Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Phoenix Children’s Museum


Peyton’s preschool went on a field trip to the Phoenix Children’s Museum and I got to go. I didn’t take pictures of everything they did and we also didn’t have time to do everything they offered. Here is their list of activities they do offer.

It was nice when we got there we didn’t have to stay with a group. We were allowed to go where ever we wanted and were told when to meet back up for lunch. Peyton’s best friend Abby is in her class. They have ballet and gymnastics together and of course preschool so we see them 5 days a week. Abby’s mom Deedra and I are good friends too so we had a great time hanging out.

One of the best parts was this 3 story climbing structure. Parents were allowed to go, but it definitely wasn’t made for pregnant women so I just watched. Abby’s mom went with them for a little while.



The kids really enjoyed this part.


Although Deedra, Abby’s mom had no idea what she had gotten herself into until she was already in it. It was fun to watch all the moms try and maneuver through this part. Their were 5 rows of switchbacks. It seems never ending when your in or so I heard.



Then we went to the “Peddle Power” section and the girls got to ride bikes.


Similar to a car wash


You take flip flops and tap them on the tubes to make music.



They had this cute flower garden. A big hit with the girls.



Abby and Peyton, BFF’s.


The Museum offered a fantastic play kitchen with lots cook stations.



We got to walk around for a couple hours and play and then had a picnic lunch outside. It was a lot of fun and I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to be involved in their school activities.



Here the girls are pretending to be tired on the bus ride back to school.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Arizona Museum of Natural History


Last month the kids had a week off of school for Fall Break so we decided to go to a new museum. The Mesa library offers Cultural Passes which gets you free admission to local museums.

Here is a Mastadon. We remembered these from the California La Brea Tar Pitts we went to last year. You can see that visit here.




“Triceratops was one of the last dinosaurs to roam the Western Interior and perhaps the most abundant dinosaur of its time, 65 million years ago.  Although abundant, Triceratops apparently did not range south of what is today mid-Colorado. Triceratops stood up to 10 feet tall, measured 30 feet long, and weighed more than 6 tons (12,000 pounds).  Triceratops used its long, sharp horns for defense against large meat eating predators such as Tyrannosaurus. This specimen is an adolescent, not yet fully mature.”





Tyrannosaurus bataar

“T. bataar was a ferocious meat-eating dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous Period, 80 million years ago. This fossil cast is of a juvenile individual, which at maturity might have attained a length of 45 feet. Although this specimen roamed Mongolia, it is a close relative of the Tyrannosaurus rex that inhabited the Southwestern United States.”




Tyrannosaurus Rex

“The “Tyrant Lizard King” is arguably the most famous dinosaur and among the largest meat-eating dinosaurs. Although well known and widespread, it is comparatively rare. T. rex fossils are known from Texas to Montana.”



“Known as the Jurassic “cow,” more skulls of Camarasaurus are known than all other sauropod skulls combined. Many species of Camarasaurus are known. The largest, C. grandis, had a neck that, when fleshed out, would have been nearly as tall as a man. This specimen is a replica from the Morrison Formation in Utah, dating from the Late Jurassic.”



“Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest land animals ever to walk on earth. These dinosaurs were masters of their environment, and their weight exceeded 20 tons (40,000 pounds). Footprint evidence suggests the younger ones may have traveled in the center of the herd. Sauropods, first known from the Early Jurassic, survived until the latest Cretaceous and were among the last of the dinosaurs to become extinct.”



“You may touch this fossil femur (thighbone) of an Apatosaurus, previously known as Brontosaurus. These sauropods reached over 80 feet long and weighed over 20 tons, five times the size of an African elephant. The animals traveled in herds, and because of their massive size may have had little to fear from predators. Apatosaurus lived exclusively in the Jurassic. Some roamed what is now Arizona 144 million years ago.”



Below the sign says “About 300 million years ago a warm shallow ocean covered much of Arizona. Fossils from this ocean are found in many parts of Arizona.”

Hard to believe Arizona wasn’t always a desert.


Hohokam Indians

The United Sates Most Advanced Early Civilaztion

“The Hohokam were a sophisticated agricultural people who lived in the Salt and Gila River valleys from 300 B.C to A.D 1450, Many archaeologists believe the Hohkam migrated into our area from Mesoamerica.



Healing Ceremony



Taylor remembers seeing many Olmec's while on his mission in Southern Mexico.



Next up we went through a Spanish Mine and Jail




Spanish Armor







The Jail

They had several signs on the wall telling the history. Below are quotes from them.


The Story of the Mesa Jail

“You are standing in the middle of a jail that provided a temporary home for thousands of wayward westerners between 1884 and 1975. Built in 1883, despite the objections of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (who were more interested in seeing the funds used toward their own personal projects), these cells were originally constructed for the main block of the territorial courthouse in Phoenix. For more than 50 years, these cells served to house criminals charged with everything from selling phony silver bullion to practicing medicine without a license, as well as murder, theft and insanity. Then in 1936, Joe B Maier, the county deputy sheriff for Mesa, became aware that the Board was planning to give three sets of cells to other county branch facilities. He arranged for Mesa to acquire the main block and for the $265 cost of transporting the cells from Phoenix, the city of Mesa had a new jail. The jail was opened in Mesa in 1937, and served as both a county facility and city jail until its closure in 1975. The cells have been preserved intact just as they were during the jails hey day.”


Mesa Jails Living Conditions

“Food: Two cold meals a day were served. The meal usually consisted of a cup of coffee and a sandwich.”

“Sleep: The prisoners slept on bare steel bunks with no bedding. No mattress or blankets were provided because prisoners would often set fire to them and therefore endanger everyone.”

“Crowding: There are nineteen bunks on the lower level, yet there were times when as many as seventy men were packed into the lower level, waiting for arraignment, The excessive overcrowding occurred on weekends when court was not held.”

“Women: The ladies were housed in a small separate room with two windows. They were provided with bedding, and had a shower, as well as a commode in their facility.”


Mesa Jail Security

“There were no successful escape attempts from this facility in its nearly fort years of use in Mesa. It was so secure that the Federal Government designated it as the temporary holding facility for transporting dangerous Federal prisoners through the state of Arizona. The Federal Government also used the Mesa Jails as a holding area for illegal aliens that were captured in the central part of the state. Once a Federal prisoner was locked in the upper cells, the cells were not opened again until the prison was moved. Food was passed through horizontal slits in the doors.”


Territorial Laws

“ There are still a few rather outdated statutes that abound in the law books of Arizona. For example, it is against the law to shoot a camel in Arizona. It is also unlawful to ride a horse into a saloon in Prescott.”


Outside was an area to pan for gold. Although we didn’t find any the kids had fun playing in the water.






US Mail Coach


Peyton was posing




The kids got to be in a western movie





They had these neat 3D puzzles. You could put them together and make different animals like a spider or scorpion.


Speaking of scorpions. Can you believe they use to get that big?




Still soaked from panning for gold.



Cretaceous Period 85 million years ago




We were quite surprised at how big the Pterandon was.


They also had a rock and mineral exhibit.








We had a great time. Ashton has been asking to go see the dinosaurs for awhile now. I am so grateful we were able to. Our kids love going to museums and we always learn so much!