A few weekends ago the boys and I had a four day weekend. Actually the whole state did, as it was a state in-service day. Can I just tell you how much I love state in service days? A lot! I love having my kids home with me with no responsibility at all. The school my boys go to are very hands on in their teaching techniques. They have what they call focused investigations, and the kids really dig in and learn without even knowing it. As a visual person this thrills me to no end. I’m sure other schools do this to, but my kids don’t go there, so whatever. Our focused investigation right now is about animals. The E is learning all of his letters based on animals, nursery rhymes about animals, name tags with animals…. stuff like that. But G is a little more in depth. He had to write his first report this year about a beaver. He had to find out the generic basics, where do they live, what do they eat, are they mammals? He drew pictures and made a poster and then wrote out a report, careful not to make it look like it was copied. He was very concerned about that. I love how a simple report on a beaver opened him up to so many questions that I had no answer to. I can’t remember how many times I had to tell him we’d have to look that up on the internet. Most questions were answered, but some were forgotten by the time we got on the computer that day. They are both so excited about animals right now. So on our little vacation from school we decided to go to the Zoo. So did everyone else in Idaho. That place was packed! But to be fair, it was discount day! Now our little zoo doesn’t have much, but we are so lucky to have what we do here. I’m so grateful for that. And as busy as it was, once you get in and start moving around, you’d never know. We never had to wait or got smooshed at any exhibit.
When the boys were littler and we went to the zoo, I always came home with 14 kamillion pictures of the same 15 animals. The boys were always in the stroller or off eating some strange dirt clump. Their interest never stayed on the animal for very long. If we stayed at the zoo for more than an hour it was because they were playing on the park toys. Not really what I paid all that money for, but oh well, they always seemed to have had fun. This was a completely different experience for me! This was the first time in about 8 years that I did not take a stroller to the zoo…. I don’t even own a stroller! I love not owning a stroller. It rocks my world.
Every exhibit was greeted with so much excitement that you’d think this it was the first one that they had ever seen. We read the info facts about all the animals, with what they eat in the wild being a favorite. I tried to ask a new question at each new animal to see if they could find the answer themselves. Some of the questions were serious, where in the world do they live?, and some were silly, can you see any poop? Because when it comes to boys, it’s all about the poop.
The penguins are always a big hit. In the past they watched the little birds swim around for a few minutes and then they were ready to move on. This time we watched them for a little longer than usual, but then we spent the same amount of time playing with the life size models outside. They chose their favorite, but if you asked them they wouldn’t have a name, but that his beak was curved and none of the others were, so they needed to pick him!
We learned how a pearl was made, and The E decided that he was my pearl. I agreed.
The G decided that life at a turtles pace must be wonderful. An added bonus, turtles don’t have to go to school ever. I might love their school, but even though I do, he is still a normal boy who would rather play all day than sit in a school building!
We had never ventured into the education building at the zoo before. I had always assumed it was offices. I noticed a lot of people coming in and out of the building, so I figured what the heck, we’d go stick our head in to see what was inside. It was about time after 8 years of going to the zoo! We had been missing out! Lots of costumes, toys and games. G loved the bat costume, they even had a bat exhibit. It was his idea for the upside down photo. Isn’t he clever!
The E was a raccoon and he was trying to shake his tail. I had to sit and watch as they tried on every-single-costume. Then act out the animal. It was actually very fun and funny. They have such awesome imaginations! We spent over two hours at the zoo! I couldn’t believe it. And no one had cried or peed their pants the whole afternoon! I call that a success! Even if we are a bit past that stage anyways. I even survived the costumes, and the fear that one of them would get lice from wearing them all! It WAS a success!!!!
After a little stroll on the greenbelt and some ‘plays’ and a ‘concert’ on the band shell, we stopped at the rose garden. I promised great things that I had no intentions of fulfilling if they would behave long enough for me to wander aimlessly though one on my favorite places on earth. It had rained on the drive to the zoo and some of the flowers still had water in them. Beauty at it best. You can’t really see the rain drop in the picture, though.
It was a great day that was topped off by meeting Jason at Panda Express for dinner. As we pulled into the parking lot to the restaurant it started to rain again. I am so happy that the weather held off for us to have a nice relaxing day at the zoo. I often think about all the memories that we ‘need’ to make for our kids. That day I realized sometimes we need to make memories for ourselves. My kids my forget this day happened in the coming months or years, but I feel that God gave that day to me to store in my personal ‘home video collection’. Every time my boys enter a new stage in life I’m always certain that the current stage is my absolute favorite stage so far. This stage is no different. I love their stages separately, but I also love how the boys ages work together to create a third stage. It’s amazing to think I get to be a part of it. I love all the days past, and I love living in the present, but the future is going to be well worth the wait, I can tell.
And even though I didn’t take a lot of animal pictures this time, I did have to sneak a meerkat photo in, that are to adorable to pass up!!! They are my favorite!