We’ve been busy!

We are headed home tomorrow – back to PA.  We have had a great trip, but it will be nice to get home.  Here are a few random shots from other parts of our week.  I will try to post more about each trip as I can once we get home.  Although when we do get home it’s not like life slows down much, but I will see what I can do.  :)

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National Scouting Museum in Dallas, TX

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Sealife Grapevine Aquarium in Dallas, TX

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Sealife Grapevine Aquarium in Dallas, TX

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Feeding ducks at the Marina @ Lake Texoma

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Harber Wildlife Museum in Sherman, TX

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Harber Wildlife Museum in Sherman, TX

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Playing Pokemon

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Drawing Pictures

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American Girl Dallas

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Sealife Grapevine Aquarium in Dallas, TX

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Drawing Pictures and making roads

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Harber Wildlife Museum

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American Girl Dallas

More details coming soon -

mcrooker – homeschooler on the edge

Texas Field Trip – Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch — as seen on Dirty Jobs

Another fun Texas Field Trip is the Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch.  The Sharkarosa Ranch appeared as the 1st episode in the 6th season of Dirty Jobs.

The Sharkarosa Ranch is a 126 acre educational animal park.  The ranch is a non-profit organization dedicated to animal care and education.  The ranch is open during the week for field trips and on the weekends they are open to the public – hours vary by season so check the website for full details.

While on our trip to Texas, Grandma and Granddad took, Hubby, myself, Bug, Princess and The Oldest to visit the ranch.  We has so much fun.  We packed a lunch, which was great, because they have a lovely picnic area just outside the ticket booth.  The seating area is close enough that you can watch the barrel train and see some animals before you even go into the ranch.  If you don’t feel like packing a lunch, that’s OK too – Sharkarosa has a concession stand and they have opened up a restaurant called the Bear’s Den.

As we were entering the ranch they were just about to start their kangaroo presentation so we headed there first.  Princess (who is usually a bit shy) was the first one on the bleachers – she wasn’t concerned about who was sitting where, she wanted to see the animals.

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During the presentation we learned that a kangaroo’s spine extends into it’s tail, that is why they can use their tails to stand very tall.  In case you weren’t able to hear the kangaroo presentation there were signs to read as well.  Also, did you know that when the baby joey is born they are not born in the pouch, but have to climb up and in – imagine having a baby crawl the length of a football field – the joeys manage this in a few hours.  Once the Joeys are in their mamas pouch, they latch on and will grow quickly, soon they start to poke their little heads out to check out the world.  

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After the kangaroo presentation was the petting zoo.  Granddad surprised the kids with some cups of food (sold on site).  As soon as we entered the kids were mobbed by goats and sheep so I took over the job of holding the food cups and doling out small handfuls.  Some of the goats get kinda tall when they are on their hind feet, but I still managed to keep the food safe.  With goats, sheep, pigs and a camel to pet and feed we spent plenty of time here.

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Further along in our travels we were able to see the bear presentation and then we took a ride on the Safari Tram.  The Safari Tram was amazing.  When is the last time you were able to pet a clydesdale, a zorse (zebra + horse), a zedonk (zebra + donkey) and a camel?  The Safari tram had all of these animals, plus we were able to view the zebras, emus and deer.

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Of course, we could not pass up the barrel train ride!  Man that little train can move!

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After we sat and had lunch we headed back in to see the barnyard animals, the lemurs and we caught the end of the snake presentation.

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Remember how I said “as seen on Dirty Jobs” – well here is a little something they have up in their gift shop.

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All in all, the Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch is a great place to visit.  As a non-profit, you know that your ticket purchase is going to a good cause, plus you get to see all sorts of animals and get an education at the same time.

We arrived at the ranch a little after they opened around 10:30 and we stayed until after lunch.  While probably not a full day event it was a great experience!

Thanks Sharkarosa we had an awesome time!

mcrooker – homeschooler on the edge

Texas Field Trip – Rodeo

When visiting Texas, if at all possible, go to a rodeo.

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A few things to remember

  • Go in the evening – it’s much cooler.
  • Bring water and snacks or money for the concession stand.
  • There are down times followed by periods of high intense action.  Enjoy the show!

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One of the things that I loved about the rodeo is the character of the people.  When the American flag came riding by to start the show, people stood up – there weren’t even asked to, they just stood up because they felt it was right.  The best part was the flag is presented by The Glory Riders.  The Glory Riders are a Christian ministry drill team that lifts up the name of Jesus and promote God and America.  Learn more about The Glory Riders by visiting their website.

