Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pine Knob skiing

Tadj and I took the kids skiing yesterday. This was actually Sofia's second trip out (the top pic was from that first outing). We had a BLAST! Sofia disappeared on us and we found her riding up the chairlift ON HER OWN! I was a bit nervous, but she did just fine. It's so great to have an independent skier... finally. Grayson worked with Tadj on some better technique and independence and is coming along. Scarlett hung out with me. She just needed help off the wonder carpet and several hands to stand back up. I was surprised at how well she could keep her balance and even try to make some turns... and how HAPPY she was when she'd fall. Just an AWESOME day.
Mom and Scarlett hanging out.
Grayson looked like this... a lot.

Sweet sisters

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Barbie Sundays

When I was a kid, I spent MANY a Sunday afternoon playing Barbies with my sister, Rachel. We had a very large cardboard box filled with Barbies, barbie cars, clothes, furniture, babies, etc. that we would haul out from the basement storage and spread all over the living room or our bedroom for literally, HOURS of playtime. We were reminiscing about these Sundays a couple months ago when my sister was visiting and her little girls, along with my little girls hauled out the old Barbie stuff (including the 1970's style dream house that we hardly used) that my mother never got rid of, and played the evening away.

Today, when we came home from church, Scarlett pulled out Barbies and Ponies and the girls played. Sofia has never had an interest in Barbies or Babies, or the like, but she wanted to learn how to braid their hair. She did that, and Scarlett played the Barbies. I'm sure my sister and I looked like that. I just had to get a picture. Thankfully, we have little sacks to store our Barbies in. We have NOT progressed to the cardboard box stage... thank goodness. Clean up was a breeze. That was always the worst part.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Trip to Oakland Mall

It's pretty rare that I take the kids to Oakland Mall. I think the last time we went was probably 2 years ago. We went today because Sofia had a gift card for Borders that we wanted to use and I think this was the closest one (we have Barnes and Noble closer). The older kids remembered it, but it was all brand new for Scarlett. The also marks the very first time in the last 7 years that I've walked into a mall without a stroller!! Since working, I don't get to go on these outings as much... and in the last year, my two youngest have outgrown the old double stroller that served us so well for so long. SO nice to have older kids. No one even wandered away!! Everyone could walk and even keep pretty good pace with me.
Of course, Sofia felt the need to jump off this croc. She jumps off EVERYTHING... such a monkey. I wish I would have snapped a picture, but a little while later, Sofia got bored with the play area and pulled out her new books from Borders, plopped herself on top of that crocodile snout, and read for a while. Too cute!!
Cutie Scarlie in the canoe

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Winter Trip to the Detroit Zoo - January 15, 2010

We were trying to go to the Detroit Science Center... and realized they were closed for a private event. SOOOO, we decided to try the zoo in the Winter time. It was COLD and SNOWY but SUPER AWESOME (though next time the kids will wear snow bibs). The Aminis came with us. Our first stop was the reptile house. Doesn't that snake look like it wants to eat Scarlett?? We loved this stop for a couple reasons: #1, we were 2 of maybe 10 families that braved the zoo this day and the volunteers were anxious to point things out and teach; #2 the animals were not trying to hide from a zillion people. They were all awake and active! Usually we peek in the windows of the reptile house and it's like "Where's Waldo" trying to find a creature. NOT THIS TIME!! The Crocodiles were swimming, snake slithering, turtles swimming... so cool.

From the reptile house, we went to the polar bear exhibit. What a treat!! The male bear, Lee, was splashing around a playing in the water quite a bit, and the arctic foxes were scampering around too.

Before we headed back and through the Penguinarium to the exit, we were told we had to see the giraffe exhibit. We were tired from the lack of train transportation, but went anyway... we were glad we did. Usually you have to pay $5 to see this exhibit up close, but in the Winter, the giraffes are only indoors and they just let everyone in to see. The kids could have stayed here forever.

Of course, a trip with the Aminis is not complete without a trip to McDonalds.. and those kids sure worked up an appetite with all their walking.

