Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kaleb's Birthday

On Saturday, our cousin Kaleb turned one. So of course we went down to celebrate with him -- at a big truck-themed backyard party, with fajitas from Rosa's. We ate, and the kids played with Kaleb's new toys. His brand-new backyard is now full of lots of fun stuff.

Bless that sweet little birthday boy's heart, I think he was a little overwhelmed. He would have been perfectly content to spend the entire evening in his new firetruck, protecting it from any other drivers getting in, and watching all the crazy antics.My kids really liked this little tunnel thing that he got...so much that I was really worried we were going to break it before Kaleb even got to try it out! Everybody had fun in the sandbox...but no matter how many times he got and trouble and had to leave the sandbox, I just couldn't get Joey to understand that we don't throw sand! Until he ate a mouthful of it. Apparently the sand doesn't taste very good. :)For some reason he wasn't quite as interested in the sandbox after that. :) Instead, he moved on to cow-watching. And no, I don't typically let my kids run around with no clothes on at birthday parties! But after several days of hearing that it was supposed to get warm...and instead it staying cool...I didn't pack shorts...and it actually got warm instead of raining like they said it would...and the kids were hot...and then the cake was covered in red icing...and we were just in our aunt and uncle's backyard at a family/very close friends kind of birthday party...who needs clothes, anyway?!

Speaking of cake, look how cute they were!
Kaleb enjoyed his so much that he sat on it!
But he was of course a very sweet little cousin and was happy to share! Where's Micah, you ask? He was the smart one of the bunch that night. You guys can fight the naked babies all you want for that smashed up cake...But I'm gonna go eat my very own cupcake the right way, with all my clothes on! :) And after presents and a little more fun, we ended up zonked out at Gammie's!

Happy birthday, Kaleb!!!

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Rockin' Writing

Conner's class does an activity called "Rockin' Writing" everyday in class. In their journal, the kids are supposed to draw a picture, and then write a couple of sentences about it. Several weeks ago, a packet of Rockin' Writing paper came home, and his teacher asked that they do some Rockin' Writing at home every night, too.

At first, it was like pulling teeth. Obviously it's something he does everyday at school, he's not real interested in doing it every night at home, too. Ah, the beginnings of homework battles... Especially since we're supposed to help them correct their mistakes. That is what has been more frustrating than anything -- he finally finishes, and is proud of what he's done, just to have us point out a bunch of things to fix? For a kindergartener just beginning to write, that just didn't feel quite right...and it certainly wasn't encouraging this kid to love it and do more. So we're still going through the fantastic learning process of correcting our mistakes, but we're not pointing out everything. That's simply too much. We pretty much always make sure that we have periods and capital letters at the beginning of sentences, and correct spellings that aren't easily deciphered. From there we might work on one other thing, for example capitalizing names of places, too. (I hope that's okay Mrs. Scarpello...it's what's working for us!)

But a couple of weeks ago, something just clicked. Kind of like Micah suddenly discovered that he could color, Conner has suddenly discovered that he could write. It all started the night that he drew the Ninja. He just happened to really get into it...and before he knew it, he had to turn the paper over to write on the back...and then we had to get another piece of paper and staple them together! He couldn't wait to show his teacher. :) "I am a ninja. I live in China, becuase ninjas live there. One day I woke up and I was wathing tv. I turned it on. I was waching the news and I saw bad guys breaking the Grate Wall of China. So I went out too stop them so I snuck up the wall and I picked up as much bricks of the number of bad guys and one by one I droped a brick on ech of there heds. That stoped them and I saved the Grat Wall of China."

Mrs. Scarpello was quite impressed!

So every night since then (well, almost every night anyway!) Conner's been really into this Rockin' Writing thing and has written several pretty good little stories. I thought I'd share a couple more of my favorites: "Tooday I built a time machine that goes back in time any ware. I wanted too go back in time in Egypt but I acadently pushed the back in time of the dinasars buten and when I got out of the time machine I was face too face with a dodo bird. First he pecked me in the nose and then I slaped him in the face and then I kiked him to China. (We were in Brazil.)"

