Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sitota and Delson join us for a weekend of fun

We just had a wonderful fun filled weekend.
First of all, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, our first real spring weather of the season.
Courtney and Paul are taking care of two children, Sitota (adopted from Ethiopia) and Delson (adopted from Haiti) while their parents are in Haiti visiting their new sister who will be home eventually.
All of them came to Watertown for the weekend.
On Friday night we all went to a play at St. John's which we thoroughly enjoyed.
We had pizza and soda up in my classroom after the play.
Then we all came home and went to bed because we had a big day planned on Saturday.
 We took all the kids to the Madison Zoo along with half of the families in Southeastern Wisconsin.
The first nice day of spring after a long, long winter will do that to you.
We all had so much fun.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch together.
Sitota and Delson are such gracious children, they could not say, "thank you" enough for the food.
 Even though it is a zoo, the best part for this group was the huge play area.
Here are all the girls coming down a slide.
 Soli's favorite spot was in this tube and she especially enjoyed when Sitota joined her in the tube.
 Tiz is all about monkey bars.
 All the kids rode the merry go round.
Again there were so many thank yous from Sitota and Delson.
Sitota was not adopted until she was 8 years old, so she does remember much from her early childhood in Ethiopia and for that reason, I think she does not take anything for granted.  Everything is such a treat to her.
 John waited in the train line with all the kids.
 Here they are in their giraffe car.
 After our zoo adventure, we felt a stop at Ella's Deli was necessary.
What big eyes as the kids looked around at all the fun things.
And the ice cream was so yummy.
Tiz was telling me to "stop" doing something in this picture.

There is also a merry go round at Ella's so after ice cream, we rode on that one, too.
Tiz was so excited with her pink horse!
We all came home tired, but full of good memories.
Everyone left early this AM to get home in time for church.
The weather was again absolutely perfect and John and I got our garden ready for planting.
I should mention that the kids dug out the garden after the zoo.
Apparently they were not as tired as we were.
What started as just a fun digging in the dirt turned into cleaning out our entire garden, so it was ready for John to add topsoil today.
Thanks kids!
What a fun, fun weekend.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Of Zumba and Hula Hoops

I have heard lots of things about Zumba.
I used to love going to Aerobics back in the 80's when my girls were little.
I even owned the records (yep, it was that long ago) with my favorite aerobic routines by Jackie Sorenson.
I had an itch to try Zumba since it sounded somewhat like an updated aerobics.
Well, on Tuesday after school, I had my first Zumba experience and I loved it.
It did, in fact, remind me of the old aerobics with a lot more hip shaking and belly moving.
I have a long way to go before I will know the more difficult moves, but the important thing is to just keep moving and I was able to do that.
I will be going back.
When I walked into the class, which, by the way, is held at my school and run by our day care director, so that in itself made it easier to try.
Anyway, when I first walked in, I saw a pile of hula hoops.
I immediately said, "I did not sign up for any hula hooping, I don't know how to keep it going."
Tonya, our instructor, showed me the secret (at least, I think it was a secret) to keeping the hoop going.
I can now hula hoop for hours on end if I want to.
The trick is in rocking back and forth as opposed to moving your hips in a circle.
I really impressed myself!
So Zumba and Hooping, welcome to my world.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A fun night in Blo-No

 Another weekend is coming to a close.
It was another busy one and it went by quickly.
It started out with the Early Childhood Fair on Saturday morning.
Always dread going, but it always turns out to be a fun event.
I think I have been going to this event for twenty years.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Milwaukee Public Museum

