Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lots of Friends to Play With Today

Well, we started off our morning with a trip to Como Zoo in St. Paul. We carpooled with Carrie & Gavin and met our friends Lisa, Suzy, Heather & Amy up there. We were there for 3.5 hours, which is quite a long time for these young ones. We didn't get to see the butterflies or the conservatory, so I think Isabel & I will have to go back on our own time another day.

We came home and relaxed for an hour before we went to have a playdate with our friends Rebecca, Casey & Dani at their house. We like playing with them.

Last night, Isabel & daddy got to spend some quality time together since mom had book club, and they spent an hour at Cabela's (zoo). We call it "Cabela's Zoo" because she thinks it is a type of zoo with all the animals & fish there. We don't buy stuff from there very often, so really it is about visiting the animals and pretending to camp. She likes to spend as much time playing in the tents pretending to camp as she does looking at the animals & fish.

Yesterday, we had a lunch playdate at our friends' (Mary, Anthony & Benjamin) house and our friends Becky, Kennedy, Maddie & Ava came over as well. It was a good time.

Tomorrow should be more relaxing for us. We will go to the gym for mom's yoga class, but then are coming home to make peach freezer jam. And then for supper we are meeting with all of daddy's family since Uncle Brian & family are visiting from Spain.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Art Fun

We spent a good chunk of time this morning working on some art projects. When we went to the library on Thursday, Isabel picked out the book, Little Hands Paper Plate Crafts. I had brought this home from the library once before when she was about 2 and we did one craft, but now it is much more appropriate.

So, we made a ladybug craft (top right) and oyster craft (bottom) from the book.. It's hard to tell but the oyster shell is a light gray, which is the color she picked out and there is a tiny pearly bead clue inside the oyster. The top picture consists of a couple of painting of "statues of tall building" that she did and a birthday card for her friend Gavin, whose birthday party we are going to tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pictures from Isabel's Camera

Isabel took these two pictures of daddy when they were playing. I thought she did a pretty good job. We gave her our old camera and she is really having fun with it. You will have to check out the slideshow if you haven't already.

While she & daddy were playing he took some pictures of her and also did a really good job. It's amazing that this is a 3.2 megapixel camera.

To our surprise there were three pictures left on the camera from when we replaced it. These would have been right after Christmas of 2006, as she got that outfit for xmas as a gift from Auntie Razz, but mommy got a new camera for xmas as well. It was fun to discover these baby pictures. My, how much has changed in 2 1/2 years.

Pictures by Isabel

It was time to take the pictures off Isabel's camera. And now you can see what a 3 year old likes to take pictures of and what kind of a job she does. She actually does a fairly decent job.

Playdates & Water

This morning & early afternoon we went to Lisa, Suzy, Heather & Amy's house for a playgroup with them and Sarah, Lydia & Ian. There was lots of slip & slide fun and we had lunch with them as well.

After that we went to Becky, Kennedy, Maddie & Ava's house to deliver a meal & for Isabel to play with the girls. Ava is 10 days old today.

Then we came back & quickly changed and went to the pool for an hour. We were gone pretty much all day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Thursday Fun

Our days are always busy and we always try to have fun. After her nap, we went to the pool for an hour and a half. That was nice & cooling.

Then we came home and each ate a ton of fruit before leaving for the library. Today was the book fair where the kids could turn in their sheets for the first time and got to pick out a brand new book to keep. Isabel picked out Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Why we don't already own that classic, I don't know, but we do now finally. Plus they gave us a few other books, which was a surprise. We stayed at the library for quite a while and had our own storytime, just her & mommy & some girl who kept popping over to listen in.

Then we headed on over to Central Park for the next Thursday night concert. It was the Owatonna Community Band again. This time they were playing songs from American composers. I couldn't absorb much of when they would talk because I was busy watching Isabel. She listens & dances in between playing. we brought along some bubbles & chalk again and because she was willing to share, she became fast friends with a group of 5 girls that were probably ages 6-9. She had a good time with them and did a good job interacting with them. It was nice to see more kids at this concert and Isabel has certainly learned not to be shy around other kids she is interested in. And she did a great job sharing, I didn't even have to prompt her.

Actually, at the pool today she was sharing her toys with 3 girls that were a couple years older than her and she was very proud of herself for sharing w/o prompts. She kept telling me "I'm sharing mom. I'm a good sharer. They like that I am sharing with them." At 3 years old it is pretty amazing that she is willing to share & does it without prompts. I am very proud of her.

