Friday, November 30, 2012

we started kindergarten!

***Updated -- I added pictures of us using the stamps!***

I got the packages of our school books and workbooks in the mail last week.  And, I got busy planning our year and was able to get us started on our Kindergarten year this week.  So, we are official Kindergartners.  Exciting, yeah?  Of course!

I'm a little intimidated because this year I am teaching these girls how to read.  Please, let it be not as horrible as I am thinking!  Time will tell, right?

The girls were excited to get started with school again.  We had taken a 6 week break.  I think we all needed that break.

I have started having an incentive a few times a week for them.  Art projects are the incentive. Easy, right!?  They know if they are listening and following directions during school, they get to do the fun art project that I have planned.

Today, I had to do the first part of the project before our actual school work.  We have to let our project dry before we can use them.  I got this idea from the crafty Julie!  She is always coming up with fun things to do.  Check out hers here.

We made stamps!  Fun!  I loved it just as much as the girls.

Some foam paper, scissors, hole punch, glue, and wooden blocks equals a fun time and lots of stamps for really cheap!

Bella showing me her favorite stamp.  She saw me make one and wanted to do the same.

Emily deep in her thoughts.  She didn't end up using any of the pieces she cut.  I cut out everything for them in advance so the project was more fun for them.  You can see on the yellow tray in the first picture there are piles of different shaped pieces.  That worked out perfectly.  The blocks are small enough that it isn't very easy for them to cut out their own.

Bella in her zone.

Here are all the stamps that Bella made.

I joined in the fun, too.  Here are all of mine.

And, here are all of the ones Emily made.  Notice that most of hers look like faces.  I think that was her intention.

They are drying right now. We will be testing them out here in a little bit!

Here we are using all our made stamps (and some that we already had from the store).

Emily started spelling out words she knew.  Very good and educational on her part!  Smart girl!

And, so you can see how some of our stamps turned out, here are the ones I made.  The project worked really well!  I highly recommend you doing this.

Go buy your supplies now! :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Indy visit -- Halloween

One of the main reasons we visit the States when we do is because of Halloween.  Living in a small town in Mexico, that holiday is not really celebrated here.  If we lived in a larger city, it might not be such an issue. 

The girls LOVE Halloween.  What kid doesn't?  A day that you can dress up as your favorite character and get candy by the loads!?  Sign me up!

And, carving the pumpkins has always been a highlight, too.  I love taking the seeds and roasting them.  Plus, just that time of year, when the leaves are turning, there is a chill in the is my favorite time of year.  So, why not go at that time of year?!

Mamaw and Papaw took charged and helped the girls carve the pumpkins.

Emily loves getting her hands dirty.  She separated all the seeds from the goopy insides of the pumpkin.

She drew a face that was a bit challenging for Papaw to cut out.

Bella seemed like an old pro drawing a face on her pumpkin.

And, you see she isn't into the dirty hands.  She opted to use a scoop to get the slimy parts out of her pumpkin.

And, finally dressing up for Halloween.

Bella wanted to be all the things that had about 2 inches of fabric involved.  She eventually settled on a wearable unicorn.  Emily, true to form, choose to be a superhero.  Ironman!

We met up our usually friends and headed out to get lots of candy!  Here are the girls with their friend, Alex!

Running to the houses to get candy!

And, the running continued!  They burnt enough energy to balance out eating some of that candy.

It was a bit chilly that night, but overall, Halloween was really fun this year!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Indy visit -- Indianapolis Zoo!

We went to the Indianapolis Zoo when we were in town.  Before we left, I had stumbled upon a zoo passport book idea on Pinterest.  Instead of using the one I found, I went straight to the source, which was on Disney Family's website.  What a great idea!

I printed a book for each of the girls and had them color their pages.  In the front, it has their name, a picture of them, and the date and zoo we went to.  I figured it would be a great keepsake for them to have.

They were having ZooBoo at the zoo.  They had decorations all around.  And, I saw several kids dressed up  in their Halloween costumes.  Emily and Bella fit in because they are animals! :)

The girls liked when the animals would pose with them for the pictures.

Here are some of the decorations that the zoo had out.

 Bella wanted to get a picture with the polar bear.  And, as you see, Emily wasn't willing to cooperate.

This was under the huge swimming pool for the dolphins.  The dolphin show was awesome!  That was probably our favorite part of the zoo.

These little guys were crazy. They seemed like a nervous wreck.

Bella with the flamingos.

Emily cooperating and letting me take her picture with the flamingos.

There was a baby elephant at the zoo.  I think they said he was born in June or July.  He just kept running around wanting to play.  The girls got a kick out of him.

Getting my turn in front of the camera with the girls.

Here are Mamaw and Papaw with the girls.  The day was perfect for our zoo trip.

