Monday, December 20, 2010

Birthday party sneak peak...

So the winter wonderland birthday party is just a couple of weeks away and preparations are in full swing! Snowflakes are being skillfully snipped from coffee filters, crayons have been melted into fun shapes and bagged, components for snow globes, snowmen and shortbread cookies have been gathered and the last invitation was delivered today! Who's on the ball?? I'm on the ball!! Anywho... I thought I'd share pictures of the invitations. Needless to say that Bijou is very excited about her upcoming party, but little does she know that I have a few other birthday surprises up my sleeve...

(this is what happens when you take pictures at night...they are much brighter and sparklier <---just made that one up)

The plan was to make all of the crayons in the kind of snowflake-like shape at the top left, but the mold would not cooperate, so hearts and stars it is. These are the kids favorite pass time. There's something cathartic about stripping the crayons of their paper and snapping them into tiny pieces.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ah-too-toos and other Zionisms

Zion was always my least verbal baby. She didn't really say much for the better portion of the last 22 months, but a few months ago, she really had a verbal boom. Now she talk just as much as her sisters and is pretty easy to understand - most of the time. Now like most almost two year olds, she does have her own language that only close family members can understand. So, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites...

1. Ah-too-too - dinosaur ("Mommy, read. Ah-too-too book.")

2. Menonite - lemonade ("Drink menonite")

3. Poopoo dar - people in a car ("Mommy, look, poopoo dar!")

4. erewhere - underwear ("Pee ina erewhere")

5. Dalla - daddy ("Dalla beer." HA)

She is such a quirky, personable kid and I love seeing her personality come out more and more everyday. She is definitely the resident comedian.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bijou is turning FOUR!

I can hardly believe it, Bijou is turning four. Yes, the time does fly by, but what I can hardly believe is that she ONLY turning four. She seems like she's been here FOREVER!!! I love her - don't know what my life would be like without her. But this has be a looooong four years. A four years full of laughter and tears and almost constant conversation. This kids talks nonstop until the moment her eyes close for the night. I love that she so verbal (well, sometimes I love it, other times...well....).

She's been asking about her birthday for months now. I think back in September I told her that she couldn't ask about her birthday anymore until December. Well, hello December! Her birthday is all she can talk about with anyone. And it's kind of a big deal in our house. Four is the first year of the big birthday party. But because she has a winter birthday and the thought of 35 kids confined in our small house makes me feel nauseous, she will be having a scaled down party with just friends her age (which will be about 6 or 7 kids). Four her first big girl bash we will be having a winter wonderland themed party. The great thing about having a smaller party is being able to make everything just a little nicer. For example, this will be the first year that I make goodie bags for the party. I think they will include a handmade finger puppet, snowflake shaped rainbow crayons, snow globes (that will be made at the birthday party) and snowflake shaped shortbread cookies (that will be decorated at the party). There will definitely be pictures to share when the party's over.

Jena and Ashni both wanted to make gifts for Bijou. I mentioned in an earlier post (I think) that Jena has taken up embroidery, so she really wanted to embroider a shirt for Bijou. She picked a stegosaurus (Bijou's favorite dinosaur) design from the internet and lovely, bright yellow shirt and there is a stegosaurus t-shirt in the making. I think I will let Ashni draw a picture and we will transfer it to a shirt - maybe a stencil.

Now as soon as I find the cord for my camera I can post pictures of the very cute invitations that I made.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I decided a few days ago that I should start running again. I say that as if I just stopped running a few months ago or even right after Zion was born. If you were thinking that, well....thanks, but no. I haven't run in probably 15 years. Yes, 15 years!! That's back in high school. Honestly, I've been having body image issues since having Zion and holding on to a large portion of the weight. Well, Zion is almost two and I have finally gotten to the place where I figure, this is the body that I have, I may as well dress it and clothing that flatter it. Oddly enough, what comes along with my new found acceptance of my current shape is an overwhelming desire to be in better shape. It's strange how that happens (and it's not the first time it's happened). So today, I ran - for the first time in 15 years. I have to say that I am NOT 17 anymore. I think I may have eaten that 17 year old at some point in the last two years (possibly wrapped in a buttermilk biscuit or covered in melted cheese and sour cream). But it felt good. It hurt (ALOT), but it was good. I think I'll do it again...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is it bad....

