Category Archives: NM

Learning About The Partial Solar Eclipse . . .

So, last week there was a partial solar eclipse, which was visible here in NM. When I showed my kids how easily we could make a pinhole projector, they were totally on board!

Here is our pinhole projector!
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We went outside at about 3:40 our time, and watched it for a while, and then went back out close to 4:30, which we’d been told on the news would be peak time.

We tried doing it with the blank card stock on the ground, but it wasn’t working very well . . .

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So we ended up having one child hold the pinhole projector, and another hold the blank card stock. They took turns, so that everyone who wanted to, got a chance to do both, and everyone got a chance to just look, as well.

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Their dad got home from work while we were still outside and decided to get in on the action, too!
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Here is a short video of the action for your enjoyment!

addendum: I totally forgot to mention that one of the boys next door got off the school bus (arms full of books and homework) as we were doing this, and stopped to see what we were doing. he thought it was pretty cool, as did the lady on the other side of our house, who was leaving to go somewhere, but wandered over first to see. Homeschooling rocks! 🙂

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Weekly Wrap-Up . . . Oh What A Busy Week We Had! :-)

I think that Monday was the ONLY day we stayed at home! Tuesday, as I posted earlier in the week, Our church homeschool group had a field trip to McCall’s Pumpkin Patch, in Moriarty NM, followed by Ladies Bible Study at church that evening for me.

Then Wednesday of course, “The Batman” and “The Artist” had Teen Choir, after which we had Bible Study and Prayer Meeting at church. On the way home after church, we needed to stop and buy milk, because nobody had told me the day before that we were almost out (I don’t drink it, so I didn’t know).

Last night, our church had the annual Chile Cook-off and Fall Festival. I’ll be doing a post in the next few days with pictures from that, but here’s one picture of some of the Chile entries before we began sampling! 🙂
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This morning, our church homeschool group met for our November activity, which was a missions project, as our missions conference is this month. We divided into groups, three families per group, and we each filled a box with gifts for our assigned missionary family, along with a box for one of our college students who are away at school.

Here are our packages, with the kids in our group . . .

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I’ll do a full post about that later, too, with more pictures. Meanwhile, that’s how our week has been, and now I am finishing this post, doing laundry, getting things together for a Close To My Heart Gathering being held tomorrow, and then getting my ministry card that I do each week made.

So, how was YOUR week? Why don’t you write about it on Fridays and join the weekly wrap-up linky? Just click the graphic below to find out how!

As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”, by entering your email information in the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog. And please, do also go here and “Like” our Facebook page! 🙂

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Filed under card making, Christian faith, Church, Close to My Heart, education, encouragement, family, food, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Field Trip, Kids, McCall's Pumpkin Patch, Mesa Baptist Church, NM, Weekly Wrap-Up

A Day At McCall’s Pumpkin Patch!

Yesterday, we spent the day at McCall’s Pumpkin Patch with the homeschool group from our church. It is about an hour away from where we live, but it turned out to be worth the drive!

Here is our group . . .
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I, of course, totally messed up and didn’t get any pictures in the actual pumpkin field, but here we are in the hay wagon for the ride there and back, shortly after we arrived . . .

First, here is “The Batman”, “The Artist”, one of their friends, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” . . .
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And here I am, with one of my friends, the grandmother of the extra boy in the previous picture!
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There were a lot of really cool opportunities for fun photos.

Here are all of my boys with my friend’s grandkids in one of the teepees . . .
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Although I forgot to take pictures when they were choosing their pumpkins, we did find some really nice arrangements that were PERFECT for photos!
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There were these very neat antique trucks filled with hay and pumpkins . . .
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An antique tractor . . .
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This cool hay wagon . . .
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The Soda Wagon . . .
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One of my favorites, the giant rocking chair!
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I liked this spot, too . . .
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They had a “corn bin”, which was like a sandbox, but filled with corn kernels!

