On Tuesday we got to Pennsylvania and found the guy that bought the engine. He had SOOOO many Mercedes--several wagons like ours too. It was kindof a Mercedes mecca. (By the way, whenever Brett sees a Mercedes on the road driving by, or in a movie, he points it out. Every time.)
While the engine was being unloaded, Hazel took the opportunity to pick some lovely dandelions.
Then we had a rough leg of the journey to D.C. Ethne decided to cry without ceasing for many long hours (that's how long it felt anyway). But we finally found our temporary home--Greenbelt Campground--and set up.
Here are some pictures of Sleeping Beauty and Sleeping Handsome in their little tent. Man, they were beat after our long days. Man--I was too!
Here's Hazel holding a frog Daddy found for her.
The campground is where we stayed while we were there the rest of the time. When Brett booked it, he was sure it said there were showers, but when we got there, there were no showers. But actually, the next day I saw a park ranger and asked her, and she said they were in the bathrooms on the other side. So we were able to shower (and there was a really cute kid-sized shower and Hazel was so cute showering there that I wanted to take a picture).
Jethro ran around in the trees and all told we found 4 ticks on him, and one on Brett. The kids slept well, and luckily we were blessed with great weather. It didn't rain and it wasn't too hot.
It was a nice spot and it was pretty wild that it was in the middle of such a big city. We were able to have cereal and poptarts for breakfasts, sandwiches for lunch, and mac & cheese, tuna helper, and corn on the cob for our dinners. The campground was only $16 a night, so it was a pretty sweet deal.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
We are back from our vacation, and I just want to reiterate that be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Actually, we had a great time, it was just a long drive (until 3:00 a.m.) on Friday, and when I got into the house I felt like it was the most wonderful place on earth.
Anyway, I'll share some of what we did, but I know I won't get through it all tonight, so I'll break it up however I get to it. Plus, it makes it easy to break it up that way.
So anyway, Day 1- We got up bright and early, remembered to load all three children, and hit the road.
It was a fairly easy drive to Kirtland. Hazel latched on to a sister missionary and held her hand throughout the whole tour. An interesting tidbit I learned at Kirtland--women often lined the inside of their bonnets with a peach color, because it would reflect onto their faces, giving a 'peaches and cream' look to their complexion.
We also toured the Kirtland temple. You have to pay $2 per person, which we hadn't expected and were quite flabbergasted when the lady told us. It was cool--the doors were really green originally. My favorite part was how the benches in the chapel all had doors on the end, so your kids would never be able to just run out.
Then we went to our very cheap hotel and let the kids swim in the pool there. Don't you LOVE Ethne's little bum?!
Friday, May 23, 2008
So we went to Jethro's Kindergarten Graduation last night, and all the kindergarten classes sang a bunch of songs, and then they got to get their caps and diplomas. Fun stuff.
Here's Jethro and his teacher.
I asked Jethro some questions about his Kindergarten year, and here's what he said.
Favorite thing about Kindergarten?
I don’t know…I liked everything, everything, everything.
Favorite part of the school day?
Doing the crafts...the fun, the games.
Best thing you learned?
Everything…science, and about fish, and tadpoles, and frogs, and butterflies.
Favorite thing about your teacher?
I like that she’s nice, and I like her.
Hardest thing about Kindergarten?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I don’t know, because I have too many things that I think I should be.
And here are some pictures I stole from my friend's blog from the day we went to the creek.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Today was fun. These pictures, however, are from the other day because I didn't post any pictures of Ethne yesterday. (But actually more because no post should be without pictures.) So, here's Ethne in all her not-smiling, not-looking-at-the-camera-but-still-actually-very-cute glory.
This morning the kids got me up much earlier than usual, but that was good because I had to get ready and take the kids up to Purdue at 10:00 for a language study that Hazel was going to be in. It was pretty cool for me to go because it was in the same building, same department, same rooms as I went to school for the one semester I worked on a master's degree in Speech Path. It was weird walking through the hall again, but this time toting three kids with me---being on the other side, so to speak (though I did have Jethro when I went). I did not have any twinges of wishing I was still doing it, but it was fun to watch Hazel take some of the tests, etc. I got to watch her on a t.v. in a different room.
