Friday, December 23, 2016

Ice Skating

When Grammy was in town, we took the kids out for their first time ice skating! We weren't sure what to expect, but knew that the little scooters would help a lot.

The kids were so cute in their little skates, did a great job of skating around (or being pushed around, in Bennett's case) and we had a great time!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Polar Express

We went to the Polar Express with some friends - and Grammy! It was a fun night and the kids were thrilled to be going on a real train.

Picture courtesy of June:

Like the Polar Express movie, there's a part where servers come dancing down the aisle handing out hot chocolate and cookies. I took this picture exactly at a moment when a server did a high kick and it's basically the best photo ever taken:

That's Santa you can see through the window...

We even made it home in time to watch the MLS final game end in PKs!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Old Sacramento Festival of Lights

As part of the activity advent calendar, I took the kids to Old Sacramento for dinner, lights and a carriage ride. We might have snuck in a beignet or two - but hey, that's what happens when I'm running solo with the kids and also have no self-restraint.


This is basically how June was the whole time...she wanted to be able to watch the horse!

I hadn't planned on staying for the lights show since it was a little long last year and I didn't think the kids had been that into it. But it was starting right as our carriage ride was done, so we stuck around. At first I thought the kids wouldn't like it because they couldn't see through the crowds and I could only lift one on my shoulders. But a kindly gent next to me suggested I ask if my kids could go up in the VIP wagon that had an elevated view. I took his advice and the people manning the wagon let us in! So we got a wonderful view and a spot where the kids could sit and watch.

Definitely one of my favorite nights of the activity advent calendar so far!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

School Holiday Festival

June's school had a little holiday festival that we went to the other day. It was cute and small, a little chaotic but fun. There was a petting zoo:

June LOVES horses but also has a healthy fear of most animals with minds of their own. I love how this picture captures how desperately she wants to pet the pony but her simultaneous fear:

A little train:

A boutique and face painting:

Gingerbread house making:

And Santa:

Monday, December 19, 2016

Girl Scouting

June has loved being in her new Daisy Scout troop. A dear friend created her own troop and invited friends to join, so June already knew most of the girls. She loves wearing her vest and getting new patches and doing fun activities with them. 

One fun activity we did was visit a fire station! The girls loved it.


June is sad to be leaving her troop. I hope we'll be able to go to a few more meetings with this troop, and maybe we'll even be able to find a new troop in Seattle!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Garden Volunteering

I didn't originally sign up to be the garden volunteer for June's class. But June's teacher is very good at asking for telling parents when they need to step up, and I'm highly susceptible to guilt trips. So when I saw the email that we didn't have a docent yet, and all the other classes had one, and if we didn't get one our kids wouldn't get to have that outdoor time, I signed up. And I do happen to love to garden, even if I'm a bit of a novice.

At first I had a co-volunteer. The class mom also came out with me. But she got a promotion at work so she had to stop coming out. That means that every Tuesday morning you'll find me taking time off work to take 12 kindergarters out into the yard to do ...something? (Then I take the other 12 kids out the next week) I'm given a topic I'm supposed to cover, but I don't find that this fills the time AT ALL considering how wiggly my kids get. (Sample topics: the parts of a plant, hybrid plants [??])

So I normally think of some other activity that's either creative or gets them moving around. So far it's gone pretty well! I've had a few really tough days and many good ones. I always leave the garden exhausted but satisfied. And telling June's teacher that we're moving and I'm abandoning my garden position was truly one of the hardest parts of the move so far.

Here are some of the activities we have done so far:

- Planting grass seeds in egg shells we decorated with faces, so the grass looks like hair

- Talking about our pet, the caterpillar (that they got to pet), the pupa and moth (they got to hold the pupa shell)

- Going on a leaf hunt for all the different types of leaves on campus

- Learning about garden tools and how to use them safely

-  Raking leaves 

- Feeding slugs from my garden to the chickens

- Making lemonade with lemons from my garden

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas Activity Advent - 2016 Part 1

Here are a few of the advent activities that we've done - more to follow as their own posts!

Christmas books:

Setting up the village:

Hot cocoa with marshmallows:

 Eating reindeer poop for breakfast (chocolate doughnut holes):

 Christmas Fort night (with friends over):

Polar Express Night - the book, then the movie plus hot chocolate:

Christmas Memories - drawing and talking about our favorite memories:

Gingerbread house night:

Not pictured:
Candle lit, Christmas music bubble bath
Buying toys for Toys for Tots

Not an activity, but one of my favorite sights at Christmastime:

I'm going to miss that fireplace!