Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Easter Bunny

I took Aaron to see the Easter Bunny at the mall last week. I actually told the boys that the Easter Bunny was just a fun idea a few weeks ago, but it didn't phase Aaron a single bit. He loves any kind of character walking around and always has. I think I caught his head spinning a few times while we were at Disney last year, he was so excited.

So when I asked him if he wanted to go visit the big bunny, he pretty much ran out the door in excitement.



Last year while we were at the mall, Noah had pretty much decided he was done with this posing "nonsense" and I actually had to bribe the kid to visit the rabbit. So this year I didn't even bother to take him with me.

Notice in last year's picture, the best I could do was get him to stand next to the fellow, while Aaron was in full hug mode.

March, 2009



He wasn't upset when he saw the pictures of Aaron alone and I figured it would be a much more pleasant experience for Aaron if he was allowed to be excited without Big Brother bringing him down.


I looked back in my pictures and did find a picture of the boys two years ago with the big rabbit but can't seem to find any from previous years. It must have just slipped my mind in the years previous to that.


March, 2008





I am glad that the people at these places are willing to let you bring your own camera, rather than blowing $30 or more on a picture taken by their camera. I remember two Christmases ago they would only "let" me take two pictures with Santa and I had to sit there and "steal" pictures while the boys were talking to him. I am so glad that they don't do that anymore and I was able to get some candid shots of Aaron having a good ole time.

I am looking forward to experiencing the Easter service at the new church that we have been attending this weekend. It will tell us a lot about if this is indeed the place we would like to raise our children. And it looks like it's going to be great weather to hide the boys eggs outside like we did last year.

But I will remember to NOT put chocolate in them this year. THAT was a mess!




















Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Top Five: Pain and Preparation H

5. More ouch
After all of my back pain last week Saturday morning brought a new and more intense problem. I will not name it but if I just say Preparation H, you should know to what I'm referring. I've never dealt with the kind that is external and SOOOOO painful before. It was absolute misery. After several trips to the pharmacy and much money dole out, I have most of the pain controlled at this point. I guess the good thing is that I'm not sure if my back pain is gone, or just not as noticeable with the new misery overshadowing it. Doesn't really matter though. I think I may be on the mend for both. This will be a week of waiting and watching.

Needless to say, with Mommy in misery, I didn't get out to p
lay with kids as much as I would have liked to. We have both boys practicing throwing and catching baseballs to get ready for little league in a couple of weeks and I really enjoy (I really do) playing catch with them. However, I was not really up to being able to run and chase balls thrown by a five year old that didn't get quite make it to their intended destination.

4. Easter Eggs

We did get a chance
to color eggs though. Please excuse the bare chests. When doing messy projects, we always took shirts off when the boys were little, so they were both down to skin before I even told them to just go put a junk shirt on. I had seen a new item in the store that claimed to be "non-spill" dye cups and I thought we'd try them. Gotta admit, they were pretty cool. Unfortunately, Steve and I are the only ones who eat hard cooked eggs so we will probably be eating a lot of them this week.


3. Movie night
We had movie nig
ht twice this weekend with the same movie. Steve had received a gift card to Best Buy for his birthday from my parents and got an item for his car that he had wanted for a long time. But he also bought the family a new movie...The Bee Movie. Very cute movie. But as we were watching it Friday night, a BRAND NEW COPY, it kept skipping periodically, sending the kids into a few mini panics. Friday night after the boys were in bed, Steve headed back to exchange it for a new copy and Saturday afternoon, we were back to try again, much more successfully. I spent much time resting on the couch this weekend, and the boys often found themselves snuggled in right next to me, which as you can tell, I didn't really mind at all.

