Field Trip: Mayborne Museum

And I’m sure I’ve spelled that wrong.  So, up in Waco is a very cool children’s museum called the Mayborn, hmmm upon looking at it more I’m fairly sure there is no “E” at the end.  Fairly sure.

And for about two more weeks, it has the coolest exhibit ever.  Can you guess what it was?

That’s right!


Okay, you may not think it’s the coolest exhibit ever, but I sure do.

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I mean who wouldn’t love an exhibit that has a haunted dungeon and a chance to build your own castle and break it with a catapult?
And did I mention the super cool Lego castles?

There was jousting.  Made more challenging by people who shall remain nameless, cough Princess cough, climbing under the jousting field.


There was cool dress up clothes (and I now have about 5 things added to my sewing list because they LOVED their knight outfits).

So, extra pictures taken to get the details right, check.

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And then we had to drive the cars, and TRY not to crash into each other.  And I had to take pictures of the cool garden idea they had, and then I thought wouldn’t this make a super cute bench?  And it’d be fairly easy to make, and then I could make some cute little vegetables to go in it.  Ummm, yes it’s very dangerous when I go to kid museums because I end up with a very long list of projects to make.

And while the kids had fun observing the typwriters and the old telephone exchange board, I found this:

Hobo alphabet, and thought it was way too cool, and remembered how it was used in the Kit Kittredge movie.  And wouldn’t it be fun to learn.

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Then we got to the room about local American Indians, and the kids had to haul all of the drums into the Tipi (I learned today that’s the correct spelling).  And then very quickly they decided they needed privacy.  If the boys were older I’d have something to say about wanting privacy with a girl….. But, they’re five……….  Smile.
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And then we found the BUBBLE ROOM!

Who doesn’t want to encase themselves in a bubble?  I know both my friend and I had to try it out ourselves.

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And finally we had to make some music.  It was quite different…….  The hydraphone was mournful, and the giant piano was well mainly the noise of running kids.

At the end of it all my kids slept the whole way home, my friend’s daughter talked to us the whole way back.  I’m impressed she stayed awake the whole time.

Bike-riding fun

002We haven’t really ridden our bikes much this summer.  It’s just hard to summon the umph to go out and bike ride when it’s over 100 degrees.  Well, they cornered me, and I agree we could go for a “walk” around the circle (the other part of the street that forms a loop) when we got home after dinner.  I thought by then it might have cooled off some, and only be in the 90s.  Well, I was wrong.  Boy was I wrong, but they held me to it.





So, they happily charged off around the circle.  Batman wearing his boots, and Superman wearing socks and sandals.  Who said 5 year olds have no fashion sense?


Meanwhile Princess followed along behind on her scooter, and I circled along trying to keep my balance on my bike at the snail’s pace we seemed to be going at.


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I’m sorry, I meant we raced along full speed.  Daring people to catch us.  There was nothing slow about this.



And of course you must ride through the water sprinklers.  I didn’t set a bad example at all by riding through it, and we didn’t have to go back and ride through it several times.  Not at all………


Okay, maybe a little.  But, it was over 100 freaking degrees at 8:30.  Come on, have some pity man.  And now the kids want me to turn on our sprinklers for us to run through them.  Note to self learn how to turn on sprinklers.

Science Sunday: Insect Camoflauge

So, I saw this idea on a Science Sunday post from Along the Way. I immediately knew I had to do this sometime.  Well, this week in our science text we read about how some insects use crypsis (a fancy word for camouflage, which itself is a fancy word for hiding in plain sight).

I had each kid collect 3 small toys (I was going to do this with insects, but I didn’t manage to buy some at the store, so these worked just as well).

Then I started hiding the toys while they theoretically hid their eyes.  Yeah, kids don’t do that so well.


While I’m cleverly hiding the toys in such clever places as under the old baby swing.  I made a great discovery, and had to take a break from hiding to talk about an actual real version of an insect doing exactly what we were pretending to do:

Can you find the insect?

It’s the brown twig like thing amongst the grass.  That’s right, I managed to find a walking stick.  And the kids had the hardest time finding it.  So, we talked about that for a while, and they each got a chance to touch it gently.  And then I continued hiding stuff.


