Monday, May 21, 2012

Ben rides his bike!

Today was another beautiful day, so we got the bikes back out!  Juju is learning to ride her tricycle - she can pedal, but she's so tiny that the bike is still a little too big for her and she easily loses the pedals from her feet.  She's doing pretty well with it though. 

Abbey goes so fast on her tricycle - it's so cute to watch her little legs moving around so quickly!

And here's the big news...Ben can now ride his bike!  A good friend told us that they took the pedals off her son's bike and just let him coast for a while.  So, I had Ben lift his legs up and I gave him a push and he just glided - it gave him the feeling of balancing the bike and he thought it was a lot of fun.  We did that for about 15 minutes and then I told him to just rest his feet on the pedals when I pushed him.  I gave him a push and he immediately started pedaling down the street - it was amazing!  It only took a few times before he was biking all the way down the street!  And by the end of the night, he was using his break to stop the bike.  He has not yet started the bike on his own - he still wants us to get him started with a push - but I can't believe that within 15 minutes he basically learned how to ride his bike! 

What an exciting day!  In other exciting Ben news, he has now lost another tooth.  The funny part about that is that we didn't even know he had lost it.  We went to some friends for dinner and they asked to see his lost tooth (the first one).  When he opened his mouth to show them, we realized he had lost another one!  And just like the last time, his adult tooth was already half way in behind it.  So who knows what actually happened to the tooth - Ben didn't know he had lost it either!  So tonight he wrote the tooth fairy a note saying he lost it and put it in the tooth pillow, which reminds me...
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Spring Activities

Well I am behind on blogging, but we have been busy!  So let me try to update you on some of our spring activities.  First off, we have an abundance of butterflies around our backyard, which is great for Ben because he got a butterfly catching net for his birthday!  So here is the first one he caught.  He looked it up on the internet to find out it was a Red Admiral Butterfly...


We also went to watch Cousin Andrew in a track meet - he pole vaults, which I absolutely love watching!  There was a lot of down time though, so the kids found amusement in running up and down the bleachers...

Great job Andrew!

Paul and Ben went to an arena football game with a bunch of other kids from his class - they had a lot of fun!  So, I met up with some friends and took the girls to see Sesame Street Live! 

They really enjoyed the first half, but then they got a little antsy in the second half, which wasn't too surprising given the fact that each half was a little over an hour long!  We had fun though and I was glad that everybody in the house got to have a fun afternoon!

And we have been working on getting Ben to learn how to ride his bike.  Paul ran behind him for an afternoon, and that went pretty well, but he wasn't quite getting it yet.  He was so scared of falling that he would ride for a few seconds, then get scared and purposely steer towards the grass so he could fall on that instead of the sidewalk.

Then he took a break to try to pole vault...I guess he really enjoyed watching Cousin Andrew too!

The weather turned pretty warm the other day, so we got out the water table and the kids were so excited to get in their suits and have some water fun in the backyard!

And look how gorgeous our roses are right now!

Then we got out the hose and made a water slide - the kids loved it!

Thanks Aunt Domi for giving us another slide - the kids are having a lot of fun going down the slides at the same time!

Juliette wasn't a fan of the water slide, so she played in the car.

And she was very excited to finally be able to wear her new Dora swim suit!

Then it was time to do the car wash!

Belle enjoyed being outside with everyone too.  I just wanted to include a picture of her so you can see how big she is getting!

Ben loves all things water - he parked the car right in front of the sprinkler and thoroughly enjoyed getting sprayed that closely!
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Abbey's dance recital 2012

Abbey's 1st dance recital

Abbey has been taking dance (ballet and tap) all year and this weekend was her first dance recital! I was pretty nervous because at the dress rehearsal she literally sat down on her spot and cried while the rest of the kids danced. So I didn't know what to expect. I told her to just have fun, but she said she didn't want to do it.   And she was in tears when I left her to go find seats in the auditorium. 

