Monday, August 03, 2015

Loving Summer

Before summer started I worried a lot that having all three kids home all day together would lead to a lot more stress than fun.  Luckily, I was wrong.  It's not been contention free, but it's been remarkably better than expected and a whole lot of fun.  I love having so much time to spend with my kids!  Just the time to spend playing and talking and bonding has made me so happy.  I love that I get to stay home with them all day.

Some things I've remembered to photograph along the way:

Splash park fun:


Belle Isle Nature Center:


Belle Isle Aquarium:


Belle Isle Beach:





Benjamin's baseball season.  He was the starting pitcher for the all-star game and they won!  YAY!  (Benjamin is farthest left in the back with the glasses.)  Wish I had a good picture of him pitching!


Awesome library programs.  This one is a puppet show put on entirely by one person.  She was awesome and did fun songs and voices.  The kids wanted to take a picture with her after.  We've also seen magicians, circus troops, bands, science demonstrations, and animal shows all for free at our library this summer.  We love the library!


Christian really was much happier than he looks here. :)


Kensington Park nature center.  Benjamin trapped the tiniest frog ever.  So cute.  (He let it go again right away.)


Heritage Park Nature Center.  We've been to a lot of nature centers! :)


 The zoo.  Their favorite part of the zoo was the animatronic dinosaurs.  Mine too, I have to admit.  They are always so amazing to see close up.



Pretend play in the back yard,  Here is our farmer on his tractor and the cowgirl with her horse:


Driving lessons.  I mentioned that my mom used to take me to a big parking lot after business hours and let me drive the car around.  My kids thought that was a great idea, so we went to the church and drove in the parking lot when no one was there.  Christian and Bella had to sit on my lap and I did the pedals while they steered.  Benjamin was big enough to do everything on his own.  They were giddy with excitement.  A little scary for me at first, but it got fun with time.  No picture of poor little neglected whats-her-name middle child, but believe that she was smiling too. :)



Hiking at Maybury Park.  We did a 3 mile hike together to get ready for a cub scout hike later in the week.  We practiced first aid and compass and map reading.  It was a great activity.

 
Wish I were better at remembering to take pictures and wish I took better pictures! :) Then there'd be more to show.  We have also been swimming every week.  Christian passed the swim test,so now he can swim in the pool without me and can finally go down the slides.  That's been so fun.  We have also gone bowling a few times, gone to museums around the area, gone to a different park each Friday with friends from church, and have seen a few movies in the theater.  Also, not sure if you noticed in the pictures, but the boys have been into dressing alike.  That's been cute to see how much fun they have being twins.

One funny story: we were all sitting around the table at dinner discussing what our ideal bedroom would be like.  Benjamin said his would have a huge screen with all sorts of video game systems and several lazy-boys.  When it was Christian's turn, he said, "Rather than lazy guys in my room, like Benjamin, I think I'd rather they be knights to defend my room."  At first I thought, "lazy guys?"  Then I remembered Benjamin's comment and couldn't help but laugh.  I can only imagine what Christian must have thought as he listened to Benjamin's description and thought he wanted a bunch of lazy boys hanging out in his room.  So cute.

Yay for Summer!  So glad I have several more weeks to go.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Latest Trip to Utah

I was just looking through all the pictures from Utah and saw a few I thought were worth posting (for any who still bother to look at this blog).

Cousins on the moon during our visit to the planetarium.  What a great, fun place and it's free!  Would post the pics from Mars, but the red gave my camera fits and everyone has silver flashy eyes.  Must be an effect from all the radiation on Mars. :)


Took a couple of the cousins to temple square and on a tour of the conference center.  The kids were so excited to see inside the building they'd only ever seen on tv.  Beware of the tour, though - it's LONG!!!  I was expecting 15 minutes and agreed.  Had I known it would be over an hour, I would never have done it.  Little kids do not need a description EVERY. SINGLE. PICTURE. ON. EVERY. SINGLE. WALL. in the whole 3 story building!!  Thought I would die and I'm an adult!  Thank goodness for Benjamin's willingness to give piggy back rides to tired cousins.


Time with cousins was really the highlight of the trip.




With cousins, even a trip to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers museum, can be an intense ninja warrior mission.  Thank goodness those old ladies were patient.



Benjamin turned 9 while we were there.  He had a party at the park with friends and cousins and the soccer cake he requested.


Benjamin wanted to go motorcycling on  his birthday too.  So, of course, that had to be done...many times during the two weeks, actually.


Grandma got the older two some roller blades, but Christian took Benjamin's and was more into it than anyone.  He became a really good roller blader in those huge skates!


I love this picture of the Benjamin, David, and Christian.  They got a stick and a rubber worm and constructed a fishing pole.  They all look so Tom Sawyer out there in their rolled up pants, bare feet, with their cane pole. :)  Sadly, no fish was fooled.


Wouldn't be the 4th of July with out a small town parade!


Wouldn't be a parade without a ton of candy.  Benjamin designed a new way to hold it so both arms were free for grabbing.

After the parade is over, there's tons to do in the park.  Races, play ground, food, fishing, etc.  Benjamin won the boys race in his age division.  This is how Christian spent his time. :)


This is in the cousin's back yard.  Any idea why the kids love to come here? :)


Dodgeball on the trampoline was a genius idea.  Wish I could take credit for it.  Tons of fun. Two people stand off the tramp and throw small balls at those on it.  If you hit someone, you climb on and they climb off.  Hours of fun.


This tractor was part of a restaurant I'd eat at every day if I could - The Machine Shed in Davenport, Iowa.  With a name like that, I wasn't expecting much.  We passed this place on the way home and it was the closest restaurant to the freeway so we went.  So glad we did!  It was really great food and the kids loved that they got to ride this around while they waited for a table to be available.  