...that I completely forgot the one year anniversary of my blog? I hope not, because I did.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


So finally, I can post pictures! PICTURES!!! Yay. Okay, be prepared for picture overload while I chart the last few weeks. It always looks like we've done so much when I look back over the pictures, but it never seems like we get anything done day to day.

Anyway, Jena tended her first garden this spring/summer. I do NOT have a green thumb (or even pinkie), so this was pretty much all Jena. This is her last tomato of the summer. She really didn't have a huge tomato harvest (maybe 10 tomatoes), but she was very proud of them and they were pretty tasty.

Bijou started ballet this fall. She's very excited to be involved in the same thing as her sisters. She just looks so grown up in this picture.

I had the grand idea to make finger paint for the little girls. They had a really good time and they both know that now that food coloring will stain your hands (and face and clothes and patio...)

We discussed crystal formation for science and decided to grow some of our crystals. So we made a super saturated salt solution and dropped a piece of yarn into it. This was the crystal growth after a couple of weeks. The girls thought this was the greatest thing ever. They both kept big chucks of salt crystal (and every now and then pull them out to observe.)

Regular old table salt on the left and super-ginormous amazing salt crystals on the right. Pretty cool, huh?

Oh yeah, I mentioned in my last post about the girls having a lemonade stand a while back. They really enjoyed it. They made fresh squeezed lemonade (yes, REAL lemons) and sold cups for $.25. They made almost $15, which is big money in kid terms. We'll probably let them do it again next summer.

Jena, my crafty child, spent a weekend making clothes for her doll (which is now Ashni's doll since the purchase of Jena's new one). This was the very first dress that she made.

Notice the fancy buttons down the back and the fabulous hairstyle!

I had to have a gratuitous potty picture. I'm pretty proud of my little monkey and her potty training success. Look how happy she is!

We're studying the middle ages in history, so the girls designed their own coat of arms. They had to choose colors and symbols based on their meanings. They also learned what some of the lines and divisions mean.

Jena was invited to her first drop off birthday party. It's hard to believe how big she has become and how mature she is. She was so excited to get to hang out with her friends and not have any little sisters tagging along. Her little sisters on the other hand where not so thrilled.

I've probably mentioned Jena's love of unnecessarily complicated puzzles. She'd been working on the Empire State Building for weeks. She's finally put it all together. Now what are we supposed to do with it?
Zion, as cute as she is, does not seem to grow hair anywhere but down the center and on the left side of her head. Now if anyone can pull of that hairstyle, it's Zion, but I really couldn't do anything with it. So I decided to cut it off. This is the very first "first haircut" picture I have ever taken. It is also the first first haircut. I have to say that I didn't think that she could get any cuter...I was WRONG!

We made egg tempera paint for art. Just crushed, colored chalk and egg yolk. The chalk crushing was an experience and I think we all have great upper body strength now.

On the crafty front, I found this little doll cradle at Goodwill for $4 (actually it was marked $8, but when the lady heard me say that that was too much, she marked it down to $4!). It was cute, but a little to "country" for my taste. So I decided it needed a little make over.

A can of lime green spray paint and some leftover fabric and we have a much more appealing cradle. It works in their room very well.

My sister gave the girls a very cute Cat in the Hat clock when we visited this summer and the girls were very happy to have a clock in their room. Unfortunately the background on the clock was mostly black and the hands were black. We could never see what time it was. So I took it apart and replace the Cat in the Hat with a little color block pattern that I made with paint chips from the hardware store. I stamped the 12, 3, 6 and nine with some stamps a had on hand and the little pink jewels are some scrapbook accessories that the kids had. I spray painted the frame with the same green as the doll cradle. Next time I will remember to use the spray paint made specifically for plastic, because it's scratched already. Fortunately it's high on the wall, so it's barely noticeable.

Zion has an obsession with cell phones. She will swipe them as soon as you look away. I figured she must need her own, but letting her have an old, dead phone of ours didn't seem like a good idea. So i whipped up this one in about 30 minutes. It's just a piece of scrap wood (from a defunct Home Depot kids project) painted black. I cut a small picture from a magazine for the screen and used a couple of grey paint chips for the buttons. The OK button is one of those clear, bubble stickers for scrapbook pages. I covered the entire thing in Mod Podge to protect it from drool. Thirty minutes of my time, zero dollars and she has endless fun with it.

