Washington On The Brazos

We took the kiddos on an impromptu trip to Washington On the Brazos last Friday. Thursday was Texas Independance Day, but hubs was working. So we took them the next day ๐Ÿ™‚ We had been meaning to take them for quite some time as it is a pretty local park. I was really excited as I remeber going there when I was not much older than my son. It is one of the very few memories I have from that age. I loved it so much. And taking my kids here was a huge deal for me!

The park was EMPTY. Which is usually why we opt for weekday trips when we can. They were in the process of setting up the big celebration and reenactment for the weekend, which sadly we couldn’t make. The first stop was the gift shop to get our post card. We get a post card at every park that we go to. I just like them. Then we headed to the living history farm. Here there are costumed staff working the farm. This is the home site of Anson Jones, the last president of Texas. We looked through the house and kitchen and garden. It’s always fun to watch the kids see the difference in how we live now versus how people used to live. Then we headed to the barn. Which is what the kids were dying to see.

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There were two bulls, chickens, and two pigs The kids even got to help collect eggs, which they always love doing. They got to talk with the gentleman there about all kinds of tools, many of which they already knew about, gardening and basic living stuff. I love when they get to show off what they know. We ย got to see cotton bales and they got to feel raw cotton for the first time. Which lead to a conversation about the cotton gin and who invented it and what other things he invented. Homeschooling…..always learining something.ย 16999062_10155190425459756_1248942068165721315_n

Isn’t this guy handsome?

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Meet the most photogenic chicken ever!

We visited Independence Hall and the former townsite. Independence Hall was a big deal for them. They enjoyed seeing where the Texas Decleration of Independce was signed. History takes on a different shape when you get to see where it happened. To stand on the spot where Independence was declared made an impact on them.

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We followed the trail down to where the reenactors where setting up camp. This is where my son got the chance of a lifetime! William learned how to shoot a canon. He found a nice old man, who is a fan of scouting, and he showed him how to use his canon.Now he is sure that we need one. Not gonna happen….

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We headed back inside and let the kids do the scavenger hunt in the visitor center. They got everything correct. Smart kids ๐Ÿ™‚ And they learned a lot. We finished up and finally got them back in the car and headed home. But first Dadddy stopped and got them a burger, cause a burger is the perfect end to a super fun field trip!

This is the reason that I buy a state park pass every year. It gives me a perfect chance to take my kids out to learn about the world around them. More than just going for hikes. We have so many places around us where important things happened to our state and nation. I get more out of my pass than what I pay for it, not just money wise, even though it does save us a bunch, but they are getting hands on education and experiences you can’t get from books. For us a pass is wort it. We will also be renewing our national pass as well this year as we plan to hit several national parks on vacation. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Compassion

A friend of mine invited us to the Compassion Experience. So we went ๐Ÿ™‚ We have sponsored a child through Compassion for a couple of years now, so it is close to our hearts. I really wanted my kids to get a real idea of how life is for these kids. It’s one thing to read about their lives, quite another get get a first hand example. We broke into groups, we had another mom and her kids meet us there as well, and took them each through all three stories. My girls went with my friend, but my son was with me and his best friend. I kept a pretty close eye on them to see how it affected them. I could tell that they were deeply touched several times. Hearing that children like themselves are growing up in these conditions, these life circumstances, was hard for them.Even when you have a family that doesn’t really hide the realities of life from you, it’s hard to hear a child’s voice tell the story. But, when they got to the end of each story, they would play music and give the happy outcome, and my son would dance. It was so adorable and full of joy that it just filled me with that deep happiness. He was happy that they had received what they needed and had grown up to be successful and were helping other people. All the things that I want for my kids. I think all of the kids walked away changed and a little more aware. A little different. Even as an adult who is aware of the world, I was touched and brought back to a place of awareness. It is too easy to become accustomed to the struggles of others around the world and just not really see it anymore. It gets lost in the background. This is a reminder of the realities of life.

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If you have never been to a Compassion Experience, I highly suggest you go. And take your kids. It will open their eyes to what life is like for so many children around the world. It is presented well, and the stories are not the worse of the worse, so it is family friendly. It will really give them some perspective. It is free as ย well. You can find out more and reserve a spot with the link below.

http://cts.compassion.com/events