Saturday, July 31, 2010

We were at another person's house, when Lorelei asked permission to go look at the fish one last time before we left. "Five seconds," I told her, and gave her ten. I called her to go, and she came running. Then, midway to the door, Lorelei said, "But I forgot to put it back in the water!" I thought I had saved that poor guppy in the nick of time, but then found out it had died!  R.I.P. little guppy.  Note to self: Teach kids not to pet fish.
Ironically, Lorelei also went fishing with Daddy today and caught her biggest, 8 inch fish.  It was already dead when she caught it in her net.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My August Article in KC Parent Magazine

My latest KC Parent article is out this month, called "Historical Addiction--Making History Come Alive for Kids." In it, I interview a holocaust survivor, Sonia Warshawski, about why history is so important. Some of the highlighted ideas:

-Dig into your family roots to understand your own history
-Connect with your faith and its role in history
-Pick one historical theme, and study it through games, projects, books, and movies
-Take a family field trip to a historical site or festival
-Seek out primary sources (don't forget to interview grandparents!)

You can find the full article on the KC Parent website HERE.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Choo-Choo Train

The kids have been a little train obsessed lately.  So this morning, on a whim, we took a drive to Baldwin City to catch their 10:30 train to Nowhere.  Yes, there's a real place with a sign labeled Nowhere midway through the one hour ride.  We made it onto the train in the nick of time!
All aboard! (Or, as Lorelei used to say, "All Daboard!")
It was hot on this train, but cooled off when we set off. 
Notice the pink cheeks? The kids look like lobsters!
We took our Thomas the Train books and read every one!
The engine hooking up to the train for the second
leg of our trip back to Baldwin City.
Gryffin at the station. He loved our train day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wild Over Watermelon

The kids had fun in the yard today stuffing their faces in their favorite fruit--a wedge of watermelon.

Family Dive In

Our favorite tradition at the gym is movie night in the pool. They moved it indoors this year because of the rain, but even inside it was Cloudy... With a Chance of Meatballs.

Thomas the Train Table

Our Thomas the Train Table was always a train wreck!  So when Grammy surprised the kids with a "Racing Down the Rails" Train Set, Mommy got out the nail gun and put the tracks in their place... permanently.
BEFORE: The train wreck.
Grammy's back from Toys 'R Us.  Kids are S-P-O-I-L-E-D.
AFTER: Fully loaded & steaming hot!

We're diggin' summer!

These lazy summer days are whizzing by... almost as fast as Lorelei and Gryffy. (They're practicing for Alice's Tea Party.) 
Here's Lorelei on the Merry-Go-Round.  She picked the panda.
The kids are helping Mommy with crafts for an apple article, making an apple stamp family tree.  They don't fall far from the tree, do they?
Our church playgroup met at T-Rex Cafe. Gryffy's cousin Kai came along. They're diggin' dino bones in the Paleo Zone.
Dinosaurs, Unearthed, at Union Station. Gryffy's not so happy with Daddy right now...
Dinosaurs don't scare Lorelei! (But that bossy girl in blue sure gave her a lecture for petting a dino. Poor Lorelei.)
Swimming in the neighborhood pool.  The kids love their water wings, and have become more confident after a month of swim lessons at the gym.
We love our new swingset. Especially with our alligator pool.
It's beach day at Music with Mar.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Our Fourth of July...
We spent the eve of Independence Day partying with cousin Stephanie and her new fiance, Chris, while Grammy babysat. They spent the night at our home.
Here we are at Howl At the Moon in Kansas City's thrilling Power and Light District. Arrrrrooooooooooo!!! WILD TIMES!
Announcing the engagement.
We spent July 4 morning at Heartland Church, and on our way to Topeka (through Lawrence), brought the kids to see the church in which we were married, Corpus Christi. Mass had just let out.
Gryffy doesn't sit still for pictures.
Pew partners.
Gryffy thought the baptismal was the hot tub at the gym.
Lorelei sat down, pulled out the missal, and began singing--it was cute! She must have recognized the music notes from our piano and from violin lessons.
On our way to the family reunion in Topeka, we stopped by the house where my dad, Grandpa John, grew up.  The home sits directly across the street from the governor's mansion on a large property dotted with plants and flowers. I can still picture Grandma Helen taking me through Grandpa Buster's garden.
At the shelter house at Crestview Park.
I put an extra flourish in Lorelei's hair for the Fourth. Today we nicknamed our little starlet "Sparkles."
Our family matriarchs, Grammy Marilyn and her sister, Auntie Jean.
Gryffindor and Grammy--he was all smiles for the camera today!
Lady LaLa in the fashion show of old family clothes and bridesmaid dresses.

Look at those fabulous Luksa cousins, Lorelei and Lindsy.
Gryffy and Daddy--look at all those curls!
Merry-Go-Round Madness!
We hit Party on the Hill in Overland Park for fireworks this year and the kids saw a helicopter! They were so excited, which was a good thing... the fireworks weren't exactly a blast. It was storming, so there were lots of squibs. Still, we were happy they began the lights an hour early, and the kids loved the rain! When we got home, to make up for the spotty performance, we put on the Boston Pops and sang and danced to the music. I also set fire to a piece of raisin toast in the kitchen--our own special effects!
Overall, I feel very grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in America, and want to instill this gratitude in the hearts of my kids. God bless America, the country my ancestors entered on the Mayflower, fought for in the Revolution, and have risked their lives to preserve to our generation. Land of the free. Home of the brave.