Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day

Today was Daddy's first day back to school for his senior year. It is going to be an incredibly taxing semester for him. He is trying to squeeze in as many classes as he can to be sure he has all his credits fulfilled by May. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of him from his "first day of school." I was busy running around trying to make him an egg burrito to send him on his way and Pumpkin was in melt down mode. But he looked super nice in an awesome shirt that I scored at Kohl's for $3.60 for him! I love deals!!!!!

The girls and I were on our own pretty much all day. We have been making our own popsicles because Peanut LOVES popsicles, but the ones from the store are packed with HFCS or really expensive. I found a popsicle container in the dollar bins at Target and have been using that. We usually just fill the holes with yogurt to freeze, but the other day I pureed watermelon chunks in the blender and poured the liquid into the holes. They turned out really yummy and can I say that pureed watermelon is really good just to drink. You should try it! Peanut had two today and I didn't feel bad at all because it was straight fruit!
Watermelon Pops
I also started a new venture with Peanut today. During Pumpkin's naps we are going to do "preschool" together. Peanut was SO excited to do this with Mommy today. We usually try to do fun things while Pumpkin is sleeping but this will be more of a routine with structure.

I was amazed by how much we accomplished in an hour. We figured out the date, the season, and the weather for today. We reviewed all of the colors and played a color matching game. Then she practiced writing her name on these really awesome dry erase name plates that I found in the Target dollar bin. We spent some time going over the ABC's with flashcards and an online site called Starfall. We finished by reviewing number identification along with counting and working in a preschool workbook on tracing.
Color Matching
Pumpkin who usually gives me 1 1/2 hours of a nap was only willing to give an hour! Ugh! So...after she got up, Peanut and I made Granola Bars that turned out really good. You can find the recipe HERE. I think that constitutes as Home Ec or what do they call it now...Family and Consumer Science?

I'm looking forward to this time with Peanut each day and watching her mind soak everything up like a sponge. I have at least 5 boxes of files to draw ideas from my amazing time as preschool teacher and director. It is so different working with your own child instead of 15 kids you don't know that well, though. Ha!

Our Bible verse that we are learning this week is, "Be kind to one another. Ephesians 4:32" Later after watching her and Pumpkin fight and not share, I reminded her of the Bible verse we are learning and asked, "Does that mean you need to be kind to your sister too?" She looked at me with a big grin and said, "No!" Oh dear!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I've Been Found Out

Daddy kept wondering why the dishes weren't all that clean. Now our cover has been blown.
Washing Dishes
If only Pumpkin was a little taller than maybe the dishes would be clean. Guess I'll have to start washing them again.
Washing Dishes
(By the way...I am kidding. I do not make my children wash the dishes...YET!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Camping

Camping Trip
Daddy has been talking for a very long time about taking the girls camping. His dream finally came true this past week during our packed family fun week. He stocked up on some camping supplies as we haven't done this in a long time, not since he was a youth pastor. Yikes! (His wife may or may not be as keen on the whole camping thing, so she doesn't push the idea much.)
Camping Trip
We packed up and headed out. Halfway to the local state park, I had this urge to make sure we had our tent poles. Good thing I did because we did not. I headed home to get them while Daddy went on ahead to get the camp site.
Camping Trip
Daddy was sure to tell the woman at the registration booth that we had two small children. She told him she would give us a nice spot by a bathroom. It was by a bathroom indeed, but safe...well, not so much. At least not for a 1 year old. You had to walk down a steep hill to get to the spot that was dirt and as hard as concrete. Then directly behind the spot was a huge hill that I am sure a little bundle of energy could have rolled down very easily. We should have asked for a new spot, but we made do.
Camping Trip
After setting up our site, we headed out to check out the nature center then go on a hike. I was greatly encouraged to find out at the nature center that we have copperheads, rattlers, and bobcats down here. Very encouraging!

