Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mitcham Farm

I love "hidden gems..." particularly when the found gem ends up being the perfect teaching aide to show the girls all about life on a farm. Thus, enter "Mitcham Farms" in a small town in GA. While it did not offer all the attractions and entertainment options found at more expensive and mainstream farm festivals, families can easily enjoy all that Mitcham has to offer- without having to transfer funds from a savings account. The girls got to see first hand about growing corn, taking care of sheep, goats, pigs, and historical farm tools. Mitcham even went as far as to offer educational videos on the importance of American farming. It wasn't all business however! There were plenty of entertainment options and the girls and adults got to enjoy them all. The first was an eye catching ride that was immediately noticeable upon pulling into the parking lot. Although probably less than 100ft long, and over in about 5 seconds, the girls started at the top of the hill and slide down on burlap sacks. The second was a "boy toy" but plenty of fun for all. Who wouldn't enjoy projecting a cob of corn across a field to hit a wooden cow! The cow train was a big hit with all the little girls. The bike track was fun but difficult to pick up any speed. After enjoying all the fun and a funnel cake, we took off on a hay ride to a big bonfire to complete the evening.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bonfire at Point Mugu

For one of our last nights together, we decided to do a hot dog/smore roast on the beach. We got there with enough time for the kids to play on the beach for awhile. They discovered a ditch in the sand and spent most of their time trying to make it bigger.

 I was surprised that Dragonfly wanted me to bury her in the sand. Then she took over the spot where I had my feet. She buried the two mom's feet and just had a good time playing in the sand.
 J made an awesome and hilarious little fort. We all got a good laugh when she stuck her head out of the middle of her roof.

 We got to see Sea Lions jumping and playing in the water. I wish I had my better camera with me to get some good shots of them.
 PF and C dug a tunnel to each other. They were bummed that they didn't have more time to make it big enough to crawl through.
 We headed over to our fire ring as the sun was setting.
 T let each of the kids light a match and throw it on the kindling. My girls' reactions were pretty funny.
 All the kids roasted hot dogs after the fire got going. After having their fill of hot dogs, they moved onto marshmallows.
Dragonfly fell asleep during our story time. We all had such a good time!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

sky High

 There seems to be an overwhelming amount of things to do in CA. All the opportunities and activities are beyond exciting. After taking the little kids to Pump It Up, we wanted to do something fun with our older girls. T remembered J going to this cool place with her church youth group so we decided to check it out. The place looked awesome online but nothing could compare to it in person. I have never seen a trampoline so big! On top of it all they had trampolines on the walls. I am sure once you got good enough at doing flips, you could really do some fun stuff there.

 There is a dodge ball section as well but the girls didn't stay there too long. I bet it would be a blast with quite a few more people.
 I think their favorite spot was the form pit.

 They got some good air while jumping into the pit. I am glad we only paid for an hour because after an hour they were beat.

 Our worn out girls on the way home.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pump It Up

 T got a good deal for us to take the kids 7 and under to Pump It Up for a couple hours. We went to the Pump It Up in NC a few times so we knew what to expect and the girls were very excited. When we got there, I was surprised that there were two rooms and many more jumpiers that we hadn't seen before.
 We spent the first hour and a half in one room and then went to the other.

 Everyone liked running after the staff and playing monkey in the middle.
In the second room, the kids enjoyed going through the obstacle courses and sliding down the big slide all together. I can't remember how many kids we had asleep by the time we got home but I know they were all worn out after 3 hours of running and jumping!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

California Science Center

 I believe our last picture in front of the van was Jan of 2007 so we need an update. In Jan 2007, T and I were both pregnant with our youngest....I just hadn't found out yet. I believe that was also the first time we took a field trip together. On that field trip, we went to Lancaster, PA and had a great time learning about the Amish Community. Four and a half years later we are on the other side of the country enjoying more field trips with 9 kids! Today, we went to the California Science Center and Natural History Museum.
 I like this cloud creator because it helped explain to my girls why they can't walk on clouds. A topic of discussion while on the airplane.

 The first exhibit was creative minds. There were many interactive sections. This one was similar to Wii.

 The earthquake simulator was something else. We were just standing there watching information about earthquakes and how buildings are built specifically to with stand them when the floor just started shaking. My heart skipped a beat and I grabbed Dragonfly's hand tight. The second time the floor shook it was much longer but start gradual that I was less shocked by it. When we live in CA, we only experienced one very small earthquake. While we were in CA this time we missed the actual earthquake on the east coast. I thought that was very ironic.

 We made it just in time for the dive show. The kelp forest at the there was really beautiful. We received some good information about the fish in the tank. The girls wrote in their journals about life in the tank before we headed onto something else.

 There were two sections of the center designed specifically for kids 7 and younger. The one downstairs was designed like a house and showed some of the pests that may be living with you. There was a garden outside and a den full of really fun toys.

 Checking out the root system.

 Magnetic birds.
 Playing nature dominoes.
 Learning about how wind changes the surface of the earth.
 This section was all about CA. It was fun to find specific areas on the map and see places we had been from a different perspective.
The last section we went to was about the human body. The girls all wanted a chance to drive the car that let them see how challenging it can be to properly drive while drunk. They couldn't stay on the road. We also looked at models of the heart and really brains. We certainly could have spent much much longer at the Science Center but I am glad we got to experience a little of both museums.