Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Our Exciting Saturday

It's no secret that the kids and I fell in love with Mrs. Flowers' bunnies. However, Josh wasn't quite so convinced. Sure, he thought they were cute. But he didn't see a real "use" for them. You can't eat them. They don't lay eggs or give milk fit for human consumption. Just fiber. And he's got his heart set on sheep when it comes to a fiber animal. Angora rabbits qualify as pets in his dictionary. And Josh doesn't "do" pets. Especially expensive ones. So we made a deal. If I could find an angora rabbit at a reasonable price (meaning, about the same as or less than the price of the average bunny), we could get it.

I put out an advertisement announcing that we were looking for a baby English Angora bunny. I heard back from someone in Orlando who had a mix. That won't work for 4-H, so I politely declined. Then I got an email from a lady in Bradenton. She said that her family was  moving and they had an adult English Angora buck they were going to have to find a new home for.

So we finally decided to bring the kids to Bradenton to visit Snooty, the oldest living manatee in captivity, at the South Florida Museum. After our visit, we would pick up our bunny. We were in for quite an exciting day!

Snooty's Feeding Time!
Two months ago we visited the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa. We decided to buy a membership because that would allow us to visit many other museums for free! Good deal! Apparently, we also get to visit Snooty for free!! I was really surprised about this because their website says that the South Florida Museum does not participate in that program and we would not get discounted admission. When we got there, I politely asked why they don't participate and the lady behind the counter explained that they do offer free admission to any members of MOSI! It only cost us $12 so that we could all go see the Planetarium shows.

We love Snooty!

After Snooty's feeding time where the keeper comes out to speak about manatees, we walked around and went down to the bottom of the tank so we could see the manatees swimming around. And we found 2 photo opportunities!
Swimming with Snooty!

 It was perfect, because JoyAnna had said at feeding time, "I wish I could go in there and swim with Snooty." They eagerly climbed up and stuck their faces in for me. (I love these things!)


Can you see James' head peeking over?

Outside of  aquarium is what seems to me to be a VERY old, and very tiny, Spanish Mission-style Catholic Church. The kids did not recognize it as a church. I thought the pews would give it away, but since we've been part of a small house church for over a year perhaps they don't remember pews? Then, I suppose, James got the idea because he stepped up into the "pulpit" area and began preaching.

James, JoyAnna and Lydia posing with the Snooty statue.
 We really had a nice time. The planetarium show was so enjoyable. James even remembered some information about stars and supernovas - and that was pretty cool to hear him reminding us about it on the way home.

And this was THE FIRST time we have ever had a child under the age of 2 go through an entire planetarium show without screaming and needing to be removed!

We were warned that there was a point in the show that might be a little startling and we had prepared the kids (mostly JoyAnna) for it.
This was one of their favorite parts!

After the show, she looked at us and said, "I wasn't scared because I knew God was 'pretecting' me!" It never ceases to amaze me when I see how God is proving Himself to be real in our children's lives. We share the Gospel with them, and we do our best to live it out, all the while being completely dependent upon His grace. But He is doing the work that we cannot do as their parents. Which is, by His Spirit, moving in their hearts and minds.

They had a boat that the kids were allowed to sit in! They didn't want to get out and finish going through the museum! It was so much fun to watch the three of them pretending to be out in a boat. The water was rough that day; they were having trouble keeping from capsizing.

Unfortunately, at the other end of this room there is a canoe sitting on the ground. My children, who had just enjoyed the other boat so very much, jumped right in before we read the TINY sign that read, "Please Do Not Sit In Canoe. Thanks." Whoops!

There is an exhibit in the museum of Franklinite, a fluorescent mineral found in Franklin, New Jersey...VERY close to where I grew up! I can still remember taking a field trip to the very mine that harvested these minerals when I was in elementary school. This mineral is very neat because under normal lighting conditions it doesn't really look any different than any other rock. But when you put a black light on it, it turns bright green.

We left the museum, enjoyed some delicious cheeseburgers at Five Guys Burgers & Fries, and then went to pick up our sweet bunny... Stay tuned for THAT story!

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