Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tacoma Children's Museum Fun

For something new and different, we decided to check out the Tacoma Children's Museum today. We had a little trouble finding it though because for some reason I thought it was on the main drag with all the other museums downtown, but in fact it was up the hill a bit on Broadway tucked away as a shop amongst other shops. Needless to say, we found it though and parked a bit of a distance away and walked down to the museum. They had various little areas to explore and Josiah and Daddy made a robot man in the art room with magnets. Josiah was very proud of his creation! He said that the "hands had to be square " for whatever reason, and so they are.

They also had this exhibit around a story from Indian heritage about a coyote and raven, which we incidentally didn't read, but saw pieces of the story around the exhibit that were interactive. They had little costumes also for the kids to wear and Caleb really took to wearing this raven costume around for a bit. We put it on him for the picture and thought he would want it off right away but gave his little "AHHH" sound indicating he wanted it back on! He trudged around in it and then eventually took it off himself.

Daniel on the other hand did not really like to wear the coyote costume that Daddy brought for him to wear. And in case you are wondering why a coyote has feathers....well that had something to do with the story that we didn't read and the Indian legend regarding the raven and the coyote. Daniel looked super cute in it though, but immediately worked to get it off as you see here right as it was put on.

This was a popular part of the exhibit where the raven went up to put the sun in the air (another part of the story) and the kids got to crank up this dial that made the raven fly up and then it would come back down by itself. The boys were pointed at the raven coming down in this shot.
In another area, they had set up a kid-sized famer's market area complete with a store with many plastic fruits and vegetables, a restaurant area with plates/bowls to "eat," a place to garden and harvest the foods and other things like that. This is Daniel discovering the cash register and saying, "Whooah," when he pressed the open button and it came flying out into his face. David's quote was, "It was worth the price of admssion to see that face." Daniel frequented the cash register many times afterward and also made a gigantic mess of the kitchen area by throwing all the plates and bowls onto the floor. And now you know why we have a gate blocking OUR kitchen area. Another funny note here in the kitchen was they had a bucket stapled to the wall labled, "The Slob Bin" for those plastic fruits and veggies that ended up being tasted by little mouths. Needless to say, this slob bin was awfully full when we left the museum!

Caleb-bee had fun painting and after his first couple brush strokes on the paper, he shoved the yellow paint brush in his mouth and got a nice taste of the paint. Ick! He was a real mess after a bit and even after we washed him up and brought him elsewhere, he managed to sneak back to the paints for another round when David and I were occupied with the other two.

Josiah really got into the farmer's market area and had the best time "gardening" with the little kid's tools and "preparing" a plum dinner for all of us. He went over to the fruit area with some bowls and kept remarking, "This is hard work!" as he prepared our food. He brought over 5 bowls for all of us and I got more plums he said because, "Mommy has a baby in her tummy." Eating for two I guess, right? He was SO proud when we all sat down to "eat" the meal with him. We even prayed beforehand and then pretended to enjoy our plums together. He absolutely loved it!! Afterward, we went to a sandwich shop right down the road nearby and had some lunch. The sandwiches were absolutely fabulous (though a little spendy) and Josiah had a piece of pizza made with a whole wheat crust which was ALSO super good (we had little tastes of it).

Rather then trek back up the hill with the stroller, the boys and I waited across the street at the water fountain area and David went back to bring the car down to us. Josiah had a blast putting his hand in the water and fountain sprays as we waited. The twins were distracted enough by the spouting water to remain happy and content strapped in the stroller until Daddy came back. It was a fun outing and one we may do again in the future. Yeah for fun family time!

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Boating Trip!!