We picked a trail that was labeled as easy/moderate. We figured that it would be a good one to take our all terrain stroller on. What we did not realize that there was a stair case of like 700 steps going down a steep hill. Getting the stroller down the hill was not so bad. Getting the stroller up was. Peanut was worn out by that point, so Daddy carried her while I carried Pumpkin and drug the stroller up behind me. We were a bit worn out by the time we got back to our camp site.
Camping Trip
The hike was beautiful though. We saw lots of caterpillars and butterflies, a turtle, and a salamander. The terrain was very rough with huge tree roots sticking out of the trail so Pumpkin's ride was very bumpy but this is how she spent a little under half of it.
Camping Trip
Daddy did a great job of building a fire for us to roast hot dogs and marshmallows on. Why are both of these things so much yummier over a fire? The girls thought it was pretty neat to cook our food over the fire.
Camping Trip
Look who smeared her marshmallow in her hair. She was a HOLY mess later after she had rolled in the dirt and leaves too. Her hair was black. It's a good thing that came out with a good hair wash.
Camping Trip
We had already decided that Pumpkin probably isn't ready for overnight camping as she doesn't sleep well, she is teething and she is up at 5:00 a.m. The thought of trying to keep her happy in the wilderness in the early morning while the rest of the campground was still sleeping wasn't a fun idea for me. I would take her home so she could sleep soundly in her own bed. At 9:45 p.m. after trying to keep her from rolling down the hill, getting near the fire and calming her down after some loud fits, Daddy said, "Ok, I think you can head out now." We took that as our cue and headed home for baths and bedtime.
Camping Trip
Daddy and Peanut headed to bed soon after that. Daddy said that they could hear some animals fighting in the distance which made Peanut scared. He reassured her she was safe and she was out like a light! He even had trouble getting her up the next morning but thankfully a caterpillar crawling on her shoe was reason enough to start the day.
Camping Trip
Pumpkin slept in until 6:36 a.m. for me which gave me some extra sleep and we were ready to head back to the campsite to spend the rest of the morning and afternoon with Peanut and Daddy. We tore down the site then drove around to see some really awesome views in the park. We live a VERY hilly area that is really gorgeous although the picture doesn't do it justice!
Camping Trip
We also let the girls play on a playground and took in a short walking trail. We had to promise Peanut it wasn't like the one we had done the previous day. She wasn't overly thrilled about having to walk 2 miles again so we picked a short, paved path.
Camping Trip
We ended our adventure by eating lunch at the lodge where I was informed by Hubby that Hummingbirds do in fact make a sound. They buzz! Ummm...their wings buzz, honey! We were both so tired, we couldn't stop laughing over that.
Camping Trip
We did have fun. Daddy would camp every weekend between now and winter. Not sure I am up for that. We will certainly be seeking out a safer, softer camping spot next time!

Peanut's favorite part of camping was "going walking." It was very cool to again tie in our visit to the Creation Museum with our camping trip. We talked to Pumpkin about all of the wonderful things that God had made in nature that we were seeing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Zoo

Zoo
Today we added the zoo to our family fun packed two weeks! It was wonderful. The weather was gorgeous. It just couldn't have been more beautiful and just enough hot. The girls did great. It was a perfect day!
Zoo
We started our visit with marine life, my favorite! We got to touch Dog Sharks, see Sea Horses, giggle at the penguins and be blown away by those smart dolphins at a dolphin show. Peanut squealed in delight at each of the dolphins' tricks.

This next picture isn't the best quality but I have to include it because it shows Peanut showing her baby doll the penguins. She did this at alot of the exhibits. She would show her baby the animals and tell her all about them. It was so cute!
Zoo

Zoo

The goats were also a HUGE hit. They received many hugs!
Zoo

Zoo

Zoo

I love the next picture. The cheetah could not have posed better except we think he was eying Pumpkin.
Zoo

The giraffes were just beautiful, so graceful.
Zoo

Pumpkin really enjoyed watching the Meerkats. They were quite entertaining.
Zoo

Peanut's favorite exhibit was the lions. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture because they were napping.