 On Sunday, we took Soli and Tiz to the Milwaukee Public Museum.
We have taken Tizita to the museum each year and we were thrilled that Soli could join us this year, too.
We started our our day in the Butterfly area.
At first both girls were a bit afraid of the butterflies, but Tiz soon learned that if she stood nice and still a butterfly would come visit her.
 She was so excited to have this one on her dress until it started crawling up toward her face.
 Both girls posing amongst the butterflies.
 I just love Soli's expression in this photo.
 Soli even attracted a butterfly.  One landed right on her little shoe.
 Finally, Tiz had one land right on her finger.
Her patience paid off and she was thrilled.
 We had lunch in the museum cafeteria and then went to the Dinosaur area.
Again, both girls were a bit on the skittish side, but soon excitement took over.
This was one area of the museum that Alissa refused to enter when she was a little girl.
 We always need a picture in the igloo.
 The girls enjoyed looking at the exhibits while Bumpa explained things to them.
 Here they are talking about the shells we will find when we go to St. George this summer.
 One of Courtney's favorite things in the museum was this lady with the big butt.
We had to show the girls, not sure they liked it as much as their mom did.
Alissa favorite area was the big junk pile which is no longer there, replaced by dancing Indians.
Our last stop is always the gift shop.
The girls each picked out a soft seal to remember our day at the museum.
Wonderful times with our beautiful grandbabies.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Our Saturday with Sweet Soli

 We just got back from a very busy, but fun filled weekend with our sweet grandbabies.
I am going to do a few posts on the weekend starting with our Saturday with Soli at the Appleton's Children's Museum.
Courtney, Paul, and Tizita went to a baseball game which was a reward for a reading program at Tizita's school.
The weather was horrible for a baseball game, snow flurries and cold windy weather, but they had fun.
While they were cheering for the Timberattlers, we took had our time with Soli.
The museum was warm and full of adventures for our little lady.
 She enjoyed shopping in the little Kwik Trip area and even made a little friend.
 She served us some yummy food in the restaurant.
 She and Bumpa enjoyed watching the long green snake.  I stayed away from that creepy exhibit.
 Here we are on the plane.
We never did hear where our destination was.
 No matter the museum, Soli loves driving the vehicles.
 She managed to get quite messy in the art studio, but that is what good artists do, right?
 She and I relaxed in these little rockers.
Look at the mess in this area.
This would have made me very nervous in my classroom, but it didn't bother me one bit since it is not my museum!  Someone else can clean this up.
 The water area is always fun.
 On the way out, Soli decided a nap on this giraffe was in order.
 And, just like her sister, the best part was putting coins in the coin thing.
She loved watching them zoom around.
We ended our day with a big cookie from Caramel Crisp.
It was a great day full of Soli sweetness.
On Saturday night, we had dinner at Red Robin, (Tiz's choice) with just Tizita.  It was so much fun to spend time with her and catch up on the lives and times of a six year old.
We ended our day by babysitting.  We all snuggled on the couch and watch old Cosby shows.
Perfect ending to a perfect day!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just a few more photos from spring break

 These photos are from Tizita's first Easter.
 All I can say is that she was much calmer dyeing eggs here than she was this past Easter.
 And a few more past Easter pictures.
I cannot believe how much Tizita has grown and changed.
I also cannot believe how quickly she dyed our eggs this year.
Note to self for next year:  make her go slower.  She should not be able to have dyed 49 eggs in less than five minutes!
 Here are a few more shots from the Madison Childen's Museum that were on my phone.   This high tech stuff is confusing to me.
Soli loved this jeep.  She would have spent the entire day in there, I think.
My advice to museum everywhere:  Install more of these lifesize vehicles to keep the little ones happy.  It was hard to share this car!


 Okay, so another tech problem.  I cannot get this picture deleted so it is here two times.
Luckily it is a cute picture of all of us at the museum.

And I will end this post with sweet Soli napping after our long walk together.
Such sweet memories of a fun spring break.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Breakin' it in Sauk City, Oshkosh, and other places in between

