Saturday, June 27, 2015

Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

The first graders only took two field trips this year.
And Caroline missed the first one because she was sick.
So, she was SOOOO excited to go to the zoo with her school friends.
We had lots of parent chaperones,
so I was only in charge of a small group of 3:

J, T, and Caroline.
T is one of her closest friends this year,
so C was happy to spend the day with her.

We toured Africa first.
We saw lions (above)


 The kids wanted to take pics with every statue.

The chimpanzees were my favorite. 

This guy was more interactive than any animal I've ever seen.

 He would run along the glass and when he got to this worker,
she would jump up and down.
And he would mimic her.
And then run along the glass again.
It was so cute to watch.

Exploring between exhibits.


 Baboons usually creep me out.
But these ones were fun.


Dung beetle statue.
(Seriously? Do we need a picture with that guy??)

After a couple of hours in Africa,
we took a break for lunch.
Then headed to North America.


Polar Bear den
(The actual polar bear was hiding from view
somewhere in the far corners of his exhibit.)

In North America, they also have an awesome play area.
Our time was short and it looked so fun.
Instead of visiting more exhibits, we spent
the rest of our time playing here. Yes!

Rope bridge

Rope swing 

Mud pie kitchen

Grateful to spend a fun day with my cutie and her classmates.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Welcome to Equestria!

Caroline turned SEVEN! Woo hoo! For the first time in several years, she chose NOT to have her party at Chuck E. Cheese. (I was both happy and sad about that.) Instead, she decided to have a My Little Pony party here at home. It was A LOT of work, but it was SO much fun. We loved it.

When Caroline chose an MLP theme, I figured it would be easy peasy to just hop on Pinterest and gather tons of great ideas. But I couldn't find anyone else who had done a party like I had in mind. So we had to come up with our own ideas. We chose one activity for each of the six main ponies.

First, the girls visited Fluttershy's cottage. Caroline wanted time to just play with her "stuffies". Since Fluttershy loves animals, we made that our first stop and the girls played upstairs while waiting for everyone to arrive.

When everyone was here, we had Twilight's Elements of Harmony treasure hunt. This was my favorite part. (even though the "gold"  sticks for the beads had some issues.)

I found beads that represented each of the Elements of Harmony.

Like Rarity's purple diamond of generosity.

Andrew wrote the clues for the treasure hunt
and the girls were OFF!

They would put each bead on their gold pipe cleaners.
By the end, they each had an Elements of Harmony bracelet.

Next, we went to Sweet Apple Acres to help
Apple Jack with her apple bucking.
This picture doesn't have the best lighting,
but those are trees with balloon "apples" on them.

Ready to harvest


Whitney and Andrew were Flim and Flam,
bad guys who want to ruin the harvest.
The girls had to get their harvest past them to win.
The first round was awesome and everyone had fun.
We played two more rounds and some of the girls
liked it, some didn't.

After that, we visited Pinkie Pie's Carnival.
Care Bear picked an MLP puzzle and Memory game to play.

And the carnival finale was the pinata. 

Woo hoo! 

Next, we visited Rainbow Dash's Cool Cloud Course.

Whitney, our resident artist, drew a maze of clouds

that the girls had to jump through

to make it to Cloudsdale.

The girls LOVED this game. 

We played over and over again. 

Until one little girl tripped and scraped her knees. :( 

Our final stop in Ponyville was at Rarity's Boutique.
Since Rarity is all about FASHION, 
the girls could paint pictures to accessorize
their rooms or make jewelry to accent
their wardrobes. 

Most of the girls chose to paint pictures.

They did a great job and made
some masterpieces. 

Then it was time for cake.

Happy birthday, dear Caroline!

So happy that these friends could celebrate
Caroline's big day with her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Memorial Day: Hiking and Swimming

We had a fabulous Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, we drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We met Destinee and her kids, which is always fun. We decided to meet near Boone and do a hike to The Cascades. Neither of us had been there. Wow. We were in for a treat.

I wish my camera could capture the beauty of this view.
This photo does NOT do it justice. 

So much cooler in the mountains--
we even wore little jackets.

It was a short, kid-friendly hike.

We love hikes that lead us to water.
So fun to get a little wet while hiking.

And this one led us RIGHT to a gorgeous waterfall.

Whit and Avery

Caroline, Brittain, and Chapel

Brandon, Mason, and all the pretty girls


The area had a bunch of Christmas Tree farms.
So cute!

Before heading home, we stopped in Boone
to go Gem Mining.

It was fun, but overpriced.

On Monday, we had a lazy day planned.
We got some projects done around the house.
Then Ashley and Brady,
our new friends from church,
invited us over to swim at their apartment pool.
Um...Yes! Thank you!

It was a perfect pool day.

And I got some fun jumping pictures with the big kids.

It totally feels like it should be summer!
Too bad the kids still have three weeks left in school...