Monday, July 30, 2012

Recovering from the Weekend

We had a very thrilling weekend. One part was a change of address, but the more unique experience actually took place at the zoo. This spring, we learned that it's possible to spend the night at the St. Louis Zoo. Naturally, we decided to do everything in our power to make that happen. Saturday night, after moving for two days, the three of us headed to the zoo in our pj's. We began with a short walk around the zoo led by a keeper. Everyone - kids and adults - learned a lot about animals during the night.
Then we went into the indoor area where we would spend the night. They let us all pet the animals that live in the educational building. One of these was a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Erick and Sophia took advantage of that, but I did not. Gross.
Pretty much everyone's favorite part of the evening was the night walk. We headed out way past dark, armed with only flashlights. It was great to see the animals at a time when they were comfortable and expecting only the familiar keepers. The big cats, especially, were much closer and more comfortable than they are during the day. The male and female lions were spooning while they slept. It was so sweet! The whole night walk was lots of fun.
We got a relatively good night of sleep. I think Erick and I were tired enough to sleep about anywhere. And the floor of a conference room definitely qualifies as anywhere. We were all a little sleepy when they woke us up the next day. Then we set out on one more walk before the zoo opened. The morning was cool and drizzly. That was a pleasant surprise.
The experience was one that we'll always remember. It's something we'll definitely consider doing again, and I would highly recommend it to anyone with kids. I'll post pictures of our new place once I get everything at least a little more where I want it. We are getting settled in nicely. I love this place. Can't wait for you to see it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer Learning

This week, Sophia has been spending her mornings at the zoo in Camp Joey. She's having fun learning about all types and animals and making new friends. When I asked what her favorite part about camp was, the answer was the same as what she's most excited about for kindergarten - making new friends. She's a bit social. In our afternoons, we've been packing and getting ready for the move next door. We have also been trying to think of fun things to keep us busy and cool. One thing that has been lots of fun is making sentences with words we have written onto paper. The sillier the sentence the better.
Sometimes she reviews the sentence I made, and other times I look at what she's put together.
Anything to keep us out of this nasty heat. Also, 23 days till Kindergarten. Wow.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cool in the Furnace

Last week, Sophia went each morning to Memorial Presbyterian Church, here in our neighborhood. A friend of ours had organized an arts camp/vacation Bible school there, and Sophia was part of that. They spent the week making the sets and costumes for their show, and it all culminated with Friday night's performance. Sophia loves being on stage. She was so excited about the whole thing. The show was about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and Nebuchadnezzar's furnace. It was a great show, and the kids were fun to watch. Sophia got into each part with gusto.
Here is a video of one of their more serious songs. Yes, Sophia has sunglasses on her head. They were needed for the song just before it, and she didn't put them away.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week of friends and fun

This week, we flew to Seattle and had a magnificent time. We did a bunch of relaxing. A little shopping. And just picked up where we left off with our friends last year. Blake and Madilyn are just magnificent people. Sophia completely agrees. Even though there is a significant age difference between them, the three friends manage to find a groove together for playing and chatting surprisingly fast.
Helping them all make it through the week without run-ins was the simple fact that, when needed, they'd break off by themselves to get some alone time. Sophia rarely wanted to be by herself, of course, but Blake and Madilyn seemed to work in and out of company seamlessly.
The bonus to seeing our friends in Seattle is that they live by many beaches. The Sound provides for some great views and great sand to play in. The first attempt at beach time was a little windy.
Even though we didn't stay long at the beach, we had lots of outdoor fun in our friends' back yard. The weather was perfect.
What kicks a back yard (or any living area, for that matter) up to the next level? A golden retriever, that's what! Enter Sam. A fantastic dog. Exactly what you'd expect of man's best friend! Sophia was particularly drawn to this guy.
Did I mention that Seattle is beautiful? We did get a full and gorgeous day on the beach as well.
This only skims the surface of all the fun we had. I didn't get a picture, but we also got to see my cousin Zach. He's lived in Seattle about the same amount of time as our friends, and he loves it on sunny days just like everyone! We did the Pike Place Market again, ate lots of seafood, bought some Legos, played some crazy games and just had a blast. Back to regular summer life tomorrow. Sophia is doing Arts Camp at the Presbyterian Church in our neighborhood. Reports to come.