Preschool Day Camp

This picture was taken as we left this morning to bring Isabel to school for the first of four preschool day camps this summer. Each one is three hours long. When I brought her there she told me "Give me a hug & kiss before you go." And as soon as we got in there she saw play-doh and it was like Mom-who? I held her to the hug & kiss, as mom needed it. It was surprisingly easy, yet hard to leave her at school. It was in the preschool room she will be in the fall (which is the ECFE room we are in for classes) but the teachers are a kindergarten teacher and an elementary Speech teacher. Isabel knew several other kids there as well.

She was very excited when I picked her up and had lots to show me and tell me about. And she went down for a nap at 1:30 today, which is she does nap is early for her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dentist Visit

This is Isabel's fourth dentist visit. I know some are wondering what is wrong, but nothing is wrong. When she was about a year old I read that the American Pediatric Dentist Association recommended your first be between 12-18 months of age; I think she was about 17 months. Then again 6 months later, and again 6 months later, and now another 6 months later; every 6 months like you are supposed to.
She did fantastic. She didn't even need to sit on my lap. She just wanted to be able to see me and she was fine while they looked at her teeth, counted them, polished them and applied flouride to them. I wasn't sure how she would handle the sucking straw, but she got it figured out after a couple tries. She did everything they asked of her & it all went very quickly. She was very excited to get her new fun tooth brush and a prize from the prize box. She picked out this huge super ball.

The Week So Far.....

Here is a picture from last night when we went to RBNC for their campfire conversations. Luckily a short storm and slightly cooler weather came through in the afternoon, so roasting marshmallows wasn't so bad in the evening. Rather than mid-90's it was 80 degrees and the humidity dropped from 77% to 65%, so it all seemed so much better. RBNC is doing 4 of the campfire conversations throughout the summer; this was the first one. I signed us up for all 4, as I figured this was a good way to have some campfire & roast marshmallows this summer w/o having to maintain our own campfire and we can just watch Isabel and have fun.

This is from Monday as we are ready to head out the door to the pool. We spent a total of 3 hours at the pool on Monday, 2 in the afternoon and 1 in the evening. I had to take this picture because I thought her hat on upside down looked hilarious.
We went to the pool for 1.5 hours yesterday and had to leave because they closed the pool early because of the storm that was coming, which blew through rather quickly. I am hoping we can get to the pool for an hour or two right after lunch today. Later this afternoon she has a dentist check-up, so that is out as swim time.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Daddy, Grandpa M & Grandpa S!

Today, Isabel helped me make pancakes & scrambled eggs for daddy. She also set the table. Then for lunch we met grandma & grandpa M and cousin Travis at A&W. Then we came back home and hung out a little bit to let the weather clear a bit and headed out to Adventure Greens Mini-Golf in Owatonna. Dads got to golf free. We had a good time. Daddy got the best score out of the six of us.

Straight River Days

Here is a collage of pictures I took yesterday with my camera phone. Isabel had fun at the park, but we couldn't stay too terribly long because she still gets overheated easily, not like she did as an infant, but when you have a preschool running around the park & bouncing/sliding around a bounce house in 80+ degree heat and awful humidity, they can get overheated pretty quickly.

She did enjoy going on the bounce house with her friend Anthony a couple times. We still have one ticket left, so we may try to get over there today so she can use it (as long as it doesn't rain). There was a (very) small petting zoo and she enjoyed petting those animals. We had some ice cream and she did some crafts and got her face painted with the ECFE group and watched this puppet lady. We also listened to the band there for a little while until she wanted to go play on the park.

During the morning, while mom volunteered her time at the ECFE rummage sale, she & daddy went to some rummage sales and Isabel used her own money to buy some stuff. Plus dad bought us a Lite Bright, which we used last night and I forgot how time consuming it is.

After we left the park, we came home and turned on her slip & slide so that she could cool down. Then it was some relaxing time in the house, supper, and then off to the pool for an hour. After the pool we came home & played some games. She is really getting into games. We played her Hi-ho-Cherry-O game her friend Rachael gave her, the Boggle Jr. game I picked up at a rummage sale, and the Lite Brite daddy picked up at a rummage sale. Gotta love the city-wide rummage sales this weekend!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Fun

Today was another busy day. I went to 50 rummage sales in 4 hours while Isabel stayed at home with grandma who came down last night to spend the night & watch Isabel today. So, she got some good quality time with grandma.

