April-May Fun

Okay, back on. I’m switching bloggers due to technical difficulties.

Last month Ava started gymnastics which she is loving and improving fast on. I love watching her realize how practicing during the week makes a big difference in how well she does in class! She started out hating to do the splits and cartwheels because she couldn’t do either. Now she does them both all the time, showing off to relatives and practicing. She’s getting really good at climbing the big rope in the gym too! She made it over half way to the top last time and was so proud of how high she got.

Jumping in the foam pit.

Also this month, we went to a vegan egg hunt put on by the Vegkins group. The kids had so much fun searching for easter eggs and they won two sets of chocolate bunny ears and some block puzzles made from recycled greeting cards. There was also a vegan bake sale going on at Ethique Nouveau that I made some muffins for and we bought some AMAZING homemade vegan treats after the egg hunt! Then the kids spent the rest of the time at the park playing with their pals.

This month at our homeschool group the kids made May baskets for the first time. When we got home, Ava made several more and delivered them to all the neighbors doors. We are lucky to have so many wonderful neighbors surrounding us. The kids love to visit them all, many of them are grandparents and are so patient and kind to the kids. The kids love to bring them arts and crafts they make, extra veggies from the garden, and help with yard work.  They help pick up sticks, sweep driveways, and rake for them and help water outside plants while they’re away.  Sometimes they are even rewarded with a dollar or stuffed animal for their efforts. Also they’ve been given seedings for the garden for them to take care of and transplant. One of the neighbors has nesting robins near their deck so the three of them got to go over and watch the babies learning to fly!

Ava with her friend, Gerald. One of our many wonderful neighbors.

Another neighbor who often comes across to give them treats, brought Ava a plastic ring he had got that resembled the one Princess Diana had worn. This started an interest in learning more about Lady Diana. Ava wanted to look her up online and see her wearing the ring. We got a book all about her also and Ava showed her ring at Show and Share with our group which started a conversation about her too. I love it when something naturally sparks their curiosity like that…that’s how real learning happens! I love to be a part of it and watch it in action; watch their little faces light up with excitement while learning about new people and places and ideas.

We visited a fire station last week for a children’s tour through Homeschool Adventures. Needless to say, it was a hit with the kids. We’ve been to several different fire station tours and open houses now and each one is so different and the kids get to see and do different things at each. This time they got to try on the firefighter gear for the first time and got to have their EKG/ECG done in the ambulance. And of course, they got to sit in the fire trucks which is always cool.  At other tours they’ve got to squirt a real fire hose (with help from the firefighter!) and watch a real (controlled) car fire. There’s always something new and cool to learn about at these kind of things.

All three have been helping me get the garden going this spring again. They’ve been a big help weeding and planting seeds. Gardening with kids means things won’t likely come up in nice neat rows, but the importance of learning to grow one’s own food is immensely important. I’m learning right along with them as this will be only our third year having our little garden! The kids have become pretty good at what they do. My mom recently had surgery and wasn’t up for weeding her gardens out so Ava went over for the day to help her weed and do other yard chores. Plus, Ava got some time to play her favorite game, Wildcraft, with her grandma and read books to her and decorate greeting cards.

I love all the time the kids get to spend with their grandparents on both sides. It’s so great they get to play games, do crafts, and help with cleaning and yard stuff with them. They absolutely love to go visit all of them.
The this week while hanging out at their other grandparents’ house they got to see a duck with ten ducklings who has nested next door. They were ecstatic about this and talked about it forever. It’ll be cool to see them next time the kids go to grandma and grandpa’s to see how much bigger the ducklings have gotten and if they’re trying to fly.

Also, a couple of weeks ago, the kids painted bird houses with them which turned out really cute!

Last weekend, we took the kids to a big local art fest called Art-A-Whirl. There were some really cool things the kids enjoyed too. We went through a retro room where we got show them the stuff we remember from the ’80s, when we were their age. Many of the stuff was well before our time too. There were 8-track tapes, those giant music centers with radio and record player, and old toys like lite-bright and really really old match-box cars. Then inside another old four-story building, each room had a different artist’s work, so the kids were getting so excited going in room after room and seeing the different artwork. Some they were interested in, some they weren’t. But it was really neat to watch them in there!
After the art show, we made an attempt to try to see the partial solar eclipse that evening. We drove up on an empty parking ramp and squinted a lot, but since we didn’t prepare by bringing along any viewers or dark enough shades, we couldn’t really tell.  However, it was still exciting to run around up there anyways and talk about what was happening. Plus, the kids got to watch a train go down the track below them and they thought that was way cooler than looking at the sun. Haha!

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