Thursday, April 28, 2011

Earth Week

If there is one thing I REALLY love about our new town it is the amazing number of free or super cheap things they offer kids. I think the best part is there is not 18 million kids crowding these events so it is actually fun for my kids. All these events took place in the last week or so. I thought I would lump them together.

The Saturday before Easter Lee took Keaton to the Kids Fish In. It was $7 and FOR that $7 they got a T-shirt, a fishing rod and reel (a nice one, I was thinking they would get a little plastic jobby, this is a full size one he can use for awhile), and a fishing lesson. The lake was stocked with 5K fish and if they caught a fish they would clean it and put it on ice for them. Lee called it, "combat fishing at it's finest". Keaton didn't catch anything (there were too many kids with rods in) but he LOVED it and Lee is going to take him again this weekend. They really need something they can do together so this is perfect.

Last Friday was the Farm Days. The entire event was free! They had tons of booths that taught the kids how to make ice cream (and let them eat it), a cow milking station where they got a carton of milk, a coloring station, horses they could pet, a bean bag throw, a bobbing for apples station and on and on. I passed on letting Annie bob for apples although they gave her a clean apple and this sheep sticker she was quite smitten with.

The Fire Dept was also there and they let the kids try on their gear and spray the hose. Keaton thought that was pretty cool.

Of course we had to poke our heads through this!

They had a petting zoo too. Savannah was TERRIFIED of the cows, seriously. She did not want to be anywhere near them. She did love the donkeys, pigs, goats, and bunnies though! This picture was at the other end far from the cows. She still couldn't take her eyes off them just in case they made any "sudden moves". You know how cows are sneaky like that :) They even gave the kids a free t-shirt. Pretty cool!

These pictures are of the Earth Day celebration at the Arboretum. Once again this even was completely FREEEEE! They let the kids plant a tree in a pot they got to take home. We were pretty late and apparently missed the blueberry bushes (I was bummed)but Keaton was thrilled he got a BIG spruce. He had to call his Grandpa Palmer to see if he would babysit it until we bought another house or moved back. Thank heavens Grandpa Palmer has a lot of land, a green thumb, and an inability to say no to his Grandson :)

They had a petting zoo there as well but of the "creepier" kind. Keaton held a couple snakes, he was in heaven.

Savannah enjoyed chasing the free roaming tortoise. She was so giddy about him she couldn't stand it! There were lots of other booth's there as well and they gave us tons of free stuff. Our only regret was arriving during the last hour so we couldn't spend more time! I am hoping all these little experiences are teaching my little guys some great hands on lessons!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Fun!

We survived another holiday without family :) The kids and I thought we were going to be on our way to Utah but this little baby in my belly had other ideas. We are already worrying about he/she coming early and this last week was the worst! SO....we stayed with Dad and enjoyed another perfectly lovely day here. I REALLY struggle to get a decent picture out of these 2. This was the best. Pretty sad, eh? I really miss my friend Dana. She could have snapped a great one for us!

This was our try in the front yard. Keaton would NOT take his hand off her face. "The SUN is in her EYES Mom!" you can see it in his face. He was NOT going to let it go so we abandoned that idea (although I still love this picture because it shows how very protective he is of this little lady).

Savannah hated the dress (which is actually why we HAVE the dress her cousin Brinlee is the same age and hated the dress too). About 10 times on the way to and through church she told me, "I want a DIFFERENT dress". Although, she was quite smitten with the shade of pink her nails were painted.

I was in a lot of pain so Lee took over the egg coloring. I think next year I will find some kind of "pain" so he can do it again. It was really nice to just see the finished product. Please note this is the DIFFERENT dress she wanted. She would wear this dress every hour of every day if I let her.

We had a small little egg hunt in our back yard. I only bought jelly beans (and put one Reese's egg in their basket). Keaton was a little annoyed. At Grandma Earley's the eggs have money and chocolate in them. Sorry, I just couldn't have a whole lot of chocolate around the house.