I am going to try to post more rodeo pictures later on – it’s a bit harder to post from here as I am using a borrowed computer.  :-)

Airplane Travel Tips #2 – #7

So we have arrived in Texas, but we were so busy yesterday that I didn’t have a chance to post the rest of the tips we learned from yesterday air travel.  After all, upon arrival we got to see Grandma and Granddad, travel back to their house and they have a POOL!

So to catch up -

Airplane Travel Tip #2 – Establish an order

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Before getting on the plane we established an order – that was everyone knew how to get onto the plane and we (hubby and I) knew where the kids all were.

Here is our order – yours of course may be different:

Hubby –> Princess –> The Oldest –> Bug –> Me

This may not be necessary for some, but it helped me to make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be.  Princess gets a little nervous sometimes, so she is close enough to grab daddy’s hand when needed.  The Oldest was in the middle that way he could help keep an eye on Princess and Bug if necessary.  Finally Bug and I brought up the rear.  Bug could walk in front of me – following The Oldest, but if he needed to he could get a hand too.

Airplane Travel Tip #3 – Bring a new toy for each child

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These don’t have to be expensive toys.  In fact, it is probably better if they are not, as there is always going to be the chance of losing them on the plane.  We hit the dollar store – Princess found a new doll, Bug found a little mixer with road signs and The Oldest picked out a deck of cards.

Airplane Travel Tip #4 – Electronics are ok

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Before leaving home, we made sure to charge various electronics to bring on our trip.  The children learned quite quickly to figure out if the “electronics” sign was on or off.  I’m not saying that you should plop the kids in front of electronics constantly or even for the whole plane ride, however occasionally they can come in handy.

Airplane Travel Tip #5 – Take a walk

I don’t have a picture for this one as I was trying to hold a child’s hand, walk down the aisle and not fall down, so I didn’t have an extra hand for the camera.  Bug started this by saying he had to go potty.  By the way – I highly recommend visiting the lavatory.  Yes, I know this sounds crazy, but how can you say that you got to go potty at 36,000 feet.  After Bug got to go Princess decided that she had to go, until she realized that if she gave up her window seat it would be Bug’s turn at the window.  During out 3 1/2 hour trip we all got to walk up and down the aisle – some more than others as I took each of the little ones on their trip to the potty.  However, the point here is that you get to get out of your seat and wiggle for a few minutes and that is always good.

Airplane Travel Tip #6 – Use the call button

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At one point we had a chat about the buttons on the ceiling.  As the kids played with their toys it was daytime and nighttime a lot so I had to turn their lights on and off.  Plus they liked opening and closing the window shade.  When they saw the button that looked like a person with a drink Bug immediately decided that was the button that you used if you were thirsty.  Luckily the kids were too short to push the buttons themselves, but I was asked more than once to push the call button.  Here’s the thing, I didn’t want to disturb the flight attendants every time Bug wanted something so I told him that we really didn’t need to push the button.  I knew he was thirsty so we asked for an extra juice during one of our bathroom trips.  We did use the call button when his ears started hurting.  A flight attendant came over and he showed bug how to hold his nose and blow, plus he got him a drink to help him out.  You don’t want to push the button every time the kids ask, but using it to help them out – not a problem, plus the fun of having someone come over and check on you helps to entertain the kiddos too.

Airplane Travel Tip #7 – the baggage carousel is pretty cool – you can do laps while waiting
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After we got off the plane (in our order) we found our way to the baggage area where Grandma and Granddad were waiting.  After a happy reunion Bug wanted to know how we were going to get our bags.  Bug, Princess and I walked over to check out the baggage carousel.  We stood watching for a little bit, but whenever it seemed to be taking too long we took a walk around the carousel.  This helped to stretch little legs and as a distraction to keep from getting tired of waiting.

When the bags finally started coming out - it was like Christmas.  The kids were so excited.  Bug’s car seat came out first – he was so happy to see it – “Look, Look – it’s my seat”.  Our other two bags came out shortly after – Princess was happy that she was able to help spot them so everyone got to play.

This weekend we are planning to go to a rodeo, see a movie and I am not sure what else.  So far this has been a great trip – As we have more adventures I will share them on here as well as more travel tips – for traveling with kids.

If you happen to live in the Dallas area – or an hour or so North of Dallas – and have field trip ideas, feel free to let me know.  We’ll be here all week!

Talk to you soon

mcrooker – homeschoolerontheedge

Airplane travel tip #1

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#1 – Find a window seat
This is before you get on the plane.  As you have to get to the airport at least an hour early finding a seat near a big window is awesome!  The kids can be happy for a while as they watch the planes, little cars, conveyor belts and people.
Quote for the morning — we saw one of the small “golf cart” airport vehicles driving along and not to far behind it was an airplane.  Bug’s comment, “Look at that little car running for it’s life!”