Friday, September 25, 2009

What we have been up to since vacation

Life has been busy and full for us since returning from vacation. We celebrated Silas' 2nd birthday and Sophie's 4th birthday together, since we were in Colorado for Silas'.

Sophie got her ears pierced for her birthday. She says she is now a "big" girl:

We started back to school. Everyone seems to be doing well. Sammy and Lizzy are now in 5th grade and learning fractions, sentence diagramming, and about the human body. Sadie is in 2nd grade, but is well ahead of 2nd grade work. She often works ahead in her books and she is reading 5th grade level books. Henry is in 1st grade and is doing well. His reading has really improved this year and he has added Italian and piano lessons.

The two oldest have added a couple of new things this year. Lizzy has decided to try her hand at sewing. This is her first project, so be looking for a picture of the finished product. She is really enjoying this class.

Sammy is taking golf lessons through the First Tee program. He is loving this class! His first week, he came home w/ the "smiley golf ball" for putting the ball closest to the flag!

Both of the girls are playing fall soccer. One of the grandmothers on Sadie's team sent me these pictures of Sadie. I'll have some more of both girls soon.

In the midst of all of this, it was time to potty train Silas. He is sitting on the big potty and stays dry all night and through his naps. It's just that darn #2 thing that keeps giving us problems!

As you can see, all of this activity has left some of us very, very tired!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Colorado Vacation - Day 7

We woke up early our final day of vacation to get to the big cat farm by 9:00 a.m. Serenity Springs is a sanctuary to almost 120 big cats located in Calhan, CO, which is out in the middle of nowhere. I just happened to come across this place while planning our vacation and once I looked at their website, was convinced we needed to do what we could so that Sammy could see it. It meant adding an extra day to our vacation, because they only give tours on the weekend, but I think it was well worth it. Most of the cats here are rescues, but some had interesting stories of how they arrived. Some were famous before having to retire here and some actually were raised as house pets!

I didn't get very great pics because we had to stand at lease 3 feet back, especially the children. Our guide told us that the cats might try to "stalk" the kids if they got too close. Also, there is a danger of being "sprayed", just like a house cat would do. Disgusting!

A black leopard - in the sunlight you could see his spots.

Pharaoh the lion - he was movie star at one time. He was Samuel's favorite big cat.

This bengal tiger liked to play a game w/ the workers and pretend he was stalking them. It is amazing how quiet and agile they are.

This mountain lion was raised as a house pet. I'm not sure what people are thinking when they buy one of these for pets.

I believe Samuel said this was a Caracal. There were two in this cage and they had their eyes on Sophie. She was just the right height and they acted like they would pounce on her at any second!

The only lioness they had. They said she sleeps up to 20 hours a day.

A Vegas tiger.

This guy was a little scary because he was crouched down in the grass just watching us.

This was one of the 4 white tigers that had to be taken away from Mike Tyson. He would buy them and use them as sparring partners! By the way, they keep size 16 bowling balls in their pins as toys for them to play with. They throw these the balls around like they are styrofoam or something. If the balls were smaller, they would be able to crush them in their mouth!

These animals were donated to the sanctuary:

We left the sanctuary at about 10:30 or so and got back to Broken Arrow around 10:00 p.m. It was a long trip, but we all had a great time!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sophie Isabella turns 4

Happy 4th Birthday, Sophie! We are so glad that God sent you to be a part of our family!

My beautiful blue eyed girl!

Colorado Springs - Day 6

Our last full day in Colorado Springs was spent at the Air Force Academy. It was an incredible campus to tour and the chapel was beautiful. We just happened to go on the day that they were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the building of the chapel.
Inside the visitor's center:

On the trail to the chapel:

Inside the chapel:

On campus:

We had dinner that night at The Airplane Restaurant. They converted this old plane into a place for people to sit and eat and the kids were free to "fly the plane", as long as they took us somewhere fun. The kids really enjoyed this place and the food was good. We left Colorado Springs from here and headed to the middle of nowhere to a town called Calhan, Co. Tomorrow we will visit the big cat sanctuary and then we head back to OK!