Sunday, April 17, 2011

Busy Week

We had a busy week last week, and there is lots to write about.

Let's start with last Sat. night. We headed out to the Dark Sky Festival in the town of Harmony. It started at six, and they had all kinds of tables set up around the square with food vendors, and people selling crafts. There was a Cosmic Kid's Zone set up with a few things for the kids to do. One of the things set up was an Extreme Wall. The boys strapped on harnesses, and were to traverse an obstacle course about ten feet in the air. Lucas got too scared once he was at the top, but Nico made it through the whole course. He felt like he was on Ninja Warrior.

We had some shaved ice and nachos, and Lucas stood in line for a balloon snail. About 8 pm it was starting to get dark enough for the main event. In a field in the middle of the square they had about twenty telescopes set up and aimed at the sky. At this point it was only dark enough to see the moon clearly. We looked through about five telescopes and saw the moon in a whole new way. The boys were fascinated by the details. Unfortunately we couldn't stay longer, but one nice man aimed his telescope at a nearby yellow star, so we could see one thing other than the moon before we left.

Then on Monday we headed to Green Meadows Petting Farm to celebrate a friends birthday. The boys have been before (in fact this was their third time) but still had a fabulous time. We were able to hold baby ducks and chicks; pet and feed goats and sheep; take a pony, train and hay ride. I find it fascinating watching the differences between Nico and Lucas. Nico loves animals! He is still rather timid of them, but he wants to hold and touch them as much as possible. He is always the first one in and last one out. Lucas, on the other hand, is much like me. He likes animals, but mostly from a distance. He will go up and touch them once, but after that he's done and ready to move on.

Tuesday was co-op, and we colored Easter Eggs. We do this every year, but this was the first time doing it with our home-school group. It went pretty smoothly, and the boys had a great time.

Friday was our monthly field trip to the Oakland Nature Preserve. We haven't been able to make it the last couple months, and the boys were dying to go back, so I was determined to be there. Of course they had a fabulous time. Our day started out in the classroom where Mr. Clay talked about where we are. Where we are in the universe, galaxy, solar system, planet, country, state, county, city, community. I'm always very impressed with how patient Mr. Clay is. He lets the children ask as many questions as they want, no matter how far off topic they wander. After about an hour in the classroom, we took a walk down to the turtle pen, where the kids were able to get in, pick up and hold the turtles. (Of course this was Nico's favorite part.)

After that we walked down the boardwalk to Lake Apopka to see the alligators. Mr. Clay said the last three days he walked down there he was able to see bull gators fighting because it's mating season. We saw two gators, but they didn't do any fighting while we were there. Along the way Mr. Clay pointed out some of the edible plants growing in the preserve, and let the kids try them. One was a pepper bush, and the others were black berries and raspberries. On the walk back, we stopped by the climbing tree so the kids could climb and explore a bit on their own. At one point the trail was covered by tiny black and orange grasshoppers. All the kids stopped to try and catch some.

We ended the trip back in the classroom with a quick presentation on the history of Florida. Next month Mr. Clay has lined up some archeologists to come speak to the class, and said they had all kinds of activities planned (like making arrow heads).

That's a trip we will not miss!

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