Monday, August 31, 2009

End of Summer Adventures - Day 2

Now for our second day of fun. We headed out a little later in the morning. We stopped at the Clark Planetarium to get tickets to a couple shows in the afternoon. Then we headed to the Lion House Pantry for lunch. We all had some tasty food, including their delicious rolls and dessert. I saw all those desserts sitting there and just couldn't pass them up. The best part was that it was all included in our passes. It was fun to be able to eat there. It was delicious and a nice place to eat. It was especially nice to have a filling lunch to take us through the rest of the day.

After lunch, we headed back to the planetarium to look around. They have a Foucault Pendulum, telescopes, and displays about the planets. Derek's favorite was where he could crawl around and explore the moon and Mars. He was all over those rocks. It was pretty cool. Our special tickets allowed us to see 2 shows at the planetarium. One was 3D. Elliott chose the Dinosaur show. I was surprised at how well he did with the 3D glasses. He took them off whenever there were dinosaurs (he didn't want them to get too close), but he wore them when they were talking about the land or other things. Derek didn't appreciate the glasses. He did pretty well during the show. We also saw a show about Saturn in the Dome Theater. The screen is shaped like a dome, so it's mainly in front of you, but the picture actually extends above. Derek didn't last through that show. I took him to climb on the rocks some more.

When we were finished at the planetarium, we went to The Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy. The aquarium is in a building that used to be a KMart or a grocery store or something. It's pretty odd looking from the outside (for an aquarium). It was a decent aquarium, nothing too fancy, but enough to keep our interest for the little while we spent there. (I think we were in and out in less than an hour.) They had a pool with stingrays that you could pet. Elliott stuck his hand in the water but wasn't about to touch one. They had an octopus, lots of jellyfish, eels, rays, a few sharks, and lots of other fish and other creatures. Derek was happy to get out of the stroller and push it around for awhile.

We had another fun-filled day. I'm so glad we were able to spend those 2 days together. As Brent said, we crammed 6 months of family time into 2 days. Sadly, that's probably about right. We didn't have a whole lot of time together over the summer and school started for Brent today, so he'll be busy for the next 8 months (busy might be an understatement). I'll take what I can get. It was great to be able to do so many things. I calculated how much we would have spent if we paid full price for everything we did. It would have been $163! Every attraction costs so much by itself. What a nice savings we had. We had a great end to our summer.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Big Day

Today was Elliott's first day of Kindergarten. The day finally came! He was so excited. Derek and I walked him to school. It takes just over 15 minutes to walk, so it's some decent exercise at least while it's not too cold. It's a little cool in the morning, thus the jacket. I made him take it off and leave it with me once we got to school. He had a great first day. He had lots to say about it when he got home.

Dakota (friend from church) and Elliott are in the same class. There are 2 other kids he knows in his class as well.

Elliott sat down at his desk and just started smiling. I didn't even have to ask.

I'm so glad this time has finally come. Elliott really needs some structure away from home. I think we were all starting to go crazy. He is getting so big. I'm excited for him to learn new things and make new friends.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

End of Summer Adventures - Day 1

Today was officially our last day of summer. Elliott starts Kindergarten tomorrow! We decided to see how many activities we could cram into 2 days. Thanks to Cheryl-Lynn for telling us about the Salt Lake City Connect pass deal - 2 days for the price of 1. With the pass, we could go to basically any venue that's worth going to. So, for less than $60 for all of us, we were able to do a ton and we had a great time! Yesterday we started out at This is the Place Heritage Park. Then we went across the street to the Hogle Zoo. Since we had a little extra time in the late afternoon, we stopped at the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point.
I finally figured out how to make collages to put in my blog - yay! I'm excited. Of course it makes some of the pictures a little small. You should be able to click on it to see it bigger. (I realize you can't really see who's on the ponies.)

At This is the Place, we were able to walk around the Pioneer Village. Elliott got to experience some chores - doing laundry with a washboard and beating a rug. He also got to use a woodworker's tool. Elliott and Derek got to ride the ponies. Derek wasn't too sure about it when I stuck him on the pony, but he did pretty good. He held on to the saddle for a few seconds here and there (instead of the death grip he had on me). He even pet the pony when he was finished. Elliott did great. The ponies were kinda lame - they didn't want to go anywhere - but the boys still had fun.

There was a collection of play houses the boys had fun exploring. The wooden train was the biggest hit.
We rode the big train a couple times to get where we wanted to go. Derek enjoyed having free reign of the caboose. There was a mini train that circled around a pond too. That was also fun.
We saw lots of animals at the zoo. It was fun to show Derek in real life some of the animals he loves looking at in books. Elliott got to be taller than a giraffe. The lion drinking fountains were pretty cool.

Elliott was super excited to go back to the Dinosaur Museum. I had my camera this time. Hooray.

We had a fun filled day. Day 2 still to come...

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Mysterious Tooth

Last Sunday as we were sitting, oh so reverently, in Sacrament Meeting, I looked over at Elliott and noticed something in his mouth. I looked closer and realized it was a tooth - just hanging out like it belongs there behind his front bottom teeth. Normally teeth come in under the baby teeth, but not in this kid's mouth. Too bad he inherited my terrible mouth. He'll probably have teeth growing all over the place with no rhyme or reason, like I did. After discovering this new tooth, I checked the baby tooth and it was at least a little bit loose. It's even looser now, so that's good. After church, Elliott exclaimed, "That means I have 21 teeth!" Pretty cool. Even funnier was afterwards when the kid sitting behind us came up to me and told me he has 20 teeth. What I think is kinda strange is that Elliott never mentioned feeling it before. It's not like it's small. It's fully up out of the gums. Crazy stuff. Elliott is pretty excited to lose his first tooth and have the Tooth Fairy come.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One week and counting...