I try to come up with Halloween costumes for the girls that will work together, so this year they were the four seasons. Ashni was spring, Jena was summer, Bijou was winter and Zion was fall. Gotta love the dollar store and all of it dollary goodness because our costumes are ALWAYS created from dollar materials!

This is An! The girls took about 40 pictures of him the day we got him. They stop by and talk to him every now and then and Zion can be heard saying "Hi Fish!" several times a day.

Blue marker + unsupervised toddler = this.

I bought this bag for a dollar at Salvation Army. It's a very "me" bag (grey and wool), but it needed a little something... I made this drawing from the picture of Zion on the toilet. At some point soon I will post pictures of how these two came together. Their meeting is now my favorite bag ever!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The newest family member

The girls have been dying to get a pet for the last couple of years, but I am NOT an animal person. Maybe it's the idea of having something else in the house that I have to feed and clean up after. That all sounds just a little daunting to me. But, being that we live in a small town, there really aren't a lot of weekend activities to keep us busy, so when the new PetSmart had its grand opening I figured I would take the kids and let them check out the guinea pigs and hamsters and canaries. While we were there a nice PetSmart employee slipped Jena a gift card. She prefaced the hand off by saying she really didn't know how much was on there. It turned out to be $10. So I conceded and the girls got to pick......a fish. Jena's has been asking for a betta for a few months now. She'd planned to spend her lemonade stand earnings (don't know if I ever mentioned their lemonade stand, but it was a whopping success) for one, but instead we helped her buy a really nice doll (on a REALLY good sale at Tuesday Morning). So, the PetSmart gift card bought the girls the fish, some food, the conditioner for the water, some marbles and a plastic plant. I bought them a very nice fish bowl for $3 at Goodwill. They did lots of research (LOL) in my old baby name books in order to come up with a name. They named him An (pronounced Ahn) which is Chinese for peace (I think). Actually he's a very nice addition to our house. He's quiet, doesn't require a lot of attention and I only have to feed him ONCE a day. Why can't kids be more like fish....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Metal on the horizon?

So the girls (3/4 of them) had dental checkups today. They all passed with flying colors - not a single cavity in the bunch. Woo hoo! Unfortunately, Ashni has a couple of teeth coming in at an odd angle. I noticed it a few weeks ago when they made their appearance. SO, we get to go see the ORTHODONTIST!!! Yay. I can only imagine the potential for partially masticated chaos that will insue in the braces of my food loving seven year old. How is any human being (doctor or not) going to give MY Ashni a list of things that she CAN'T eat? Can't eat? Are you serious? Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sad, sad blog owner

So I swear each day that passes I am one day closer to actually getting the part to fix my computer (I swear!!). There have been all sorts of happenings since I last posted (over a MONTH ago! Really? A month?!). I keep attempting to update, but it's just no fun without pictures. But here's a few things that we have been up to:

On the school front:

Our school year technically ends in December, so the girls will be moving up a "grade" in January. Honestly, I couldn't really put them into grades right now anyway. They are both currently doing fourth grade math (although Ashni's math is a combo of third grade warm ups and fourth lessons), Jena is doing 5th grade language and science, history and geography aren't really grade specific at our house. We've entered the middle ages in history which the kids are really enjoying. So far we've made a shield and they designed their own coat of arms (learning the meanings of some of the colors, divisions and animals).
I've also decided to start Bijou in kindergarten in January. She's been bugging me to start school, so I will try to make her first day of school a grand affair!

With the kiddos:

Jena turned nine back in August and had a lovely little masquerade party. Unfortunately, I was sick for the entire week before and week after the party (blah!). AND she went to her very first big kid drop off birthday party (sans little sisters). The girls went to a Japanese steakhouse, got a double decker bus ride to the square in town for frozen yogurt, then a double decker bus ride back to the restaurant. She had a blast. Ashni broke her third pair of glasses and that's all I really have to say about that! Bijou started her very first ballet class. She is VERY excited. And Zion has been potty trained (yes potty trained WOO HOO!!!) and got her very first haircut. I really loved her patchy bald look that she had going on, but she'll be two in February and her hair shows no signs of growing. So I cut it off and she looks ADORABLE!!!

