Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

I love most excuses to plan a party or a celebration day, so I "jumped" at the chance to do some fun things for Leap Day.  I surprised the boys with a table of frogs and a light-up bouncy ball for each of them this morning.  Then for breakfast we all enjoyed some leapin' lemon yogurt.  (This was a big deal because I don't usually by the flavored yogurts.)  Joel really liked the sign that I hung from the light fixture over the table, too.  He had to make sure that Dad saw it when he got home from work tonight.

The boys' school also had crazy day, where they could wear crazy clothes, hats, hair, etc.  Both of the boys had fun doing their hair, and Evan decided to wear a cape, too.  Joel thought that the glasses he got from school were a nice addition to his crazy look, especially worn upside down.

After they got out of school we watched Kung Fu Panda 2 and ate popcorn.  (I wanted to get The Princess and the Frog from the library, but I couldn't find parking.)  There is lots of leaping with the Dragon Warrior and the Furious Five, so it was fun.  The only other time Evan and I had seen it was on the airplane, so we missed a lot.  I quite enjoyed it this time snuggled up with my boys.

I taught them how to play leapfrog, but they didn't like playing it in the house.  Instead they decided to have frog races in the kitchen.  They love those little frogs!

For dinner we had Hoppin' John.  I am not sure that I had ever eaten black-eyed peas like this before, but they were really okay.  (I am not a big black-eyed pea fan.)   I made the peas a little too spicy for Joel but everyone else seemed okay with it.  No huge praises, but no complaints either.  And it was pretty filling!

I started planning this pretty late, so I need to start thinking now about what to do next year.  Oh, but that just reminded me that the boys will be 12 and 10 by the next leap year.  EEEEK!  I don't want to think about that any more.  I will just try to enjoy these days right now (even if there is some pouting, yelling, and crying throughout the day).  And wish you a happy leap day!

Mid-winter break round-up

I forgot to finish out what we did for mid-winter break.  Oops!

On Thursday I took the kids to a local park that is also a working farm.  These little guys have become passionate bike riders, and they wanted to take those bikes to ride around the park.  I was glad to oblige!  There is a trail for walking and bike-riding that takes you to the farm where you can walk around and look at the animals in the pastures.  We saw horses, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and geese.  While walking around the pasture we saw some trails that lead to other parts of the city's trail system.  I didn't have a map of the area nor had I ever seen one, so I didn't feel up to that adventure.  But I did let the boys ride their bikes over the little bridge that connects the trails.  It was a hard bridge for them since it was hilly and narrow, but they liked it.  I decided to let them try it a second time.  Joel navigated it successfully, but Evan got into trouble coming down the bridge and trying to turn onto the gravel trail.  He had a major wipeout.  He scraped his knee and caught close to his groin area on the handlebar.  We had to walk up a pretty big hill to get back to the trail that would take us to the parking lot.  He didn't think he could make it, but he did!  I was pretty proud of him for persevering.  (Joel also had a wipeout much earlier in the ride but his wasn't as bad and he recovered pretty quickly.)  We got back to the van as soon as we could and decided to come home for the day.

The next day we took a trip to Issaquah to visit Boehm's Candies.  We took a window tour and saw the candy makers in action.  Then we had to buy a few to try, too.  I let each boy pick out 3 pieces and it was agonizing watching Joel try to decide.  The boys enjoyed it more than I feared they would and we are all looking forward to going back in the summer when we can go inside the chocolate factory!  After that we went to Target to let the boys spend some money.  They had been looking forward to this for a long time!  Evan had told Joel that he would buy him a Lego set if he won the "Super Bowl" they played against each other in the front yard one day last week.  Joel said he would buy Evan some candy just because.  Picking out the Lego sets and candy was almost as hard as picking out the Boehm's candies, but we made it.

On Sunday we visited the same church we had visited the week before.  After the service they have a snack and fellowship time.  We got to talk to quite a few people and were some of the last to leave.  We were also invited to lunch with the families we were talking to, and they settled on a dim sum restaurant.  We hadn't eaten at one before, but we were pleased with their choice!  It was great to be able to visit with them some more.  All of the kids sat at their own table with an older girl who helped the little ones get their food.  Apparently our boys tried a lot of the foods.  I know that they had fun with the other kids!  It was neat to listen to our "hosts" order all of the food in Mandarin.  I was sitting next to the pastor of the church and when the food arrived, he explained it all to me and helped me get the food if my chopsticks weren't working.  It was so yummy and we all left stuffed!

It was a little hard to get back into the routine on Monday, but it was good to do so.  The boys have enjoyed being back in school, and I finally got back to working out in the gym this week.  We are trying to find a "normal" routine here in our new home.  It seems like we are getting a little closer every day.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

mid-mid-winter break

We are halfway through our mid-winter break and everyone is surviving pretty well!  Since we had all of these fun excursions over the weekend (Pacific Science Center and Harbor Cruise), we have had a more low-key week at home.

