Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Beavers (Re) Unite!

James & JoyAnna at ECHO Global Farm

Grandpa Beaver came to town! Josh picked him up from the airport on Friday, March 15th and dropped him off at Mumpsie and Pop Pop's house. Then on Saturday, they all went to ECHO Global Farm for their annual Farm Day. I stayed home with Lydia because I was sick, but it sounded like everyone had a good time.
Grandpa Beaver came to stay at our house on Monday when I was feeling a little better. It took Lydia a little while to warm up to him, but after she did they were best buddies! She laughed and played and giggled and wrestled and snuggled with her Gpa B!

My window man fixing the screens
James practicing his reading
James enjoyed practicing his reading with Grandpa. We took lots of walks around the neighborhood. We even began pressing flowers for our Wildflower Binder. We collected a sample of every wildflower from around our neighborhood on our walks, brought them home and pressed them in newspapers. (Josh's theology shelf has been emptied because those were the ones we used as our weight!) They should be dry next week and ready to put in a binder.

Lydia and her buddy, Gpa B!

The kids had such a good time playing with Grandpa Beaver! They read books, played cards, wrestled, we took lots of walks, played board games... And it was so nice to be able to watch him interact with his grandchildren. It brought back so many wonderful memories of him playing with my brothers and sister and me.

Reading with Grandpa Beaver
Go Fish!
 I dropped Josh off at work one day and we took Grandpa Beaver to Sanibel Island. We visited Ding Darling and then enjoyed a picnic at the beach.

You had to match the correct head to the correct body and the correct feet.
At Ding Darling the kids had fun touching different animal hides, "building" birds and hiking. I was so pleased when they were telling me the names of different birds they have been learning about. At the Build A Bird station, they were able to correctly identify every bird except for the Roseate Spoonbill. The first time they saw a Roseate Spoonbill was only a few weeks earlier, so it was understandable they couldn't remember the name. But today when I showed JoyAnna the picture she said, "There is the Roseate Spoon Duck!" Pretty close!

 We took a hike and Grandpa scooped an ant lion out of it's hole to show the kids. Everyone liked that! The path leads you through some marshy woods where there are lots and lots of mangroves growing. We saw some fiddler crabs there.
I took this picture for Josh. This is where he thinks iced tea comes from.
Further down the trail we saw a huge spider in a web between two trees. We also saw a Coot and some other bird we didn't recognize. I took a picture so we could identify it at home. We still need to do that...Hey, thanks for reminding me!  :)

GIANT spider at Ding Darling (It was about 3" long)
The water was COLD at the beach. Lydia cried when a wave washed up around her feet. And JoyAnna cried when a wave knocked her down and nearly washed her out to sea. Poor girls! James had a blast finding shells and digging in the sand. So did the girls after they got over their trauma. We saw two different types of seagulls. Your average seagulls that frequent the McDonalds parking lot, and then some other ones with a black head. We should look those up too.

One night we took a walk together. Whenever I walk, I always bring along my big hiking stick. We have panther, coyotes, and bear here so I like to have SOMETHING to protect us with just in case we meet one of them. My dad didn't understand why I brought a hiking stick to walk around our neighborhood and laughed at how silly it looked. (I did manage to point out several other people during the week walking with big sticks around the neighborhood as well, so it's not just me!) When I told him about the animals that have been spotted in the area, he was skeptical. That night, about ten minutes after we all went to bed, we heard the coyotes howling outside. They were closer than they have ever been to our house. I ran to make sure Grandpa Beaver heard and he asked, "Are they in your backyard?!" We went outside to see if we could figure out where they were, but I think the sound of the door opening scared them away. We didn't hear them howling for a while, and when we did they were further away. I was so glad that he got to hear them! (And not just so I could say, "I told you so!")

The first Saturday my dad was here, our Iris in the pond garden was blooming. I was so looking forward to showing him. By the time he got to our house on Monday, the bloom had died. So I was very excited when we had three blooms at once preparing to open the night before he left. I hoped that they would be open for him in the morning before he left so he could see them. They weren't. So, Grandpa Beaver...this is what they looked like the day AFTER you left. Sorry you missed them!

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