Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Playing Games

Holly enjoys playing games.... really enjoys it! We have a huge collection of games in our house and love all of them. A couple days or nights a week we play a family game and we play one on one with Holly a lot. She has really improved in her skills, patience, counting, math, logic, strategy and sportsmanship.

Since she has really developed a good skill for games and her ability to play older games is growing we have had to expand our collection to 'big kid' games! Although we do sometimes play the preschool classics like Candyland, Hi Ho Cherry Oh and Chutes & Ladders... she really adores older games like Aggrevation, Trouble, Pictureka, Othello, Blokus and most recently Battleship (She is pretty darn good for playing on her own too! She has really mastered her grid and sinking ships in a logical order.)

In fact, she beat me at Othello earlier this week! I see many more games in our future and many more challenges with Holly as her skills improve.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Bryan and Holly spent the afternoon planting some springtime strawberry plants onto her playhouse roof. Last year we did lettuce and strawberries, but after a full season we realized we just don't need quiet so much lettuce... so a full roof of strawberry plants is the result! We are very excited to enjoy the results later in the season!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sunshine, Park Fun & Family

This week my parents are in town visiting with my niece and nephew. Last night we met up for a picnic dinner at a park on Lake Washington to take in the amazing sunny Pacific Northwest weather we are experiencing. The kids enjoyed a long evening of playing at the park, a small walk and sunshine fun! Bryan was able to hit the water in the kayak and I was able to enjoy a visit with my parents. A fun evening was had by all!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nesting Materials

Bryan and Holly stepped out to get some sunshine today and also accomplished a fun and easy project for our fine feathered friends. In a bird book we have they scouted out a couple of different ways to help provide nesting materials to birds. One version is a converted milk carton and the other is a reused net bag from lemons - each filled with loads of fibers, feathers, dried grasses, dryer lint and more. It was like a scavenger hunt to find all the goods they stuffed into the nesting containers which only added to the fun. The results turned out great and we only hope our feathered friends will also find them great during their nesting season.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunshine Fun

The past few days have been filled with amazing weather, Spring is definitely here and we are loving it! Much of our time has been spent outside which included the zoo. We finally renewed our membership after much debate... we use the zoo a lot and would probably use it more with a membership. Choosing which institutions we want to be members of is a hard one, but we do have to make choices throughout each year - this year the zoo won! So, we took in a full afternoon of sunshine, playtime and animals.

The play area they have created is just wonderful, a favorite spot of ours. When we hit the zoo we must always spend some time if not half of our time in the play zone. They have created a wonderful physical space that encourages children to move like animals - climbing, hanging, jumping, running, sliding, shaking, etc. A different approach to play equipment and Holly adores it.

Each time we go to the zoo we check out a different area, as the whole zoo in one can be just a tad too much still. So, we split it down the middle and rotate out the aquarium. This day we enjoyed the Asian side with a visit to the elephants, tigers, monkeys, anoas, porcupines and river otters. The river otters were by far the hit of the day -- they were actually in a natural setting for them, a running river. First time we have seen them in that exhibit and they couldn't have been any happier, it was great! They were incredibly playful, energetic and adorable to boot.

And, then he was just beautiful - I couldn't resist!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Leprechaun Traps & Rainbow Cupcakes

Today Holly and I made rainbow cupcakes for a special St. Patrick's Day treat for the family and we delivered a plate of rainbow goodness to the Ross Family. Holly had a great time with this cooking project, mixing all the colored batter and layering the batter into the muffin pans. They turned out so very cute and are yummy tasting to boot!
As well, Bryan and Holly made a Leprechaun trap in an attempt to catch one of those little frisky guys tonight... we'll see how it does! The Leprechaun is lured up the ladder by the possibility of gold and then once he is on top of the shamrock hat he is then trapped by a false floor that falls down into the tall hat.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Hudson found tummy time.... exhausting!


This week at our preschool meet up our friend set up a great little science experiment where the kids all made slime. And, it was a hit! So much in fact that Holly could not wait to come home and show Daddy how to make slime. Today they finally sat down and created their own green slime together and had a great time! So easy, entertaining, educational and fun... can't beat that!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Illustrations by...

Lately Holly has been very interested in who has illustrated the books we are reading. She has even made connections between various books with the same illustrators. For example she knows that Jane Chapman has illustrated all of the 'Bear Books' and a book called 'The Very Busy Day' -- done by different authors. I personally find this pretty impressive she has noticed considering we own hundreds of books.

She has also began drawing pictures and pointing out that she is the illustrator of her artwork.

This morning she wrote a small 'story' and did a great drawing... however, her main focus was to make sure she wrote 'illustrations by Holly'. She picked out a book and copied the words down and added her name. Pretty cool!

Here is her little story, which is based off of our group camping trip to Staircase this summer. The kids all played in the water next to our campsite and swimming hole, they built little rock walls in the river to pool the water up (many hours spent doing this). Here is her version, in her own words (she sounded them out herself):

"The rivr was fun. I plad with Kevin, Kristin, Droo, Ean. Illustrations By Holly"
The river was fun. I played with Kevin, Kristin, Drew and Ian. Illustrations by Holly.
Not bad for four years old!

Learning Shamrock Style

Holly has been enjoying some fun learning and various art projects centered around our upcoming holiday, St. Patrick's Day. She loves when we do fun projects around the holidays, for some reason it makes things a lot more exciting at this age.

She enjoyed doing some fine motor skills with blunt tweezers, a mini shamrock ice tray and green beads. She transferred the beads one by one into the tray and back. Then she transferred them in pairs and practiced counting by two's to thirty. A fun way to practice that skill, a skill she has been really working on lately. Who knew playing with tweezers could be so much fun?
Here you can see she is writing her "counting out by two's" down.We also made some various art projects - but this was one of her favorites. She made a big cloud, cut it out and then cut her rainbow out. The rainbow was then done in collage with various bits from our collage collection.