Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Aussie Zoo Adventure

Last month we spent a really fun evening at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. My sister-in-law is a nurse at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital so she was able to get all of us passes for a special evening event catering to kids with ongoing health issues. The zoo pulled out all the stops and offered free carousel rides, gave out free ice cream and cotton candy and brought out all of the interactive animal exhibits. So awesome!

Ari loved the carousel and rode several times.

Up close and personal with a barred owl.

We adore the Australian Adventure and so it was one of our first stops.

Inside the homestead we enjoyed wandering through the rooms stocked with Australian staples but also find it a bit funny that things as ordinary as Arnott's Biscuits, Keen mustard and other common staples are part of a tourist exhibit!

A kookaburra comes out to visit. While we were admiring the kingfisher, a sulphur crested cockatoo was screeching in the background and I was instantly transported to a Canberra woodland at dusk and had to think for a moment to remember where I really was!

The boys got to feed nectar to rainbow lorikeets.

Moving on from the land Down Under, the kids had the unique opportunity to feed lettuce leaves to the giraffes.

Good times!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ari's First Day of Kindergarten

I just sent my baby off to Kindergarten!

So many new things coming your way today my darling! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Family Time

After saying farewell to our dear Joan in NY, we were pleased to have Ross visit us in Cleveland so that we could take him under our collective wings and prop him up with some much needed love and support.

It's always very special to hear the older generation share family stories while the youger ones get into mischief and create the stories that they will go on to share with the next generation.

Some photos from our time with Ross and extended family.

Penny, Lynne, Leah, Dave, Jan, Keith, Carl and Ross

Edward and Riker give Papa Ross squeezes.

Edward shares a silly secret.

Sophia getting cuter every day.

Riker and Ari at a family cookout.

Teagan paints Riker's face as Gecko from PJ Masks.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Eagle's Nest and an Aussie Guest

Back in May we received a visit from one of our oldest and dearest Aussie friends, Chris. This was his second time visiting us in the US and since we were the first stop on his itinerary, we let him sleep in and had a very relaxed few days together.

We had heard that there was a bald eagle nesting in the Metropark just a couple miles from our house, so we decided to head off for a walk one day to see if we could catch a glimpse.

Ari on the towpath trail.

A Canada goose with chicks in the canal.

The boys love when Chris visits! Extra attention!

Spring wildflowers in bloom.

Gorgeous boy.

We did spot the bald eagle and the three chicks but even with our super zoom lens it was hard to get a good shot.

Tired boy gets a lift.

Chris and Riker

Stopping to splash in the river.

Ari takes a break and flashes one of his reserved smiles.

Thanks for swinging past Cleveland Chris! Always great to see you!

Speaking of guests, we're on track for annual visits from Australian friends. Who's next?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Earth Dome

This post is seriously belated but I wanted to share some images of a program I brought to Riker's school for Earth Day earlier this year.

Each class in the school had the opportunity to learn about our planet and its geography with a twenty foot tall inflatable earth balloon set up in the cafeteria!

And if that's not cool enough, everybody got to go inside the dome too!

The presenter was really terrific and the kids seemed to have a great time!

We rounded out the week with a seed planting activity, a recycled bird feeder craft, a donation drive, a naturalist visit with a live snake and owl, a no-waste lunch competition and a series of efforts to green the school's cleaning supplies. Whew! So now you know what an unemployed sustainabilty professional does with her spare time!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First Day of Second Grade!

My big guy set off on the bus this morning for his first day of second grade. I hope you have a wonderful day Riker!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Farewell Preschool!

After two years at our local cooperative preschool, Ari said farewell to his teachers and friends there in May. The class made tie-dyed t-shirts for their end-of-year program and shared lots of their songs and stories with us. Here are some highlights:

Ari was an astronaut in the final program.

With his lovely teachers, Mrs. Nebozuk and Mrs. Pendleton.

After the program, Ms. Katie helps the kids put their handprints on the wall. This is such a long running tradition that a number of the parents have their own little handprints on the wall too!

Part of the end of year gift to the teachers was this beatiful compilation of the kids hands in heart shapes.

Many thanks to the Co-op for all the love and support and fun and learning you provide the kids over the years. We'll think of you every time we hear "this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine."

It's been so wonderful watching you grow through your preschool years, Ari. Keep shining, dear boy.