Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What we have been up to...

After the release of our butterflies, we made clothespin/coffee filter butterflies. No, that's not a sour sucker in his mouth...that is his smile.

Blendy Pens...although I was not all that impressed with their "blendy-ness", the kids have been having fun with them for the past couple weeks. Gwen saw these on TV long ago and talked about them a LOT. She got these for her birthday and it was one of those gifts I stick back and spring out when something new needs to be explored. Overall, they have been fun.

Swimming...what can I say, it's become our lives. Since arriving home from vacation to our new, fabulous pool, we have spent lots of time there. Alyssa is having the best time doing flips and handstands. Gwen has excelled in learning to swim. She taught herself how to swim underwater! Victor is swimming with his floaties, but continues to want to swim without them. He jumps off the ladder yelling "cannonbaaaall."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Vacation and Beyond

Can you believe this photo? I think it's adorable and represents how much fun we had on vacation. This picture is midway through in Keystone, South Dakota. This is the cabin that we stayed in for 2 nights. It was GREAT! There was plenty of room for the kids to climb around and explore and the cabin was fabulous and clean. Keystone is a fun place to visit and I will consider staying 3 days next time we go. Alyssa and I took a trail ride through the mountains here and it was really beautiful. It rained a nice soaking, cold rain for the last 30 minutes of our ride but it was totally worth it.

Our stop in Minot, North Dakota to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins, was by far the most fun my kids have ever had. From the mini-motorcycles to the buffet style meals, the kids were in heaven. All three kids bonded quickly with my cousin's daughters and there was fun to be had. My aunt made the best food and we always had plenty. My uncle shared his love of remote controlled aircraft and the kids had tons of fun chasing the parachute man!! Overall, we had a great vacation and minus the tornadoes, flooding and a round of snotty noses, it was something that we will all remember with great love in our hearts.

When we got home from vacation the fabulous pool my mother-in-law purchased was set up in the front yard and ready for swimming. We have loved it every day since. We swim one or two times a day and it reminds me of my young summer days spent by the pool. I still think Bugels Corn Chips taste better with pool soaked hands! We started swim lessons the first of June and they will last until the first of August. After that, it will be back to soccer for Alyssa and gymnastics for Gwen. Gwen is really itching to get back to tumbling. I am thrilled that she likes it and I think she has the skills necessary to do well. The Olympics are going to be a HUGE hit around here. Alyssa moves to the all girls soccer teams and she's a bit bummed. She prefers mixed teams, even though the boys tend to mess around a lot. Olympic soccer is on before the Olympics officially start, I hope we get the channel it's on!

We also received our caterpillars in the mail and started our Butterfly Habitat Project. It was amazing. We all had fun watching the stages progress. Victor took an immediate interest and he was the one who noticed they were emerging! We are definitely sending off for more caterpillars, and soon! Two thumbs up for this project.

Independence Day was very fun. 4th of July means yummy food, friends and family and a great show! I tried a new salsa recipe, which was supposed to be a clone of Chili's Salsa. It was good and it almost tasted like Chili's. It gave me hope that I can make my own salsa this year when the garden overflows with tomatoes! I also made Candy Bar Apple Salad and it was OK, I think I need less apples next time. Alyssa's best buddy, Guy, spent a couple of nights and all the kids had loads of fun. We sent him home red as a lobster (oops, sorry Savvy!) but with lots of fun memories for everyone.

Cleaning up the next day...not as fun.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

iPod Anyone?

What the hell is an iPod and why should I care? Well, because I have a soon-to-be tween and honestly, I just can't let my kids surpass me in techie knowledge...I just can't. Alyssa will be nine next month (*cringe*) and she has started down the path of music exploration. I am thrilled. I remember how much of an impact music had on me as a young person and I can't wait for her to feel the vibes. Personally, I am not musically inclined and you would surely tell me to shut the heck up if I started singing at your wedding...or in your presence. BUT, I can remember spending hours listening to the radio, playing records and trying my best to push that record button on my cassette player so I could have my favorite songs on the radio on a fabulous mix tape. Ahhh, the days of the mix tape. Kids these days just don't understand the painstaking process of mixing a tape. Point and click, how hard is that? What happened to running across the room and flinging yourself over your bed to the cassette player as soon as you heard Raspberry Beret by Prince? Now that is music love.

Noticing that this music thing was not a passing fancy, I decided to look into an iPod. When walking through Wal-mart, I saw the iPod Shuffle. It's cute as can be...and on sale! Whoo Hoo! Because I try to be an informed consumer, I went online and checked them out. Not only do they get great reviews and are simple enough for a nine year old to use, when you order yours directly from Apple, they will engrave it and ship it FREE. Yeah, you heard me...FREE. I'm in love. I let her pick the color and what she wanted to have engraved on it, but I am not letting her have it until her birthday...I'm mean like that. She is really excited and frankly, so am I. Commercial free music of your choice, that's portable? What a freaking concept!!!