Well when the music came on (Rockin Robin), she was a STAR! She danced better than I have ever seen her dance and did the whole routine! She was so excited! I ran backstage after the show to congratulate her and she could not smile any bigger - she was so proud of herself. She told me, "Mom, I LOVED being on stage! Was I a star? I want to do that again! Can you please sign me up for dance again?!?" It was fantastic! Here she is before we left for the recital.  Juliette was also pretty excited - she really loved practicing the routine with Abbey at home!

Strike a pose!

Here she is on stage doing the routine...

At the end all the dancers went on stage to take a final bow - their class got a huge cheer!

This was back stage - she was so excited and proud of herself!  We made sure to get her a big bouquet of all pink flowers!

Aunt Domi and Caroline also came to watch Abbey and brought her flowers!  We took lots of adorable pictures with them, but sadly, none of them turned out.  I was almost in tears when I realized this tonight as I was downloading pictures :(

And this is Ms. Jenny, her teacher, who was so proud of her, especially after the dress rehearsal debacle!

It was so fantastic - I am just beaming with pride at how well she did.  I have a video of it that I will try to post too.  And I am behind on a few other posts, so I will get to that too, but I had to post this right away!  Thank you Aunt Domi and Caroline for coming up to watch Abbey - it made her feel very special!  And thanks for joining us for dinner and a trip to Yogurtland at Abbey's request!  What a great day!
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Abbey's Dance Recital

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Willis Tower

On Sunday after Church we decided to head downtown and go to the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower). It was a lot of fun and the kids all really enjoyed it! They could not get enough of the view and kept crawling out by the windows to see straight down!  I guess they do not fear heights! 

It was a beautiful day and up on the 103rd floor of the building, you can get a beautiful view of our city! 

Now we haven't been up here since it was the Sears Tower and it was before we were married, so it had been quite a while!  They have since added glass boxes that stick out of the building so you can look straight down and feel like you are standing in mid-air!  I thought I would love this, but it was a little scary!  We all found that before going out there, we sort of tested it with our foot first to make sure that it was solid!   The kids all ran out without any hesitation, especially Juliette who kept running to the corner of the glass box and hitting the glass - giving me minor heart attacks as she did it!

And Paul, who says he is afraid of heights and was pretty sure he was not going to go out there, did just fine!  Look at this great picture of him with the kids out there - no worries at all!

I still had a difficult time though and preferred to inch out there kneeling down - I'm not sure why kneeling made it easier than just standing, but it did!

Look at these two - what a great picture!

Another gorgeous view!

Family picture!  Unfortunately, it was pretty close to lunch time and the kids were getting pretty cranky at this point!

Then we decided to get everyone in the picture booth glass box and the picture turned out so cute that we had to buy it! 

It was a very cool experience - I would recommend it to anyone!  Afterwards we came down and stood at the bottom to see just how very high up we were!

What a fun day at the Sky Deck!

And that pretty much concluded our week with Madgie and Patch as they flew out early Monday morning.  Thanks so much for visiting and spending the week with us - we had so much fun having you here and miss you so much since you have left!  Love you!
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Make a Messterpiece!

On Saturday morning we decided to take Madgie and Patch to our new favorite place (where we have a membership now) Make A Messterpiece! It is a great place where kids can do all kinds of crafts and get messy (they have smocks on the entire time) without a lot of clean-up! The kids love it!  So here is Abbey showing Patch how to do bubble art!

Juliette really like bubble painting!

Ben shows Madgie how it works.

Someone is quite proud of herself...

What a great set of parents!!

Then it was time to move to the kitchen station where they made Pineapple smoothies!  Ben and Abbey seemed to enjoy theirs, but I think Juliette would have been more happy drinking the cup of milk  before they added anything else to it!

Ben and Juliette making "seed bombs"

Then we decided to buy them each a wooden item of their choosing to paint (they each cost about $4).  Juliette chose a bird house and concentrated very hard on painting it just how she wanted it.

Ben chose a treasure box.

And Abbey chose a tall bird house.

Here are Juliette and Abbey's birdhouses.  Notice all of the exquisite detail and flair Abbey put on hers!

And Ben did great on his treasure box too!

Whew - that was a lot of fun!  That night, Madgie and Patch settled in with the kids for family movie night while Paul and I went out to dinner!  Thanks Madgie and Patch for watching the kids!
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