Grandpa and Grandma Walker have owned a ski boat ever since I was a teenager and though it is old, this boat keeps on plugging away (just barely sometimes) year after year. My Dad "lovingly" calls it a "hole in the water" and really we have determined it is now mostly "Brent bait" to get my brother to come down to visit the folks more frequently. Either way though, the grandparents wanted to pass on some boating fun to their grandkids. I drove the boys down to Eatonville and then we drove a little further to Alder Lake for the occasion. We first played on this big toy for the kids in the park and then had a picnic in the shade near the water. Grandma and Grandpa brought all the picnic fixings including hotdogs, chips, jello salad, grapes, smore cookie dessert things, and even some Koolaid to make to drink for the kids. This picture above I took of Daniel and I on the boat as it first started to make it's way around the lake. Daniel doesn't appear too sure of all this adventure as you can see at first.

Grandma had to hold the twins at one point together because Josiah was getting so scared of the boat's engine that I had to hold him farther up front. They were both squinting either from the sun or from the wind around the boat when we were going faster I think.

At one point, Daniel felt up to sitting with Grandpa in the driver's seat. It is an ongoing joke in our family that my Dad MUST turn his hat a little off center to impersonate "Earnest" from all the "Earnest goes..." movies if you remember those. So this is my Dad's "Earnest Goes Boating" pose for the camera.

Caleb pretty much looked like this the entire time in the boat. Grandma said he sat like a statue and here looks like one I think too. He is usually our adventurous soul, but this might have been a bit to much adventure for this little one.

Josiah was VERY scared of the boat's engine especially when we would go faster as it would get really loud. He cried and cried and yelled for Grandpa to slow down. So mostly for the whole journey we tooled around the lake at a very slow speed, which unfortunately for me isn't my favorite part of boating. I like going fast and feeling the cool breeze. Oh well...what we do for our children. I think too that Josiah is used to being strapped in to moving vehicles and I think he felt a little out of control that he wasn't strapped down to a seat. He wanted to go back to the shore almost as soon as we started. I think he might enjoy this when he is a little older, but for now it was a little traumatic. Josiah really loved the picnic part though and talked about how he wanted to have a picnic again sometime on the way home.

Daniel is steering the boat here in this shot. We had to watch him closely though that he did not push any wrong buttons or take the key out of the boat.

As you can see, the "mountain was out" (AKA not covered in clouds) as we say here in the Northwest. Mt. Rainier was gorgeous today and we could see a nice view of it from the lake.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Bite of Seattle

As a fun outing, David and I decided to take Josiah to the Bite of Seattle. We got Sharel to babysit the twins at home as we thought it would be too long of a day for them with all the parking, riding busses, and walking places. It turns out that was a really good decision as we had to walk most of the way from our parking place (David's normal work parking spot) to the Seattle Center. We tried to ride the bus, but first it was half an hour late and then once we boarded, the traffic was so bad getting down there that we moved at a snail's pace. At one of the stops, we just got out and walked the rest of the way and managed to beat our bus to the Seattle Center as it turned out. Here above is pictured David and Josiah on this small roller coaster in the kidzone area at the event. These rides are always going here, and so we can come back sometime and do this again if we decide to someday. This was Josiah's first "real" roller coaster and it did go pretty fast for a kiddy ride. This shot is before they started moving. Daddy and Josiah wore their Yankees hats today and Josiah pointed out, "We're twins, Daddy."

If you click on this picture and look closely at Josiah's face you will see a bit of a stricken expression. I took this as they were coming around one of the times. David said he had his hands gripping on the handlebar the whole time! No hands in the air for this boy!

Here is Josiah on the first ride that he chose to go on, this car envoy deal. Later on, we had him go on the bumper cars, but he couldn't get the concept of keeping his foot DOWN on the pedal and so pretty much was stuck in one spot the whole time. He kept pumping his foot and it would inch forward ever so slightly here and there and then he would run into another car and get stuck. After this, my camera battery died....booo! Another highlight though was that we all rode the gondola ride (AKA Ferris wheels for families) and got to see all the sights of the area from way up high. As for the actual "Bite of Seattle" we had to quickly pick a place to eat as I was starving by the time we got to the actual site. We chose a fish and chips place as that seemed the easiest place to get to in the crowd, though if I could have spent more time choosing I would have enjoyed a Mexican place or a Thai place. It was just too hard to find everything as it was spaced out in a weird way it seemed to me. We went to the Taste of Tacoma a couple of years ago and it seemed it was much easier to find the food booths and that it seemed there were more of them. Oh well...the overall experience was good and once we got our food we sat on a nice shady spot and laid out our towel and ate. Afterward, David went and got us some ice cream at the booth near by as well.
As a funny side note, my comment at one point was, "Why are all these people around here wearing neon green XBox 360 shirts?" My husband kindly pointed out that those were Sounders shirts...well, in my defense, I knew they had neon green as one of their colors, but I thought perhaps there would be the word "Sounders" somewhere on the attire instead of an ad for a gaming system? Um...yeah, I don't really know much about soccer, you can all laugh. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Vacation Bible School Highlights

