Saturday, September 26, 2009

Our Weekend Vacation

Last week I made a mention of the trip we took to Westport to visit Mark's aunt and uncle at their condo on the beach. Here are a 1/4 of the 60 pictures I took. It's really hard to narrow down the ones that I like the most. I think that's why I procrastinated so much in posting them this week!

I really love this picture! I wish it turned out a little better. If any Photoshop experts reading my blog think they can tackle this one, I'd be really grateful!

Jayden loved the beach. He was a little timid around the ocean waves, though.

If you squint really hard, you might be able to see the mermaid tail that we made for Kyrie!

The kids love playing in the sand!

This telescope was free! Usually these kinds of telescopes require quarters to enjoy, so we were pleasantly surprised that it didn't cost a dime!

Pretty sunset!

The tallest lighthouse in Washington. Too bad the ocean has gone so far out from it. It used to be right on the coast. Now it is about a mile inland. It still shines at night, though. I loved going out on the deck at night and watching it shine through the mist.

We got treated to breakfast both mornings that we were there in a little cafe near the water. The first day we saw a little sea lion swimming around in the water, and the next morning we went back to see if he was still there. Instead, we heard a bunch of them barking. We were able to walk out on the docks and actually see these guys up close! We kept our distance, of course, but it was amazing how close we could have been. We've been to see the sea lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco, but we were a lot closer to these creatures!

Another fun part of our stay was the swimming pool. Grandma A and Grandpa B bought these little squirting fish, but the kids enjoyed having Grandpa come join them in the pool to play! He kept the kids laughing all weekend!

Even Jayden enjoyed the pool!

So those are the pictures I've decided to upload. Like I said earlier, it's only a 1/4 of the pictures that I took. We really had a great time!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Homeschool Friends

At the lantern festival, Kyrie made instant friends with another girl there. They ran around together all evening, and I got talking to the girl's mom and found out that she homeschools(unschools). Even though we're not certain of our future here, I've been wanting to get to know some other homeschoolers, and the mom told me of a group that meets in Seattle parks once a week.

Yesterday we met up with them for the first time. Kyrie and Isaiah had one big recess while I got to have my own social time with other moms. It's something that Kyrie and I both crave. Isaiah isn't really very social(although he plays well with others), but he enjoyed playing on the slides and swings and merry-go-round.

I enjoy the fact that they get to play with kids of all ages, and are not necessarily limited to just the kids in their age group. One of the homeschoolers(14) was like a big buddy to all the little kids and they enjoyed having him push the whole group on the merry-go-round.

How many homeschoolers can you fit on a merry-go-round?

Kyrie and her friends went round and round a lot that day!

No matter how many friends Kyrie makes, she'll always have this friend around

When we're not enjoying the outdoors, we are learning to discover the world around us- even when we're inside:

We also got a chance to meet up with another group of homeschoolers who meet once a month to do an activity. We got to build trebuchets. The kids had fun launching balls of paper at each other using a trebuchet built out of two milk cartons, a yard stick attached to a skinny wooden dowel with a couple of rubber bands, and a counter-weight at the end. They provided some metal washers, but I found that adding more weight(my keys) helped it launch better.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Arts Aglow

On continuation from the prior Saturday, I took Kyrie and Isaiah to the Arts Aglow lantern festival in the evening. It was a pretty fun and interesting experience.

First, we made some new lanterns. The kids had made some out of paper bags earlier at Kids' Day, but they wanted to make the other kind, too. They turned out a lot neater than the paper bag ones anyway.

The event took place in the Interim Art Space at Towne Square.

The new lanterns and decor fit nicely in with the rest of the sculptures around the plaza.

(these were actually lit later on, but my photography didn't do it justice)

They had face painting, so of course, the kids had to get in line for that!
The guy painting Isaiah's face was pretty stoked because Isaiah was his first and only customer to request this design that was included in the samples. They didn't think anyone would choose it. Only my son...

Kyrie chose a more contemporary design. It had pretty sparkles that you can't see very well in this picture:

After that we got our lanterns lit...

And enjoyed the entertainment of the stilt walkers and the Yellow Hat Band

Soon some illuminated people on stilts came in and started the procession. The kids and I ended up toward the front of the procession, and as we looked behind us, we saw a very pretty sight of lanterns following us.

At the end of the procession, they had us make a wish and blow out our lanterns. Then they attempted to present a three dimensional shadow puppet show, but they kept blowing a fuse, so we only got to see a few minutes of it.

