Friday, May 31, 2013

Butterflies at Brookside Gardens

One of our family traditions in Maryland is seeing the butterfly exhibit at Brookside Gardens.  For weeks, we had been planning to see the butterflies on this very afternoon.  The best time to go (during the school year) is on a weekday after 2:00 p.m.  That's when the field trips are done for the day, and you practically have the place to yourself.

The problem?  Today was hot, sunny and humid.  That makes it almost unbearable in the butterfly greenhouse (for humans, anyway), but we still went.  We just had to see the butterflies in shifts this time - stay for 30 minutes, cool off in the visitor's center for 15-20 minutes, then we went back for another 20 minutes.

Here's a picture of a luna moth.  This guy was HUGE!
 Evelyn (and Julia) waited and waited and waited patiently for a butterfly to land on them.  But neither one of them got lucky this time.  Ah, well.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pool Time...Finally!

It was sunny and hot enough for the pool after school today.  Finally!  Even though Evelyn had ballet and homework after school today, we were still able to squeeze in an hour of swimming before going to bed.  Whew!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Birthday Donation

Last month, for the girls' combined birthday party, they asked their guests to donate money to the pediatric ward of the hospital (in lieu of gifts).  Including our family's donation, Julia and Evelyn donated $250!  We brought the money to the hospital a few weeks ago.  Today, however, was the day we had been invited back to the hospital to see the baby items that were purchased.

With the girls' $250 birthday donation, the hospital was able to buy a much-needed baby swing and 20 onesies.
 I am so proud of my girls and their giving hearts!

Black Hill Boat Ride

Julia went to Black Hill's boat ride/storytime program this morning.  The theme was dragonflies...which prefer to fly in the sun...  Well, even though it was cloudy and a bit chilly, Julia was still looking forward to her adventure.
 I'm not 100% certain that Julia's binoculars were focused, but she enjoyed looking through them for most of the boat ride.
 In all, we saw four different great blue herons, hanging out at the water's edge.  The heron has been one of my favorite Maryland birds.
 After listening to two stories around dragonflies, the kids were given kaleidoscopes to get a better understanding of how dragonflies see things.  Overall, it was yet another fun boat ride program this morning!

Furry Alarm Clock

Evelyn is lucky to have such a cute, furry alarm clock.  (Seriously, this is how I wake up Evelyn in the mornings!)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chilly Memorial Day Weekend

You know how we Lusters are pool rats, right?  And Memorial Day weekend means the pool finally opens, right?  Well, you know it must have been chilly this weekend if we never made it to the pool.  Instead, we headed over to a park to play, and then rode bikes/trikes around the neighborhood.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pirate Julia

Julia was invited to a pirate-themed birthday party this afternoon.  She and I got creative for her costume.  Everything she is wearing are things we had around the house.  We just put them all together to create a pirate costume.  :)

Return to Duckpin Bowling

Since Troy missed out on the girls' duckpin bowling party, we made a trip up to Mt. Airy lanes this morning to bowl as a family.

 How funny is it that we all ended up with the same score?!?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Last Day of Preschool

Julia has thoroughly enjoyed attending the ELF School for the past two years.  It's amazing how much she has learned!
Today was a bittersweet day for her.  She is really looking forward to starting Kindergarten in the fall, but she also wants to stay at ELF School.  The picture above was taken in front of our townhouse, and the picture below was taken at preschool.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Evelyn's Recorder Concert

Evelyn had her first school concert this evening.  Evelyn couldn't wait to get all dolled up in her pretty dress for the special occasion.
 For most of the year, the third-graders have been learning to play the recorder as part of the Music curriculum.  The concert consisted of 11 songs, each one a bit more challenging than the first.  Evelyn had "passed" ten of the songs, so she played for most of the concert.  She was so proud of herself, and we are to, for a job well done!

Ballet Observation Day

Today was the last time I could watch Evelyn at her ballet class here in Maryland.  Last winter, Evelyn was having a hard time focusing on the teacher when she taught dance combinations.  Evelyn and I talked about what she could do to improve this, and she promised me she would pay attention better and do the exercises with the teacher as she taught the class.
 I noticed a marked improvement with Evelyn today.  She didn't get lost and stayed with the class while they did their various routines.  We're so proud of our ballerina and can't wait to see what's in store for her next year.

