For all you aquarium lovers out there…….

This will be a picture heavy post.  Maybe I’ll do some of them as slide shows……


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Here’s one of Princess’ favorite finds that day: Unicorn fish.

unicorn fish

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I look at things like this and marvel at the complexity of God’s creation.  Look at the fish on the top right there.  It’s amazing.  If you were to see that on the ocean floor you wouldn’t be able to find it for all of the other life there.  It’s so wonderfully made for it’s location.


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And now for the shark and manta ray slide show……..

But, my personal favorite, not counting the wildlife, is…….


Princess attempting to convince us that we needed to buy her all of the toys she could hold.


Computers, so picky wanting you to hit publish………

Science Sunday: What we learned at Moody Gardens

Science Sunday


142When we were down in Galveston we went by Moody Gardens, which I LOVE with a passion.  I think I could happily sit there and watch the fish swim by for hours.


I mean look at that picture, isn’t it peaceful?  Makes me wish there was one in Austin, and not somewhere four hours away……..



We all got to see our favorites.  Batman got to see manta rays.  I got my turtles.  Princes got to see penguins, and Superman got his sharks (do you know how hard it was to get a decent picture of a shark?).



There is so much to learn there.  Especially since we’re starting on our study of swimming creatures.  We’d already read large portions of the chapter about rays and sharks.  So, it was fun to apply some of what we knew, and then afterwards as we’re finishing up our chapter on sharks it’s been a great help to be able to go back and look at the pictures to help us remember things.




This was one of the most helpful pictures.  See most sharks don’t attack people because they want to eat people.  Mostly it’s because we look like their prey.  Look at the images there.  After observing it for awhile the kids decided that we looked like a sea lion, and that’s why sharks attack.





Oh, and because I’m crazy like that I decided to make some fun seek and finds, which I’m going to share with ya’ll.  Hopefully you guys enjoy it (click on picture to go to the download), I know my kids like hidden picture puzzles and the like, so we’ll see if it’s as big a hit as I’m hoping……..

ocean find it



And as a bit of amusement notice how much the kids have grown since we were there almost two years ago.


Science Sunday: Beach science

Science Sunday

Well, I was going to give you a link to the two Reading Rainbow DVDs we watched this week all about the sea life, but Amazon has no clue what I’m talking about, and youtube just gave me a bunch of strange links.

After his sun burn is much betterBut, if your library happens to have these:  Seashore Surprises, and Dive to the Coral Reef; get them.


We watched these one day while Jeff was laying there in misery with his horrible sun burn, and then the kids, Mom, and I headed off to the beach giving Jeff some much needed “no kids trying to touch my sun burn time.”  If the kids had their way that’s how they’d watch TV……..





We wandered up and down the sea shore to find some of the things we saw in the video and of course to find SHELLS!


One thing we learned after watching the videos and reading our shell guide that the kelp that comes ashore is a good way to find sea shells.




And as you can see there was a lot of kelp to look through.  A LOT.  As we were leaving we saw construction vehicles moving it out of the way.  Previously there had been no real kelp to speak of.  After a quick google search on my part I discovered we were in PRIME kelp season.  Which also seemed to coincide with when they’re at their busiest (May to August).


So, there was a lot of picking through kelp to find shells (which will become a whole series of Science Sunday posts as we do some experiments with them), and watching the surf to find the coquinas we had just learned about thanks to Reading Rainbow.


I wanted to capture a video of them, but figured someone already had at some point, and I was right, so this is a cool video to show your kids about life as a coquina shell.


History: Exploring a World War 2 Sub



First we explored a World War 2 Destroyer, one of two still in existence.  For the most part it’s not that intriguing except the galley, can you imagine cooking for 220 people in here?  I bet they were always cooking.  Nonstop.  And imagine the dishes…..


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The other intriguing thing was the bathrooms, and the sign about the bathrooms.  The kids were rather intrigued by the complete lack of privacy.  We pointed it out to the boys and then had to very quickly back pedal because Batman joked about going potty there…….



But, the submarine was the fascinating part.  Because space is such a premium almost every space doubled as something else.  So, 10 people slept in the same room as the torpedo room.  I kept trying to figure out how you slept with all of the excitement going on.  They also frequently “hot bunked,” which meant when you were on duty someone else was sleeping in your bunk.



And here again is the galley.  I was just intrigued by the places they had to cook in.  Probably because I spend so much time cooking.  There were two different cooks, a day shift and a night shift.  The night shift was responsible for baking all of the bread, deserts, a midnight snack, and an early breakfast.