Of a crafty nature:

I made a new doll for Zion. It turned out VERY cute, so we bough some fabric at a yard sale and there are plans to make new dolls for all of the girls. A couple of winter hats have been crocheted, as well as warm socks for Bijou and Zion to wear in the house. Jena has taken up embroidery and has been making gifts for all of her friends. I need to be painting, but I'm not, so....yeah.

From the kitchen:

Rosemary cornbread and fresh baked cinnamon rolls!

So I promise that I will have a computer before 2011. And I will be back to my regularly scheduled blogging (I promise).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Backyard Camping

So, my girls were having some petty little issues with their neighborhood friends yesterday. You know, "so and so is being mean and won't let us play with them" kind of stuff. So after a brief "kids can be mean" talk, I decided that they needed something to do here at home. I decided to pitch the habitually neglected tent in the backyard and let them have their very first solo backyard camp out. Their rules were very simple:
1. Do not, under any circumstances, leave our backyard.
2. No one, under any circumstance, is allowed in the backyard with you.
3. No running in and out of the house all night.
4. Please turn off the flashlights before you go to sleep.
5. If you get scared or nervous for ANY reason, come back in the house!
They gathered their sleeping bag, pillow, blankets, books and water bottle and headed out before sunset. By the time the sun went down it looked like they were throwing a rave in the tent. To my surprise, they were asleep by 10 o'clock or so. We considered bringing them in before we went to bed (the hubby's a little more cautious than I am), but we left a light on for them and they were really only 20 or 30 feet from our bedroom window, so we just let them stay. We were awakened at 6:45 this morning by Ashni letting us know that the hubby accidentally locked the backdoor and she couldn't get in the house. They had a great time and I'm sure backyard camping will be requested again and again and again....and again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm still here...

I feel like a terrible blog owner. It has been more than a week since I posted anything, but the whole Wii internet business is a pain in the...Anyway, I really just need a $50 part to be back up and running. But money around here is tighter than my pre-bab(ies) jeans, so the computer is pretty far down on the list priorities. BUT life continues at a normal pace around here. I roasted my first chicken while in Philly. It turned out perfect (and cookbook photo worthy). My oldest is turning nine on Friday and she's having a masquerade party. My three year old is starting ballet today. We are getting back into the swing of things and finishing the second half of second and third grade (our year goes from January to December). I'm planning an apartment style dollhouse from a three tier shelf that's currently holding baby toys. I'm in the early (early) stages of potty training the baby. She can't say potty, but she can say bathroom (go figure). So, don't give up on me yet. I promise fun things are in the works.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back to our own little piece of the world

So we made the 16 hour journey back home yesterday. We were all ready to be back in our own home. This trip was epic! We had a really great time in all of the places that we visited and we are so appreciative of everyone's hospitality. I know that our family travels like a caravan, so we can definitely invade a space. Now it's time to deprogram the kids and get them back into the old routine. I will post more pictures from the trip as soon as I can (back home means back to Wii internet. Blah...)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Where in the world....back to Philadelphia

Well, it's time to officially wind down our whirlwind vacation. It has been epic, but unless we want to be stranded somewhere on the east coast with four kids and no money, we should probably head back home. So we cut our stay in Massachusetts short snd headed back to Philly. Massachusetts was alright. It's definitely not the place for us. On the surface, it seemed like a place that we could fit in, but alas... I did learn a valuable lesson during our stay there. Just because a kid has all the earthy, natural, organic "stuff" (food, toys, parents) it doesn't mean that they are going to be any more respectful, polite or well behaved. It definitely made me appreciate my parenting style and children for who they are.

Now, I think I am finally in a position to add pictures from the last couple of weeks, so I will be going back and updating some older posts. Feel free to look back!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where in the world...

Guess what happens when you put six kids together in a backyard garden in Massachusetts with free reign on the ripe vegetables. Go ahead, guess. I'll wait.....
Well, when if it's my four kids and our friends' two kids, they make a.....wait for it.....SALAD! Yep, our kids gathered cucumbers, green tomatoes, fresh basil and carrots from the garden, raisins, pickles (yeah pickles) and salad dressing from the fridge and made a big vinegary salad. Then they all sat around a table in the backyard (barefoot and in a slight drizzle) and ate it voraciously with forks, hands and chopsticks.