My personal favorite was the blue policeman on the blue swing.  I had to point him out.


And much like finding Easter eggs my kids are not very observant when looking for stuff.  But, they really enjoyed this, and they agreed things like the penguin were easier to find because they didn’t blend in as well.  But, the brown dog in the middle of the brown dirt was much harder to find.

Then we talked about why some animals want to be found, and I was impressed because they remembered that it “was saying don’t eat me, don’t eat me, I taste bad.”  Gotta love the kids way of saying it.

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And then we found these.  You can’t tell in the picture on the left, but that fly looking thing is almost 2 inches long, it’s HUGE!  And that, I found out from someone else’s post is a cicada casting from when they molted their exoskeleton.
Either way, I still thought both of those were very gross.

And, then we got a VERY real life example of hiding in plain sight when Princess quite excitedly brought out my wedding ring I’d carefully put up on the counter to keep it safe while I did some gardening, and then lost it somewhere in my lawn.  After spending 3 HOURS searching for it, I still haven’t found it.  And 2 of those hours were with another friend and her son’s metal detector.  Tomorrow, I’m hoping to rent a bigger metal detector and hopefully find it.  Seriously, my finger feels weird without it.

Sigh, so things learned this week: bugs use hiding and advertisement to keep from being eaten, and don’t keep jewelry where Princess can reach it.  Little magpie.

Hmmm, as I write this on Friday Linky tools is down, so I’ll have to come back tomorrow sometime to add that in.


Utah and Nevada books

What do these states have in common?  Well, not much aside from both being lots of dry desert to my mind.  As to the reality of that, who knows.   But that’s how they are in my mind.  I have a lot of theories that don’t have much to do with reality.

The stars (to my mind):
The Wheat Doll– a cute story about loss and getting back.  The girl in this book loves her doll, but is forced to leave it behind when there is a bad storm.  She goes back to find it, but is unable to.  At the end there’s a fun surprise twist that we all enjoyed.

Snowshoe Thompson–  Cute story about a boy who’s father is on the other side of the mountains in Nevada, and how he’s sad because the mail can’t go through.  Snowshoe Thompson offers to cross the mountains and make sure the mail gets through.  I had visions of all sorts of cute activities to do with this, but I could just imagine how it would end, and we don’t need another ER visit, nor do I need to give my kids ideas about playing on the stairs.

Trout, Trout, Trout– cute rhyming book.

Coolies– I wrote about this earlier, but I thought it was a good way to talk about the railroad and the workers.  I will admit the kids weren’t as excited about this as I was, except the part where Iron Man came down and rescued the workers.  Recently in our house Iron Man has been involved in a lot of historical things I never knew he did.

Books we’re indifferent on:
Sierra– It’s a poem.  I’m not a big poem fan to start off, and then it’s rather long.  We didn’t really finish it.  I did figure out that I need to introduce the kids to more poetry, sigh, poor me.  Okay, I do like some poems, but not most.  I’m a horrible example.

Jesus’ Early Ministry

So, we’re slowly working through Bible Study Guide for All Ages, and I thought I’d share the storybooks I created for the kids.
I’ve started about five different posts only to discover I don’t have the needed pictures.  And I can’t find my camera or the kid camera to upload different pictures, so instead I’ll finally get this post written.

I’ve got pretty much all of the first round of Jesus’ stories written from the first part of this.  It took so long because the kids requested a black and white version so they could color their own.  And that meant I had to scan it twice which took a long time, and then I had to upload it all twice.

A couple of bits of advice on printing.  These are set up to be printed with two pages printed on one so it’s not as big as it looks.  I then folded the pages in half and bound it.  That let me show them the picture and I could read the words on the other page.  It worked super great!  I also when I was editing it printed it 4 pages to 1, and made a mini-book, so that’s another way you could do it.
John Baptizes Jesusbw
John baptizes
What do I learn from this?  That Jesus is humble, and we are called to follow His example.  Therefore we should be baptized once we have chosen to follow Him. 

