Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Sort of on a whim, we decided to go to Nauvoo for a couple of days over Memorial Day Weekend. It's a three hour drive, but the boys did great. We stayed in a neighboring town called Keokuk, which is on the other side of the Mississippi River. It was nice to get away for a little bit! Peter enjoying dipping his chips in the salsa and hamming it up for the camera. Whenever he sees it out, he says "cheese!"
So the boys have been waking up every morning at 5:40 for the past week or so, which has been REALLY fun. It doesn't seem to matter when we put them down at night. But on the up side, we were up and at the sites right as they were opening. A highlight for the boys was the gunsmith shop.
At the mention of gun powder, Peter started reciting words from Drummer Hoff, a favorite storybook of ours. "Sargent Chowder brought the powder..."
We got to go on an oxen ride. Benjamin especially loved the part when the "ox made a P.U." I'll let you figure out what that means. :)
The Family Living Center was also fun. I love these cute boys!
Peter loved "riding" the sheep at the children's games area.
Benjamin enjoyed bowling,
and playing stick pull with Daddy.
Paul got pretty good at launching and catching the ring with his sticks!
And if we're being really honest, most of us enjoyed all the sights, but this guy was ready to go back to the hotel minutes after we got there.
All he wanted was to swim at the pool!
We headed out again after naps and pool time and had pizza at a park by the Mississippi. And we had to take a picture by the cannon of course.
And throw handfuls of rocks into the river.
We headed back Sunday morning to make it to 1:00 church.
Today we helped out at our ward's annual Memorial Day Activity. The boys enjoyed the games and relays.
I helped out with face painting, which was nice because it was in the shade!
And Paul got to hop in and play with the Redhead Express, which is a fun and talented family that have been performing and living on the road for the past few years. They were great!
After a long morning in the heat, we were ready to relax, so we watched a little Return of the Jedi. Benjamin is obsessed with Star Wars these days. He and Peter were having light saber battles during the fight scenes.
We got a quick thunderstorm this afternoon, which produced some great mud for the boys to play in. All in all, it was a great weekend!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Videos

I had a little fun editing some videos I've taken of the boys recently. It's fun to watch them play together. video

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cheerleaders

I do really well when I have the right cheerleader. Paul encourages me all the time to keep up with my art, which is wonderful. But this week, at the prodding of Benjamin, I started and finished a painting in about 5 hours. This has got to be a record! He kept asking me if I was going to finish today, and gave me the time I needed to do it. He even entertained Peter when needed to help me get it done. So thanks, Benjamin! You're exactly the encouragement I needed. And nevermind that the perspective is totally off and the cat should be at least twice as big. It's done. I was really trying to empower timid little Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit! ;) They could totally take on that cat. Here it is next to the cow jumping over the moon and Drummer Hoff. And here's the other recent addition to the room- another toddler bed! We got it for free from a friend who is moving. I figure that with three kids under the age of four, we'll use it! Peter really wanted to try it out tonight, but didn't quite get the hang of it. Eventually he wanted to return to the security of his crib, which is fine with me. He's still a little young. Next project in there will be coordinating bedspreads and doing something with the windows. One of the pull down blinds is broken, so it's permanently down. Besides, they do nothing for the space. I might just replace the broken one and make pelmet boxes using this tutorial.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Last Day of School

Benjamin is finished with preschool for the year. We're going to miss it! Here's a few pictures of the fun Pizza Pool Party they had. It was sort of cold outside, but the water felt nice. Benjamin didn't want to take a picture with his teachers, so I snapped one with them in the background. :) This was the first time Benjamin used a life jacket to go swimming, and he was in heaven, swimming all over the pool all by himself! I think I might have to keep that in mind for one of his birthday presents this year...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Finally Finished!

So I'm embarrased to admit it's taken me this long to finish, but I'm finally done with this ABC painting that I started over 2 years ago. In retrospect, I definitely think I should have just used patterned scrapbook paper and modge podge. Oh, well. I'm learning to find more efficient ways to do my art, otherwise it never gets done! It's 2 1/2 feet square. I'll hang it in Benjamin's (soon to be the boys) room once I get some picture hanging wire.

Monday, May 10, 2010

30 Weeks


Benjamin helped me document my 30 week mark. He likes to remind me daily how big my tummy is getting, and frequently asks me what the baby is doing. We're getting close!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Hooray for Benjamin!

The goal: Read five "Max the Cat" books six times each.
The prize: A lightsaber.
Benjamin finished all ten books in his "Max the Cat" series and is getting really good at reading them. He is a hard worker! It's been fun to watch as everything clicks for him.

Officially a Twilight Fan...


But it's not what you're thinking. This stuff smells amazing. Although we are contemplating the name "Bella" now seeing as it's at the the top of the lists this year... :)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Gardens

Yesterday, we broke out of our lazy Saturday morning routine and went to our local Botanical Gardens to hit the free hours. We had such a great time! Paul and I talked and dreamed and pontificated about what the Garden of Eden must have been like. Because as incredible as raw, natural beauty is, there's something even more exalted about beautiful landscaping. Man's creative touch must be only a shadow of what is divinely possible. We'd sure like to have a real garden someday. Ideally, we'd also like a newer house that requires a little less upkeep so we could focus more on a yard. It's nice to dream sometimes. Anyways.
Isn't this tree awesome? It was huge. You can sort of see Benjamin hanging out on one of the massive drooping branches.There was also a dinosaur exhibit in the Climatron that was a highlight for Benjamin and Peter. We saw cocoa bean plants, banana trees, giant bamboo, and all sorts of amazing plant life in there. This spot in the Japanese garden was beautiful. I love the mossy carpet. I wish we had gotten over to the English gardens. They're also some of my favorites. The boys also loved feeding the giant Koi fish in the Japanese gardens. Can you spy my growing 6 1/2 month pregnant belly?We also spent some time in the Children's Garden that had all sorts of things for kids to climb. Peter is one coordinated little kid! Benjamin enjoyed climbing up and down and across different ropes.
We admittedly hadn't done anything with our little square foot gardens this year until now. But we came home with a renewed zeal to do something about it, so now we have 6 tomato plants, 6 cucumber plants, a few pepper plants and a blueberry bush. Our strawberry patch remained untouched from last year, and has been thriving largely on its own. There are dozens of white flowers and little fruits covering the vines! Our raspberry bushes also seem to be doing a lot better this year and have sent out good hearty runners.