Monday, April 16, 2012

A Day at the Park

One of my fellow elders will be celebrating a birthday tomorrow, so I volunteered us to watch his kids while he and his wife went out to lunch. I figured that this would save them money and also make the meal a lot more pleasant for them. They enjoyed it quite a bit.

After church we swapped vehicles. Lily was squeezed into the back seat of the van with the two boys while Noah rode in his booster in one of the two middle seats next to their three year-old daughter. The highlight for me was when Jake (who is 9) was playing with Lily and told her in a serious voice, "You can't win with strength. Find another way." He sounded like a sage in a video game.

We got some lunch from a combination of our household stores and Zaxby's chicken. Unfortunately, the kids weren't wild about the chicken fingers (like most kids, they are not used to chicken fingers made from whole pieces of chicken) and our Pringles were cheddar flavored rather than plain. Nevertheless, they made the best of their time at the park, which was good.

Lily has decided that she likes having the Stansberry boys around because of "the excitement." At first she didn't like Jake because "you can't control him," but I think she is starting to enjoy him more now. Personally, I think it's good for Lily to be around people she can't control. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Family Hike

We had absolutely gorgeous weather yesterday and decided it would have been criminal to remain indoors. We thought about going to Lake Crabtree or Umstead Park, but we do those all the time. I suggested we head over to Eno River State Park because I like walking over the suspension footbridge they have there.

(not our photo)

On the way to the footbridge we came across a really fascinating sight:

It's a bit tricky to tell with the lighting, but what you're seeing is a toad being swallowed by a snake. You can see the toad's head is inside the snake's mouth. In this photo the snake's head is going from about 1 o'clock to about 7 o'clock. Pretty neat stuff.

The kids were fascinated by this. Lily felt sorry for the toad, but she understood that this is how things work. I was reminded by how much effort some people put into saving various forms of wildlife when carnivores are pretty mean to other animals. The toad was obviously still alive based on its occasionally wriggling back legs, but I explained to Noah that the snake was going to win this one.

We actually got to watch the process in action too because we hadn't been at the river for more than 5 minutes before Noah announced that he had to go poo-poo. We had to walk back to the bathrooms, which gave us a chance to check out the snake again. By the time Noah had finished I would estimate that the snake had about 85% of the frog in it. Then by the time we came back as a family the snake was gone.

I guarantee that the kids will remember this hike more than some of the others we've had. I will be shocked if Noah doesn't mention it when we go hiking in the mountains this summer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Curly Sue

Amanda has helped Lily experiment with a new look. It started with Easter and she has it today too. Amanda has done “rag curls.” From what I understand, the idea is that you twist up the hair when it’s wet and tie it with little pieces of cloth. The first time she twisted the hair and then rolled it. This time she just rolled it and tied it. You can see the results below.

Lily is pretty excited to have this new look. Of course, her hair really resists it because it wants to stay straight. The good news is that this is a carrot we can dangle in front of her sometimes. It’s a nice little reward that doesn’t cost any money and it doesn’t upset any stomachs.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Old Ballgame

I took Tuesday off so we could go to the exhibition game between the Indians and the Carolina Mudcats. This was also kind of Amanda's spring break break. I made some waffles for the kids and brought them to Amanda in bed, which she enjoyed. The kids and I played some video games, ran some errands, and hit the road while picking up Uncle Bill on the way.

Noah did not appreciate how the Mudcats produce their games. First, they set off fireworks during the "bombs bursting in air" part of the national anthem. That caught him by surprise and he cried through the rest of the anthem. Then the Indians' second batter hit the first pitch he saw out of the park. More fireworks. More crying. After that Noah was nervous every time the batter made contact. He got over it though and we learned to cover his ears when there was a home run (there were 3 total).

After the game we went to Chick-fil-A for dinner. Tuesday is kids' day at CFA and that meant face painting. Lily got a butterfly and Noah got an "M" for Mario. The M isn't quite right, but he didn't care.

Afterwards we went to Sweet Frog for some frozen yogurt. Part of me feels like a bit of a turncoat because I never go to Goodberry's anymore, but I just really like these frozen yogurt places. We had some excellent sundaes, took Uncle Bill home, and called it a night.

We couldn't really ask for a nicer day than this. The weather was beautiful. Lily ate popcorn. I ate some fresh-roasted peanuts (this puts the Mudcats experience pretty high in my book). The kids sat through the whole game. The Indians actually hit the ball, but they were facing AAA or A pitchers. Nevertheless, a splendid time was had by all.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Fools

Amanda has become something of a Pinterestphile. If you don't know about Pinterest you probably should. It has lots of great ideas on it, and one category is April Fool's pranks. Amanda got a bunch of them and used them to great effect.

I was the first victim. My shampoo is in a squeeze bottle and I didn't understand why I couldn't get any out. I discovered a small square of plastic wrap between the neck of the bottle and the hole out of which it squeezes. I figured that we were done, but we were just getting started.

By the time I came down for breakfast the family was well into theirs. Amanda asked Noah if he'd like an apple and then asked me if I'd wash one for him. Of course, being the nice dad that I am I was all too happy to do so. To my surprise, I got squirted by the sprayer because someone had put a rubber band on it. Apparently Lily was the first victim, and she surprisingly took it in stride. The family had a great laugh over my wetness, which was fine.

Amanda warned me not to be the first out the front door, but that was 45 minutes before we left for church. She pulled the old vaseline on the knob trick. As soon as I touched it I remembered her warning. Noah was not so fortunate and was more upset because he hates having his hands messy.

Of course, Noah and Lily tried to come up with their own pranks in the form of misinformation, but they were not successful. It will take some time for them to get the hang of it. Nevertheless, everyone had fun with it.