Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jelly Belly and Civil War

Yesterday we decided to take a day trip to Kenosha. They have a Civil War Museum and we also toured the Jelly Belly Factory.  What a great day!

The Jelly Belly Factory was a blast! We rode a train around learning how the jelly beans and other candies are made.  Then we got to sample any or all the jelly belly flavors there are.  Caleb even tried the Skunk Spray Jelly Belly.  He liked it! BLAH!  See video below.

It was cheap and fun entertainment. the tour is free.  You receive a bag of Jelly Bellies each for free. I gave each boy some spending cash to purchase a memento from our visit.  What they each bought was completely representative of each of their personalities. 

Caleb purchased the Been Boozled game.  This is a pack of Jelly Bellies that has the gross beans mixed with good tasting beans.  The are the same colors so you don;t know which is which.  It comes with a spinner and you play a game with the box.  You spin and whatever it lands on you have to find that bean.  You could get the blue bean.  It would either be toothpaste flavored or blue raspberry.  You might get the orange colored bean.  It could be peach or it could be barf!  Maybe you get the white bean.  It could be buttered popcorn or rotten egg!  John was a good sport and played the game with the boys.  It was hilarious.

David bought the best value for his money.  They have what they call belly flops.  These are candies that taste the same but either stuck together or weren't the right size.  He went for volume of candy for his dollar.
I can testify they were tasty.

Nathan bought a Christmas ornament.  He loves looking at pretty things and playing with trinkets.  I was amused at their purchase choices. 

After Jelly Belly we walked the shore of Lake Michigan.  The kids were amazed as a group of teens where jumping off the ledge into the lake. It was a mild weather day and we saw a number of sailing ships and other boaters.   It was a beautiful scene.

Last stop was the Civil War Museum,  They had a lot of  cool weapons, a Morse code machine and a train that was really outstanding.  The train had 8 different mannequins in each seat.  The boys could sit next to one of the "people" and it would begin to tell you their story.  This was really outstanding.

We did this whole day lunch included (but not gas for van) for less than $30.  Much better than taking them to the fair. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

John writing this time:
I was downstairs late the other night, working on something, and Nathan climbed into bed upstairs with Jenny. The thunderstorm must have woke him up.

When I finally went to bed, I climbed in next to him and spent several minutes just watching him sleep and running my hand through his crew-cut hair - something you can't do with a picture 14 years from now, and an opportunity that rarely comes up during waking hours.
We're coming to the end of his snuggle/sippycup years, and I'm really excited for him. He deserves to grow up like his big brothers and is already very mature for his age. It would be a disservice to keep him at this stage (as if we could). But I have to admit I'm a little sad at the same time.

The next morning, he got up and showed me his first loose tooth.

The timing was just weird.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

David and his arm

Today I got permission from David to post pictures of his broken arm.

So far he has had a gigantic blue cast for 4 weeks. This cast could not get wet and required a sling to hold in place.

Then David got a much smaller, red, fiberglass, waterproof cast.  This one he wore for 4 weeks.

Now today he was fitted for a splint.  This one is custom built for his arm and purple in color. He will have to wear the splint for 3-4 more weeks.

It has been a long road. David has taken it like a champ. So proud of his attitude. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Making Fun at the Preschool Years

This September my youngest turns 5.
That means soon, for the first time in 11 years, I will no longer have a preschooler.
As wonderful as snuggles and sippie cups are, they pale in compairson to having your child mature in front of your eyes.

I admit I miss the smell of a clean baby head washed in Johnson and Johnson baby wash. That smell is soooo wonderful. But that is why I volunteered for the church nursery! (So bring me your babies Sunday at 9:30 I am scheduled this week!)

In an effort to celebrate this upcoming monumental moment. I wanted to post a link to the most funny fake movie trailer ever! (Thanks Uncle Luke for sharing this)

This movie trailer spoofs Dora the Explorer. Clearly one of the most annoying kid shows ever made.(in my humble opinion if you disagree you may not want to click on the below link)

Blogger beware if you have a preschooler at home you will want to have on headphones or watch when they are in bed. Not because the language is bad (ok there is one line for sure I wouldn't want my kids repeating at church) but their little beautiful perception of Dora will get crushed if they saw it. If this movie had been made, it would have been PG 13. (and I would've gladly paid a ticket price for it. :)

Additional warning: the comments, as most youtube videos, are less then wholesome reading. So if you wish to share this with an older kid who would find the humor in it, beware of their ability to read those comments! Some are most cringe worthy.

Now in addition to the spoiler alerts I will tell you that I find it so funny that the people who made this fake trailer are in college! That means they must have known Dora the Explorer from their youth or have siblings with whom they have watched the show.

Why is Dora always screaming when she talks anyway?

Here it is:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Caleb plays Mickey Mouse March

Funny thing about this song.
Caleb did not know who Mickey Mouse really was/is.
So this tune made no sense to him nor was it nostalgic for me.
But none the less it was his assigned piano piece.

Sooooooooo - Here is Caleb playing "Mickey Mouse March" in synthesizer brass.

The dude never plays in regular piano except at his lesson. At first I thought we should buy him a "real" piano, but now I am convinced the whole reason he plays is because of all the cool tones. For now, I don't care. I just want him to continue to love to play and to learn how to read and play the music.

Here's the link:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Freedom Fest!

All three of our boys realize what independence is all about.

Nathan listened along as Caleb did the founding fathers history class this past school year.

So now we don't have to try and have them realize what it is all about. In fact, whenever the flag goes by in a parade Nathan stands and puts his hand on his heart without even thinking about it. It is so heartwarming to me.

To celebrate our great nation, we attended Freedom Fest with the Hionis family and went to Evansville's local parade. Which I must say is amazing. We still have many WWII veterans who march or are riding in convertibles. Nathan asked:" You mean they went to WWII and came back? Not dead? Oh!"

Freedom Fest has all types of carnival rides and fun activities for the boys.

But it was HOT. Like 98 degrees. WOW.

So wonderful to have David be 11 years old. He has his own phone so was able to move about the festival with a buddy and without mom and dad. This allowed mom and dad to take Caleb and Nathan to their favorite rides and balloon animals, etc.

After persevering thru the extreme heat, the sun set to the most wonderful bug free evening. Since it hasn't rained in a very long time, the grass was more like hay. Not enough moisture for the mosquito's. We stayed for the most spectacular fire works show. And again as the boys all get older, no kid of ours cried thru the loud booms. They all enjoyed the show. Being a mom of older children, rocks!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

More Lake Emily

Horray for waterproof casts! We returned to our beloved campground, but this time we were minus the thunderstorm and plus a waterproof cast. Oh yeah, much better!

The water was warm and so clean. I just love the water at Lake Emily. The lakes by us can't compare.

Since we went the week before the July 4th holiday, it was not crouded at all. We borrowed 2 military cots to sleep on this time. (Thank you Josh!) They are the BOMB! We normally blow up air mattresses but these things are so much better. We wouldn't be able to fit 5 of them in the big tent though, so for now we are keeping with the air mattresses.

I can see this camping thing being our yearly vacation. As the boys get older they do more of the work. Noone needs to be back at the site for naps anymore and they are all old enough to shower without freakin' out. So nice. We used to bring all kinds of toys too. But now they just play with sticks, play with the dog and swim. My favorite part is there is no tv, no video games and the gathering place is the fire ring.