After our very fun and memorable Easter, Courtney, Tiz, Soli, and I embarked on a Spring break 2013 adventure.  We left on Monday morning for Sauk City.  We stopped at Gus's Diner in Sun Prairie for lunch.  We found out kids eat free on Mondays, so we could not beat that deal.  We enjoyed the 50's decor as well as yummy food.
Soli loves to toast and say "Cheers."  Here she is saying, "Cheers" to me as we click our glasses.
Gus's Diner.
Our next stop was at John's office in Sauk City.
Tiz has often asked what John does, so now he was able to show her some of his maps.
He even gave her one to keep.  She was thrilled.
The reason we chose Sauk City was so that John could join us on Monday and Tuesday night and he wouldn't have to commute for two days, a win-win for sure.
He even came over to our motel for lunch on Tuesday and ate the great continental breakfast each morning.
We stayed at the Cedarberry Inn, a very nice place.
Very kid friendly and the pool was kept at 90 degrees.
On Monday afternoon after visiting grandpa and checking into the motel.
We explored the Wisconsin River for a bit.
Tiz is doing her great grandpa Ken imitation in the above photo.  My dad never passed one of those telescope things without taking a look.
Tiz enjoyed exploring the river bank.  Too bad there was still such a chill in the air or we could have explored longer.
We stopped at Piggely Wiggely where Tiz and I spent $62.00 on mostly sweets.
Courtney stayed in the car with a sleeping Soli.
After John got to the motel, five minutes from his office, we all went in the warm pool and enjoyed some swimming.
Tiz impressed us with her newly learned backstroke.  She owned that pool.
Soli enjoys the water, too and had fun swimming between Bumpa, mama and me.

After swimming, we ordered Pizza Hut pizza, not as good as any of us remembered it, but sufficient for dinner that night especially since we had so many sweets to follow it up.
Grandpa slept on the Murphy bed and the four ladies slept in the king bed in a separate room in our suite.
We all slept well.
On Tuesday, John went to work and we headed to the Madison Children's Museum.
It was a fun day for the girls.
There are so many hands on things in this museum, in fact Courtney and I felt like just about everything moved or talked when touched.  It was almost too much.
Tiz had fun in the huge climbing structure where she met a friend named, Trinity.
They spent a long time together playing and climbing.
After the museum, we walked over to the capitol.
I have always enjoyed going into the state capitol.  Loved the rotunda and still do.
Tiz was interested to see if Scott Walker was there, but when she asked a page, she told her, "I am not sure of his schedule, he is a very busy man."
I whisked her away before she could share her dad's political feeling about our governor.  Her grandpa, however, has the opposite opinions of Scott Walker and thinks he is doing a fine job with our state.
Courtney and I do not have political opinions.
After the outing in Madison, we went out to a Mexican restaurant in Sauk City with John.  Courtney is quite a Mexican food conisourre and she thought the food was very good.  John and I had eaten there on another occasion and also felt it was great food in an authentic atmosphere.
We swam for two hours after eating.  Tiz would have swum for a longer time, but we had to get up to bed.  She met two boys in the pool and the three of them were having so much fun.
We all slept well again.
I got up early to have breakfast with John before he left for work.
The girls found a great spot from which to watch TV.
Courtney and I missed the men when it came to loading up the car.  Neither of us is used to that task!
We left for a scenic route to Oshkosh.
We stopped at his park in Portage along the Wisconsin River.
We always stopped there with my mom and dad and then with our girls everytime we headed up north.
The girls had time for a swing.
I have pictures of Courtney and Alissa on these same swings on one of our trips to the Dells.  They were about this same age, too.
Oh, the memories...
So fun to spend so much time with this happy girl.
We stopped at Green Lake to see if we could find the place where Courtney went for swim camp when she was ten years old.
After some touring, we did find the dorms she stayed in.
It was another fun trip down memory lane.
We had lunch at a very nice sandwich/sweet shop and enjoyed Ripon's cute downtown area.
We also had to find the Birthplace of the Republican party located right in Ripon.
John will be very happy with these photos.
We ended up in Oshkosh, had dinner at Cranky Pat's.
I babysat while Courtney and Paul heard a speaker at the college,
On Thursday, Courtney and Tiz went to a movie with some friends.
I put Soli in her stroller and took a very long walk.
She fell asleep at the beginning of the walk and stayed alseep for two hours.
The weather was beautiful so we went to have dinner at their drive in where the girls wear roller skates.  A perfect way to end a beautiful spring day and a wonderful vacation.
Tiz and I enjoyed a jacuzzi and went to bed.
I came home today, Friday, full of happy memories.
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