Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall, Family, Falls

Fall Break was this last week and boy was it a much needed BREAK! We were out of school Thursday through Monday. On Thursday we headed over to Natural Falls State Park in West Siloam Springs, OK. It is about an hour and a half from Owasso. It is beautiful! We went once before when Koen was about 10 months old- but it was pouring rain and we did not get to see much. There is a big water fall that you can hike down to as well as a very serene small lake that we hiked down to as well. The boys and I headed over on Thursday around noon- and I forgot to mention we met my parents there and they were in their RV. The first day there the boys played at the park, rode their motorcycle trikes around and just enjoyed being outdoors- although it was a little cool! That evening we grilled steak- it was a yummy dinner. We did have to make a quick trip into Siloam Springs to Wal-Mart as I forgot underwear for Koen- oops! After we got back Dad had the campfire going strong and we roasted marshmallows and sat around the fire a bit.

On Friday we went on our first hike right after breakfast. Mom, Dad, Koen, Gannon and I all went. We hiked down to the lake and then hiked back up on the bear trail. It was a little challenging for the boys- but they did it! We took a short break and then walked the 88 steps down to the falls. The morning sun was shining on it and it was breathtaking. I kept thinking "I can't believe this is only an hour from home and so beautiful!" After that we had lunch and Gannon had his nap. *While Gannon was napping Mom, Koen and I went and explored the trails a little more. We had another yummy grilled dinner thanks to Dad and I got the boys ready for bed a little earlier than Thursday- they were exhausted. Brandon joined us around 8- he drove up after work. The boys were excited to see him- we had only been gone one day- but you know the old saying- Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
On Saturday after we all got around and had breakfast Brandon and I took the boys over to Gentry, AK to a place called Wilderness Safari. It was a drive through "safari" and it also had a feeding and petting zoo area. The boys loved it! We saw camels, buffaloes, wildabeasts, zebra, baboons, pigs, and monkeys just to mane a few. After we went through the drive through portion we got out and let the kids feed the animals. Some of the highlights from this adventure has to be the camels that would not get out of the middle of the road, the boys thought it was so neat that they got to be unbuckled while we drove through, the monkey that could clap faster than any human or animal we have ever seen, the monkey that jumped on Gannon's head and Koen picked up a baby pig- it was so cute until he abruptly decided he was done holding it and dropped it. After we got back to the campground Gannon took a nap while Koen and I showed Brandon what we had hiked the day before. Brandon and Koen found some caveish rock features to explore while I looked on.

We did have to go home Saturday evening, but we were all tired and it was nice to sleep in our own bed! It was such a nice family outing and for those of you who live around here you really should check it out! I am adding a few pics- I took so many so I had to share some.
(I have had camera malfunction so this post was written on 10-21-08, I really wanted to wait until I could post pics also.)

Our first visit to the park-Koen was doing his favorite thing- climbing.

Gannon learning how to "balance".

Roasting marshmallows by the fire.

The first hike that we went on was to this small lake. I thought this "reflection" pic was neat because it contained one of the only trees we saw that had fully changed color.

The Falls

A cute little bridge over the water.

Brandon is still a child at heart. He went off the path to explore- of course Koen was not far behind!

Koen's Little Piggy!

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