Thursday, April 16, 2015

Living the "wildlife"

There was housework, homework, schoolwork, and who knows what other kind of work to be done, but our eyes met over the chaos of lunch, and Greg said, "Let's go to the zoo."

And so we did.

Mimi and Gramps gave us a year-long family zoo membership for Christmas, and it is kind of our unofficial goal to go once a month. 

We were hooked after our first visit in January, went just a a couple of weeks later in February, and have been going crazy to get back since! 

The weather this afternoon was perfect and we all needed the family time out in the real world and fresh air.

Today's visit was full of fun surprises.

The first was this bobcat, which totally ignored us:
He paced around his enclosure, obviously aware of our presence, but careful to keep his back turned.

Until...two female keepers came walking past on the path, carrying on a lively conversation together. As soon as we heard their voices, Mr. Bobcat could, too, and he turned around and watched them with great interested until they had passed out of sight and out of earshot. 

With his familiar friends gone, Mr. Bobcat settled back in to ignore us some more. 

The whole scenario was unmistakable and oh-so-fascinating!

Now that it is spring time, an exhibit we've been waiting on since January is finally open, and it was even better than we had imagined!

It's called the Wild Bird Walkabout, and is filled with parakeets. You enter three sets of double doors (to prevent escapees) into the screened enclosure full of the brightly colored birds. For a buck you can buy a popsicle stick coated in hot glue and dipped in birdseed. Then you go a-huntin'!

You'll notice there are no pictures of Brooklyn feeding the birdies. Almost first thing, one landed on her hand and kind of freaked her out. She wasn't interested in trying again after that! Maybe next time. :)
There we were, in a zoo full of animals, and everything came to a halt when Tyler found a ladybug.
He asked if he could keep it.

I said no.

We were happy to find the giraffes outside today:

Fun, fun, day! The gift that keeps on giving. :)

(For those of you keeping up at home, yes, this is a new seating arrangement. Effective as of the zoo parking lot today. )

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Outtakes

It was raining. And cold.

We were right on time. Not late, not early.

So we did pictures in our living room when we got home.

Ever tried getting six kids to look in the same direction? Much less look pleasant?

We finally got a good one. But here are all the ones it took to get there.

You're welcome. :)
Everyone was feeling great....

....except one.

Not sure what's going on with all the hands...

Brooklyn spies something... it.

Admire it. (And Levi is finally not crying)

That not-crying didn't last long.

Maybe a kiss will help!

That's better....

Almost there....

...aaaand cue The Sneeze

We're losing Brooklyn

Add Mom


Not working...

Good enough!
Happy Easter from 7/8 of our crew!
(somebody had to be the photographer of all this mess!)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Last Day o' March

Preschool Letter O today.  We read a cute little owl story then made these cut and paste owls.

"Cut and paste"...why do we say that? Does anybody still use paste anymore? 

That was fun stuff...that little stick of gooey gluey. I never understood why it was better than the squeeze bottle. I bet paste has been replaced by glue sticks hasn't it? Paste was probably the precursor to the gluestick.

"Next on Modern Marvels.."

Mercy. Rambly much?

Gave two haircuts today. Getting everybody all spiffied up for Easter. Plus they just needed them. Going to be working on getting those boys on a rotation so I can do one haircut a week, every week, instead of 3 or 4 back-to-back.

It looks like a two-by-four. It's really a paint stick. :)
We got lots of outside time again today. The whole day seemed slower paced. I'm not sure why, and I'm sure I didn't get as much done as my to-do list says I should, but the day was indeed slower paced and peaceful, and for that I am thankful.  

I dropped Dale off at karate for my first time this evening - it's always been Daddy before. While he was karateing I bought groceries - at warp speed! - and went back to pick him up. There was time to spare when I got there so I was able to go inside and watch him do his thing for a few minutes. Just between you and me? I wish we had him in the same aggressive taekwondo program he was in 3 years ago. He's good at it! I hate that he's having to start all over again.

When we got home Daddy had the littles bathed. We shooed them back in the house, as they came out to greet us in various stages of dress and undress. 

Once in pjs we gathered around for our Easter week devotion. It occurred to me rather suddenly on the way home from karate that I hadn't prepared, so I had Dale check pinterest on my phone and felt a little better. 

Even so, we ended up not doing any special craft or activity, and I really didn't even have an application or "point" to the evening's reading, which was all disappointing. Ah well...onward, yes? Tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully I'll prepare a little better!
Had lots of fun with this happy little boy today. What is this face?! Lol.