(Like the parentheses? They were his idea!)

"Today I went to ranch class. Today we lerned about chickens and when I got home I felt ichy. I went to the miror to see if avrything was ok and I saw some red bumps. (chicken + me = chicken pox.) Uh-oh."

I think that might be my favorite! :)

And last one, here's Bret's favorite. Conner just wrote it tonight: "Once upon a time me and my Dad went camping and in the midle of the night Big Foot snuck in to the camp and ate all the smores and put out the fire and ther was no night light for the rest of the night. And I woke up and I chect out side to see if there were any animals. And I saw some tracks so I woke Dad up and I showed him the tracks and we caught Big Foot. The end."

I love getting these little glimpses into his growing imagination! :)

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Heritage Park and the River Walk

Earlier this week, Mom and Dad took us to Heritage Park in Glen Rose. It's "BooBoo and Yogi's" park, and we've been there lots of times before. In fact, we had a little family photo shoot there last spring. So, while the adults actually outnumbered the kids (Lydia met us there), and even though the kids were just dressed in play clothes, I decided to try my own hand at a photo shoot with my nifty new camera.

Here are a few of my favorite shots:

Conner and Micah were SO proud to have mastered that crazy slide! :)

Also recently, Glen Rose has built a River Walk on the Paluxy River. One end of it is at this Heritage Park. We had not gotten to see this yet, so we tried it. It was great! Short enough the kids could do it, beautiful, and access to the water in a couple of places.We even got a great picture of BooBoo and Yogi with the grandkids.
Thanks, BooBoo and Yogi! We had a great time!

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Monday, March 15, 2010

MOLA

Last year when I went to the zoo during Spring Break, it did not end up being a very pleasant experience. I swore I would never go back during Spring Break. Well...I've already broken my promise to myself.

You see, the Fort Worth Zoo has been building a new herpetarium (reptile house). It's called the Museum of Living Art, and it's really supposed to be a pretty big deal. We've been watching them build it for over a year now, and have not been able to visit the reptiles at the zoo (because they've been in the process of moving) for several months. The boys have been very anxious for this thing to be done!

The MOLA's opening day was Saturday, March 6. I had considered taking the boys to see it on that day...but quickly decided against it when we ended up planning a trip to Going Apes. And ever since we've been looking for a good day to go.

Finally we decided that today should be the day. Sure, it's the first day of Spring Break...but it's the first day of it, and we hoped that if we got there a few minutes before it opened, and just stayed long enough to see the MOLA, it wouldn't be too bad. And to make things even better, Aunt Jodi decided to come along!

Thankfully, we were right. It was crowded, but not more than we could handle. (Though it was beginning to get that way as we were leaving!)

We stopped outside the building to take a good picture at the beautiful entrance. Or should I say "attempt" to get a good picture. I decided not to even try to crop Jodi out, the pictures tell a much better story with her in them!

She finally got them all on the rocks, but Micah refused to turn around. Conner, still posing and smiling, was trying to turn Micah around...
...which ended up with Micah on the ground.
I gave up at that point, somehow satisfied with this little series of bloopers. :)

The MOLA itself was actually quite grand. There are lots of big exhibits, and Joey loved running around looking at the fish and finding the turtles.

Meanwhile, Conner and Micah tagged along, trying to see every little snake, lizard, and frog in every little window. It took awhile, but it was fun.There is a nursery and hatchery that you can see inside of, and the boys even got to pet a snake. There was also a little island outside with some birds, lemurs, and a few other things. It was very pretty, but we spent most of our time talking with the blue macaw. It would squawk, Joey would squawk back. The bird would squawk, Joey would squawk back. Over and over and over. Other kids tried it a time or two and then quickly got tired...but not Joey. I really think he would have stood there and squawked all day!And even with all of that, we didn't get to see quite all of it. I'm glad to have checked the MOLA off the list...but we're excited to get to go see it a little better sometime soon!
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Forgot Something

Joey has recently figured how to unlock the door knob, unlock the dead bolt, make sure they're both unlocked at the same time, and sneak out of the house.

