Monday, May 25, 2015

Preschool Graduates!!

Where does time go?  My babies graduated preschool.  

Given our awesome school pics in the fall, I had high hopes for our graduation school pictures.  Welp, they are memorable for sure.  Hayden HATED the cap & gown.  Logan is a cheese.  And I'm not sure what was up with Olivia.  I'm still glad I have them but.... haha!

I managed to pull off the actual graduation day without tears.  They all were so big & brave & did so amazingly well.  I was beyond proud.  My very clingy, shy, public performance anxiety riden kids walked across a stage & graduated Pre-K!

We of course took the opportunity to snap a few shots prior to the ceremony.  Their independent beings all even picked out their own outfits for the big day.
Can you see them up there in those little caps & gowns?  Hayden had a few melt downs the last few weeks of school about wearing the cap & gown... but he rocked it on graduation day!  In the program they listed them in alphabetical order;  Hayden, Logan, Olivia.  However they sat/walked in birth order.  I'm not sure who or how that all happened, but 'I' noticed.
 Singing their hearts out.
 Walking back to their seats.  
 Almost diploma time!!
 Academic Adventures Pre-K Class 2015!
 One last song "On my Way" had Jeff wiping his tears.
 Big hugs from Analeigh to celebrate!

We rounded out the day with dinner & ice cream, where else but Dairy Chef!  And the kids made out like it was Christmas with gifts & love.

Happy Preschool Graduation Hayden, Olivia & Logan!  Onward Kindergarten, I know you will rock it!

Safari Park

We spent our Memorial Day checking out Nebraska's Wildlife Safari Park.  I didn't think the weather was supposed to be stellar for the long holiday weekend, so we tried to think of something fun indoor-ish to do.  It ended up being a beautiful warm day & thankfully so--I knew it was a drive through safari.  And I knew there were places to get out & interact.  But I had no idea it was so big or had so much!

I mean- how have we not checked this place out in the last 5.5 years?!  Its just down the road & we've been missing out!   I thought we'd go spend a few hours & then we'd hoped to hit up the Mahoney Activity Center.  But as first-timers, we ended up spending 4 hours there!  We skipped the activity center & opted for a brief scenic drive (while the kids napped) & then a delicious steak dinner at Round The Bend.  We hadn't been there in YEARS!  They had a really good kids menu too & after our 4 hour excursion they were starving & wolfed down their food & part of mine!

The kids were thrilled to get to be out of carseats for the drive.  Logan however was worried for a while that a bear would come eat him.
 There were lots of Elk & some deer.
 Lots of different birds.  Pelicans, Swans, Cranes, Geese, etc.
 And there was a super trail for exploring.  The boys took off in a dead sprint!!
 We saw different kinds of owls.
 And hiked & hiked.
 There were wolves.
 "Ah, ah....ooooooooooh"  
{or however one would spell a wolf howl}  
 We did spy one creature I wasn't so fond of..... yucky snake!  Well that & mosquitos.  I'm a mosquito magnet & I think the rest of them made out just fine, but I was being eaten alive!
There was a pond with turtles & frogs & tadpoles.  We could actually see some of the tadpoles, they were big & almost to frog stage.  
 You probably can't see him well, but one is sitting on that foundation block for the bridge!
 There were also TONS of this Horsetail Grass/Reed.  I couldn't think of its real name, I had to come home & google it.  For some reason I remember it as puzzle weed.  You can pull apart the stem at all the joints & put it back together.  I love the stuff, just cause its cool like that.  The kids found it fun.  I was shocked Jeff didn't know about its puzzle-like abilities.
 Then there was more hiking....this stretch of 'stairs' about did me in.
 "I made it to the top...!"
 And because I took pictures of the back of her 1/2 of the day, see her cool Pinterest inspired hair!
 We finally found Logan a bear!  Thankfully the two of them were caged.
 We took a break from hiking to feed the goats.  If you look over Haydens left shoulder you see another goat tail.  About 2 seconds after this picture, that goat rammed his head into the other goats butt, pushing it out of the way- then slipped himself right under Hayden's petting hand. 
 This girl has some upper body strength!  I'm guessing those are the Elk antlers- so huge!
 And we learned about pumping you water from a well (while they all complained of thirst.)
 A quick peak at some (injured in the wild) & now safe here Bald Eagles.  Never been so close up before.  These guys were HUGE!  Like beyond what I could have guessed huge!
 {About how their thirsty, hungry, tired selves were really feeling by about this point}
 One last stretch of driving to see some more birds & some bison.
 And finally we reached the end (& a playground) which their previously exhausted selves magically had energy to play on.  Speaking of Liv's upper body strength.  There was a HUGE set of semi-circle monkey bars she could get 1/2 way around.  Logan didn't try.  Hayden could get about 1/8.

And after standing & watching an older girl very intently for quite some time.... she mastered THIS!
Ring- flip!!  We need to get this girl a gymnastics class!

It was a wonderful afternoon!