“The Puzzler” . . .
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“Mr. Loquacious” . . .
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“The Artist” . . .
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“The Batman” . . .
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“Here is “The Artist”, letting the younger kids bury him in the corn!
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Here, “The Batman” is feeding the goats . . .
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And last but not least, here we all are, being the farm animals!
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As you can see, we had a really good day, with lots of time walking around in the fresh air. It was a beautiful day, and so nice to be doing this at the end of October, and NOT needing winter coats! 🙂

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Filed under Christian faith, Church, education, family, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Field Trip, homeschooling, Kids, McCall's Pumpkin Patch, Mesa Baptist Church, NM, Travel, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

Mom’s Night Out!

Once a month, some of the moms from our church get together at a local restaurant for a little “Mom’s Night Out”. Last night, 3 of us went to a place we all enjoyed, Dion’s. Funny thing, all three of us were pretty good, and stuck to salads, like the delicious Chef Salad I chose! I got the medium size salad, knowing I would be taking about half of it home with me. It will be my supper tonight! 🙂

Our Mom’s Night Out times are so important! Even though it’s only a couple of hours out of the month, it’s a time when we can connect, talk, and just enjoy the company of other women, while our husbands stay at home and hang out with the kids! This is something I did not have back in Michigan, and I’m very grateful for it now! We’ve already scheduled our November Mom’s Night Out! 🙂

If you aren’t doing one of these every month, I encourage you to get a group going. It’s very good for we ladies to have this, and it’s good for our families, too!

As always, I’d Love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Just enter your email information in the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and please, do go and “like” our Facebook page here. Never miss another update!

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Filed under Albuquerque, Church, family, just me, Mesa Baptist Church, Mom's Night Out, NM, Transitions

Sunshine Kids Choir!

Sunday night, our Sunshine Kids Choir did a special at our church, something they do about once per month during each session. They did such a good job, and two of my boys are members! “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” both participated in the skit this time, as you can see in the video below. I’m sorry the video got a bit shaky when switching from the skit to the song . . . I’m still learning how to manage doing videos, and didn’t realize I was too close to get all of the kids when the singing began, and would need to move back! Other than that, though, I think it came out fairly well! 🙂

If you live in or near Albuquerque, NM, or will be visiting or moving here and are looking for a great church to visit, this is the one! For more information, please click here

As always, I’d love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information in the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and please, go and “like” our Facebook page here

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Filed under Albuquerque, Christian faith, Church, family, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, NM, Transitions, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

A Very Cool Discovery . . .

Yesterday, I needed to go to a different area of Albuquerque to pick up a long-desired Kitchen-Aid Pouring Shield for my Kitchen-Aid Mixer from another freecycler. If you don’t yet know about, or participate in, freecycling, I strongly encourage you to check it out! 🙂 Anyway, here is a picture of my new pouring shield, which was in like new condition, the other freecycler had used it four times, and never used it again!

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Now, when I make my home-made cakes and frostings, I won’t be making such a mess anymore. Great, huh?

As the kids and I got closer and closer to where we were going, we could see the mountains, so much closer, and I was wishing I had brought my camera. Then I remembered the camera on my phone, but really couldn’t find a good place to stop and get any good shots. I happened to mention to the other freecycler how beautiful the area was, and how fortunate she was to be so close to that view, and she pointed me toward a trail head entrance just a couple of streets away. So, we decided to go check it out, and here are the pictures we took!

First, the obligatory warning sign (if you click on the actual picture, it will get bigger and you can read all of the warnings, lol!) . . .

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Up next, here are some quick shots I took of the actual beginning area of the trail . . .

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This particular shot, I didn’t realize how pretty it was until I looked later. I think the way the sun is shining at that angle almost makes a little rainbow over the plant life!

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Here are the boys …

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And finally, me, too!

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The more we see here, the more there is to enjoy! I told the boys that one day, when we have extra time (and money for gas, lol) we would just do a little field trip of our own, deliberately get a little lost (hey, I can use the gps on my phone to get us back home, after all), and just see what beautiful sights we can find.

