Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Kansas City Zoo

I have thought about trying to start blogging and catching up on our life moments lately but so much has been going on that I don't even know where to start...so I thought I would just dive in regardless.
Our girls (our first foster placement) were able to go home with family at the beginning of April.  (This was a good thing and we have even been able to see them a couple of times since then which has been a blessing for us all.)  The day they left we loaded up the car and headed to Kansas City as a little distraction trip for our kids...and a little for us.  ;)
 One of the first things we did was go to the zoo.  The polar bear was probably our favorite animal of the day.  He was really putting on a show swimming through the water and having a good time. 
 This was a play area and it is supposed to be a hatching egg. 

 I don't remember this one's name but I thought he was so strange looking--I'd never seen one before! 
 There were a couple of petting zoo areas and the kids love to feed the animals. 

 Always ready to say cheese.  Love her.
 DeDe, Daddy, and Lilly.  Reid couldn't be bothered for a photo.  Ha! 

 The Sky Safari was my idea and Matt has not let me forget it.  I thought we were all going to die.  We were so far up and I kept thinking, "If we survive the fall the animals WILL get us."  Of course we didn't fall and we all made it out unharmed.  Ha!   

This gorilla was hilarious.  He has his arm over his face and legs up and crossed on the rock. 
And this one is in the fetal position. 

We found this wild one coming out of a cave!  ;)
The meercats are always one of our favorites. 
Creepy looking croc. 

Drink Stop with DeDe
 While I was taking this picture of these beautiful lions, Reid was behind me with his pants around his ankles peeing in public.  I turned around and Matt walked up and it was too late.  That boy knows no shame.  Ha! 
The elephants paint on Saturdays at the KC Zoo.  We got to them right as they were finishing up their artwork.

 This is one where they put paint in their trunk and spray it out...
 and this is one where they paint with paintbrushes. 
 My people watching the elephants. 
 This guy was cracking me up.  Just hanging out. 
 And this was on his (and other monkeys) area.  Hahaha! 
 They have a really cool penguin area with several different types of penguins. 
 And some more animal feeding. 
 I look at this guy and just start singing, "I like to move it, move it!" 
 The kids barn is 2 levels and you can either use the stairs or this awesome slide to get down.
We had a great time at the KC Zoo and we were literally there from open to close. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Our Spring Break

Our Spring Break started off rough.  We got back in town from Mike and DeDe's at about 10 pm Sunday night.  I came up with this incredibly unrealistic plan of doing all the laundry (including cleaning out Lilly's closet) and cleaning the whole house on Monday so that we would have the rest of the week to just play and have fun.  This. Did. Not. Go. Well.  For every one thing I cleaned, my house-bound-due-to-weather children created at least 4 messes.  It was a cycle of frustration.  For all of us. 
Then Tuesday morning I had to take our two girls to a check-up and despite our early morning appointment we were still at the doctors office for two full hours.  With four children 5 and under.  In a confined space.  With other people.  It was as glorious as it sounds.  And as well behaved as they all were my nerves were shot.
And apparently so were Reid's because he got out his map and was determined to get us to the beach THAT day.  Ha!  I put the kids down for a nap and had some much needed time with Jesus...which is probably the real problem all along...I am not good without my Jesus time.
Then we watched Frozen for the 1,000th time and Lilly said, "You should have named me Elsa.  And why didn't you give me any powers?  I am so upset that you didn't give me any powers!"  Ha!  Matt came home and I went to the Dollar Tree to help regain my sanity as well as grab a few activities for the kids to do so that I could keep my sanity for the remainder of Spring Break.  I wanted us to be able to have fun and enjoy Spring Break...not just survive it. 

Okay...this is where I need to put a little disclaimer...the remainder of this post has LOTS of Pinspired activities.  So...because of this...let me share my heart on the whole Pinterest activity thing.  This. Is. My. Thing!  I have a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.  I got that specific degree because I love kids and teaching and these kinds of activities.  I love preparing them and I love doing them with the kids.  Let me assure you that Matt is the BEST daddy I know and he has never (not once) prepared any type of Pinterest activity for the kids.  He does not enjoy it.  And that is FINE.  He does quality time with them totally different--he takes them to the movies, goes to get ice cream, plays in the backyard with them, goes on walks, plays catch.  And that is all just as awesome because that is HIS thing.  And the kids love us both the same.  Except Lilly.  She announced yesterday that Daddy was her favorite person in the family.  So while you scroll through these activities please know this is just my way of having some fun with my kids and sharing what I love with them. 

