ~since he's a black hawk pilot we felt he was the most qualified for the job~ and fed the wild animals! It was so much fun!
The next day, while J4 and I were grocery shopping, R6 told his daddy that he wanted to get a pot and flower seeds for me because he loves me so much and I do so much for him. ~ melt my heart!
We ended our week with a family trip to Stone Mountain. C8 discovered Kaya, An American Girl series the night before and finished the second book on the drive up. Daddy took C8 and R6 on the Sky Hike while I watched J4 complete the smaller Sky Hike obstacle course and zip line. After that, we watched a glass blower make a vase, enjoyed southern cooking at Miss Katy's, played goofy golf ~ Ryan made two hole in ones!! We watched a short 4D Yogi movie, played in the new Geyser Towers (bring a swimming suit) and explored the 4 story Great Barn with air guns and super slides~yes, I did go down the super slide and it was FUN! And as if we hadn't done enough, the kids wanted to hike to the top of Stone Mountain. It was a very hot day, so we loaded up on the cold water and up we began. We made it to the top and all three got their 'I made it' certificates from the park ranger~their second! J4, although he loved the hike up, was pretty tired, a little cranky and very hot. Daddy and I decided it would be best for J4 and I to take the next (and last for the day) Skyride to the bottom of the mountain. R6 thought that was a fun idea and wanted to try it with us. Daddy and C8 had a 15 minute head start. C8 was determined to make it to the bottom before us! AND they made it down in just under 20 minutes!! WOW!!