Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma - Toy and Action Figure Museum

Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma - Toy and Action Figure Museum
Our third and final stop on our Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma was the Toy and Action Figure Museum in Purcell.  Now, this was a fun stop!  They have so many toys. Everywhere you look, there are toys stacked upon toys upon toys. It's amazing. 

Noah didn't know where to go or what to look at first. Most of the pictures I got of him were blurry because he was moving the entire time. They did have a section of toys that kids could play with though. Noah had a lot of fun in this area. 

It had costumes and cars and blocks and a "Batphone". It was all really cool. 

There were quite a few Lego toys, which was neat. They had the toys organized by themes.

I think Emily and I both agreed that we would have liked to see more girl toys. They had a few girl toys in one section, but the didn't have a lot of toys that I remembered from when I was a kid. 

They had a lot of Star Wars items and a lot of super heroes. They also had a whole area with an army men setup. 

I thought this was well-worth the stop for it's kid-appeal as well as nostalgia. 

Now, on to the next adventure!

Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma - Chickasaw Cultural Center

Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma - Chickasaw Cultural Center
Our second stop on our Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma was the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma. We'd never been here before, but they have a lot of Native American artifacts and art pieces. 

There were some exhibits that cost money to view and we did not go through any of those, but we went through the art exhibit and a few others. I thought the authentic Native American headdress was very neat to see. At certain times of the day, they have Native American dancing but we were there too late to witness it. 

In one area, they had a Lego Native American village set up. Noah though this area was really cool. It was a DO NOT TOUCH area though.

I tried to get a closer look at it. It was very detailed and cool. I think Noah was trying to get some ideas on how we could recreate this setup at home. 

They also had a nice pond with a water fountain in it. It had a couple docks in it and we went out to feed the fish. There were some huge catfish that came up to eat! I didn't get any pictures of the fish because I have this weird phobia that I will drop my phone into the water and it'll be gone for good. I wouldn't even get my phone out of my purse while we were out on the dock. That part was fun though. 

Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma - Arbuckle Wilderness

Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma - Arbuckle Wilderness
We had a really fun weekend trip through Central Oklahoma. 

When I woke up this morning, I told the kids that I'd had a dream that we were out in a boat fishing with Tyler and Carter and we were catching shoes instead of fish and we were eating Cheez-its. They thought this was hilarious.

So, late-morning we packed up a picnic lunch and got ready to go. We stopped by the 7-11 to pick up some drink then went and found a little lake to stop and eat our lunch. It was not much of a lake and the water was really dirty but when Mike and Emily opened the bag of drinks, we found that they'd gotten a bag of Cheez-its for each of us! I was so surprised and excited that my dream was coming true.

After lunch, we headed to Arbuckle Wilderness to feed the animals. We always enjoy doing this. We usually buy a big bag of feed and just start passing it out. 

They had a new baby llama on this trip. It was so cute! It was just sitting there so still. 

This kid here is pretty cute, but he tends to dump half of his cup of feed at a time. You can tell that he's really proud of himself!

The fall colors were really pretty. They had a lot of these bright yellow flowers that I just loved. 

The emu are always fun. They can be pretty aggressive at going after their food. I usually try to give them some but I only open the window a crack because I don't want them pecking me!

The donkeys are pretty crazy. Hey kids! This is what'll happen if you don't brush your teeth!

Emily's favorite animal is the giraffe. We couldn't get close enough to the giraffe to feed him this time, but we stopped to watching him for a minute. 

I think the zebras are pretty cool looking. 

And the camels are always fun. Emily fed this camel some food out of her cup and he jerked it out of her hand and threw it on the ground. Haha! I tried to get a picture of it but he was too close to the car. 

Next time, I'll be sharing the next stop on our adventure. Be sure to check back to see what we did next. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Curious Case of the Missing Rubber Mallet

The Curious Case of the Missing Rubber Mallet
For the last few months, I've been missing my rubber mallet. I've needed it for several projects around the house like putting up the tent in the backyard and installing the flowerbed edging, but I could not find it anywhere. We've even cleaned up the garage and I was sure it would turn up somewhere out there, but it never did. 

Well, I finally found my rubber mallet today ... in the laundry room underneath the cabinet in a tub full of kitchen gadgets. GAH! How did it even get in there and how long has it been there? I have no idea.

The good news is that I found a spot for it on my very organized garage wall so I should never lose that thing again!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Back to School

Back to School
School started for my cool kids on Friday. We had such a fun summer that it's going to take some time to get used to our new schedules.

