Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ice and Snow, Snow and Ice

This year we've been hit with some late winter ice and snow. I am kind of over it. It's no secret that I don't like cold weather anyway. But several days of ice and snow or any combination thereof, and I can only take it in little doses. However, it is really fun for the boys to play in the snow and I do like that.

First, we had an ice storm and school was cancelled (I do like that). It kind of looked like snow since it was white...it was essentially freezing rain/sleet that froze on the ground. The boys were still excited to go out and surprised to find that it was indeed, ice. 

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They had accidentally left some bowls from their snacks the previous day outside and they had filled up with water and frozen overnight. This was a source of extreme entertainment for them. They could not get over it. 

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Then, they were determined to go play on the "snow" (ice) on the trampoline. That was actually pretty humorous because they fell down every .2 seconds. I guess it was pretty slippery...but they thought that was awesome. 

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They stayed out in the back yard far longer than I would have, but they were definitely cold when they came back inside and their socks were mysteriously soaked. So, they warmed up their feet by the fire while I dried their pants. 

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A couple of days later, right after we dropped Ethan off at school, big, fluffy snow flakes began to fall. Logan put on his coat right when we got home to go outside and play. I was bummed that Ethan was missing it, but it turns out that his teachers let the class go outside in the snow for a short time since it is such a rare thing around here (usually). 

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Very quickly the ground began to get covered in snow...on top of the ice that hadn't totally melted yet. The streets were clear, but there was definitely still ice in places. Apparently we have no problem going outside in our PJ's. The really cute hats were a gift from Mimi and Pop from their trip to Alaska.

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Duke was hilarious every time the boys went outside. He did not know what to make of the white stuff. He saw it last winter too, but I guess it had been a while. Here he is trying to eat the big ice block that Logan pulled off the bottom of the slide. Of course, that dog tries to eat everything.

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Fast forward to yesterday and we had snow again. Lots of it...enough to cancel school again. So this time Ethan got to go out in it while it was actually coming down. 

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This is what Duke was doing...hopping all over the yard like a rabbit trying to eat all of the snow. Crazy dog. 

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Of course since the slide was still a bit icy, that was fun to slide down...

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One time Duke got in the way when Logan was coming down the slide. 

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The trampoline was a fun place to play with all the powdery snow...especially to see it fly around when they jumped. 

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It was strange to see our yard ALL covered in white. 

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Ethan made several snow angels. 

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Logan mainly just lay down in the snow. 

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They eventually discovered how fun it was to throw the snow.

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And that they could break off icicles that were by this time quite large. 

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Man, these were some fun times for the Cooke brothers. They LOVE the snow. And I am so glad they got to experience a few days of it again this year. 

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Three Valentines

Last year around Valentines time, we were still living with  my parents (just past two months). So, we were still living out of boxes and suitcases and I'm completely surprised that I even made valentines for the boys last year. But somehow I did. I never shared them though. And since we're back around to that holiday time this year, it's time to be thinking of those valentines again. 

The real catalyst for last year's Valentines was finding a big bag of bouncy balls on clearance at Hobby Lobby that were supposed to look like Earth. I don't know why the idea struck me, but I immediately thought of doing an "out of this world" valentine. And kids love bouncy balls.

So, I made a simple bag topper that my boys could personalize with their names to give to their classmates. Really, really simple and quick. Of course, my boys were concerned that they got to keep a bouncy Earth ball too...we had plenty of leftovers. I'm still finding them in random places around the house. 

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To download, click the photo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzzrViCgjs5fNmpiYk9YZG5hUVE/view?usp=sharing

For this year's valentines, I was again struck by something I spotted in a store. This time it was Target and in the Valentines candy aisle. I was looking at lollipops and sweet tarts when the Pirate's Booty bags caught my eye. My boys LOVE Pirate's Booty. They probably have it every single day. And as such, I thought it might be fun for them to share their favorite treat with their friends as a valentine. And the "matey" idea popped into my head too. 

So, two bags of Pirate's Booty later, and a little piratey topper...and we've got some swashbuckling valentines for the boys classmates this year. 

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To download, click the photo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzzrViCgjs5fTldIRHEyN19LVjQ/view?usp=sharing


And finally, we wouldn't want to leave out the teachers. The pink lip gloss and hand lotion that's so fun and at every Target checkout counter is kind of appropriate for this pink and red saturated holiday. So, I got one of each for all of the boys' teachers as well as some heart-shaped Dove chocolates. Again, I made a generic (and pink!) topper for the teachers' Valentines so we can show them that they are loved too!

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To download, click on photo:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzzrViCgjs5faXdBb2wyTTZZcDQ/view?usp=sharing

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Trampoline

This Christmas, our present to the boys (besides a few small things) was a trampoline. But, we waited too long to order it and it wasn't available by Christmas Day. So, I made a print-out that said they'd be getting a trampoline. Not quite the same impact, but they were still excited.

So, when it came in a couple of weeks after Christmas, we got it set up during a day that they were both at school and planted clues around the house to lead them to a special "treasure" outside. They really had no idea to expect their trampoline. And they absolutely LOVE treasure hunts.

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They both looked for and found the clues and Ethan read them out loud. 

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The last clue took them outside where they finally saw what they had been waiting for...

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Ethan was running so quickly that I almost didn't get his reaction.

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They just stood there for a minute looking at it and then asked if they could jump on it. Well, of course! They were so cute!

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They are looking forward to many more jumping sessions and learning all sorts of tricks. I am excited to have another thing for them to play on/with outside. 

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Even though this reveal did not happen on Christmas Day as we would have liked, we had just as much fun with it two weeks later...and maybe it was even more special because it was separated from everything else that was going on at Christmas time. Plus, we were so busy that day, they wouldn't have been able to jump for very long before we would have had to head out. So, everything worked out!

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Play Street Museum Play Date

Well, Christmas break ended yesterday and we are back at school and into our routine again (sort of). On Monday, our last day of the break, we met our dear friends at Play Street Museum, a new indoor play place in our area, for a play date. Our boys LOVE getting together and have such a great time. Christina and I had brought our little guys here once before and after hearing about it, the older boys wanted to come too.

It turns out we picked a great day to come because there was no one there. Most schools started back to school on Monday, so we almost had the place to ourselves.

**I cannot take credit for ANY of these photos...Christina brought her camera and graciously shared them with me!

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First of all...how cute is this place? I love it. And our boys do too. There are so many fun play houses lining the street for them to play in. Several of our specific area places too...like Kenny's Burger Joint. Kids up to 8 years can play in here so our bigger boys only have one year left!

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One of the favorites is the burning house right next to the fire station. The boys love the "fire" up on the roof. And the slide is fun too. They pretended to rescue/escape from the fire many, many times. 

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Logan is checking out the Victorian-style house and kitchen.

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There are lots of dress up clothes too. 

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With our admission for each kid we got a wooden coin to turn in for a snack later. The boys got to select their snack from the counter and "pay" for it with their wooden coins. 

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One of the great things about this place for a mom is that we can sit on one of the benches and keep an eye on the kids without having to move. It's pretty wide open, so we were able to stay put and just chat the whole time. 

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We stayed at least two hours, but even then the boys were not ready to go at all. We had an appointment to get to, otherwise we probably would have stayed. But this place is FUN and we will be back. 

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