We got into Springfield around 4:30, found a room at a La Quinta (Spanish for "freakin' awesome motel - and so friendly!) then went to the Wonders of Wildlife museum at Bass Pro Shop.
It's no window snake, that's for sure.
Freaks, my children. Climbing all over large fiberglass snakes like that. Freaks, I say.
This is the net bridge that reduced Kady to tears. She was stuck right in the middle of that thing, shrieking like a banshee, scared out of her mind. We were trying to coax her through, telling her that if she'd get out she wouldn't be scared anymore, but obviously that thought never occured to her and she continued shrieking.
Do you know how many pictures I took trying to get that dang river otter?
However, in every dang picture I took, the waistband of Kady's underwear was shining brightly. She is SO her daddy.
Ah, nothing like fake fishing. With a broken arm.
After the museum, we went to dinner at Ryan's Steakhouse, not my favorite place to eat. It's so large and buffet-y and I just feel like I'm one cow in a stampeding herd of hungry, redneck cows trying to fight my way to the trough. Mmmm. After dinner we went to Bass Pro to walk off our buffet meal from hell. Then we went back to the La Quinta (Spanish for "I just spent $46 on stupid redneck shirts for my husband. What was I thinking?")
My boys hanging out after all that shopping. Bless their hearts, those two.
La Quinta - Spanish for "Quit dragging me all over town, woman. I'd rather just lie here with my spit cup watching Jumanji with the kids."
Sunday morning we were forced to check out of the La Quinta (Spanish for "I must get out of here now because I'm not used to not having a recliner to sit my butt in.") before 10 because Paul was pacing like a dang mountain lion at a wildlife museum. Not much opens before noon on a Sunday, but we managed to find a flea market where Abby bought yet more Babysitter's Club books, Sam found Matilda and Muppet Treasure Island on VHS and the girls and I hit the jackpot on large, dangly, sparkly earrings which we now cannot find. (La Quinta - Spanish for "I think my husband accidently threw away my new large, dangly, sparkly earrings.")
We hit the mall and were the first ones through the door at Build a Bear Workshop. Sam left with Bobo the Monkey Pirate, Abby left with Miley wearing a High School Musical t-shirt and a kicky new jean skirt and Kady left with Hannah sporting a TinkerBell ensemble. I've had to put a moratorium on buildling any more critters. The clothes are expensive enough for six of 'em.
We managed to kill enough time there that we got to the Discovery Center exactly when it opened and were the first ones through the door there, too.
I *heart* the Discovery Center.
We had visited the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center when we went to Mississippi in 2004 and fell in love with the idea of a museum just for kids. We had no idea there was one as close as Springfield.
Abby and Sam dug for dinosaur bones as soon as we got there. The place was so clean and neat and within 5 minutes of us walking in, my children had managed to unearth a dinosaur and fling fake dirt pretty much everywhere.
Even more shocking!
I could not resist playing with the "pixel wall."
Tater said I should be ashamed for making my kids turn all those blocks to yellow just so I could write my name in large, pixelized graffiti.
This is from an exhibit called "The Bacteria Cafeteria" which was enough to make my OCD kick into overdrive and I literally made the entire family GermX their hands right there on the spot.
This litle girl in the picture had Streptococcus.
Poor little dummy had a broken leg.
The dummy, not my son.
The dummy, by the way, had a heartbeat. That was creepy.
Took us forever to drag the kids away from playing doctor. They'd have stayed there with that dummy all day if we hadn't lured them away with puppets.
Pooh and the dinosaur were saving the town from the evil fabric praying mantis.
Paul had quite a bit of fun shopping in Kady's Market, though he'd never admit it.
It took us nearly as long to drag them away from the TV studio as it did from playing with that dummy.
They did some amazing reporting about a bank robber who punched "a dude" in the jaw. While their style may be raw and unpolished, they were still cute as all get out.
Isn't that awesome?? They look like real reporters! Well, although I've never seen a reporter with a broken arm on camera....
I had to drag Kady away from her grocery store to come pose for this shot. She kept saying, "But I don't WANNA do da wevver, Momma!"
At this exhibit, they made airplanes and then...
... launched them to see how far they'd fly.
That kept the four of them busy for 30 minutes.
See what happens when you break your arm in this family? We make you run the hamster wheel.
'At'll learn 'im.
I think they were building dams. Not sure. I'd been playing with the thermal camera and pulleys for half an hour.
When we left the Discovery Center we went to Incredible Pizza for some incredible pizza. Duh. That successfully wore them the rest of the way out and they were quiet the whole ride home, sitting in the backseat in little exhausated dazes.