As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Please enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and “like” our facebook page by going here. Never miss another update! 🙂

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Filed under Albuquerque, family, freecycling, Kids, Mountain trailhead, NM, Transitions, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

See It And Say It Flip Flop Spanish . . . A T.O.S. Review

Anyone who is a regular reader here at My Journeys Through Life knows that my family moved all the way from Port Huron, Michigan to Albuquerque, New Mexico a little over a year ago. Ever since then, no matter where we go, we hear the Spanish language being spoken, and have developed a real desire to learn it for ourselves. So, when I was offered the opportunity to review a curriculum called See It And Say It Flip Flop Spanish by Senora Gose from Flip Flop Learning, I grabbed at it!

Flip Flop Learning’s See It And Say It Spanish

is SUPER easy to use . . . all I needed to do was get a three-ring binder with the clear pockets on the outside for the cover and spine (which, by the way, were included in my package), put the curriculum in the binder, stick the first CD (also included) into the laptop, and away we went!

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Flip Flop Learning’s See It and Say It Spanish claims to be a full, two-year Spanish curriculum for ages 3 to 93, and judging by what we’ve seen thus far, I believe it is.

With the very first lesson, we learned six words/phrases, enough to begin making sentences immediately! Now, you all know my motto . . . “instant gratification takes too long”, so this was PERFECT for us! 🙂

Because of an error in shipping, we did not receive our curriculum as quickly as the company intended, but that’s OK, because it really allows me to honestly tell you that you CAN learn a lot in a short period of time, with the right materials. It was already a given that we would be taking this at our own pace, just as we do with most everything, to accommodate the various special needs of my children, but I’m telling you, this curriculum has been a very good starting point for us to move from our desire to learn Spanish, to actually being able to speak several sentences, right away!

Because of the shipping mistake, Senora Gose was very generous and sent me a copy of one of her other books, “The Key To Learning Everything” vol. 1, which I can also very highly recommend to you!

We are learning with three different styles all at once . . . audial, tactile, and visual. We hear Senora Gose give the lesson, we touch the cards with the pictures (the Spanish and English words are on the back of the cards), and we see both the pictures and the words as we go.

Here are the cards we were using by the second lesson, including two that we were instructed to make, for the words “Y” (and), and the word pero (but), which helped us make even longer, more complete sentences.

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In this picture, you can see all of the boys, as we practice with the cards.

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Beginning with lesson one, we were instructed to read the manual, lay out the cards called for, and then, listen to the tracks referred to in the lesson while following along. Each lesson is repeated at least three days before moving on to the next, and on the third day, we were told to do the lesson without the CD, that way my children and I are learning to interact with each other in Spanish, not just with the CD (although, Senora Gose DOES have a voice which is very pleasant, easy to listen to and understand, and a clear, smooth speaking style). That’s really all there is to it! Even the description on the back cover tells you there are just 3 easy steps to See It And Say It Spanish . . .

1. Read the manual

2. select the flash cards for the lesson (just 4 or 6 cards per week)

3. play the CD and follow along

Our lessons are taking around 15 – 20 minutes, 3 times per week. The manual says 8 – 15 minutes, but as I said, we take things slower, plus my boys are having fun, so sometimes we play around with making sentences for a longer time.

Here are some short videos of the boys after only our second lesson:

“The Puzzler”

“The Batman”

“The Artist”

“Mr. Loquacious”

And finally, even I am learning! 🙂

Once we did lesson two, we were given a speed round to do. That was harder, and not just for the boys, but I know we will get better at it as we go along! 🙂 After that, the curriculum also added in what it calls “extra fun”. To learn even more, we put the noun cards we had already learned into a brown paper bag and took turns drawing them out. Using the white paddle board and the dry erase pen that came with the curriculum, the person whose turn it was would attempt to draw a picture of the noun on the paddle for us to guess (remember Pictionary?). The first one who could correctly call out what the card was would win that card. We had fun with that, we really enjoy games, and my husband and I particularly like what HE calls “stealth” games, which are games in which you are learning without realizing it, lol!

So . . . you probably want to know what all is included in this curriculum, and whether or not you will have added expense for extra materials, don’t you? Well, this is what you will receive when you order this curriculum:

One curriculum manual, with 150 pages of four semesters of lessons

3 sets of flash cards (135 cards) which are color coded

4 CD’s of audio lessons

1 dry erase paddle

1 dry erase marker

2 card holder pages for sentence building (although we build our sentences right on the kitchen table or the floor!)

