Our First Day:
Inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. There are lots of beautiful plants, fish and ducks inside the hotel. You can even take a boat ride inside this huge place.
Aquarium Restaurant. Jonathan was in heaven. He loved the ocean creatures - especially the shovel nose guitar fish. I caught his amazement in the picture below at the moment he discovered the guitar fish had tiny little teeth. Next time we are in Nashville, I am going to schedule a behind the scenes tour with their marine biologist.
Began like this:
At 4:21 am central time, a neighbor called my cell phone to tell me he had our Betsy. My heart dropped. He placed her into our fenced in back yard with access to a doggy door (so they can come inside a doggy safe room in our house). I called our pet sitter's mom - they live next door - to ask if her son would check to see if Sandy was still at home. She was NOT! Caraline (she was the only little one awake) and I prayed and prayed. After nearly four hours of searching by their sweet, amazingly wonderful family (and being late to school and work) Sandy was found SAFE by their son! ~ Just as I was preparing to leave Nashville with the kids to go home to search for her. Thankfully, we have fabulous neighbors and answered prayers. ....Sandy has never tried to escape before....
After all of that ~ still so thankful it ended on a happy note~
The kids swam in the indoor pool for a couple of hours and then we set out for the Nashville Zoo. After about an hour, the sun appeared and there was no more rain!
The kids spent forty-five minutes playing with the goats. The hay was really messing with my allergies, so I stepped outside the fence and just watched my kids lovingly enjoy the other little kids.
We found the nearest Chick-fil-a drive through, filled our bellies and then noticed we were only a mile from President Andrew Jackson's home. I asked the kids if they were up for one more adventure and they said sure - as long as it was outside and they could run free a little.
So, we made our way to The Hermitage.
That night, the kids went down to the pool and swam for three hours - until the pool closed. (I don't know where they found the extra energy.) They met two new friends from the UK. All five had the most fun swimming together and playing games! Addresses and sweet hugs were exchanged at the end of the night. They are looking forward to being pen pals and Skyping, too. In fact, Caraline has already written their first letter. We just need to take it to the post office!
Day Three - On the Way Home
We rode horses at a stable just outside of Nashville. Our guide, Casey, was fabulous ~even though our ride was postponed an hour due to thunder and was cut short by thirty minutes because of another booking. The owners called during our ride to make sure Casey would be back at the barn on time for the next group. The owners didn't come out to offer us a discount for our shortened ride, but we still gave Casey a nice tip. He let us trot. So, I can't really complain too much.
The boys were having a few problems - I'll call it focusing - our first morning back to our regular studies. That's when I am intentional about praying together and then dragging out the Lego, building blocks and puzzles while taking some time to just read aloud. After our decompressing time, Ryan asked to read from our Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day, Apologia Science book and to color a picture of a sea turtle and shark. If my kids ever ask to learn about something specific, I do my best to never turn them down.
|One of Ryan's coloring pages. He cut it out, too. Then Daddy helped with an experiment. They tested the temperature in the shade and in full sun and compared the two. And related those findings to cold blooded creatures.|
Caraline had piano lessons today since we missed our regular piano lesson day because of our trip. She LOVES piano lessons! Ryan has his second drum lesson tomorrow. I hope he continues to enjoy his lessons, too.
I talked to my old Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor and signed the kids up for classes! They begin next week. Awana starts next week and co-op starts two weeks after that. Our afternoons/evenings are about to become much busier.
We are linking our Weekly Highlights with our friends at Homegrown Learners' Collage Friday and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers' Weekly Wrap-Up.