Monday, June 30, 2014

At the beach today with Brendan ...

It's been warm but super muggy the last few days. Today, since I had the day off work AND it was actually NOT raining, I decided to drive out to the beach ~ my first beach visit in almost 10 months!
I got to take Brendan with me! 
And anywhere I go with Brendan is FULL of joy and happiness … and delightful things! 
We played a bunch in the sand ... 
It was a high wave day and swimming warnings were posted … so we didn't venture in the water farther than our tippy toes ... 

I did get in the water, up to my ankles, to see just how far Brendan would dare to follow ... 
As he watched the waves slam into the shore, Brendan wasn't too sure about this ... 
About five seconds after the above picture, a big wave came right up and swept Brendan off his feet … plop! That was it … he hightailed it back to the sand to play.
There was a really great playground further up the beach, right next to the parking lot, so after a little more sand play, we headed on over to enjoy it.
Brendan is really something on a playground! He just has so much fun! 
 I love watching him explore, try new things, push his own limits, and play.
I pushed him pretty high on the swings today … and he just loved it!

When it was time to leave, I asked Brendan if he wanted a burger and some fries. He replied, "Ice Cream!" 

So … I got him some ice cream PLUS a burger and fries. He ate his ice cream first … THEN his fries, sipped on my iced tea, and finally decided against the burger ~ which was just fine. He was so tired out by then, he nearly fell asleep while I was strapping him into his car seat and he slept all the way back to Grand Rapids. Thanks for sharing this afternoon with me, Little Fellow!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kaity-Jane is two today ...

Kaitlynn is my youngest grandchild and my second granddaughter. She is a real sweetheart, for sure! She has a very contagious giggle. She loves to play. She is one tough little cookie too! 
I am slowly getting to know Kaity, and I like her very much! She has a very interesting personality. And doesn't she have the cutest little face? I'm having a hard time today believing that she is already two years old! 
One of my all-time favorite pictures
of Kaity!
I love you, Kaity-girl! Happy Birthday!

An unusually quiet weekend . . .

We had a very quiet weekend and NO Saturday afternoon adventure this week! The first reason was because during dinner Friday night it became evident that Emma wasn't feeling well. She was listless and didn't eat well and then went over to the couch and laid down! This is not typical for Emma!
Thankfully, I had gone to the public library that morning and picked out two dozen or so really nice books for the kids to look at, and some for us to read together. I pampered Emma, rubbed her back, put an ice pack on her head (she had a headache and a fever), and just kept her as comfortable as possible. Matthew picked up a few of the animal books I had checked out from the library (his new favorite animal is TIGER!), and he worked on a couple of sketches. Christopher did a lot of art work this weekend too.

The other reason we kept so "quiet" this weekend was … the heat and humidity … which doesn't usually bother me one little bit! However, I felt rather wiped out and without any energy whatsoever because it was really uncomfortable!
We did our Bible story, continuing in the book of Acts. This week, we studied Philip … not the apostle Philip, but Philip the Evangelist. We learned how God used Philip to bring the Good News to the Samaritans, how Philip encountered a "sorcerer" in Samaria, and how Philip was led by God to meet the Ethiopian gentleman who was searching to find out the Truth. 
 Philip's story is a very beautiful one. He was one of the believers in Jerusalem who ran for their lives the very day that Stephen was stoned to death. The Bible says that Saul was going house to house dragging believers out, putting them in chains, and throwing them into prison. Philip went to Samaria first (which was "enemy" territory … the Samaritans were despised by the Jews), and many people came to believe in Jesus because Philip healed many people and performed miracles, along with telling the story of Jesus. 
But there was someone else who needed to hear the Good News! He was the treasurer of Ethiopia, and he had been in Jerusalem to worship God. He must have been a wealthy person to own his very own Isaiah scroll, and that's what he was reading (Isaiah 53!) when Philip saw him in his chariot. Philip walked right over to him (because God told him to) and asked him if he could understand what he was reading! The Ethiopian told Philip that he needed someone to help teach him … so Philip started right in Isaiah 53 to tell him all about the amazing things Jesus had done … just as Isaiah had foretold! Isn't it wonderful that God sent his angel to direct Philip on exactly the right road to talk to this fellow who at that exact moment was reading a gospel passage and wanted to know what it meant?
And God chases after us in the same way, pursuing us, wooing us, to become His children! After the Ethiopian was baptized, God's Spirit took Philip away and had him tell people all up the coast of Israel about Jesus. He finally settled in Caesarea, had four daughters, and actually opened his home up to Paul (the very guy he was running away from) years later!
Most of the books I got from the library were animal stories this time. We've been doing lots of animal outings the past few weeks, and I knew the children would enjoy this. We read the true story of the "Eight Dolphins of Katrina," about the survival of eight marine dolphins during and after Hurricane Katrina. We also read two more (very long) chapters from "The Horse and His Boy." We are really enjoying our Narnian adventures!

