Thursday, April 24, 2014

Looking for eagles

January is usually a good time to look at eagles along the Mississippi River near St. Louis. We wanted to show the girls, so we started out at the Audubon Society. We spent a little time looking at the exhibits inside. 

This awesome owl was a guest there that day. He was amazing.

Sierra looking for birds … though, I don't know how much she's seeing with the binoculars pointing down like that!

Kaia is turning this crank that lights up a map to show the different parts of the water flow around the Audubon Society.

After exploring indoors, we headed out to see eagles. We did see some, actually many, through the binoculars, but they were in the trees far off and my lens is not powerful enough to capture them to show you.

Sierra, of course, wanted to climb up and down all over the rocks and Kaia did her best to keep up.

We got to see some trumpeter swans fly over directly above us. Trumpeter swans decreased to the point they almost disappeared, but are now making a comeback.

We then headed down the road to do a little hike to the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

I love that our girls have such a great sense of adventure and are excited to get out and explore outside, even on a cold winter day. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

January snow

Hey, look at that! I've finally made it to this year on my little blog! The day before the kids were supposed to go back to school after Christmas break, it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. It snowed so much that it was 4 more days before the school district decided the road were clear and safe enough for the buses to travel. 

Admittedly, we were all (mostly) ready for school after the longest Christmas break ever, but meanwhile, we had a lot of snowy fun. And hot chocolate daily. 

Here are the girls with our neighbor, trudging through knee deep snow. 

she's cold but happy!

This is the view looking down our street. White as far as you can see, and it's still snowing. There was definitely no way you could drive out.

Snow angel.

Here is the depth of the snow against our back door. I can't remember the totals, but for the St. Louis area, it was definitely a lot of snow! Little did we know at the time that this was just the beginning of a very snowy winter!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's

This is the first year since we have had children that we got to wake up in our own house on Christmas morning. In the past, we were always at either my or Jason's parents' homes because we traveled for the holidays. It's nice to have the best of both worlds. We woke up in our own home, and then went to Grandma and Grandpa's later. A couple days after that, we headed to Galena to visit my parents. 

The girls got to have a lot of Christmas. Gifts at our house, and then more at their grandparents. 

They had matching jumpers from Grandma Ginger to wear Christmas day. I tried to get a photo of them all together, but well … see for yourself:

Sleepy baby …

Monday, April 21, 2014

Old Town on Christmas Eve

We wanted to go back to Old Town St. Charles during the Christmas festival, and since we hadn't made it back since our first trip on the first day, we finished up by visiting the last day, Christmas Eve. 

Sierra was once again really excited to collect the trading cards for the Christmas characters. An angel! The girls loved her. 

The historic down town reminds me in many ways of Galena, and many of the old buildings were decorated for the holidays.

It was super cold that day, so we didn't stay very long. But we did get some hot chocolate for the girls and watch the parade one last time before heading home.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Preschool Party Part 2

Wait a minute, didn't we already talk about Kaia's preschool Christmas party? 

Here's a little background: Kaia gets to have double the fun for many of her preschool activities because even though she goes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, she is actually in two preschool classes. Because of her August birthday, she misses the school cut-off of August 1st and she will always be one of the oldest among her classmates. Thus, she wasn't 3 until after the preschool age cut off this year and she is in a 2-year-olds program called Minds in Motion. 

Minds in Motion offers a Monday only class and a Wednesday-Friday class. When we lived in Virginia, Kaia went to preschool 3 days per week and loved it, so after the move, we wanted her to have that same outlet so we signed her up for both the Monday and the Wednesday-Friday classes. There are a couple other students who do this option, but it means that she does some activities twice. 

And it means she gets two parties! I enjoyed the contrast because since both parties were organized by the parents, there were different activities at each one. 

This time, there were clothespins to make into reindeer. 

A Santa face on a paper plate was ready to decorate with a cotton ball beard.

And this one was fun: we used those plastic containers for baby treats and some other items, including little pieces of fleece for a scarf, to make snowmen.

This is Kaia's little buddy Maya. She loves that their names rhyme.

And the Wednesday-Friday preschool class. As always, there is definitely some chaos when trying to take a photo of so many small people.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Kaia's Preschool Christmas Party

Well, I guess that we are now well into 2014, I should probably finish up a few posts from the end of 2013!

Kaia's preschool class had a little party on the last day before their break over the Christmas holiday. I went to enjoy the fun. There was the always anticipated cookie decorating activity, of course. 

Cookies for snack … mmmm ….

There were some fun holiday stories that the little ones listened to.

And there were several different activities. On the one below, Kaia's hands are being traced to be used as reindeer antlers.