Sunday, August 31, 2014

Last week of summer

We ended summer vacation with a bang. First up was a weekend in Vermont with 4 other families, friends from preschool. Then we traveled to Flagstaff to spend a few days with Gruncle and Suzie. Back at home we enjoyed our final 2 days of vacation enjoying our puppy Cloey, and at a BBQ with friends from our old adoptive family group.
First up are pictures from Vermont:
Liem's dad Andrew decided to do gymnastics on the lawn at Tangle wood while we waited for the performance. We met 4 other families there for the children's concert. 

Ally, Stella, her dad Nat and I went into the hall for a few songs. 
Picnic dinner at Erik's grandparents house in Bennington.
Ally and Stella put on a dance-gymnastics performance. 
Andy's sister Charlotte is 10 and she showed Ally how to play the piano.
Ally said it was fun but her fingers got tired.

We went out and watched the stars.

In the morning Ally and Stella showed Erik how to play Fr.ozen Free Fall.
We went on a short hike and then checked out the Apple Barn. Ally had fun tasting all the different varieties of maple syrup.

The 5 former Blue Otters; Stella, Andy, Ally, Erik and Liem.

Right before we left we got Ally's class list and she and Erik are in the same class AGAIN this makes 6 years in a row!

This is Erik's dad John and his little brother Nicky. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bike Riding Attempt #1

Last Sunday Ally decided she would like to try and ride a bike without training wheels. Turns out it is just as hard to teach that skill as it is to learn it.

Getting ready to hit the road.
Or the sidewalk to walk to the park and then Memorial drive which is closed to cars on Sundays.

We stopped briefly at a park on the way to test it out.
We ran into friends on Memorial who took this picture.

After a while we stopped for a break. 

Ally was thrilled with her Popsicle! There was no real riding done, but we tried and later that week Becky took her out again. No mastery yet, but we will keep at it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Interest

About a month ago a new AG movie came out, it's about the girl of the year, Isabelle and she is a dancer. It's a good movie and currently Ally's favorite. She's already asked for the doll for Christmas. We have the movie soundtrack and she listens to it and dances in the living room.

When we got back from NH she asked if she could take ballet. The conversation went like this:
Ally "mommy, you know what I really want to do?"
Me "no sweetie what?"
Ally "I really want to take ballet"
Me "I think that is great! Are you sure? You have gymnastics 2 times a week, swimming and church."
Ally "yes I'm sure"
Me "ok then I'll find a class and sign you up. I am so excited for you! I ask you every year if you want to take dance"
Ally " mommy you ask about dance. I only want ballet. You never asked about ballet"
Me groaning.... Really? Well ok

So today after work as a celebration of the state of my vacation we went to the dance supply store and came home with her uniform:

She was so excited. So very happy. They were a huge help at the store and even showed me how to do Ally's hair in a bun. Ally just glowed and couldn't wait to get home and try it all on and show mama.
She read sitting in a chair so she could look at herself. Then she proceeded to dance in the living room for 30 minutes. 

She starts class in two weeks! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cooking Fun

Ally and I were at Target last week and while there I bought some mini chocolate chips and explained to her that they were excellent for making chocolate chip pancakes. It put some kind of idea in her head and she said "we could do cooking together!"

So we came home and looked thru a cookbook. Ally selected lots of things to cook. We selected 3 and made a shopping list. The next day we went to the store and bought ingredients.

With her groceries !

Guacamole and nachos with ice cream sundaes for dessert. Above Ally is scooping out the avocado for the guacamole. 

We also made salsa

Ally tried some of everything. She did not like the nachos. But she loved the salsa. 

After dinner we made sundaes. We had 3 different kinds of sauce, raspberry that I made from scratch, hot fudge and caramel. We also had whipped cream and cherries.

I squirted whipped cre directly in Ally's mouth - she loved it!

I did it to Becky too...maybe too much?

Ally was so excited to eat her sundae.

She tried it, all 3 sauces and cream, but in the end it was too much and she ended up with a scoo of vanilla with rainbow sprinkles.

Becky went to visit Aunt Beth for the weekend, and Ally and I did more cooking. We made potato chip chicken, and salad bar soup.

Crush the chips
Then dip the chicken in egg then dredge thru the chips.
Ally was very good at this.

She called herself a chip monster.
After we cleaned up and put the chicken in the oven we cut up veggies for the salad bar soup.

The chicken was delish. The soup was not.

We had home made ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

The chicken was so good we made it the next day for lunch!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Guat Girls August

Last weekend we met at Rosa's local pool for some swimming. It was just Rosa, Gabi and Ally but they had fun. They swam, they played in sand box, they explored the water fun area, they ate snacks and even ventured to the snack bar by themselves for ice cream treats. Julie, Kim and I enjoyed 2 hours of adult conversation. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Last day at the cabins.

think the very best thing about this vacation has been Ally's independence. She (and we) feel comfortable and safe enough here that she can take the dog out and walk her 100 yards away. At the lake Ally will run from the sand detach to the clay area without asking us every single time. She told us she will miss this. She's said she wishes we had a larger yard for her to walk Cloey in. I've agreed to let her take Cloey out by herself at home. Not out of our yard but just in the yard. 
Ally told Becky "I bet Cloey will miss this wonderful magical place and wonder when we will come back." We have to agree it has been a wonderful magical week. 

Yesterday I got brave and coerced Becky into a family canoe ride, with the dog. 3 of us loved it. The pilot in the back, not so much.

Look close and you can see Cloey laying down in front of Ally.

A quick dip in the lake. 

Ally didn't have her water shoes and the water was freezing. She didn't last long.

We spent the morning and early afternoon at the lake and then at 3pm headed out to a local science museum. It was really neat. We went especially to see the "Sue the T-Rex" exhibit on loan from the Field Museum. 

Sue is the most complete T Rex ever found.

This special exhibit had all kinds of information about the T-Rex dinosaurs. It was a big hit with us of course. 
Sue has 58 teeth and some are as big as Ally's arm!

Ally and I tried out the contraption that let you feel like a TRex arm. 

Then we explored outside a little bit. There is an amazing water play and exploration area, neat musical features and a giant bubble place.

Playing the musical fence!

The giant Xylophone.

Becky and Ally had just finished a book featuring Leonardo Da'Vinci so they were very excited to see the water statue with a poem by DaVinci engraved on it.

Ally mastered the really big bubble maker. 

Then there was an announcement that upstairs was a fossil presentation. Ally was thrilled about that.
It was a very interesting hands on presentation about fossils. Ally stayed for the whole 30 minutes. Above is her hand in a dinosaur foot print. All of the fossils came from New England which I thought was great. We even saw a woolly mammoth tooth fossil. It was twice as big as Ally's head! 

After a few minutes I realized Becky was not with us. 
 She was doing puzzles at the next exhibit! I guess once an engineer always an engineer!

We all had a great time. 

The museum closed at 5 and the. We went out to dinner and ice cream afterwards.

Then back to the cabin. Becky and Ally made a fire together. Ally was so proud to help. Later I even let her put some wood on all by herself. 

It was a clear night and Ally really wanted to stay up and look at the stars again. She passed the time waiting for darkness by reading. She is so into her current boom she offered to read aloud to Becky so Becky would know the story too. I was in the bedroom and it was a joy to listen.

Our last morning I packed up the car and Becky and Ally fished one last time. They also saw the turtle!

It was a fabulous vacation!