Thursday, April 26, 2012

Farm Friends

Today was our day to go to Farm Friends, the annual farm animal festival the University of Arkansas puts on every year!  We LOVE it!!!  IT is a great hands-on experience for the kids!!!
And Addyson even got brave a time or two to experience the hands-on part of this experience!!
In the morning it is open to registered groups only and you have to schedule a time to come with spacing between groups which helps with traffic flow!  It was GREAT!  We usually go in the evenings when it is open to the public and it is a bit more crazy with lots of kids running around.  I was SO thankful our friends the Villars had planned a group time for us and our friends!!!
Since it was set up a bit differently it seems like we got more information as we went through the exhibits.  Here, the bee "farmer" is talking to us about honey bees.  Brad's grandpas was a bee keeper and Brad often talks about getting into bee keeping.  So I took advantage of talking to this guy and gathered some information for Brad to attend bee keeper meetings as a start to see if this is something he wants to do.
So you see the queen bee in the middle of this picture?  Also notice the pink honey?  That comes from the bees eating humming bird food!!!!
This year they also had a worm farmer!!!  He sells his worms to put in your garden.... and at the end of your fishing line if you wish!!!  I got his information too!!!
Owen was really brave this year and petted most of the animals!  Addyson kept her distance.  This is how she was most of the time... far enough away but always with her eye on Owen to see what he was doing.  She was curious but not THAT curious! : )  Maybe next year!
Most of these animals are 4-H animals and their owners are there with them, young kids that are anxious for you to see their animal and most of the parents are right there to help answer any questions!  Some of them even have food for the kids to feed the animals!  Owen had fun feeding this baby goat some hay!
One animal that has been a popular one in our family from the very beginning in the baby chick!  Owen starts asking for them before we even get there!  This year they had a line set up and I was trying to explain to Owen that we had to wait until we walked through the line to get to them and not just run over and skip everything else.  He didn't like waiting.  Then, finally, it was time to hold the baby chicks!!!
This is one animal that even Addyson like to touch!  Have a huge bin full of baby chicks at the kids level makes this exhibit so appealing for them.  Plus the fact that baby chicks are super little and non-threatening.  Won't jump on your or eat your clothes!!! ; )
Another favorite is watching the baby chicks as they hatch out of their eggs and dry off!!!  We saw one little guy breaking free as we were there!
This year the kids really got into the milking cow!  After Owen was done he looked at me and asked , "Why is this cow so hard?"  I had to giggle and then explain to him that it was a fake cow.  He looked at me with wide eyes and said, "Oh."  Probably trying to figure out how he would "milk" it if it was fake!
Addyson got into it too!!!  I was surprised because if Owen thought it was real I'm surprised she didn't think it was too.  I think the first year we went to this Owen did not do this one for that reason!
There was a team there showing horses and Addyson really got into watching him.  She stood there for a long time.  It really got her attention.  I wonder what part of this she liked.
After we went through the whole right side, Owen wanted to go to the left side.  One reason why is he heard the other side had a different cow to milk so he wanted to try it out!  The other side's exhibits were different enough that you didn't feel like you were doing the same thing all over again.  Different breeds of goats and other animals that gave you different things to see!  This side had feed to feed the goats instead of hay!  Owen was brave enough to give that a try!  After the first nibble, he handed me the rest of the feed to give to the goat!
Outside,the kids could sit on tractors
and get help throwing a lasso!
Owen didn't rope this guy however, I'd say we had a successful morning!!!
Ethan was napping at home with Brad which gave me some time with just the big 2.  It was nice to be able to spend some extra quality time with them and not have to worry about a stroller, slinging Ethan, or trying to figure out where to nurse him!!!  We were having such a great morning that we headed to Sam's next to do some shopping and I let the kids eat lunch there for a special treat!  Doing things like this with them helps fill their "love cup" and I think gets them through the times when I can't be so hands-on!!!  Next year will be interesting with 2 big kids and a toddling baby!  I'm already looking forward to it!  Make sure you put it on your calendar!

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