Friday, February 26, 2010

Daytrip to South Carolina

We drove 1-1/2 hrs south today to Greenville, South Carolina to volunteer in Disney's "Give a Day, Get a Day" program. You basically volunteer with random organizations and get a free ticket to disney world! There weren't too many opportunities for young ones to volunteer, that's why we had to drive out of town. It was a nice day and tons of families showed up to help - I think 70 people in all, lots of homeschoolers. We spent 2 hours cleaning the grounds of an elementary school - not too shabby :)

We decided to spend the rest of the day in Greenville's new Children's Museum! This place was fairly pricey, but so cool - it was worth the cost for an occasional visit. 3 stories, geared for the older set (6-11 years). We spent 4 hours there, and the boys were game for more, I was just ready for home.

Other things we did that were faves but not photographed were the TV studio, the stop motion animation station, the Blue Man exhibit, the garage band music room, the cafe, and this *huge* round room that was called the "do anything" room - nothing at all in the room except carpet - a big hit :)

Reed on the 2-story climbing structure:
Clay was smiling the whole time! Here he is on a pulley chair:
Rock climbing, looking out over downtown Greenville:
One of my personal favorites - the gigantic Lite Brite!!
Computer controlled robot tic-tac-toe
Reed getting to work in the construction zone
Clay becoming one with the Reedy River exhibit
This is actually one of the toddler play areas, but the museum was practically empty, so Reed had a go - I think that water fountain table with little built-in baby seats is the cutest thing EVER!

Had to share a sweet little thrift store find from a couple days ago! This is the 1969 Family House from Fisher Price Little People sets. It was filthy and full of cobwebs, but after some tedious scrubbing the house is ready to join our funny little collection of vintage FP. The daycare kids and my own really love this stuff and I'm kicking myself for giving away the complete farm set we had for Clay when he was a baby. This is the little house - (pretty dirty here)
You can see such a huge difference even when I just scrubbed the garage roof:
The kids couldn't wait to bring it into the mix (and some playmobil guys like to hang and play basketball with the little people - it's all good - we don't discriminate)

Have a lovely weekend everyone! It should be beautiful - can't wait to go soak up some sunshine (but honestly, we've been so busy lately that just sitting around and being lazy sounds good, too)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Prodigal Stanley Returns

Wow - of all things to arrive in our mailbox, I did *not* expect to see any more Flat Stanleys... but lo and behold, a nice crisp manilla envelope arrived bearing our long-lost friend :)

This is "Spikey Bat Stanley" that Reed made. It was sent to Bend, Oregon almost exactly 2 years ago. Spikey Bat had quite the adventure. He played in Oregon for a bit, but his host family was unexpectedly transferred to Virginia. He and his family missed Oregon, so went back for vacation - but eventually Spikey Bat Stanley got homesick for Asheville and came back.

Here's his pictures from his extended stay - thanks to the Lippy family for taking such good care of our friend for such a long time!!

Caving and playing in the mountains of Bend, OR.

Exploring the Oregon coast.

and other random oregon fun spots...

In the plane to Virginia as well as enjoying rainy Virginia days:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

~~sunshine on my shoulder~~

ahhh... sun! i missed you so!

We're going on 3 days of sunshine now - woohoo! Last friday was the first day of sun and warmth, and the kids were excited to rush outside and soak it up!

Clay cheesin it up on the disc swing...

it's good having a big brother around to help you out..

A great thing about doing inhome childcare is that there's always friends to play with!

Here's a sweet little friend of ours who desperately wanted that last block of ice way down in the bucket

Boys were COVERED with mud by the time they came inside!

Surely the coolest tree we have in this yard! Reed is working on his branch fort behind the tree..

From the habit of moving to a new house every year or so, I'm getting pretty pro now at putting up new gardens, compost, etc. on the cheap. I was super excited to find these pallets being tossed out near the house - they are solid! Definitely they were handmade, so a little funky looking, but I love that compost won't be falling out of the sides! I think I might drill some more holes in for aeration. Also, these were a softer wood than most pallets, so easy for me to nail together. To make these, just nail the 3 sides together. Then drill holes for metal clothes hangers to fit through to attach the front side. You can also attach hardware cloth (like very small chicken wire) to the bottom and dig it down so it goes 6" deep around the sides. I have done this with other bins and may do it here, but for now I'm pleased to see the neighborhood cats keeping good patrol, so i don't think I'll have to worry about little mousies sneaking in for a snack :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Have I Mentioned I LOVE this town?!?

Sunday started out nice and peaceful - laundry steaming on the line in the bright morning sun...

We went downtown to Asheville's Mardi Gras parade - Yet another reason I LOVE this town! It's too much fun

One of our favorite librarians in the front row there - our other favorite is a fire spinner (only in asheville...)

our favorite hippie clown, kenny:

Everyone followed the parade through downtown and to Pritchard Park...

where the dance party was on!

boys looking slightly entertained...

Then we drove over to West Asheville's own Short Street Cakes for some delicious goodies (chocolate ganache cupcakes and bacon apple cupcakes - oh yeah!)... it was their one year anniversary as well as valentine's/mardi gras celebration...


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Wintery Weekend

Clay and I have been reading the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series, which are basically about Greek Mythology being alive and well in the modern world ... anyhow, Clay's loving the series! I can't remember the last time we've been to a regular movie theater. I usually opt for the Brew n View for $3 movies (something about being able to drink a microbrew while pizza orders are being shouted out behind you just makes the movie that much better for me :). But Hollywood has usurped this from me and put out a movie of the first book from the series, "The Lightning Thief", hence forcing us to make the pilgrimage to the new (okay, it's been there awhile, I've just never been) fancy pants theater down in Biltmore Park... stadium seating and everything! We took a couple friends who all loved it! -- and just to add in some props for homeschooling - we went to this on opening day and since we homeschool we could go in the middle of the day, there were only a dozen other people in the theater! yea!

Clay's excited to start reading more about Greek Mythology, which I remember enjoying very much, so will be glad to re-read. I think we'll have to go to the Parthenon in Nashville, TN next month when we're driving through, since it was in the movie and all :)

As the movie let out, the snow started falling. The kids skidded around the front of the theater and huddled by a restaurant's outdoor fire pit for a bit before we decided best to be safe and get home!

Thanks to Amanda's blog I made cinnamon rolls that night for a nice morning surprise for the boys... which of course led to us all eating cinnamon rolls for a better part of the day.

Being snowed in has various effects on me, this weekend it happened to be that I couldn't stop making food! We made the cinnamon rolls, granola, whole wheat crackers, and then upon Reed's insistence found a new recipe to make cheddar cheese crackers (yum!). And after dinner tonight we had leftover avocado, so made some raw brownies, which are de-freakin-licious, but the boys are still unsure of. Got a trip in to a local kid's clothing consignment sale to stock up on some ebay inventory and made a quick trip to Amazing Savings (like a thrift store of organic groceries) and got to rock out the new cloth bulk bags I made (thanks to sara for inspiration to finally do these!)

whew - that's enough shout out's with links for one post - love to everyone, hope your weekend is fun!

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