Monday, June 7, 2010


After trying all day to post my weekend top five, Blogger has officially decided to be up and running. And I'm just way too tired to write out an entire weekend post, after dealing with van troubles all day.

So abbreviated was a busy weekend with lots of fun activities.

Sunday afternoon, we took the boys downtown to Festival of the Arts. Every year on the first weekend in June, hundreds of musical and dance acts are scheduled on about a dozen stages, along with tons of food vendors from local businesses, and a bunch of kids activities all descend upon a several city blocks for Festival. We've taken the boys every year since they were tiny, and each year seems to be a better one than the previous, since the kids are bigger and can do more things.

One of the favorite activities is always the "no parent zone" Paint In. Kids don smocks and are led to painting easels to create to their heart's content. We have their paintings from most previous years saved and we will this year as well. It is always interesting to see what the kids come up with. It's always Abstract of some sort with my two. I was impressed that Aaron actually used several different colors, and didn't paint over his entire picture when it was done, as is often the way it goes. Noah's was more abstract than usual, but watching him do it was fun, with his flair for flicking the brush around just right.

After the pictures were hung to dry, we moved on to the Glue In. This too was a a no-parent zone. I liked that because it gives the kids freedom for expression without hovering ( not that I ever hover, of course...wink wink).

We cracked up seeing Aaron in his apron that hung all the way. He was just so cute.

They spent a LONG time picking out wood that they needed. And I mean a LOOONNNNGGG time. I knew, with Noah especially, that they were going to put their all into these projects. And they did.

Last year Aaron spent about five minutes tops and was ready to move on, which is what I expected this year as well. I was very pleasantly surprised when he seemed to really concentrate on his project this year.

And when he was done, he proudly displayed his "boat"

Thinking that Noah would be done soon too, we decided to wait and watch the ARTISTE at work. But it soon became clear that Noah was not going to rush through his masterpiece, and I was so glad that he was putting his all into it that I had no intention of pushing him either.

Aaron got a little restless and killed some time by demonstrating some of the dance moves we did in church that morning during the family worship they have once a month during church time. More to come next week about our steps toward making this church a permanent home, by the way.

I believe this dance was called the water sprinkler :)

I knew we would be waiting for even longer when I called to Noah to ask him what he was making and he said, "I'm making a tower for my lego guys.".

Now that I knew he had a plan, there was no stopping him. Piece after piece continued to be added.

At this point, I sent Aaron and Steve on to the big tire swing so that they didn't have to wait around. This swing is another big hit during Festival. The wait for it is quite long, but the kids say it's well worth the wait.

On a sad note, I found out when I got home that about an hour after we had been there, Noah's scoutmaster had been there with her son, who ended up cutting badly and spraining his finger on this swing, and their day at Festival ended with a trip to ER. He's better now.

Finally, Noah's masterpiece was complete and needed some time to dry so we moved on to find Steve and Aaron. We got a little distracted when we passed by a piece of art that kids were climbing up and sliding down. Noah was no exception of course.

After finding the others, we swapped kids so Noah could ride the swing tire and Aaron decided he wanted a balloon animal. This was the only thing at Festival that cost any money so I figured I could put out two dollars for a poor college kid to make balloon animals for the kids.

After much deliberation, Aaron settled on wanting a hat. The funny college kid asked if Aaron needed horns and it was definitely a resounding yes. Noah and Steve caught up to us right as we were getting close and Noah requested a monkey. They played with these creations for the rest of the festival.

Usually Festival is very hot and sticky, but this year it was a bit cooler with a strong breeze which made the time downtown much more pleasant this year. But nevertheless, after collecting all of the treasures that had been drying and knowing we had at least a mile walk back to the car , we decided that we would forgo watching any more music acts and call our time at festival complete.

When we got home, Aaron headed straight for the bath tub to try to make his boat float.

Unfortunately, it did not and he has not touched the boat since.

Noah set to work decorating his Lego guy tower and has been playing with it ever since. With how he has his Lego guys sitting on it, it is very clear that he was planning each nook and cranny as he was making his creation. That impressed me since I could never have thought that much about something at his age (and probably couldn't today either).

We realized on the way back to the car that this was the first year we had ever gone to Festival without a stroller. Maybe by next year, little legs will be long enough to be able to stay longer after all of the activities so we can enjoy some music acts as well. Steve's performing ensemble had actually preformed the day before but we had to miss it so maybe next year we'll catch that again too.

It was a fun Sunday afternoon in the city of Grand Rapids.

1 comment:

bethn said...

Wow! Sounds like a fabulous day! Noah's creation looks really neat. Boy are they growing up.