Kyrie met some new friends, and her new friend happens to be homeschooled(or actually "unschooled"). We got to meet up with them at a homeschoolers outing at the park today(but that's another post).

The kids had a blast, and they were so excited to have a day of fun and to be able to stay out past their bedtime!

Here are a couple of the other lantern design pictures I took. To see some better pictures from the event, you can check out this Flickr stream.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kids' Day

I've been a bad blogger lately. I have some time while I'm waiting for Jayden to fall asleep though(yes, it's 11:30 at night, and he is still playing and talking to himself in his bed), so I'll take the time to do an update.

First off, I'll say that we've really been enjoying ourselves here in Seattle. Unfortunately, I think we're starting to realize that it's probably not going to work out for us to live here, though, and we'll probably be heading back to Pullman in December. It's a bit frustrating for me because we moved here in hopes that Mark would be able to find a good job and that we'd be closer to some family and would have some great opportunities for the kids. But Pullman is a good place, too, and we have a home there and friends- some who are like family- waiting there for us.

In the meantime, I think we've been making some pretty cool memories for the kids. Last Saturday I took them to Kids' Day at the Fire Station. They had a pretty cool setup there. The kids got to see all the different ways our community helpers keep us safe.

The SWAT vehicle was pretty cool:

The kids got to go in and explore..

They went in the ambulance:

Isaiah dressed up like a fireman and got his picture taken with one of the firemen. They printed out pictures better than the one I took, but I haven't scanned it in yet. It's pretty cute. Kyrie didn't want to dress up and take pictures for some reason. I was surprised because she usually lives for the opportunity!

Kyrie and Isaiah both got to put out a pretend fire with a real fire hose!

They enjoyed a cool demonstration of the firefighters using the Jaws of Life to open a car door, and then they broke all the windows and used a special tool to take off the roof.

The kids had fun trying to find candy in the straw!

There was also a lot of bouncing to be done in the bouncy castle(which happened to have a big Dalmation dog at the top(I guess to go with the fire house theme).
Halfway through the event, I ended up having to take Jayden home because he was getting fussy and needed a nap, but I put Daddy in charge of him and brought the older two kids back so we could finish going through all the stations so they could get their passports filled out and complete the scavenger hunt for the big bike drawing. Jayden and Isaiah both ended up winning door prizes that day. Isaiah got 3 whole sets of toys from the movie Cars(which he is a big fan of- he picked that gift out right away), and the prize I picked out for Jayden was a LeapFrog toy that helps teach writing letters and shapes. Jayden enjoys it right now because he can push buttons and it makes fun sounds and stuff, but I'm sure he'll figure it out before too long. He likes to push the letters and hear it say the letter. He's getting really good at identifying letters.

Anyway, I was going to blog about the 2nd part of the day, but it's getting really late, and Jayden is actually asleep. We are currently spending the weekend at a condo on the beach at WestPort with Mark's uncle and aunt. We're having a wonderful time. The kids play at the beach and swim in the pool. Uncle B and Aunt P have the kids call them Grandma and Grandpa because they are grandparents(and they spoil the kids like grandparents are supposed to do! ;)) Tomorrow we head back, and I know we'll all miss it here. The kids have a lot of fun playing with Grandpa B. I love being able to hear the ocean from my bedroom window. Mark even left his laptop at home so he would actually take a real vacation.
I do have some very cool pictures to share from that, so I should be a busy blogger this week!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jayden Cuteness

Last week I had to film Jayden in the tub because he was being cute and singing songs and stuff. This is a snippet of how he made me smile.

Back to School Bash

Today we headed over to Tukwila for our Back-to-School Bash for the WAVA students. This was Kyrie's and Isaiah's first time bowling(except for on the Wii), and they had a blast. Excuse the blurry pictures. The ones I take with the flash usually end up whiting everybody out, so I do the best with what I have.

sharing a lemonade

The lovely bowling shoes

Kyrie's new friend

The kids did better than I did the second round. If only I had used bumpers!
Kyrie bowled a 70 and a 79.
Isaiah got 44 and 66. I won't tell you my scores, lol.

Another new friend(don't tell me that homeschoolers are not socialized! ;))

Isaiah had his own technique- mostly dropping the ball, and sometime falling on his rear!

Today we headed over to Tukwila for our Back-to-School Bash for the WAVA students. This was Kyrie's and Isaiah's first time bowling(except for on the Wii), and they had a blast.