Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jiggle Jiggle Jiggle Jiggle

Memorial Weekend was chock-full of fun.  You'll remember that Mark missed his flight to Whistler, British Columbia, which was sad for him but so refreshing for us. There's nothing we love more than family time, especially as we welcome in summer!
 We spent a morning at Powell Gardens to see their pirate and fairy forts.  The kids dressed for the occasion.
 Those kids' imaginations just got lost in these little gems scattered higgledy-piggledy in the greenhouse.

 Then we hit the trails to the life-size forts, like this camouflaged fort covered in mirrors.
Off to our favorite fort on Skeleton Island.
A pirate's dream...

Cap'n Gryffy was so into character. We were doubled over watching him swagger across the island with his arm lifted, an exact mimic of Jack Sparrow. 

The kids played in these tunnels like groundhogs.
 Doesn't the chapel look like something out of Lord of the Rings?
This fairy art fort was L's favorite. Go figure.

And after a very close encounter with a long black snake slithering straight toward me at high speed, in which I jumped five feet and did the funny dance, screaming all the way, we stumbled upon a storytime of, you guessed it, G's favorite pirate book.  He got a lot of attention :o)
 A fairy book came next, just for Lorelei.
 To keep with the theme, we made our own fairy garden at home with dirt, moss, and little trinkets.
 Lorelei put food into these tiny pots for the fairies.  They forgot to empty them (oops), and now L's beginning to question their existence.  When she asks me about it, I usually say, "Well, what do YOU think?" or, "I've never seen one myself, but they're sneaky little creatures, as legend goes..."  Ah, the childhood wonder is already giving way.
Still, they may leave their mark one Midsummer day and surprise us!  I just have a good feeling...

After Powell Gardens, the kids and I spent the night in Topeka with Grammy and Grammy Great.  We went swimming, then I took off to celebrate my aunt Jennie's 50th birthday.  My family is extremely rowdy and fun; it was a blast.  When I came back late at night, though, Grammy was rocking an inconsolable Gryffy.  He woke up and found that I wasn't there, and it shook him up.  I snuggled that boy and he calmed down, bless his sweet little heart.  
Then on Sunday, it was a morning at church followed up by the fifth annual Jiggle Jam! 
Thank you, KC Parent Magazine, for the tickets! We had a blast.
Just as the kids were dancing in the fountains, a surprise drum and horn ensemble showed up with a huge cart of barrels, and littered the place with make-shift drums and sticks.  It was like Stomp meets Flash Mob with kids.  Absolute magic!

 We went station to station and enjoyed crafts, bounce houses, bubbles and concerts.

And you can't go to Jiggle Jam without a funnel cake.  We snarfed it down in record time.
I think there's some added caloric chub in those cherubic cheeks.
Oh, summer, how we love you!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Little Red Hen

Our story this week is "Little Red Hen."
We made our hen out of a fuzzy red coin purse filled with rice.
There are several versions of the story, all with different animal characters. My favorite rendition is the story of the Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah, because it has the best ending: unlike most versions, the hen invites her unhelpful friends (dog, sheep and horse) to the feast, because the Hagaddah says that all are welcome to the Seder table. But guess who does the dishes: "Not I!" said the Little Red Hen.
 Here the kids are acting it out.  We also sampled some real matzah.  Lorelei asked for the grape juice that goes with it :o)
 Then we made bread for our kitchen station.  4 c. flour, 1 c. salt, 1 1/2 c. water. We put it in the mixer with the dough hook, et voila!

 The kids made pretzels, tarts, buns, rolls, croissants, and of course, matzah (with a meat hammer for the holes).  Oh yeah, and snakes.  Tons of snakes.  Then we baked it during the kids' quiet time.

 It was great fun!
 Our kitchen center.
 On another subject, this is what Gryffy and Daddy worked on all morning... his pirate lego fort.  He carries it all over the house and threw a fit when I told him it was story time (during QT in his room) when all he wanted to do was play pirates!

Passport Problems

This is where Mark was supposed to be this weekend...
Sadly, he took his expired Canadian passport to the airport. The kids and I rushed his American passport to the airport at 6am, and got there ten minutes before the flight took off, but they had already canceled his ticket.
That's what he gets for trying to go to Whistler without me.
Fortunately for us, we got Mark to ourselves all of Memorial Weekend. And so he got a master closet honey-do list.

 I've been begging my sweet hubsley to build something for my shoes. I gave him the specifications and the vision, and put the man to work. He put on his work boots and delivered:
 Can you hear the choirs of angels singing?  Ahhh...
 Thanks, Hubsley. We're so glad to have you home!