Troy Historical Museum Field Trip

Mom got to chaperone Mr. Rossi's class to the Troy Historical Museum field trip, which was actually on Sofia's birthday. FUN!! We'd never been there before and didn't know what to expect. There are a bunch of little buildings you can walk around a visit. The first one we went to was a toy demonstration in the general store. The volunteer that did the presentation did such a good job. The kids were so excited to play with these old time toys. It made me regret the $ we spent on Christmas. SHEESH! - Pull ropes to raise the teddy bear up and get the ball in the cup. SO simple.

I had 4 first grade girls in my group - not sure where number 4 is here... she liked to wander. It was COLD and very snowy.
The next demonstration was in the main building. The kids learned about different types on candles and then got to dip their own to take home. We thought this would be our favorite (though hard to top the toys), but the lady doing this presentation must not have much experience with kids because she was NOT AT ALL entertaining... and in fact a little rude and mean. Oh well, we tried to make it fun.

After the candles, we went to the school house for lunch, and then got to go back outside to wait for the bell to ring.
Perfect students, sitting at their desks. The teacher made them read in their readers, pull out slates to practice their writing, and worked on arithmetic (the 3 R's). They had to raise their hands and when called upon stand up next to their desks and say "permission to speak?" and wait for the teacher to say "permission granted". They loved it!

After slouching in line waiting for the bell to ring, this one was punished with books on her arms and head to practice her posture. (This was my #4 in my group... she's too cute)
Gum chewers had to put their gum inside a circle on the chalkboard and then put their noses in the gum. (they were just pretending... no gum was there)
This little girl made a "not smart" decision and had to wear the DUNCE cap and sit in the corner for the rest of the day. She thought it was GREAT!!

Sofia's 7th Birthday!

Sofia turned 7 years old on January 12th. I don't think we will ever get used to our children growing up. She went from a teeny baby at 6lbs 11oz to the super tall (but still skinny) 7 year old she is today in the blink of an eye. She is SUCH a pleasure to have in our home. Sofia is always helpful and eager to please. She appreciated pretty things and loves to share with and teach her little brother and sister. She is just the best big sister. She still loves animals the most, but has really enjoyed crafty projects lately too. From Mom and Dad, she got a Webkinz set complete with a Lemur, Pony, little dog, and even some little cloths and a Phineas and Ferb DS game.

She was still eating her breakfast when we finally agreed to let her open her presents. Clearly we chose well. She was just thrilled.

After dance classes, we met Grandma Hardie, Afton, Grandma Gay, and Grandpa George at Red Robin for Sofia's birthday kids' meal. Lucky us got a magic show from a roaming magician. He was more corny than magical, but it was fairly entertaining.

On Saturday the 15th, we had the family over (including, of course, the Aminis) for a pizza party celebration. All the grandparents came, along with the Uncle Chris, Aunt Rachel, Thierry, Amandine, Uncle Gus, Aunt Jess, Tricia, and Nik.
Sofia, happy to be surrounded by her favorite people.

Costo has limited our cake choices :( .... either chocolate/chocolate/chocolate, or white/cream cheese/vanilla. The chocolate was way too rich at Scarlett's b/day so we opted for the latter. Sofia didn't like it though... I think we may have to be done with Costco.

Sofia let Scarlett and Grayson help her with her presents... did I mention she's a really good big sister... Scarlett was just a little grumpy here.
Hotel for Dogs DS game from the Aminis.
Puppy in my pocket set from Uncle Chris, Aunt Rachel, Amandine, and Thierry. She also got a Fuzzoodles kit and mosaic art kit from Uncle Gus and Aunt Jess, and another Artsy sewing kit from Grandma and Grandpa Hardie. Tricia and Nick got her a Borders Books gift card, Grandma Gay and Grandpa George bought her a new outfit which she got at Red Robin a few nights early, but also brought new dresses for the girls and a cool biker jacket for Grayson on the night of the party.