Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blast Off

This past Saturday we went to visit Uncle Pete and Kim. Kim teaches a class in engineering in the summers and had mentioned to Gabe awhile ago that one of the things they do is build rockets and launch them. Of course this was very exciting news to Gabe and ever since he had been wanting to get over there so he could build a rocket with her. Finally this past Saturday we made the trip. We weren't sure if the weather was going to cooperate with us but the rain let up for just enough time to launch the rockets. First they had to put the body of the rocket together.

and then they had to cut out the parts to put on the body. Gabe did pretty well at cutting where he was supposed to:)

In the meantime Ty had fun decorating a rocket that had already been built with markers.


Once all the pieces were cut out they duct taped them onto the body of the rocket.

After the rockets were all put together we headed to the back yard to launch them. The boys were so excited it was hard for them to wait for it to be set up right.

Once the rockets were filled with water they were hooked up to the air pump which Brad(my brothers roomate) pumped up to put air into the rocket.

and when there was just enough air pumped in whoever was holding the string pulled and blast off!

Here's a very proud Gabe with his rocket, the parachute had deployed to soften the landing.

Both the boys had so much fun building and then getting to launch their rockets. Thanks Kim for taking the time to help them(nevermind her shirt, she's an Iowa grad but we love her anyway:)


Here is a video of our last blast off. The wind caught it a little, hopefully the backdoor neighbors don't still have a rocket stuck on their roof!
video

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gabe's Big Game

Gabe has been playing t-ball now since the middle of June.  I was unsure whether to do Parks and Rec t-ball or club t-ball this year but since he had not officially played t-ball before we decided to go with the cheaper, less time Parks and Rec option this year.  We have found Gabe loves to play, well Gabe loves to hit, fielding and catching are improving but the hitting is the highlight.  He had t-ball Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  They would work on their skills with catching, throwing, fielding and hitting and then towards the end do scrimmages.  This past Friday though was the end of the year wrap up and the "big game under the lights"  Gabe was very excited to play in his big game and talked about it for weeks before hand.  Here he is before his big game ready to play(seriously when did this kid get so big!)

The big game started and Gabe's team was in the field first, he was playing 1st base to start(a big job as they are taught to always throw to 1st every play)

He did pretty well although we find that Gabe can be a bit.....spacey at times:)  After everyone had a chance to hit on the other side it was Gabe's teams turn at bat.  We have been practicing with him at home on his hitting and he has done really well but we have found when he gets to T-ball all the sudden he is timid at bat, after pep talks we were waiting to see how he would hit it.  Our leftie did pretty well!(although still not as well as he hits at home but it's a start:)

Running to first base, sometimes he is a little too laid back and skips but today he ran pretty well.

The 2nd inning Gabe played short stop. 

and he had one more chance to bat.  He hit it pretty well again and here is rounding the bases to 2nd.

and of course we practice good sportsmanship and give everyone low fives after the game.

and one last huddle of the season.

The season wouldn't be complete without treats afterwards of course.

and since it was pretty hot and humid and the rest of us wanted a treat we headed to Wendy's to get frosty's to celebrate the end of the season.

Some of us were a little cleaner eaters then others.

We were glad Gabe enjoyed t-ball and look forward to continuing to practice with him and Ty.  Callie even likes to hit off the tee every now and again:)  Seems like summer is coming to a close all too quickly. 


Monday, July 18, 2011

Mini Vacation

Since we did a big vacation this past fall we decided to do a few little mini vacations this summer.  The first one the whole family got to go.  We went to Omaha on Friday and then stayed overnight and came home Saturday night.  Friday morning we tried to leave bright and early to get to the zoo.  We never quite as bright and early as we are planning but we did make it to the zoo by shortly before 10.  It was a hot day but we had so much fun.  We started off walking down to the cat complex.  I have never seen too many big cats out anytime I have visited the zoo and today was no exception.  I'm pretty sure they were hot, like this guy.

After visiting the big cats we went to see the bears.  We arrived just in time to see this big guy finishing up his lunch.

After checking out the other bears from the top of the cages we made our way down to farm area.  Since we have access to a farm around here we didn't really look at anything in there too much but the boys did like to climb on this spider web.



While the boys were playing in the spider web, Callie checked out the big hippos mouth.

Soon after all of this they discovered the carousel near by and wanted to take a ride.  Ty was extremely happy with this tiger.

until he was told it didn't go up and down like most of the other animals.  He then decided to grab a horse by Callie.  Gabe was pretty excited about his elephant.

and Callie enjoyed her first ever carousel ride on the goat.

I snapped this picture in the mirror while the ride was going and you can see that Ty(and the others as well) enjoyed himself very much!