After I returned home, we took off and went to the Faribault library for their Friday Fun Day. They had the clown troupe of Half-Pint & Oscar performing. Isabel thought they were hilarious. I am glad she wanted to go because she giggles & laughed so much. I am glad she didn't miss it. Then we went to A&W to get the free root beer floats they were giving away today. We also bought cheese fries, which she loved. I knew she would.

Then we came home and quickly changed and went to the pool and met some friends for swimming. Then back home for some supper and off to the parade for Straight River Days, where she collected an obnoxious amount of candy. Although I saw kids with bags that were twice or three times as full as hers.

Humidity Hair

Check out her hair! This is Sooooo her mother's hair. If I didn't have my hair pulled back in a ponytail all the time it would be a full mop like hers. As it is, even with the ponytail there are what I like to call "my curlies" that are the shorts hairs around my temple that pop out and curl up & out giving me this blond ring (halo maybe?!?!) of curls around my head.

As you can tell, the sun is really lightening her hair quickly. We have been outside playing or swimming as much as we can. So, even I might end up with much lighter hair this summer. But both of us are not so pasty anymore either.

Last night we went to another concert in the park. This week it was an all-women's barbershop quartet. There were much fewer people there this time and I could count on our hands how many of those were under the age of 70 and we were two of them.

I think she was a little diappointed that there were not really any kids there to play with like last time. She really wanted to run around. Luckily, I brought some bubbles along and she asked to bring along sidewalk chalk. So, she kept busy while we listened. It wasn't really a concert you need to watch the stage for, so just listening is perfect.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Slideshow of Making Freezer Jam

Isabel Learns to Fish

We had a really busy day, but had lots of fun. We started out at the gym, then to a playdate at her friend Amelia's house where we had lunch and the girls swam in their pool. Then we briefly came home for a half hour and left again to meet her friend Cole at Lake Kohlmeier. We thought we were going to play in the sand & wade in the water, but because the city cut out lifeguards during the week the water was nasty and it smelled. So, we played in the sand & at the playground. Then we went to the other side of the lake and went fishing.

She had so much fun fishing. We fished using corn (who knew?) and just off the pier. She would giggle with excitement everytime she caught a fish. Other than the first time (& mainly for pictures it was) she held the pole on her own & caught the fish. Mom would take it off the hook and she would touch it. She even threw one back herself, but the rest mom had to throw back and then put a new piece of corn on the hook. I think we will definitly be going fishing again this summer.

Getting Caught Up on Videos

Ok - I finally got around to uploading several videos to YouTube that I took. So, now you can view them.

Water Fun

Ring-A-Round-the Rosie (with friends Lucie & Sofia)

White Guys African Drumming (yes, that is daddy drumming there)

Isabel Dancing to African Drumming (@ Jessi's wedding)

Isabel's First Fishing Trip

Win a Little Tikes Sand/Water Table

I signed up and hope to win! Isabel would love it. You can sign up too at Mom-Blog.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Strawberry Hunt, Amish Friendship Bread & Chocolate Ice Cream

This morning Isabel & I went on a "strawberry hunt" as she likes to call it. We had a good time and she kept telling over & over how much fun strawberry hunting was and that she liked it. This was the first day that this farm was open for picking and they are already going to be picked out for a few days.

This afternoon we are making a low-sugar freezer jam. She is very excited about helping making jam again.

Yesterday we spent some time working in the kitchen. We made homemade choclolate ice cream; she didn't care for how loud the machine is. We also made Amish Friendship Bread. Our friend, Elizabeth, gave us a starter and yesterday was the day to make it. It turned out very nice and is very tasty.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pictures of Isabel from Jessi & Alex's Wedding

The first picture is of Isabel taking pictures with her own camera. Instead of spending money to buy a "kids" digital camera that costs $40-$70, I decided that she could have our old camera. She is loving it. She had been taking pictures all day.

I was completly disgusted by the army worms, but the kids were captivated by them and collected cups full. Yuck!

This was Isabel's first experience with the ice cream man in the ice cream truck. We don't have them in our town, so she has limited opportunities to experience that.

They also had a sprinkler park there. Since she didn't know about it we just watched some of the kids there, but eventually some kids figured out there was a "foot shower" they could operate and play around with.

We took Isabel swimming at noon for the first time at our community pool. It was a good time.

There are more pictures of Jessi's wedding (with Jessi & Alex in them) on FB.

