Drive Home

We got to see lots of different terrain on the way to and from NC and the kids asked all kinds of questions.  The coolest conversation was my daughter asking about the sun and why it is hot and what it is made of on the way home- started because it was bright, glowing orange, and low in the sky as we went throught the mountains.  I tried to get a picture, but didn’t come close to capturing the color.  We also talked about the power lines going through the funny looking cutouts in the trees and the concept of state capitals as we passed what we assumed was Charleston’s capitol building.  We drove through Columbus as well and the kids remember the COSI museum there from a year ago and now vaguely get that it is our state’s capital.


We went out to dinner as a group today to a nearby restaurant and got to enjoy some of the local seafood.  After we got back to the house, the rest of the family surprised me with a birthday cake to celebrate my upcoming B-day 🙂  It was really cool!

It is our last night here and we are packing up to head home.  The kids loved it.  I loved it.  I think J. loved it.  The beach rocks!</

Fishing and Playground

The kids were excited to use their new fishing poles and after putting it off a few days due to rain or other plans, we finally got to go today 🙂

We picked a spot just before the bridge to the mainland where there was a playground and a boardwalk that looked like it might be a good, sheltered from the waves, fishing spot.  Our kids and 2 cousins joined me, J., and my step-mom.  After the kids played at the playground for a bit, we tried fishing using some bacon as bait (my brother had mentioned good luck using salami in the past and it was stocked in the fridge).  My son went first and caught a fish on his very first cast!  My daughter got one on her second!  We couldn’t have asked for better luck.  In the end, J. went for more bait and we got to try out using shrimp.  We caught 8 fish between the kids and J.  He got really good at getting the hooks back out (and took a few sharp jabs from dorsal fins in the process).  The girls bailed a good bit earlier than the boys and went back to the playground with my step-mom.  At some point, the park began to set up for a movie night and thankfully had refreshments for sale as we were getting very hot and sweaty.  It was a good experience for all.

My son’s first catch:

J. caught the biggest fish:


NC Aquarium

We headed to the aquarium near Wilmington today.  There were indoor and outdoor displays for the animals and it was really a fun place to visit.  The kids got to touch hermit crabs, starfish, turtles, rays, and more.

The largest lobsters we have ever seen (we also got to see them eat shrimp and fish during the feeding time):

The signs for the indoor exhibits were cool- they had a rotating display of the animals in each tank along with information about them on TV screens.  For me, it was much easier to identify things this way than with the little signs most places feature.

My Mom Came to Visit

We will be out of town over my mom’s birthday, so we celebrated a bit early and had her over here.  The kids made presents for her last night- my daughter made a picture and my son made a card and a clay duck that he carefully packed in a large plastic Easter egg for giving.  While she was here, we went out for lunch at our local Mexican place and then came back and hung out at the house for a bit.

My daughter with a balloon monkey and palm tree from the restaurant.

My mom also brought pictures of the new baby to share.  Here she is 🙂 – the kids’ newest cousin!

I gave my mom our presents to take down for the baby (green quilt) and for my newphew (blue quilt) along with a can the kids helped make for him.  It is filled with popsicle sticks with categories on them like “Something Shiny”, “Something Red”, or “A Mammal”.  We tried them out with all the quilts lately by putting them on any square that matches the clue.  We played it so that once you have covered a square, you can’t use it again.  I also made a mix CD of songs for my SIL and step-brother that make me think about parenting/living life to the fullest 🙂  I gave a copy to my mom too because I think of her whenever I listen to it.

Birthday Party

We went to a birthday party for the kids’ friends today and had a great time.  The weather was perfect and the yard had lots of fun stuff for the kids to do.  I have total yard (and garden) envy!  The kids loved exploring the garden, picking lots of veggies and seeds, and trying to plant new stuff from the seeds they kept gathering. They also got to play in the sprinklers, with Legos, with Pokemon cards, and more.  It was nice to see everyone. 

Super bonus-my daughter picked lots of veggies to bring home so we got to enjoy a nice salad for dinner!