Annie was pleased with the Jelly Beans. Until she decided it was more fun to chew them up into gum then spit them out....sigh.

Ann was pleased with the books, and fake jewelry in her basket. She is still pretty easy to please.

Keaton was a jerk. He woke me up saying all the Easter Bunny brought him was "dumb art stuff". I went in the bathroom and cried for a minute. Rude kid, pregnant Mom...bad mix. Please note he had told me a week before he was really hoping for art stuff from the Easter Bunny. I knew I was in trouble when the day before he told me he was SURE the Easter Bunny was bringing him a DS. I tried to tell him the Easter Bunny doesn't have that kind of budget. He said he has his helpers MAKE them. I assured him only Santa had helpers. He is usually a really grateful un-rude kid. I think it was just unfulfilled expectations....sigh. I can't win.

We did Easter Bunny Saturday morning. I think it worked great. It really made for a nice Sabbath. I think we will do it again that way. After we did the Easter Bunny (and the rudeness) I took Keaton to his soccer game and Lee to Savannah to his works Easter Egg hunt. Keaton's team won (undefeated) and Savannah charmed the pants off Lee's co-workers. She got a big bag of little toys and a basket of eggs.

One more of the cute Easter kids. Love these little guys!

Monday, April 25, 2011

There is Beauty All Around

Lee called the other morning and had me take the kids in our jammies to the nearby apple orchard (we live in apple country....there are orchards surrounding us). I grumbled about how I didn't want to go anywhere that early, but he was insistent. He has been telling us for weeks about the "iced trees". When the temp drops the farmers turn on their sprinklers at night. It makes a nice "coat" of ice to protect the buds. I am glad we went it was so lovely with the morning sun and the beautiful trees. I think it is important to take the time to enjoy those simple little gifts of beauty. It made my day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Seatle Fun

This month we headed up to Seattle again. We had some aquarium passes we got on Groupon so we had to use them up before they expired. I went to the aquarium there when I was single. It was fun to take my kids there. Savannah has a thing for "fisha's" so she was especially fun to watch.

This is Keaton being attacked by a giant Octopus. Funny guy.

I like this picture because Annie looks like a little girl. I had spent some time on her hair and had it so cute. After the 2 hour drive it was in really good shape still. About a mile from the aquarium so pulled it all out and "fluffed" her hair...sigh. SO....this is what I could salvage. All of the pictures she has funky hair.

This was Keaton's favorite exhibit. He loved the tidal pools, not because of the sea life like Savannah but because every so often a wave would crash in. He thought that was pretty cool. I think he would have watched that for hours.

This is in a huge glass dome under the ocean. Annie was pretty impressed with all the fisha's. She especially liked the "dotty" ones.

This is the kids riding on the back of an Orca....just kidding. They believed though. They played for quite awhile on this guy.

After the aquarium we headed over to Ballard Locks. We had a friend recommend it. To get to it you pass through a lovely botanical garden (of course I didn't take any pictures of that). The locks take boats from one level to the next of the river. It is like a water elevator. The boats go into the lock and they fill it up with water to take the boat up. It is really pretty cool. We saw one trip with a group of smaller boats and one trip with a big tour boat. I was particularly smitten with this boat. Lee and I decided we probably couldn't afford even the gas for it if someone gave it to us. I can't imagine having that amount of money...sigh.

This is the water shooting out of the other side of the lock. They also showed us how the salmon get up the climb. They have a "ladder" which is levels of pools for them to jump up. There is also an underwater viewing area where you can see the salmon. It is pretty cool. We want to go back when there are more salmon later in the year.

There is also a bridge nearby that lifts to let large boats through. My kiddos thought that was neat too!

They had a bunch of these metal sculptures near the path to the underwater viewing area. Keaton liked to swing on them. All in all I think we thought the "locks" were more interesting then the Aquarium....and it is all FREEEEE (including the gardens)! We will defiantly have to go back! Thanks Lisa for the tip!

Monday, April 18, 2011

We love Kunko!

