Saturday, April 21, 2012

Prima Ballerina

Aven has been taking ballet classes at our YMCA. She loves them. Unfortunately, she also suffers from a  bit of stage fright when she gets to the recital. Oh, well. That will get better in time. This is from her spring recital.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter 2012

We had a Build-a-Bear themed Easter this year. We got egg decorating kits from the store when Zoa made her bunny so our eggs all looked like colorful little bears.

The kids all got some sort of Build-a-Bear gift from the Big Bunny. Zoa and Aven got pajamas for their bear and bunny and Drake got a gift card from Build-a-Bear so he can go buid one. He is feeling left out.
Zoa also got a nail decorating kit. She is very into giving manicures and pedicures right now, which is great for me as my belly expands and my toes get further and further away.

Besides Drake's Build-a-Bear gift card, he got a game for his PSP.

Aven got a game for her LeapPad and was considerably more excited about her Build-a-Bear pajamas than Zoa was about hers.

The week leading up to Easter day, we read about Christ's last few days in the New Testament during our nightly family scripture study. I felt like this helped prepare them for the significance of the day and helped them focus on something besides the gifts and treats that come along with Easter. I think that will be a lasting tradition.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Natural Bridge

For the kids' spring break, we took a trip without Ben to see Natural Bridge in the western part of our state. Ben had tons of homework and the kids being constantly at home was not conducive to his need for concentration so, while he was sad to miss the fun, he was happy for the two days of peace and quiet.

Natural Bridge really is fantastic. Drake chose our location because he had heard about it in school and it was a great choice.

The thing he was most excited to see was the initials that a young George Washington had carved on the wall when he was surveying the area.

After passing through the bridge, there is a lovely trail following a stream that ends at this waterfall. We really enjoyed the walk. After one of Aven's more creative poses-

Zoa had to follow suit. All of Aven's poses this trip totally cracked us up.

Drake is a bit more subdued.

There is also a light show after dark that chronicles the creation of the earth with music and lights on the bridge. We froze our way through it without dinner.

Other highlights from the trip included touring a cave nearby. The kids really wanted to go through the cave. It was a sub par cave compared to others I have been in but the kids loved it.

We also went to an indoor butterfly garden. Surprisingly, they encourage visitors to hold the butterflies. Most were HUGE and beautiful so it was really fun to interact with them. They happily flew around and landed wherever they pleased, as Drake's picture shows.

Aven was a little freaked out about holding them at first but then really began to enjoy the experience.

We also went to a wax museum. The kids were totally creeped out in there, I think because the tour begins in the factory so you see dismembered bodies right up front. I have to admit I had one of the creepiest experiences I have ever had while there. I was trying to take a picture of George Washington carving his initials on the bridge but all that showed up on my camera was a ghostly image of a man who didn't look a thing like the wax figure I was trying to photograph. We were pretty freaked out but finally realized there was a hologram of the President George Washington in front of the wax figure of him carving his initials and that is what the camera was picking up. We just didn't realize that hologram was there at first. This is a wax figure of Elvis.

We had tons of fun and decided it would be necessary to revisit the area with Ben in tow. He definitely missed out and we missed having him with us.