Painting the School Rock

We went back to school to paint the rocks out in front of the school that were already covered in a nice purple. Liam’s friend Owen, his brother, and his mom stopped by and they helped out. Plus, they got to climb the tree in front of the school that is up against my classroom window. Liam and Helena were impressed that Owen could climb up to the very top of the tree. I was more impressed that his mother let the younger brother pee against the school building.

St. Anthony Falls

We parked by the Mill City Museum, which the kids have been to, so they know about the fire that gutted it and a bit about the grain elevators. Helena has been to the Guthrie with me to see A Christmas Carol, so that was familiar to her, too. But walking across the Stone Arch Bridge was a blast because they thought that the falls were really great. So that took a little time, but when we got to the St. Anthony side, they became explorers and it is where they had the most fun. They ran up and down, climbed over old walls, skipped rocks into the Mississippi (of course), scared some geese, and walked past our neighbors without even recognizing them. By the time that we got home, they were covered in dirt and mud, Ada had a blister, and Liam had a cut on his head. And they can’t wait to do it all over again.

Early Earth Day

Today was cleanup day for Lake Calhoun, so the kids and I got some gloves and a garbage bag and walked a quarter of the way around the lake picking up trash. Helena explained why it was important, Liam picked up trash, and Ada played with her latex gloves. At one point, she literally ran out of her shoes when she got scared of a dog that was being walked.

After picking up the trash, we sat by the lake at the Tin Fish and ate muffins and drank juice. Then the kids walked out on a pier, watched a bumble bee, then we headed back home.

By the Canoe Rentals

South Side of Lake Calhoun

Liam at School

I had to pick Helena and Liam up at school today about 30 minutes early. The secretary called both rooms but Liam was in the media center with his class, so I had to go pick him up there. Helena met me in the hallway on the way down, so we walked in together. Liam’s class was being read to by the librarian, so I asked another for him. She just told me to go over and get him.

When I asked for him, he came and kids began to say goodbye. As we went around the bookshelves (the kids are seated so that you can’t see them through the library entrance because of the shelves), the kids all stood up and began yelling “Bye Liam! Bye Liam”. Pretty much the whole class joined in and Liam smiled a sheepish smile. The last thing we heard was “Bye Mario!”, which Helena laughed at.

I thought of a parent’s comment concerning Liam when he had his fractured elbow. She had asked if Liam would be comfortable coming to her girl’s birthday party if he would be the only boy in his class that was invited (which Liam did go to). When talking to this parent, I told her that Liam is quite shy at times, but I didn’t think that it was a problem. Then she told me how when Liam had his arm in a cast that he “was very well taken care of” by the other students. I guess that I saw that first hand today in the library and it makes me pleased that he’ll be able to go back to Lake Harriet in the fall.

School Portraits

School photos from 2009-2010.

Liam’s smile on the first photo didn’t really look like Liam, so Dalen wanted him to get another one. When I was getting him ready that morning, I fixed his hair (which is always a mess) since I knew that it was picture day, and then when I was getting his clothes together he told me that it was “Blue Day” for Spirit Week, so I found something sort of blue for him. When I dropped him off at school I realized that although I remembered it was picture day when I was fixing his hair, I obviously forgot about it while getting his clothes together, and so he’s not dressed as nicely for the second picture. Darn Spirit Week.

These are large photos, so click on them to see them in all their glory. This includes what Helena had for breakfast and the cut on Liam’s forehead.

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Today was Family Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Highpoint was there helping kids with printing. My kids had a grand time making them.

Final Products:

Then it was time for the “I Spy” scavenger hunt through the second and third floors of the museum, which was quite a walk.  Helena knows the museum very well, even posing in front of her favorite painting and with a mask that was one of the pieces she remembers from school. “Oooo…we learned about this in Art Works, too!”

After that we ate cheese and crackers at Lake of the Isles. The kids spent over an hour throwing rocks in the lake and playing with the duck, including chasing them which made Ada crack up. Ada eventually had to go to the bathroom so we had to go home or else we might have been there all night.

While they were sitting by this very large tree, some ladies told me that they were very nice kids (since Helena was talking to them) and encouraged me to take a photo. By then I had about ten of them.