Temptation of Jesus black and white
Temptation of Jesus color

One of the most common applications of this is an example of how knowing your Bible can help you resist temptation. I think it’s also a great example of how to be strong when tempted, and also how Satan will try more than one way to cause us to stumble. 

Jesus Calls His First Disciples
Jesus calls his first disciples black and white
A couple of things I notice when I read through this story is that John the Baptizer was more than willing to point to who Jesus was.  I don’t think I would be able to do that if it was up to me.  I’d want to hang on to my own “fame.”
Jesus First Miracle Color
Jesus First Miracle black and white
I’m always impressed when I read this one with how Jesus is respectful of His mother even when He doesn’t agree with what she’s doing.

Jesus and Nicodemus black and white
Jesus and Nicodemus color

This story and the next one are great examples of how to explain what we believe and why.  I like the Nicodemus story because this guy is the equivalent of a professor, he’s very learned and he’s trying to understand Jesus intellectually.  I know a lot of people make a big deal about Nicodemus coming at night, trying to portray this as Nicodemus is ashamed.  But, I think it’s could also just be he’s a busy man and this is his first free moment, and this is one of the few times Jesus is alone as well.

Samaritan Woman and Healing the Nobleman’s Son black and white
Samaritan Woman and healing the Nobleman’s Son color

As I said in the one up above, the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well is often used as an evangelism story.  How Jesus stopped and looked for the person who needed saving.  I agree that’s one of the primary points for this, but I also think Jesus is showing tolerance and looking out for the person not the “color of their skin” or what neighborhood they’re from.  Traditionally speaking He shouldn’t be talking to her.  But He does.

Jesus Rejected in His Hometown and Catching a Lot of Fish black and white
Jesus Rejected in His Hometown and Catching a Lot of Fish color
I think this is a great example of turning the other cheek.  Here He is the Creator of the Universe and they’re all set to throw Him off the cliff, and all He does is walk away.  I don’t know if I’d be able to do that.
And then you have Peter telling Jesus, that he is not worthy of being in the same boat with Jesus.  I always love that scene.  Do I react that way when I’m in the presence of God?  I don’t think so.  That’s one of the things I love about Peter, he’s impulsive, like me.

So, that’s a whole bunch to throw at you.  And before you ask Amanda I’m trying to figure out how to upload it onto Lulu, but maybe if you make me scones I’ll print you out your own copy and bind it.

I think this will be my preschool corner contribution for the week.  Because this is part of how we’re doing Bible with our pre-schooler, man I am having the hardest time realizing my boys are in kindergarten now.  It’s seriously weird.

Now head on over to Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations to see some other preschool posts.

Hey, so I’ve been talking with Jolanthe and she got charged for something on Scribd, can someone tell me if you get charged for downloading these? I need to know so I can find out if I need to move them to a different site.

stART: something about stars, I can’t remember right now

It’s one of THOSE days.  You know where somebody, and I’m not naming names but they’re about 3 feet high, zapped my brain.

So, we read this awesome book about the Navajo and how the stars were placed in the sky.  Hopefully by the end of this post I’ll remember the name.  Well, it seemed perfect for a craft I’d been thinking about.

Supplies: black or blue construction paper (I cut it into fourths and let them have fun with that much, fits better in the lapbook); those foil stars (you know, the GOLD star for being good)


1.  And only step.  Let your kids have a blast putting on star stickers however they like.


Princess’ summary of story: The coyote threw the stars away, while the woman was trying to put them in the sky.
Finally found the book:

I love this book, it’s probably my favorite of the different ones from this region.

To see more great book activities head on over to
A Mommy’s Adventures.  Sigh, I always have this problem with the button, it keeps making the next few sentences after it a link, I don’t know the details of why, now you know my secret reason for having it at the bottom.

And, I’ve decided to make a category called dinner time crafts.  To my mind these are crafts you can set your kids doing and not have to supervise.

