Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Kids Festival

We braved "bitterly cold" (as Grace always says) temperatures and went to an outdoor Winter Kids Festival at Portland's Payson Park yesterday. Grace was so very excited to sled again ~ just as she did in Vermont a few weeks ago. Grace was the youngest child to slide down the big hill and the most excited one too! Daddy stood at the bottom of the big hill to catch Grace while Jack and I cheered her on from the top of the hill.

Easel Drawing

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Children's Museum

We went to the Children's Museum yesterday for the first time since last summer. Hooray! Grace, Jack, and I had such a nice time playing and learning there together all day yesterday. I had been waiting to bring Grace and Jack back to the Children's Museum until our family was fully immunized against the H1N1 virus.

My two little astronaunts! The space shuttle was Grace and Jack's favorite display in the museum yesterday. I think these two will be making history some day by becoming the first brother-sister team in space together.

Grace loved dressing up in a NASA space suit and Jack was fascinated by all of the switches and lights in the space shuttle.

Jack was full of smiles all day yesterday. The museum is such a great place for Jack to learn and experience so many new things!

There is a new whale and ocean display at the museum. If you look closely you can see Grace looking into an underwater camera. Grace's face is displayed on the screen on the wall. Jack looked on with amazement to see his big sister on the big screen!

Jack was so happy to see a lobster boat at the museum. He instantly became a real lobster man! Jack knows the sign for lobster and says, "ack ack" for "clickety-clack" every time he sees a lobster.

I love how hands on the Children's Museum is. It's the best way to learn! Grace has always enjoyed the touch tank at the museum. Grace was excited to touch several starfish and lots of seaweed.

Jack looked so very proud as he walked all around the museum yesterday. The last time we were there I carried him everywhere in a sling. How very quickly time goes by. Our little man is now walking.

Grace learned all about physics as she experimented with rolling balls down various ramps and slides. Grace was able to adjust the ramps and learn how her movements affected the movement of the balls. Jack was fascinated by observing the balls move too. The ball/ramp room is a great way to learn about spatial relationships.

Grace enjoyed working the cash register at the museum's grocery store yesterday!

Jack climbed the stone wall at the museum's river display in order to get to those boats. He would have loved to climb right into the river too!!!

Grace kept turning and turning the large globe at the museum yesterday. I knew she must have been looking for a specific place on that globe. I waited until Grace found just the place she was looking for -- Argentina, of course!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bringing The Snow Inside

Jack and Grace brought a little bit of winter fun inside today. We filled a large bin with snow from outside in our yard and added a variety of containers, funnels, bowls, and spoons and other utensils. Jack and Grace had a great time playing with snow together inside our warm home!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Spray Painting Snow!

We enjoyed a warm and sunny day outside today. Grace and Jack had the best time spraying the snowbanks along our road with a spray bottle filled with water and food coloring!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Celebrating & Appreciating Diversity

One of Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest achievements was his ability to help Americans appreciate diversity. We celebrated Dr. King's birthday last week by talking about and reading a variety of books about diversity. Grace and Jack also painted their hands to make a picture that represented the various skin tones found across our nation. Their pictures represent how Dr. King joined hands with people of all colors when he marched for freedom.

It is very important for me to raise Grace and Jack to celebrate diversity, to respect and value all people and be to proud of themselves. As our nation grows increasingly diverse, there has never been a better opportunity for us to learn to live respectfully together and to benefit from one another's wisdom and experiences. This is an extremely important lesson that we addressed last week but it is a lifelong lesson that I try to infuse into Grace and Jack's life each and every day.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Final Fun-Filled Days In Vermont

We enjoyed our final days in Vermont last week playing outside! What a treat it was for us to walk to several playgrounds from Maddy and Poppy's home. It was the perfect way to end our week in Vermont. Thank you Maddy & Poppy for making our week in Middlebury so very special. We loved every minute of our time there with you and we can't wait to come back!


Gracie girl had her first downhill sledding experience while she was in Vermont last week. Grace started off sledding down a small hill but she kept watching the big kids on a very steep hill that was nearby and she decided to give it a try too!

We could all hear Grace laughing the entire way down the hill. She LOVED it! I, on the other hand, could barely keep my eyes open -- I was so nervous watching my little Grace slide down such a steep hill!

Jack-a-roo couldn't believe his eyes as he watched his big sister slide down that BIG hill. I can't believe that Jack will be sliding down that same steep hill two winters from now too!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Ilsley Public Library

We love, love, love the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury. It is a great library that has the most amazing librarian and children's section. Grace and Jack enjoyed a wonderful story time there that was filled with fun books, songs, and an art activity that accompanied the stories that were read. After story time Grace enjoyed reading new books, playing with the other children there, and rocking on a rocking horse while reading books at the same time! Jack enjoyed finding all new books, building trains, and playing in a tub filled with large stuffed animals. We had such a great time there last Wednesday that we went back on Thursday too!

Grace's First Sewing Machine

Maddy surprised Grace with her first sewing machine while we were in Vermont. It's made entirely of wood. Grace is able to thread the spool of thread in her sewing machine just like Maddy does with hers! Grace turns a small wheel to move the sewing needle up and down. Maddy has had Grace's sewing machine for several years but she was waiting for the perfect time to give it to Grace.

Sweetest Dreams

Jack slept so peacefully while we were in Vermont last week. I'm sure he must have been dreaming sweet dreams about that ukulele of his all week!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sewing With Maddy

These are some of my favorite pictures of Grace and Maddy. Grace loves every moment she spends with Maddy and some of their sweetest moments together have been spent sewing. Grace is learning all about sewing and how to use a sewing machine from the best --- her Maddy! Grace and Maddy worked together last Tuesday to sew Grace's lovey named Ella. Ella is a small pink elephant that Maddy gave to Grace when she was just a baby. Grace has loved Ella over the past three years so much that she was very frayed and slightly torn around the edges. Grace and Maddy chose a zigzag stitch to sew the outside edges of Ella and now she is as good as new! Maddy also added a little fabric patch to the end of Ella's trunk. Grace loves her "new" Ella so much.

The Fabric Store

Jack, Grace, Maddy and I went to a fabric store together in Middlebury last Tuesday. We all enjoyed looking at the colorful fabric together.Grace and Maddy looked through all of the fabric and decided on this pretty pink fabric. They worked together later that day to measure, cut, and the sew fabric together to make a beautiful headband for Grace.

Having Fun At The Airport!

We all loved our time together with Uncle Adam at the airport last Monday. Jack was full of smiles for his sweet uncle!
Flying high!
Look at these three handsome men!!
Maddy and Jack enjoying a beautiful painting together at the airport.

Got Gracie, Jack & Eve?