Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My sister Sarah and her family came to visit us a few weeks ago.  It was such a great time having them here.  We decided to make it a surprise and not tell the kids, but Casey kept telling our kids that there was going to be a surprise, so I finally told them that the surprise was going to be a meteor shower.  Sarah had a tougher time keeping the secret seeing as her kids had to drive 4 hours and knew something was up, so she told them they were going to a museum and that they were going to stay at a rental house over night.  These pictures are of the kids as we walked outside to see the meteor shower.  Check out Porter and Maya's faces in this picture.  They were so thrilled to see their cousins.  Way better than a meteor shower.  

As always we had so much fun together.  I had gotten two free passes to COSI (the science center) so we exhausted ourselves spending the day there.  There was a fun little play area when you first walked up so we spent a while running around and climbing on everything.

Check out Bennett and Grant fighting over the metal ant.  Grants face is priceless!
Then we went inside and checked out all the great stuff there was to explore.  Like making energy and astronaut toilets.
Next we all went outside to the pavilion area where we had lunch and played with all kinds of outside things.  There was a pulley system set up that enabled you to lift a car, and a cool contraption that would suck balls out of your hands and shoot them into the air.  

On the top level there was a really awesome kids area.  They had water tables and even had little infant chairs so Ender got to splash around to his hearts content.

There was also an area dedicated to gadgets.  There was all kinds of building materials and the older kids had a great time putting together little creations.

The last area we visited was a section where you went through different time periods.  The kids loved this area!  There were lots of interactive ways to expierence each time period. 
On our way out we snapped a few "group" pictures.  Everyone wasn't in the picture, but it still turned out cute for those of us who were patient enough to let me take their picture.

We did some wrestling lessons.  The kids had a great time throwing each other around. 

Events that were not pictured:
  • Sarah fixed the sewing machine my mom let me borrow!!!
  • Sarah helped me get all my crayon bags sewn for primary!  I am so so so happy to have this done.
  • The kids played outside a bit (thank heavens for nice weather)
  • We went to Jeni's Ice Cream and paid $20 for 2 pints of ice cream!  It was so expensive but so so so delicious.  I was happy to see that the ice cream we've made from her cookbook are just as good.  I think I'll save myself the money and make it myself (so I can eat more of it!).
  • The kids made some melty bead projects
  • The adults played the bean game
  • Landon and Porter played football quite a bit and even convinced the dads to join them a few times.
It was such a great visit and I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A day at the zoo

Who knew that flamingos enjoyed the cool autumn air?  While Grammy was here visiting we decided to make the most of our zoo pass and visit the Columbus Ohio Zoo (Casey had been giving me a hard time for paying the extra $30.00 to get guests in).  It was pretty fun even though a lot of the animals were in their indoor habitats. 
Bennett was his typical cautious (scardy) self.  It was all we could do to get him to sit on this shark long enough to snap a picture.  He wouldn't take his eyes off the teeth for fear it would attack.  He pretty much maintained a wary facial expression the entire time.
Maya's favorite animal was the Komodo Dragon.  She  wouldn't tell anyone what her favorite was but later that night she whispered it to me and told me not to tell anyone.  It was funny because they had this board that you could push a button and smell what a Komodo Dragons breath smelled like.  You would think if they were specifically allowing you to smell it it would smell good, but I was informed it smelled like B.O.  I did not smell it.
Miles was so cute in the reptile house.  He kept calling every lizard like creature an "Iguana".  It was adorable mostly because I didn't even know he knew the word iguana.
Porter's favorite animal at the zoo was the gorillas (in the above picture he is modeling his agitated stance and Maya is modeling the stick eating pose).  They were probably my favorite also.  There was a momma with her baby and it just melted my heart.  They have such human characteristics I think each of my children would have fit in quite nicely in the gorilla enclosure. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

 The Cake-Grammy brought this really cute idea of making a haunted house out of rice crispy treats with the kids, so we decided that went well with the spooky theme so it became Bennett's birthday cake.  Awesome!  Check out that detail work.  The windows were rolled out of colored tootsie rolls and individually cut, the gravestones were painstakingly scavenged from the kids trick or treat bags or formed from tootsie rolls, the skulls were from a pack of gummy treats, the trees were shaped from a piece of black licorice, the bones/skeletons/and bat were made from white chocolate and the jack-o-lantern is a reeses pumpkin.  The project turned out to be a bit much for the little ones to handle.  They did the whole roof and then Grammy and I took over and enjoyed pretending we were on Ultimate Cake Challenge as we worked together to form what we thought to be an amazing cake!
 Ender made good use of his time unattended and found a licorice to annihilate!  He is such a sweetie.  He now has three teeth with another sure to pop through any second.  He is a great crawler and is now pulling himself up on all kinds of things.  I think he is going to catch up to the other boys in no time! 

 The day of the Party-We loved doing a spooky theme for Bennett because we got Halloween decorations 75% off and it's totally fun.  Peggy had a cute idea to make these little goodie bags for the kids out of Halloween paper.  They can bee seen on the left hand side of this picture.  Also she decorated sugar cookies with the kids and we displayed those next to the cake also. 
 Maya led the kids in a spider making craft (which Bennett decided to read his spooky story book instead).
 This ghoul cheese ball was another great Grammy idea.  Isn't he adorable?
 Porter was going to teach the kids how to make ghosts out of suckers and tissue paper, but we ran out of time... maybe next year.
 Casey played "Don't Eat Pete" with the kids.  In case you haven't played don't eat Pete I'm going to include the rules.  Its so fun.  You put a candy on each square and on person closes their eyes while everyone picks one candy to be Pete.  The person who closed their eyes then begins eating the candy's one by one and when they reach for Pete everyone yells "DON'T EAT PETE".  It's a great game!

 The blowing out of the candles (I think it took him 4 blows, one for each candle).  Doesn't the house look spooky?
 And lastly he was showered with gifts.  He has become inseparable from several of his gifts.  What an adorable little 4 year old!
 The last gift was a "surprise ball" Grammy made him.  She rolled up a bunch of streamers into a ball and dispersed throughout the ball were tiny little gifts.  Such a fun idea.  Her mom use to do this for her.  Maybe a new tradition!