Friday, July 30, 2010

Fort Matanzas

Today we decided to take advantage of the nearby Fort Matanzas. It is free and we have never been there. We arrived in time to get on the 10:30 ferry ride over.

You could climb all the way up to the roof and the kids really liked doing it.
On the top of the fort

Climbing back down
This tree was too fun to pass up on and not get a picture. Poor Aubrey was terrified to be up there.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bruster's Birthday Party

Ethan really wanted to have a birthday party for Bruster. His birthday was a couple of weeks ago, so tonight we invited two of his friends over to celebrate. He was not too fond of the party hat.

He quickly got it off.
This is Buddy, one of Derek's piano student's dog. He comes to play sometimes while the lesson is going, so after lessons today we arranged for a little party.

We served them doggie ice cream, but neither Buddy or Princess (Bruster stays with Princess' family when we are out of town-but I missed a picture of her) wanted the ice cream.
Bruster opened some presents and Ms. Linda from behind us came to the party as well.
Bruster did like his ice cream, so much that he went and hid under the couch to eat it. He really did not need to since the other dogs did not want anything to do with it. In fact, I just looked under the couch and found the other empty container of ice cream we did not know what happened to. It looks like Bruster had two ice cream treats for his birthday.
It was a little crazy, but the kids had fun. I do not think we will do it again next year- maybe just a new dog toy to celebrate next year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nick Jr. Live

Tonight Aubrey and I had a little girls night and went to see Nick Jr. Live in Jacksonville. She watches all of the shows that were being featured, so I thought it would be something she would really like. We got dressed up per Aubrey's request. She wanted to wear dresses and match, so black it was. She even let me borrow her flower for my hair for the evening.
We got there an hour early for activities before the show. It was a good thing we were one of the first ones there because after we made it through all the stations there were really long lines. She got a heart painted on her face complete with glitter.
She decorated a cookies, with sprinkles of course. She surprised me by picking the chocolate ones instead of the rainbow ones.

The coloring station
Ready for the show to start. We had really good seats. They were closer than I thought and were the first row of the second level so there were not any heads in our way to see.

We broke the rules and took a few pictures during the show. This is Moose and we took it for Derek and Ethan because they can not stand when he sings. Aubrey thought it was hilarious and could not wait to show Derek the picture when we came home.
The entire cast at the end. It was a good show and we enjoyed our time together. This was her first experience with a theater setting and of course she had a lot of questions. All the way home she would randomly ask me questions such as "Did the girls wear wigs?" Followed up by, "I guess they have short hair under the wig."

Time Wasted

Having my day go by without really having anything to show for it seems to be happening recently. The Magic Tree House incident was the most recent. Books A Million sponsored a summer reading program for the Magic Tree House series. They gave out little passport books and kids were encouraged to read all of the books this summer and receive a tote bag upon completion. Ethan was excited and up for the challenge. He had already read several of them and those would count towards it. We have spent hours finding the research books and even borrowed ones he had not read from his teacher Mr. Menard. Well, summer is quickly coming to an end and Ethan was not going to be able to possibly read them all. There are something like 88 books and he still had about 60 to go. So, being the wonderful mother I am I decided that I would get another passport book and answer all the quizzes online to get the little stamps for each book. I would then get the tote bag before they ran out of them and Ethan would continue to read them throughout the year and I would give him the prize when he finished it. I spent many hours answering questions. I then saved all of the pages with the little stamps on them so that I would not print each page separately. Derek brought his computer home and I again spent at least an hour cutting and pasting each stamp so that they would fit on two pages for me to print. Ethan then helped me cut all the silly little things out and we glued them into the passport book. Finally, the thing was finished and we took it with us yesterday to the story hour to claim his tote bag. We discussed in the car that we would not tell the lady that he had not read them all, since he was going to continue to read them. We even came up with a plan about one stamp that was missing (because the quiz was not online) so that we would not have to lie about not actually reading the book. This is turning into quite a long story, so I will conclude with the fact that the lady gave Ethan the book bag and did not even look at his passport to see what he read. The best part though is that she then tells us that you only had to read 10 of the books in order to get the tote bag! What, are you kidding me? That would have been nice to know before I had done all the work for ALL 88 of them! Ethan had read well over the 10 required before the summer even started. So, I let him have the tote bag and mourned over all of my wasted time. This is so something that would happen to me. Next time, forget being a nice Mom, who cares about a free tote bag! He better treasure that thing is all I have to say.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ice Cream Truck

We have been waiting for months for the ice cream truck to come by our house. Great Grandma sent some money for this purpose in one of the kids birthday cards. I was recording the kids in the below video when all of a sudden I heard that familiar noise. I ran out the front door only to see it driving too far down the road to catch it. Ethan had the great idea that maybe it would come down the road behind us. I quickly put on some shoes and grabbed the money to see if I could find the truck. Aubrey was struggling with finding shoes to put on so I told them I would hold it if it came. Sure enough I heard it coming down the street. The lady was very nice to wait for the kids to come running across the yards from our house.
Ethan is partial to the ones with the bubble gum eyes.
Aubrey was a little jealous over Ethan's and we had to talk about complaining. She has tried ones similar to that before and she has not liked them in the past. I chose this popsicle for her because I was like the ones that she loves at Sea World. At one point I took her treat away from her and told her I would throw it into the trash if she could not be happy with it. How does one find something to complain about when getting a treat from the ice cream truck? Complaining is really an area that Aubrey is struggling with and I am trying to teach her this is not a good character to have, as nobody enjoys being around a complainer. Definitely a work in progress right now.

