Monday, August 31, 2009

Praying Mantis

As I was unloading groceries something on our front step caught my eye. As I looked closer I noticed it was a Praying Mantis but also the biggest one I have ever seen. It was at least 9-10 cm long. I quickly grabbed Evie to come take a look (Ethan was already down for his nap).

I don't know why I just looked up Praying Mantis on google but I thought this was interesting enough to share. "Praying mantises, or praying mantids, are carnivorous (meat -eating) insects. There are about 2,000 different types of mantids. The biggest are over 15 cm long and the smallest are about 1 cm long. Mantids are found in warm to hot places in most continents of the world. The insect gets its name from the way it holds its front forelegs up as though it is praying"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Nebraska State Fair

Well, well, well...what does one say about the Nebraska State Fair. I don't remember the last time I have been. I think it was 8th grade and I saw Mr. Mr perform. By the looks of things, much hasn't changed. Joel is still in Germany and we missed him being here with us.

We started in one of the animal expo halls. Evie took a seat and watched these gals sheer a sheep. As I was holding Ethan I sympathized with the lady there holding her tot. All of us parents have been in the uncomfortable position of doing something tedious while holding a squirmy tot but I'll have to admit it was the first time I have seen someone holding a tot while shaving the tiny ankles of a sheep. She looked like she could do it blindfolded.

I bent down to show Ethan something and sat my purse on my knee. Ethan jumped off my lap and grabbed my purse and no matter how hard I either tried to persuade him to give it back or use force he wasn't giving it up...only screamed all the louder. So, here is Ethan hauling my purse through the animal expo hall. He did an okay job of keeping it off the ground but, still...

We watched some of the judging, which was more entertaining than I expected.

My little monkeys thought it was pretty entertaining too

Okay, this must be a Nebraska thing. Next to the animal stalls were stalls with beds, clothes, food, etc. Do you really think people are staying the night? Maybe they are making sure no one messes with their chance at a purple ribbon goat?

It's finally corndog time. When I told Evie we were going to the fair today she immediately asked if she could get a corndog and icecream. The kids took a curbside seat to watch a high school marching band.

Ethan is hoping that Evie doesn't mind if he takes some of her corndog while she is zoning out.


The bird expo hall. Evie loves the movie 'barbie of swan lake' and was especially fond of this big white goose because it looked like Odette, the swan in the movie. She went up to a gal sitting at a desk and asked what the birds name was. I think she was hoping she would respond 'Odette".
Ethan could have played this game all day long. They both picked a lucky duck and won a prize. Ethan however didn't want his prize...he wanted to keep picking ducks
Yes, a pink inflatable dolphin - just what I always wanted...

Evie picked out our next ride, the 'Dizzy Dragon'. It was a ride we could all do.

Okay, ready or not here we go...
I think right now they are both thinking they are NOT ready. Ethan did okay but Evie got a little sick feeling I think. She just wanted to lay her head on my lap until the ride stopped.
One last ride before we head home. To my surprise Evie picked out this fire engine instead of the glittery pink sports car. It was all she talked about when we were standing in line and then when it was her turn she ran to the fire engine.

Ethan was so bummed he couldn't do the ride. He threw himself down on the ground and while he was down there he spotted my purse in the stroller and helped himself to some tick-tacks. I just let him have some. At this point I was happy he was sitting nicely and not screaming or doing somersaults in my arms.

Bummer, we are on our way out and I saw what I should have had for lunch. Again, only in's a dish of mashed potatoes shaped like a DQ Sundae and topped with beef gravy, sprinkled with cheese and topped with a cherry tomato. I'll have to admit it may not have looked appetizing but it did look like a sundae.

This however is appetizing - TCBY frozen yogurt.

Nebraska State Fair, Check
Corndog, Check
Ice Cream, Check
Beef Sundae, next year

VIDEO: A little clip of the ride/games/people at the fair

Lost in Fun

Evie has been asking to go to Lost in Fun since we were in Colorado. It has been a bit rainy the past few days so it seemed like the perfect place to go. It's basically an indoor playground and fun center. We met my sister Mandy and her girls along with Skyler a friend of Delphina's from school.
I told Evie that Skyler was coming and she said "I'm going to pretend she is my friend too. I know she is Delphina's friend but I'll just pretend"
The kids played so hard. We stayed until 8:00pm (bedtime) since they were having so much fun and they both went to bed right when we got home and without a peep...which is always a treat.
Evie goofing off in the princess tot-car

Ethan loved the foam pit, a new addition to Lost in Fun. It was hard to keep up with the kids and take pictures as they moved from one toy to the next so quickly.

Ethan was in and out of the balls as fast as I could grab my camera

Evie - showing her baby blues

Delphina, Skyler and Evie in the foam pit. The girls would completely disappear and then pop out and say 'surprise'.

Skyler and Delphina - they seem like pretty sweet friends.

It's bubble time. There is a fan and bubble machine on top of the wall you see. The kids had a good time catching bubbles

Mandy giving Claudia and Ethan a ride in the wagon.

VIDEO: A short clip of Ethan in the bounce house.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Children's Museum

We are back in Lincoln and happy to be spending time with family. We met my sister Laurie and Evie's cousins; Clair, Anderson and Louis at the Children's museum

I'm always curious why kids, Especially Evie, want to play 'taking naps' but when it actually comes to taking one Evie never wants to...

Ethan, Anderson, Evie and Clare...four busy little bees

Louis is ready to be down playing with the rest of the kids. His little legs were moving non-stop as he watched the other kids play

The kids make a trip to the grocery store

Anderson with a full cart

Clare, busy at the register. She also nicely put everything away once the kids moved on to the next area of the museum. She is a good little organizer.

Anderson busy in the construction zone

Evie rounding up the kitty's at the veterinarian clinic.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Homeward bound

Well it's a bitter-sweet day. We are sadly leaving sunshine ranch, which we have so much enjoyed but we are heading 'home' which is always a good place to be.

Luckily the kids have no idea what they are in's a 10 hour drive home -without stops...

We arrived at Brady, one of our favorite spots to stop on our drive. The water was considerably lower than on our way to Colorado. Ethan spotted a toad. There were actually a lot of them. It was cute watching him chase them around.

I was so surprised that he could actually catch them. I had to constantly remind him to be gentle - imagine that.

Joel caught a little fish and placed it in Ethan's hand. He was pretty thrilled as you can imagine.

The kids had a great time exploring. There we lots of little fish, snails, etc

Joel could easily catch the little fish for the kids to hold

Ethan getting buried by sand

Okay, I don't know if it's safe for the kids to play in the water when this is clinging to the edges of the river but we haven't gotten sick so far...I guess we'll keep our fingers crossed.

A little something special that washed ashore...

Ethan just spotted the, if he can just make it through the moss...

Evie is busy giving it a mane and a tail

Funny, to the kids this was a mountain. They struggled to climb up it in the sand and had fun sliding down into the water