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Friday, March 30, 2012

Music to My Ears

It was music to my ears this morning as the kiddos were getting ready for school.  Our son needed to study for his social studies test.  Although we had studied last night, this morning he requested help from his sister.  I offered to help, but was told by both of them she was more fun.  :)  Imagine that!!

So, instead of fussing and fighting with each other, I heard laughter and singing.  They were making up songs with dance moves to help him remember all he needs to for his test.  I'm not sure how his teacher will like it if he breaks into dance during the test, but we'll see.  :)  At least they were having a great time studying and putting all kinds of social studies knowledge in their brains.  Did you know Oregon sounds a little like Oreo??  (Eric thought that up last night.)

I remember learning things to funny sayings when I was growing up.  Mom & I made up sayings all the time (or she passed on what she already knew).  Glad to see that memory technique is being passed down.  :)  I asked our daughter where she learned to put test information to song.  I was kind of hoping she would say me or grandma.  But, she told me Adventures in Odyssey.  Oh, well.  I always knew I liked that radio program.

And, I was literally experiencing music to my ears as they were singing.  What a fun way to start the morning.

Any great tips out there for making studying for tests more fun?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Would Love To Hear Your Comments

I started out writing this blog as a way to preserve my own memories before my thoughts ran out of my head.  Well, as time goes on, that is still my main goal.  However, I would love to hear more comments from all of you.  Thank you to those of you who have posted comments.  I know there are more of you out there and I know you are having thoughts that are worth sharing.  So, please share them.  I would love to get a conversation going.  I would love to hear your thoughts and hopefully they would spark more of my own.  Can't wait to hear from you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bugs Bunny Club--Augusta Theater

Eric has mentioned the Bugs Bunny Club many times throughout the years and always said we should go if we're ever in Augusta when it is happening.  Well, we finally got our chance this weekend.
The Bugs Bunny Club starts with a parade of dancing kiddos around the theater having a great time and following Bugs Bunny.  The movie shown is one that is currently available on DVD.  In fact, we had seen all the movies being shown this month, but it is still super fun.  Plus, they stop the movie twice at places with cliff hangers and pause for contests and prizes.  Keep your ticket stub, they may call your number.  This week was fire safety and besides seeing the cool fire truck outside the theater during one break firefighters crawled on the floor in the darkened theater to give an example of what you might hear if firefighters had to enter your home to look for you during a fire.  Then they had a contest with audience members trying to put fire safety gear on the fastest.  The second break had a jump rope contest.
Be sure you stay until the very end.  You could win a bike or movie passes.  :)

I don't care how often someone tells you about  it; you can't understand how awesome it really is until you've experienced it for yourself.  The energy is electric.  I found myself saying we should have our own small version in our movie room in our basement.  What about it?  Would anyone come?  Does it matter?  It would be fun for just the four of us.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cabella's--Wichita, KS

We visited the new Cabela's in Wichita this week.  It is, of course, amazing and full of all your hunting needs.  If you've been to Cabela's in Kansas City, this one may seem a bit small.  It is only one floor after all.  :)  There are even green stop signs in the parking lot to match the decor.  I have to wonder how well that will work.  My 6 year old nephew said "Green means go, not Stop."  He is right, of course.  We'll see how many drivers think the same thing.

There is amazing decor that will keep you interested all over the store.  (even if you're not interested in the hunting gear).  :)  We did not get pictures of everything.  When you go, pay attention as you walk around.  There are even animals up in trees along the aisles.  Look for the footprints on the floor.  You'll find them if you pay attention.  :)

We always look for the Bargain Cave whenever we visit a Cabela's.  Good thing it was easy to find and full of bargains to check out.  There are departments for clothes, household goods, camping, fishing, guns, archery, etc.  We even managed to find the bows that our kiddos have at their grandparent's house.    Whatever you're looking for in the outdoor realm, you will find if you look hard enough.  We found more than we ever could imagine, but all we left the store with were  spiced almonds.   It's not fair that they set up their roasting cart in the middle of the store.  It just smells too good to walk away empty handed.
Can we fix one up for my power chair?

Every store should have a wheelchair
accessible dressing room.  :O
The width of the glass on the aquarium

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tanganyika Wildlife Park

We got to visit Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard this weekend.  It reminded me greatly of our Kansas adventures last year.  I guess this just goes to show we will always be adventuring.  It's just part of our nature.  This time, Eric's parents, brother, and nieces and nephew got to join in the adventure with us.  

This was an interactive experience unlike any others we have had.  The kiddos got to pet several animals which were being held by wildlife staff.  And, these were not the animals you typically get to pet.  I have never had the opportunity to pet a penguin, honey badger, or armadillo before.  Getting to pet a red kangaroo reminded me of the zoo I visited in Australia, but this one did not have a koala to hold.  :)

It did have a Kookaburra

Honey Badger

Red Kangaroo
Red Kangaroo

She has a joey in her pocket.  Can you find the ears?

A walk around the entire zoo took about 2 1/2 hours, including all the interaction time.  The other adults in our party were impressed at the lack of walking required.  The kiddos had a great time interacting with the animals and playing with their cousins.  There were not as many animals to see as at other zoos with the same admission price.   I missed great apes and even our son said he wished he could have seen elephants.   For this admission price, I expected everything to be included once you pay admission.  Prepare yourself if you go.  That is not the case.  Many of the interactions--feeding animals, camel or horse rides cost 1 to 5 tokens.  Tokens cost $1 each.  So, take extra money with you if you want the whole experience.  

Even the big boys got to ride the camel.
The fish pond/river was the scariest part of the day for me.  I kept thinking a kid was going to fall in and my power chair wouldn't do well in a rescue mission.  ;)

Our day ended with two little boys trying to mimic the giraffes and skip along their fence.
Feeding the Giraffe

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

I loved the Hunger Games book trilogy so much I've been both nervous and excited to see the movie.  I've been planning to see it, and on opening weekend, since I started reading the books.  But, as the time drew near, I kept getting more nervous.  After I had purchased my tickets a couple of days in advance, I found myself really nervous.  I generally do not like movies about books I love and this could have been a very violent and graphic movie.

I was pleasantly surprised.  Although no movie is exactly like the book, this one is very close.  There were some parts left out and even some minor characters left out, but the overall story wasn't changed.  The characters were amazing and had you falling in love with the right people from the beginning.  Plus, knowing what is coming, the characterization of some characters will make it easy to despise them in the future.

One of the best parts of the movie was seeing the creation of costumes and the crazy attire, food, etc. of the capital.  I enjoy imagining scenes from books in my mind and often filmmakers can't come close.  The imaginations of the filmmakers in this movie far outdid anything my imagination could come up with.  The movie was a visual feast for the eyes.

If you have read the Hunger Games or even a plot synopsis, you should expect a lot of violence.  It is impossible to have a "game" where 24 tributes enter and fight to the death for 1 victor without a lot of violence and death.  I am pleased to say there was not as much blood and graphic violence as I was afraid there might be.  There is death and you do see some blood, but much of the actual violence is off-screen and left to your imagination.  The cinematography during the initial rush to the cornucopia to get supplies was hard for me to watch.  It was very choppy and in constant movement.  It was hard for my eyes to focus and I had to close my eyes to avoid a headache.

I do have to say it was helpful to have read the books ahead of time.  Although the movie does stand alone, it was helpful to have read the history and have more information than they had time to give in the movie.  I'm already waiting for Catching Fire to come out.