Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beach Bums

Today was warm, sunny and not very windy, so after everyone's rest time (Julia didn't nap, the little stinker), we headed to the beach to play the afternoon away. Here are some pictures of Julia playing in the sand and Evelyn playing in the surf.

Wright Brothers Memorial

I never could have imagined how much Evelyn would enjoy learning about the Wright brothers and their invention of the airplane. We arrived at the Wright Brothers National Memorial just in time to listen to the ranger's talk this morning. I had to translate some of the information for Evelyn, but she was very interested in it and seemed to understand it. After the talk, we walked around the full-sized replica of the 1903 flyer, and I pointed out the different parts of the plane. When asked if she wanted to lay down in the plane and fly it, Evelyn vigorously shook her head.
After looking at everything inside the visitor's center, and getting the girls' National Parks passport books stamped, we headed outside. First, we climbed to the top of Kill Devil Hill to see the monument built to honor the Wright brothers. Evelyn is standing in front of the monument:

The top of Kill Devil Hill gave us a great view of the Wright brothers' camp. The visitor's center is on the far right, replicas of the Wright brothers' house and hangar are in the middle of the picture, and the white granite stones in the grassy field show where the first four flights in 1903 landed.
Evelyn had fun reading the words on the markers that depicted where the Wright brothers landed their plane for those first flights. She also liked how the brothers took turns flying the plane. Overall, Evelyn thoroughly enjoyed her morning at the Memorial, and she bought a model of the 1903 flyer to build with Troy when she gets home.

Breakfast Time!

Our little Sunshine, never one to miss a meal, heartily ate pancakes and yogurt this morning for breakfast. Eating the morning meal at the beach house is so bright and cheerful, and Julia adds to the happy mood with her sunny personality.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Currituck Lighthouse

This morning we headed up to the town of Corolla to visit the Currituck Lighthouse. Originally, about four lighthouses were on my "go-see" list this week, but Julia's short attention span made me narrow down my choices to just one lighthouse, and the closest one at that.
I didn't hesitate to take on the challenge of climbing 214 steps to reach the top of the lighthouse. It seems like Evelyn could have gone straight to the top without taking any breaks, but I took advantage of the platforms for some brief rests along the way.

The view from the top - 158 feet from the ground - was amazing. We walked around the tower, taking in the sights of the Atlantic Ocean, the Albemarle Sound and as much of the barrier island as we could see.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rainy, Foggy Day

When we woke up this morning, it was raining. It rained and rained and rained until 4:30 in the afternoon. The girls kept busy with coloring and watching movies, in between snacking on goodies.
It was foggy after the rain, but we didn't care. We headed to the beach anyway. Evelyn, the crazy beach bum that she is, just had to run out in the waves. Note that she is wearing her heavy winter coat in the following picture . . .

Julia wasn't sure what to think of the whole beach-in-the-fog thing. After being given a small seashell, she promptly dropped it and shook her hands, trying to rid herself of any residual sand. Hopefully as the weather improves throughout the week, she will enjoy playing at the beach more.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

Julia went on her first Easter egg hunt today at the park in Duck, North Carolina. Even though Julia has never done this before, she was a pro from the start. She took off with the other little ones, zipping about, picking up eggs and dropping them in her basket.

When all was said and done, she had found seven eggs. That was comparable to Evelyn's eight eggs - granted, the girls were in different age groups, so Evelyn was up against tougher competition.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Break 2010

We girls headed to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for Spring Break this year. The weather was a bit on the chilly side when we arrived in Southern Shores this afternoon. I think the air temperature was 50 degrees, and there was a stiff northeast wind. From the beach house we are staying at, we walked the two blocks to the beach mostly just to see the ocean. Julia couldn't stand being there more than a couple of minutes, so we didn't stay long.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Living Room Makeover

Here are the "after" pictures of our living room. Well, almost. We're thinking of painting the walls a golden yellow color, and we need to move things around on the walls. But the furniture is so comfortable, and it matches the curtains and existing wooden pieces so well. It was definitely worth the 10-week wait.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Happened?

One look at the picture below, and you may wonder, "Where did all of our living room furniture go?" Two and a half months ago, we ordered a new couch, love seat, chair and ottoman. We were told it wouldn't be delivered until mid-April. So, imagine our surprise when the store called yesterday to say our furniture was in, and they were going to deliver it on Thursday. With the help of our next-door-neighbor, we moved the existing couch and love seat to the basement . . . leaving us with an empty room for a little while. Stay tuned for pictures of the new furniture!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shared Reading

Evelyn has really taken off with reading, and she amazes us every day with how well she can read. If she doesn't know a word, she looks at the sounds/letters in the word, and she also looks at the pictures on the page for clues. At times, she deciphers some pretty tricky words using her reading strategies.

This evening, she picked up the book That's Not My Tractor, and began reading it to Julia. I couldn't resist the photo op . . . so, here are the girls doing a little shared reading.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A New Car!

Last week our Isuzu Rodeo started acting up . . . again. After taking it to the shop on Friday, we found out the transmission repairs would cost at least $3,400. It's hardly worth that much, so we declined the repairs and began to search for our next family car.

Even though Troy and I really liked the Honda Pilot, we thought a new one was beyond our reach financially. We were both pleasantly surprised to find out that the 2010 models were significantly discounted since the 2011 cars are now coming in. This made a new Pilot cost about the same as a slightly-used one. The decision was easy to make - get a new one!

With the Rodeo on its last leg, we sold it to Carmax for a fair price, and we replaced it with a new 2010 Pilot from the local Honda dealership. When compared to our old SUV, the Pilot is so much nicer in so many ways - the ride is smoother, the engine is quieter, there is more space for both people and cargo and (drumroll, please) there's a DVD player for the girls. I think I speak for everyone when I say we are happy that this vehicle will be the family car for years to come.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

2010 Circus

Evelyn and I saw one of the best Barnum and Bailey circus performances this afternoon. We always enjoy the circus for what it is - three rings of talented entertainers and animals. But the "Zing Zang Zoom" venue topped the others because of the ringmaster. He is a real, live magician. Ringmaster Alex sawed people in half, made doves appear out of thin air and turned a clown into a tiger . . . just to name a few of his magic tricks. Evelyn and I loved how they combined magic with circus acts. We were captivated by the entire two-hour show.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Still Reading

Now that Evelyn is reading, Julia is trying to keep up with her big sister. Julia notices how Evelyn tracks words in books with her pointer finger, and little sister is doing the same thing.

While reading this Max and Ruby book, Julia jabbered on and on while pointing to words and pictures. In addition to her babbling, she also made some good comments while reading this book, such as "Oh no!" or "Mess!" or "Where is it?" I know I've said it before, but I have to say (again) how happy I am that both of our girls love books so much.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Techie Toddler

Julia loves nothing more than trying to play with anything that has buttons or keys. Now that she can climb into the chair at the computer desk on her own, nothing can stop her from hacking into the computer. Here she is, sporting a blue headband for a necklace, typing away at the keyboard.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Straight Hair!

While at the salon today, I asked my stylist to straighten my hair after she trimmed it. It took her 45 minutes to first blow-dry it straight, and then she used a flat iron to smooth it all out. Evelyn loves it when I get my hair straightened because then I have hair like her. Julia was a little giddy over the whole hair thing, too. No worries - the curl will come right back after I wash it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bath Time

Whenever Evelyn is in a sharing mood, she "lets" Julia take a bath with her. Tonight she was in a giving mood, and the girls had a blast playing together in the tub. I usually have to rescue Julia a bit prematurely because Evelyn gets so hyper and excited, but that simply ensures a good slumber for both of the girls.