The girls thought these were funny.  This was right outside of the bird houses.  You walk into a huge cage with all the birds.

The birds are all around you.  And, they don't know what personal space is.

Emily loved that this bird was trusting enough to sit on her arm.

And, remember that personal space I mentioned.  This bird needs to learn about it.

Remember those zoo passport books I mentioned?  Well, Emily was over-the-moon excited because there was a snake that looked exactly like the one she colored in her book.

There were some blank pages in the back of the passport book for animals that we saw that weren't already in the book.  Bella took advantage and drew some animals in the back of hers.  Here she is drawing a bald eagle.

What did I tell you about Bella and Emily fitting in?  This is basically them looking in a mirror!

Another fun day in Indy!

Indy visit -- playground

The girls spent quite a bit of their time at the playground.  Most of the time, Mamaw and Papaw were more than willing to go over there with them.  I guess it never got old to either of them.

Me, I went a few times with them.  This particular day, I wanted to get some pictures.  The girls were good sports about posing for me.  And, I even got in a few of the pictures myself.  (That was one of many reasons why I lost weight...I didn't want to be embarrassed when getting my picture taken.)  Now, I am mostly comfortable in front of the camera, instead of always being behind it.

The girls are standing in Mamaw's and Papaw's backyard.  You can see the building in the background is the school.  So close!

A snapshot of all of us on our short walk to the playground.

Taking a minute to get a picture taken before the girls start playing..

This year, the girls mastered this little rock climbing wall at the playground.

Emily is about to climb over and make her way down on the other side.  No fear.

Picture perfect photo opportunity.

The girls took turns taking a photo with me.  Bella let us know when she was taking the picture.  It turned out really well.

As you can see, Emily is just as wild when taking pictures.  No warning at all.  I'm talking and Bella has her eyes closed.  Oh well!  Good enough.  :)

Playing, playing, and more playing!

They were really good subjects this day.  Throughout the trip, in general, I would try to get them to let me take their picture.  They got annoyed with me half the time.  As I have admitted before, I'm not a good candid picture taker.  I need the posers.

Wishing we had a nice playground around these parts.  We do have one right down the street.  But, as expected, it is not very nice and the sun makes the metal equipment more like a frying pan than a playground.

More picture coming soon!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Indy Visit -- all around

We stayed for 4 weeks in Indy.  Seems like a long time, but time went by so quickly.  I wanted to see everyone multiple times but that just didn't happen.  Weekends were limited and I also made a few trips over to Ohio for work.

But, we did get around to seeing most everyone and I was able to have lots of adult-only time!  I more than appreciate the fact that my parents were more than willing to keep the girls entertained while I went with friends and shopping solo!

Mamaw and Papaw bought Bella a new bike.  She got good use out of it while we were there.  The weather cooperated for the most part.

My parents live right next to an elementary school.  The playground was a very popular spot with the girls.  I bet they were over there at least 3 times a day.

While getting out scarves, hats, and gloves, we found one of daddy's hats.  Emily made use of it for the cooler days.  Or, just wearing it around the house.

Papaw was the fire-maker!  I think he made at least 6 fires for the girls to enjoy.

The fire is going now!

The fire wasn't enough to keep the girls warm.  They had to have an extra layer of blanket on top of all their clothes.

And, what's a fire without marshmallows?

Of course, we made our way to Chuck E. Cheese!  What would a trip to the States be without that place!?  Bella is in the light blue shirt.

We went with friends to a large, fun park on the northside of Indy called Holliday Park.  It was warm that day!  Unusually warm for Indy.  I think it was 80 F that day.  Great park weather!

Bella experienced some major static!

Emily enjoyed going down the barrel slides.  She is right at home in a jungle gym park!  She is a monkey, you know!

The girls posing for me outside of a friend's house.  We thought we had stumbled upon the Smurf village when we found the big mushroom that you can see by their feet.

Emily playing hopscotch on the driveway.  The girls were outside all the time.

One of my adult outings, I went zip lining with some great friends.  The place was at Eagle Creek, called Go Ape.  I think it is still open through the end of the year.  The weather was perfect.  It was a bit challenging since I'm not in love with heights.  But, it was a blast!  This is a shot of me (on the left) with Katie up in the trees.  And, since I am all about embarrassing myself, take a look at video of me failing to stick the landing, again!

We also went bowling!  We play at home on the Wii all the time.  But, the girls had never done the real thing.

The bowling alley let us use this neat device to help the girls get the ball going a little faster than just rolling it.  Very convenient and helpful!

Mamaw made sure to bake up a storm with the girls.  They made spritz cookies with sprinkles.  My favorite!

Mamaw had to help a bit.  She was quality control.

So, now you have seen some random things we did.  More to come!