Friday, July 31, 2009

Storybook Playhouse

I am trying to catch up with my camera! An arboretum nearby is hosting a great event for kids in the garden. We went to the Storybook Playhouse exhibit with Jerry's parents at the beginning of June...back when the heat was still bearable.

Lily was in heaven getting to explore all the little houses scattered all over the arboretum.

Oh how I wanted a picture of Lily and Jade on this bench with the butterfly backdrop. They were less than enthused.

Come on mom, don't you see all there is to explore? City Green was first. Knock, knock.

Hmm...guess nobody is there.

Off to The Owl and the Pussy Cat. They had little synopsis boards at each play house. I though, being the nerd mom that I am, had checked out as many as the featured stories that I could find. You know, every kid wants to be prepared for their garden adventure.

That "pea green boat" held her attention for about 2.5 seconds...or until she spotted the Treasure Island house...complete with a sand filled boat and fun little door.

By that time though, Jade was already enthralled with One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish.

Lily wasn't too interested in the fish, partly because she had spotted Alice in Wonderland.

I didn't think they'd ever tire of the maze or all of the little doors there were to climb through.

They would have been content to play there for hours. Then I announced that I had spied Captain Hook's Pirate to Peter Pan we went.

While Lily's imagination was running full force, Jade had spotted the staircase of Eragon.

Although Lily was mesmerized by the reading of Thumbelina and James and the Giant Peach, their houses didn't measure up in her eyes.

The eye of the photographer disagreed.

It was time for lunch by then anyway. Memmy and Paw did not disappoint either. They had brought all sorts of goodies in the cooler.

The exhibit is open until the end of the year...we hope to head back soon...Memmy, are you game for the picnic again?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fireflies vs. Lightning Bugs

My uncle offered for us to sit on the second row with the family during the wedding. I contemplated how long my bag of tricks for the girls might last.

Then I saw the church and knew we'd be taking a last row seat. I knew with one look, it would have gorgeous, yet loud and echoey hard wood floors.

So, there we sat on the last row. We had a great view of everyone coming in and out.

The girls did great...until Jade got a little chatty. It was then that I realized we were sitting right next to the video camera. Although I was positive they'd just love all of Jade's commentary on their wedding video, Jerry decided to take her out.

The reception was perfect. Lots of wide open space to run in. It was held at the old family farm where my aunt and uncle now live. Ironically it was the same location as my parent's wedding reception 37 years ago.

But back to the wide open space...the kids were free to roam which meant the parents were free to relax.

Until I felt the need to take some pictures:

My family must not trust one least when it comes to photo sharing. It's a shame that in this digital age, poor Jerry had to take shots with 3 or 4 cameras each time.

There were even a few pigs in the barn to look at.

And then when the sun went down, there was a whole new form of entertainment.


The girls had never seen them. Where have they gone? We used to have a ton of them when I was young here in Texas. Anyways, I have never seen Lily so excited about a bug in her whole life. She kept coming back into the tent to remind me that there were lightning bugs outside.

What a great form of entertainment for the little ones.

Until they argued all the way back to the hotel about whether they were called fireflies or lightning bugs.

3 Cousins and an Old Red Barn

I don't know if it was all the child labor we enforced making them carry their own luggage or what, but our kiddos were tired when we arrived in Michigan. They found a couple of benches and stretched out while we waited on the rental.
Traveling really makes you throw all germ caution to the wind.

Oh, and I can't forget to document Lily and Avery holding hands in the airport shuttle. Those two are either all sweet or all sour.

Finally, we got the van and strapped them in for yet another hour long drive to freshen up at the hotel.

Then we were treated to an amazing rehearsal dinner where I was worried the whole time that they weren't being quiet enough.

Those environments with kids in tow really stress me out. Thankfully good wine was flowing freely. Hopefully it was drowning out the noise for the other guests too.

The next day they got to run freely at my grandparents farm.

More sweetness.

Wide open does us good.

Until mama wants some pictures. They obliged for a while though.

One smell of this barn took me back to being 8 years old when my grandparents raised pigs. So many memories.

The only offending smell that day was my baby's diaper. It looks like she was wriggling it out in the above pictures.

When vacation is over I don't have any more excuses for putting off the training. May vacation last forever...

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Grandma, an Uncle, Two Aunts, Three Cousins and Their Luggage.

Just a few things I learned this weekend as we journeyed to Michigan.

Having to put a sweater on your two year old at the end of July is a good problem.

Everything is bigger in Texas except the mosquitoes. Good Lord! I'm digging the new "Cooling Clean" scent of Cutter mosquito repellent...minty and fresh.

Now to the luggage...I had in mind that checking a bag was $ is actually only $15. Oh how we would have packed differently. And...checking carseats is free. We did that on the way back. And then I learned something else new...Jade will not sit in an airplane seat. Wish I could have gotten my carseat back.

The amount of luggage is embarrassing considering we were there less than 48 hours.

The girls were excellent travelers. They've flown several times, but this is the first time we made them keep up with their own luggage. Jade loved her Dora "pack-pack"...she rolled that thing everywhere...including breakfast each morning, the wedding itself, and every event in between.

Lily was equally as good at keeping up with her backpack and suitcase. Just not quite as excited about the idea as Jade.

We were thankful to be able to land last night before some storms hit. They closed the airport though before our luggage made it off the plane. Lightening on the tarmac was to blame.
We waited and waited and waited at the baggage claim to retrieve our carseats, etc.

Jade entertained the crowd by pushing around her "piglet" (snagged from her great-grandma's house) on the luggage cart.

The flight may have been a little too much for him...I'm not sure pigs sleep on their back unless they're dead.

An hour and a half later the carousels started turning and we made our exit. It was about that time that I wished it had been $50 to check the silly bags...we could have been home, fed and in bed by that point.
My husband reminded me we could have been stranded on the airplane that entire time too.
Perspective...that's why I married that guy.
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