Getting Outside

The past couple years I have wanted to get a State Park Pass – but every year it does not happen.  This year, I decided to make it happen!

So, today we headed out to Purtis Creek State Park to get a park pass, collect some seeds, and get outside!

The boys collected seeds from the native plants on the trail there, so they could put together a seed collection for a Texas Brigade project.img_0988

Peter’s pic of a native plant that quail eat and live in – cool close-up.img_0989

Jacob taking some pics too while the others are exploring.


Anna even found a friend.

I am looking forward to a year of seeing as many state parks as we can!!


We finally hiked Enchanted Rock!  It was so much fun, despite my son practically running up the Rock!!  Despite not being able to breathe – the views were amazing!!  Once at the top my girl was sure she was going to fly off, but we all made it safely down.  It was a fun afternoon!!

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We had a great trip this weekend!!  As a family, we trekked down to Washington on the Brazos to do some sight seeing.  The next day we headed to A&M to compete in District Livestock Judging.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Washington on the Brazos, honestly I had no idea what would be there or what we would learn.  Washington on the Brazos is where Texas became a Republic. 

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We were able to sit in a building that is built to mirror the original building where a group of men met and signed the Declaration of Independence.  We heard how these men met while the Alamo was being over-run by Santa Anna and how the call for help came. 

This place is rich in Texas history, between the museum that chronicles the history of Texas, to the working farm that gives a picture of what life in the 1850’s in Texas looked like. 

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It was a great day to walk around and enjoy the wildflowers too!!

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The next day we headed to A&M to sign in for Livestock judging.  This was the district level competition.  Our boys signed up at the last minute at the county level competition during our Henderson County Livestock show.  They enjoyed it, so we thought they would like to do it again!  This time we brought a friend Christopher along, and it sure seems like he enjoyed it!!

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We even stopped by to see the George Bush Library and the gorgeous pond behind it.


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We even got a chance to find a geocache!!

Birthday Fun

We had so much fun this week when we trekked up to Dallas to visit the new Perot Museum.  We were able to get in for free since we have a Tyler museum pass – this was awesome!!

So we planned to check out the museum, and then drive over to Grand Prairie to eat at Mix It Up Burger with friends!  It was so much fun!

The museum was great.  the kids enjoyed the 3rd and 4th floor, but once we got the the second floor we hung out a while.  You take an escalator up when you start straight to the fourth floor.  Then you work your way down as you go through each floor.  The second floor was all the hands on science fun!

I personally enjoyed the 4th floor bird area the most, where we met a volunteer who is a birder  – lots of good conversation!


Lunch was very yummy, not so healthy – but we all had fun!  We met up with friends and there was certainly not a quite moment while we were there!!

lunch with Byerly family

It was a great way to celebrate our oldest son’s 12th birthday!!

Opening Epcot

Our trip to Florida was a dream on any levels, I will expound on that when I share about the other parks.  We loved all the parks, but our favorites were Hollywood Studios and Epcot. 

4 kids at epcot

Epcot was not even on our radar, other than, many friends told us we had to go.  Well, we were not going to go.  And we were okay with that, we were happy with the other 3 parks and really thrilled for all of it. 

Upon arriving in Florida and meeting up with my in-laws, my mother-in-law told me the surprise, we were going to get an extra day at a park!  Well, of course …. EPCOT!!!

We were absolutely thrilled while waiting in line to go in, a Disney employee walked over and started talking to us, very nice lady.

our new friend

I thought she would hand the kids some stickers, and since they all (Cast Members) are so friendly, I suspected NOTHING!  So a few minutes into talking, she asked if we would like to OPEN THE PARK!!!

Uh, pause …. YES!!


So we did.  We were so excited not just to open it, but we were celebrating ED’s birthday!!  He turned 8 while we were in Florida but it was the day we were leaving, so we made that day HIS day!  So fun!!

epcot in early

So we got to go in first, took a few pics by the entrance and then welcomed the crowd!!

everyone else waiting to get in

Why did we love EPCOT?  Well, as homeschoolers, we honestly never stop learning.  We love any chance to learn!  And Epcot was a perfect place to learn, about different cultures, about some science – about some fun rides too!

We even spent a few minutes in Norway where we learned a bit about Vikings, which we are studying these days for school!!

ed and viking


norway and 2 boys

We took notebooks in to the park and each of our children picked a word, and as we went from country to country we asked a “Cast Member” to write that word in their language.  It was so fun!  The kids loved talking to the individuals and loved learning their words too!  PJ practiced writing his word in Japanese for education all the way home!  How fun is that?

It was really a magical day and we loved it!  We even closed the park!!


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