When Keaton was just a little guy he started calling my brother Garret "Kunko". Keaton and I have always had a special place in our heart's for Kunko. Our birthday's are a week apart and my Mom called us "her twins" because we are pretty similar. When other people in our family couldn't "reach" me Garret could. I would like to think with him I have always been one he could talk to too. Must be the pregnancy hormones but even now I am in tears missing him. A couple weeks ago he took his family to Portland. We were so excited because Portland is only about 3 hours away so we were excited to meet up with him. My health went to the pits that week and we weren't able to go. We did meet him in The Dalles, OR for a Sat lunch and fun. I am so glad we did. My kids LOVE those cousins and it was just was I needed to recharge. These are most of the kids (although Savannah passed). I love how at least one of Garret's lovely daughters are always "striking a pose" :)
Savannah peeking :) It's takes her a bit to warm up (although now all she can talk about is Lexa, Lana, and Booboo).
Garret is one of Lee's favorite people too. They get along really well. This is a pier we walked out on the Columbia river.
Like I said....always striking a pose :)
Kunko saying goodbye to Ann...she LOVED it (can't you tell?).

We lived about a mile from Garret for one glorious year. I love them. I hope someday it works out we can at least live in the same state again!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keaton the Soccer Player

We are thrilled that Keaton gets to play soccer this year. We found a program at a church about 1/2 mile away. They have a HUGE program that teaches good values and soccer. Each week they have a practice, a game, a scripture they talk about, say a prayer, and talk about some life skill. They give them a uniform and a water bottle so Keaton's happy. Savannah LOVES to go to the Soccer BALL. She is as excited as Keaton when it is time. 5 year old soccer is a pretty funny thing to watch. This is where they finally started getting in the groove. Yep, Keaton is at least a head taller then everyone on his team :)
Keaton decided to take a little dance/ jump break. It reminded me of when I went to my brothers baseball game as a kid. He played outfield and he kept pretending to catch his head with his mitt :)
Keaton getting instruction from his coaches. He was a little nervous. His coaches are a very nice patient couple.
I can't say Keaton is the best on the team (that is for sure the coaches daughter) but what I can say is I have been impressed by how well he listen's and follows instructions. In a sea of 5 year old chaos Keaton can stop and listen and tries to do it exactly as they say. Lee told him last night THAT is how you get good at something. For me it has calmed my heart about him starting Kindergarten in the fall. He will be fine. He get's along really well with people and is good for grown ups. I love that little fella :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Savannah turns TWO!!!

Annie turned 2 this month. She was pretty excited about her "birfffday" :) We have loved having her these past 2 years. She has such a happy disposition it is fun to be around her. She has a few "true loves". Her Grandparents were right on it. She was pretty thrilled with her presents from them! Above you see her with a color tote bag from Grandma Palmer. There are slots on the front for a little note pad, a bunch of pencils, a lot of thick crayons, and inside was color wonder markers, and books. She was excited for her new "tools". You can see her book shelf in the background here. I gave up. We have to read all 50 books everyday. She puts them back...not neatly. You can also see her "untamed" hair here :)
Keaton helped her open some of her presents. She was excited.
Savannah got a screaming monkey from my parents, and a little Elmo from us. She loves "babies" and has to carry them all around together ALL THE TIME. My cousin Launie and her husband call it the P.A.C....perpetual armload of crap. Launies kids had the does Savannah!
This is Savannah checking out her newest member of her collection.

Annie loves songs, books, vegetables, bubbles,being outside, but MOSTLY KEATON!!!
The only thing she really doesn't like is going to nursery at church. She has yet to go for more then 20 minutes.

She was so excited to get a new "booka". She has quite the vocabulary ....I think it must be from all the "booka's". We also had a little party for her with friends from the ward. OF COURSE I didn't get any pictures of that, or their kind gifts. She also got a FABULOUS book from her great Aunt Dawn. I think she had a great birthday!

Here is one more SHORT video with how funny she thinks Keaton with the new "gunkey" (monkey).