Monday, August 25, 2014

I Know What You Mean #22

Natalie: "Stop it, Noah! You're being a smart owl."

Hmmm...while owls are often portrayed as being wise or smart, I think the word she meant to say was smart aleck.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Sister Natalie

Today while cleaning out Noah's room and purging half-used notebooks from last school year.  I came upon an essay he wrote...suddenly I no longer care that my dryer conked out this morning.


She is nice
Natalie is a good friend.  She never gets mad at her friends.  She has a lot of friends because she is kind.  She plays with friends in her class at recess even though her old friends are in a different class.  She calls people to come over to our house.  She gives my mom and dad hugs and she hugs me.

Natalie is friendly to other people
She talks to everyone.  Sometimes she sits at lunch with someone sitting by themselves and probably makes friends with them.  She is helpful to mom and dad when she does her chores.

She is funny
Natalie makes me laugh.  She calls me nicknames. Sometimes she gives me huggies that make me laugh. When we play a Wii game sometimes she falls or dies on purpose to make me laugh.  She does silly things on the game.  She is crazy.  She makes up funny things when we are playing with toys.

She plays with me
We play together on the Wii or with toys.  Sometimes we can play multi-player on the DS.  We play together at friends' houses or outside and sometimes in the pool.  We make stuff outside and we catch bugs with her bug catcher.  We make stuff out of cardboard boxes that my dad brings home to us.

Natalie is good at making things up with toys
She is good at making up house and we make up stories with stuffed animals.  It makes me laugh when she makes her stuffed animals do crazy things.  She helps when I'm bored.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Deep Thoughts From Noah #49

Noah: Mom, look at this!
Me: Noah, please don't put the Silly Putty on the furniture.
Noah: I'm not...I just put it on the chair.

Natalie: Noah please chew with your mouth closed.
Noah: I am!
Natalie: Fine. I'll just turn my head so I can't see you.
Noah: Mahhhm! Will you tell her to stop looking away from me?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Postcards From the Peanut Gallery Wks. 11 & 12

"I can't believe it's over!...can't we have just one more week?!" said Natalie.

While our summer vacation has been memorable, I'm not sure I share her sentiment.  Tomorrow is the first day of school for both kids and I'm ready...
 1. School supplies have been purchased and teachers have been met - Natalie was thrilled to get Mrs. Raymond this year and shared with me "Did you know a cool fact about Mrs. R. is that she is perky!"
2.  Noah is beginning 5th grade at a new school and while he is nervous, he is also excited.  However, when I asked him what he was looking forward to most, 'making new friends' was not the response I heard. Instead he said, "maybe I'll meet a girl."
Say what?
Both kids have grown so much this summer.  Last week we visited Grant's Farm and during the Animal Encounter Show Noah raised his hand to be volunteer.  I couldn't believe it.  Normally, when anyone asks for a hand, Noah is practically hiding under the seats.  Later in the day he said yes to riding a camel...a camel! 

Feeding hungry goats at Grant's never gets old.
Noah was part of the "rat race" at Grant's Farm's Animal Encounter Show.
Noah took a couple laps with Gumby.
Noah was invited to explore the Museum of Transportation with his new friend.
My favorite view that day. The two boys chatting about their train adventures.
Noah and Natalie cashed in on their free Magic House tickets earned from the library's summer reading program.
This week Steve made me 8 jars of blackberry jam.
I haven't been good about rationing it.
We spent Sunday afternoon fishing at Suson Park with my brother's family.
Noah surprised us all by picking up a pole.
He was so proud of his catch.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Postcards From the Peanut Gallery Wk. 10

July 28 - August 3 
Summer vacation is winding down to single digits --This week we built, climbed, read, learned new skills and discovered...
Noah assembled a 560+ piece LEGO Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter he received for his birthday. 
Thanks Mike, Sarah, Paul & Lila!
The kids tried out the new playground equipment at school.
Noah earned bragging rights and space on our lawn to display his Super Summer Reader status. 
Mad Scientist, Kinetic Kevin taught us all kinds of wacky things with a free show at Oak Bend Library.
Natalie learned to ride a two wheeler!
We discovered a new park and some new friends at Simpson Lake.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Musings From Natalie #101

Back-to-school supply shopping is like Christmas for her...

"I'm so excited to go shopping for school supplies! I'm going to wear my pearls."

"I want to make a good first impression for my teacher.  Will you buy me a new outfit for 'Meet the Teacher?' Also, I was thinking I should bring her an apple, too."