Geography: Washington and what we did

Did you know it’s incredibly hard to find books on the state of Washington?  I looked it up and I mostly got books on Washington D.C. or a lot of books on George Washington and his teeth and something about a cherry tree……
So, I emailed Debbie over at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn and asked her what she would suggest studying about Washington, and she gave me a great list:
Captain Gray and Grays Harbor, Marcus Whitman, Lewis and Clark, The Hudson Bay Company (a fur trading party) known for Fort Colville, Fort Spokane, Steptoe Butte and the Great Battle
Indian Tribes: Yakima Indians, Spokane Indians, Nezpierce Indians
You could even look at things like: Grande Coulee Dam, Columbia River, Pallouse Country, Grays Harbor, The World Fairs of 1962 in Seattle and in 1974 in Spokane, Mount St. Helens and it’s eruption in 1980, Mount Rainier, North Cascade, Levenworth, WA, Snoqualimie Falls, WA

Isn’t that a great list?  And then I went down to our little library, and was able to only find a couple of books on Lewis and Clark, and one on Mount St. Helens, but I found some fun books on some of their symbols.

Washington Symbols– cool website of their pictures

So, I can’t find all the cool stuff we did for the lapbook, or the lapbook.  I’ve since remedied that situation for future lapbooks by hole-punching them with my super cool new binding machine, and putting them straight into a notebook before they’re even done.  That way as we make pieces I can glue it in.  Smart…..
We learned about dragonflies and made a dragonfly to play with (I also used this as a model at our local MOPS group of crafts to do).  Then we learned what they eat and such.
And of course if you’re going to read about Washington state you have to learn about Mount St. Helen, which my kids were fascinated by.

So, what do you do with kids who are fascinated by it, of course you make one, and then they tell you about it:
Washington Flip Book
And, ummmm….. that would be with the stuff I can’t find.  So pretend you read something really cute about volcanoes and how there are no volcanoes in Texas, and that they love fossils.

Granddad turned 70!

057 So, how better to celebrate than with a surprise party?



Now ideally you don’t begin the night with a cranky and overly tired 3 year old.  But, we didn’t get to have that part of the plan go well.  It’d been a busy day of meeting Bobba Fett and all.  But, that’s how the evening started pre-Granddad’s arrival.  But, it got better eventually.





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The kids very excitedly signed the birthday “card.”



Princess was of course much happier once she could start pigging out on strawberries (sigh, so I put a quick link up so that every time I typed the word start it would link to my stART activities, and now I can’t use the word without it linking.  It’s actually kind of funny).




And the boys were much happier (all 3 of them), once they were able to disappear upstairs with their cousin and play the Lego game they’d given him for his birthday (which I am happy to report was a big hit, and I’m sure will be a Christmas present in our house).



And of course what else happens when you have family together but family pictures.


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It really is hard to get good pictures of kids.  They never all look the same way at the same time, or aren’t making faces.  Crazy silly kids.




And of course what’s a party without cake.  And 70 candles no less, which was AWESOME!


Amazingly enough all of my kids stayed awake for the whole thing.  Quite happily all of the various late birthday presents we delivered were quite liked.

Winner: CSN stores

The winner is #45:

Heather said…
Wow. I feel like a kid in a candy store with a $ to spend and a dizzying array of options… I would definitely get my boys something for Christmas! 🙂

p.s. We would love to exchange postcards if you are still doing that. I have three little boys who would love to send some ‘cactus hotel’ style postcards from our desert home! 🙂

Congratulations! I’m sending you the email with the code right now.

And, sorry for being late on posting this. I’ve been a little swamped with stuff, for no really good reason.

What my children are overjoyed to read

So, look what Princess and I lucked into while we were in Dallas this weekend visiting the grandparents (it was Granddad’s 70th birthday).




Can you say one very excited and scared three year old?  I had to practically force her to go take pictures with all of them except R-2.  R-2 she was way too excited to stand next to.


The boys sadly were with Jeff and missed it.



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All of the characters were very friendly and did their very best to make her feel at ease.  And they signed the book I very hurriedly grabbed for the boys.

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Princess finally resorted to, “I’ll do it if you go up with me.”  So, I got to pose with one or two of them.




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So, my kids are now very happily reading Children of the Force over and over and over again.  After all Trooper Rex signed it.


So, that’s what we’re reading this week.  Head on over to Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns to see what others read.