After our carousel ride they immediatelyl wanted to jump on the train but since it had just left and we didn't feel like standing in a line in the heat we went up the hill to see the birds while we waited.  I have been to the zoo many times and don't remember seeing all the budgies before but it was really cool.  They gave the boys each a stick with peanut butter and bird seed on it and they were able to hold them out and feed the birds.

The boys got better at getting the birds to eat from them eventually.  This yellow was especially feisty, he was eating and bit Ty's finger in the process.  Ty thought it was great fun, how appropriate the feisty bird found Ty!

Gabe even was still enough to have a bird actually land on his stick(Ty did by the end of the time too!)

Callie enjoyed the birds as well but she tried to catch them, she made me a little nervous as she got close a few times.

After the excitement of the bird feeding we went over to see a few owls and had a snack and water break.  We then caught the train, the breeze felt so good!  After the train we went to see the bears on the bottom parts of their cages and then headed through the aviary.  The flamingos are always one of my favorites.


We even got to cool off a little under one of the many misters around the zoo when we were done.

After we were a little cooler we headed to one of the newer buildings that we hadn't been through.  Expedition Madagascar.  IT was pretty dark in there so I really didn't get any pictures but the lemurs were fun to watch and there were others sorts of lizards and creepy crawlies too...always glad they are behind glass!  After that we headed to the bridge to feed the koi and see a few other types of monkeys.  The kiddos had fun watching the fish swarm the food they threw in.  We also saw these birds in the garden of the senses.  Crazy how big they are!

After that we decided it was time to head to the van for lunch since we had packed a picnic but didn't want to haul all the stuff in with us.  We made our way around to some of the animals we had not seen yet and then headed out to have  picnic in the shade.  It was a good pick me up as we all had more energy after that.  We did the jungle when we came back in.  You know it is hot when the jungle actually feels cool!  The boys loved doing this bridge.


After seeing lots of cool animals in the jungle we headed over to the butterfly house.  I actually was more impressed with the butterfly wing at Reiman Gardens, this one was bigger but it didn't seem to have as many butterflies in it as the one at Reiman and oh my was it hot.  After that we finally got to go to the aquarium where Gabe had been dying to go all day!  When we came in they enjoyed seeing the puffins and penguins.  They especially liked this bubble where you could climb in and see the penguins a little closer.

Here you can see the boys from the other side of the glass.

Of course there were lots of really cool fish but nothing beat the walk through tunnel and the sharks!

The boys thought the jellyfish were pretty cool though tool

Personally I liked all the pretty colored little fish.

Gabe also loved to get to see the small hammerhead sharks in one of the other tanks.  I tried to get a picture of them but they swam way to fast for me to get one that wasn't blurry.  After the aquarium we went to the Desert Dome.  The boys really wanted to climb on this but the sign said stay off:)

I wasn't super impressed with the desert dome the last time we went and I wasn't all the impressed this time either.  It's kind of cool but just not one of my favorites.  Last time we went though we didn't do the downstairs portion which is kingdoms of the night.  That was kind of cool.  Way to dark for pictures but it was neat to see all the different areas and nocturnal animals.  After the desert dome we decided to call it a day and go find our hotel.  It was actually a really easy drive to get there.  Once we checked in we ventured back out into the heat to meet my uncle and cousin at Spaghetti Works(my aunt was sick and my other cousin working)  It was down in the Old Market area which is really neat.  I wish it wouldn't have been quite so hot so we could have checked out a few things but we had all had enough heat for the day and just headed back to the hotel for the night after dinner.  The boys had balloon spider men to entertain them for the night(they had a balloon lady come around to tables and make things for kids at the restaurant, they loved their spider men)  We held them off with swimming until the morning which turned out to be a great idea.  The kids were up early of course so we headed down to swim and had the pool to ourselves the whole time we were there.  After working up an appetite we ate some breakfast in our room and then went over the west side and went to The Amazing Pizza Machine for lunch.  This place is like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids.  We met Carl's Aunt Sara there and the kids of course were in heaven.  It was hard to get them to eat anything and finally when we adults finished we headed to the games. 

Besides all the normal games that give tickets and arcade games they also had a frog hopper that the boys loved.

and they also had mini bowling you could play.  That bowling was just the right size for the kiddos and even Callie tried to take a turn.

They also had go karts, which Gabe and Ty were both too short to drive but they could ride with Daddy.  Ty and Daddy even won first place!(had to take it through glass, it's a little blurry)

The bumper cars were probably Gabe's favorite part.  He loved to run into people, I think need to be concerned.

After all the fun and games we headed back to Aunt Sara's house so Callie could take much needed nap and to visit with her for awhile.  After Callie woke up we headed out to eat some supper at Five Guys Burgers and Fries(we discovered Omaha has 3 of them!) and then made the trip home.  It was a hot but super fun weekend.  So glad we were able to go do something fun for a few days!