Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Our Own Library

Allen took a few 3x5 cards and wrote our names on them. He handed them out and then gave us our instructions. We were allowed to enter his room for the purpose to read a book. We had to swipe our name cards (ostensibly our library cards) through the seam in the cabinet in his room in order to be approved to start reading a book. He showed us that books were separated into two sections: his private stock that no one could take which were exclusively Pokemon books and a variety of other books that I knew he really enjoyed. I sat down and began to read a book and then Allen told me that I needed a reading buddy. He handed me a Beanie Baby and told me that I should read to my reading buddy. I set the little black dog plush toy on my shoulder and read the book while Ashton and Abby happily swiped their cards over and over and sorted through the reading buddies. It was very fun.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Scary Movie

I bought two movies about a week ago because they were pretty cheap. One was Muppets in Space (because our previous copy snapped in half) and the other was Labyrinth. I had never seen Labyrinth but I had heard from several people that it was good. For $5 I figured it was worth a shot.

Tonight I decided that we would watch it as a family. I put the movie in and about 10 minutes in a set of goblin Muppets were enough to have kids scared to the point of tears. We shut it off and then watched some nature programming on PBS about South African penguins. The kids seemed to really enjoy the show even though it had some macabre scenes of the aftermath of a oil tanker spill and the confrontations with predatory animals. I found the irony to be a little much.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fun Time!

Today I took the girls to the store expressly for buying toys. Obviously, Dad was popular! Abby picked out a Littlest Petshop plush cat and Ashton used a gift card from her birthday to purchase the largest toy available in the Littlest Petshop universe. We had a bite to eat and came home to play.

Amber and Allen came home shortly after and we grilled some burgers and hot dogs. We then played some soccer, football, and basketball. The girls played with some sidewalk chalk and made a modern sculpture with some rocks they found. After all of this we had some popsicles and took some quick photos.

Much to Amber's chagrin I then instigated a rousing game of Duck, Duck, Goose right as it was time for reading stories. We had a blast.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Outdoors Again

The kids are a magnet for the neighbor dog. He came over again, this time with a fresh haircut. The puddles are much smaller in our yard but still the dog had no trouble finding them and getting really wet.

The girls chased the dog around for a bit while I cleaned up more of the Winter thatch that had accumulated in the yard. I see that I will have to mow very soon.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Beautiful Sunshine

After the Winter we just went through, I am really happy that the sun is out and the air is warm. This morning Abby, Ashton, and I went outside to play. They saw the neighbor's dog running around and chased him. I went ahead and got some more of the yard picked up. There are many places in the yard that are still giant puddles. The dog ran through it and got really wet. Ashton said she walked in some dog poo. The fun pretty much ended there as she wanted to take her shoes off and the neighbor came and collected their dog. I think they didn't want the dog to get completely covered in mud because they did not look very happy about the dog being in the yard.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More From YouTube

I don't know Korean but I do know awesome. This is awesome.

Small Adventures

This is the day of the week that I spend with the kids. I had a little extra time with them because Amber and I forgot to set our alarms so I woke up to the sound of the bus driving away. I hurried and got up and between the five of us, we got everyone around. I took Allen to school and Amber took Ashton.

After the usual playing and watching Dora the Explorer, Allen told us that he really wanted to go to the store and buy some things with his money. He was so excited that he promised to buy both of his sisters things, too. He collected a sandwich bag full of loose change and he and I headed to the store. He bought some Pokemon cards and some toys for Ashton and Abby. He was very happy.

We got home and then I was able to finally attend to some needed yard work. The day was absolutely gorgeous so it was fun. The neighbor dog even came over and splashed me with muddy water she was romping in.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ashton's Birthday!

She turned five and we had a great time. Today we went to the Frederik Meijer Garden to see the butterfly exhibit. We saw plenty of really neat plants and many butterflies. We walked and they fluttered around us and landed on people. I even had a large blue one land on my back which seemed to entertain the kids.

After we got our fill of butterflies and African sculptures (that part didn't hold the kids' interest quite like the insects) we headed off for Chuck E. Cheeses. I hate Chuck E. Cheeses and this was an especially bad time to go because of it being Spring break for many kids. The place was packed and we had trouble finding a place to sit. At least the kids had a good time. The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping a bit.

We got home and made some of Ashton's favorites for dinner: macaroni and cheese with chicken nuggets. We ate some cake and sang Happy Birthday just before she opened her gifts. We all had a great time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Prelude to a Birthday

Today was mostly preparation for Ashton's birthday tomorrow. We have a cake and some plans to have some fun. I know she is really looking forward to turning five years old but also to have her special day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Spring Break

My day off plus the kids having spring break meant that I wanted to do something special. I had bookmarked a web page on that had several ideas about father and children activities. What I didn't expect is that the kids all wanted to play outside and go for a walk. We did take a walk and it was a good time. Abby and Ashton rode in the wagon and Allen and I walked. We saw the neighbors' horses and enjoyed the sunshine. We also played some board games and generally had a good time. Amber has this week off so it sounds like we will be having plenty of fun later in the week, too.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Errands and Such

Today we decided where to each lunch by singing the song I wrote about earlier this week. I told the kids to choose between McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a Pizza Hut by freezing into the correlating move when it came up. It was unanimous: Pizza Hut.

Our house is basically an art gallery for our children and one particular work has struck my fancy. I will post it in a few minutes. Also, I was finally able to get my old SATA drive to work on my laptop which unleashed a few gigabytes of music I really missed. I am happy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Night Set to Song

Ashton learns new songs at school and we enjoy it quite a bit around the house. She is a performer and aims to entertain. Tonight the selection was "Down by the Bay" where you get to make up a funny rhyme that starts with "have you ever seen..." She sang the song throughout the day and even sang it softly as she was laying in bed.

I love the other songs she comes home with such as the fan favorite McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and a Pizza Hut.

Allen is reading really well and the best part is that he truly enjoys reading. Abby had a tough time today as Natalie did not get her to take a nap.