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 🙂 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  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. 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 🙂 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. 🙂

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First Hike of March

Hello March! (Although, quite frankley, in Texas it’s been March weather for well over a month.) We welcomed the moth in with our first hike with our dogs! I recently purchased a backpack for my large dog so we could take water and doggie bags with us. The state park requires that you clean up after your dog, so we made sure we had the ability to do so. This bag is really nice, and it was less than $20 on Amazon. I ordered the bag and bowl combo and grand total was $23. So a pretty good deal.  I had the kids do all of their homework and scout work for today, yesterday, so we didn’t have any reason to hurry.

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We got to the forest around 10ish. Before it starts to get too warm. I didn’t want to push the dogs too much as I had no idea how they would even feel about going hiking. Jett, my large dog, is the one tasked with carrying the bag. So we got her strapped in and headed out. For her we had more luck attaching her leash to her collar and not to the backpack, however there is a ring to attach a leash to the bag. She does better attached to the collar. My other dog is a beagle. And she sniffs EVERYTHING. So needless to say, she enjoyed hiking.  Both dogs ended up doing surprisingly well. They didn’t pull or try to run off. We were even able to walk them over the suspension bridge. 16864775_10155183515374756_7836299700786893754_n

We found this guy hanging out on the trail. He was not even a little concerned about us. He wandered off the trail after everyone had a chance to admire him. Look how much pollen is on his shell! If anyone knows what kind of turtle this is, could you let us know? My kids are dying to find out!  Jett wanted to get up close and personal with this guy, she how she is pulling in the next picture?  But I had no idea what she wanted from him so I put myself between the dogs and the turtle and had the kids walk her up the trail a bit. Once passed him, she didn’t even turn back around to look at him.

 

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Bella and Jett.

Over all it was a really nice hike. Lots of birds and butterflys out and about. We took a couple of water breaks which Jett took advantage of but Bella wouldn’t drink anything. We tried to get her to drink, but she just wouldn’t. Everyone came home happy and a little tired! We are looking forward to many more adventures with our doggies now!

 

Family Safety Day 2016

We took our kids to my husbands Family Safety day this weekend. Always a good time, my kids enjoy hanging out with the people that my husband works with. It doesn’t hurt that they have food and bounce houses. And they cut up a car. And have Life Flight land. AND let them get in the helicopter. Good times. Life flight was an exceptionally good time this year as we got to talk to the medic and the pilot.And find out that birds frequently go through the windshield of helicopters. Who knew. Makes sense, but did YOU ever think of it? Me either.

My son enjoyed watching them cut up a car. Any form of destruction is fun to watch when your an 8 year old boy. My girls found it a little dull. It’s not as brutal and violent as you think. It’s slow. And methodical. And takes foooorever. But it’s safer. Annd boring. But they did learn a lot and asked some questions.

(As I am typing this, my son says, “Was family safety day a success?” Me, “I guess so.” Him,”Good. I don’t want it to be a failure.” Alrighty then…..)

The biggest event was when my son accompanied me to give blood for the first time. I have wanted to for ages, and just have never had the chance. But when the blood mobile is just sitting there…waiting for you..you really kinda have no excuses. (side not: when he first saw it, he asked if it was a food truck.I told him only if he was a vampire. Y’all, I can’t make this up!) So we finally head over, cause, you can’t ignore the blood wagon. He was very well behaved while I did paper work, and they let him sit next to me while they did the procedure. And he and the lady taking blood had a conversation about what was going on, and why it is important to give blood. And how few people do give. He didn’t freak out when they put the needle in, or at the sight of the blood bag. He was a trooper. And he got a snack, so he really felt like a winner. When they were done, he even got me a snack. Cause he is a gentleman.

The funny thing was, I almost didn’t do it. I almost walked away. Cause I was afraid. But when my son was with me,and I had always told them that this was important, it was to hard to walk away. I felt like I would be letting him down, and that he would think that someone else would just do it. And I am glad that I didn’t. Because now he is waiting to be 16 so he can donate. Because he understands that it is important. And he has seen someone he loves give. I am so happy that we didn’t walk away. The things we do are important, and it’s worth letting our kids see. I know some people would think it was weird to take a child when you give blood, but if they don’t see us do these things, and if we don’t take the time to teach them about it, who will they see?