Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Break is Wicked!

Like I said in my last post it is fall break and that means finding things to do. Monday we played outside and hung out at home. Munchkin and Little Man had no desire to go anywhere after being in the car on Sunday. I had a meeting at work so we did go out for that.

Tuesday included grading papers, Munchkin writing a report on kudzu bugs and baking Almond Fudge topped Shortbread, Little Man playing with action figures, a freak hailstorm, and me and Bobby watching 4 episodes of the Walking Dead.

Wednesday I taught in the morning and at night so Munchkin and Little Man went to a friends house in the morning. Bobby was home in the afternoon so we didn't have to have a sitter for the evening.

Thursday was Wicked. I left for work at 8:30 in the morning. I warned my students ahead of time that we would only take a very short break because I needed to leave early. I hopped in the car and made it to my seat at TPAC with 5 minutes to spare. Bobby got there just before I did. Way back in July we surprised Munchkin with these tickets for her birthday so the anticipation has been building for this show for quite some time. Both kids know all the words to all of the songs on the soundtrack. We made sure to talk to them ahead of time and remind them that they could sing along in their heads but could not sing out loud. I could just see one or the other of them bursting into song and drowning out the actors on stage.

The joy on Munchkins face was apparent throughout the entire show. You could see her making the connections with the story and the soundtrack and understanding it so much better. Little Man stayed awake the entire time and was transfixed! At the end of the show both of my kiddos faces were so excited. They both proclaimed the show "AWESOME!" and Munchkin said "I want to be in Wicked!".

So, all in all Wicked was a hit for our family. If you get a chance to see it you should. It is really really really great!

Once I got out of the parking garage I managed to make it back to work at 5:45 in time to teach my 6:00 class. Needless to say I pretty much fell into bed last night when I got home.

This morning we started off not really having a plan for the day. Bobby asked if we would come have lunch with him so we worked in the possibility of finding a couple of letterboxes along the way. Construction made getting around town a bit tricky but not impossible. After a delicious lunch we managed to find 2 letterboxes! We had to be sneaky though as there were tons of people out enjoying the beautiful day.
One funny thing, today has been a constant musical. Munchkin wants to write her own musical and got a good start on it this morning. In the car both kids sang everything they needed to communicate. It as very funny and very sweet. :)

Tonight we are watching the Wizard of Oz. Outside of soccer I have no idea what else we are going to do for the last 2 days of fall break. I just know I have enjoyed having my kiddos home with me this week. We have had a really fun time together.

Alas, Monday will come and it will be back to reality...until Thanksgiving. :)

Stone Mountain Georgia

Well, it is fall break around these parts and that means finding fun things to do. Munchkin and the Basketball Star have been friends since Munchkin was born and Little Man and the Big Kahuna have been friends since they were born. Unfortunately for us they moved 5 hours away. But what is 5 hours when you have a car? The Basketball Star's birthday fell last weekend so I packed the kids in the car, loaded up on a large amount of caffeine and hit the road. A few things I learned on the way: traffic outside of Atlanta = Office Space, JuJuBe's are disgusting and the Stacker2 Energy shot does not make me flush and shake like the 5 Hour Energy shots do.
 We pulled into town on Friday night and my children immediately disappeared. They reappeared around dinner and then went upstairs to watch Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. I graded some papers and watched Thor with Ron and Angela. At 1 am I was still wide awake. The next morning I slept until 9:30. I never sleep that late! The Big Kahuna had a soccer game so we got to see him play. His team rocked it and they won!
 We decided a trip to Stone Mountain was in order but thought we should eat ahead of time so we didn't have to buy overpriced food. Munchkin and I shared a salad at Zaxby's and we headed out to Stone Mountain. Once of the benefits of going after 3 was the price was drastically reduced. However, there was a pumpkin festival and Highland Games happening so it was pretty busy.

I have been reading the Outlander Series by Diana Galbaldan so it was fun to see all of the men in their kilts. It made me want to dig back into my book and visit Scotland!

We managed to find a decent parking place right by some restrooms. That was perfect since everyone needed the facilities at that moment. We took the blankets, camping chairs, the rolling cooler and  jackets and staked out a spot on the lawn for the laser show. We were a bit worried that people would mess with our stuff while we were gone but it was all for naught. No one messed with our stuff and we could see it from the SkyRide tram.
 The first thing we did was head over to the station to get to the top of the mountain. It was so fun to be up there and reminded me of being on top of Half Dome...only a lot easier to get to. You could see Atlanta and Midtown from up there. We thought we would look for a letterbox up there but I think it would have been easier to find had we hiked up. We did not find it but I did get some fun pictures. There were tons of people up there and it was really really windy. Little Man was a little worried at first because he thought he might blow away.
 We stayed on top of the mountain until just after 6. By the time we made it through the line and back down the mountain it was about 6:40. All of the attractions were set to close at 7pm. Now, in hindsight we probably should have done one of the kid events first but we really wanted to get to the top of the mountain before dark. When we got to the SkyHike at 6:45 they had already closed it. That was very disappointing for both Munchkin and The Basketball Star. However, they had a rock climbing wall and Munchkin made it higher than she ever has! That was so exciting to see because she has always been nervous about any kind of heights.
 This picture above was one of my favorites from the day. :)
This make me think of the TV show Roswell. :)

