Monday, June 18, 2012

Backyard Camp-out

Because my week of vacation was coming to an end, we thought we'd have a climactic finish by having a sleepover in the backyard.  We set up the test, brought out the sleeping bags, and began our fun.  It was late in the evening so we didn't have a lot of time to do much, but a camp-out is never complete without shadow puppets.  We played with this for a short time, then moved onto books.  My kids love to read books.  Well, read is probably an advanced word for them - they like to look at books.  Looking at books is always more fun with a flashlight in a sleeping bag in the backyard.

Kodi has been a girly-girl for a while now, but we've never been able to get her to play with dolls.  She just doesn't like them.  This weekend, however, she loved a little doll that Carol gave to her.  She kept cuddling with it.  I have to admit, it was absolutely adorable!  Even Leroy tried to join in the fun.  He looked for a comfy spot to lie down and cuddle, but he ended up not sticking around.  The kids moved around way too much.

While I'll admit I didn't get much sleep, I love opportunities like this.  Any time I can do something fun with my family I'm excited. Yes, there is sacrifice of sleep and of time to put it all up and put it away, but aren't memories so much more important than a little inconvenience.  I'm so grateful for the memories!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Zoo

We try to go to the zoo once a year, but we don't always make it.  This year we bought a membership, so we need to go a lot more. We were really excited about the zoo's new Rocky Shores exhibit.  It had a polar bear, grizzlies, sea lions, seals, bald eagles, and so many cool things.  The kids loved going to see all the animals.  Kodi seems to have an affinity for the animals in water.  She loved watching the polar bear and the seals.  Kyson's favorite part was the train.  He was asking us the entire time we were there when we'd go ride the train.

We saw a bird show, but missed the elephant show.  One of the trainers was holding a falcon and let us take a picture with him.  Kodi wanted to pet it - I'm glad he stopped her.  The kids got restless during the bird show, but a carousel is a quick way to get them excited again.  I was surprised, because they even enjoyed eating lunch.  Everything was so great. Of course, by the end of the day we were tired, and ready to go home.  I'm excited to go again, and we want to go when it's cold to see how the cats are in the Asian Highlands.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Princess Festival

I found out about the Princess Festival when a friend posted something about it on Facebook.  I thought I'd look into it a little bit.  I found out the dates, the cost, the location, and that there were princesses.  Because Kodi is on a major princess kick, I thought it would be fun to take her there.  We arrived just after 10 and I thought 1 would be a good time to leave.  That would give her 3 hours at the festival and we'd be home in time for her nap.  Unfortunately, my plan wasn't her plan.

For nearly three hours I went from princess to princess trying to get her pose with them to get pictures.  I just took the pictures anyway, but she was usually crying or frowning, or something like that.  She would get mad when people would look at her and all day she wanted to play on a piece of playground equipment.  That wasn't really what I wanted to spend $15 on.
Just after lunch, we went back into the center of the festival and the 12 dancing princesses were playing with hula hoops on a grassy area.  She started playing with them and not acting totally repulsed by the attention they gave her.  Shortly after, the princesses were due for a performance, so we decided to go see them perform.  At the beginning, they grabbed all the little girls to go up with them and they taught the girls a dance that they would perform in the middle of their story.  Kodi wouldn't go up.  When the time came that they wanted the girls in the crowd to go up and dance with them, Kodi went out and loved it.  After their performance, Kodi was giving them hugs and the curse was broken.  The dancing princesses were so patient with Kodi, and it really turned her around.

After that, we had to go back and find all the princesses again and get pictures with them.  It was sad that it took her 3 hours to warm up, but it was worth it.

After reading the program, I found out what the Princess Festival is about.  It was started a few years ago by a couple, who wanted to find a way to fund their charity work in Kenya.  A large portion of the funds have been used to feed the hungry, supply schools with books, build dams, provide scholarships for the poor and bring medical teams to the impoverished.  At the festival you can also tie quilts for Primary Children's Hospital, and write letters to the troops serving over seas.  At first I thought $15 was pretty steep, but then when I learned more about it, I'm grateful I went and I will probably do this every year.  I'm grateful there are people who can bring happiness to little girls, and help the less fortunate at the same time.

Ariel and Tiana

The 12 Dancing Princesses

Cinderella and Bell

Blowing bubbles with Tinkerbell

Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, and Peter Pan