Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pretend Play & Crazy Faces

Lots and lots of figure playing in this house....

...and pirate dress-up...

...and Spiderman...

...and just Jared.

Steve was off the week after Christmas so we watched a new Star War movie for six days in a row. Jared had never seen them before, and,  let's just say he's now in love with all things Star Wars.

Jared methodically made playdough spaghetti out of all the red and blue playdough and arranged them into rows.

We can't go a day in the house without playing hide-and-seek. I don't know if it's an age 4 thing or what. Here's a picture of one of their more clever hiding spots, with the doors closed of course.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winter Games & Activities

This past winter has definitely been the winter of games. The kids are big into games now. Oh, we've played Candy Land, Memory and similar games before, but now it's the kids really asking on their own. Scooby Doo is very, very big in our house. Not a day goes by that we don't watch, read about or play with Scooby and the gang. This haunted mansion Scooby Doo game was a HUGE hit around here. The gang has to make it to the top of the mansion, but there are traps along the way.

On Christmas Eve the kids received a Smashed Potato Head Playdough game. I have to admit that I find it pretty fun, too. You have to make it around the board without getting either cut in half, turned into fries, rolled into a hamburger or chopped in two.

Besides Legos (which deserve a post of their own), Jared loves his Trio set next, especially one that also turns into a Batcave. He and Steve have spent hours playing with this set. He's hoping to get a Joker set for his birthday in a few weeks.

We've also really enjoyed Don't Wake the Daddy.

Of course, it's always fun to play good ole blocks with Daddy.

Alexa seems to go back and forth with wanting to play with her GeoSafari laptop. She really likes it when others play with her.

What she ALWAYS wants to do is look at globes. She loves to search for different countries on the computer, read about them, and then find them on the globe. I guess my love of all things travel is rubbing off on her!

I love the show Art Wolf's Travels to the Edge. It combines two passions of mine- travel and photography. Alexa really enjoys cameras, too. So, she and I really got into watching this show together this winter. One day she asked to take pictures of the screen to kind of emulate Art as he was taking pictures on screen. Here's one of her shots.

The kids have also spent quite some time with Alexa's GeoSafari Talking Microscope. It's a pretty cool toy for kids who like looking a small insects and spiders and taking quizzes on them.

What indoor winter activities have been big around your house this year?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Christmas Day

I had thought for sure this year the kids would be bouncing on our bed by 6:30 in the morning, but nope, we didn't start unwrapping presents til closer to 8:00. I know they didn't get to bed til close to 11:30 the night before, but still, it's Christmas morning!  I guess I shouldn't complain though. Most parents would be ecstatic to sleep in more.

I can't believe I'm including a picture of me first thing in the morning with no makeup, but there it is. Alexa took this of us, so I really wanted to remember that.

I had to buy them on Ebay, but I was finally able to find a complete set of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Jared. He asked for them forever. He was SOOOO thrilled.

Alexa's favorite present of the season was by far her kids pottery wheel. She had been wanting one, but almost all the ones I saw were at least $80 and that just couldn't happen. Then I saw this one for $25 at Michael's. At first I passed it up because I figured it'd be too cheap to work, but she and Steve had a blast with it. It worked perfectly for what she wanted out of it. You won't be making a real bowl or cup with this kit , but she just loved it.

These next set of pictures will be different because Steve bought me the camera I had been dreaming about!  It's a Canon T1i Rebel. I had been drooling over DSLRs for months but thought we'd never get one because they are really expensive (almost $700). But Steve surprised me for Christmas. I was bawling my eyes
out. We never, ever get presents like that for each other. I hope to learn more about photography and start posting pictures on the microstock sites to earn a little extra money.

We drove over to my sister's house early afternoon to celebrate with my parents, grandma, brother and sister's family. Jared loved his Batman mask and accessories.

Grandma?  I'm not too sure.

I think she had a better time opening presents with Alexa.

Uncle Andy brought lots of laughs with his new teeth.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pre-Christmas Celebrations

We had an awesome Christmas Eve this past year with everyone on Steve's side of the family meeting at his parent's house. The kids were so, so, so excited before we arrived to see all their cousins.

We have a tradition every year of lighting a candle a day the twelve days before Christmas. We usually read some part of the Luke version of the Christmas story and sing a few carols while we light one candle. I should have taken a better picture, but the candles are all places around a five-pointed star. We all did our "candle time" together on Christmas Eve.

Then it was presents! Jared was thrilled with his spinosaurus

...and also loved his puzzles, legos and games.

Alexa's favorite presents were painting kits, games....

....watching Jared open his Batmans Trio cave...

....and her absolute favorite....her GeoSafari Talking Microscope.

Jared ended the night on a high shooting nerf bullets with his cousin.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sledding Through the Woods

Ok. This time I really am going to get caught up on my posts!  I know I said that over a month ago, but I've been working on a big, big project, which I will share with you very soon. We're going on a three week vacation to Nevada and California, so I know there will be tons to share when I get back. So I'll post every other day until I get caught up.

Now to get you caught up on the past three months.....

We've had so much snow this winter! I'm usually a cold freak, as in I can't stand it, but with kids somehow it's different. They've really made me appreciate the art of bundling up and trudging through the snow.

A few weeks before Christmas we went to our favorite woods, and Steve pulled the kids through the snow. There was a tiny hill, but mostly he just had to use muscle power and pull on flat ground.

There was no one there that day. Actually, there usually arn't that many people when we visit the woods. It's wierd me even thinking this since I don't like the cold, but I've actually been thinking about visiting Antartica one day.  Does anyone else think this is a cool idea, or is it just me?

We saw some deer tracks in the woods and, right before we left, saw a family of three deer running through the woods. The kids were very excited.

We also ran across this bird's nest on a fallen tree limb. 

Does your family take regular winter walks?