Really, the ONLY extra thing I bought was a three-ring binder with clear insert covers, and that was only because we had run out of the right sized binders!

Some included vocabulary topics are:

common household nouns

colors and opinions

animals

clothing

food and family

manners

rooms in the house

places in town

Some of the activities which are included for extra learning are:

charades

Paleta (drawing board paddle)

speed rounds

skits

crosswords

find a word

and others.

Grammar concepts included are:

Spanish phonetics

definite and indefinite articles

conjugation of ser, estar, ir, and tener

regular -ar verb conjugation

forming questions

singular vs. plural

noun/adjective agreement

command forms

numbers up to 50

possessive

adjectives

parts of speech

prepositions

Spanish syntax

According to Senora Gose, we will learn over 250 words, and thousands of possible Spanish sentences!

See It And Say It Spanish can be ordered here for the current price of $99.95, with the regular retail price being $129.95. Our family gives it a resounding “”me gusta – “I like”!

To check out what the other Schoolhouse Review Crew Members thought of See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish, please click on the graphic below!

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys”, by clicking on the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and entering your email information. Never miss an update again! 🙂

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Filed under education, educational games, family, Flip Flop Learning, Foreign language homeschooling, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Kids, moving, NM, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, See It And Say It Spanish, special needs education, TOS Review

A FUN Play Date!

Well, I must say, before my family moved here to Albuquerque, New Mexico last year, I NEVER thought we would be having an outdoor, swimming play date on September 20th! After all, back in Michigan by that date, we were generally breaking out the hoodies and such!

But THIS year, we spent the day (on September 20th!) with another home-schooling family from our church, who had invited the boys and me to their new home. We ate lunch outdoors on the patio, and the kids spent the day swimming in their (unheated!) pool. On September 20th!

As you can see, the kids had a WONDERFUL time, and they (right along with me!) really, really like the milder weather here! 🙂

Here are “The Artist”, “The Puzzler” & “Mr. Loquacious” . . .

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Here are “Mr. Loquacious”, “The Batman” & their friends having fun in the pool . . .

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“The Artist”, floating around . . .

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The “Artist”, drying off for lunch . . .

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“The Artist” back in the water . . .

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“The Puzzler” & “The Batman” & “Mr. Loquacious” with one of their friends . . .

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All of the kiddos had a great time in and around the pool . . .

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Here is “The Batman”, riding the whale!

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“The Puzzler” . . . “in? or Out? That is the question!

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Apparently the answer was “out” for a bit, but the others were all in, and having a blast!

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I had planned to swim as well, but had cut my finger pretty badly the night before. We thought it best for me to stay out of the pool that day. 😦

What a great time we all had, and what a benefit of home-schooling, that once again, we get to work school in around life, instead of the other way around! 🙂

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Filed under 2013, Albuquerque, changes, exercise, family, home education, homeschooling, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, moving, NM, Transitions

NM State Fair School Days . . . Another COOL Field Trip!

On Friday, September 13 2013, we were able to go to our first EVER state fair! We had never been to the state fair in Michigan when we lived there. It was over an hour away, and when you figure in the cost of driving there, parking, and everything else, we just never could make it work. And then, “On October 30, 2009, Governor Jennifer Granholm cut all funding to the Michigan State fair.[2][3] Attendance peaked at 1.2 million in 1966. In 2009 the fair attracted 217,000 visitors.[4] The state fair was not held in 2010 & 2011.[5]”.

You can imagine how wonderful it was upon moving here to New Mexico last year to discover that the NM State Fair was not only thriving, but is held right here in Albuquerque, where we live! No long travel! 🙂

Not only that, but the NM State fair has a great program called “School Days @ The Fair“, and home-schools are included! So, I emailed the application, choosing Friday as the day we wanted to go, and earlier last week I received our entrance packet via email. We received free admission, which, as a family of six, with everyone being 12 or older, saved us $60.00, and there was free parking.