Well, as always, Utah did not disappoint.  Always so much fun!  I'll be posting these pics to Facebook too so those who had given up on this blog can see them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Holidays

Faithful blogger until the holidays come around and then there's complete silence from Halloween until New Year's!  Not my intention, but the last few months were pretty much a blur.  Is January really already more than half over?  Unbelievable.  Our holidays were wonderful.  The kids make them all more fun and we tried to make the most of every one.

In November I started learning how to sew.  This was my first project - a super power cape.  I made a few for the Sunbeam class in church that I taught that Sunday - Scripture Power!  Not great work, but for my first project, I was pretty happy.  I've since made myself a skirt as well - that I'm actually wearing to church!  Not sure what's next, but it's been fun!


During Christmas break we visited a TON of museums.  6 museums in a week and a half.  Some for the first time, which is always fun.  Here's Christian at the Michigan History Museum in Lansing.


Here's Bella at the Impression 5 Museum in Lansing.


Kelly and the boys plus our friend Jade at Imagination Station in Toledo.


We also visited the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts), the Michigan Science Museum, and the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum.  Thank goodness for memberships!  4 of the 6 were free and we had memberships that paid for the others, so it was a fun, cheap way to spend the week.

Yay - Christmas!  Bleary eyed on Christmas morning.  We got our first full-size Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and it was so fun decorating it.  Up until now we've had a 3ft. tree from when Kelly and I were college students.  It was time for a change when our kids were taller than the tree!


Christian got a truck you can assemble with a kids' electric drill.  He struggled a bit at first, but its now been built and rebuilt many times.


Bella got a doll, stuffed kitten, costume, and face paint.  Until the doll got face painted and then landed face down on the carpet.  Then the face paint went away.  Now it's a parent-supervision only toy. ;)


Benjamin got dinosaur kits - you chip them out of the plaster like a paleontologist and then assemble them.  He thought they were so fun, but I made sure he did it in a box so I wouldn't be vacuuming up plaster for weeks. :)


The family got a new cuddly blanket.  Perfect for bedtime snuggles.


When we weren't at the museum, we found other indoor fun.  The church gym is always good for some running around.  The kids unloaded a chair cart and spun and pushed it all over the place.  That was a lot of fun until it was time to reload all the chairs. ;)  Then suddenly everyone was "too tired."


The kids have also gotten really into roller skating.  Benjamin and Bella decided to take classes on Saturdays so we've spent a lot of time at the rink.  Our friend Jade joins us a lot there too with his mom.  The kids are getting really good.  It's not a sport I ever really got into as a kid, but I've been having fun and getting better as well, as long as there's a padded wall to crash into when I need to stop, because that whole toe stop thing is TRICKY!


We've gotten a few good snowfalls already and when the older kids are at school, Christian and I love to play outside.  The other day he said, "Let's go on an adventure walk in the woods."  Okay!  We found a patch of ice under the snow that made an awesome skating rink.


And a frozen river we could walk across.  He was nervous but so giddy proud of himself when he made it over.  I love hanging out with this little guy.


He has also asked to go sledding many times and has started really enjoying going down by himself.  Such a cute boy!


With the beginning of a new year comes new primary (sunday school) classes.  Benjamin moved into senior primary for the first time now, so he's no longer in the same group with the younger ones.  In honor of the special occasion, we bought him his first suit.   He was so excited, he's worn it every week since!  The jacket is still a bit big, but it won't be long until it fits.  Coming into church with his suit, his own set of scriptures, and his serious expression, he looks so grown up.  What happened to my little boy?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mom and Me Camp-out

Benjamin and I had a wonderful time together this past weekend at a local boy scout camp.  They invited cub scouts and their moms to come spend the weekend.


Benjamin and I left right from school on Friday afternoon and were there until late Saturday.  The first day we set up our tent and then explored the camp and talked before joining the whole group for an evening around a big bonfire.  We sang songs, drank hot chocolate, the boy scouts did skits and jokes, and we finished with just the two of us reading Percy Jackson in our tent.  When we got up in the morning Benjamin said, "This was the funnest campout!  I'm so glad we came.  Did you have fun?"  "Benjamin," I reminded him, "we have a whole day ahead of us still.  We've just begun!"  "Oh, that's right!" he exclaimed, "I forgot!"  He had only done a small portion of the campout and he already considered it a success.  That made me happy.

Saturday they woke everyone up at 6:45 by screaming "Wake Up Campers!!" as they walked around the tents.  Not appreciated by me since I'd slept poorly (as I always do when camping) and our assigned breakfast time wasn't until 7:45, but Benjamin didn't mind one bit.  We started with a group flag ceremony and then we shot BB guns, slingshots, and bows and arrows,








we made placemats, neckerchief sliders, and sand art (picture below),


 we branded wood and leather, we tied knots and lassoed animals (statues of animals),




 rode a hay wagon, made caramel apples, ate lots of junk food (next year I'm bringing my own food!), and chose a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch.  A station where you could make your own bird house was also available, but he'd made one in cub scouts the week prior and didn't feel like making another.  They also had a station where you could work with a compass and learn about map reading, but Benjamin refused to do it saying, "I don't want this to be ANYTHING like school and I study maps at school." I didn't push it. The whole trip was wonderful.  The weather was cold but the sun shone from time to time, the fall colors were so gorgeous, and it only rained during the night.  We'd brought plenty of warm clothes and blankets so we were fine.  It was so good to be with Benjamin one-on-one doing something other than homework or piano practice.  Being outdoors with him just having fun and learning new things was great.  He and I both came home very happy....and dirty...and over-sugared...and sleep deprived.....but very happy. :)