Our Friday night movie was, "Despicable Me!" but I sadly slept through most of it! Thankfully, Emma was able to sleep OK Friday night and then everyone slept in Saturday morning.

By about the middle of the day Saturday, Emma started perking up. We did some playing in the toy room, but it certainly was HOT at my little Beach House! 
The kids did some LEGO building, and they made a nice road and bridge with the Hot Wheels tracks for awhile. 
I love this boy!
 We tried a little experiment I had seen on-line this week. We took a small saucer and filled it with milk. Then we added one drop each of blue, yellow, red, and green food coloring ...
 Then we added two drops of Dawn dish soap ... and … voila! Swirly colors!

 We did "stir" this up a little bit. I was wondering if the humidity inhibited the movement of these ingredients ~ because on-line, they really actively swirled around. The children had interesting comments as the pattern kept changing … "Ooo, it looks like planet earth!" … "Ooo, it looks like a giant lizard eyeball!" … and other similar comments.

We don't usually do our Saturday afternoon outings until after 2:00 … but the sun was glaring, it was so sticky hot, and Emma still felt a little weak ~ so I decided against going out anywhere, and I'm glad too; because we had quite a downpour at about 3:30 so we would have probably gotten caught in that and drenched. I guess every now and again, we'll just have to do all of our activities around here instead of exploring the great outdoors; but I did miss doing that this week!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Brendan and I visit the zoo ...

Finally! A day without rain! But just because there was NO rain, did not mean there was NO humidity. It still felt rather like a jungle out there today. I decided that since we finally got a break in our miserably wet weather, I should jump on it and take Little Fellow to the zoo ...
 We started with the Pelican Pier and introduced ourselves to all of the friendly pelicans hanging about, as well as the many ducks swimming around. Brendan imitated their sounds with his small sweet voice.
Brendan was in no hurry to move on to another exhibit … he is very thorough in his explorations, but that is no surprise and fits perfectly with his contented little personality. 
The one positive about our rather uncomfortable weather was that it made things a bit less "crowded" today at the zoo … perhaps it was just the fact that it was a Thursday instead of a Saturday. 
 We finally walked away from the pelicans and ducks and tried to get a look at the monkeys … who weren't doing very much today whatsoever! They were all kind of bunched together, sleeping! Which was OK with us, because Brendan was just happy to be where he could see more ducks ...

 I love your sweet expressions, Brendan-dear!

 We saw lots of fish, frogs, turtles, snakes ...
 And we went inside the Budgie Bird house and watched people feeding the colorful birds. Brendan was quite taken with them.

 He was very gentle and careful not to step on any of them that were feeding on the ground ...
 I wasn't sure about taking Brendan to see the stingrays … but then decided to try it anyway. We were SO HOT that the water looked pretty inviting ...
 The most exciting thing (for me at least) was today there was a BABY STINGRAY swimming around in the pool! I had never seen a stingray this little … it was so cute.

Brendan seemed to really enjoy watching them swim past him. He wasn't too sure about touching them, so I tried to show him how to do it with flattening his hand out and being very soft. But the stingrays were quite fast swimmers today, and I'm not sure if Brendan actually touched one or not. 
On our way back to the car, we came in the same way we entered … so we had to re-visit the pelicans. 

 I'm so glad we got to visit the zoo today, Brendan! You were such fun to be with. We'll have to do this again very soon!
This was one very tired boy on our way home …. little sweetheart!