Emily is at the junior high now and she leaves for school super early. The bus comes by at 6:45am. This weekend, I got Emily her own alarm clock so that she can wake up as early as she needs to wake up. Tomorrow will be our first test so we'll see how it goes.

I didn't manage to get a picture of Emily on her first day of school because of how early she left, but maybe she'll let me snap a quick pic one day this week.

After Emily leaves for the bus stop, I plan to go ahead and get my walk/run done for the day. By the time I get back home, it will be time for Mike to leave for work and Noah to wake up for the day. Noah's bus doesn't come until 8:40am so we have plenty of time to have breakfast together and then he can work on his daily reading before school. 

We're all going to have to make adjustments, but I think it's going to be a good year for both kids. Noah got a teacher that I met when I went to Camp Classen with Emily a couple years ago. She seems like she's going to be a good fit for Noah. He's so happy to go to school every day and I hope that excitement is something that continues for him.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
The day after we got home from the beach, I had to jet off to Wisconsin for a work trip. I was supposed to fly up one day and fly home the next night, but the first flight of my return trip got delayed because of weather in Minneapolis. I ended up missing my connection and having to get a hotel in Minneapolis for the night. I know this kind of thing happens all the time, but when it happens to me it's really not cool!

I finally did make it home, just a day late. I was SO glad to be home!
A few days later, we went to an Oklahoma Dodgers baseball game. The Oklahoma Dodgers are a Minor League Triple-A affiliate of the LA Dodgers. We got free ball caps with our tickets. Not everyone wanted to sport their new cap, but I did. 

We bought tickets through our church and there was a whole section in the upper deck that was full of people in our group. There were a lot of sections down lower that were pretty much empty.

After the first inning, we went to get some hot dogs to eat. I didn't actually see any peanuts and cracker jacks, but the kids were more interested in the Dippin Dots counter. 

After we ate our hot dogs, we went and found a seat in one of the empty sections so that we could have more room to spread out. We were sitting right above the visiting team's dugout. 

A few foul balls came close to us, but we didn't actually get any of them. 

During one of the later innings, I took Noah to walk around a bit because he was getting restless. They had a few different kids areas. There was one where you could play giant Jenga and Connect Four. There was also a bounce house area and a playground. 

Next, I walked around with Emily for a while. We walked all the way around the concourse. The kids got their Dippin Dots, too. 

We stayed until the bitter end because Noah wanted to run the bases. He had fun with that, but it was very late when we got home!

I was beyond tired, but we had a good time. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Beach Vacation 2017 - Parting Thoughts

Beach Vacation 2017 - Parting Thoughts
This is one of my favorite pictures from the beach. Daniel took this picture of Noah before we took family pictures one night. Isn't he so handsome?? 

One night, a sea turtle laid her eggs on the beach behind our beach house. Really early the next morning, the turtle rescue folks were out digging up the turtle eggs. They moved them up further on the beach behind the sand dunes so that they would be safer. 

Later that night, the turtle rescue people came back by to put up the signage on their relocated nest. We happened to be outside and I asked them a bunch of questions. They said there were 89 eggs in our nest and that they would hatch in about 45 days. I thought that was pretty cool. I would have loved to see a sea turtle. 

A day or two before the sea turtle hatched on our beach, Heather, Stephen and I went walking after supper and we saw a couple cars with a turtle rescue sign on them in front of one of the houses down the beach from us. We went over and peaked beyond the sand dunes and we could see a nest that was roped off and it had a trench coming out of it down toward the water with a plastic slide for the baby turtles to use to get back to the water.

One night, we were walking along the beach looking for shells and there was a couple fishing from the beach. We walked past them then we were heading back to our house when we passed them again and they'd just caught a baby shark.

The woman said this was a tiny baby one, but they caught one the other day that was 4-5 feet long.  She also said they are really tasty. Hmmmm. 

We celebrated Noah's birthday at the beach. We went and got him a Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake. He was really excited. And the cake wasn't half-bad either. 

Speaking of food, we ate at our beach house pretty much the whole time we were there. We stopped by Walmart and Sams on the way into town and got a lot of the food for breakfasts and lunches. We had most of the dinners planned ahead of time. Each family picked a meal to cook on an assigned night. It worked really well to do it this way so that everyone got to relax on vacation and didn't have to spend all their time in the kitchen.