2. Children's Museum
We weren't su
re if we wanted to renew our children's museum membership this year or not, but Aaron still loves going there and the reciprocal memberships are awesome, so as a Christmas gift from my parents, we were able to renew our membership this weekend. The fun thing about the museum is that the boys are getting older so rather than just wandering like they used to, they actually sit and play with something for extended periods of time now. Noah spent a long time stacking the plastic pyramid pieces as high as he could, Aaron played doctor and veterinarian with the pet exhibit and everyone had fun sticking fingers and pens through bubbles (which we learned how to do from a bubble guy at the library last summer). I love it when we leave and the boys aren't ready to go, and I can say, "But we can come back next week and play again" and they are excited about it.
1. Sunday
Sunday was a ve
ry low key day. After another great church service, we pretty much just hung around the house all day. At one point Steve went to the neighbor's to cut some new boards to stabilize the loft he had built a couple of weeks ago. It was wobbling pretty bad and one of the 4X4's is actually splitting. Noah ran to get his tool kit and while no one was really paying attention, he designed and built his own "airplane". I worried when we first let him keep the nails we got in his tool kit, but I think it's pretty cool that he was able to figure out for himself where he needed to hammer the nails to make it all stay together.

The Week Ahead:
It's kind of a strange week. Aaron has a four day week, but two of the four half days will be in the morning due to conferences, which will be strange for all of us. Noah is supposed to have school on Friday, but it's a fluff and we have family coming so we're just starting his Spring Break a day early. It will also be a week of waiting and trying to decided when it's time to break down and go to a doctor for my issues. And then of course, Easter this weekend, followed by Spring Break next week. I'm really looking forward to spending time with my extended family this weekend and then a night away with my own little Wheelz group next week.

Hope you have a great week as well.











The Week Ahead


Friday, March 26, 2010

Owie!

Warning: Pity Party to follow...

I am not one to complain constantly about pain. I'm really not. I had two babies without an epidural, even though it was just because I was scared of the needle...but don't tell anyone :)

But this back problem is really starting to wear me down and I might have to break down and do something about it.

I have always been one to discount anyone when they say they have "back pain". Up until now, I just always assume every one's back hurts once in awhile.

I will never discount it again. The past week has been a series of ups and downs and the downs arrived full force yesterday afternoon.

I told you about my problems with the lower back pain during my concert last week. After much rest, ice, and heat, it started getting a little better every day to the point where yesterday morning (after about a week and half) I woke up virtually pain-free. Figuring it was done and I was probably over reacting, I went about my daily activities, perfectly fine.

Then, as I was stepping out the door to go to work last night, I stepped down a front step, felt something "pop" in my back and felt pain radiate all across my lower back and near my buttocks. My SIL had told me the day before that she deals with similar pain every so often too so I figured I was just being a baby and decided to stop complaining and just deal with it. But after this so-called "pop" last night, I have been in as bad of shape as I was last Friday night. It has not stopped me from sleeping and when I first got up this morning I was fine. But after moving for just a couple of minutes, I found I was leaned forward and wasn't standing up straight anymore. Carrying my purse hurts.

Our insurance stinks and I know if I go to a doctor they'll just run a bunch of expensive tests that I can't afford, and once again, I know that probably everyone who's reading this is saying, "Join the club, every one's back hurts so stop being such a baby". But it has now been a week and I haven't exercised out of fear and now I'm afraid to even walk for fear that another "pop" will happen.

It hurts more to sit than to stand, once I get upright that is. And laying down doesn't really help because it makes it that much worse when I do stand up.

So even though I'm being a baby, if this doesn't get any better by Monday, I think I'm going to have to break down and see a doctor. But for now, I just wanted to complain. We all need a little pity party once in awhile, right?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thursday Thirteen: Church Search Update

I haven't updated on our search in quite while. And there has definitely been stuff to say, but the last few weeks have been so busy that I haven't really been forming a lot of coherent thoughts in my head. So this post that was started two weeks ago is finally getting done (if Aaron lets me sit here long enough without inviting me to come watch Curious George with him).

But for now, I thought I would share out latest church thoughts.

I had quite a list of things we were going to be looking for in our new church. Putting aside the painful personal problems with our old church, I would like to stay somewhat diplomatic in my approach :)

We went to one church to try it out for a few weeks. There were some things we liked but some things we weren't sure about so we thought we would continue on in our search. But each time, each of churches we were going to try just seemed too small so we figured, "Let's try a 'mega-church' we knew about". We have returned to this church for about two and a half months now and are trying to decide if this is a good permanent fit or not.