Furry Pillow

Julia used Rosie as a headrest while reading Miss Nelson Is Missing.  As you can see, Rosie didn't mind at all.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Allowance Purchase

Evelyn has been saving up her allowance for two months.  She earns 20 cents for each chore she does, and we use stickers to keep track of the chores she does on various days.  After doing chores last week, she had earned $38, which was enough to buy the "Fiesta Set" for her American Girl doll.
 Evelyn was over the moon when she got this set this morning.  She couldn't wait to have her dolls play with this fun kit!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Preschool Program

This morning Julia's preschool class put on their end-of-the-year music program.  The theme this year was the circus, and the decorations were amazing.
 Julia's class (along with three other classes) sang ten songs, which were all super-cute and clever.  I  also loved the accessories that the teachers created.
 After all was sang and done, the kids got their diplomas, and then we snacked on cake and punch. Such a fun conclusion to an awesome preschool year.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ballet Studio

Evelyn has been taking ballet at Metropolitan Ballet Theatre for four years.  That's four years of this clock, these cubbies, this waiting room.  She has a learned a lot from her dance instructors here, and she is sad to say goodbye as we prepare for our move to Massachusetts.

Cupcakes for Sunshine

Julia has been in a funk lately, missing her daddy.  I surprised her this afternoon by taking her to a paint-your-own-pottery place.  She chose a cupcake piggy bank to paint.
 She wanted a blue base, chocolate cake and purple frosting.  I helped Julia get three layers of paint on each section...5-year-olds don't have the longest attention span.
 She's so proud of her art!  We will pick up the kiln-fired piggy bank in a week, and then it will be all shiny.
 After painting, we went across the street for an edible cupcake.  It's no surprise that Julia chose a chocolate treat!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dining al Fresco

This evening, while the girls took their bath and shower, I grilled burgers.  The weather was beautiful, we decided to eat outside on the deck.  Who cares if the girls were in their pajamas?  It was fun!

Monday, May 13, 2013

May Flower Buds

Julia went to the Flowerbuds program at Brookside Gardens this morning.  Today's topic?  Bees and pollen.  After reading some picture books about bees, the kids used finger puppets to fly around and collect pollen (aka Cheetos) from flowers.  As you might expect, the kids' fingers turned orange!
 Then we went outside so our bee puppets could fly among the real flowers.  Julia kept her bee very busy, getting nectar and pollen from several flowers.
 Last on the agenda?  Planting flower pots.  Julia's pot has a geranium (which will bloom bright pink) and a fan flower (which will have purple-blue flowers).  Julia just loves the nature programs here!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Evelyn the Cornhusker

Evelyn chose the vegetable for tonight's dinner.  She went right for the corn on the cob.  The best part?  She actually likes husking the corn!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ballet Pictures

Julia's ballet recital isn't for another four weeks, but she had costume pictures this afternoon.  I just love this dance outfit on her - she just looks so cute!

Friday, May 10, 2013


Chocolate shake from Chick Fil-A?  Yes, please!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Evelyn's Checkup

Evelyn's well-child visit this afternoon was fairly uneventful.  The biggest news to report is that she has grown two inches since last year, now standing at four feet, nine inches tall.  And all of her bones and muscles weigh a total of 75 pounds.  Just to prove that she is a healthy 9-year-old, the last time she saw her pediatrician was exactly one year ago...for her 8-year-old checkup.  Way to go, Evelyn!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy 9th Birthday, Evelyn!

Who's ready for some birthday festivities?  Evelyn!
 She started opening presents by reading the card Julia had given her.  She clearly enjoyed it!
 In addition to several accessories and toys for her doll, Evelyn got the Lego set she was really, really, REALLY hoping for.  It's only 695 pieces.  That shouldn't take too long to build, right?
 After dinner, we sang to Evelyn and she blew out all nine candles of her chocolate cake with purple frosting.  Happy birthday Evy-Lu!