On a side note. Today is my husband's 34th birthday. Happy Birthday, hun. Someday we will have money on your birthday and we'll do something awesome. I guess being in Massachusetts instead of Mississippi could be considered awesome. I guess we'll just have to see what the day brings.

UPDATE: SO we spent the morning at the river with the kids. It was SO hot and river was so nice. This was one of the highlights of our trip. I'd go back there every day.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bijou-isms hit the road...

So it wouldn't be a proper vacation without some choice Bijou-isms. Today's Bijou-ism is brought to us by waiting too long to go to the bathroom and a healthy obsession with dinosaurs. So, Bijou is doing the pee pee dance and running up the driveway this morning. It's obvious that she's too late to make it to the bathroom (there was a wet trail following her). "You're just going to have to finish. You can't pee all through the house." So, she "finishes" and comes in to get cleaned up and put on some dry clothes. When we go back out, she sees the puddle that she's left at the bottom of the back stairs.

Bijou: Mommy, my pee looks like a dinosaur!
Me: Um, yeah I guess it kinda does. Gross.
Bijou: Jena, look, I have dinosaur pee.
Jena: Ew, Bijou. You're stepping in it.
Bijou (laughing hysterically): I'm walking in my dinosaur pee, Mommy!

Yep, dinosaur pee. That's today's Bijou-ism. That kid....

Where in the world....Lenox and Greenfield, MA

I had to make a trip to the art museum here before we hit the road. You know, the one from Rocky? Yeah, I'm not a Rocky fan, so I avoided the long line of people waiting in line to take a picture with the Rocky statue. I did, however, get to see original Van Goghs which were well worth the hike uphill from the car.

So has anyone seen the movies Away We Go (Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski)? Basically it's about a 30 something couple that find out that they are pregnant and head off to find the perfect place to live. They visit crazy friends and relatives and it's a sweet, sometimes emotional, very funny movie. It's a favorite right now for the hubby and I. Well, we've watched that movie about a thousand times over the course of this last two weeks. It's such a parallel to our lives right now. No, we aren't pregnant (again), but we are on a search for our home. A place that will feel right to us. Living in Mississippi has definitely had it's positive aspects, but it's really not the place for us. We stick out like a sore thumb, and as much as I enjoy being, well, off the beaten path, I don't like sticking out quite as much as we seem to. So the second goal of this trip has been scouting out locations that may work as our home. Ultimately we would like to keep heading north to Canada, but until we are in a position to do that, we need to find a home that makes us all happy. There are plenty of place that we know we don't want to be, but we are still figuring out where we'd be happy. So here are the places that we have visited so far on this trip: St. Louis, Columbus (OH), Washington DC, Leesburg VA, Philadelphia (actually Lafayette Hills) PA, and Atlantic City NJ. Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Lenox, MA. It was actually a really nice town. It's one of those place where people ask you if you live there all year (several moms asked me that while we were at the playground). It was also one of those towns that I could just tell that we could never afford to live in. From Lenox, we headed to Greenfield. It's our first official day here, so I haven't had a chance to feel it out just yet. I have to say, I'm excited to be with friends who have kids and are raising them in a similar way. The kids have yard space to play, a garden to help tend, cats and chickens to feed and no TV, Barbie or Justin Beiber as far as the eye can see. Right now I am watching Zion, barefoot, in the backyard, waist deep in what I think is basil (but I could be wrong). It feels good. I keep waiting for the black screen to pop up saying "away to home", but life just isn't that simple. I don't necessarily think that Greenfield, Massachusetts is the place for us, but I know that place is out there and we have been having a blast trying to find it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Where in the world....Atlantic City

We took a short trip to Atlantic City yesterday to visit a family friend. We've never been to Atlantic City before, so it was a fun, new excursion. But, because we'd never been before we didn't foresee to horrendous Saturday traffic caused by the thousands of people flocking there for the weekend. Ugh, traffic makes me ill (one of the perks of small town living). I really enjoyed getting to the ocean again, though. I haven't seen the ocean since we left St. Croix. Granted the Atlantic Ocean is not nearly blue as the Caribbean Sea, but I'll take what I can get at this point. The kids had a blast, even though they could only put their feet in the water (it was an impromptu trip, so no swimsuits were packed). I realized halfway through the beach visit, that it was Zion's very first trip to the beach. I realized this as she was using my flip flop as a shovel and laying face down in the sand. I think I can safely say that she enjoyed her first trip to the beach (maybe she can feel the island blood coursing through her veins despite her Mississippi birth).

