Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lego man

Oliver loves Legos. I've stated this already. I love Legos because Oliver does. They really are great, though--great for fine motor skills, great for creativity, and also great for developing that much sought after skill of making sound effects. I do believe that making sound effects is innate in all boys, and I love it. Nothing gladdens my heart more than hearing Oliver shooting, lightsabering, or crashing with Legos or other toys. And so we will give him Legos upon Legos for his birthday. And let the sound effects continue!

The makings of a birthday party

So, I realized about a week ago that Oliver's birthday was FAST approaching, and unless I wanted to throw something really haphazard together, I better get on it. We had Eva's first bigger birthday party when she was 5, so unless we want the kids to compare notes down the road and have evidence that we love one child more than the other, I decided to actually do something. Oliver LOVES Legos. I mean, the kid could truly play with them all the day long. I have pleasant memories this summer of slowly waking to the sound of Oliver fishing around in his Lego tub, entertaining himself before everyone else woke up. So, we decided that a Lego theme was just the ticket. And, since I'm not the most creative person around (more on this later), I did what any creatively challenged person would do: search the internet. And, indeed, I was not disappointed. I came up with some decoration ideas, game ideas, cake ideas, party favor ideas, and invitation ideas. There was one really creative mom out there who had fabulous ideas: for snacks there was Yoda soda, Wookie cookies, Obi-wan tons (apparently a BIG hit), and Light and Dark side party favors. Alas, I knew that I would not be able to achieve this level of creativity in just a week and a half (maybe for his 7 year birthday party?), so we're doing this a bit more simply. But, just to document that I can make a cute birthday invitation (although I really wonder if I have a creative bone in my body), here is a photo of the invitation. More to follow on the birthday party.

Fall in the Keweenaw

Jared and I seized a rare opportunity to have a date night a week or so ago. We had driven to Copper Harbor and along the shoreline a couple of months ago with the kids, and decided to go again by ourselves to see the fall colors. So we drove north and took our time. We drove to Eagle River, then Eagle Harbor, and finally to Copper Harbor. We also drove up to Brockway "Mountain" and were on top of the world (the Keweenaw world, that is). It seemed like you could see forever! The views were spectacular, particularly right when we were there, as the sun was setting over Lake Superior. We took some photos, though I'm sure they hardly do justice to what we saw. It was actually rather chilly this particular day (low 40s), and the wind was gusty, so we would've stayed out longer, but man, I was cold! (I'm sure it won't get much colder than that this winter, either....) :) We went to dinner afterwards, and, thank goodness, the BYU football game was on a big screen TV so we could watch. ;) I am somewhat relieved that BYU is not having the best season thus far because Jared isn't quite as much of a diehard then (so he says as well). Anyway, enjoy the views!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Unplugged, Part II

Well, my first post on this topic talked about how we had decided not to subscribe to satellite tv when we moved here. Mostly because we didn't want to waste all kinds of time watching tv, and because Oliver would really turn into a beast when it was time to turn off the tv. (I'd like to say that that's a characteristic of a 4 year old--having difficulties with transitions, but I think he's like his momma and could watch tv endlessly...). Anyway, the kids started off doing really well, playing with toys that hadn't been played with for a while, and generally being more creative with their play time. And I'm VERY HAPPY to say that things are STILL going very well!! The kids run downstairs and instead of whining to watch something on tv, they get out Legos or books, or some other toy. And they play together so much, and come up with (I think) very creative things to do with their toys. Pretend play has reached a whole new level. Here are some examples...

This is in the girls' room. There were 3 different "fort" areas going on. Eva had a restaurant and kitchen, Oliver had a garage and bedroom, and Lucy had some little area. Eva had her cd player over in hers to provide "mood music", and all kinds of little plates with play food on them. This fort, however, doesn't hold a candle to ones that we did a couple months ago, and I wished I had taken a picture. Oliver's whole room was a fort! I loved it. I think I would've thought that so neat as a kid!

Eva and Oliver had taken a lot of the dollhouse furniture and set it up on the stairs by the window and for some reason it was more fun to play with it there. They made separate little sections of living area. I loved it--I told them to leave it up for a while (and fortunately, no one biffed it on the stairs while it was up).

Ah, play doh! I try to bring it out every once in a while, because boy, it occupies them for quite a while. This time they made a whole bunch of little villages and cars that they put on paper plates.

Here is their restaurant. They had spaghetti, cherries (lots of cherries, for some reason), tacos, and burritos, too. Again, Eva had her CD player to provide mood music, and at one point, everyone had aprons on while cooking. Behind them is the fort Eva made. She had a small stool in there with a napkin on it (for her table--she then had a little snack there), and some books to read (with a flashlight, of course!), and of course, some stuffed animals to share the time with.

Needless to say, I don't think we're going to be going back to TV anytime soon. Granted, we do have a Netflix account, (and I LOVE it!). We use it for our family movie night on Fridays and the kids do watch a Diego, Dinosaur train, or SuperWhy! now and then. Sanity does need to be preserved, after all!!