Friday, February 26, 2010

Go Check Out This Awesome Giveaway...

One of my very favorite blogs to read is Navel Gazing at its Finest. Sue is hilarious and never, NEVER disappoints. So now, she's doing this great giveaway- it's a laptop, people! Yes, I said a laptop. So run on over there and find out how to enter. While you're at it, if you've never read Sue, you need to read her archives. Beware though, you'll be sucked in for hours. I speak from experience.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We Are Easily Amused...

Lincoln didn't find it quite as amusing as the rest of us.

Kindergarten Program

It's always amusing to watch Kindergartners perform. Case in point: Check out the following picture, randomly snapped during the program. I was watching Devon and his shy, barely there motions. But look at the treasures I managed to capture. First of all, the boy in the front with his finger up his nose. Predictable? Yes. But still funny. Then there is the kid yawning in the back. And the kid in the front staring off into space. The girl to the right of Devon was quite a little performer, not that you can tell in this picture, but take my word for it.

Renie got to come watch the program with her class.

Here are some of those shy dance moves I referred to.

Devon told me that sometimes he likes to just mouth sing (aka lipsinc). I told him I didn't think he was singing very loudly and he told me he didn't need to because everyone else was singing loud. Wow, a 6 year old concerned about overkill. Who woulda thunk? This did give me a little insight into his music grade. On his report his music teacher put down that his voice was "not meeting grade level expectations". This really surprised me because he is really a pretty good singer. He has a good ear and can carry a tune well. But I guess if he's just not singing at school, it would be kind of difficult for his teacher to know that. Devon has had some minor anxiety issues for a while and is pretty shy at first. Recently, however, I think he has really started to overcome some of this and do some things that would have been very difficult for him a year ago. My boy is growing up. Birthday post to come soon!

Monday, February 15, 2010

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

The kids had been itching to visit the NMRMA again lately, so we decided it was high time we took a Saturday afternoon and made the drive down to Dubuque to spend a couple hours there.

Now, the kids and Lincoln have been a few times, but this was a first for me. We decided to go ahead and get a membership ($80 for the family, daily admission for a family our size is $50. One more trip and it has paid for itself!)

First of all, let me say again how much I enjoy visiting Dubuque. I'll link you to an old blog post so I don't have to repeat myself, but we really enjoy visiting this old river town on the banks of the Mississippi.
The Museum and Aquarium are pretty fun. It's perfect for a young family- things to see and do without being overwhelming.

We especially enjoyed this "log run".

There are mirrors on each end so it creates an infinity effect with the logs.

My favorite thing was the frogs. I love how they just sit there looking fat and content.

Oh, and I really liked this little bugger with his eyes looking in different directions. This is normal with lizards, but it seemed really pronounced with this guy. It was cool to watch him walk away from us, but see that he was still looking right at us.

I also thought this lizard habitat and viewing area was cool. The kids could crawl right through to a bubble in the middle of the enclosure and have an eye-to-eye, 360 degree view of the inhabitants.

There were exhibits telling the history of riverboats. In the summer you can ride a riverboat from here.

And I also really liked the ducks. I don't know, I really like ducks.

Looking out the window you can see the bridge over the Mississippi River.

A fun way to spend a winter afternoon.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jesse's Birthday...Finally.

My baby is three. I just keep saying that over and over. My baby is three. It's the strangest feeling. Because my kids have all come so close together, my baby has never been three before. By the time any of my kids turned three, there was another child in the family to take over the title of baby. So here we are. He is such a sweet, loving, delightful child. He loves to randomly come up and hug or snuggle me and almost always when he does, he says, "I'm your best friend and you're my best friend!" He kisses me and nuzzles me, and tells me he loves me. What more could you ask for in your youngest child? I've always wondered how on earth moms could be so sad about their kids going off to school. But I'm beginning to understand as my last child approaches that age. Of course, I also know that 3 is generally the hardest age, so maybe I'll be back to looking forward to him going. Of course, we also will have more bonding time than I've had with any other of my children. It will be just the two of us next year while everyone else is in full day school.

I made Jesse a Thomas-themed cake again this year. Since I did Thomas himself last year,

I decided that this time I would do the island of Sodor and place one of his engines in the scene. I did just a basic representation of the island, but Jesse loved it. After I was done making the cake, he spent the rest of the afternoon using it as a train table, driving his engines around it and through the tunnel.

He was very proud to announce that his Mom made his Thomas cake, and it made me feel good to see him so happy. Birthday cakes are definitely a labor of love for me so it makes me infinitely happy when they are so appreciated.

Happy Birthday, my sweet sweet boy! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father saw fit to send us one more spirit to finish our family and to bring even more joy into our lives!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kennedy The Maiden...

Kennedy had her theatrical debut last weekend as a maiden in the play Aladdin and His Magical Lamp. Although she was terribly disappointed she didn't have a speaking part (other than a group line), she ended up having a lot of fun. I was very impressed with what Prairie Fire Children's Theater pulls off when they do these residencies. In only a week, they were able to prepare elementary age students to perform a 1 1/2 hour play including a couple songs and quite a lot of dialogue. The two actors from PFCT participated, one played the Evil Magician and the other was the Genie of the Lamp, helping along the kids and leading them to their lines when the students forgot what to say next. They all did a great job and I'm thrilled that Kennedy got to be part of this experience.
The Leads; The Sultan, the tiger, the Vizier, Aladdin, Princess Serena, Harmonia

Kennedy and the rest of the maidens (Serena's ladies in waiting):


Slaves of the Lamp:


A terrible picture of the cast:

(No flash photography was allowed during the show so these pictures are all from the photo op they gave us afterward. Not ideal.)

Monster Trucks...

Last weekend Devon and Lincoln had a guys night out to go see the Monster Truck Nationals. This is something we've talked about taking Devon to for a while now. Last year when they were in town, Lincoln almost took him, but didn't quite get around to doing it. In the end we were relieved because that night a guy was run over and killed at the show. Everyone was buzzing about it and we knew a couple people who were there. It was pretty awful.
So why would we take Devon this year after that? Well, statistics, I guess. What were the odds that it would happen again, at the same arena, a year later? Not likely. So the boys went with another father/son duo we're friends with.

Devon had fun, but apparently those trucks are pretty loud even when you have earplugs in.

They didn't get home until 11pm and Devon was exhausted, but it was a fun male-bonding experience and perhaps a new tradition. Next year maybe Jesse can go too!