Friday, October 28, 2011

Sarah's First Field Trip

On the 26th of October Sarah got to take her first ever field trip with her preschool.
She was so excited!

I think one of the most exciting parts for her was riding on the bus.

I on the other hand, for got how bumpy it is to ride on the bus, was not comfortable at all for an 8 month pregnant lady. But it was worth it to see Sarah's excitement. 

Here she is with our bus we took.

The first thing we did was take a hay ride up to the pumpkin patch.
Sarah with her BFF Emery.

Here I am with Sarah, all ready for our hay ride to the pumpkin patch!
Along the way they stopped and told us a fun story about the Farmer and his Scarecrow, Stuffie. 
One morning the farmer came out to his pumpkin patch and saw that all of his pumpkins were painted green! He asked Stuffie the Scarecrow about it and he said that he thought the preschool kids would like green pumpkins, so he painted them green. 
The Farmer explained how the kids were expecting orange pumpkins for halloween, and so he sent Stuffie out to paint them all back to orange. 
Although, some of them he missed, so we may see a pumpkin or two that had green on them.

As we kept going there were Scarecrows along the way, every time we saw one we all had to yell,
 "Do not paint the pumpkins green,
Leave them orange for Halloween!"

The kiddos really thought this was fun to do.  

It had rained all night and morning and stopped hours before our field trip. So it was lots of fun squishing around in the mud to find our pumpkins. Sarah and I both got to pick one, and we had to pull them right off of the vine our selves.

Luckily they gave us bags to carry them in (which was great with the mud, and it was easier to carry)

Sarah in the pumpkin patch!

We all loaded back up into the tractor and headed the rest of the way through the farm.
The kids all got to go through a Candyland Corn Maze.

We then walked around where they had different nursery rhyme scenes set up and recited them all together.  

Here is Sarah's documented height.

We then learned how pumpkins grow.

Then the kiddos got to slide down this big slide to get to the next area.
(My friend Joan even went down with Emery, who was a little timid about the slide. What a good mom!)

The kids all got a handfull of dried corn to feed to the animals.

Sarah fed the goats, sheep and a big cow who used her long tongue to lick them out of your hand. Sarah thought that was pretty funny.

We all washed up (as best we could) had a snack and then loaded back onto the bus to head home. It was such a cute first field trip. I'm so lucky that Ryan was able to stay home with Abby so that I could go with Sarah! 

I love you SarBear. Thanks for letting your mama tag along on your first field trip!

DC Adventures

Friday was the last day at the hotel for us.
Ryan had to be to his conference at 6am, and so it was up to me to get us packed up and checked out on time. Which wasn't hard considering the whole family ended getting up with Ryan at 5:30am.
So tired...but, I got the girls up and in their swim suits and went for a quick swim that morning and then got them dressed, bags all packed up and lugged out to the car (which was tricky because the baggage carts were all being used... and I probably carried things I shouldn't have... but I did it!)
We headed to a McDonalds around the corner to wait for Ryan to be done with his conference and then decided that Ryan needed to do something fun on this trip (since the only fun thing he did with us was go to McDonalds for ice cream Thursday evening). So we decided to be crazy and head to the National Mall in DC.

Honestly, I wasn't too excited at first. I was just dreading the drive to Columbia, MD, in rush hour to visit some friends. 

But it was perfect. The drive into DC was beautiful AND we found a spot in a FREE 3-hour parking spot, just one smithsonian over from the Natural History Smithsonian (the one we wanted to take the girls to). So we walked over and got to explore the outside exhibit of the National Art Gallery.

We even had some older lady run up and scold me for not being in the family picture...
So yeah, family picture!
After she handed me my camera back she told me that I should be more careful because she could have run off with our camera. Thanks lady.

