Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dallas Arboretum

The last week before school was filled with delightful temperatures in the mid to upper 80's but consistent rain. 
We decided to take our chances with the rain and take advantage of the $1 admission at the Dallas Arboretum during August and go for one last adventure. 
I had checked the weather for our town and it was only supposed to rain in the morning. Well, in Dallas it was forecast to rain all day or until we were planning to leave. It was not really warm but not really cold. The kids were troopers with umbrellas and spending most of the day damp and eventually plain wet. 

 Due to the rain I did not take too many pictures but the kids were so good and did not complain until the end when we were all quite tired of walking in wet shoes. 

The kids area was definitely the best part! 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

First Day of School 2016-2017

How have they grown so fast?! 
 Jon is in 5th grade with Mrs. Coston (she was Joseph's teacher too but has since been married).
 Arabella is in 2nd grade with Mrs. Baumgardner. So far we have had 3 different 2nd grade teachers. We are excited for the year with this new one. 
Joseph is in 7th and does not seem to be phased by his 9 teachers (8 classes and then a 9th period occasionally for advisory where they discuss school issues and concerns as needed).

Lily does not start until Sept. 5th and she is so excited. Then it will just be Samantha and I 5 mornings a week- what a change. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Another Birthday- Harry Potter's

My good friend Erika and fellow Harry Potter fan suggested we have a Harry Potter birthday party. 
It was so much fun! I wish I would have taken a few more pictures. We did Bertie Bott's beanboozled game and I was lucky 3 times in a row- I did not dare push my luck. 
 The fat lady guarding the door. 
 Spiders escaping out the door. 
 This red marker smeared on it's own; thank you Texas humidity. 
 Moaning Myrtle- totally freaked my kids out. 
 It is hard to tell but there are snitches fluttering from one side of the mantle to the other. 
 One escaped to the ceiling fan. 
 The tables decorated in house colors. 

 Honeydukes - delicious! 
And thanks to my Harry Potter cookbook we had some very English and Hogwarts type food. 
We also played charades and it was great fun! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Lily's 5th and Golden Birthday

This year was Lily's golden birthday- she turned 5 on the 5th. 
She was super excited for her birthday and had been talking about it for weeks, even months. 
She wanted Dad's famous pancakes and syrup for breakfast and her wish was granted. 

 Presents are the best, especially when their are shopkins involved!
This is a classic moment- Lily was posing for a picture with the card Arabella made for her but we were recording to get her reaction to her bike.  Ha Ha! She just stands there. Really she has loved the bike and is quite the speed racer on it. 
Bike riding and playing at the school playground after dinner which she requested to be waffles- her favorite! Who does not love breakfast twice in one day! 

She wanted pink and gold- this is what we came up with! Peter did a fantastic job again!
Lily, you are sassy, spunky, full of life and energy. You are able to take charge of any situation but occasionally get embarrassed and turn to me or dad for support. You are smart and will be wonderful in preschool again this year! I am so thankful for how wonderfully you play with Samantha. You two are best little buddies! I think that 5 is going to be a great year for you!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Bird Family Reunion 2016 The Trip Home

We spent Friday driving all day. We were sad to say goodbye to our family but it was time to make the journey home. 
We stopped in Wichita, Kansas and then headed out early Saturday morning to Oklahoma City to enjoy the Children's Museum. I love his museum! It is packed with hands on exhibits. 
We had planned to spend half of the day at the museum and the other half at the zoo but the museum we just too much fun! 

Our little astronaut

The segway course was a big hit! 
You know that toy where you put your hand on it and the pegs make an impression of it and then you tip it and they all line up again on one side, well this was a body sized one. Peter put Samantha's whole body on it and it was hilarious! 
Peter the tight rope walker. 
 Sand wheels
 She just felt all of the pieces wanted to meet in the middle. 
Jon and Arabella had a great game on a checkers board this size. 
Joseph and the train exhibit! He is such a train loving boy and I hope he never changes! 
The drive home was pretty short (comparatively) and we had so much fun that nobody complained about being in the car- in fact I think almost all of them fell asleep. 
We had such an amazing trip! I love vacations and making memories with my family- it is worth every cent, every bit of planning, all of the packing (and unpacking), the tears and whining because I know that my kids will remember these experiences! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bird Family Reunion 2016: Water Park and Family Fun Time

Thursday morning we spent at an indoor water park that was part of the hotel. 
We had SO MUCH FUN!  
The lifeguards were really laid back on the rules and so all of the kids were able to ride the water slides and go in a variety of age combinations. Lily and Samantha loved that they could ride the same slides as the big kids. Eventually Samantha was so worn out she fell asleep in Peter's arms as they floated around the river over and over in a tube.
Tammy put this video together. Some of the footage is from Friday morning after we had already left.
 After swimming for a few hours and eating lunch we headed to a park with these really big dinosaurs but not much level playing ground. 

 We were still able to nap (see above picture), teach chinese jump rope to the kids, and hang out under the belly and in the shade of a brontosaurus. 
 We then headed to an actual park and the kids had a great time playing on the playground and then a game of kickball. 

This guy was such a trooper- it is amazing that I have a picture of him without a kid on his shoulders, back or in his arms. He was really good about soaking up the family time. 

Bird Family Reunion 2016: Wind Cave, Custer State Park, Needles Highway, and lets not forget Mount Rushmore

We had such a great time on Wednesday enjoying the many beauties of the area!
First, we took a tour of Wind Cave.
It was beautiful and we learned a lot about caves. 

 A few pictures from inside. 
 After the caves we ate lunch and played a bit and then headed to Custer State Park in search of the mighty buffalo. 
 We saw some, not as many as we would have hoped but they were majestic. 
 We drove through Needles Highway and it was one of the most scenic drives I have taken in my life. 

 And the crazy tunnels carved out of the rock were a bit intense. 
 Next up, a short (1 mile) hike around a beautiful little lake. We are pretty sure it is the lake that is used in the second National Treasure movie. 
 This little girl hiked most of the way herself including a bunch of stairs. 

 The kids were all over the rock formations. I tried to not be too nervous. That is Joseph in the blue and Jon in the red shirt. 
 Arabella was not going to be outdone by her brothers. 

 Lily was a bit more cautious but she was not far behind. 
 And of course Mount Rushmore. Here is the picture from last year. Oh my word, my kids have grown so much! I love seeing them growing and learning! 
Samantha fell in love with Grandma and Grandpa, especially when she realized they would hold her hands and carry her down most of the stairs at Mount Rushmore. 
 Jon has really missed being around his cousins. 
Check out that crew! 
We had such a fun day with everyone! I am so thankful for the memories we made and the time we spent enjoying one another and some of the beauty of this great country.