Here are some of our thoughts:

1. Anonymity
So many people would view this first point as a negative, but for us it is a HUGE positive. For all of our married lives, we have always stood out in any church we go to, mostly because of our singing and also because we are not the kind of family to be able to quietly sneak anywhere. Because of this, people always know us and we wanted a chance to just worship without being noticed. Because of the large size, this is indeed possible at this church.

2. Preaching I
The church has over a dozen pastors, but the main one is a very dynamic speaker who pulls his message right out of scriptures, which has actually led me to also look up verses on the computer while I'm doing other things (including blogging and facebook). The visiting pastor last week was amazing as well.

3. Preaching II
This guy can preach for 30 minutes straight and I stay focused the whole time, whereas before after 10 minutes we were struggling to keep our eyes open and not bit of scripture had been mentioned within the entire sermon

4. Music
Extremely contemporary. I thought that we were pretty up to date with the current music, but many of these songs we don't know (yet), although I find that I am singing them throughout the week. Drums, keyboards, sometimes orchestra members as well add to an all encompassing musical experience that goes for 25 minutes before the message starts.

5. Music II
Noah's worship service (in a separate sanctuary) also has a praise band and Noah is reporting that he is actually singing the songs, which he NEVER did in any other church we have been to, even when he knew the songs.

6. Sunday School Aaron
In every other church we have ever visited and the ones we were looking in to visit, kindergarten kids are usually mixed in with other ages, either with younger preschoolers or with first graders. It always seemed that Aaron didn't quite fit in with either group. At this church, there are two rooms dedicated just for kindergarten kids and they can go back and forth between room each week so they get a chance to meet all of the kids that go to their service. He enjoys it and we love that there is a place that is actually geared toward his age. It should be interesting in June though when all of the other kids move up to first grade and he stays there since he was in Young Fives this year and will still be in Kindergarten next year.

7. Sunday School Noah
This kid is SOOOO happy in his Sunday school "class". They start out in a separate sanctuary for a short worship service for just first through fifth graders. They sing, watch skits, and who knows what else. Noah is excited because they pray with their hands in the air, even though we will continue to pray as we always have at home. Then they separate to classes depending on grade. His teachers every week report how attentive he is during lessons when they break the big group into a dozen small groups. Another huge difference from our last church, where the teachers made it clear that they didn't like him. He has made a lot of friends, and when we pick him up, he is usually playing air hockey with a few other kids in the big room where they have class.

8. Outside Acquaintances
One of the many things that always bothered us about our old church was that it was a different world from every other aspect in our lives. We didn't have any other contact with the people, both because it was so far away and because the people were just very different from our lifestyle. Since we have been at this church, we have run into people from Noah's scout pack, Aaron's school, Noah's class, and even a family who left our old church after a short time because they didn't feel welcome. I think it's good to have church reflect the rest of your life instead of it being something completely separate. Since we started, we even found out that the piano student that comes to my house on Saturday mornings attends there as well.

9. Friends
Another thing we were hoping for is to make some friends with other families and have a more broad social group of people to get together with. After ten years, that never really happened at the old church and we always felt like outsiders. Although I have become friends with one woman from our old church whom I enjoy spending time with and I think that friendship will last since we walk the mall every week. One of the things that concerned us about all of the small churches we looked at was just the small number of other people who were in similar life situations as us, therefore potential social friends. Although we have not gotten together with anyone outside of this church yet, I think there is a lot of potential and the people are very friendly when we speak to them while picking up kids from class after church.

10. Distance
This church s about five minutes from our house, rather than the former 20-25 minutes.

11. Scripture
I know I mentioned it during preaching above, but I just wanted to mention it again. It is awesome how many things are in that book that we have either forgotten over the years or missed altogether. I am definitely drawn to try to read more than I was before.

12. Future Kids Activities
The middle school and the high school each have their own separate worship centers just like the kids groups do and it looks as if we stay there, there will definitely be opportunities for the kids all the way through, including service projects and fun activities. There is a summer camp for kids, but I'm not ready to send Noah over night yet, especially since we don't have $200+ burning a hole in our pocket and we have already told him that he could do the scouting day camp this summer. But it's nice to know that those opportunities are there for the future

13. Sunday Morning Attitude
This is a less-concrete thought, but very much present. Where Sunday mornings used to be so stressful and plagued with "I don't want to go" comments from ALL FOUR OF US, now it's a non issue and we just get up and happily go to church. That's the way it was supposed to be before and we have that now.