Monday night I headed out solo to get the needed groceries for the week and to order a new clothes dryer.  We had a scare last week that our water heater was going on, but it was just that the pilot light was out.  By the end of the week we confirmed that the dryer was going out.  We managed to get the load of laundry that had been recently washed mostly dry, but then that was it.  So we started comparison shopping and checking out the President Day sales.  We found what we thought we wanted and I went out Monday night to look at it and make sure it would work for our needs.  I was hoping it would be in stock, but it's not so we will be eagerly anticipating it's delivery in about a week and a half.  Unfortunately, there are no laundromats near here, but we do have drying racks, so we will be using those for our laundry.

Yesterday we picked up a few more groceries that I couldn't find the night before to help put together a Mardi Gras meal for last night.  We had a yummy dinner of cajun dirty rice and king cake for dessert.  We were talking about the origins of Mardi Gras and how it relates to Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and Easter.  We were talking about the tradition of giving something up for lent and Joel volunteered to give up burping.  I did not discourage him.  ;-)  The boys also got a much-needed haircut while we were out.  They hadn't had one since October or November.  Although, I do think they could have cut Evan's hair a little less.  Neither have complained about their hair too much so I guess it was pretty successful.

Today was supposed to be rainy again, so I had planned on just staying home.  The weather surprised us with a mostly sunny day, though.  We did stay home but we did play outside.  The boys rode bikes, played with the remote control stunt car, played football, played Rescue Heroes, and played other games that they made up.  I sat out and worked on some paperwork and watched them play.  It was nice for us some to get some Vitamin D outside today!
Saturday, February 18, 2012

The fun times are still rolling ...

As Mardi Gras approaches, I am reminded of the phrase "Let the good times roll" (though I can't spell the French version).  We are trying to keep the fun times rolling here.  It is easy to get bogged down in setting up the house and trying to get into a routine, but we have been able to have quite a few fun days, too.

Steve took the boys out with their bikes and was determined to teach them how to ride without training wheels.  Joel took to it pretty quickly.  Evan needed a little more time, but he kept at it until he got the hang of it.  They were both able to ride down the hill beside the house in no time at all.  They love riding now, and ask to go out almost every day when they get home from school.  Here are some pics of them enjoying their new "sport".

We also had fun celebrating Valentine's Day at home and at school.  I had to miss both of the boys' parties, but they came home with lots of Valentines, candy, and excited faces. 

On Friday, Joel got to celebrate his 100th day of kindergarten.  (He may have been in kinder for longer than 100 days, but we figure between his old school's earlier start date and his 1.5 week break when we moved that it was probably about 100 days for him.)  He had fun activities in class, and he got to school dressed like he imagined he would look when he's 100 years old.  Here are some pics of how he looked that day.  He liked it so much that he didn't want to take it off when he got home.

Today we went to the Pacific Science Museum and spent most of the day there.  We had a lot of fun!  It's not often that we all enjoy an outing like this.  There was lots of cool stuff to see, do, and learn about.  Along with the normal science museum exhibits, there was a butterfly garden with beautiful species of butterflies!  We ended the day by watching an IMAX movie about ancient ocean reptiles.  I didn't get pictures of everything, but here are some of the pics that I got.

Next week is mid-winter break.  I had forgotten about it until Friday night, so I will be busy tomorrow trying to get plans together for the week.  We will probably go into the city one day and then we will explore some more around the east side of the city.  Hopefully there will be more fun trips to report back on soon!
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Still learning and adjusting

We are still working on the house, but I am glad to report that we are continuing to get stuff done.  For example: my quilt rack is put together and has quilts displayed on it and there are some pictures on some of the walls!  I am almost ready to take pictures of the finished house. Of course, I need to clean up some, too.  I find it harder to decorate and clean.  Today will be another fun day of working in the craft room.  I have to do it in little steps at a time, since it is a little overwhelming trying to find room to store all of the stuff that I have accumulated.  And I get distracted by thinking about the projects that I want to be working on instead of just finding a place for everything.

But it's not all work around here!  Steve and the boys went into Seattle last week to visit the Experience Music Project.  This was one of the attractions in our city pass, and I wasn't really that interested in it.  Of course, Steve was interested so he took the boys and they had a great time, while I had some alone, quiet time at the house.  Since I didn't go, there aren't pictures to share this time.  Maybe next time I will remind Evan to take his new camera so he can take pictures.  We did get a "video" of Evan in the Avatar exhibit. 

The boys are still doing well in school.  Joel is learning to read and spell.  It is quite fun!  He is proud of himself when he reads something correctly, but also gets frustrated if the words are hard.  Yesterday I decided he was getting frustrated because he was tired.  I told him to lay down for a rest and he cried that he wasn't tired.  We finally each settled on a separate couch in the living room and both took naps.  We both felt better afterwards. 

We have introduced the boys to the game Clue and they are both hooked on it!  It was a little rough with Joel with the first time, but he did much better last night.  (Remember that he is a beginning reader and there's a lot of reading in that game.) 

So, that's a little of what is going on with us these days.  Hope that you are doing well and that you have a Happy Groundhog's Day!  (I forgot that was today.  What was the verdict?)
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