And after all of that hard work of walking around seeing these old ships.  Actually I found out the destroyer was a ship, and the sub is a boat.  I don’t really understand the difference.  But, you need to go to sleep with your brand new “Explorer pack” knife firmly clutched in your hands to keep your brother and sister safe from any danger they might encounter…….

Beach party!

IMG_1298 Let’s go surfing now

Everyone is learning how

Come on a safari with me!


Does anyone else think that last line makes no sense?  Or is that just me?


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Aw man, I thought I had a photo of Sean’s completed castle, but apparently I don’t.  Maybe some kind Aunt Jenn will be nice and send me a picture………  I could trade her funny pictures of Sean playing with the boys.  I know silly pictures are not unusual……..


We’re planning another trip by the beach today (these are from earlier in the week), and hopefully we’ll successfully collect some fun shells.  I found the perfect shell identification booklet for the kids to find out what we’ve caught!  I can’t wait to sue it.

Uh oh, the door is locked

IMG_1311That would  be what I said after checking the door to look in on Princess who was sent to time out for being way too worked up.  She’d gotten quiet and we thought she’d fallen asleep.

After spending ten to fifteen minutes using various implements (bobby pins did not work, nor did tooth picks), Jeff went over to try and he pushed on the door and it came open.  While it was closed the door was not latched.




And we went in and Princess was quite asleep.  She tried her best to sleep through being picked up and put in the car, and the first few holes of mini golf.  Which I apparently suck at.

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There was much fun frivolity and goofy poses to be had.



And Uncle Sean had a blast climbing up the dragon……  He was quite proud of himself.  Very proud.  Luckily the boys weren’t big enough to try and climb it themselves.  Otherwise we might of had a repeat of our trip two years ago with another ER trip…….  But, at least Galveston does have one of the best ERs we’ve seen.


So, Summer bucket list mini golf, check.  And I”m sure we’ll do this at least one more time because the kids said they want to go to the other side of the golf course with the fish and the turtle……

Preschool Week in Review: Galveston!

Truthfully this was more a week of catching what was thrown than deliberate learning.



We worked on fine motor skills in preparation for writing with lots of coloring. Superman loves to color, I think that’s why like worksheets so much, because at this age, so much of it is coloring. Of course now that I look at the picture more clearly I see this is actually Batman. This particular activity was drawing a picture of something we’d done….. Ummmm…. apparently we ran into a lot of knights and bad guys. After they illustrated the picture they gave me a caption and helped spell the words as I sounded it out. This leads to interesting spelling, but it’s a good begining reading activity.


We practiced writing letters in the sand. I really liked this activity because they thought it was fun and started it all by themselves. And Superman decided he had a new name spelled “BPELT. That spells Bone Guy.”

Oh, and they read TAG books like crazy. Apparently Superman read his “Star Wars” book for 43 minutes.



We finished off our calendars for September, and then counted all the way up to 30. I still need to work on their writing the numbers. They start to get frustrated and just scribble in the squares. They had lots of fun sharing with Daddy how to count to 30.

We also collected lots of shells, that I’m going to use this week for graphing and such stuff. I just need to get a big bottle of bleach to clean them.



We went and looked at Old Houses. There we learned that it is extremely hard to keep 3 preschoolers patient to walk through. The kids also got to look at the different ways people lived 100 years ago.


Batman learned a very important life skills lesson: Don’t run in the store. He tripped on something, and got a big huge gash in his head. One ER visit later, he can’t go in the water for 3 days……..


This is where we really learned a lot.


We went to the Rain Forest Cafe and learned about rain forest animals. We talked about the fish there, and how the animals are scared by the thunder storm, and why they’re scared. Yes, almost anything you do can be a learning experience.


I include this picture pretty much only because I like it. It looks cool. I really enjoyed Rain Forest Cafe, but did think the prices were a little high, but it was fun.


We collected shells to sort. We’ll be doing lots more stuff with these this week. I have so many ideas!

We visited Moody Gardens and learned lots.


We learned about our bones and how to protect them.


We learned all about fish, and will learn more next week.


We learned about plants and their different uses. I actually got to see a rubber plant for the first time.



We took a walk on the beach at night and collected sea shells. When you’re 2, it is a lot of work to balance on the shifting sands.


We climbed rocks and really got to work on our balance, and occasionally my heart rate.


We swam, a lot for the first two days…… And then on our last day, oh the sun burn.


We got to dodge as they played mini golf…..