Although it may look like our decision is made, there are a few things that DO concern us about making this a permanent place, so we are holding to not making a decision until at least next fall about a permanent new church home. I also have discovered that I am still harboring some negative feelings about the situation from our old church that keep creeping back every so often and I think I need to somehow put those to rest.

But for now, we have found a place to go where we are moved spiritually and our children are happy so what more could we ask for?

Aaron's Own Library Card

For March Is Reading Month, Aaron's Young Fives class sent home a calendar of a different activity to do each day of the month to encourage literacy. Now, the kid is already reading books that Noah read last year in first grade, so I think we're pretty good on encouraging literacy, but I thought it would be fun to do the activities anyway. We are probably the only ones in the class that did it (yes, it is just that kind of class), but nevertheless, some of the activities have definitely enriched us.

We discovered a new website called starfall.com that is awesome for teaching kids to read and the games are very fun. I highly recommend preschool and early readers to go there (with parent's, of course). We also made cookies letting Aaron read the recipe, drew a picture of Dr. Seuss on his birthday and looked at a map of Michigan cities.

But the one that I think Aaron was most excited about was getting his own library card. Noah got his own a couple of years ago and I wanted to wait until Aaron really appreciated it before it was his turn. I do like that besides giving the boys their own card, there are also key tags so I can keep it on my key chain too, for extra security should they get lost. (Now I just need to actually keep track of my keys)

So off we went to the library.
Happily waiting his turn














Signing his name













Deciding which design he wants for his card












Checking out his own books













Proud Boy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend top Five 3/22/10

So those of you who are my facebook friends have seen all of our big events from the weekend, but I'm going to share them here to, mostly because I like to have a digital journal of our happenings in the Wheelz Home. I have found numerous times over the time I have been blogging that both Steve and I have gone back through my blog to find out when exactly something happened.

This weekend marked the end of a VERY long three weeks for me. Between a large number of extra commitments, I had missed bedtimes for three weeks and really felt like I have just been out of touch with everything. I am so happy to be back into reality again.

5. Four Eyes
On Friday after I dropped Aaron off at school, I picked Noah up early and we headed out to pick up his new glasses. I wanted him to have this first experience without little brother vying for attention. And it was so cool. He really didn't realize (I didn't either) just how blurry everything had looked until he put them on. The entire weekend was spent listening to him say "Mom, look at that!" about everything. At church he was amazed at how clear the big television screen looked and he even mentioned that what he used to think was one tree was actually more than that. And he was one very excited little boy to wear them to school today.

I really hope everyone is nice to him and no one makes fun of him. And I have bets going as to how long until this first pair breaks :(

4. Solo Ensemble
One of the many things that was eating up a TON of my time in the evenings was preparing for solo ensemble. I accompanied five kids this year which meant I had to fit in ten extra half hour practices as well as give up a huge portion of my Saturday for their performances. Steve took the boys to Playworld (a glorified McDonald's play area) while I was gone and all five of my kids got a I rating (the best) so it was worth all of the work.

3. Monteverdi's Vespers
As you all know, when I left our church, I joined the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus as a way to still use my musical abilities. This weekend was my first performance with them. After three rehearsals all last week plus the performance on Friday and Saturday night, I was completely beat but the performance got a four star (out of four) rating by the paper and it was a huge success. I had a problem throughout (see below) which made me enjoy the performance less than I normally would have, especially the first night, but I really enjoy this group being with other musicians and I hope to be part of it for many years to come, although I am skipping out on tonight's rehearsal. I haven''t missed one yet and I am determined to not miss any bedtimes this week.

