Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ellena's Choice Day

Blue Moon before the 5:30 AM gym workout.

Today was Ellena's Choice Day. We got a few errands done in the morning and then went to feed the ducks at the duck pond.

After, the kids played at the playground.

After lunch and a quick nap (for me!), we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming at the pool! Pretty fun Choice Day, Ellena!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Blueberry Brigade

On August 9th, we went to the Mercer Slough blueberry farm. We love berry picking and wanted to be sure to get in one blueberry picking this summer! We picked up our buckets and were told Lots 1-4 would have the best picking. We walked out and found most of the bushes picked through, so we ended up trying Lot 5. Not a ton like we've found at Remlinger in the past, but still pretty good. Here are the pics I took of the kids as we started picking.

"Evan, you're slouching! Stand up straight!"

So I get this.

And I guess if you're going to stand up straight, you might as well salute. Look at Ellena watching her big brother. We're getting a lot of Monkey See-Monkey Do this summer.

 Ta-da! 2 saluting monkeys ready for berry picking duty!

Evan's Choice Day

Summer vacation is quickly winding down! We had nothing planned for today and tomorrow, so we decided to make today Evan's Choice Day - we do what Evan wants to do. He chose a visit to the Pacific Science Center. We've been here often with our annual membership, yet today we were pleasantly surprised with a day of firsts! To start off our day, we went to see the IMAX movie, Flight of the Butterflies in 3D. It was our first time in the big Boeing IMAX theater (we are usually in the smaller Paccar theater.)

We spent most of our day in the Imaginate exhibit because it will be closing soon. We then went to the bug area. There was a docent out with a hissing cockroach that you could hold. Another first! It was the first time Evan held a roach! Ellena and I pet him, but didn't want to hold him ourselves.

The docent suggested pretending to eat the roach - makes for great pictures!

We then went to the butterfly house. Today was the first time a butterfly landed on Evan and on me! Very exciting!

The butterfly on my leg.

Evan liked this butterfly.

It was a fun day of firsts! Tomorrow is Ellena's Choice Day!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Old Friends and New Friends

Today we got to spend time with old friends and new friends. What a special day. My friend, former co-worker and maid of honor, Jen, relocated to Chicago years ago. We try to get together when she comes home for a visit, but it has been a couple years. Pops saw her most recently on a business trip to Chicago last year. Today her close friend hosted a bbq so that we could spend time with Jen and her fiance, Chris. So we got to meet Chris today and get to know about their wedding plans and hear the engagement story! So much fun and always so nice to be together again! Congratulations, Jen & Chris!

Game Day & Food

Thursday was the Ravens' first preseason game. Ellena insisted on wearing her jersey that day to her 5-year check up. What a super fan!

Burger King has 50 cent ice cream cones, so we went and got some on a busy, hot day. One thing about Evan... he loves food. I don't know of a kid who has such a distinguished palette and gets so much enjoyment out of food. When he finds something he likes, he eats with gusto. At Great Wolf Lodge, we were being seated for the breakfast buffet. He asked the hostess if they had an omelette station. At Burger King, he was demolishing his ice cream cone and got to the paper on the cone. He was peeling the paper off (and I was just about to ask if he needed help) when the paper came off, but the cone dropped to the ground. The poor guy. He was so upset about throwing it away. The next day we were brainstorming ideas for his daily journal entry. I listed all the highlights from the day before including getting ice cream. He said, "No, I don't want to write about such a sad time."

Low Tide Walk with Cousins

We took the cousins to West Seattle for a low tide beach walk. We saw some cool creatures, but no sea stars.

Searching for crabs.

Getting squirted by clams.

Kade's big clam shell.

I think Aunty's shell is bigger!

Sand dollars.

The tide came in fast! So glad we could take the cousins on a new adventure!

Great Wolf Lodge

 We went to Great Wolf Lodge from Sunday through Tuesday. The last time we were here, Ellena was 2 years old and we only stayed for one night. We played in the water park, but did not have time for the MagiQuest game. This time we got an extra night to have fun, fun, fun!

The cousins with their new wands! Ready to battle the red dragon! MagiQuest is this cool game in the hotel where you purchase a wand and load the game onto the wand. You receive challenges and must figure out riddles to complete the challenges. The game spans 5 floors of the hotel and there are pictures and objects throughout that you wave your wand at and it activates the objects or completes the challenges you are on.

Bunk beds in the room. Ellena ended up sleeping on the sofa sleeper, but it was still fun to climb up and hang out on the top bunk!

There is a deal for a free photobook with special Great Wolf Lodge layouts. Since I would probably make a photobook anyway, might as well get it free! But because it's a water park, I was leaving everything locked up in the room - wallet, keys, iphone and camera. Our room key is in the wristband, so I really didn't have to carry anything around with us. On the last day, I realized, if I wanted to make a photobook, I was going to have to start taking pictures! By that time, Evan was done with the waterpark and just wanted to finish up the MagiQuest game. I told him to let me get a few pictures of the waterpark first and then we would play the game. Ellena and Pops went for a final swim. She really enjoyed the wave area!

When it was time for us to all meet up at the arcade, Evan was exhausted from going up and down the flights of stairs to finish the game, so he opted to play at the arcade while Momma, the one person in our family who didn't purchase her own wand, completed the last two challenges. We were told we would earn a special prize to take home only after the last 2 challenges were completed, so I stepped up and finished it. What was the prize? Certificates printed out on their color laser printer! We were expecting something a little cooler, but oh well. Kids were happy, though!

Hike with Cousins

Aunty Kim, Uncle Mike, Cousin Aaron and Cousin Kade drove all the way from California to spend a week with us. What a treat! We went on a short hike around the neighborhood lake.

Stopped at the duck pond.

Found a duckling!

Went off course a bit and found a cool tree.

Birthday Party at Auntie Anne's

We held Ellena's birthday party at Auntie Anne's pretzel shop at the mall. The kids were treated to a short history lesson on the soft pretzel's origins, complete with silly puppet frog.

They then went in the back to the kitchen to learn how to roll a real pretzel and then make their own dough creations.

Ellena & Uncle Stu

Ellena chose a Spiderman and Lizard Man cake.

She didn't really want to eat her birthday cake. Grandma is feeding a bite to her with Pops.

Ellena's 5th Birthday!

Ellena is 5 years old! She had a fun day at camp - they had a Mad Hatter's Tea Party with yummy treats and also walked over to the zoo next door. What fun! That night, Ellena chose her favorite restaurant for her birthday dinner - Similan Thai. I think this is the third year in a row that she has chosen this place!

After dinner, we came home for birthday cake and presents. I usually make her birthday cake, but this year I did not. Ellena wanted chocolate mousse cake, so I told her how I was thinking of making it. She stopped me in the middle and said, "I think we should just buy it from Costco. I don't want you to make it weird." Ouch! So we bought it from Costco. And the little stinker didn't even like it! I should have tried my way.