"Oh my gosh!  They even have scarlet!" (her reaction to discovering the hue in her new box of 24)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Postcards From the Peanut Gallery Wk. 9

July 21-27th The first day of school is fast approaching and still there are many friends we haven't had a chance to see all summer because our schedules have never matched up. This week we squeezed in as many park and swim play dates as we could.

Monday, 21st - I met up with two lovely ladies -- both whom I met through my 10 year membership with MOPS.  Together our kids enjoyed the beautiful Forest Park Forever Playground located adjacent to the Visitor's Center.  This inclusive playground offers 29 pieces of equipment divided by age, physical strength and ability.

Time flies - I can't believe they'll be starting 2nd grade!
Tuesday, July 22 We headed to Tesson Ferry Library for their free, Science Chefs program. The kids experimented with food, learned about water density and made homemade ice cream!

Natalie explores the properties of salted water vs. plain water.
Enjoying the fruit of their labor - homemade vanilla ice cream.
Wednesday, July 23nd - We played at Tilles Park.  Noah brought his friend Evan with him and the two spent a large portion of the time having lightsaber duels.  Natalie quickly made a new friend -- together the girls made clover jewelry and collected acorns.  In the afternoon we visited Weber Library to enjoy their free, Fizz, Boom, Pop class.  We got messy exploding bags and making lava lamp look-a-likes using everyday household materials and enjoyed a refreshment of homemade fizzy lemonade.
Flower Power

Noah and Evan reflect on their surroundings.
Noah watches as the alka-seltzer tablet sets off a new reaction.

Thursday, July 24 - We enjoyed an early, yet cool morning romp with friends at Kirkwood Park.  The first hour we had the place completely to ourselves.  My friend and I tag teamed to keep up with her littlest ones who favored climbing the highest heights. Good times!

Friday, July 25th - We met my cousin, Sarah and her kids at Deer Creek Park a.k.a. Rocketship Park for a long overdue get-together.  The kids are a great match and our meet ups often lead to marathon play dates. This one was no exception.

Old School Fun
Saturday, July 26 - We got a late start as Steve and I spent the morning pulling weeds and cutting back the brush in the backyard. Our plan was to visit some of the stl250 spots in the Chesterfield area.  We visited Dr. Edmond A. Babler Memorial State Park, Kemp Auto Museum, August A. Busch Memorial Conservation, Rockwood Reservation Area, Spirit of St. Louis Airport, and Bonhomme Old Stone Church. My favorite stop had to be Babler Park.  We'll definitely be back.  Along our travels we discovered a roadside stand selling freshly gathered honey, tomatoes and eggs.  No one manned the booth, rather the family left an honesty jar on the table for customers to leave payment.

Noah chases after a groundhog we spotted upon entering Rockwood Reservation Area.
Rockwood Reservation offers visitors a bird's eye view.
Limestone Kiln - Rockwood Reservation

Edmond A. Babler State Memorial Park
The Babler Park Visitor's Center offers lots of hands on exhibits for kids including binoculars along the back wall for excellent bird watching.  In addition, they show a free, 20 minute film in their Owl Theatre.
The current feature is on Black Bears.
"Look, Mom! I'm a scientist!" exclaimed Nat.
Natalie pays for our homegrown goods.
It's a bird! It's a's a plane.
Spirit of St. Louis Airport

The kids stand next to their favorite car at the Kemp Auto Museum.
Steve shows Natalie some of the places he fishes and finds berries on the map featured on top of the
August A. Busch Conservation Area stl250 Cake.

Bonhomme Old Stone Church
Sunday, July 27th  - After a two week hiatus, we returned to Sunday service at The Gathering.  The sermon series, "Silver Linings - The Art of Being Content" could not have come at a better time.  The main idea cautioning us not to put all of our energy and love into earthly things (family, friends, job, service...stuff) because none of these things are permanent.  Only God's love is forever.   The path to true contentment starts and ends with putting our faith and trust in Him.
After church we spent most of the afternoon at home.  I tried to be present and not worry so much about the future.  Steve made homemade biscuits and a blackberry roll using the berries he'd picked at Busch Conservation area.  We invited my folks over for dinner - fried chicken with all the fixins. After the meal, my waistband was seriously tugging at my skin.  But, when it came time to tuck my two into bed -- both kids asked me to pray for them...somehow it was easy and I discovered my stomach wasn't the only part of me that was feeling full.

Steve gets a hand from his sous chef.