Photo courtesy of Grand Raids Press

2. Back Pain
I know everyone experiences this at times. But this weekend I have been stricken terribly. It started out last weekend in my neck and by Thursday, I was in excruciating pain. I think I made it even worse on Friday when I helped at Aaron's school with Jump Rope For the Heart and leaned over for an hour twisting a long rope for five and six year olds. By the time I got to the concert Friday night, I had taken some Aleve and was still in very bad pain. I took two more Motrin and suffered (literally) through the performance. Between standing for the full 100 minute performance and holding up a two pound music score, I was in tears by the time the performance was over, barely able to move walking down the stairs to collect my stuff afterward.
For Saturday's performance, I called Deb, knowing that they probably still had some "heavier" meds left over from numerous issues they have had, and she had some Darvocet and 800 mg IB, which did the trick nicely to get through Saturday night's performance. I am still hurting, but not as bad and I think I will just be nursing it as much as I can this week. Another reason why I am not going to tonight's chorus rehearsal.

1. Parent's Visit
Not a huge deal, but Sunday after church we went up to visit with my parents for a few hours. They had been gone for awhile and we had been busy before that so we hadn't seen them since Christmas, even though we only live 45 minutes away. I am ashamed that it's been that long and I don't plan to make it that long again. We are going to try to get up there somewhat regularly on Sundays to avoid that big span again. It was nice to spend some time with my step brother, his wife and their young baby and actually visit with them. Usually we have so many people there that we don't have much of a chance to talk. And Aaron loved playing with Baby Lucy, his newest cousin.

The Week Ahead:
I delayed my church post last week, mostly because between the craziness and my back pain, sitting at the computer was challenging. I think it's done and ready for posting this week. It's TV Turn off week which means that I can't be on the computer whenever Noah is awake or at home, which is good for me. As a matter of fact, as soon as I finish this, I am going to to get off and take advantage of TV Turnoff week to reduce my computer usage as well. Aaron is trying to get sick again, silly kid, which could make for an interesting week as well. And I have lots of cleaning to make up for my three weeks of not getting much done around the house. Probably in short spurts between giving my back a rest though.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: 1 Year Ago Yesterday






Note: I finally learned how to get these off my phone this weekend which is why they never posted. Kind of like a fun little reminder of our trip last year

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tackle It Tuesday: The Beds

Anyone who has ever read my blog, old one and this one, knows that there has been an ongoing battle with the bedroom space in our little house. I went back and counted at least six different posts about different bedroom changes in the just over two years I have been blogging.


And yet, here's another. But I think (or at least, hope) that this may be the last one for quite awhile. Noah had been asking for a desk in his room for quite a long time but his room was way too tiny. The room upstairs is huge and runs the length of the house but for reasons I will not go into here, he will NOT sleep upstairs, so we couldn't move him up there. So a few weeks ago, Steve and I came up with the idea for a loft bed for him. Here is the set up of his bed before....a top of a bunk bed from my parents, which we love, but had lots of unused space underneath for such a small bedroom.

Knowing it was quite impossible to do himself, he enlisted the help of Ron, Deb's husband. Although he was not a willing participant at the beginning, you could tell after they got going that they found their stride.
The day became a flurry of activity, and not always in such a nice way.

As soon as we got home from church and lunch was done, the boys and I set to work with the initial preparation, which included moving ALL toys out of Noah's room and upstairs to Aaron's, which was already a MASSIVE pig sty. It became clear that rather than sorting through toys, it would be necessary to spill EVERY toy that we owned into a huge pile in the middle of the room and start from scratch.


At least one room was completely cleared.














Now let me just say that I have started having really bad PMS for the last few months lately(which I will be addressing at my annual in a couple of months) and this Saturday was the peak of this month. The poor kids didn't know what was coming :(

Add on top of that two little boys who really didn't want to spend the day cleaning their room. There was indeed screaming, crying, toy throwing, and other unpleasantness happening. But four hours later, Aaron's room was complete, with his new bed (Noah's old top bunk) in place.





Then, it was time to go see how progress was going on the actual construction of Noah's new loft.

It was pretty cold outside so I changed my mind about wanting Noah to be involved in some of the construction but that didn't stop the boys from wanting to go outside and watch a little of the construction before I brought them in to settle in for a movie after the trauma of cleaning we had endured.

After a pizza break for dinner, the big boys were finally ready to bring the pieces inside to begin to put it all together in the bedroom.

From that point on, it seemed as if things went pretty fast. Actually, to me, I felt that they cooked along at a pretty good pace all day.