Yeah, awesome.

Well, for his birthday Joey got a great basketball from Mr. Ron and Mrs. Debbie. He simply cannot get enough of shooting that basketball into his basketball goal outside. And I simply cannot spend all of my time out there with him. (We don't really have a fenced in yard, just letting him go out isn't an option.)

So this afternoon, Joey decided he wanted to go out. He got the door all unlocked, and even made sure to put on his boots. (Yes, he's loving the John Deere's!) I'm sure he thought he'd remembered everything. But he did forget one important little thing...
Bret just happened to be talking on the phone outside as Joey "snuck" out. I think he about choked. If this is how Joey chooses to sneak out of the house, we may be in for trouble when he's a teenager! :)

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Children's Museum

My parents and siblings recently gave us a family membership to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. They have a great Children's Museum that Conner and Micah have visited before with Bubba and Uncle Chris, so Bret and I couldn't wait to go check it out, too!

We were not disappointed! We made domino trains just to knock them down,checked out a "strange" machine called a typewriter, dug for fossils, and watched the 3D movie about natural gas excavation.They didn't give Joey any glasses, so I let him wear mine...and since I couldn't see what was really going on...apparently the dinosaur was actually right up in his face and pretty scary. He suddenly buried his face in my neck and got very still, so I took the glasses off of him and covered his head up with Coach. He stayed that way for the rest of the movie. If he's overly scared of dinosaurs now, I guess it's my fault. :( I guess I'll know next time though...

Then we went on to make coffee filters fly, (Joey probably could have stayed there all day!), and then did a little grocery "shopping." ...and we didn't even almost see everything. We can't wait to go back! Thanks to my fam for this opportunity. Between our zoo membership from Bret's Mom and Dad, and this museum membership, I think we're set for a great summer, no matter what the weather! :)

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Open House with a Character Student

Conner came home from school today very excited. He was chosen as a Character Student at school, for displaying good character traits. What an honor!
Along with his certificate, he got a pencil, a pencil sharpner, and a coupon for a free kid's meal at IHOP. So of course, we got to have IHOP for dinner tonight. :)

Tonight was also Open House and Book Fair Night at Conner's school. It worked out just right, we went right from IHOP to the school It was the first time we had ever done this, so I was really excited to meet some of his teachers (like music, art, PE, etc...) for the first time, and see what he has been up to in class.

I knew that they had been learning about Dr. Seuss for the last couple of weeks, but man oh man, I wasn't expecting quite the all-out-Dr-Seuss-ness that was awaiting us! On Conner's place at his table, there was a little list of "Things to See at Open House." Pretty much everything that we had talked about doing was on it, and then some. Conner, being the super little reader that he is, was also quite the tour guide!

We didn't get to meet quite everyone that I had hoped, but it was a good evening all the same. We got to visit with Mrs. Scarpello, see a lot of Conner's work, visit with some of his friends and their parents, and got a couple of books at the book fair.

Conner Bug, what a great evening you provided for us! We're proud of you!

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Aunt Jodi's Birthday

Tomorrow is Aunt Jodi's birthday. Since she has to work tomorrow and today is Joey's day to go stay with her and Uncle Robert, we decided that a little surprise was in order:I tried to get him to pick out a birthday cake too, but he got his heart set on this little Easter cake. We hoped Aunt Jodi wouldn't mind!I let Joey take the flowers to the door and knock. She seemed pretty surprised! And then they surprised us with a birthday present for Joey! Aunt Jodi even shared her cake and let Joey help her with the make-do birthday candles and "fire". :)

Happy birthday Aunt Jodi! Thanks for all that you do for us!

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