We also had lots of ice cream, popsicles, fudge bars, cookies, and soft mints. 

We had plenty of food, but we'd eaten most of it by the end of the week. We didn't have too much leftover. 

The beach was a wonderful time with family and I went home feeling relaxed. I definitely want to go back to the beach sometime. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Beach Vacation 2017 - Dolphins!

Beach Vacation 2017 - Dolphins!
One morning, we went on a dolphin boat tour. 

Since it wasn't as long and as rough as the fishing trip, everybody got to go on this excursion!

Daniel and Heather both took a lot of pictures while we were on the boat. 

I don't remember how long we were on the boat before we got to see some dolphins, but we eventually did find some dolphins. 

There was a baby with its mother, too! How cool. Daniel took this very cool picture. 

There were a few dolphins out there that we got to see, but it was mostly just very brief glimpses of them. I mean I wasn't expecting them to jump out of the water or anything, but I was expecting to at least go find another dolphin pod.

But we basically just turned around and started heading back to the marina. 

But then ... we saw this big pirate ship cruising towards us. The captain announced that we were under attack and if we wanted to help fight back, we could come to one side of the boat and get water guns. Or else we should go inside the cabin if we wanted to be safe.

And the next thing you know, the pirate boat start spraying our boat with water guns and water canons and a high-powered water hose. Haha!  The boys went over to help fight, but I don't think it was much of a fair fight. 

The funny thing was that I'd found a dolphin tour that included a water gun fight at the end, but we'd specifically picked this one because it didn't mention a water gun fight.

Even though we didn't see a ton of dolphins, we had fun on the dolphin tour.

After the tour, we went to grab lunch at Tacky Jack's, which was nearby.

This cute kid here was disappointed that he didn't see any dolphins on our tour, but he was sure excited about this elephant at the restaurant in the play area. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Beach Vacation 2017 - Fishing Family

Beach Vacation 2017 - Fishing Family
One afternoon while we were at the beach, we went out on a chartered fishing trip. We caught several red snapper, a few mackerel, and some bonitas. 

Heather found us a good crew on the C-Rose charter boat. We drove over to Orange Beach to the marina to get on the boat. 

We got to the boat about a half hour early and the crew showed us to the air-conditioned cabin. We just enjoyed the ride out into the ocean. It took us about 45 minutes to get out to their fishing area.

Once we got to the spot, we each picked a pole and started fishing. 

We mostly used cut up fish for bait. You get to bait your own hook, but sometimes the crew would help if they weren't busy with something else. 

We started catching fish pretty much immediately.  When we got a fish on our hook, we would yell "FISH ON!" and they would come help us get the fish in the boat.

Carter caught a nice one!

Cornelia caught a King Mackerel. I'm only putting this on here so that I can remember it, but the guy helped reel this one in because it was so big. When he got it into the boat, he beat it in the head with a bar. It was kind of crazy! I was not prepared for that. 

Tyler caught quite a few fish, too. Everyone caught at least one fish, some people caught several. 

Whenever the catching would slow down, the captain would move us to a different spot. He was constantly moving the boat around to try to get us into the best possible spot to catch fish.

We didn't know it at the time, but we went on the last day of red snapper season. If we had gone one day later, we would have only been able to catch smaller fish. 

We thought we caught some pretty big fish, but when we got back to the marina we saw some of the other boats coming in with their catch and one group of guys had some really big red snappers. 

On the way back to the marina, we did some trolling fishing. The two reels that are bent over in the picture below are our trolling reels. They always look bent over like that until there's a fish on. Then the rod will jerk up and down. That's how you know you have a fish.  Everyone who wanted a turn got a chance to reel in a fish during the trolling. 

All the girls had fun fishing, too!  And didn't we look stylish while doing it? Haha! Maybe next time we'll all have fishing shirts like Heather's?

After we got back to the marina, we waited for the crew to clean our fish. 

Tyler and Carter were very interested in watching this process take place. 

The next day, mom trimmed up the red snapper and dad fried it.

It was pretty yummy. Maybe not as good as the fried catfish at Grandmother and Granddaddy's house, but it was still good. 

Overall, the fishing trip was really fun. I definitely want to go "deep sea" fishing again. I say deep sea in quotes because I'm not actually sure if it was considered deep sea, but I still really enjoyed it. I think we all did.  Oh, and nobody got sick on the boat. That was a big plus.

Thanks again to Daniel and Heather for some of the pictures from the beach!

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