Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mummy Girls

I've been working on making a patchwork sundress for Amelia, and so I've been going through all my bins of fabric.  The girls came across them, and decided that they would help.  Here's what they wanted to do with the fabric:

They both wanted their arms IN, so they are wrapped up like mummies.  Also, Amelia wanted a hat; purple, of course:

Don't they look stylish?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Hot Sunday

We got the kiddie pool out for the first time today, and the girls played in it twice for about an hour each time.  They were having a fantastic time.  Right away, Amelia said that we should put the little slide into the pool, so they spent a lot of time climbing up it and sliding down it.  By the end of the hour, they had splashed almost all of the water out of the pool.  They played together so nicely that I could sit in a chair in the shade of the house and read my book while watching them.  What a treat for all of us!

Amelia liked to give Megan a boost to get up the slide:

Megan liked to find new and interesting ways to get to the top of the slide.  She is definitely a climber like her cousins!

They both like to slide down together:

Today we also went to a garden train open house in someone's back yard.  I saw a flyer for it during donut time at church, and so we stopped by this very nice couple's house.  The couple do go to our church, but I had never met them.  They had their entire back yard set up with a garden scale model train and all kinds of different scenes with people and animals.  The circus was particularly amazing - Megan loved the elephant train!  Plus they had some beautiful flowers.   We had a great time watching the trains and waving to them.  The owner had created an I-Spy game, and he told us to find an eagle (Amelia spotted that on top of the mountain), a gold mine, a hobo village, a mariachi band, and an Indian village.  I had to explain to Amelia what most of those were.  She found horses, cows, buffalo, and a watermelon.  Oh, and in this first picture below, the building on the bottom left is a house of ill-repute.  It was so funny!

 I really enjoyed all the miniatures, especially the farmer's market.  I couldn't believe all the details!

They invited us to come back next time they have an open house, and we definitely will!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Buddy Bear is a Cardinals fan....

.... but he didn't bring luck to the Cardinals today.  :(  Grandpa, Amelia, Megan and Buddy Bear donned their Cardinals attire to watch the game tonight:

The girls enjoyed watching the game regardless of how the Cardinals played.  I can't say the same about Grandpa, though.  But he did enjoy getting to tickle two little girls:

As soon as Mom & Dad got here this morning, the girls wanted to read books.  Buddy had to listen to the stories, too.

We went to Culvers for lunch, and Buddy Bear came along with us.  Amelia shared her milk:

but not her ice cream.  When I told Amelia that Buddy Bear wanted to share her ice cream, she told me that Buddy doesn't like ice cream, he likes cookies instead.  So Grandma shared her ice cream with Buddy.  As soon as Megan finished her little bit of ice cream, she turned to Grandma and said "SHARE".  Grandma was nice enough to share with Megan, too. 

Megan decided to wear her sunglasses in the car, and she looked so cute that I turned around to take a photo.  After I took a single photo, she started saying "NO" and put her arms out meaning "all done."  I felt like a paparazzi.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Buddy Bear

Everyone in Amelia's preschool class gets a chance to bring Buddy Bear home for the weekend.  And this weekend was Amelia's turn!  She was so excited to have Buddy at our house, and she planned a whole bunch of fun things to do with him.  Since the weather was beautiful, we decided to take a picnic lunch to the park.  Amelia thinks this is the first time that Buddy has ever been on a picnic.  His favorite food at our picnic was whole wheat bread, but he also enjoyed the grapes.  Amelia did not share her cookie with Buddy, but she did share it with Megan.  (Just an aside, Megan can now say the word "share", which she uses most frequently when she wants someone to share a treat with her.)  Amelia said this was the best lunch ever!

Then Buddy, Amelia and Megan played at the park.  Buddy liked swinging the best, and Amelia enjoyed giving him big high pushes and even underdogs!

Buddy and Amelia went down the slides a few times:

And even played a quick game of hide and seek in the tunnel:

Then Amelia carried Buddy Bear home on her shoulders:

In the evening, we went to DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) night at preschool.  Buddy Bear had to borrow a pair of pajamas.  He thought it was fun to get to go to preschool in pajamas!  Amelia and Megan thought it was fun, too.

Mrs. Becker read a few books to Amelia and Buddy, and then they listened to Jack's grandma read a few books.  Buddy's favorite (and Amelia's, too) was a book called "Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes".  We discovered a cute new book called "It's Not a Box" about a bunny who imagines a cardboard box is all kinds of other things like a rocket ship or a boat.  Megan liked reading "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" and "Knuffle Bunny" both of which we read at home.