Here is Sarah picking the nose of a triceratops.
(this is for G'ma Lisa)

Here is Ry & Abby in the entrance of the Smithsonian.
It was crowded, and Abby kept wanting to run away from us, but we had so much fun exploring the exhibits. We probably only walked throw two or three of them, but we didn't care. The girls were having fun looking at all of the interesting things (like dung beetles, giant spiders, bones, dinosaurs and the Hope Diamond)

After three hours we decided it was time to go and headed to our good friends the Cramer's.
(They lived by us in Pittsburgh for two years)
They were kind enough to let us come crash at their house Friday night and watch our kids so Ryan and I could go to the temple Saturday morning (so grateful!!!)
Sarah and Abby had so much fun playing with their friends Cody & Kylee. 
In fact, just yesterday Sarah told me that she had a dream about a giant scary spider... and that Cody moved back to Pittsburgh so she could play with him!!
It was a great way to finish up our little getaway. 
Thanks Tiffany and Steve for feeding us, watching our kiddos and giving us a bed for the night.
You're the best!

McCrillis Gardens

The hotel we stayed at in Bethesda had odd swimming hours (6am-10am and 4pm-8pm) so on Thursday when I had the girls to myself all day while Ryan was at his conference I researched something fun and free to do in the Bethesda area. 

So I discovered...
 McCrillis Gardens.
It is a home that sits on a large lot and is beautifully maintained. It was eventually donated to the Maryland National Parks Commission so that the public could enjoy the beauty of it.

We were so excited to go in.
Sarah asked me right at the front gate to take her picture by these "Beeeeautiful fowers"

As I was trying to get Abby to get in the picture as well we pleasantly discovered this fuzzy brown and black caterpillar (just follow where Sarah is looking, it is on the underside of a leaf).

With all of the tall trees, and the overcast day it was the perfect setting for lots and lots of pictures.
Sarah cooperated so well.

Abby... not so much. She had a cold, and was sort of being miss I'm-grumpy-and-don't-want-to-listen-or-do-anything-mom-says pants.
Here is the best I got...

Any halfway decent shot of Abby... was the one shot Sarah wasn't looking. *sigh*

They had several pavillions and gazeboes in the garden.

Here is my attempt at getting a shot of the three of us together. 
Don't those trees in the background look great... they're at least in focus. 

This is such a sweet picture, and you can really see that Abby wasn't herself.

The one and only smile of the day
(that I caught on camera, she did enjoy running around the paths of the gardens)

I LOVED this mossy gazebo. It made me think of Ryan's G'ma June. 
He promised her to build her a gazebo one day... I'm sure once we settle down and own a home, there will be a similar gazebo built in our backyard dedicated to G'ma June. 
Do you think I can get it delivered pre-mossy? I just love the moss!

Sarah is such a great big sister. 

The following shots were more like this, Sarah being oblivious and Abby picking the petals off of this hydrangea and throwing them at Sarah. 


I wanted to get a picture of this hosta with gianormous leaves. They were seriously bigger than my face... of course it was at this point that Sarah informed me that she had to go potty and couldn't hold it any longer.  
So we ran to a potty... and she was right... she couldn't hold it any longer. 
Of course, I didn't have a spar anything for her in the car.
The joys of being a mom. 

It was a beautiful afternoon, I loved being outside in the cool fall air and letting the girls run around and explore the gardens. It wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be, but it was still beautiful. I hope that maybe we'll be in the DC area at the time of spring or early summer to see it in full bloom. I bet it is breath taking. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hotel Beach Bums

Ryan attended a conference this past weekend in Bethesda, Maryland and so the girls and I decided to tag along and enjoy a {mostly} free hotel stay. 

The hotel luckily had a pool (other wise I don't know if I would have gone) and so we went swimming three times during our short little two night stay. 

My lil' water babies were so excited to go to the pool I could have gotten them to do anything.
So, of course I begged them for a couple of photos before we went up to the pool.
They are becoming such sweet friends. 

I love the adoring look on Abby's face in this one. 

So excited! 

Awe... loves! 

Sarah was being so funny... and of course Abby had to be just like big sister. 

I love this last one too!

Oh, I love my cute lil' girls. 
It was so fun to go swimming with them. They are getting quite good. If Ryan would have been able to go with us, I would have braved letting them try to swim with out their floaties for a bit. 

