Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

 It took a lot of convincing, but eventually they dug in and started pulling seeds out.  Slimy really isn't their thing.
 But it was definitely a great activity for Hurricane Sandy days!

Who me? Eating the bear?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Civil War Target Shooting

To fit in with our recent outings, Dan found out about this weekend target competition at a nearby shooting range.  The idea is that each team represents a particular regiment and then they get a certain amount of time to shoot all their targets.  They are shooting with civil war era replicas at 50 and 100 yds.  It was pretty cool to watch all the different styles of guns.  They also had a nice park for the kids to play on.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Rose!

 Rose wanted to have a "Wild Kratts" theme for her birthday this year, so we decked the house with animal decor.  First the kids helped me make some underwater creatures.  

 Then I took some packaging paper and taped it to the wall to look like a tree (used painters tape to keep it from pulling paint with it later).  I wanted the monkeys to hang from the branches, but never could come up with anything strong enough to make them stick.  
 I think the coolest decoration was the piano turned zebra print.  This was just some craft paper rolled out on top of my black cover, then cut down to wavy strips.  I was tempted to leave it since it looked soooo cool.

 I hired the face painter again this year..she did full face animals on all the girls.  Really pretty, as usual!

 We did an animal beading project, that I admit probably would have failed miserably had Nana AND the face painter not stayed!  But in the end, the projects were fun and something to take home.  

 Rose received lots of very nice presents and will be writing her own thank yous this year (so be patient if you don't get it right away!).  

Some yummy lady bug crackers for the family party...

 And a great cake by Nana!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Richmond Trip

We started our trip at the Richmond Children's Museum.  It's one of those places that has hands on stuff to teach kids about real stuff in a fun way.  So I had to have the kids climb in the cracked dinosaur eggs.  Daddy held John in so he wouldn't roll out.

There was an indoor treehouse playground area with fun facts posted around it.  The kids enjoyed looking down at us.

Probably one of the coolest stations in one of these kids places I have seen.  It is an automated apple picking tree.  First the kids 'pick' the apples from the front.  Then they dump them in the station (see where Rose is walking in above pic?).  This long drill like thing rotates them up to the top and dumps them (see below left).  Finally, they roll around and randomly drop down the tubes.  The holes at the end are on the other side where the picking happens.  

Outside was all about music.  There is a cool video that I have to format and will try to get up here.  There were all kinds of drums, xylophones and chimes.  If I have a massive backyard one day, I am designating one corner as a music area.  

Of course Rose couldn't pass up the art center with all recycled art supplies (read: lots of egg cartons and scrap wallpaper etc that the kids could use to make stuff). They had so much fun being able to do stuff besides color that maybe I will have to add a box to the craft area in our house for whenever they want to do a project but I don't have anything set up for them.

Also pretty neat was the kid-sized car they could change tires on and such.  Most of the pieces were missing, but they made the most of it.  

ROSE, the Ballerina!
(Quick, run to the seats and be the audience)
This is where Mommy found a really big beanbag to crash in with the baby for a while!

James felt that in order to be in the puppet show he had to be in front of the curtain.  Rose actually got the hand only idea pretty quickly.

Rose wanted to play in the hospital nursery area, and thought John did too!

There was a lot of walking for meals from the hotel.

A man and his reading chair.

Indoor swimming is definitely one of the highlights of going to a hotel.  Really, just ask the kids.

We mostly ate at local places, but the one day we opted for McDonald's but brought it to this neat park.  It had a great view of downtown Richmond and the James River.  It definitely reminded me of the view from Richmond, London, which Dan said was how Richmond, VA came to be named.  

Dan wanted to go to the Confederate Museum, but we thought the tour would be boring for the kids.  So I dropped him off with his buddy who lives in town and took the kids to Maymont Park.  Great place.  We toured their little aquarium and saw some otter training.  

James literally touched the turtle with just that one finger...too funny.

The weekend we were in town was the Folk Festival weekend.  So we took a walk down to the canal walk area.  Along the way was this street art.  In case you can't see it the words say: "James is that you I smell?"  Clearly referring to the river, but we couldn't pass up the photo op.  Both guys are named James!

James's idea of getting dressed for Church!

To finish off the weekend, we went south to Petersburg to tour the Museum of the Confederate Solider (Pamplin Park).  This was the best museum I have been to with kids.  They did a great job making everything accessible and the best part had to be the audio tour.  We each got a programable mp3 player, and at each stop there was a number you would enter to hear about what was in front of you. 
Rose had a blast running around to each sign.  Dan and I had a blast actually getting to learn something new since we didn't have to stand still to read the signs.
Also, I thought the hands on was neat.  If we had been up for walking (not the best kid idea) there were hikes you could take to tour the original earthworks from the Civil War - how cool!  

We will probably go back one day, it is definitely worth the trip!