Saturday, April 15, 2017

Soccer Girl

After years of constant activity but no interest in sports, Rachel has decided to play soccer.
And she is excited about every aspect of playing - cleats, shin protectors, socks, team shirts. ball skills, game rules, the whole team concept. She is one of the smaller kids on the team and the only one who has never played before, but she doesn't care. She's soaking it all in and she's playing.
Today was her first game. At 8:00 AM on a Saturday. Ugh.

 Rachel was ready an hour early, proudly wearing her bright yellow  # 3 t-shirt.
She is not yet an agile or aggressive player but she listens to her coach and keeps her eye on the ball.
She even got in a few good kicks today!
And it was clear that she was having fun.
Her team won by 4 or 5 points, but Rachel didn't notice. When the game was over and they'd shaken hands with the opposing team and passed out snacks, Rae asked Steve, "Did we win? There wasn't a scoreboard so I didn't know." You've got to love a kid who plays just for the fun of playing!
In the car on the way home, Rachel talked about which teammates were good at different skills and what fun it was to play the game. Then she asked when the next practice was. Tonight? Tomorrow? When can she play again? I think I have a soccer player on my hands.

Friday, April 14, 2017


The swing at the Arboretum is one of my girls' favorite places in the universe. There is just something magical about it.

And now there is a second swing on the other side of the lake.

The girls have been posing together on the big swing (which has Carpe Diem carved on the seat) since they were small. They can still both fit on the swing and they're still willing to pose, because it is THE swing.

Granny and I even posed.

This swing and the memories that have happened on it are just about perfect.

A Trip to the Arb

We were too busy last weekend to make it to the annual Tulip Time festival at the Arboretum, so since we didn't have school today Granny and the girls and I decided to visit. We had the whole place to ourselves!
It was, as always, stunningly beautiful. The Arboretum is lovely and old fashioned and doesn't look as if it is in Kansas.

The tulips were still gorgeous, but I'll save those pictures for another post. There were all sorts of plants blooming or just starting to bloom.

 The Arboretum on a warm April morning was a perfect place to be.

Monday, February 6, 2017

NASA Comes to the Library

Our small local library has a fabulous NASA exhibit in it right now. Last spring one of the librarians contacted Steve and asked if he would like to be on a committee to write a proposal to be one of six libraries nation wide that would host an exhibit on NASA. Steve jumped at the idea and he and assorted other science oriented people in town worked to put together a proposal, including community activities centered on space. They won a coveted slot, by far the smallest library to do so! The grand opening was last week and we went to explore.

There are displays and activities crammed into every corner of the library, each on a different topic. There is SO much information, but also lots of hands-on ways to learn. It's quite fascinating!
The children's area has a wind tunnel and a basket of scarves to shoot through it.
There are a couple of areas set up with low tables full of these interesting blocks. Pattern cards are included, or you can build your own creation.
You can be part of a game show space trivia contest.
Or experiment with heat and insulators.
The teen area is set up for weather reports from Mars. Do you see Rachel on the TV?
There are meteorites to touch and chances to explore their magnetism.
There were lots of interesting conversations about the Where Were You When display, with people remembering watching the first man on the moon and other events. I added a sticky note about my experience watching the Challenger explosion in 8th grade.
There were computer games involving blasting asteroids and a more educational game that determined the impact of various sized asteroids hitting earth. You could type in your zip code and see how big the blast would be in your town. (Steve typed in Washington D.C. just for fun.)
The girls had fun with an electronic game that allowed them to build their own solar system.

I am not at all a space aficionado, but this exhibit was fascinating. I look forward to returning to it again and again over the next few weeks. There are also star viewing parties, book clubs on space themed books, speakers from NASA, space themed art activities for both adults and kids, children's programs, rocketry classes, and many other activities scheduled. Our library rocks! If you live anywhere near, don't miss out on this exhibit.

I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters


Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way