Speaking of preparing....tomorrow is a silly little day called April Fool's....and I know my little fools will be expecting some Tom foolery and shenanigans. Pinterest, here I come.  Nothing like the last minute, is there? ;)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday, Monday

After a week of sick kids, I gave in to the exhaustion and gave up on getting up to an alarm for a week. Then we spent a weekend traveling. 

So today was the day that I was gonna get back to it. 

But...I didn't. And I don't regret it one bit. Early rising is highly overrated. ;)

This is the little face I woke up to this morning. 
 Actually, that's not true. I woke up to Greg's face, and then he brought me this one from his crib. But this one is cuter.

Up early or not, today was definitely a little out of routine, as it was a catch-up day from the weekend, and Dale had a dentist appointment early on.

Even amongst the unpacking and laundry, we managed to set aside some time for a preschool lesson. We are up to letter 'N' now, and it being spring and all, I decided "Nests" would be a good thing to cover.
First we looked at a few bird books, looking at pictures of some common birds and their nests.
We also read the poem What Robin Told, by George Cooper. It was perfect!

How do robins build their nests?

Robin Redbreast told me
First a wisp of yellow hay
In a pretty round they lay;
Then some shreds of downy floss,
Feather, too, and bits of moss,
Woven with a sweet, sweet song,
This way, that way, and across;
That's what Robin told me.

Where do robins hide their nests?
Robin Redbreast told me
Up among the leaves so deep,
Where the sunbeams rarely creep,
Long before the winds are cold,
Long before the leaves are gold,
Bright-eyed stars will peep and see
Baby robins--one, two, three;
That's what Robin told me.

Then, we had a fun color-mixing lesson. Green + Red = Brown!

We used our brown to paint paper plate halves.

 While our paper plates dried we went for a walk collecting things for our nests....
...then came back and glued them on. I love how they turned out!

This afternoon I went to check on Dale and see how he was recovering from his dental visit. I was surprised to see Brooklyn all snuggled up with him. It seemed out of character for both of them, and oh-so-sweet!

 This evening was our second night of the last week of Jesus Easter devotions. We read about Jesus cursing the fig tree, and then clearing the temple of the money-changers and animal sales.

I printed a picture from the internet and then cut it into five parts. Each kid colored a different part while I read, and then they put them together like a puzzle. Turned out great! I gave them each a penny to glue on, too. No real significance there, it was just fun. to bed for me. Overrated or not, I have an alarm to (attempt to) wake up to tomorrow!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday Weekend

Busy traveling weekend! 

Mama and Levi got to spend Friday night at Mimi and Gramps's house! 

The rest of the gang stayed behind for the fire station field trip....

 (if I wasn't so tired lazy in a hurry to be done with this post there would be a cutie patootie picture here of the kids on a fire truck. But Greg took that pic with his phone and getting it from there to here is more than I care to tackle at this hour. Just imagine the cuteness!) 

....then came on to Mimi and Gramps' for a Saturday night stay.

We woke up at Mimi and Gramps' house Sunday morning, hurrying and scurrying (after a leisurely breakfast, of course!) and got us and all our stuff out the door in time to be on time to Nana and PawPaw's church where Daddy was preaching.

Daniel didn't know much about the preaching, but he thoroughly enjoyed the toy basket in the nursery:

After a yummy lunch and wonderful singing service, we headed straight back home in time for potty stops and to load back up and go to our own church for evening service, where we observed the Lord's Supper. At the beginning of the service a group of 4-6 year olds went down to the front for a special children's lesson on the Lord's Supper. Tyler, of course, was part of this crew. The lesson was very interactive, and everyone enjoyed hearing the candid comments from the children relayed for the rest of us. Tyler even piped up a time or two, including making sure the pastor knew that our grape jelly looked just like the bottle of grape juice the pastor was holding up. :)

After the kiddos were all pajamaed up at home, we gathered around for a bedtime devotion. A few years ago we did a countdown to Easter by following the last week of Jesus with a Bible reading and nightly activity. We all loved that and decided to do it again this year. 

So, it being Palm Sunday, we read all about Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  We started with an Easter egg full of leaves. 

The olders were well aware that it was Palm Sunday and quickly guessed at the significance of the leaves. 

After we read the passage, everyone from Daniel to Daddy got a leaf to cut into palm fronds, and we hung them all together on our bulletin board. 

After some good discussion on how we can welcome Jesus into our own lives daily as Lord and King, just like the Jews welcomed him that day, we said our prayers and went to bed!