Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Halloween 2013
We have a fireman, Belle, and a Ninja.  

As for me, I... I am batman.

Kate's Kindergarten Trip to The Pumpkin Patch

The local pumpkin patches have started charging an outrageous price for admission, so I'm thankful that the Kindergarten class get a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch in the fall.  They will return to the same farm, Westmoreland Berry Farm, in the spring to study how things change with the seasons.   
Michael's first field trip was also the the pumpkin patch. 
We took a hayride out to the pumpkin patch, and the kids got to pick any pumpkin they wanted, as long as it fit in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.   

Pumpkin songs and tales 

They got to feed the goats, but they had to lure the down from the sky walk.

My kids were happy to just throw the goat food at the goats, as they did NOT want to be licked or nibbled.

All about apples.  The kids also got to do some apple tasting, and they were able to vote on their favorite variety.  I think red delicious won.  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday, Kate

It's hard to believe this little girl is 6!
Kate is growing up so much lately, and she is flourishing at school!  We are finding that she is growing into a more and more delightful little girl as the days and years pass.  She still loves girlie things, but I think her brothers might be wearing off on her a bit (she loves dirt, bugs, & trains along with dresses, lip gloss, & nail polish)  She loves her new birthday gifts of Legos and Polly Pockets.   We are so blessed to have this precious girl in our family!   

Birthdays are special days, even if you have to go to school (or GET to go to school, in Kate's case.) 
Waffles for breakfast.  
David and I had lunch with Kate at school, and we brought her some flowers.  She thought it was the best!  I've been able to meet some of her little friends in class, and it's cute to see her interact with her classmates. 

Presents after a special dinner of cheese pizza.- Kate's choice.

Grandma and Grandpa got Kate a Lego Friends set, and she has played with it a lot since her birthday.  
I found a nice, used set of Polly Pockets (Goodwill, $2.99, thank-you-very-much), and they have been a hit as well.  Some girlie things- nail polish, lip gloss, art stamps- and my Kate is a happy, happy birthday girl.  
Kate elected to stay in and play with her new toys instead of going somewhere special.  She's a homebody like her mom. :-)

 Kate wanted chocolate cake, and since her birthday was post-vacation and in the midst of catching up from a week away, Costco came to the rescue with cake.  This cake was a layered mousse cake, and it was delicious!  Costco never lets me down. 

Hooray for SIX! 

So excited! 

Happy 6th birthday, baby girl!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Michael's Field Trip to the Science Museum

Last Thursday, Michael's 2nd grade class took a field trip to the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. 
Fun videos here
They just finished studying the life cycle of a butterfly, so they went to see the IMAX of Flight of the Butterflies.  I was able to accompany the class as a chaperone.  

Lots of hands-on activities 

Cool exhibits 

A reptile room, where the kids got to pet a snake.  Ewww! 

Rat basketball 

Conditioned like Pavlov's dog 

 Petting the rat.  Ewwww.

The IMAX theater was very cool.

My group of 5 sat WAY up high, so we could get the best vantage point.  


Simple machines- pulleys 

Michael getting ready for blast off. 
We were supposed to be back at school by 2:30, but I-95 traffic prevented that from happening.  I was a few minutes late to work, but it was worth it to accompany the class on this cool trip. 

California Trip, 2013, Traveling Home(Tuesday)

Our flight left LAX at 8am, so we had to get up quite early.  We had adjusted slightly but not totally to Pacific Time, so this was not as hard as our trip out to CA.
As we were boarding, the captain saw our kids and insisted that they come up into the cockpit for a tour.  They were elated, and I was so busy watching them that I almost forgot to get a picture until the stewardess reminded me.   Luckily, they didn't move any essential levers, and we arrived safely in DC.  With the time change, it was nearly 4:30pm when we landed.  

They played Planes (like Pixar Cars) on the last leg of the way back, so the kids were  duly occupied. 

I even got a little time to read.  It was nice.  Until David had too much milk and needed 4 trips to the potty.  Oh well.  This is my life, and it is glorious. 
We arrived home after a long and frustrating trip down I95 south in rush hour.  Whoever says LA traffic is worse than DC traffic is nuts.  Worst trip on the roads was our trip down 95.  We stopped for a bite to eat, then the kids went right to bed when we got home.  
We hit the ground running when we got home, so no rest for the weary, but we sure were refreshed by the warm California sunshine and a break from the routine.  

California Trip 2013, Day 6 (Monday)

On Monday, we took the kids to the place that they have been anticipating since we told them we would be going to California for Aunt Mel's wedding- Legoland!!  We were able to get the kids in free with adult tickets, thanks to the free Lego & Lego Jr magazines that the kids get every month.  The tickets also came with access to the Sea Life Aquarium, which was enjoyed as much as Legoland.  
The sun is bright in California.

Lego tourist

Storybook ride

Mom and Kate rode together, and Dad and boys rode together

Storybook Land, Lego-style

When you stomped on these circles, it added that instrument to the concert.

Lego Volvo

Lego Bumper Cars

David Wins!


 Daddy and Kate


 Mini DC

 Dad and Michael rode this very cool ride that flung you around.

 It was an articulated arm that went in random directions. Adrenaline junkies.

Kate was tall enough to ride this roller coaster.  You can tell the difference in my older 2 kids here.  Michael wears his emotions on his sleeve.  Kate said it was fun.  I think she even smiled.

Kids, Chewy, and R2D2

David was concerned that his siblings might go to the dark side.

The bathroom signs made me smile.

Cute signs.

After Legoland, slight sunburns, and lots of walking, we went to the Sea Life Aquarium.
 The kids love sea life, thanks to Nemo

 Under Sea Exploration

 Scuba Divers

 This crab was frighteningly huge

 Petting Zoo

 Thankful for hand sanitizer

 Sharks overhead

 Checking out the big aquarium

 Sea Horse

 We found Nemo

 Hermit crabs and star fish

3 cuties after a full fun day

That evening, we got another deeply discounted hotel, which was the Hilton, and we were on the 12th story.  We watched lots of airplanes land, and it was really cool to see the city lights from this vantage point.

Jon had the great idea to lay the kids sideways on the bed.  I wondered why he waited until the last night to suggest this. The kids were plum worn out, which was good, since we had an early flight in the morning.

We had a full, fun day.