Touchpad Test

I’m hoping that I can type a whole bunch of stuff on here without the darn mouse cursor moving around. So far so good; there haven’t been any errors. Perhaps I have fixed it. Yippee, it was pretty annoying to have the cursor move in the middle of a word, which would put the new text in the middle of a word in a previous line. Wow, this is so much better.

Perhaps I can consider this a success and stop typing and get on with something more productive. Yes, that sounds like a good idea.

Before I Forget

I’ve always wanted to write it down somewhere that Ada is terrified of balloons. The first I noticed it was at the Southwest Halloween party when she saw the large bunch of balloons on the ceiling of the East Gym and she wanted to leave.

She can live with balloons sometimes, but if they get anywhere near a ceiling fan, she breaks down.

Easter Morning

The kids woke me up at 7:13 and had already been downstairs. Liam said that “Helena saw one egg but they are hidden really well.”

When I got downstairs, the baskets were already overturned and they were digging in. Some more than others, of course.

The kids got dressed (it was 50°, so it was quick), then went outside.  It took them awhile to get the eggs this year. Ada is like Liam was – once the obvious ones are taken, they pretty much stand there and wait for the eggs to pop up out of the ground for them to see. Eventually they were all found with some help and the kids went back inside for awhile before we went to the neighbors’ to do it all over again.

Dying Eggs

Day 2.

The kids dyed eggs with Dalen the night before, so now they get to work on it again. Helena still likes to make me an anchor one in purple like she has for the last few years. She also gave Ada one of her eggs because Ada didn’t think that she did as many as she thought – Helena has turned in to be a great big sister (well, at times, since she will still push Liam out of the way to get in front at times).

Crystal Cave

The kids and I went to Wisconsin to go to Crystal Cave. I didn’t tell them where we were going other than “Wisconsin”, which they thought was an adventure in itself. On the way we stopped at McDonald’s where I ordered four Happy Meals so that they can get different dragons from “How to Train Your Dragon”. I wouldn’t let them open them up in the restaurant because I figured that they would lose a wing, like the one Liam lost on 8th and Hennepin the weekend before when we were downtown. But as soon as they were climbing into the van, they wanted them opened and put together. All three played together with them in the van the best they could. They attacked “The Vikings” for twenty or thirty minutes.

When we pulled into the road leading to the cave, Helena saw that we were going to a cave, and the kids were excited. I wasn’t sure how they would react since they’ve often thought about them as scary from the books that they read. We waited about twenty minutes for the tour to begin, and then we began walking down the steps to get down into the cave itself.

The kids loved the bats – maybe because they were so small. We all liked when they turned off all the lights and the guide told us to put our hands in front of our faces so that we could know how dark it really was. Helena said that she could still feel her hand. Apparently pitch blackness doesn’t affect anything more than sight.

The kids were great inside the cave; some other kids were there that weren’t so well behaved. The kids stayed with the tour guide and listened to every thing that she said, including believing stories that were funny “untruths” such as “walk around that pillar once and you’ll have good luck” or the story of the inventor that lived in the cave who built a boat motor that exploded which “explained” why different parts of one part of the cave looked like a motor, a propeller, etc.

After the tour the kids ran around outside through the fields, got a little muddy, and then we got back into the van. Ada fell asleep right away, Liam after awhile. Helena laughed because Liam’s mouth was open while he was sleeping, but he’s done that forever. Then she asked when we could go back.

Liam had Dalen write this about his trip:

Crystal Cave Trip With Daddy

In the cave there were bats as big as a grown-up’s thumbs. There were four different kinds of bats. And there were three floors when you start to go down to the 3rd Floor there is a tiny waterfall. There were rocks that looked like slime and if you touched them they would not grow. There was a trail in the cave and if you went in it you would have o crawl out. It would take one and a half hours to get out. If you touched a slimy rock wall it would sort of feel like you were playing with your gum. It has a big rock that you can climb on if the worker says and it is also like a little short cut. The worker turned off the light and Liam said, “Well, I can’t see my hand but I can feel my hand!”