San Diego – The Zoo

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(This post was from Our Homeschool Trip in September 2012.)

Who can go to San Diego and not visit the San Diego Zoo? Not us! This was the next place for us to hit. We didn’t know it when the tickets were purchased but they included the Skyfari and Guided Bus Tour which, as we discovered, are a must if you actually want to see most of it.

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Our fist stop was Discovery Outpost.  Guess what we found?  It’s a Fossa!!!!!

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Next we rode the Skyfari to the arctic and got more awesome pictures of these cute kids we found.

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Then back to the woods for a Camp Critters Show!

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This was a highlight for Zoe. Many different animals were brought out including a cheetah which is her favorite animal.  Interestingly enough this white dog is a companion animal for the cheetah.  It seems the cheetah is much more relaxed when he’s around.  Good thing.  Given the look of this relaxed cheetah I would hate to see him without his buddy.

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And check out these awesome macaw pictures Greg got!

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This orangutan will forever be a best memory from this trip.  While Oliver was standing near the glass the orangutan ran straight to him (Oliver staggered back a bit not sure he would stop) and put on the best show around.  Laying down, climbing the bamboo, tricks with a banana leaf.  He let out all the stops.  All for little Oliver.

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Greg put together a video of other pictures from this day.  He asked that I choose some favorites and write a little about the day.  I think he may have said three pictures?  Uh, well.  It was really hard for me to narrow it down to what you see.    I hope you enjoy the show.

San Deigo-Sea World

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(This post was from Our Homeschool Trip in September.)

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Hello OP Otter!  This was a big step for Zeke.  He wouldnt stand for a photo but he did want to give OP a hug.  Such a sweet little man!

Lets ride the Manta!!


I am soooo not a roller coaster person.  Early on in Zoe’s life Greg started grooming her to experience the thrill of the ride.  She is now tall enough to ride pretty much anything and Greg couldn’t be happier to finally have someone to go with.  I lost track of the number times they rode Manta.  Going in September has its advantages…no lines.  They didnt even have to get off the ride between runs.  One thing I liked about the ride was it went over a large section of the park.  The littles and I sat by the flamingoes watching them go round and round and round. Just the way I like to experience Manta.


One of my favorite animals is the Orca.  They show was great.  We sat at the very edge of the wet zone not nowing how wet it would get.  After sitting there in the blazing sun before the show we consittered getting a little closer.  By the end we were still completely dry and extreemly hot.  Next time we’ll get a bit closer.


These are some beautiful and amazing creatures.





These sea lions cracked us up.  This one sat at the edge begging for fish which you could by and feed them with.  We enjoyed watching these silly things.  Next time you see Zoe you should ask her what a begging sea lion sounds like.


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watching sea lions beg                                                    The arctic ice wall


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Oh yeah we bought a bus!!!

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Yes sir-eeeee, we bought a bus. Not just any bus. It is a 1982 Motor Coach International (MCI) M-9 New Jersey Transport Bus. 40 foot triple axle, diesel powered beast. It is big and it is beautiful.


So you might be wondering “Has Greg lost his mind?” Well the answer would be yes, but that is a subject for another posting. Anyway, our hope is to transform this transport into our family’s motorhome. The prior owners of this Silver Bullet started the process by taking most of the seats out of the bus except the front 4 rows. They added a couch, table and bed for mom and dad. The kids slept in sleeping beds on the floor. They used it as part gospel ministry and part family RV.



The “B” family would travel the country singing the praises of Jesus in local churches as a way to share the Gospel of Jesus. They would also vacation with this bus……and oh the stories….you know the ones that you can laugh about now but cause you to pray hard and asked God for help when they happen. Like the time they ran out of gas…..oh I didn’t mention the bus doesn’t have a gas gauge. You have to keep track of mpg and the miles you have traveled. Let’s just say they decided 500 miles traveled was the magical number before refueling to ensure that they didn’t run out of gas again. I think we will do that too.


Or the story of them driving through a bad snow storm in the mid west. And the windshield wipers stopped working. Oh, I didn’t tell you that everything in the bus is powered by compressed air. From the brakes to the windshield wipers to the drivers seat (height controls). They had a leak in the air line to the wipers. Everything else worked but the wipers. They had the drive with no wipers until they could get to a truck stop to figure out how to fix them. But that is now fixed, and they were so nice they gave us the extra parts in case it happens again? I truly beleive they told us these story to make sure we could/would handle the downside that comes with owning a bus.


But you know as we were driving down their driveway (As they were directing us, so as not to hit anything on their property like fences, water lines, trees, etc) I could tell that Mr. B and his family were a little sad that their bus adventure days were over. And just think ours are just beginning.

The Family Tree Hunt

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Tis the season…


Today the Thames family went on our yearly outing to search high and low for the best tree this side of the Nooksack river. So we headed to Fullner’s Tree farm.


The perfect tree was found and everyone took their turn with the saw.


This was our first year at this farm and we thought it was great. They have a wood elf named Hans. He is hidden somewhere on the farm and if you find him you get a prize. we didnt take the time this year to search (something about high winds and rain) but next year he better watch out! He has his own cabin and everything.


Bye Fullner’s see ya next year….


Here is a picture of the tree all dressed up…..and of course as soon as the the tree was done the house lights went off. So we could play under the lights.


Merry Christmas…… But don’t forget the reason for the season……

How to…By Abigail

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How to guarantee an immediate bath…

And look darn cute doing it! Need I say more?

This was taken earlier this summer. As I was refreshing my knowledge of this site I’ve been away from for so long I noticed this wasn’t posted. And well, it’s a must! I will be getting back to our California trip soon.