And here's a few photos of Megan at the park, so she doesn't feel neglected.  Megan likes to show off her new skill of hanging and swinging from a monkey bar.  She is getting strong!

All tired out after playing at the park:

After reading night, we went to Culver's for a treat.  After Megan finished her half a small scoop of vanilla ice cream with blue and white sprinkles, she climbed into my lap, pointed at my chocolate peanut butter Butterfinger concrete and demanded "SHARE!". 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Daddy Adventure Day - Animart Storytime

This Wednesday we went to Animart pet store for storytime.  Isn't it cool that our pet store has a storytime?  They read three books about animals, and then they bring out a pet of the week and let the kids hold or pet it.  The girls, Megan especially, love getting to meet different kinds of animals.  We've had puppies and kittens and even a gecko!  This week was a guinea pig:

Amelia sat on the rug most of storytime, but then she climbed up into Daddy's lap to listen.

When we're at the pet store, we always make time to look at all the animals.  As always, Megan wanted to see the "fwo-fwos" (frogs), "tuka-tukas" (turtles) and "sssssss" (snakes).  She likes to look at the pond to see all the koi (I'm constantly worried she's going to fall in, and this week she almost had her foot in the water before I stopped her):

And she also loves to watch the puppies play:

Amelia likes to find the Nemo fish:

This week, Amelia's favorite animals were the ferrets.  She and Ben were watching the ferrets play, and one ferret got stuck under a blanket and couldn't figure out how to get out.  Silly ferret!  She also likes to play with the kittens through their cages, but this week they didn't have any rescue kittens.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Florida - Monday (Butterfly World)

On Monday, we went to Butterfly World north of Fort Lauderdale.  From the moment we walked in the doors, we could see hundreds of butterflies flying around.  They claim to have around 10,000 butterflies at any given time, with up to 50 different species.  It was amazing!  I wish I could describe the joyful feeling it gave me to stand in a beautiful garden and watch hundreds of colorful butterflies flying right in front of me.  Here are some of the different kinds of butterflies that we saw:

Ben spent a long time trying to get a good photo of a a blue morpho, but they rest with their wings closed, so it was a challenge.  While Ben was off taking photos of the butterflies, the girls and I slowed down to observe all the butterflies.  We bought a butterfly guide so Amelia could identify the different kinds of butterflies.  She was pretty good at it, although there were a lot of orange, black and white butterflies that were only subtly different.  They liked to find butterflies resting on the ground so that they could get a good up-close look.  The girls were very good about not touching the butterflies; they took this so seriously that Amelia would tell the butterflies not to land on her.  I had a butterfly land on me, which was exciting, but I couldn't pull my camera out fast enough to get a photo.  We spent at least a half hour in this place, and towards the end, Amelia started to get a little freaked out that a butterfly would land on her, so we had to leave.

After we left the butterfly exhibit, we went through a tropical plant maze to get to an outdoor (but enclosed) bird exhibit.  Amelia liked running through the maze so much that we had to do it three times.  She wasn't as excited about looking at the birds until I made it into a game.  Once I said "I bet I can find a bird before you!" then she was interested.  Our favorite was the bright blue bird, but we also liked the hummingbirds.

They had a suspension bridge over their pond, and Amelia thought it was great fun to run and jump on the bridge so that it would bounce and sway.  Megan was very confused about why the surface was so unsteady, and she needed to hold onto my hand.  I think Amelia ran across the bridge 4 or 5 times.

They also had a huge indoor display of mounted butterflies (which we skipped) and a room full of spiders in cages (and a few large un-caged orb spiders in the corners of the room - creepy!)  Megan, as you might expect, liked to look at the big spiders and other bugs.  Then we went to feed the lorikeets.  Neither girl would hold the cup of food, so I had to hold it and have the lorikeets land on me.  Their little feet tickled my hand!  Both girls wanted to pet them, but that didn't really work out well because then the lorikeets wanted to nip at their fingers. 

It was so fun that then Ben wanted to have a turn.  One lorikeet climbed all the way up his arm to his shoulder!

After leaving Butterfly World, we went to the playground right next door.  Amelia said the playground was her favorite part of the day.  Ben and I thought it was nice that the playground had a sunshade over it.  Megan loved climbing up ladders at this playground - she is getting really good at it, and is very adventurous.  Both girls love going down slides together.

Look, Amelia has freckles!

That evening, we went back to the beach to play in the sand.  We built a big sand castle using our buckets to pack the sand.  Megan mostly liked to destroy the towers.  :)  We also collected walked along the beach and looked for shells.  The girls were so excited to find shells, and no matter what the shells looked like, the girls thought they were beautiful.  We used them to decorate our sand castle.