Past Couple Days

Here are some camera phone pictures I took the last couple days. So, the pictures are not the best quality, but it's what I had. Thursday evening Isabel & went & did a little clothes shopping (wanted to buy something boyish) at the outlet mall and then we headed to Owatonna's Central Park for their 11 at 7 Concert in the Park Series. It was the Owatonna Community Band that was playing that night; they play every other week of the performances. We missed the first concert due to being out of state, but we will probably get to most of the other ones.

Isabel had a good time. She found a brother/sister combo that were by us and wanted to play. So, they played tag & redlight/greenlight & chase & just general silliness. It is a free concert series.

Yesterday, we met our friends Cheri, Cole & Jackie at the Faribault Public Library for their Fun Friday. It started last week, but we didn't miss much because it was some activities & sign up for the reading program, which we could do later. Anyways, every Friday for the next 10 weeks (I think) they have an activity/performace at 10:30 & 1:30 (usually both times, but some is only 1 time). We went to the 1:30 since we were going to gymnastics open gym at 11am. Anyways, she thought it was hilarious, the puppet show by Schiffelly Puppets. It was actually pretty funny. They had jokes built in that kids would think were funny & jokes that adults would like as well.

Next week it is Half-Pint & Oscar (clowns).

Last night she also had a babysitter so mom & dad could get out.

Today we are going to godmother Jessi's wedding in the afternoon/evening. We are looking forward to that.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby Disagreements

Well, Isabel is not exactly thrilled so far that she is having a baby brother. First of all, she REALLY wants mommy to have 2 babies (even though I have been telling her from the beginning there is only ONE in there.) Personally, I blame Dora for this predictament. Dora's mami had twins, a brother & a sister and Isabel always tells me "I want a brother and a sister!"

Today, we had a little heart to heart about the fact that there was only one baby in there. She seemed to understand that, but then wanted that one baby to be a sister and started yelling at me, "I WANT A SISTER! I WANT A SISTER NOW! Give me a sister NOW, MOMMY!"

We had to change the topic. She was clearly not happy we are having a boy. I tried telling her that she could play with her friend Gavin's sister and Gavin could play with her brother. That wasn't good enough. It's a good thing we have 20 more weeks for the idea of a brother to sink in & become acceptable.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

River Bend Nature Center

Click on Photo to Enlarge

This morning, Isabel & spent 2 hours at River Bend Nature Center exploring. Her main objective was to find "buggies" as she calls them. And that we did find! Lots of bugs, slugs, spiders & worms. She is such a little explorer. We thought we would go check out the "waterfall", don't waste your time unless we have high water in the area. It was the tiniest trickle ever. But now I know what it is and don't have to wonder. We have another trip to RBNC planned later this month for a family campfire event they are doing. We are signed up to do all four family campfire events and are excited for them.

Reviews - Hooked On Phonics, Hi Ho Cherry-O, No! And Why Kids Need to Hear It

I recently bought us the Hooked On Phonics - Learn to Read Pre-K Edition. It arrived while we were on vacation and I actually got it for cheaper than what they have it for right now, but I did get it from their website. We started it yesterday and whereas some of the stuff is relatively easy at this point since she already knows her letters (upper & lower), sounds, and the alphabet song there are things she is gaining from it and I think she will learn quite a bit from this program. Right now the biggest gain comes from learning computer mouse skills when she plays the accompanying games. They do have a Little Tikes computer in her preschool classroom, as well as 2 at the public library that she likes to try to play. So, it will be good for her to gain soem computer mouse skills this summer.

Anyways, back to my review on HOP - Pre-K. The other thing she learned about yesterday that she really seemed to love is rhyming. She caught on to that really quickly and wanted to keep rhyming words all afternoon & evening as she played. The kit comes with three levels of workbooks and corresponding charts, stickers, 2 sets of two alphabet flashcards, 2 sets of picture flashcards, 2 cd-roms, and a storybook. We used some of the cards from the alphabet flashcards to play Memory, which I had not really ever done with her before. Once she figured it out she likes it. And we read the storybook, which is more interesting if youmake sure you ask lots of questions in regards to letter indentification rather than just reading it. All in all, so far I think this is a good program and will be fun for us to do this summer.

