Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Late February Brought an Early Spring!

We love to run to Patricia Allyn Park whenever we feel like getting out to a playground.  Owen has started bringing his little scooter and is getting much better at it.

 Owen went to Grandma and Poppy's house to watch/help tree trimmers cut down three ash trees.  Owen had no problem explaining to the guys where/how to cut the trees to get them to fall in precisely the right spots.  He was super excited when they showed him some action figures that were stuck in one of the trees from around 30 years ago. (Mr. T era)  He got to keep them :)
 We have been begun our yearly cleanup in the woods.  The kids love finding Pill Bugs, worms, slugs, centipedes, spider egg sacs, etc under dead and decomposing logs.  They call each other over when they find them, carefully observe and sometimes take them to a new home.  Owen is getting better at creating habitats for them so they survive!  

 The kids got a Gator Ride On toy with Christmas and birthday money we had saved up.  It has been a favorite this winter/spring.  The biggest reason Owen wanted it was so he could contribute around the yard and have something of his own to do real work with.  He goes out in the morning and patrols the yard for trash, splashes through puddles, picks up sticks, takes Eva and Ian for rides and gets the mail each day.  
 Monty and Mayo are getting older these days.  Mayo is having trouble hearing and Monty has more trouble getting up steps and moving.  They are just about 14 years old now!  Ian really loves petting and sitting with them.  It is a sweet sight!
The kids and I did a little clay work, but it proved to be a little difficult for the little hands.  We are going to try some softer clay- like the oven bake kind for our next project.  Owen tried a pinch pot while watching a video about how to do it.  It takes a lot of finger strength to do the pinching, so I ended up finishing it for him.
 We hike through our woods almost daily and it is fun to see the new things the kids notice each day.  Ian especially likes soft patches of moss and thinks they make good pillows.  We have a giant Beech tree with old carvings in it that we think is pretty cool to look at.  One day we noticed a bunch of woodpecker holes in a Maple tree with sap seeping out and that led to some discussion about how Maple syrup is made.  We did some Google research about tapping a tree and decided to try and see how it went.  We ended up getting about 16 oz. of sap, but never ended up boiling it down... I read it is about a 32 to 1 ratio, so we would have ended up with roughly a half an ounce of syrup.  We are going to make some modifications next spring and hope for better results!  Such a fun learning experience!

Eva loves to swing!
 The kids love getting the bouncy house out on nice days. 


Ian really gets a kick out of seeing himself on my camera.  He loves to make silly faces and laugh hysterically when we take selfies!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fun Times of Early February

Grandma and I took the kids to see the Storks movie this winter.  Later that week the kids decided to draw a bunch of babies for the storks to deliver and stick them to the fish tank. 
 I bought a Marble Run for the kids to explore on the cold winter days.  Owen loved building different set ups and seeing how it changed the outcome and trying to put 50 marbles in at once and see if he could jam the system! Ian seemed mesmerized by the marbles as they flowed through the maze and also loved tearing it down.  
 Eva decided she wanted to learn to use the glue gun herself and watched Owen to figure it out, now she does it on her own and has been known to use a ton of glue :)  
 Our giant cardboard box collection has gotten some serious play this past year.  We currently have a castle for marshmallow cannon fights (best times ever according to Owen), a restaurant/drive thru window, a house to watch shows and eat lunch in (max capacity is two) and a store that sells gold and other random items.  

  The kids like to help out around the house, in the yard and with meal prep.  Sometimes they fight over who gets to do what!  

 We had some warm days this month, so we took the 'potion' making outside since it gets a little messy!  They made muffins that baked in the sun!
 Poppy and Owen made a cork sign for Eva to paint and decorate.  Owen loves reusing objects and keeps every single item he feels he has another purpose for.

The kids collected pinecones at Grandma and Papa's house and Owen posed for this picture as a serious man shaving his face.  He thought that was so funny!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday to Eva!

Eva had a great 4th birthday!  She did all of her favorite things- baking, coloring, crafting, playing and watching My Little Pony, hanging out with her brothers and building her first, very own LEGO set!!! Some things to know about Eva- She loves waffles, pasta, hot chocolate and cinnamon toast (and won't really veer from this menu). She knows exactly how she wants things and will tell you.  She loves to color and is doing amazingly well at staying in the lines, even with really detailed pictures.  She loves to make cookies, cakes, muffins and breads (and eat a ton of the batter and dough!).  She is very silly and dances crazy to make me laugh.  She could spend days wrapping presents around the house and having people open them just to make them happy.  Eva is a sweet soul and has a beautiful heart!  We love you Eva Marie!