Due to the time change, bed time came earlier than anyone expected and by 7:30 I was rounding kids up for bed, but having a small dilemma of where to put everyone to sleep. Aaron was SOOOO excited to go to bed in his new bed but Noah's loft was still a shell standing in his room.



So I put him to bed in our bed, knowing full well that it was pretty unlikely that he would be able to fall asleep with the drill going strong next to him and the saw going outside. And I'm still not sure if he actually fell asleep or not. But around 9:30 PM, about 7 hours after they started with a pile of wood and a sketch on paper, it was done! I still can't believe they got the whole thing done in seven hours.

And it is very sturdy. It even held me :)

And after waking (?) Noah up and moving him into his new bed, I waited for him to fall asleep before beginning the process of moving shelves, toys, etc, back into his room. It took Minnie (the cat) about 30 seconds to settle into a new home under the bed since she could no longer go lay next to her buddy anymore.

The next morning, both boys had to take turns posing from atop the bed. And Monday night, as I understand it, the boys were actually excited to go to bed in their new beds. One of the things that made me happy was that BOTH boys got new beds of sorts and Aaron loves his bed so much that he goes up during the day just to lie in it.














Of course, now MY part of the job starts. It will probably take me at least a month to sand it all down, fill in the screw holes with wood putty, and stain it, but I think I will wait until it gets warmer so I can have the windows open. Which means, folks, that there will most likely be even more posts in the future about this bed.

Wondering if anyone made it to the end of this post, but I'm at least glad that I have the event documented. Now to get off the computer and head out to buy balloons to stick on hubby's car to surprise him for his birthday today. See you all later :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Top Five 3/15/10

It was a pretty busy weekend. I was a bit hormonal, which always adds adventure to a weekend and Noah is trying to get mouthy again, which we will nip ion the bud or he will be losing his "Wimpoy Kid" books which I firmly believe have contributed to his attitude.

But overall, we had a good one.

5. Parents Night out
One of the MANY reasons I love Noah's school is how family oriented it is. Even though they have kindergarteners and high school seniors in the same school, they do a lot of things throughout the year to bring them all together. This past Friday night, the seniors held a babysitting night for a fundraiser and for $5 per FAMILY (I know, right?) we left the boys there while Steve and I went out on a date for his birthday (which is tomorrow). they had a blast playing, making a bunny craft and watching a movie.

One of the things we got accomplished on our date was being pushed into the world of texting (sort of). I know I have always fought this, including on this blog, but when I stopped by to see when I will qualify for my new phone with verizon, they told me we have 500 free texts on each phone a year. So I FINALLY was able to send home the ONLY picture of the space shuttle I got when we were in Florida last year (long story) and I was thrilled.

4. Family Outing
Steve hadn't had a chance to see the Big Big Bugs yet so we headed out to the museum on Saturday. Unlike last time, they actually had REAL bugs in containers where the kids could actually play with them (EEWWWWW) and Aaron had a pretty good time just scooping them up and moving then from container to container.


3. Noah's Project
One of the achievements for Noah's Wolf badge for scouts is to display a collection of some sort. We have been trying to figure out a collection fro several months but nothing really came to mind. So Saturday while I was cleaning (long story coming up) Noah was scrounging around and found a small bag of buttons (pins) that he had gotten at a Heifer International awareness event with Steve quite awhile ago. He decided it was a good collection and we went onto the computer and actually did some research on Heifer International. Then it came time to figure out a display (part of the requirement). I went to the store and got him a piece of felt and he pinned all of his pins on. Then, I got a dowel and started to sew it into the felt.
He stopped me immediately and wanted to learn how to sew himself. I was very nervous because of how sharp the needle was, but I still remember to this day when my own mother taught my big brother how to sew a button, so I decided to let him try. He was so focused and REALLY excited about doing it. I helped him a little to keep the thread from twisting and knotting, but in general I felt like he did a pretty good job.

And now he has a project to present on a couple of weeks at his pack meeting. And a collection to add to whenever we go anywhere from now on.













2. Church
We have returned to the same church for about two months now. The sermon stretched our minds a little this week, but come back on Thursday if you're curious on our thoughts of this church. I have an entire Thursday Thirteen in my head about it.