Zion's first steps on the beach. Her little toes were made for sand.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Yep, Ikea is the highlight of the day...

Okay, so theoretically we are seeing lots of fun and educational sites in all of the places we are visiting on this massive family road trip. But I have to admit, the highlight of our Philadelphia trip so far (you now with the exception of hanging out with my sister and brother-in-law) has to be our trip to Ikea today. I'm probably a little biased (because I love Ikea and the closest one to Oxford is in Atlanta, so we never go there), but our trip to Ikea today was the best. First of all, I love any store that provides a fun place for me to drop my kids off and leave for an hour. Don't get me wrong, I love my girls, but browsing is so much easier when I don't have to do the periodic head count or catch the baby or wrestle the three year old into the cart. So, I got a good hour of browsing peacefully with just the baby. About 45 minutes in, the baby got hungry so we went up to get a little kids meal from the cafe (pasta with marinara, veggies and an apple juice). Now the kids menu in itself is only $2.97 which I think is a good deal, but when I got to the check out line the lady just printed my receipt and said have a nice day. That's right, kids eat FREE until August 13th!! So on top of a peaceful hour of shopping, I fed all of the kids of $0. AND they keep diapers and wipes stocked in the changing area of the family bathroom! Yeah, so maybe I'm easily impressed, but I love a store that makes shopping with kids easier.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where in the world...Philadelphia Bound

Today, we hit the road and head for Philadelphia. Washington DC has been great, but I'm ready to move on. The kids are getting antsy and are falling prey to some modern day influences that we try to avoid at home. Basically, too much TV, too many movies, too much computer access, too much weirdo kiddie pop music, too much staying the house, too many Capri Suns and way too much getting their way. The kids love visiting with their cousin and I love watching them spend time with family, but it's completely affecting the way they interact with each other. There's so much more fighting and bickering and being mean. It's driving me nuts. So, I am looking forward to heading to our next destinations and getting back to what we are used to in our kids.
We don't have much planned for Philadelphia. My sister in law and I have planned a trip to Ikea (just because I LOVE Ikea) and they just opened a HUGE Whole Foods in her area and I think there are plans to make vegan marshmallow treats. There won't be 1000 TV channels or extensive computer games. And best of all? NO BARBIE!!! Goodbye Barbie and Justin Bieber (whoever you are) and hello vegan marshmallow treats and arboretum!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wrapping up in DC

Tomorrow is our last day in Washington DC. Today we took the kids to the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of Natural History. I'm not really a fan of the stuffy presidential portraits, but I do appreciate them for their technical skill. What made my day was the gallery filled with the 49 chosen portraits from the annual portrait competition. I have to acknowledge how difficult it is to be inspired to paint when there is so little outside art in my life. Today was inspiring. I think I want to start a long term project (a year maybe), where I create a self portrait each week. That's really the only goal. Mediums and techniques will vary, but I will be the subject. I think I will enter the National Portrait Gallery's annual competition (I picked up the info today) and see where that takes me....

Anyway, after the NPG, we had lunch in the Sculpture Garden (and I got to see a friend that I haven't seen since college.

This metal tree was awesome.

It was a brief meeting, but enjoyable none the less.) and headed on over to see the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History. Of course it was Bijou's favorite part of the day (she was annoyed that the Portrait Gallery had no dinosaurs). She got to see her favorite - STEGOSAURUS!
Model of what it may have looked like when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

It was too dark and WAY too crowded to get a picture of Bijou with the stegosaurus, so we had to settle for the triceratops skull.

We also checked out the rocks, gems and minerals. Ashni and Jena were both pretty intrigued by the Hope Diamond, but both were more impressed with the toxic fibers of asbestos in the area with crystals. It's is fun to watch Ashni go through and pick out rocks and crystals that she has in her collection at home.

We're all exhausted now, but it was well worth it. Thanks for hanging out with us Uncle Gregory (we'll be waiting patiently for your awesome pictures of our visit).