I think the pics speak for themselves :)
Friday, August 26, 2011
My parents camped across the lake so we met up every day for meals, canoing, hikes, swimming, and visiting the near-by town of Ely. They also watched the kids while John and I celebrated our anniversary with dinner at the Blue Heron, where we had a great 5-course meal. The chef made my dinner all vegan. It was wonderful!
It was so enriching for the kids to be surrounded by nature for a week. Ava and Noah learned to paddle a canoe, they went on a row-boat for the first time (Amora's first time on a boat), saw many different animals including a fox who came up right outside our cabin and ate some leftover food the kids were feeding the chipmunks.
|Ava learning to paddle.|
|Noah loved going into the lilly pads!|
Noah loves animals, insects, fish, and flowers. Going a short-distance on a walk takes much longer with Noah. He stops at each of the many butterflies and follows them. Finds slugs and beetles. Stops off in patches of flowers and weeds. Examines the ground and the plants. And wades into any open water he comes across. Clothes and all. He is very delighted by the smallest simplest things. I love watching his eyes sparkling as he explores and we always had a pretty kid-picked bouquet of flowers for the cabin table.
One evening at the beach, a man was fishing on the near-by dock. Ava and Noah loudly serenaded him with a song about how he shouldn't hurt fish and gasped everytime he brought up the rod saying, "Oh no! I hope he didn't get one!" He didn't fish there long. Our kids rock :) No wonder the fishies love them.
In Ely, we visited the bear center, the wolf center, and also Dorothy Molter's (The Root Beer Lady) cabins which Ava liked. It was cool for her to see how someone lived up in the boundary water area without many modern conveniences. She chopped her own wood, washed clothes on a washing board and did a lot of snowshoing and, more famously, made and sold Root Beer to those who paddled in.
Even Amora, when I told her we were going bye bye earlier that day, had made a mad face and said, "NO BYE-BYE!"
It helped us all when John stopped by the lodge and booked us again for next year, though!
|Ava with her magnifying glass and tweezers.|
|Examining a dead mouse perhaps dropped by a bird.|
|Amora's first S'mores!|
|Bat and ball with daddy.|
|Pounding a fern to get the color onto paper.|
Friday, August 19, 2011
Here's a sampling!
Ava took a kids class at a program at the local community college. She chose a kids chemistry class called "Blow It Up." As you can imagine, it was pretty fun and she loved it. It was a "camp" style so was four days in a row. She didn't want it to end.
I like to have "Mommy Days" with each of the kids since it's sometimes hard for me to get out and have one-on-one time with the kids. Ava chose to go to the play Annie at the Children's Theatre. This was only the second play she'd been to. It was a wonderful production and so nice to go with just her and me.
Noah chose to go to a movie. We watched about half of it then he wanted to leave which was just fine. So we went to Subway and the book store and he played with the train set for a half hour and I picked up some books for the kids, including a favorite, "Pete The Cat."
We've used the kiddie pool a lot this summer and to jazz it up, I gave the kids some food coloring and added some olive oil to the pool to see how the oil separated in the water and how the colors mixed. And of course, play in it all!
|Fairy Tale Frodo|
|Ava-cam: This was on our way to check out a train bridge collapse after flooding eroded it.|
|Ava's pic of Daddy driving and a flag.|
|More van pics by Ava!|
|Amora figured out how to take her own pic!|
|At friends' Birthday Party|
|Triple Birthday Bash!|
|Ami ready for cake!|
|Making a new game out of good Ol' Twister.|
|Ava teaching Noah how to play their new game.|
|The look of accomplishment!|
|Don't worry, it's shut off.|
Ava got a keyboard last Christmas that came with a DVD and CD-ROM of piano lessons. So for the past 6 or 7 months, she has played on her keyboard. I never pushed her toward the learning lessons. I think it's important for kids to get the feel for things themselves and hear the tunes with their own ears and make sense of the keys. Now that she's comfortable with it and enjoys it so much, she asked me to put in the CD-ROM for her and later the DVD. It's a bit fast-based for her age but still, she learned from it and now plays her first song, "Mary Had A Little Lamb." It was challenging for her to keep up with the disc and now has put it up and is back to playing on her own. I suspect in the future she'll grab the lessons again and try again. If it's left up to kids, they will learn what they like to learn and need to learn in their own time. When they are ready.
|Ava and Amora on their keyboards.|
So that's been the way things have been going. This brings us up to our big week-long awesome, wonderful, fantastic, trip up at Fenske, near the Boundary Waters. Hoping to get that posted soon!!!!
More summer pics:
|Noah checking out the gooey clay water.|
|Shooting daddy with Nerf!|
|Ava trying to draw with her little sister.|
|Two markers are better than one!|