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Week 10 Alphabet Summer 2011: I and S

We easily bridged the B and Q week over to S and I by slipping off to the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul with our friends Melissa, her son Bray and his little sister Ella.  We started our visit by bouncing up and down the stairs that make sounds. I remember these from when I was a kid and visited the Science Museum for school field trips. The kids enjoyed nearly every exhibit but the one about the body made me feel kind of sick.  They especially loved seeing their shadows during the spectrum exhibit.

We loved playing in the Big Back Yard’s maze.  I ran into the building and climbed many steps up a few stories to take this picture of the kid’s in the maze where they looked so small. Our little friend Ella got soaking wet while playing with the water exhibit in the back yard.

Maddie continued her second and last week of swimming camp at a super cool swim center where the topic of the week was science. The kids studied various aspects of science including water, fish, rockets, and Isaac Newton’s third law of motion.

On Wednesday we enjoyed a full house at Bellies to Babies Story time.  There were at least eight kids running around the store and some of them even listened to the stories we read.  I forgot all the books I had picked out the night before that started with the letters S & I so I had to be spontaneous and read the books the store had on hand. We brought along our safari hat and binoculars so we could spy on words that started with S & I.

After story time, we stopped off at Jamba Juice which I was saving for next week (J week!) but Maddie insisted and I thought we could certainly find the letters we needed there..or we could just go there and forget about the alphabet for a few minutes. Of course!  Sunrise Strawberry Smoothies.  These things always have a way of working out.

On Thursday we enjoyed smiley face ice cream sandwiches. I started with my little childhood smiley face nightlight. I washed it of course!  Then we used it to press into the sugar cookies before we baked them. The kids had lots of fun putting yellow frosting on them and making the eyes and mouth with black frosting.  I thought they turned out both adorable and scrumptious. The kids loved them!
We had a morning and afternoon group of kids and this change in structure has allowed me to have accomodate more crafting kids without the insanity of a big group all at once. It also got me out of lunch duty and helps me transport Maddie to either morning or afternoon camps.  I really enjoyed the longer days we shared with the kids earlier in the summer, but this change of schedule has been very beneficial for most I hope.

We worked on several crafts this week including little foam smiley face magnets, cutting smiley faces out of paper plates and painting them. We finally got around to last week’s craft that had been cancelled because we were sick with some sort of illness.  The kids stenciled butterflies, bugs, and bumble bees onto book bags and then we sewed little butterfly buttons on them.

The afternoon group whipped through their projects very quickly so we decided to spend some time outside playing in the driveway. The kids used sidewalk chalk to trace their shadows and draw snowman and the kids who had overdosed on sugar raced with each other to see who was the speediest.  One of the kid’s mom’s stopped by during her run to see how we were doing. My goodness, she was very stinky and sweaty so we sent her home to shower.

After craft camp, I had to run to pick up Maddie at her last swimming lesson.  When we returned, there were fire trucks and police cars all around because a crew had broken a gas main less than a 1/2 block from our home. That was just plain scary. We headed to South Minneapolis to enjoy BLTs fresh from my friend Ann’s garden then returned home a few hours later when everything had been sorted out and it was safe again.
Friday morning our neighbor Jan rang the back door nice and early to spring us with a little surprise. She escorted us to her backyard where we saw a HUGE spider and a super sized spider web. Not sure if you can see it in this picture.  It really doesn’t do it justice.

We had to back up a bit on Friday to cover a few things that got left behind last week while we had a little bug.  So, right after that we hopped on the bus with our buddy Bridget and her mom and rode the 4B down to Peter’s Billiards which is a billiards store that looks just like a billiard table on the outside kinda like a visual onamonapia. We had lots of fun looking at all the game room games and even playing with some.  The girls loved the foosball table. I really loved this huge picture of the Beatles that was on one of the walls.

Bridget’s mom Julie really got into the swing of this alphabet thing when started noticing the big black bean bags the girls were sitting on and the Blues Brothers statues on a blue pool table.  She admitted that she had become downright addicted to the whole alphabet summer deal when I caught this picture of Bridget sitting next to a bird. It’s nice to have at least one person understand me.

When it was time to leave, the girls were very brave and took the glass elevator without us while the moms raced down the stairs to try to beat them.  Shortly after that we headed up a block to Bachman’s. This was one of the few things that we repeated from last year’s adventures.

The girls had lots of fun looking at all the blooming flowers. Maddie really had her heart set on buying a bamboo plant but the buyer had not bought any for a long time. I bought a birdhouse for our pixie nook and Maddie used her money to buy a little chair for her pixie to sit in after a long day of golfing. We enjoyed having a little snack at Patrick’s bakery. Bridget picked out a little birdie for her pixie garden and the girls insisted on each getting a gum ball.

I loved seeing this beautiful blue orchid plant and had to take a picture of it….which reminds me that the girls all dressed in blue and I wore black just for the occasion. It was important to remember that we were actually supposed to be celebrating the letters S & I so Julie pointed out that cactus plants are called succulants and I enjoyed seeing this little advertisement for Sturdy, Sassy, Succulants.

The highlight of this trip though was seeing two beautiful monarch butterflies doing… well… how else can I put this…bopping? It was pretty interesting to watch and downright entertaining.

Friday night I found a babysitter and headed out for little down time with the neighbor ladies for our first book club meeting. It was a jolly and silly good time.

On Saturday, Maddie and I snuck away to see the Smurfs movie then I surprised her with a visit to this charming little store called Little Enchantments in Edina which is filled with every kind of dollhouse, miniature, and fairy need you may ever have.  It was so fun and I broke down an bought a tiny little bird bath for our pixie place.

A few more things about this week. I consigned some of my old clothes and made a little money selling them but had a really successful sale with Just Between Friends and worked on Saturday afternoon with the sorting process.

The garage really took shape this week and was finally all shingled and sided. The only thing we were missing  was the garage door. I even set up the electrical inspection for next week. We ended the week by finally getting the swing set fixed and moved so the kids could play on it. I stained it and then felt incredibly sick from the fumes. But it looks splendid!

Lastly, I just had to share this smile because after all that was the theme of the week and my whole purpose in doing this whole Alphabet Summer thing!

Last year we had fun sticking the baby in a safe and surrounded baby jail, eating Sun Chips, going to see the Sousa band with our little friend who ended up sick with strep throat, getting all set for school, attending St. Paul’s Irish Fair and playing in sand, being silly, seeing a super sized sun flower by Super America, Seeing the sunset form the sky, taking a stellar picture of the St. Michael church, selling the saucer, dressing as some kind of super hero, going on a Sponge Bob Safari, setting up a savings account, playing softball, making a scrubby skirt, getting soaked in slimey sand, speedy babyIspy at Ikea,


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