Saturday, August 30, 2008

tie dye caterpillars and then some

Well, we've been super busy since we've gotten back from vacation. I've been trying to cram all of the activities I can into these last few unscheduled weeks of bliss.
We had a very enjoyable and productive playdate with some friends a few weeks ago. We had a little picnic in the backyard and then broke out Isabella's Tie Dye kit. It was lots of messy fun. The mom's had to do a lot of prep work for the shirts but the kids enjoyed squirting the dye everywhere. Taejan even decided to tie dye his tongue! It's not a short process, that's for sure. The kids were challenged to stay patient through the drying and washing until they could finally wear them.

We finally got around to making the Olympic lapbook that I had been promising to do since June. Unfortunately we didn't get to watch very much of them (the cat peed on the couch while we were on vacation so we couldn't relax in the living room much until I cleaned the couch thoroughly which took a few days) , but what we did see the kids enjoyed very much. The afternoon that we did the lapbook we talked about challenging ourselves to do our best and work hard. Later that evening we went for a bike ride to the playground and it was really tough to get going on the hill for Bella. She remembered what we had learned earlier though and she didn't give up. She persevered, even though she fell a lot and was frustrated and eventually she made it to the top of the hill. I was so proud of her and most importantly, she was proud of herself.

We've had a few field trips recently. We went to Whitney's Farm to pick blueberries one lovely afternoon. The kids picked for over an hour and they were so happy with their full baskets. I was too! We played on the cool playground, saw the animals, and spent too much in the little farm store. It was a delightful day.

We also had a field trip to Stop and Shop. I didn't have my camera but it was really a great field trip. Our guide, Lisa, was wonderful as was the rest of the staff. Everyone was so friendly and willing to show the children things. We toured all of the different departments. We saw how the bakery ovens work, learned about how mold makes cheese and then had a slice in the deli, saw an produce truck unloading and had some apples, watched a lobster crawl on the floor in the seafood department, went into the milk cooler and the ice cream freezer, and even got to have a snack in the break room. The kids loved it so much. Who knew such a mundane everyday place could be such a great learning opportunity.

My cousin Crystal had her birthday last week. She turned 17 and I made her a cake because I love her. She loves winter, and random things so I decided to randomly make her an Arctic cake...
We have found a new caterpillar. It is a Eastern Swallowtail caterpillar. It's a whole new experience for us. My sister actually found it at my mom's and we put him in a box and took him home. My niece Madilynn named him Ian because Ian sings a song about caterpillars. He made his pupa yesterday. It's very different from the chrysalis of a monarch. Speaking of monarchs, our two little guys (Hanaus, and Scoocher) are now both in their chrysalis. We will be very attentive over the next week or so. We have never gotten to see the butterfly emerge from it's chrysalis. I am determined to see it this year.

Above is the swallowtail getting read to make it's pupa and below in it's pupa

One of our beautiful Monarch chrysalis. They are so amazing.

Yesterday we had field day at a friend's house. It was such a blast. Each family came with a few games planned. We had kids of all ages and they did such a great job playing the games together.

As we were leaving we found a little snake. The kids all held it. I was shocked at their bravery. He was actually cute...for a snake.

Last but not least, I have to share the wonderful news...I have front steps!!!!!!!!!! Today Jason and the kids built some front steps on the house. They had been taken down last fall and I am so grateful to have them back up. Jason did such a great job. He never ceases to amaze me. I couldn't build stairs to save my life and he throws them together in a few hours and they're perfect! Not only that, but while he was building he was teaching Bella multiplication (among other things). Up until now whenever I was giving directions to my house I always said, "its the one with no front stairs" I am so happy that now I will have to change it to "its the one with the nice new set of stairs!!!"

I'm almost done planning school through December. Lots of copies to make and I need to do some organizing around the house and then I'll feel a little more ready...