Saturday, November 23, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It's fun that Ian is starting to remember a lot of our family traditions from year to year. He was very eager to help carve the pumpkin this year, and he wanted to do most of it ALL BY HIMSELF! Under very careful supervision, he made some cuts around the stem ...
... and then scooped the seeds out with a long spoon. He did NOT want to touch the seeds with his hands.
 Neither did Ryan!

Ian drew his own face on the pumpkin and then wanted to cut all the pieces out himself. Not surprisingly, after working just a few moments, he decided it would be okay if Daddy did that part. Daddy let Ian take the pieces out after he had cut them.

What a beautiful creation, guys! :)
Our actual Halloween was made WAAAAY more special by the arrival of two super cute boys from the north ... Jaden and Cody, our boys' double cousins. Kim's sister, Amy, had come up with a list of about five really clever ideas so our boys could coordinate costumes. Ian got to choose which idea he liked best. He was immediately excited about Amy's suggestion about a cop & robbers. The boys looked so adorable! (Thanks again for the costume pattern, A, and for all of the help, Mom!)

Even Ian's tickling fingers didn't cause Ryan to crack a smile. Criminals are tough to break, I guess. :)

Ms. Cindy next door was the first stop. Ian did a good job saying "trick or treat" and "thank you" for everyone in the group. :)
Our sweet neighbors, Mr. Joe & Ms. Gloria, had personalized treats for our boys.
It was so fun to watch the boys walk around together! Jaden and Cody were SO good at holding their parents' hands. I'm pretty sure that Matt was walking right by Ryan just outside of this picture, though it looks like we just let him wander around in the middle of the road. :) Ryan was very eager to carry his bucket around with him.

Maybe it's because he actually understood what was inside. I'm pretty sure Ian at this age didn't know the words "candy" or "pop" (lollipop) like Ryan does. I think it comes with the territory of being the second born. :) Ryan immediately started asking for the "pop" that he saw in his bucket.
Jaden and Cody (who had recently been on a reverse trick-or-treat event at an assisted living home) sometimes tried to hand the candy back to our neighbors. It was so precious! :)

Ian usually led the entourage up to each door ...
... sometimes right through puddles!
They were always eager to see who would come to the door.
The boys lasted for 10 or 12 houses and then it was time to come home. We thought Ian would want to stay out longer to get more candy, but he didn't! He was just as excited to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters at our house!

Thanks for helping to make our Halloween extra fun, Jaden, Cody, Uncle Jason, and Aunt Amy! :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Explora Science Center

On Kim and the boys' last day in Albuquerque (Matt had to head back earlier to get back to work), Grammy took all of us to the Explora Science Center. There are all sorts of hands-on exhibits that teach kids about science. What a big hit ... for both boys!

I'm pretty sure Ian spend about 30 minutes (split up between two different times) at this gigantic Mousetrap-type contraption. Ian loved watching the balls cycle through the contraption and every once in a while get to participate by pulling a lever if a ball came his way. It WAS pretty fun to watch!

Ryan enjoyed watching balls go down this track.
Grammy helped Ian build a canal for the boats to float down.
Ryan liked to help, too!

Ian could control the water squirting down this ramp.
Here, Grammy and Ryan made patterns in the falling water.

Ian built a pipeline for the water.
Everyone worked together to make a water "tornado."
Ian and Grammy worked hard to build a sculpture out of magnets and metal pieces ...
.. while Ryan took a snack break!
Ian got to "fly" a plane ...
... and build some more with pipes.
I think this may have been a soapy water/light table. Ryan was intrigued.
Ian is always interested in animals,
including finding "hidden" bugs with a flashlight.
This was one of Kim's favorite exhibits .. Ian had to replicate animal (mainly bird) noises that he heard and see if the sound vibrations he made (shown by moving sand) matched the pattern. Very interesting!
Ryan wasn't too sure about the crazy mirrors.
Before we left, Kim decided to try the "balance bike." I got all harnessed in,
while Ian checked to make sure I was safe.
It was a fun ride,
even thought it WAS a long way down.
I was so proud of my mom who decided to try it, too. The worker said she had never seen someone aged 60 or older on the bike. Way to go, Mom!
She was even brave enough to take one hand off the bike to wave. :)

What a fun few hours we had at the museum ... the perfect ending to a perfect time in Albuquerque. Thank you so much, Dad and Mom, for being such gracious, accommodating hosts. We absolutely loved our time with you and are excited that we'll get to see you again soon! We love you!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sarah's birthday

Our sister-in-law Sarah turned thirty about a week after we were in Albuquerque. We all decided it would be fun to celebrate early while we were together. Throughout the day on "Sarah Day," we did a bunch of Half-Minute-to-Win-It games (modified from the Minute-to-Win-It website).

Some of them were hilarious! We had to balance four dice on the end of a popsicle stick that was in our mouth.

Then, we had to wear a pedometer on our head and "head bang" the pedometer up to 50 "paces."  I think this event was the most fun to watch others do. :)

The easiest event was probably tossing plastic blocks into a bucket on our head.

In my opinion, the most fun event to participate in (even though only Sarah was successful) was blowing all except one of a half-deck of cards off of the top of a glass bottle. Very challenging!

Kim's parents fixed a yummy dinner for Sarah (and the rest of us!) ...
... we celebrated with noisemakers and gifts ...

...and then we ate red velvet cake, Sarah's favorite!

The only thing that would've made the day better is to have Amy, Jason, and their boys with us, too. Thankfully, they were able to participate in the day's last game via Skype. We took turns asking Sarah 30 questions about her past 30 years & her hopes for the future. It was a fun way to get to  know our creative sister-in-law even better. We love you, Sarah, and pray for the Lord's continued blessings & guidance for you.