 The last activity the kids got to do was the zip line. It was technically closed but the guy running it was really nice and let the kids do it. Little Man had tried some of the low course but some of the motor skill issues still make him a little afraid. So, when he wanted to to the zip line I was willing to do anything to get him on it. Both Munchkin and Little Man had a blast flying down to the end and halfway back.
Once everything was closed it was time to head back to our chairs and wait for the laser show to start. I was so glad we had a cooler filled with drinks and bags of snacks. The kids acted like they had never eaten and pretty much ate all of the snacks. I introduced Ang to Caramel Bugles and we discovered the joy of Chocolate Chip Kettle Corn.

Angela warned me that the laser show was a really southern laser show. It was really fun! The kids loved the music and all of the different parts of the show. Munchkins favorite parts were the Devil Goes Down to Georgia music and show and the  3D mushrooms and flowers. Little Man liked all of the lasers and loved the fireworks as well.

It turned out that our parking spot was even better than we thought. We managed to get back to the car and get out to the interstate with hardly any traffic! The kids were exhausted and so were the grown ups. I pretty much slept like a log that day!

On Sunday Angela and I went and tried to find another letterbox and once again had no luck! I was bummed because she didn't get to have the joy of finding a box and I was also bummed because I still didn't have a box from Georgia!

The Basketball Star had another birthday party to go to that day so we headed for home just before she headed out to the party. Poor Munchkin was very sad to be leaving The Basketball Star and I was just as sad. We miss this sweet friends very much all the time.
I didn't need quite as much caffeine that day for some reason and our trip home was quite easy. I did see on that there was a new plant in Georgia and that it was right on our way home so we did stop once and actually found a box.

As we were trying to find the letterbox in Georgia we kept smelling a horrible smell and we were being attacked by bugs. I figured they were some kind of stink bug and it turns out I was right! When we got home I researched the little buggers and found out they were Kudzu Stink Bugs. I can only hope we didn't bring any home with us!

We had a fantastic weekend with our sweet friends and can only hope we will see them again very soon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Little Baker

 It is fall break around these parts and you know what that means.... dun dun dun.....finding stuff for my kiddos to do. Unfortunately I had papers to grade (fortunately that I have a job) so I could not spend every second keeping my kiddos engaged. Little Man played outside for awhile and played with his action figures. Munchkin (my 9 year old) came to me and said "I want to bake something". So, I told her to find a cookbook and pick a recipe and she could bake it. She was kind of surprised by that but then got really excited. The first recipe she chose had ingredients that we don't have on hand at the moment. The second recipe called for Sweetened Condensed Milk. After a quick search of the cabinets we found a can...and it doesn't even expire until December!

My sweet daughter did everything from turning on the oven to mixing the butter and sugar with a hand mixer, to patting everything into the pan. I did go observe as she put the pan in oven since it was her first time doing that and I took it out of the oven but otherwise I didn't do much. She melted the chocolate chips and condensed milk over low heat, added the almond extract and started to pour it over the shortbread base. She needed a tiny bit of help getting all of the chocolate out of the pan but really not much.

This was the result:
Almond Fudge Topped Shortbread. I think this was an excellent first attempt at baking for her. She did a fantastic job and may even enter these in a baking contest next month! :)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sweet Moments

Just a couple of sweet moments from my kids this week.

Munchkin "Mommy, you have magic kisses, when you kiss one of the spots where we have hurt ourselves, it doesn't hurt quite as much anymore."

Little Man is making progress in speech. His pronunciation of his sisters name has gone from 2 syllables to 3.

This afternoon the kids made signs and set up on the front porch for the "Crazy Kids Concert". Little Man played drums and Munchkin sat in the chair and sang into the mic from the Star Station. They made up songs and performed for us. I think they are going to perform again tomorrow after passing out brochures about the show. I love that they worked on the band together, wrote songs together, and played so well together!

I am helping out at my kiddos school making banners for their big fitness day so I was in Little Man's class on Friday. I was so happy to see him raise his hand and tell the teacher something they could find out with the graph they were working with. I was glad to see that math seems to be working for him.

I love these moments and want to hold onto them!