Monday, October 12, 2015

Fall Break 2015 Begins

Here in Utah, in the middle of October is UEA weekend-- I believe it is a two day convention for the Utah Educators Association.  Everybody is out of school on Thursday and Friday.  Since we homeschool, it's never really meant that much to me, but this year I scheduled a fall break this week.  No school, no piano lessons, and several of the kids' regular activities are cancelled as well.
I've declared it a Fall Family Fun Week.  We have worked really hard this school year thus far and I'm ready for a break.
We went to the zoo today.  I've been meaning to renew our membership ever since the school year began, but it was such a treat to have Abe with us and for the whole family to get to go together.
We loved watching the sea lions doing tricks with their trainer.
One of the most fascinating things I've ever observed at any zoo, ever, were these three gorillas today.  It appeared the adolescent male was really antagonizing the silver back and the female was trying to intervene in their violent encounters.  The kids and I were having a marvelous time narrating their interactions.  It was awesome.
This is kind of a weird picture.  Sometimes something seems like a good idea, but then it's just bizarre.  I like it anyway.  There is a photo-op eagle's nest at the zoo.  This represents my desire to keep my chickies in the nest for a little bit longer.  Nobody leaves-- YOU ALL STAY IN THE NEST!  It's a healthy parenting strategy, is it not?
 I really like this picture of the four oldest kids.  I think of the zoo as a place people usually take smaller kids to, and I have spent a lot of time at the zoo with these kids when they were younger.  We know the zoo well.  We know exactly what animals they have, or used to have.  It was bitter-sweet to be with them as mostly teenagers now.  I love who they are now and who they are becoming, but I look back with much fondness to when they were little.
The little boys are great fun at the zoo as well, but I don't think any of our children will ever appreciate it as much as Clark did.  Does.  I'm sure we spend more time in the reptile house than anyone else who visits the zoo.  Clark has fostered a real appreciation in all of us for the snakes, lizards, and amphibians.  I admit, we think they're pretty, and excitedly call to one another to come see the next thing.   
We've had beautiful, beautiful, summer-like weather for the past several weeks.  It always changes just before Halloween, so I hope it holds out for the rest of our fall break.
This evening we took our annual trip to Gardner Village to see the Witches.  We probably aren't who they would really like to have come visit, in that, we don't spend any money and we take up a lot of space, but we really enjoy this tradition.  We can justify our presence because Abe spends his Saturdays mornings at Gardner Village for many months of the year working their Farmer's Market with Winder Farms.  So, yeah, I think we're just fine.

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