Isabel's friend, Rachael, gave her the game Hi-Ho-Cherry-O, as a present when we came to visit last week. We played it for the first time yesterday. It's easy to set up and directions are easy. No reading is involved for kids. It's a game that will help them learn counting, taking turns, & following rules. Isabel caught on really quickly that she needed certain numbers and would move the spinner to that number and I would have to tell her she has to spin it, that putting the spinner directly on that number w/o spinning was cheating. Plus there were a couple times she would get impatient and want to play my turn for me. So, I think this will be a good game. We have Don't Spill the Beans which we have played several times, but she thinks it's hilarious when the beans spill whether it be be me or her, and she grows impatient and wants to take more than one bean at a time. Guess it's a good thing she is getting into games and we can practice turn taking, patience, & rule following.

Currently, I am reading No, Why Kids of All Ages Need to Hear it and Ways Parents Can Say It. It was supposed to the part of a book-study group for ECFE this spring/summer, but they didn't get enough parents to sign up for it, so it didn't happen. But I checked the book out from the library and am about halfway through. It's pretty good and right now seems to be more of a reinforcer for me, but there have been a couple ideas I can take away from it. The book does a lot of foreshadowing on what like could be like if you aren't saying No to things when they are young and what will happen in those teenage years. The book does not think you need to be strict or say No all the time, but it does need to come out of your mouth and you need to follow through. Following through is the key. I like that the book also reflects on how the role of children have changed over the year in our society and how parents have caused that shift collectively, but unconsciously. So, I am interested in seeing how the book finishes during the last half.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Goodbye Hug

Here is Isabel with her friends Sofia & Lucie as we leave the Delafield Brewhaus for their fantastic Sunday brunch, another favorite place (for brunch) when we lived in Oconomowoc. I highly recommend it! Of course, their moms Elizabeth & Luanne were along too. It was so nice to spend time with my friends from there. I wish I had more time, but after being gone a week we were really starting to miss daddy. Anyways, I hope they loved the brunch, as they had never been there before for Sunday brunch buffet with their made to order omelets and made to order crepes (YUM!) Daddy was jealous (I'm sure of it!) that we went there.
While we were eating the girls danced & sang to Ring-Around-The-Rosie and I got a 15 second video of it, which I will hopefully get around to uploading (but takes a different program than I am currently working in & I did a lot of work on the blog tonight.)
I was really nice to see so many friends and so much family this week.

Sofia's House

We spent the weekend at Sofia's house with Elizabeth, Steve & Tommy. Isabel & Sofia are about 6 weeks apart in age, so very close. They played very well together. The girls helped Elizabeth & I make strawberry freezer jam. They loved it. I tried it while we were putting it in jars and it was mighty tasty. I think I may have to go have a piece of toast with it on tonight. Mmmmm!
Isabel got baskets full of crafting supplies for her friends Rachael & Sofia and one for herself as well. The girls worked so nicely crafting together and every time we would come back in the house or they would finish a meal they wanted to get back to doing more crafts. So precious!

Isabel & Jayden

On our way from grandma & grandpa's to our friends in Oconomowoc, we stopped in Sheboygan to visit with Auntie Phanie, Uncle J, & cousin Jayden and have dinner with them. It's amazing to see how big Jayden is already.

Isabel got a chance to play one evening for a bit and one morning with her cousin Blake, but I must have forgotten to take any pictures then.

Both her cousins have birthdays in the fall, but due to the birth of Isabel's new sibling this fall we won't be able to make it to their birthdays so we brought them presents for them to open. So, Jayden got her first birthday present when she is just over 7 months old. Funny.

Holy Rhubarb!

We picked this rhubarb over at Uncle Al's house. She wanted to pick the biggest one in the bunch and it ended up being taller than she is & she's 39 inches. Guess it's the good fertilizer. I made 2 pans of rhubarb crisp and a rhubarb-strawberry coffeecake while we were visiting grandma & grandpa.

Rachael's House

We spent two nights at Rachael, Lori, & John's house. The girls spent all Friday morning playing in the yard. I wish we had a fenced in backyard like they do. It is so nice for kids to have boundaries to play within and not have to worry if they get out of your sight within a split second. Anyways, both girls have really gotten into imaginary play and love to play in & with nature. They did a lot of collecting of leaves and then later on I showed them how to turn over rocks & stuff to find bugs and then that became their obsession.

When I told Isabel we were going to Rachael's house when we were on the way there, she could hardly contain herself. She was just so excited.

Golosi Gelato Cafe in Oconomowoc, WI

The Golosi Gelato Cafe one was of our favorite places to treat ourselves to when we lived there. My 2 scoops was Nutella & Creme Brule (doesn't that sound fantastic!), although the girls ate most of my nutella scoop. Rachael had Strawberry & Chocolate. Isabel had Cake Batter & Romeo and Juliet (it's a sweet cream with chocolate pieces, very tasty) and Lori had Mango & some other fruit flavor.

