Monday, June 9, 2014

Postcards from the Peanut Gallery Wk. 2

6/1/14 - 6/3/14  Our family went on a liquid diet...
Gatorade - check
Ginger ale - check
Jello - check
Wine (for me) - check, check
On the up-side - I didn't have to cook!

6/4/14  The kids are pretty much back to themselves, however, Natalie seems to be suffering from PTVD (Post Traumatic Vomit Disorder). To take her mind off her worries we went to Turtle Park to do some letterboxing.  There are two in the park, but we were only able to locate one of them.

6/5/14  In the afternoon we headed...or should I say, I dragged my two, to the Tesson Ferry Branch Library to see Christian the Magician.  Both kids were skeptical they would enjoy the show.  Christian, touted as the Jim Carrey of Magic, is definitely more comedian than magician, but this seems to be just what kids enjoy most.  From the back I watched as their heads bobbed and bodies convulsed over his antics. Before the show was over, Natalie found her way back to me to whisper, "Can we check out some magic books?"

We left the library armed with several card trick books and one titled, "Stunts, Puzzles, and Stage Illusions." Oh boy.  We were hardly out of the car before she was gathering "supplies" from the kitchen to begin practicing her new-found craft.  From the living room I heard, "Uh oh". I found her mopping up the floor with several rags. 

"I was trying to do the shower trick."

I took a deep breath and then suggested she practice her magic outside.

6/6/14  Although I sometimes cringe at how big my kids are getting...longer legs means more  stamina to take on bigger adventuresFriday night marked the opening of Webster Groves' 11th Annual Art & Air Festival. We decided to put the kids' longer limbs and walked to the event. On our way, we stopped in at SerendipityWhile the ice cream shop has been in business for 10 years, this was the first time our family had ever visited.  I was super excited to fall in love with the place and envisioned many fun evenings of strolling over for a scoop. I love ice cream and supporting small businesses, however, I didn't love our experience at this joint.  

First off, I must tell you I am an ice cream snob and am willing to pay higher prices for higher quality.  However, it's not always necessary to pay more to enjoy great ice cream.  For example, one of Shop n'Save's own brands, Stone Ridge Creamery, provides a quality product, great selection of flavors...but cheap enough (typically about $3/carton) to allow you to purchase 2 or 3 flavors at a time.  That being said, I understand and appreciate the experience of enjoying a cone or other fanciful treat at a cute and friendly shop. What I don't like...paying $3+ dollars for a single scoop of ice cream in a place where all the surfaces are covered in a thick layer of dust.  Not only that, but Serendipity's floors were sticky and filthy, the walls dirty and marked and every window was in dire need of some Windex. When we visited there were only two other customers in the entire store with three teenagers "working" behind the counter -- one of them, popping handfuls of peanuts or some other small snack into his mouth.   While the ice cream was good...I know of many other shops where it is better.
Another Stl250 cake!
Unfortunately, this one was covered in a thick layer of dust and grime.
I think mine is with a carton of Stone Ridge Creamery or a visit to Oberweis Dairy.
The temps were perfect to stroll through the many artisan displays.
Whether or not it was your taste, these little boxes made from found objects were certainly eye-catching.
Gorgeous vessels made from gourds.
Stunning Stones.
 I loved these whimsical worms.
Amazing craftsmanship.
I loved the bright colors and lightness of her work.

6/7/14 Neither of my kids play sports, so staying active takes some creativity on my part.  It's one of the reasons I got them into letterboxing and now am trying to steer them towards hiking as a way to enjoy nature (which they both love!) while keeping their bodies healthy and strong. On Saturday World Bird Sanctuary was hosting National Trails Day.  I chose to have us do the shortest of the three available routes as I want to ease them into it and while it was only about a half mile trek, the Hickory trail route was quite steep in places.  The point was to get them moving and for us to spend time together as a family. It was fun, too to listen to Steve quiz them on the names trees and critters we bumped into along the way. Afterwards we meandered through the bird displays and the kids decorated rocks at the craft area. While our excursion lasted little more than an hour, the outing served to set the stage for future, successful outdoors adventures.

Noah takes a drink from a survivalist water pack he earned from selling popcorn with the scouts. 
It not only served to keep him hydrated, but the weight of it provided the proprioceptive input his body craves.
Even daddy turkeys like to give piggy-back rides.
Nature Crafts...Rock on!
6/8/14  An old friend of mine won 4 tickets to the St. Louis Renaissance Festival
But, because she'd already been the weekend before, she gave them away to me! While I wasn't completely sure what I was getting our family into, I was confident it would be memorable.  We arrived just minutes before the doors opened.  The kids were greeted by maidens, pirates and fairies who pulled gold coins and "shinies" (sparkly glass stones favored by the fae) out of their ears.  They were each handed a sheet of paper and asked if they'd like to go on a quest.  The idea was to visit the myriad of craftsman booths (everything from glass-making to silversmithing) and collect stamps from each one.  Once their sheet was full, the kids were to meet at 2:30 p.m. at the royal court to be knighted by King Francois or be made into a princess by Queen Claude.

The day we went the theme was pirates and they were definitely in great supply. Noah was in heaven! In addition, the event organizers invited folks to enter their fairy house contest (free of charge) and all entrants received two, free tickets to the festival.  There were dozens of tiny homes peppered throughout the Fae Village.  Needless to say, Natalie couldn't have been happier.  She had me take photos of more than 50 fairy flats.

Food vendors offered everything from Turkey legs and Gyros to Bison burgers and hot dogs.  Sweet treats were a plenty and most often served deep fried like strawberries with chocolate and batter-dipped, powdered sugar covered Twinkies, Oreos and cupcakes. When I placed an order for fried Oreos, the maiden simply yelled back to the kitchen "One heart attack".

As we left the festival, I couldn't help but feel that it was a "happily ever after" experience.
Natalie was a little apprehensive at the entrance.

There was no shortage of entertainers...from belly dancers to comedians, magicians and fire eaters.
Collecting a stamp at the German Camp.
The vest added 20 lbs. to his frame.
He loved it.

Noah couldn't stop smiling.  He was thrilled to meet Jack.
Jousting, too!
Mmmm...fried Oreos.

Crazy Boy Coy lived up to his moniker.
Princess Natalie shares a smile with the Queen of France
Noah becomes Sir Noah.
The kids made a stop at the Fairy Trading Post to trade in their "shinies" for treasures.
Noah swapped for a gold coin and Natalie for a jingle bell necklace.

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