Zoo
We took our own lunch to help save some money. We loved our van even more because it turned into a picnic place for us. Love those stow and go back seats! The girls thought it was pretty fun to eat in the back of the van with Mom and Dad.

We also ended up getting a year membership to the zoo. We realized that in just 3 visits we would spend more than what the membership costs and they would apply what we had already paid in admission fees today to the cost so we did it. I am thrilled. Now we can take the girls anytime and not have to pay for parking or admission! We will definitely get our money's worth out of that and soon!

We had a fun, fun, fun day ending with supper at a yummy Chinese restaurant!

Now...we go camping!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Creation Museum

We are trying to squeeze as much family fun time out of Daddy's two weeks off of school. Last week we, of course were up north visiting family and a few friends. Yesterday we met up with family at The Creation Museum near Cincinnati, OH. It was a fabulous day! The kids were all wonderful and we all were inspired by the museum.

Here are some pictures of our time together.
Creation Museum

Creation Museum
They had a fabulous petting zoo too. The kids (and adults) got to pet a camel, goats, sheep, alpacas, and turtle. They also had a Zebroid and a Zorse.
Creation Museum

Creation Museum

Creation Museum

Creation Museum

After our visit we hit Steak and Shake before everyone had to return home. It is so good to be with family! We had a ball. Such great memories made! If only our Southern part of the fam could have been there!
Creation Museum

Creation Museum

Creation Museum

Creation Museum
Daddy asked Peanut what her favorite part of the day was on our way home. She like petting the goats the best. He also asked her what she learned. She said, "I learned about dinosaurs, Adam and Eve, God and Moses built the big boat."

She may have gotten a bit mixed up on the Moses/Noah guys, but we were so impressed by how much she took in. It was so exciting for us too because most of the things she saw were things that we had already read about in her new Bible story book, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. It was so neat to see the wheels turning in her head.

If you get a chance to go visit, GO! It is a wonderful place!
Creation Museum

Creation Museum
This was also our last hurrah with Dobbie and Papa for awhile. They will be heading for a 3 month stay in Vermont later this week. They are excited about the jobs that await them there. They will certainly be in our prayers! We're excited about postcards from Vermont!

Table Manners

Look who is a child prodigy with the use of a spoon while eating pudding....
Pudding Face
Ok...maybe not child prodigy...but cute as a button even when a sticky mess!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Going North

We were able to make a whirlwind trip up north last week to see Kevin's parents who were in town before heading out on a travel nursing adventure. They will begin travel nursing in just a week with their first journey to Vermont for a few months. We had a great time at their cabin with lots of time spent relaxing.
Visiting
They now have two kittens that put Peanut and Pumpkin over the moon.
Visiting

Visiting
We also spent some time at Gigi's. We got to see friends, play Dominoes (which yours truly beat the pants off everyone), and our favorite...make homemade ice cream!
Visiting
Peanut and Pumpkin had a great time cruising around Gigi's in the pink Jeep!
Visiting
One evening at Dobbie and Papa's cabin, we were all sitting around talking. I look over and see Pumpkin with her arms full but can't figure out what in the world she is carrying. After a closer look, I saw that she had a half loaf of wheat bread in her arms that she was also eating. She had dug the bread loaf out of a drawer in the kitchen and snatched half of it for a late night snack. So silly!
Visiting

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Science Museum

There is a children's science museum in our community which we had not been to yet. They have reduced admission the first Friday evening of each month, so I took the girls to check it out. We had a ball playing and discovering all the fun things to do.

Both girls LOVED playing in the water tables.
Science Museum

Science Museum
This was Pumpkin's favorite thing especially when Mommy pushed those sticks through to her side. She giggled in delight.
Science Museum
I was over the moon proud of Peanut for climbing to the very tippy top of this. She is pretty leery of tall slides so I was shocked when she took off for this 2 story tall Grapevine Climber. She did great!
Science Museum