Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Day the Circus Came to Town

The county program that Emmaline is involved in gave us free tickets to the circus, so we went this afternoon. It was the first time that the kids had been and they had so much fun. They saw frisbee-catching dogs, high-wire acts, clowns, and more.

The boys: Daddy and Jacob

The girls: Gabrielle, Emmaline, and Mommy

The Tiger Act

The dancing elephants were Ellie's favorite part.

At intermission, Nathan took the kids for a restroom break. He was supposed to buy cotton candy and came back with that, plus snow cones! Jacob enjoyed his blue one.

Ellie liked her red one and didn't hardly watch the rest of the circus because she was so busy eating her snow cone.

I had a great time!

Vote for Us!

Our bag is also on the Kroger website. We're in the running for a $500 gift card and our bag could be sold in stores. You can vote once a day for us there, so head back daily until the contest ends. Click here to vote for us.

I'm a finalist!

My canvas bag design is a finalist in a contest at Mommin' It Up. Please go vote for JEN so we can win. The bag is pictured below. The contest ends Sunday night, so click here to vote now!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Newport Aquarium

Jacob was working toward a goal and reached it this week, so he decided that he wanted to go to the Newport Aquarium for his treat. Since Katie works just across the river in Cincinnati, she took a half day off work to meet us. We had our traditional lunch at Dewey's Pizza and then headed to see the fish. Bob Evan's happened to have coupons for free kids admission (with adult ticket purchase), so we only had to pay for Nathan and myself (a $24 savings!).

Ellie watches them make pizzas at Dewey's

Family Photo

Jacob touches a sea star

Ellie does too

Jacob and an alligator snapping turtle...he is really excited that our children's museum will have one visiting for a week this summer.

When my sister picked up Ellie so she could see over the railing, Ellie said (rather loudly), "Aunt Katie, don't throw me in!"

Aunt Katie and Emmaline watch a shark ray. One of the highlights of our visit was getting to watch the scuba divers feed the shark rays, Scooter and Sweet Pea.

Jacob pets a shark

Enjoying ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery

The kids and their balloons
In the neighborhood that my sister lives in, the stores stay open late on the last Friday of every month. We went to a neat kids bookstore, the Blue Manatee, and the kids got balloons made from a girl on stilts. A great finish to a fun day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sun Watch Indian Village

Today we took the kids to Sun Watch Indian Village near our house. We could get in free with our children's museum membership and figured it would be good to enjoy the nice weather before the rain came. Amazingly, I've never been there even though I've lived here my entire life. The place was empty, so we got lots of personal attention while we were there. First, we watched a short kids' video that explained the history of the village. Then, we walked around the small museum to see models and artifacts found at the site. Next ,we headed outside to see the village. The Fort Ancient Indians lived here for approximately 15 years and then headed someplace else, probably because they had used up all of the resources here. Although it was pretty hot (it's not supposed to be 80 degrees in April!), it was neat to get a glimpse of how these prehistoric (before written history) people lived.

A look at the village
This tall post acted as a calendar and helped the Indians know the best times to plant their crops.

Ellie and Jacob by a fire pit. Every hut had a fireplace in the middle that was used for cooking and heat.

The kids and me

A model of what the village might have looked like

Although flowering trees are killing Nathan's allergies right now, we both agreed that this one was really pretty.

The kids and Nathan by one of the huts

Emmaline was happy to hang out in the stroller...she even took a nap!

Monday, April 21, 2008

On the Move

Emmaline is 14-months old today! I've been working on her skills booklet (keeps track of her progress for the county program we're involved in) and was thrilled to see that she's on target in most areas and not too far behind in the rest. She has now started crawling, and although it's only a few feet at a time, she is into everything. We've decided that her superhero name is "Destructo". Hope you enjoy the following milestone:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Teddy Bear Picnic

The IAH Club (3rd-5th graders) at church sponsored a "Teddy Bear Picnic" for the younger kids today. They got to bring their favorite stuffed animal with them (Jacob chose his ninja turtle and Ellie chose her baby pooh bear) while they played games, watched a puppet show, made a craft, and had a snack. Jacob and Ellie had lots of fun!

Jacob (far left in back) and his friends

Gabrielle (far left in back) and her friends

Jacob throws the football through the hoop

Gabrielle plays "Duck, Duck, Goose"

Jacob made an Indian headband
Gabrielle chose to be a princess

This picture is quite momentous. Until today, Ellie would get to the door of a bounce house and then refuse to go in. Today, she actually went IN and had a blast!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Aunt Katie comes to Visit

When my sister, Katie, first moved to Cincinnati in 2003, she would come home every weekend to visit. Now that several years have passed, she's settled into her life down there and we usually only see her once or twice a month. She came home today (to see the kids and do laundry!), so we headed to my parents' house to visit. I love going to my parents' house to eat. We decided to have a late breakfast there and Mom went all out: homemade buckwheat pancakes with homemade syrup, fresh fruit, bacon, and was so yummy! I told Mom that the kids would get spoiled there because we only use sugar-free syrup and turkey bacon at our house.

Jacob and Ellie loved their pancakes and fresh blackberries

Emmaline puts her feet up

After breakfast, we walked to a neighborhood park (to work off some of those calories!). There was lots of fun stuff for the kids to do and the adults (Mom, Katie, and I) found things to play on as well.

A beautiful tree...I don't think it would have looked nearly as pretty with its leaves.

This thing was really cool. You turned the handle and it moved the platform along its track

Jacob and Aunt Katie on the see-saw

Mom and Gabrielle on the opposite side

Me on the monkey bars...this was the point when I realized how out of shape I am!

Katie brushes up on her kung-fu skills

On the tire swing...I was trying to take this picture so that the chain wasn't over anyone's face. Forgetting that 5-year-olds are very literal, I told Jacob to look through the chain. He did exactly that and was peeking through the links of the chain at the camera. Silly boy! This was taken after I clarified what I wanted him to do.

Emmaline loved the top and bottom of the slides.

She didn't like the middle so much!

A view of downtown from the park

Mommy and her kiddos...can you tell the wind picked up towards the end?
After we walked home, we enjoyed lunch and then watched "Princess Bride" while munching on popcorn. What a great day we had!

Curled up on the couch

Relaxing with Papaw