Thursday, June 30, 2011

Birthdays and Des Day

On Sunday we celebrated the birthdays of Kendal and Andrew's mom (Mary/Emmie). I am so blessed by both of these ladies. It was a wonderful evening. Most noteworthy was that Andrew's parents hired a neighbor girl to watch all of the kids in the basement for an hour while we ate dinner. It was amazing. All eight adults got to sit together and have normal, adult, dinner conversation!
After the party, Alli/Chris and Andrew/I did a kid swap. We took Desmond in exchange for Malia. All parties were very agreeable and all had a great time. Desmond had his first overnight at our house and slept like a champ.

Davey and I really enjoyed our time with Des. We explored the rocks outside, went on a walk and just played a lot. He is a really easy going, sweet, boy.

Meanwhile Malia was having a special day with Alli. Alli made a pick-your-own adventure kind of book for Malia so they ended up eating breakfast outside, making an "M" book, going on a bike ride to a park, and getting mini cupcakes.

I really appreciated Alli's initiative, intentionality and creativity in the swap. And I loved getting that special time with Des too, so really it was a win-win for me!

Fine Arts Camp

Last week Malia spent her mornings at our church's Fine Arts Camp. Their schedule included an opening worship/singing time, dance/movement, clay, music, and a craft project. She got to go with two of her good friends which was fun. And I got three hours to hang out with just Davey each day which was also fun.

Here are a few of Malia's creations from the week:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Geography Center

One thing I had on my garage sale shopping list for this summer was a globe. I ended up finding a globe and a few of old trunk/boxes a few weeks ago for $3.50. Here is what I got:

I thought the combined set could be a geography center of sorts. My idea is to put things that could help teach Malia about geography and the world in the boxes and then bring them out periodically to talk about.

So far we have talked about Earth being round and that it spins (I seriously felt like I was talking crazy trying to explain those things). I also pointed out some countries of interest; Malia asked where India was and I also showed her some of the countries that her friends were adopted from. I am amazed how much a globe, by itself, has to teach because we can talk about the oceans, continents, countries, gravity, etc.

I also picked up a puzzle map of the United States so we have started talking about states and I know I have some coins from other countries stored somewhere in our house. Any ideas of what I could put in my boxes to explore?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Paint Bag Drawing

Last weekend, Malia did paint bag drawing - I saw the idea here. All you do is take a big ziploc bag, squeeze some paint in it, seal it and you have a fun, cheap, new tool to help with drawing/writing.

When I first gave it to Malia, I did not explain it to her (you can see by bed head and pjs that she did this first thing after she got up one morning!). It was fun to watch her explore it in her own way.

It did not take her long to realize she could draw on it.

She did a lot of lines, circles and then to my surprise to wrote an "r" and then and "H" and then an "m". I think I could have cried because it is really the first time she has written letters (I know, I am such a dork).

Her "m".

Note: Malia made a couple of little holes in the bag with her finger nail... I was able to just put a little tape over the holes but I just wanted to warn anyone who might make one to be on the watch for them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Washing Cars

Another activity Malia and I did over the weekend (with a little help from Sadie) was to wash all of the "kids cars" and our big car. I gave each of the girls a spray bottle, a sponge and a bucket of water and thought they would be entertained for hours. Turns out I was wrong. They washed for a little bit but then lost interest.

They did entertain themselves outside with other things long enough for me to wash everything down which was so good (and long overdue). Most of our ride-on toys (and we have a few, because I think they are great and so do my girls) are from garage sales and garage sale toys don't always come that clean. With a little wash though, they actually all look much better.

Which now brings me to introducing our new (used) big car. About 4 weeks ago, Andrew and I traded in our Honda Civic for a Honda Odyssey. It was on our list of things to do this summer and on our first night of shopping, we bought. We love it. Malia even does a "Minivan, minivan" chant and has named it "Boo". We are still getting used to filling up the tank (ouch), but we love the extra room and the ability to drive around friends.

It's funny because as a teenager I would have thought driving a minivan was the most horrible thing... now that I am almost 30, I think it is pretty cool! Here's Boo...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Painting Rocks

On Friday, we had a marathon play date with our friends. It started at 11:30 a.m. with lunch and ended at 8 p.m. when I realized I had better get Malia home and in bed!

