Wednesday, April 29, 2009

cloud gazing, bird watching, & flower picking

No matter how annoyed I get with my kids (which is a lot lately......I chalk it up to Kaya being 2 1/2 years old and Zander being 3 1/2 years old) the outdoor wonderfulness always puts me in a better mood.

So we have started a daily routine of cloud gazing,  bird watching, and flower picking (you gotta love the has been a low of 60 degrees and a high of 80+ degrees each day this week). 

So I take out of blankets and we just enjoy nature (in between my laundry and housecleaning...which has really suffered this week....oh well!)

We first lay on our blankets and gaze at the clouds.  We also read books in-between each cloud gazing moment.  The book-lover I am,  this is the perfect life.

I've even added some science lessons to our little adventures.  Zander & Kaya can now identify puffy clouds aka cumulus clouds and Zander can even tell me about stratus clouds now.  I told him that stratus clouds stretch across the sky and he said,  "So mom, since stratus clouds stretch across the sky is our blanket a stratus blanket?  Because we stretched it across the grass."  
I told him "No,  that is so smart of you to think of that,  but blankets are just blankets...not like clouds."

While we stretch out and watch the clouds,  we also look for birds to visit our feeders.  I only got a picture of one because like Zan says "Kaya is always too loud and scares the birds away while we are outside."  He really wanted me to get a picture of our red robin and cardinal that visits us daily.......when we are inside.......away from Kaya's noise!

After we watched the clouds and birds we went for a walk around the house to look at the flowers growing.  On our trip, we found this little guy.

He was scared of us, of course, and hid in the bushes.  The kids tried to get him but I told them that he was trying to camouflage in the green leaves because he was scared of us.  They thought he wanted to come in our house to see his friend.  Yes,  we have a lizard in our house now.  He won't leave.  I tried to chase him out with the broom the other day.  He ran behind the dishwasher.  Now he comes out onto the kitchen floor every day while the kids are napping.....and runs behind the dishwasher when he sees me.  If that thing ever crawls on my face at night when I'm sleeping........well,  I'll just say my little lizard I call "Stripey" may come to an early demise.

Once the lizard ran away from us, we were ready to look at our flowers.  I love having a flower garden but what is even more fun is seeing the joy the kids get from it.

And once you pick flowers........shouldn't you spend some time to stop and enjoy the scent?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

touch a truck

If your community ever has a touch a truck event and you have young children,  you must attend.  Must,  must,  must!  This free event was a blast for the kids ( and us ) this Saturday.  

The community workers hosting the event are so friendly and willing to talk to the kids and let them romp around in their vehicles.  Zander and Kaya got to live out their dream jobs for an hour or two.  It is great fun to see all the families out with their kiddos at such an event!

Here are my two cute firefighters .......

They loved the police car and especially the sheriff motorcycles.

Cooling off in the back of the emergency ambulance truck.

Future race car we're thinking of taking Zander to one of the races at the local track this summer.  I'm sure he would be fascinated!

They even got to get in the bucket of this cherry-picker  (It stayed on the ground when the kids were in it though).  

The double tractor.....
And Zander and Kaya's favorite.......the trash truck.  
Look at Zander gazing at it in amazement (Like he does almost every Tuesday).....
All of the kids loved this part of the truck the best----blowing the loud trash truck horn!
They even got to operate the levers on the trash truck!

Their dreams of working on the trash truck when they grow up actually came true for just a few minutes!

Check your community calendar or website and enjoy this fun event!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

playground for worms

Each year my mood instantly brightens when I see my first Iris bloom.  
I instantly want to go play in the dirt.  This year is especially fun because Zander and Kaya are great gardening helpers.

Of course,  Kaya had to wear silver sparkly shoes to garden in.  After the fascination of planting subsided,  they quickly got to work on their worm playground.  Here they are digging and making a slide for their collected worms.
We went inside and made a bar graph of how many worms we had found.  On day 1 we found 7,  Day 2 we found 8.......after this post and my morning coffee consumption, we'll go see how many we can find today.

Yes gardening is good for the soul.  And obviously (look at the worm playground above)  good for the worms.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

our new favorite pit stop

How nice it is to have the Nelsons so close now and we can use them as our pit stop when we visit Kentucky!  Much better than living several hours away.

Our time with them is always wonderful even if it is only for an hour or two.

Here is Sue and Katie......beautiful, aren't they?
Camden was the biggest surprise.  At almost two years old,  she has really started moving around fast and her vocabulary is really developing.  We spent much of our time laughing at her antics.
Zander and Kaya loved running around with Camden and giggling at her also.
While the rest of the kids run around,  sweet Katie writes about rainforests (she has been studying them at school).

It is amazing how similar Kaya and Camden are.  At only 9 months apart in age it is easy to get them mixed up when you just glance at them.  With their blonde hair,  mischievious antics, and identical giggles (they truly giggle exactly the same)......they are two peas in a pod.  I think we are going to get many laughs and many headaches from these two in the future.
This is one of my favorite pictures ever.  I guess Camden thinks I'm pretty silly too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

unexpected day

Am I the only one?  Does life sometimes feel like a sleigh ride?  

I haven't ever been on an actual "sleigh ride" but it does feel like my life is doing that now.  I swish, swoop, turn....just trying to reach the destination.  The only reason is it doesn't always seem fun because I feel like I'm pulling the reins.

I just noticed that I had not blogged in a week.  A WEEK!  But it feels like my life has been in overload with the scheduling of fun play-dates,  the scrambling to get meals on the table, the ongoing quest to have a liveable, clean house.  What is going on?  Then, you throw in the fact that my 2 kids are acting like typical, defiant, 2-3 year olds........let's not even talk about that drama!

So it is nice to take a little break from our ride to just enjoy life.

Like, Date Day.  

Last week,  Matt told me "I think I need to arrange a date with Kaya."  "I need some one-on-one time with her."

So, of course,  I arranged some one-on-one time with Zander.

All of us had a great time.  The funny thing is they both wanted to do the same thing.  They both wanted to see Monsters vs. Aliens.  I took Zander to see the 3-D version ( which I highly recommend by the way,  so cool!).  
We both told the kids they could pick where they wanted to go to lunch.  They both wanted sushi.  So we had sushi and watched a movie ( at different places, of course).

Here we are all getting ready for our "dates"!  So much fun!!! I just hope my "sleigh ride" slows down enough soon to have a date with my Mattie........I miss spending alone time with him too!