Here is a really cute video of the kids playing today. I believe they were playing house. They were going on a road trip.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Balloon Fun

Ethan learned how to blow up a balloon at camp on Friday. He was very excited about this and it lead to a trip to the dollar store to purchase more balloons to blow up.

We have been thinking of all kinds of things to do with balloons since we have so many of them. Ethan had me suspend this one in the air with my hair dryer this morning. That lead to seeing how many we could keep up at one time.
They have all different sizes and have made a balloon family. Notice the three small green balloon triplets in the middle. My sister Laura and I used to make water balloon families and play with them for hours. We eventually would have to bring out the tape for repairs when they would spring a leak.
After much practicing and a few tears this afternoon, Ethan can now tie a balloon. Look at the proud grin on his face!
Just to throw in a cute one of Aubrey. She looked like such a big girl today at church. This was a new outfit that she picked out because she really wanted the necklace. It is a little fuzzy because my lens kept fogging up this morning in this heat. Yes, that would be one of the baby balloons in her hand!

Ethan's Science Camp

Ethan spent the week with Nana and Papa and went to a science camp about space in the mornings close to their house. On Friday we all went to see his rocket launch that he worked on during the week.
Ethan with the class bottle rocket and his rocket. When I saw him coming down to the field carrying the bottle rocket I told Derek that I bet he was the teacher's favorite and that is why he got to carry the bottle rocket for the class. Sure enough, when we were leaving and thanking the teacher she confirmed my suspicion by saying, "he was my favorite student and he knew it." He is such a good kid and listens so well in a group setting. We are very blessed!
The class listening to safety instructions.
His teacher, Ms. Neutron pumping the bottle rocket up with air.
It really flew up in the air and was really neat to watch.
Ethan was chosen first to launch his rocket.
Putting the engine inside the rocket.
Ready to launch
Pushing the button and off it went! I did not get a picture of it in the air because it was hard to find with the camera, but it went really high and the parachute came out like it was supposed to. About half of them did not deploy the parachute correctly.
The rocket as it landed
A very proud boy with is certificate and rocket. It was SO hot out there on the field watching the rockets launch.
We were able to stop by and see my friend Leslie at her parents house and the kids got to meet her little guy Tyler. They liked to show him how all of his toys worked.

Here is video of the rocket launches. The weird noise in the background is the large sprinkler that was watering part of the field.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mini Chicken Parmesan

We enjoy watching Dinner Impossible on the Food Network. Recently one of the episodes had chicken nuggets as one of the items he had to use. Chef Robert made mini chicken parmesan and we thought that was really creative. We always have chicken nuggets in the house because Aubrey loves them, so tonight I gave it a try. They were surprisingly good and we decided they would make a great appetizer. They were also super easy to make, the hardest part was putting the cheese one each individual nugget.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day Vacation

The youth band was playing at church this weekend, so Derek did not have to be at church on Saturday night until 6, when church started (usually he gets there about 3) We decided to take advantage of it and headed to Orlando on Friday for a little day vacation. We used our points on our Disney credit card and got a room at the New Orleans French Quarter Resort. We got there early and swam until our room was ready. We packed a lunch (saving money) and played more in the pool. The kids love to stay at hotels and swim. We ate dinner and took the water taxi over to Downtown Disney. The kids went swimming again that evening. Derek also went in with them because they wanted him to. I opted out and enjoyed reading my book by the pool instead.
Derek showing the kids how long he could hold his breath.
The water slide. They liked the one at the other pool better because it was faster, but they went down this one again for me so that I could take a picture.

They played and played in the pool. Aubrey is very confident now with her floaties on.

We saw these Buzz toys last time we were in Downtown Disney. Aubrey commented on how fat he was and I believe that lead Derek to calling him Mr. Fattyhead. That stuck and was a running little joke in our family, so when we saw them again this time I had to get a picture with him.
Before we headed out for dinner, Derek wanted to take some pictures of the kids. Good thing I had brought coordinating outfits for them. Derek doctored them up and they turned out really good, but it was not painless by any means. The kids did not seem in the mood, which in turn frustrated the photographer. Aubrey had some sort of reaction to all the clorine and her poor eyes were all red, but Derek did some photoshop magic on them.

Saturday we decided to go to Sea World with our passes since we were in Orlando. It was really hot though, so we only stayed for a couple of hours.

Yesterday we met Nana and Papa in SC and Ethan went back to NC with them. He is attending a science camp in the mornings right by their house. It is a space one and he gets to build a rocket. Derek, Aubrey and I are heading up on Thursday to pick him up and see him launch his rocket on Friday. Never a dull moment around here! We talked to Ethan today and he liked his first day at camp. Aubrey wanted to talk to him and what does she ask him but "what did you have for dinner?" Huh, I guess she figures you get to eat what you want at Nana and Papa's. She did not like the roast that we had and decided that she would not eat tonight. I guess that was still fresh on her mind when she talked to him. Ethan said she sounds cute on the phone.