Thanks for getting mommy in the pool girls! I had fun swimming with you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pittsburgh's National Aviary

 The past two years I missed going to the Aviary on RADical days. 
It is a pricey lil' place, so I was excited to remember this year, and go for free!
I met up with some friends and it was fun to get out of the house
(despite the cranky kids... what is the deal lately?)

Don't they look so cute...

Here is Sarah being an owl.
She loves to put her hands in her hoodie and pretend that she has wings. 

We've received a lot of rain lately and so the kids were excited to see the sun a bit and run around outside... or course they wanted to continue that running inside the extremely crammed aviary... but we made it in and out with out loosing track of them too many times (and by them I mean Abby)

Sarah loves owls, and so she requested a picture with her friends by it.

While we were waiting to enter an exhibit the girls had fun looking at the toucans and this funny little black bird (don't remember the name) that kept coming over to say hi to them.

Sarah in front of a Macaw. She has a new favorite shirt with a Macaw on it that she loves. She'll walk up to random people in the store and tell them about her purple Macaw shirt (when she is wearing it). I don't know where she learned to call it a Macaw, and not a parrot, but I think it is fun that she loves it so.

It was an exhausting fun lil' trip out with friends.
Next time, if I dare go on the overwhelming busy "free" day, I'll try to make sure the girls have had a full nights rest so that they will hopefully listen a little better, and not wear mommy out quite so much. 

Yay for free events!

Bulgarian Cultural Center

 One of the RADical days events included the Bulgarian Cultural Center being open to the public. 
My brother Patrick served his mission there, so when I saw this on the RADical days event schedule, it was a "must-do". 

Here we are, excited to go in!
(Yea... doesn't Abby look thrilled?)

It was a small, two story building. When we walked in it was eerily quiet, but we ventured upstairs to find someone to direct us to "the event". There were various paintings hung in a large room and they were setting up for something... just not any sort of RADical day event. hahah...greeeaaat. 
Of course, it was a great room for enhancing our girls whines and screams, so we headed down to check out what could possibly be on the bottom floor. This was a small room, lined with display cases along the walls, and filled with tables in the middle of the room. At which, there was what appeared to be some meeting going on. Before we could slip back out un-noticed, and elderly gentleman swooped up next to us and eagerly asked us if we'd like a tour ("of what?" were my thoughts).
Well we walked around the tables of people eating/chatting and briefly caught snippets of Bulgarian history through Abby's wails and screams (she, of course, decided it would be a great time to show everyone she was two, and how else but a royal tantrum?). All the while, the sweet elderly man pressed on with his never-ending facts... which I'm sure were throughly interesting if I caught more than three words in a row. 

I did however find the Martenista tradition pretty interesting. 
It is a tradition where they celebrate the signs of spring and make and give each other these Martenitzas on the first of March. There is no one way to make one, but they are always done in red and white to symbolize purity and truth. Kind of a fun tradition. I thought it would have been cute if they had a small table set up for kids to try making their own Martenitza... but apparently, they don't get much traffic, even during RADical days. 

Sarah thought these were picture worthy, and requested I take some to show Uncle Pat.

I did snag a little brochure with a little bit more info about Bulgaria (some that I could actually read and process when Abby wasn't screaming in my ear). I thought I would share a little about the Bulgarian Rose. Bulgaria is one of the main sources of "attar of rose" the main ingredient in fine perfumes. Bulgaria has an area over twenty miles wide and one hundred milles long known as the "Valley of the Roses", where three-quarters of the world's rose oil is produced. 

Did you know that it takes 60,000 roses to produce just one ounce of rose oil? Crazy huh? 
I can only imagine how beautiful the Valley of the Roses must be in May/June when Roses are at their peak. Maybe one day my brother can take us there?

Anyway. Sarah was great during our brief tour of Bulgarian history and artifacts. 

Thanks for humoring me, lil' family, and bearing with me as I drag you through one lame event after another. Good thing they love me. ;)