Elliott starts Kindergarten next Wednesday. One week to go. Hooray! Last night was Back to School night, aka Meet the Teacher night. Elliott got to meet Mrs. Stewart. Then he got to go back again today for his Kindergarten assessment. He got to do things like write his name and numbers 0-10. And tell her what color crayons were in a box. And identify as many letters and numbers as he could. He counted as high as he could (or at least until she told him to stop). When asked to do this task, he replied, I can only count to 500. He started out very slowly, and gradually sped up so you could barely understand what he was saying. He got just past 30 when she asked him to stop. He had to count some things and do some basic story problems. He had to identify beginning and ending sounds of words and tell her what sounds different letters make. The final task was to read a bunch of words on a page. He whipped through them really fast. When he finished, she recognized he is a good reader, so she asked if he reads quite a bit at home. I told her he has read all of the Magic Tree House books (there are at least 40). She was rather surprised. He got 103/110 on his assessment - a surprise for the teacher, but not for us. We know we have a little smarty pants on our hands. I think he will still have fun in Kindergarten, but it was a little difficult for me to come up with "goals" I want him to accomplish this year. I figure the standards are learn to read, write his name, etc. Well, goals accomplished. I'm hoping he at least learns some better social skills, like realizing the world doesn't always revolve around him. He's a great kid. I'm excited for him to start Kindergarten and so is he!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Utah County Fair 2009

Today we went to the Utah County Fair. We had more fun this year than last because this year we had friends to go with. Hooray for friends. The Straits and Raevskys were there and we had fun! Today was the best day to go since they had the children's activities going on. The activities were mostly identical to last year, but Elliott didn't mind. Derek did great even though he mainly just sat in the stroller. Another fun, free visit to the fair.

Decorating a top (after making the classic foam visor).
Edin showing off his top.

Face (or hand) painting. Elliott chose a ghost.

A classic merry-go-round being used to generate electricity. Apparently they use this technique in Ghana to light school rooms and lanterns to take home at night. Pretty cool.

The little ones just watching.

So sweet.

Elliott got to be a UDOT worker and safely operate construction equipment.

Elliott got to go on 2 rides this year thanks to a Reading for Rides program. For children 5-12, if you read a book and write a summary (or draw a picture for 5 year olds), you get a free ride ticket. He earned 3 but was kind enough to give one to Edin so they could ride the boats together.

Elliott's keeping an eye on the ride operator. She told the kids they could splash the water, but if they did, she would splash them back. All the other kids on the ride were having splash wars with this lady, but Elliott and Edin stayed clear of it.

Random Pics

Can't get much cooler than this...

That's right...5 years old and reading the Wall Street Journal over lunch.

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Picnic Time

A couple weeks ago, we decided to go on a picnic in the canyon. We invited our friends, the Straits, to go with us. We went to Canyon Glen Park. After dinner, we played frisbee. Well, I didn't play a whole lot. I realized how terrible I am. But I am getting better. We played again a few days later and I got in a few good throws. It was still fun. Everyone had an enjoyable time.

Derek getting a taste of the Limon potato chips. He thought he was pretty cool just sitting in front of the bag eating all the chips he wanted. (I don't think he had that many. They had a little sour kick to them.)

Lizzie chillin' by the tree.

A couple good action shots of Brent and James.

Edin and Elliott with mouths full of grapes.

Lydia and I relaxing.

And a few more sweet shots of Derek...

Sitting in a pile of Mac and Cheese (and pretty pleased with himself).


(That's how he does the sign for love. It looks strangely like he's folding his arms for prayer. The 2 actions are essentially the same for him, but he was saying "love" in this picture. I'm just glad I was able to capture it on camera.)

Derek was just sitting on the grass for a long time playing with this little weed and brushing it across his face. It was adorable.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Great America

We went to Great America while visiting Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa went with us. We all had a long, fun-filled day. Derek was a trooper, since he mostly had to sit in the stroller all day. There aren't a ton of rides he is big enough to enjoy. I think he got to go on 4 rides all day. Elliott had a great time trying lots of different rides. I got to do a loopty loop roller coaster by myself. Brent joined me for the big wooden roller coaster and the Survivor ride. That was quite the thrill. We had a great day playing and being together as a family.

One of the more adventurous rides Elliott tried. He enjoyed this one.

Elliott had a blast going on the rides in Kidzville and Nickelodeon Central.

Derek relaxing during lunch.
More rides after lunch.
Before lunch, I couldn't convince Elliott to ride the kiddie roller coaster. After lunch, he decided he was ready to give it a try. Or maybe not (so he wished). We went on it and the first time around he started yelling to stop the ride and that he doesn't like roller coasters. The second time around he wasn't yelling anymore but he still didn't enjoy himself. I am proud of him for giving it a try.
Elliott says he was trying to pull Blue's tail, but she saw him and got him first.
Blue gave Elliott a big hug. She also tried giving Derek a high five. He was a little nervous but he didn't scream.
What a great day at Great America!

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