Monday, June 23, 2008

Zoo, Reptiles, and Pregnant Bellies

Last Wednesday we took a trip to the zoo, and my mom accompanied us this time. We had a great time, as usual!

We are just wrapping up our study on reptiles, so we focused on seeing all the reptiles. Not sure it was Mom's favorite, but she was a sport about it! Here is Dominique with some alligator eggs.

Learning about alligator skulls....

And alligator snapping turtles.....

Loving on Grandma!

Measuring up to a brown bear. So fun to see my little stair steps growing!

And speaking of reptiles, we were blessed with a new "pet" last week! My brother found this common garter snake and let us have it. Yay! I haven't let it in my house, though - it's in the garage. Joshua thinks it's pretty cool to have around, but isn't too into holding it.....
I think we will keep it for observation for a couple of weeks and then let it go. :) It is about to shed its skin, so that will be a nice keepsake of his stay with us.

After the zoo, we went to some friends house and had such a nice time! Here is Dominique with their little sweetie, Emma.

And it is so much fun to take belly shots with fellow pregnant friends!
Heather was at 34 weeks, I was 26.

The guys started feeling left out, and decided to join in the fun!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Well, we have been keeping busy and thorougly enjoying this wonderful weather and these long days!
Here is a sampling of what we've been up to for the past week:
The first few picture are at a Block Party that our library had. We love free fun!
Joshua was playing "air teeball"- pretty cool!

Dominique with the bozo buckets:

Even Israel got in on the Bozo bucket fun!

The local fire dept was there allowing children to explore inside the truck and ask questions. Joshua had LOTS of questions about everything, of course!

Dominique was too shy to climb into the truck or ask any questions, but she did hold onto his helmet for a few minutes to see how heavy it was!

Outside the fire truck:

Last Saturday was "Home Depot" day - the first Saturday of the month when Home Depot has a free wooden craft for the kids to do. (Did I mention that was love free fun?)
Anyway, they haven't been able to go the past two months because of one thing or another, so they were excited! AND... this was the very first time Israel got to participate! You should have seen how excited he was to put on his very own orange Home Depot apron- it was too cute!

Sunday afternoon (after our mandatory naps), we kicked back at a nearby park:

They have a nice little hill that the kids had a blast climbing up and running down about a million times in their bare feet. It had rained the night before, so there were huge puddles at the bottom that were lots of fun to splash in. Fabio and I just sat at the top of the hill and let them "knock themselves out". It worked - Joshua slept until after 8am the next morning!!!

When they finally got tired of the hill, we walked to the lake and they looked for "treasures" and tried not to fall in. :)

And, another trip to the nature center and walk in the forest preserve:

Israel was pretty excited about this snake!

(This fun was free too! :)

And we also made it to the beach this week! The day was beautiful, but the water was freezing - I dont know how Dominique could stand it! She was the only one, though - and she stayed in the water most of the time we were there!

Joshua tried going in a couple times, but was mostly content to dig his little "pool" at the edge of the water...

Daddy giving them some pointers on the construction of their pool:

Israel LOVED the whole experience, although he wasn't crazy about the 51ยบ water!

A shot with mommy...

The finished pool...

And on the way back to the car, we let them run out the rest of their energy climbing up and down the dunes for a while. Can you see Joshua there on the dune?

Israel is indicating here where Dominique was at - can you see her above Israel's head there on the dune? She was sitting down, not sure if she would make it all the way up...

Joshua made it to the top!

And then running back down is the "funnest" part:

Dominique finally made it all the way up too! Here she is running back down:

And now, for our backyard tadpole update: some of them bave become froglets! If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you will see three different stages: the one on the left has front legs and its tail is becoming shorter, the one in the middle also is growing front legs, but has a longer tail, and the one on the right still just has a tail. :) Isn't that cool? Oh, and you can see the ones with front legs are starting to practice breathing air.

Other than that, we have been doing our usual summer routine of dedicating Thursdays to garage sale-ing. :) I love Thursdays in our town - garage sales abound!

And.... on a "relaxed" basis, we are doing school through the summer. I might always do this, or I might not, but at least for this year, it made sense with the baby coming in September. This way, we can take a nice break *after* baby arrives. :) I do like the idea of keeping up with the basics during the summer, anyway - especially math. Otherwise you have to re-cover so much lost ground when you start back again, right? And reading Joshua loves and does anyway all day long. Most of our other "school" for the summer is things like what you see above! Life is school!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cousin Fun

Here are a few pictures I took the other day at my brother's house, of his four children and our three. It is so fun that the children have cousins so close in age - they totally have a blast together!

The youngest of the grandchildren - until September! Isn't she a doll?

And again I embarked on the adventure of trying to get a decent picture of these two little curlies together!

While not exactly what I was looking for, I thought this one was hilarious!

Moriah: Wow, he's got some serious cheeks!
Israel: What does she think she's staring at??

This is a little more like it! So tweet!

Amanda came over to help me get their attention!

On another note, as an update to the below post about the pond, our tadpoles seem to be thriving on occasional handfuls of spinach! Today we noticed that some of them are growing little tiny back legs on the sides of their tails! I don't think I have ever personally been able to witness a tadpole metamorphosis, so I think I am enjoying it as much as the children! :)

Also, I was just noticing how TIME FLIES!!! When I put up my little baby count-down ticker, I think I had about 240 days to go.....seemed like forever. Then I remember the day I looked and there were only 200 to go! I remember thinking about how fast those 40 days had gone! Then, just a few short days later it seems, I looked today, and we are almost down to 100. From 200 to 100 in just the wink of an eye!!!! Wow. I can't believe it! So, anyway, today is 25 weeks and we are doing well. I can tell baby is definitely growing, as movements have been much more dramatic the past couple of weeks and starting to get somewhat uncomfortable, but I never get tired of feeling baby move. :) I'm sure that is my favorite part of being pregnant. And I am getting really excited to meet this little one! This morning we took a meal to a family in our church who just had a new baby and holding her made me even more excited!!! Ahhhhh, soon. :)