This year I had the priviledge of leading a team to help teach the kids a few songs for Vacation Bible School. Brian (a father of some of the VBS kids) played the guitar and sang with me and George played the jimbay (a type of drum) to make our music more "Safari-sounding" as the theme for the week was "Prayer Safari." I found out only a few days before VBS started that I was pregnant, and of course the week of, I found myself battling some morning sickness first thing when I woke up each day. Thankfully, it was manageable and by the time I arrived at the church I was feeling better, but it was a real struggle to get up and get everyone ready each day. I was blessed that my hubby was able to help on some of the days to get the kiddos in the car and/or help feed them, etc. when I was feeling especially sick. God is good and it was a lot of fun to lead the kiddos in song each day. There were around 280 kids at our VBS, which was huge! The age range was 4 year olds through 6th graders. I taught 3 songs throughout the week with motions that went with them and that seemed to be just the right amount for the time we were given. I lead the songs for 15 minutes at the beginning and the end of each day and during the in between times I went down to see the twins in the nursery and assist the nursery workers a bit. The twins got in the habit of taking a nap there each day and so sometimes during that time, I would make my way out to check on Josiah in his class or go grab a snack in the room for the volunteers.

Finally on the last day of VBS, I got around to taking some pictures. They had the bouncy house up that day and I just put my camera in and starting taking random shots that I wasn't able to see until I looked at them later. This was a nice candid of Josiah jumping and having fun.

This picture was just too funny of the 3 boys falling in a big heap together. My camera just flashed at the exact right moment!

Around the edges of the bouncy house, they had various stations of toys to play with. This big box of Legos was very popular with Josiah and he had fun creating things with all the other boys. I only saw one girl come and play with the Legos and I think perhaps she came over because I was sitting there. It was cute though to watch them all play.

Here is Caleb boy in the nursery playing with the trains. Josiah is here because he was having a bad day in his class. The whole week he struggled with the times where they were supposed to sit still and listen. This is a skill we have obviously not honed in him very well and being the active boy that he is, we will have a lot of work to do to get him to comply in this area. This showed us though the need to work with him more at home and we will do so and hope that the next event will be better.

Daniel was very pleased with himself that he could climb up onto the slide and slide down by himself. He did this several times with an ear to ear grin on his face. Oh and another lovely side note...all three of the boys ended up having strep throat this week (though I didn't know it until day 2) and thankfully, we worked out a deal where the babies were able to be in a different room from the rest of the group for the week. I had strep throat the week before and was watching them closely ever since, but they really weren't showing any symptoms. My only clue was that Daniel wasn't wanting to sleep (and he is usually my good sleeper) and both the twins were super fussy on Monday night. I took them into the doctor and she looked them over and gave them a strep test as well just in case. She told me that if she hadn't seen the test to be positive, she would have sent me home with nothing as she did not see ANYTHING to indicate strep throat. Isn't that weird? Anyway....I ended up taking Josiah on Tuesday after VBS as a precaution and he too had it, but didn't show any real sign of it physically. Josiah spent Wednesday with me and the boys in the separate nursery, but then he was allowed back in his class the following day because he had been on antibiotics for 24 hours, and that would be the policy if he was going to school. I sincerely hope that noone got strep throat from my boys that week...I really felt it was a spiritual attack that this all happened this week. I was very pleased with how the staff at Bethany Baptist handled it all though and am glad I could still volunteer despite all these challenges.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 4th Family Fun