We spent some of the afternoon painting rocks (because we live in a high desert almost half of our of yard is rock). Malia and I had done this last year and I really enjoyed it (she might have too).

Here are a few of our rocks from last year that have a home on our front porch.

The girls painting. So fun to watch how they each did it differently.

Malia hard at work.

Natalee (almost 6) painted these... I was really impressed.

And here is what I was working on - a rock alphabet. I saw the idea here, and thought it would be fun to have these around as Malia is starting to spell more and Davey is starting to learn her abc's.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Spy Sheets

Andrew's cousin is getting married on Sunday. Until earlier this week, he was going to be the only member of our family attending. But then it clicked with him that he could take Davey (she still flies free) and so he did.

In preparation for their trip, Malia and I made some I Spy Sheets for Davey (who loves to find things in books right now). We used a combination of magazine clippings and stickers. It was such a fun activity to do together.
Malia hard at work.

The final products. We both ended up making two sheets, so I put them back to back and laminated them to make them more durable for travel. (This is the first time my lamination machine wrinkled the page (argh!) but at least it was mine not Malia's.)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Berry Picking

Some friends of ours invited us to go berry picking this week.

We had 2 1/2 acres of strawberries to pick from...

Malia picking...

Davey eating...

Our friends...
It was a picturesque setting with the Rockies as our background.

Davey still eating...
She was ravenous for the strawberries. I am pretty sure she ate a lot of stems in the process because she did not want me to touch her strawberries to pull them off!

The farm we went to also had a few animals including a pig which both of the girls loved petting.

And now for my favorite picture of the day. This is Malia hiding in a tree (for hide and seek), Davey walking over to give her a hug and Malia whining because she does not want a hug. Classic.


Malia's favorite color is pink. It's not just her favorite color though, it is much more. She always wants to wear pink, play with the pink ball, drink out of the pink cup, etc.

Her love for pink has been influencing Davey, who can now identify one color from the rest... you guessed it, pink! Last night, Davey finished eating before the rest of us, so she got down to play. She came back to the table a few minutes later with bucket full of buttons. Here is a picture of what she did:

She dumped out the bucket of big buttons and only put the pink ones back in it! I was so tickled by this and surprised at her sorting skills. I think this is just the beginning of things that Davey loves/learns thanks to Malia.

Note: The first color that Malia was able to identify correctly was blue so maybe Davey won't love pink forever.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

3 1/2 and Ice Treasures

We celebrated Malia's half birthday over the weekend - it's hard for me to believe that she is 3 1/2 now. We had a fun day full of new games, a trip to the pool and ice excavation.

We still had cupcake pops leftover so that was our special dessert.

I think I first saw the idea of hunting for treasures in ice here. Our ice had some farm animals, marbles and jewels in it (frozen in layers). The squirt bottle was the most effective tool to melting the ice. It was a lot of fun... I already have some dinosaurs and rocks in my freezer for next time!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pajamas, Bikes and Moss

We had one of those days last week when it was going on 1 p.m. and the girls were still in their pajamas. This of course did not stop them from wanting to go outside to ride bikes and play with moss. Loving these summer days.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

First Rockies Game

On Thursday night, Andrew, Malia and I ventured downtown to Coor's Field for Malia's first Rockies game. We went with one of Malia's friends, "K" and her family.

Malia loved the evening. I do not think she is much of a baseball fan but she was a fan of getting her parents to herself, hanging out with a friend, junk food, staying up late, clapping, dancing, etc.

When we were leaving the game she asked me "Why did all of these people come to the game with K and I?"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Cake pops and chasing dogs

My neighbor has a cupcake business out of her house (yummy). She decided to add cake pops to her menu recently. Long story short, she made them the other night our family went over to test taste and photograph them for her. It was a fun night. Here are a few of the pictures I took.

Maybe the funniest part of the night was Davey chasing after their two small dogs. Until this past weekend, she had a strong phobia of dogs. Now she cannot get enough of them. She was running after them yelling "I got you. I got you." over and over. It was so funny.

Double waters for Davey after running around and eating cake pop.

And here is Sweet Malia going down the slide.