Monday, June 26, 2006

Having Fun with Friends

Finally, after months of waiting, our CA friends have arrived. This morning we had a fun time together, along with the Lehman boys and Jonah.
The kids enjoyed water sports and running around the yard while the moms caught up with each other. After the others left, Jess stayed a little longer and Alice enjoyed playing dressup with E's collection.
Then Grayson and E spent the rest of the afternoon together. It is so neat to watch them,
they have a genuine affection for each other and play together very easily.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

little birdie

Yesterday as I was sitting at the computer I heard a thump against the sliding doors that leads to the back yard. At first I thought it was a ball thrown by one of the kids, but then realized they were all inside. I looked over, and saw a flurry of tiny down feathers floating to the ground. Afraid of what I'd find, I cautiously went to the door and looked out. Seeing nothing, I opened the door to further investigate. By now I was convinced that it was a bird, but was puzzled that it was not in sight. I took one last look around before turning to go back inside when I spotted it standing, mouth wide open next to my potted plants, a tufted titmouse. I quietly stepped closer and when he didn't move, I called to E and Grayson to come see. E was delighted that she could come that close to a bird, Grayson not so much. E asked if she could touch it. I wanted to see if his wing was hurt anyway, so I picked him up. He let me hold him, his mouth still wide open, but he did adjust his wings a little and they didn't seem to be hurt. I inspected him while E petted him, and Grayson watched from a safe distance. I didn't see any obvious injury, and even got him to clutch my forefinger. I could tell he was feeling better, as his mouth closed and he started to look around a little. All of a sudden with a hop and a flutter, he was off. He safely flew to a nearby pole where he collected himself before disappearing into the trees.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Preschool Graduation

E graduated from preschool a couple of weeks ago. Here are some pictures from the event.

E's graduation

E and Miss Kate
And here are two pictures from either end of the year:

First Day of School

Last Day of School

And of course N needed to have his picture taken after he saw me take E's.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

neighborly neighbors

I have always wanted to live in a "neighborly" neighborhood. You know, the kind that has social events like blockparties, Christmas parties, lumimnaries on Christmas Eve, etc. Our old neighborhood people pretty much kept to themselves and there wasn't much interaction.
Well, we have been so pleased with this neighborhood. The first weekend we moved in, three of our neighbors brought over a baked good and introduced themselves. Since then I have gone to a ladies Bunco night where I met about 16 of the women and had fun getting to know them. We also met a family that has children the same age and sex as ours. We have had 2 playdates with them, as well as being invited to a backyard picnic a couple of weeks ago. They are also part of the organic farm, and we will be going to pick up our shares together today.
This past Sunday was the block party. I had attended the plannning meeting and volunteered to do the face painting, as I figured that it would be a great way to meet a lot of the kids. Ed had a chance to meet some of the other men, E played with the kids, and N spent the whole time wandering around amusing himself with wagons, bikes, and watching the fire truck with great interest.

Face Painting

Fire Truck

Ring Pops

E in ambulance with her new friend, Kyra

Friday, June 2, 2006

a sweet getaway

We just returned from a family vacation/ 10th anniversary trip in Hershey. I know, not the most glamorous place to go for a 10th trip, but it actually was very nice (our actual anniversary isn't until July). We were in a large suite, complete with master bedroom/bath, kids bedroom/bath, living room, dining room, and full kitchen. N loved the chocolate trains that passed by our hotel several times a day, E loved the pools, and we loved the space.

We kind of planned our week so that we spent every other day either busy/quiet.

We visited Dutch Wonderland on Monday-- a perfect park for kids 10 and under. The rides were small which was perfect for our kids because they do not have a 'thrill seeking" bone in their bodies (wonder where they got that from?). There was also a great water section in the park with fountains, little slides, and water sprayers that were perfect for the hot afternoon hours.

Tuesday was a "quiet' day that included a tour of the "chocolate factory", a trolley tour of the town, and a disney-like 3D movie that wasn't completely appreciated by our non thrill-seeking kids. We then went back to the hotel for a swim in the afternoon. After dinner we went to Cocoa Castle, a great public playground very similar to Wall Park in Elkins Park.

On Wednesday we started out the day at Hershey Park. It opened at 10, and for the first hour or so the kids seemed to enjoy the rides, more or less. But there were crowds of school kids, it was hot and humid, and by 11:30 it was clear that they weren't enjoying themselves, and neither were we. So we decided to go back to the hotel for lunch, and naps all around. 5 hours later we returned to the park refreshed, and were happy to see almost all the buses pulling out, leaving the park relatively empty. E happily rode on all the kiddie rides, N unhappily rode with us on family rides, and Ed and I went on a couple of roller coasters. It was great being there in the evening- it was cooler, more relaxed, a much better time was had by all, and we stayed until closing. When we returned to the hotel E and Ed went for a special night time swim.

Since Thursday was a quiet day, we went to Hershey Gardens. It was beautiful, and very nice walk through the grounds. They had a great children's garden, with a butterfly house where we saw a butterfly that had just emerged from its chrysalllis. It was very hot though, so we didn't stay long. We went back to the hotel for lunch, and then while N napped I took E back to the pool. She loved swimming, and made two big break throughs this week. One, she actually held her breath, put her head under water, and looked around with her goggles on (last summer we had a huge pool side break-down, freak out when this was strongly suggested). She also jumped off the side, by herself, and swam to me. Granted, she had swim bubbles on her arms, but this was something I've been trying to get her to do the past 2 summers, so it was great that she finally took the plunge. Anyway, after N woke up, we all checked out the Hershey Outlets before dinner, and then went back to Cocoa Castle.

Then today we walked through the Hershey Zoo, and went on the factory tour one more time before driving home. All in all, this week was exactly what our family needed, especially since we have had so much time apart in the last few months.

Sorry, no pictures-- we realized we forgot our camera about a half an hour down the road from our house.