Saturday, March 21, 2009

Texas Safari

***This is a guest blog by Debbie, Greg's mom, about Cousins Camp 2009***

Loading the tackle boxes
Safari ready

Abby, Charlie, Reese, Landry, MawMaw & Poppa headed out for our Cousins Camp Texas Safari this week. We played lots of games, sang LOTS of songs, read LOTS of books & just had LOTS of fun!

The first part of the trip was Fossil Rim Wildlife Park outside of Glen Rose. We'd done the drive through before, but never stayed over night.

Watering hole in front of our cabin

Pond & waterfall

We stayed at the Safari Camp where we had a tent cabin that overlooked a big watering hole where a lot of the animals come to drink & bathe. There are only a handful of the cabins so there weren't many people down there. We had plenty of room to explore the area. Right next to our cabin was a little waterfall & stream so the cousins had lots of fun wading in & playing around that. We did a night time hike around the area with our flashlights looking for glowing eyes. We did find several deer bedded down close by & saw a black widow spider on a log. The cousins also loved all the stars &, armed with their notebooks, identified lots of scat--we didn't see some of the animals, but knew they'd been there!

Identifying animals

The next morning a great breakfast was provided for us then we headed out for our drive through the park. We saw lots of animals not native to Texas--giraffes, zebras, rhinos, cheetahs, etc., along with several that are--mainly white tail deer.

These 2 pics are same spot, 2 yrs. apart


After lunch & ice cream we headed to Dinosaur Valley State Park where we saw some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks that have been discovered. We also cooled off with some wading in the Paluxy River.

From there we headed to our next overnight destination, Cleburne State Park. Poppa had prepared lots of science experiments for us and we had a great time doing those. Fire, colors & things that blow up & make messes were really a hit!

We cooked hot dogs for supper & made s'mores.
Both nights we learned Bible truths from stories from the zoo.

We started the next morning with bacon, eggs & biscuits, then went hiking. We had lots of fun getting off the trails to explore, throwing rocks at targets, checking animal tracks & climbing trees. A huge "discovery" on our hike was the camp "dump" off in the trees. It was the site where old building materials go to die--bricks, concrete, tiles, etc. Abby reported to her folks finding a house that must have burned down. Not far from the first pile was another with an old plywood Christmas tree. She declared that pile the attic. They all had fun "discovering."

We are happy to report that all 4 of the cousins were perfectly obedient going to sleep both nights. Everyone was respectful & went right to sleep. And they all woke up smiling in the mornings!

"Doodle bug, doodle bug..."

Favorites, as reported to Poppa:
Reese: just being with MawMaw & Poppa & his cousins
Abby: the science experiments
Charlie: Nothing, because he liked it all. He did say he really enjoyed the experiment where they "blew up" Cokes & he like hiking.
Landry: the scat [Landry was very observant finding & identifying it. He even found it in the dark!]

MawMaw & Poppa's favorites: enjoying God's creation, especially our 4 grandchildren & getting to enjoy those special things about each one of them; getting to be "MawMaw & Poppa" together; all those funny grandchild expressions: verbal as well as facial; hearing thankful hearts as we prayed together at each meal & at night; hearing all the grandchildren singing--everything from "Mighty Savior," "Step by Step" ("Poppa, you sing that one to us at bed time!") to "Chickery Chick, Cha-La, Cha-La," "Talk To the Animals" & "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

Thanks to the Moms and Dads for letting them go with us. And thanks to the "cousins" for going & being so much fun!! Reckon what we'll do next year.....?


Jennifer H. said...

I didn't realize you could camp at Fossil Rim. We love that place! The Safari Trip sounds like fun!!

Kimberly said...

Your kids have the best grandparents in the world. I always love hearing of the adventures of cousins camp. I wish I was a cousin.

Jill Vaughan said...

I'm pretty sure Deb and Jer get best g-mom and g-dad ever award! The kids are going to have so many amazing memories! Tell Deb I'm taking notes :)