First they gave her a little hearing screen, and then they went through several language tests. They asked her to do things like pick the toy that you cook with out of a group, move the small pink pig behind the man, put two sheep into the field, put the biggest button under the cup, etc. She did well at that. Then they did other things like asking what the fireman was doing in the picture, what the dancer was doing. They didn't understand her when she said 'twirling.' They also did some repeating of strings of numbers, which she did not do so well at--at least not perfectly when their were lots of numbers. She also did not do well on irregular past tense, like 'caught' and 'ran.' They did a lot of other things but I didn't catch it all, having to corral Ethne much of the time. But anyway, they'll send me her test scores soon.
I was also a bit concerned (well, that's probably too strong of a word, I was just wondering) about her articulation. She can't say l's or r's, th's, k's or g's. So, the person running the study very kindly had one of the PhD speech path's come in and listen to her for a little while. Then she came in and talked about it with me, and she said actually for her age she's fine for almost all those sounds. The only one that should be resolved by age 4 (which Hazel will be next month) is the k/g. (For example, she'll say tat for cat). But she can say it isolation and in final position, so she said she wouldn't be too worried. You'd think I'd know all this, but I didn't remember just what the appropriate ages were for these sounds. Plus, I was comparing her with Jethro who has really great speech. Mainly though, it was just fun for me because I like this stuff. :) She gave me a little handout that she'd made with a bunch of different speech and language info for developing children. Just in case anyone is interested, here's the little breakdown for artic.
Speech Sound Acquistion
0-3 years: p, b, m, n, h, w, t, d
3-4: k, g, f, y
4-6: l, s*, z*, v, ch, sh, j
5-7: th and r
*--distorted productions of s and z may occur until 7 years of age.
So, Hazel had lots of fun--she got to play with a dress-up doll in between tests, and got stickers and a little prize at the end. Jethro had fun playing with dinosaur legos (although he was sad he didn't get a prize at the end), and I had fun remembering my days of studying speech path, and I got $8 for it. Woo.
Then we came home and got Jethro off to school, and went to the grocery store for a few things. We didn't get too much, just some diapers, shampoo, cereal, yogurt, etc. I don't usually pay attention to the total at the end, I just sign my name and grab the receipt and go, but today I looked at it, and was shocked to see that it came to $72. So I looked at the receipt and saw that there was $43 on there for 'cosmetics' and I didn't even buy ANY cosmetics. So anyway, I got my money back but it was so weird--we couldn't figure out how it came to be on my order. Strange. So, check your receipts everyone.
Then we came home and I made some puffed wheat squares and salad for dinner, and picked up Jethro, and then our friends Andrea and Elise came over and we drove to show them where the Botanical gardens were, and then went to Wildcat Creek to let the kids play. I think they had a splendid time, since they all got very wet and muddy/sandy. It rained yesterday and so the beach was now just a big muddy patch with big puddles--I'd never seen it that way. But like I said, they still had a great time tramping through the puddles and collecting shells. Ethne, unfortunately, had a small near-death experience when she kindof tripped as she was walking into a puddle, and her face went in. I quickly went over to her, but I was really expecting her to get her feet back under her and stand up, but she couldn't. I grabbed her out, and she was distressed for a minute or two, and held my hand after that. All in all, it was a good time.
We got home and Brett got after us for getting in the car so wet and sandy, but really--it's just sand. Anyway, sorry honey. I really was intending to take their clothes off but they were ahead of me and got in before I did. So they had baths as soon as they got home, and I started making potato pancakes for dinner. I was also cooking some bacon in the microwave to add to the salad (broccoli and purple grape and bacon salad IT IS SO DELICIOUS!!!), and I sliced my thumb, so I had Brett come in and band-aid it for me, and meanwhile the bacon burned to a crisp, which was really very sad.
Then after dinner Brett said he was going to a carwash, so we all went along and I started reading "The Littles to the Rescue" to the kids while we went. We finished "Little House on the Prairie" last night, and when I finished it, Jethro said, "I wish we could 'Little House on the Prairie' again." I told Brett that he said that, and he said, "Yeah, some books you're just sad when they end." And I said, "That's how my book is going to be," and he said, "You're book will be the kind where you're sad you read it." !!!!!! Needless to say, Brett is NOT going to be in the dedication. ;)
Now that you know every miniscule detail of my life today, you can get on with your own. :)
Monday, May 19, 2008
But then, nice things happen like my kids look adorable so I take a zillion pictures of them, and the government puts a not-insignificant chunk of money into my bank account, and I feel very blessed. (Gifts of money somehow always make you feel quite good, wouldn't you agree?)