The boys and I made Pokemon characters out of perler beads, and tried out a new XBox game from Christmas that we hadn't had a chance to play yet. As you can see, Cracker just wanted to soak up any bit of sun he could find.
We also did some bird watching. I absolutely LOVE having a bird feeder. Janelle sent it as a birthday gift when we first moved to Georgia. I am still amazed by the number and variety of birds we see. I also found this art print that I love, titled "Backyard Birds of Georgia" with drawings of the different birds and their names. I framed it and hung it near the back window so that we can quickly identify the birds we see. The boys and I have so much fun doing this together. As it turned out, the snow made for a perfect bird watching day. Since the ground was covered, we received a plethora of hungry birds on our feeder that day. I can never get really good photos of them from the window, but in this photo you can see at least one Eastern Blue Bird (one of my personal favorites) sitting on the feeder.
That night we played games and ate up some remaining Christmas candy. We sent a photo to Charlie to say hi. We played two rounds of Go Fish (Luke's pick) and two rounds of Jenga (Isaac's pick).
School was cancelled on Tuesday. We started losing our minds. It wasn't so much that we missed school, but not leaving the house for four days was getting pretty old. Luckily by the afternoon most of the snow had melted and the Sheriff's department was reporting clear roads. So we ventured out into the world! Luke needed to have hearing and vision screenings done for some school assessments. We still have not found a pediatrician here in GA, and I knew the health department would be a quick in-and-out, so we just went there.
On the drive over I gave Luke a quick explanation of what to expect, but he was not very excited about the whole thing - insisting that he could hear & see everything just fine!
The nurse was super friendly and nice and Luke warmed up to her right away (he usually gets very shy around strangers). She asked about our dog and then told us she has two dachshunds of her own. Ah ha! A fellow dachshund lover. I knew I liked her.
Just as he said, Luke's hearing & vision are perfectly fine. He weighed in at ?lbs and is ?inches tall. He's still our small guy but is catching up just a tiny bit. He said his favorite part of the test was when they took a picture of his eyes with what looked like a big hand held price scanner gun. I had never seen that before. I guess they do that now instead of having them read a letter chart.
On Wednesday life resumed as normal. Hallelujah! I went to the gym for my Body Works class and did a bit of grocery shopping.
After I picked up Luke from school on Thursday we drove through the car wash to get the salt from the roads off of the van. He loves driving through and asked if he could take his seatbelt off. He said the big long tentacles swirling around the top of the car were those of a giant jelly fish trying to eat us!
That night was STEM night at Isaac's school. (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) The first three are all things Isaac loves and he really wanted to go. Charlie had dinner with an out of town friend so Luke got to come to STEM night too. First up was building marshmallow catapults out of Popsicle sticks. Next we moved on to coding. The activities were geared towards older children but I was surprised how well Luke did with the Angry Birds coding game. He was very intent. Isaac loved driving a robot around the room by using an iPad with a coding program.
We then moved on to a center where we tried to build air powered cars using paper, drinking straws, masking tape, and lifesavers as wheels. Our car wasn't very successful, the boys ultimately ended up eating the lifesaver wheels, and we left.
We found Isaac's owl again in the front hall, and he wanted to be in the picture this time.
We had to cut STEM night short and hurry to the church. Isaac's Cub Scout den was building stools with Sister Futral (they are pretty cool - I should get a picture), and he didn't want to miss it. I also needed to get to YW.
The bishop had asked the YM President and I to plan our joint activity for the month to introduce the new 2017 mutual theme, which is James 1:5-6 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God." My presidency came up with the idea of doing a game show incorporating elements from Jeopardy, Family Feud, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? I put together 60 trivia questions in different categories such as Book of Mormon, Church History, Name That Hymn, etc. The youth were grouped in teams and when it was their turn for a question they had the option of using a "lifeline" for help by asking the Bishopric, the Elders, or the Sisters. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask!" We had a really good turn out and the youth seemed to enjoy it. Micki and I went to the building that morning after our walk and set up the game board and tables. Then I asked Adam to be the host and get everything started since I knew I would be late that evening. These are bad pictures, but oh well.
Luke loves coming to the church with me on Thursday nights. Isaac has scouts but Luke gets to hang out with the YW (including his favorite baby sitters) and whatever other kids happen to be there. On this night he kept busy by stomach surfing on longboards across the back of the cultural hall along with Tanner and Drennan (sons of my presidency members).
On Friday I went to Costco. I saw these gorgeous succulents near the check out and ended up buying them for our mantel/bookshelves. It was a total impulse buy. Oh Costco, you get me everytime!
Luke brought home this paper from school and it cracked me up.
Charlie ran a 10k Turkey Trot in Hilton Head when we were there for Thanksgiving. They also had a kids fun run and a 5k, so we decided that next time we would all participate. Luke is determined to run the 5k and has been talking about how he is going to run a lot to practice for it. It just makes me laugh to see this as his New Year's Resolution, since it is a goal more typical of someone 30 years his senior.
On Saturday morning I attended a BYC breakfast and planning meeting at the bishop's home. He had the youth do a trust fall as a team building exercise. Emily and I lucked out being at the end of the line since we only ever caught the hair of the tallest participant.
That evening we drove to Atlanta to see one of Charlie's old coworkers whom he worked with at Bradshaw in California. Renee was in town for a trade show so we picked her up and took her to dinner at The Flying Biscuit and then for ice cream at Jeni's.
Jeni's is swoon worthy and easily the best ice cream I've ever tasted. I tried three new to me flavors this time and loved them all. Roxbury road, salted peanut butter with chocolate flecks, and sweet potato eclair. It is probably best that we don't live closer.