Sunday, January 31, 2016

International Cat Show

 Portland winters mean a lot of time indoors. Well there is the saying that there isn't such a thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices. And while we do bundle up in clothes to go outside some days, and definitely take advantage of the rare sunny days, you have to find ways to get out some energy indoors. Which is why I finally agreed with John about removing our coffee table so the girls had room to wiggle in the living room. These bouncy balls have been the best purchase (twice) of the year. (Twice, because the first set popped because I over inflated them.... ooops.)

 Jake trapped me in a hug. I'll take it anytime!

 On a totally spontaneous whim, we decided to go to the International Cat Show in Portland. Mom came across a mention of it and we thought, why not? We had been to a International Cat Show many years in Houston back when I was a teenager. So that's what we were sort of expecting. Well apparently Houston has one of the largest convention centers in the world. So the booths were spread out and the show ring was in a separate room, and there was lots of room to wander about. Not so here. It was in a hotel ballroom and everything was SMOOSHED together. You couldn't really linger, the crowds were thick. I'm shocked how calm the cats took it all. When we got there though there wasn't a line. Chris went to go park the car and by the time he joined us we were laughing that suddenly there were four people in line ahead of us. When we left the cat show, the line was out the door and around the building! They were counting how many people were leaving so they would let that many people in. Like I said, we had fun, but if we'd seen THAT line when we arrived, I think we would have gone out for ice cream instead! The girls enjoyed looking at the different breeds. They really liked the spotted coats of the bengal cats, but their favorite of all was the persians. John wasn't interested in going to the cat convention. Even when I told him it was like a game convention but with cats instead of games.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Lego Man Sculpture

 Lego activity at the library. It was okay, but not that great. We were expecting a bit more structure, perhaps a lego build challenge. But it was just free play.

 We had leftover Plaster of Paris so the girls wanted me to make Lego men from the cake mold I had from an old birthday party. I thought they could paint it, and I could poly it and put it outside in our garden, but apparently it is really hard to seal plaster of paris all the way and it decomposes in rain quickly. Since we live in a very rainy area, this isn't ideal. So they'll be indoor decor.

 Our friend Esperanza came over to play and the three girls had a great day that included dress up.

 And a big game of "store" Maddie was selling animals at the pet store.

 We moved the party over to Esperanza's house when Hanukkah invited us over for dinner.

 When both lego men were dry, the girls painted them. Izzie.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Oregon Children's Theater: Mouse in Space

I have not taken the girls to as many shows or plays as I've wanted to. We went and saw a high school production of Charlotte's Web when they were probably four and I've taken them to the circus, but I'm not sure we've done many other shows. So it was time to go see another play. When the Oregon Children's Theater collaborated with Girl Scouts to have a GS discount ticket day for Geronimo Stilton I jumped at the opportunity! The girls have read a lot of the Geronimo Stilton books and love them. Mom went with me and we had a good time. I didn't want to figure out Portland parking (wimp, I know.) So Chris dropped us off and picked us up for the play. Big thanks to him for doing that!!! Izzie was super nervous to find our seats before the play started, even though we had plenty of time. The play was really good. It was funny and educational at the same time. They both had a good time and we definitely need to go see more plays! I may need to think about season tickets for next year's birthday present!

 Me, Izzie, Maddie and Nanna.

 Maddie modeling the new skirt that Nanna sewed for her.

 Izzie showing off her new skirt Nanna made for her.

 Izzie painting a disc we made out of plaster of paris. We were studying how Michelangelo would have painted plaster.

 Maddie painting hers. It didn't quite turn out correctly, we were supposed to paint it while the plaster was still slightly wet, but it dried a LOT quicker than I thought it would!

 We had to take advantage of a nice sunny day at the park. Maddie showing me a design of bricks she found.


 I found an app that I can quickly take a picture of their worksheet and they can type on top of it.


Friday, January 22, 2016

Homeschool classes. Bats and Horses

 One Sunday night as we were getting ready for our family movie night, I look outside the window and exclaim, "There are chickens on our deck!" John and Izzie come running, but Maddie was in the shower. They were pecking at some birdseed that had fallen from our bird feeder. I added just a bit more more because I wanted Maddie to see them when she got out of the shower. Remember how they say don't feed a stray? Listen to them.

I posted to my neighborhood board but no one really knows for sure where these chickens live. They've been hanging out in various neighbors yards for awhile now. Several weeks after this photo, the only hen I see around is the one on the left. They also don't say name strays. Meet Belinda, also known as Chicky-Chicky. I have not fed her again, but she comes by almost daily to say hi to me. I've been working out in the garage and she keeps me company. I really wouldn't mind but chickens poop a lot. A lot a lot. We've now got chicken poop everywhere. But she's such a sweet gal. We've also got raccoons under the back deck, and I'm surprised they haven't gotten her. Maybe they are full from eating the other three. Or maybe the other tree made it home. I don't know, but for now, we've got a stray chicken named Belinda (after the chicken in the Wizard of Oz, book 2.)

 I signed the girls up for a homeschool science class. This month is all about BATS. It was pretty cool, there was a slide show and then she had boxes of real bat specimens that the kids got to look at closely. They learned how to spot the differences between fruit bats and insect eating bats.

 Maddie budding up with Treya and Izzie and Ezra studying a bat box.

 Me taking a picture of Kiki taking a picture of Hanukkah holding a bat. That's a unique sentence for sure.

 It was past time for the girls to get a trim. Izzie getting just a wee bit off.

 And Maddie. She put them in the booster seats because she said their hair was so long. But they want to grow it even longer!

 Izzie riding bareback on Ellie at homeschool horse lessons.

Maddie on Ellie. 

So for most of the year, you cannot see the moon from our house. It is always behind the big giant cedar trees. We've had all these cool "red moons" or whatever throughout the year and every time I go check, nope, no moon. You also pretty much can't see sunrises or sunsets from anywhere in our house. But I was out and about one night and the moon in the clouds was amazingly spectacular. I snapped this photo which does it NO justice, but it was still cool to see a big full moon, even if it was a regular ol' moon and "special" moon.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Busy January!

 Pepaw and Mema gave the girls money for Christmas. So we took them to Toys R' Us to pick out something to buy. They also had a gift card to Toys 'R Us so they had a lot of money to work with! We went up and down each aisle about three times before they decided on a couple of miniature animal dolls from a set called Calico Critters. They also bought a small lego kit and decided to save some of their money for a later day.

 Izzie practicing her typing.

 John and I started watching Doctor Who last year, but it took us awhile to get into the show. Now we love it and are Whovians (fans of the show.)

 Izzie cuddling Jake.

 Crummy picture of homeschool storytime.

 Returning books at the library. Maddie looks so grown up.

 Maddie reading at the library. We had some time to kill before our homeschool group so we just hung out a bit longer at the library.


 Some of the girls playing at ACE one of our homeschool groups.

 Maddie modeling a new dress. Size 14/16. At our well visit appointment she is in the 90th percentile for height for girls  her age and Izzie is in the 80th.

 Maddie and Izzie playing with the Snap Circuits they got for Christmas last year.