Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Play, Museum, and Hike

Since I'm so behind on my blogging, I'm doing two in a row. So this is the second part.

We went with the Vegkins group to In The Heart Of The Beast theater in Minneapolis for a kids production. The performances are all hand made puppets and paper mache, this one was a glowing play called "Gnip Gnopera". Then afterwards, the kids got to go up on stage to see the puppets and set up close.

The weekend before, we visited the Children's Museum and their Grossology exhibit which the kids thought was pretty great.
All about molding! This machine molded and made a plastic spoon!

Grossology...a big burping guy.

Ava climbing a gross skin wall.

Yep! A giant Operation game!

We headed out for a Spring event at a nature center last weekend with friends. It was rain or shine...of course, it was raining. The kids look forward to this all year though so we had to go, plus I bought advanced tickets! It was still lots of fun and the kids didn't mind getting wet. Ava got to see her favorite characters from the movie Tangled plus many other characters and got lots of candy along the way.

We then headed over to Lake Maria for a dryer afternoon for my dad's birthday. They set up an egg hunt for the kids and we went on a big hike!

The kids have been getting to go to John's mom and dad's once a week while I get some cleaning done. They have so much fun hanging out with their grandparents and get to do fun activities there too. A win for all! One of their favorites was making red light/green light/yellow light signs. They still use them at home outside on their bikes. They also love having fun with Grandma, trying to beat Grandpa on video games, and helping to take care of their bird, Sam.

Art, Bat, and Geocaching!

Wow. Okay, so way behind on my blogging. We're still doing our thing. It's been an early and active Spring!
Ava's still loving her art classes she goes to every week. She also got to see her art hanging up at a near-by art center during their student week. She also got to make a paper woman wearing a kimono.

She took a paper mache art class as well, and made a cat and an awesome vase! She also made a vase while spending time at a state park with her grandma and grandpa. They look so cool up on the shelf!

Ava loves all things arts and crafts. I cut out some cardboard and taped it together for her to decorate her own doll house in her room. She spent hours working on it and it turned out so cute!

Ava working on a wooden person :)

Noah is back into all things water now that spring is here. It's nearly impossible for him to not get into water or to leave the hose on all day (we're working on that). He also loves learning about how things work. He loves robots, cars, machines, and building things (and taking things apart). He also spends a lot of time playing games online that have to do with figuring out how to build things or knock things down. I love watching his mind at work! He also is really getting into numbers and letter sounds and often times at night we play "I'm thinking of an animal that starts with a __ sound."

Noah and Amora learning measurements.
Amora has conquered the computers. We got a second computer the kids can use now. She can get to everything she wants by going under the favorites star and knows how to play all her favorite games already. She's also been getting to spend a lot of time playing outside with her siblings this spring and riding her trike as they bike and scooter around.

Recently, when the kids were playing with the neighbor kids, the boys came across a small bat behind the neighbor's garage. We thought he was dead but then when an adult got close he started chirping and hissing. He was clearly stranded, scared, and weak, so I got some gloves and put him into a bucket until we could figure out how to help him. All the kids were so interested in helping the bat. They named him Casey (we're not sure if he's a boy or girl bat). He was VERY sleepy and still probably in hibernation. I'm sure he was wishing he was back in his cozy home and not in a bright orange bucket. The next morning we brought him into a wildlife rehab center. Last I heard, he was doing well, but did have a tear on his wing and was dehydrated. So hopefully he will be released soon!
We visited the nature center after we dropped the bat off and the kids played rescue with the stuffed animals and vet/doctor kits.

Casey sleeping in his bucket.

We went geocaching with friends last week for the first time which was really fun! The kids loved hiking through the woods and off the beaten path to search for the hidden object. We found it and it was full of fun little things like stickers and small toys! Next time we'll have to bring more to trade in!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fun Features

Ava made up the title for the blog this time. I like it! So...featuring some fun stuff we've been up to:

It's been an odd Minnesota winter this year with hardly any snow or below zero temperatures...not that I'm complaining. The kids, however, haven't wanted to be outside at all. I mean, why go out in the cold when there's no snow to play in? We managed one day to get out and ice skate and brought the sleds to a hill. Also, we spent the weekend up at their Great Grandpa's place for his Birthday, which had just enough snow to cover the hill in his yard so they enjoyed snowboarding and sledding then. Grandpa also wanted to have a little winter bonfire outside with the family. It was nice to have the family together after the recent loss of Grandma. It was strange not to have her there in the kitchen baking cookies with us. The whole family was wonderful and supportive of everyone and the kids had a blast roasting marshmallows and veggie dogs and snowboarding. They also got in some games with all the fun aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents available for the weekend! We all played a big group game of Headbands with the kids. Amora helped by walking around telling people what their picture was before they could guess it! What a great weekend and one the kids will surely remember.

Great Grandpa playing Headbands

Grandpa Dave's turn!

Noah watching his Great Grandpa learn to bake cookies!

Because of the lack-of-fun-snow, we've been doing a lot of inside activities. Amora has mastered the computer mouse now and can play more games and puzzles. She can click and drag items, 'X' out pages, and even go to the controls and adjust the volume! She can also screw stuff up on the computer very well now.
Noah has been learning numbers and letters quite quickly now. One funny little way he does this is every night as he lays in bed and he stares at our alarm clock. Every time the minute changes he gets all excited and shouts out the four numbers, (plus the "dot dot"). Hey, whatever works. He's learning more about clocks, minutes, and hours at the same time too! I love how kids so eagerly take to learning this stuff.

We made a visit to the Science Museum as well, along with my parents. We ate first and then went to the Omnitheater, which may not have been done in the best order. Amora fell asleep during the giant and dizzying (but cool!) Amazon movie, then shortly after it was over she threw up. Oh, but don't fret for the janitorial staff, she was tucked into a sling I was wearing so I caught the massive amount of puked oatmeal (breakfast) and Subway sandwich (lunch) right down the inside of my shirt. Lucky for you all, in my disgust, I didn't even think to snap a picture (I know!).  I usually have a change of clothes for the kids, but not for me so it was off to the gift shop for some expensive T-shirts.
But things went smoothly thereafter...

Getting some cheek cells for the microscope!

Noah and Amora learning all about bees.

In the past week we had our Valentine's Day party with our homeschool group and Ava finished her paper mache project in her art class!
Making their Valentine boxes

Delivering Valentines to friends.

Amora excited about all her Valentines!
Ava's paper mache cat she made.

Noah also got to take a class for the first time, along with Ava. They went to a "Mini-Astronaut" class where they tried astronaut food, made space pictures and magnets and a little toy plane. They both loved it and Noah was so excited! Throughout the class I could hear him talking so loud and enthusiastically about Saturn's rings and the space stickers they were using. At the end he gave the teacher a big hug! Looks like I'll be signing them up for more!

We also attended a "Hands To Service" event where the kids got to make things for community causes. They made hamster and cat/dog toys for the local animal shelter, decorated bags for Meals On Wheels, painted window ornaments for children's hospital rooms, made valentine cards for senior home residents, and more! Then they got to stamp off each station on their "passports." They were such busy little people for a couple hours. It was tough to get them to leave!