We entered at a special gate for the School Days program, where they checked off our names, and had bunches of nice cold packages of McDonald’s Apple Slices for the kids to take, which we stashed into our cooler full of blue ice and water. That’s another cool thing, you are allowed to bring in a cooler with your own stuff, which saves even MORE money! Not that we didn’t buy lunch, we did, which I’ll talk about later, but my goodness, the least expensive bottled water I saw was (I think) around $4.00, and just a cup with ice was $2.00!

Because of the School Days Program, there were tons of booths along Main Street with educational displays, and they all had freebies for the kids. We got pencils, posters (including one of the periodic table of elements that “The Artist” especially wanted), coloring books, just all sorts of things, plus information about and from many places with educational content, like the various museums here, the Open Space Visitor’s Center, etc.

One of the first things we saw along Main Street was “The Procrastinators – Strolling Drum Troup”, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It reminded me of the group “Stomp”, which we saw perform on television many years ago.

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I wish I’d been able to get a video of them, but I couldn’t remember how to get to the video function of my camera! Do check out their website though, there are some good videos there!

Next, we saw police officers mounted on horseback, something that again, we’d never seen before. Living in the southwest sure is different! They were kind enough to stop and pose for a picture for us. 🙂

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Since we didn’t actually arrive at the fair until after noon, we soon decided it was time for lunch. While my husband was ordering, the kids spotted the Chick-Fil-A cow wandering around, and begged me to see if they could have their picture taken with it. So we went over, and the cow’s escort asked if I wanted to be in the picture as well, and was kind enough to take it with my camera.

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At lunch, I had my first ever green chile cheeseburger (well, half of one, you all know I eat small now!), and it was SOOOO good! Now, I NEED to go buy a big thing of green chile while they are in season and the stores are doing free roasting, so I can freeze them in little batches for cooking over the next year! I will warn you, it is expensive to eat at the fair. There are six of us, and we each had a combo meal of either a cheeseburger or hot dog with frilly fries and pink lemonade, and it cost almost $70.00! To be fair, the portions were huge, the hot dogs were footlongs, with either red or green chile, and not one of us could finish the fries, the amount was so much!

After lunch, we went to one of the many (free!) shows, “Professor Gizmo’s Fun & Science Show” . . .

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. . . where both “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Artist” were chosen from the audience for two different segments.

Here is Professor Gizmo . . .

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Here is “Mr. Loquacious” helping the professor out!

And now, “The Artist”, along with another home-schooler, Isabelle, helping with another segment . . .

Isabelle’s mother was kind enough to give me permission to include the video with her daughter in it for this post, and I really appreciate that! 🙂

Professor Gizmo’s show was very funny, and we loved it! We do disagree with his telling the kids that we humans are animals, though, we do not believe that humans are part of the animal kingdom. We believe what the Bible says about humans having dominion over the animals . . .

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26 (KJV)”

We also saw the Cirque Equinox, which was about a half hour of very good performance! There were two aerial acts . . .

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A clown . . .

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this woman who did amazing stuff with hula hoops . . .

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and last but most certainly not least, “The Dancing Gauchos“.

Oh, my, did they put on a wonderful show for us!

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Here are some pictures my husband took when he and the boys went through the petting zoo . . . I waited outside because they would not let us bring in the wagon we had rented to haul all of our stuff.

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I couldn’t resist taking these pictures of animals in one of the other exhibits . . . it was so cute to see the baby animals with little playground equipment!

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We also saw the Yangdong Chinese Acrobats, another awesome performance!

Here are some of the things they did for us . . .

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We had a wonderful time at the 2013 NM State Fair, and I strongly encourage all of you home-schoolers who live in or near NM, or who may be traveling here during next year’s State Fair, to apply for the NM State Fair School Days Program. You will not regret it! 🙂

As always, I would just love it if you’d join me on all of “My Journeys”! Just click the “sign me up button at the top right of the blog, enter your email, and you’ll never miss another update! 🙂

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Filed under education, family, home education, homeschooling, Kids, NM, State Fair NM 2013