This year for the actual "day" of the 4th, we decided as a family to go on a fun outing together. I had originally looked for a park that had a sprayground that the kids could play in as I thought it would be fun for them to run through the water on a hot day. We went to a park in Tacoma and discovered that the sprayground didn't start working until 11am and we arrived around 10am. We waited for a bit and then a little bit before 11, some maintenance men came and put up a sign saying that the sprayground wasn't working due to mechanical problems. Ugh. So, with that we packed up and decided to try another park as this one really had not much shade and we didn't want to be stuck in the hot sun without any water relief. This picture above is actually at the second park we went to which is over by Tacoma General Hospital. We had seen this park many times as we drove by it to go and visit the twins when they were there for 20 days. There was a man near the pond feeding the ducks with some stale bread and he kindly gave some to us to throw as well. The babies thought it was food to eat and tried to eat it rather than throw it, but oh well....a little stale bread never hurt anyone, right?

Josiah really enjoyed this twirling toy at the first park. It was at such an angle that when you sat in it and put your weight in it, the thing pretty much was self-perpetuating and kept going around and around until you would sit very still and then it would slow and stop enough so you could get out.

Josiah also enjoyed the swings at the second park. It was much more shady here and it felt good to be under the trees as we watched the boys play.

Here is sweet Caleb-bee at the first park. He had fun exploring the whole area and in this shot was sitting on the railing of the stairs like it was a pony ride.

Daniel enjoyed trying to swing himself as well. He and Daddy also went on an exploring adventure of the area and he kept finding various "treasures" that he insisted upon Daddy holding. They were a variety of pine cones and twigs as it turned out. They were very important though and David found that if he didn't take them that Daniel would insist upon him holding them each time. After their walk, David lined up all the "treasures" on a bench and we took a picture of them.

At the first park, Daniel and Caleb found a puddle of water that they enjoyed splashing and sitting in. It was hard to tear them away from this area and they kept trying to sneak back to it after we lured them away.

Daniel and Caleb were fading a bit by this point at the second park. Shortly after this was taken, we trekked back to the car and then went to McDonalds for lunch where the kiddos played on the indoor equipment there as well. Overall, it was a fun day and it was nice to have a quiet holiday as a family.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Visit with Great Grandma Walker

It has become a bit of a tradition the past two years now for my Grandma Walker to come visit all of us for the weekend of July 4th. Last year, Grandpa Walker came too, but it was just too hard for him to travel again this year, so he stayed behind at the nursing home. This was our first visit with Grandma at Shari's and she was just thrilled to see all the little ones. At first, Josiah said, "I'm shy of Great Grandma and hid under the table." But the next day, after we spent some time at the zoo with her, he told me in the car, "I'm not shy of Great Grandma anymore." It was nice to see my Grandma again as it seems we never really get over to Eastern Washington much anymore with all these kiddos. Thanks for visiting Grandma it was really great to see you!!

Here is Josiah showing Great Grandma and Grandma how he can ride his bike. He does a really good job now and insists on always wearing his helmet and "lily pads" AKA elbow pads each time. Safety first, right? :)

As an outing together, we all went to the Pt. Defiance Zoo. My mom too this picture of the boys and I looking at the sharks. This was neat for them because the tank was right at their level for them to watch and they enjoyed looking at all the large fish and sharks in the tank.

My mom took Josiah in to see the new Budgie Buddies exhibit and as you can see he got to hold one as well.

Here is another shot my mom took of all of us together. The twins would not look at the camera, but oh well. Overall we had a lot of fun, but it was a lot of walking with two strollers for sure. Great Grandma was a trooper and despite some hip pain she kept up with us on some of the steeper hills and such. Afterward, we went to Dairy Queen, but as I suspected the babies fell asleep almost immediately upon being put in their carseats. So my mom ordered me food and I sat in the car with the babes parked in the shade. It worked out just fine and I was glad they got a bit of a nap on the way home!