Monday, June 30, 2014

Art, Theater, Science, Reading, and Partying

Despite our being busy with work this summer, we've been sure to make time for some fun. We kicked off summer reading in May at the library. There was an event for the kids that focused on science.

They had cool snacks for the kids (petri dish Jello -- how cute) and fun activities. 

Then a week or so later, the free kid shows kicked off (you know how we do). First show of the summer: Doktor Kaboom. He show had a lots of science, creativity, and fun! We've come a long way from three years ago when we first started going to the shows - ha!

Holding her Doktor Kaboom ticket.
We started our summer reading progress too, and are working toward a particular prize M spotted in the prize case. We hope to go pick that up in a couple of weeks! So far, she's read about 850 pages. It goes a lot slower when your kid reads by him/herself, but it's so rewarding to watch her progress. 

Anywho, just like any other summer (or spring, winter, or fall, for that matter), we headed downtown for some McWane science fun (and Guthrie's chicken fingers). Always a good time.  

Pretty much any kid place we go I purchase a membership. They usually pay for themselves after a couple of visits, as is the case with another one of our summer destinations: DeSoto Caverns.  

I bought a membership last summer when I noticed how expensive one visit was, and I needed to get another visit out of it to feel I'd gotten my money's worth. So a couple of Saturdays ago we made the hour-drive to the country and got frizzy hair in that crazy humid cave. Even though the activity section of the park needs work (and more manpower), the cave is always amazing to me. If you live in the area and have never been, it's pretty spectacular. 

I have to admit that I didn't like the tour guides on our most recent visit. These caverns were sacred to people hundreds of years ago, and too many jokes were made on the tour about the deaths and burial grounds. For example, they mentioned that a Native American tribe had recently come back to rebury some bones that'd been found in the cave. Out of respect, the owners of the cave didn't attend the burial and left it as a pure, tribal event. Because of this, no one but those in the tribe know where the reburial took place inside the cave. And then the tour guides go on to say that if we see some skeletons grabbing at our ankles along the tour, to just kick them off and keep walking. "What the what??" No, sir. Not funny. I understand making people laugh is part of the job, but find something else to joke about. These looked like high school kids giving the tour...maybe DeSoto Caverns should rethink their staffing. 

Anyhoo, it was our last visit for a while. 

Of course M enjoyed it.

About a month ago, we took M to a birthday party (the little girl of one of DK's coaching friends). M and the little girl knew each other through their daddies, and had even gone to the movies together before. When I found out M was invited to this party, I jumped on it. One reason is because M had recently told me I "never" let her go to her friends' parties. GUILTYYYY. Here's why...

At preschool, M got a birthday party invitation EVERY WEEK (at least it felt like it). And because there were so many and we could not make all those parties, we never went to any.  I would hate to be at some and not others...and let's be real: birthday parties mean birthday PRESENTS. And presents every week for a school friend?  Sure!...if we were wealthy. So we just didn't get into the whole birthday-party-with-school-friends thing. It was easy to do because the kids always brought cupcakes to school on their birthdays anyway (like M did), so she gets to celebrate with her friends at some point.

So anywho, not only was this party special because M could spend time with her friend P, but there were also some special guests there: 

That's Elsa and Anna, for my out-of-touch-with-the-Disney-circus friends. :)  These characters are from the movie, Frozen, one of the biggest movies of the year. 

It was adorable, and there wasn't a single princess in the bunch who didn't know all the Frozen songs. 

It was lots of fun.

Speaking of princesses, my sweet niece and my mom came to stay with us last week. I needed someone to watch M for a couple of days, so they came our way.

We took the girls to see Willy Wonka at Alabama Theater's Summer Film Series. And we're talking the 1970s Willy Wonka!

MeMaw and two of her girls.

I was afraid the movie would be too old for them, but they enjoyed it. M said her favorite part was when Charlie found the golden ticket. :)

And then this past weekend, we went to the art museum. The art museum is free (donations accepted), fun, and was perfect for that wet day.

Building things with Daddy.

This time instead of just playing in the kids rooms, we did the museum scavenger hunt designed for the kids. M had her clipboard and was pretty serious about finding everything.

She was so proud of herself when she did. We're planning to meet a friend at the museum in the next week or so, so we'll get to do this again soon.

So anyhoo, it's been a fun-filled summer so far. We're looking forward to even more.

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