1. Big Project
I will be sharing the full effect of our ENTIRE Sunday tomorrow for Tackle It Tuesday, but let me give you a hint just to keep you wondering. It's a doozy!


The Week Ahead:
It is my last crazy week. I have two dress rehearsal with the Grand Rapids Symphony and then performances Friday and Saturday. On top of that, I am accompanying for five junior high kids for solo and ensemble on Saturday. After this, life will start calming down and I will get to start being here for bedtime again, which I haven't for the entire month of March. I am looking forward to it as much as the kids. I'll be gone for hubby's birthday tomorrow, but Aaron and I will still make a cake for him tomorrow morning and we got a chance to go out Friday to celebrate so it's all okay. I think we will be getting Noah's glasses this week as well, which should be quite a momentous occasions around here. I'm sure pictures will follow.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Satrurday at the Air Zoo

I have enough thoughts to fill a weekend top five. But I have too many pictures from our Saturday outing to fit into a top five.

The one thing about Noah being in scouts is that there seems to constantly be activities for us to be doing. There have definitely been concerns over the group that he is scouting with, but I am trying to put them aside for the sake of Noah, who really enjoys the activities. This past Saturday, they took a field trip to the Air Zoo.

We had never been there before, mostly because I had heard that it was really expensive. But since the scouts were going, we decided to make it a family trip.

We worried that morning when Noah had yet another "vomit out of nowhere" spell which we seem to be experiencing every weekend lately. But he was feeling better by 11:00 and we all really wanted to go, so we ventured out.

When we first walked in, the kids were fascinated by the planes that were hanging from the ceiling in the entry way.


Then we got a tour guide who led us through telling stories about all of the planes. The kids tried very hard to pay attention, but between the extra noise in the big room, the draw of a big hot air balloon ride right behind them and standing up for two straight hours, it was a little over the head of first through third graders.




I had no intention of forcing Aaron to pay attention, since his eyes were glued to the hot air balloon ride that was whirring very fast directly above us.











After awhile, most of the younger ones just settled into a corner and sat while the tour guide continued his speech, mostly to the parents who were there. The stories were actually very interesting, but I was more concerned about the kids at that point.


That day happened to be "open cockpit day" so after waiting for an hour (a very LONG hour), each of the scouts got to climb into a huge jet and play around a little with the controls. If we had been there by ourselves, rather than a group, I think Noah would have been content to stay up there all day.


After a snack and bathroom break, we made the ten minute walk over to the other building, which included space exhibits and several more rides. Aaron was upset because he had his heart set on the hot air balloon ride, which he made clear as he talked (nagged) about it for four straight hours during the visit.

The space museum was cool. I could have gone straight there and skipped the plane part and been happy. One thing that was neat was that Aaron's Young Fives class had studied space and planets all that week, so he actually recognized the Mars exhibit by its red color before anyone said anything. We also treated the boys to a family ride among a Lars simulator, which they both really liked.


The thing that impressed me the most was the HUGE rocket booster from one of the Saturn rockets. I have watched shuttles on TV and even got to see one lift off while we were in Florida last year, but I still hadn't truly gotten the sheer size of these things until I was standing underneath one. The actual rocket had five of these huge things. I know it makes sense, since the rocket had to pass through the atmosphere, but it still made a huge impression on me.

The scouts were each given a ticket to ride one ride and they even gave one to the siblings too. Noah's stomach was starting to feel queasy again, so Steve and Aaron headed to the Zero gravity ride. They had a blast, even if Steve stood out like a sore thumb, being the only grown up on the ride. I'm glad he did though, or I think Aaron would have freaked out a little.


Afterward, the boys took a quick seat in an Apollo replica


















practiced landing at a docking site on mars













and Noah got to play with buttons in yet another jet cockpit. (This is my favorite picture of Noah now)




And after all of the fun, we FINALLY returned to the first building, where Aaron did get his hot air balloon ride.



It was a fun day at the Air Zoo. Steve and I agreed that it isn't a place that we need to go to again...a once is enough experience. But it was fun to finally go after years of saying "We should do that sometime".