The girls started on their own, but Isabel very quickly started asking to taste everyone else's. And before you know it they had coveted Lori's bowl and ate half of it. They were giggling hysterically to themselves as they did it. They loved the idea that they were getting away with something. Then they cleaned up Rachael's bowl. When they decided to covey my nutella scoop, I then took over Isabel's dish. They were all so yummy. I wish we had a gelato cafe near us here.

WI Playgroup at Fowler Park in Oconomowoc, WI

We were very blessed to be able to spend some time with many of our friends from our old playgroup in WI at Fowler Park. The kids spent a lot of time playing on the playground or drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. And we even had a cake party, complete with diaper cake and real, edible cake (compliments of Elizabeth). Here are some pictures of Isabel with her WI friends, there is another picture on the baby blog. I could tell that Isabel missed her WI playmates. She got along so well with them and it was like she never left and you could tell that many of her friends missed her as well and even remembered her from the last time we visited 9 months ago. Stay tuned for more pictures of Isabel with her WI friends.

Bay Beach Amusement Park in Green Bay, WI

We/she went on several rides. She went on the carousel (twice), train, big slide (3 times), granny bugs, lady bugs, race car, old time car, & boats. And we had lots of snacks (ice cream, snow cone & cotton candy.) There were a couple other rides that she would have beenm able to go on if they were operating that day.
We even got grandma to go on a couple rides with her.

We had a lot of fun at Bay Beach.

The snacks are almost as much fun as the rides.
Altogether, we only spent about $10 for our time here and we had so much fun. I love being able to share this childhood summer destination spot with her. This is the third time that she has been here.

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay, WI

Isabel & I had so much fun at the Wildlfe Santcuary in Green Bay, WI. I had not been here since grade school and it has expanded SOOOOOO much! We spent 2 hours here and coule have easily spent another hour if were weren't getting tired. She actually fell asleep on the way back to the farm and I, well, I'm pregnant and that is exhausting.
This place is open year round and they have several live animals to view, as well as lots of other activities inside the nature center. We walked some of the trails, but there were a lot more. Wewent up the lookout tower and as soon as we got to the top Isabel realized she had developed a fear of heights and wanted to go back down right away. We hope to go back here on one of our next trips back to NE WI (whenever that will be) and take daddy with us then.
Oh! And did I mention it's free all the time. Seriously, if someone is looking of a very affordable family vacation, they should head to Green Bay, WI. I have yet to take her to some of the museums I went for grade school field trips, but that will come in the future.

N.E.W. Zoo in Green Bay, WI

On Wednesday evening we went to the N.E.W. Zoo in Green Bay. By we, I mean myself, Isabel and grandma. We took her here last summer, so this was our second visit here. The zoo had changed quite a bit from when mommy went when she was in high school. Then it was more of a wildlife refuge place, but now it is an actual zoo. I realized when I was looking at these pictures that none of them show any animals in, but believe me, there are animals there. Isabel said her favorite animal there was the penguin, but I think that was because it was the last ones we saw.

I personally like seeing the Albino Alligator. I had never seen one of those anywhere else. It's a very pretty zoo and not too terribly big. I love the picture of grandma tickling Isabel.

We were there on a Wednesday night and on Wednesdays from 4-8pm during June, July & August there is free admission, which is great on the budget. But even if it wasn't free, it's a very affordable zoo.

Hanging Out at Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

On Monday we arrived at grandma & grandpa's farm and stayed there through lunchtime on Thursday. While we were there, Isabel got a chance to go out in the barn and help out. She mainly likes to ride in the feed cart and help grandma feed corn to the cows. The rest of the time is usually her asking questions, which is awesome that she is interested and wants to learn something.

While we were there we also helped grandma with some plantinng and helping her get her play area set up for the grandkids. The grandkids have a very nice area to play with a couple of swings, a couple of slides, a ball pit, some other toys, a sandbox that she made, and 4 benches (2 were made in time for this photo) and 2 planters. Isabel loved playing in the sand, whether it be in the sandbox or the pile of sand they had in the yard.
While we there we also visited several family members, including all three of Isabel's great grandparents and my great aunt Mary. We also went to the zoo, wildlife sanctuary, & amusement park while we stayed there, but you will read more about those in other posts.