Armchair Fishermen

My son and I headed to the store today to buy some supplies for our trip at the end of the week.  He had been asking for a fishing rod for a long time and we finally picked one up for both of the kids.  They turned out to be Spongebob and Disney Princess themed fishing rods complete with practice figurines for casting (instead of hooks).  The kids spent a bunch of time trying them out in the family room before moving to the great outdoors where my son managed to catch a maple tree.  Twice.  Apparently the rods and the line are very sturdy as both are still intact 🙂

Mario Party Heating Pads

When I asked my son to decide on the presents for the birthday party we are going to next week, he immediately answered “heating pads”.  He really does love the Pichu one I made him awhile ago and thankfully isn’t of an age where he thinks that might be an odd gift to give to 5 and 7 year old boys.  I emailed their mom to get picture ideas and settled on Mario and Yoshi after she told me they like Mario Party.

Here they are in progress and finished:


Painting with my son is so wonderful. It really isn’t about creating a picture at all.  For him, it is a fantastic experiment with color.  He carefully puts drops of colors into muffin tin cups and mixes and adds more drops or glitter or more water until he has the exact shade he wants.  Then he makes a little mark on the paper and decides on the perfect name for his creation.  Most often they are literal names like scarlet-copper.  By the end of our time painting today, he had moved on to obscure names after I mentioned names like copper sands or coffee brown…

The entire time he thanked me for painting with him and asked if we could paint everyday.  I was happy to be able to say “yes, we can paint as often as you like”!  He dedicated today’s work to me and signed it 🙂

Feel Like I Have Been Run Over By A Truck

I am not a morning person.

Despite that, I had to force myself and my poor sweet children out of bed today to drive down to Amish Country to collect the dairy order for our herdshare.  We were up by 6:00 A.M., which combined with the insanely late nights lasting longer than usual due to the Olympics, has left me reeling.  The kids appear fine, active even.  My daughter is currently dressed up in a princess dress and dancing around, singing a new song she made up.  My son is less energetic, yet still looks miles better than I feel.  Are we done yet? Thankfully, the mega day of driving and loading/unloading only happens 4 or 5 times a year.

First Play and First Sleepover at a Friend’s

The kids and I went to their very first play today at the Akron Weathervane Theater.  It was a double feature of 2 musicals, “Go, Dog. Go!” and “The AristoCats” put on by children.  We enjoyed the show and the kids spent the ride afterward discussing their favorite parts and (one) not so favorite song :)They are asking to put on their own play or movie here, so we will see what comes of it.

After the theater, we headed over to a friend’s house to play with the potential for a sleepover.  Both kids had said they wanted to spend the night at his house after playing with him yesterday.  We stayed until about 7:00 when I was satified that my son actually wanted to try staying the whole night without me.  My daughter changed her mind and came home with me.

Update: My son did stay the whole night and had a great time!  He was really proud of himself in the morning according to my friend, but appeared nonchalant by the time I came to pick him up.  We hung out for a bit more time in the morning and then headed over to gymnastics.

Headbands and Haircuts

My daughter’s hair has been in her eyes for quite some time now as we have been working on letting her bangs grow out.  Hair clips sometimes work for awhile, but her hair is so fine they have been slipping out. I decided to do something about it yesterday while the men of the house were out shopping and remembered a ribbon hairband I had seen on the internet.  It is basically just a piece of decorative ribbon with a little bit of elastic attaching the ends together.  We made 2 of them…Here is one:

While talking to a friend on the phone today, I learned about a better (a.k.a. even easier) method.  All you do is cut the sleeve off an adult t-shirt.  Then you are done.  I pulled out an old shirt that I loved but that was not really fitting and not in the greatest shape and chopped off a sleeve for her.  Perfect fit! I took off the other sleeve to make a second one. Then she snagged the remains of the shirt and decided it should be a dress for her.  Maybe ?  We’ll see about my motivation level (and hers).

You may have noticed that her hair got shorter from the first set of pictures to the second. I have been trying to take her to get her hair cut for about a week.  Things just kept getting in the way.  Today, I actually got us all ready and took the kids to the haircut place (planning on being walk-ins) only to learn they are closed on Mondays! So next door to Sally Beauty Supply we went and I bought a real pair of hair cutting scissors.  They made a BIG difference when we got home and I chopped off the back of her hair.  The last time I cut it, I used kitchen scissors…