Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day Party

I hosted a Valentine's Day party today for J&J and some of their friends. We held it mostly in the garage like usual. That gives us plenty of room for crafts, and we don't have to worry about anything spilling. The kids had the option of making bead necklaces or using markers to color in puzzle pieces. Sienna chose the beads, and she was very patient and persistent about completing her necklace. Then, the kids decorated a large red foam heart with stickers. After some train table play, it was time for decorating pretty V'Day heart-shapped bottles. The kids put in glitter, red sand, and all sorts of metal confetti. They turned out cool. I sure wish I'd taken a picture of all of them lined up before they got put in the take home bags. Probably the favorite craft was the last one where the kids painted wood boxes with hearts on them. Johnny liked that one so much he did two! Woo hoo!
Of course there was a heart-shaped cake and books and bingo. It was just super neat how the kids were taking turns helping read one of the Scooby picture clue books. Really touched my heart. We ran out of time to make the sugar cookies this go around, but no biggie. 3 hours had come and gone in the blink of an eye.

It sure was nice to see everyone, and thanks for coming and spending some time with us.

The rest of today's pics are here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Trains, Birds, and Butterflies

Where else can you enjoy a thrilling train ride, brilliant birds, and beautiful butterflies? Why naturally, at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham.
It was a gorgeous February day in NC yesterday. I didn't pay attention to the official high, but it was near 70. No way could the boys and I do grocery shopping or chores on such a nice day, so even after a trip to the NC Zoo on Saturday, we headed to the museum on Sunday.

We had a great time. We always do. We enjoyed the breeze in our face during the train ride. Mom took a lot of pictures including the Kingfisher with a fish in his mouth, a Hermit Thrush eating berries, and a Great Blue Heron cleaning himself. The boys were treated to holding an Owl Butterfly in the butterfly house. Unfortunately, the butterfly had a damaged wing, but all the kids enjoyed it just the same. Mr. Train Conductor, Ranger Greg, and one of the bear trainers enhanced our visit with interesting facts. Definitely another great visit.

All the pics from the day are here.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

NC Zoo

The boys and I made a trip to the NC Zoo on Saturday. We're having nothing short of spectacular weather for February here in NC, and it seemed like a good idea to spend the day outside. For those that haven't been to the NC Zoo, it is very enjoyable and has lots of delightful animals, but it's in the middle of a rather hilly forest, so put on your walking shoes! You'll get some exercise!!!

During the off season, the Africa parking lot is closed, so we entered through the North America parking lot. That entrance is near the seals, otters, and Willy the polar bear. We just love those 'water' animals. They are so much fun to watch especially when they are active in front of the glass observation windows. The otters will make you giggle as they swim in figure eights right in front of your eyes.
The Bison hear is growing, and they were resting in a very visible spot today. Cool bluebirds flying around the field there too.

Gotta love the gorilla sitting in the Thinker pose. The gorillas were up and about today, and that was interesting to watch.

The elephants were up close and personl, and the mom and her baby put on a nice show as they ate their lunch. I especially enjoyed when they ate nose to nose for a few minutes. It seemed very loving.

Of course J&J were too busy playing the elephant statue game to notice the elephants much. At least I was free to take tons of pictures at that spot while they were entertained by it. Boy did we all miss the Vollmer's here.

Joey was disappointed that Lovey the lion was sleeping. We've heard him roar before. Maybe next time!

The rest of the pics are here.