So without further adieu here is a nauseating amount of Pinspired things that we did on Spring Break.  And any tips or real life reactions of the kids while doing them.
 The first thing we did was this counting kite activity.  There are 10 kites and each one has a different number on it (1-10) and the kids added that number of beads to the string (I used a pipe cleaner cut in half.)
 Of all the activities we did this one took the longest to prepare and I really thought before we did it that it was too much work BUT then the kids LOVED this.  I was really surprised by how much they enjoyed doing this and how well they did on it. 

They were both very proud of their finished work.

 While I was at the Dollar Tree I bought these suncatchers for them to paint (it came with the paint and brush).

 Then I found this mini-dot dinosaur printable that we used to q-tip paint.
 Lilly and Big Sis LOVED this...while Reid enjoyed painting about 10 and decided he was done.  And that was fine. 

We also made these cute C/Caterpillars.  I have a circle punch that I used to punch out all of the circles.  This was a really quick/cute activity. 

 And of course we had some spontaneous dancing.  ( ; 
 We read How to Pray out of our Jesus Storybook Bible (basically says to talk to God like you would someone you really love) and then we made these cute prayer pots.  Once again, this is where you can see the difference in personalities in our house.  Reid wanted close family in his and Lilly wanted to write all of the names herself and include every person she has ever met.  Ha! 
I found these cute grass animals at Wal-Mart in the garden section. 
 So we planted our grass.  It has a soil pellet that you add water too and then some seeds that you plant in that soil. 

 It was really neat to watch the soil pellet grow into lots of soil. 
 And then the girls decided they were going to read a book and just wait for it to grow.  Haha!

 Then we did some Counting Caterpillars where the kids got to glue the right number of pom-poms to make the caterpillar body. Reid was working hard to get that glue out.  Ha!

 And then they drew the legs. 

 I also found some Spring/Easter window clings and the kids always LOVE to decorate our glass door with those!

 And then we made some marshmallow bunnies.  If my tongs wouldn't have been at school we would have practiced using tongs with this, too. 

And then my good man surprised me by stopping at Sam's Club and getting me these.  It is the little things like this that just let me know that he gets me.  Spring Break?  Activity 1000?  Coffee?  Yes please!  (: 
 Then we made some exploding sidewalk paint.  They had so much fun making it before they even knew what it was.  Ha! 
 We did Lilly's first.  She shook it up...
 and we sat it down...
 and then it barely exploded.  Basically the bag just opened up and it slowly oozed out. 
 So she stomped on it and the bag exploded that way.  Ha! 

 So for Reid's we added more vinegar and I wasn't able to get any pictures because it EXPLODED all over us.  It was pretty cool.  We will definitely be doing this again.  In the instructions on the blog I got this from it says you want a thicker liquid but for us it worked much better with more vinegar and it very liquidy. 
 Then I filled a spray bottle up with vinegar and let them spray it and watch it fizzle and bubble. 
 Lilly LOVED this the most. 

 Then we used some of the paint to do some flyswatter painting...for really no other reason than I just thought it sounded fun. 

 Then we played with paint and sidewalk chalk. 

 And Reid drew his first car! 
He has been really into drawing lately--he is always making me these sweet family picture.  I LOVE it. 
 And then Friday night to wrap up our Spring Break we had a Glow Night Party.  I made these "tickets" and painted them with glow-in-the-dark paint so that they glowed.  I didn't tell the kids what we were doing...
 I just had them paint a picture with glow-in-the dark paint (they didn't know that is what it was).  Then I had them take their pictures to the playroom and turned off the lights. 

 They were so excited!  It was in the playroom in the dark when I gave them their "tickets" for our special night.  Then Matt put them in a glowstick bath while I prepared all of our activities. 
 We had hopscotch.  I used the necklaces and they were barely big enough for the kids so if you are going to do this you may want to put two necklaces together. 
 We had ring toss.  I put two bracelets together.  You can do that or one necklace.  Or use the bracelets and a bunch of bottles for a bottle-type ring toss.  (You know where you just try to get it around the top of the bottle??)
 And bowling.  I learned that you can jut use empty water bottles--no need to keep any water in them. 
 This kids honestly had a blast at all of these.  They laughed and had so much fun. 

 Then we had a glow in the dark snack.  Our snack didn't glow but I found this green platter at the dollar store and then just used orange jello and then I set up a glow-in-the-dark table.
 At each plate was a glow necklace and bracelet for them to wear.

And then I stacked two clear plastic cups and put a glow bracelet between them.  (Tip.  I got my clear cups from the dollar tree and they were too small so we had to tape the bracelets to make them smaller so next time I would just buy bigger cups.)

So there you have it.  Our fun and activity filled Spring Break.  (:  We ended up having a really great week and I am so thankful for the quality time with these sweet littles!