Friday, March 30, 2012

spring swimming

Today was the first day of the kid's week-long spring break.
Instead of sitting around bored, we decided to jump in the pool and enjoy some coldish water. 

The pool is pretty deep, and the younger two can't touch the bottom, so they had to wear life vests.
I didn't want to worry about them stepping in the wrong place while I wasn't looking.

Luckily the sun was hot, which made the water feel slightly refreshing for about an hour,
until we began to shiver and had to lay out to dry.

The kids said it was the best start to spring break they could have had.
And we were all happy to come home and change into warm, dry clothes.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Down in the Devil's Millhopper

When you live in a swamp, there are plenty of cool places to go, such as a giant sinkhole that is now a mini rainforest. (do you like Ethan's "Joseph Smith" hat? he was pretty proud of it.)
 We went down...
 and down...
 and down...
 and down...

Until we reached the bottom. It was amazing. So lush and green, with little waterfalls trickling everywhere, and dew dripping off all of the leaves. Birds sang all around us as we hiked.
It was so moist, ashley's hair became ringlets within a few minutes of being there.
It's a do-over kind of place. We'll definitely go there again someday!

Bohasha's back!

 Our kids had a capoeira class last year from a fabulous Brazilian martial arts teacher, Bohasha. Our village brought him back to teach us some more cool things.

They kick each others hands, trying to get their legs to go higher. They do back bends and cartwheels, and Ginga (you can see professionals doing it here)

 A lot of what they do in capoeira looks like dancing/fighting, but they don't really touch each other.
 Each little group of kids got to make up a dance/fight to perform for us.
We're glad he's back, and will be sad when the class ends again...

Friday, March 16, 2012

scary clouds and belated birthday pictures

 I stole these pictures from a friend's facebook page. This storm was swirling above our city two days ago, right before the constant thunder and lightning and wind and hail broke loose! Seeing these pictures made me want to pack up and move. Good thing I went to the butterfly farm the next day to remind myself of how much I like to live in The Swamp...

And on a less-frightening note...
 Chris reminded me that I never posted pictures of Ashley's birthday. It was pretty low-key. As you can see, they'd all just showered and were ready for bed by the time Chris came home from school and we could have her party.
 Her favorite present was her fancy-shmancy scriptures. She's been excited for them all year, and Grandma and Grandpa were nice enough to send them, since we forgot to buy some! Ashley even read the little card that came with the set about how to take care of the leather and paper.

 And who can resist cute girly Lego's? Everyone had the same idea, and got her some of these new Lego sets, but none of us bought the same package, so she has a nearly-complete collection, now.

And this had nothing to do with birthdays or storms. This is Grandpa, wearing Ashley's "hundreds day" hat, to celebrate the hundredth day of school.
He looked so good in it, he took it home so he could wear it to work every day...I'll bet his boss appreciated that.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Butterfly Farm

Today I went with Josh's class to a butterfly farm.
 The Lepidopterist (aka Mad Butterfly Scientist) transformed himself into a butterfly right before our eyes, as he explained what each part of the butterfly does.
Did you know butterflies are born with their tongue split down the middle? They have to take their little arms and push the tongue together. If they do it wrong, they'll die.

 We got to plant a milk weed that will attract butterflies to our garden.

 But I don't need to attract one, I have a giant butterfly of my very own!

 We found a tree with a cool cave formed into it.

 And we got to feed the butterflies with a liquid-sweetened sponge brush. Josh didn't like this room, with all the butterflies flitting too close to him. He couldn't wait to get out of there!

Did you know if you have something you really need to tell someone who has died, you can whisper it to a butterfly and it will fly up to heaven and tell them. Only people in heaven can understand butterflies.
I learned lots of new things on this field trip!

 This is what the kids decided to do while they waited for everyone to finish feeding the butterflies. They tried to make themselves look like a giant butterfly by holding hands.

 We went on a tractor ride to see the citrus and pecan groves. The fruit smelled amazing!

 After lunch, the kids sorted their trash into recycle and compost bins and then searched through compost to find bugs and worms.

I had to include this picture because the wall of flowers made me happy :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Soccer Time

Our village has a little soccer field where kids gather to play. We have a set time for the kids to "play" together, even though it's not an official team. Ashley and Josh used to play, but now they mostly want to Really Play (not soccer).

 Ethan still chooses to play, even though he will only be goalie.
If anyone else wants to be goalie, he sits down.

Here's one of Ethan's many Lego creations.
There are individual rooms in this building with hidden cool things nobody will ever know about.

Ashley's fancy dinner

 We asked Ashley where she wanted to eat to celebrate her baptism. She didn't even have to think about it.
The Waffle House. We tried to talk her into something else, but she had her heart set on it.
 This is why: The first time we went there, a man gave our kids quarters for the jukebox.
Now it's their favorite place to eat because they get to pick their own songs.
Ashley always picks The Beach Boy's "Surfer Girl"
And this time Josh picked The Waffle House Theme Song. I couldn't find it, but it's as cheesy as these other waffle house songs: (check out the steak song)

 The food was fine, but the best part was watching the kids bob their heads to the music that other people (namely a hairy biker dude) played on the jukebox. Fun times.

 Before the Waffle House, we took my parents to the lake.
It was chilly, but there were still bikini-clad girls trying to get tan.
 The lake was crowded (Which you can't see in this picture. Once the shade came, the people left)
and we didn't get a boat. But the kids didn't mind.
They could play in the sand for hours.