Thursday, April 24, 2014


Another fun activity from last summer....... I had heard about butterfly kits some time ago, and thought the kids might enjoy it!  Maylee got a kit for her birthday in June (along with a great Cat in the Hat learning book about butterflies) and we sent for the caterpillars by mail not long after.  The kit comes with a mesh butterfly house, and a code to order the caterpillars online... then they come ready to go with food in a container in the mail.  We all thought it was so cool to watch this miraculous transformation so up close!!  

Hello caterpillars!

After eating and growing about five days, they hung upside down for a while in a "J"...

and not long after formed chrysalids!

The chrysalids are attached to a thin sheet of paper, which you pin to the side of the butterfly house

They remain as chrysalids for about a week.  When the butterflies are about to emerge, the chrysalis changes color

Our first butterfly to emerge!  They recommend putting fruit and/or flowers in the house for them to eat

All five of our caterpillars made the transformation to butterflies!

Alejandro was super interested in our little flying friends!  We had to keep the butterflies behind a closed door away from him at night!

After observing them, it was time to release them!  This was during Lainie and Gary's visit, so Lainie was there too when we set them free!  The painted lady butterflies in this kit are almost ubiquitous around the world where it's warm enough.

Rylan was able to get one to crawl onto his hand on the way out!

So amazing and special!  We're planning to order more caterpillars and do this again this summer :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


And now back to a few more current photos!  There's a field of dandelions just down the street from where we live, and Jason thought it'd be a fun spot for some photos in early April... they turned out super cute!!


They wanted to give me all the dandelions they had picked at the end... I love precious little gifts like this from them :)

So precious!  We love our sweet babies!!

The California wedding trip - on the way home

We spent two days traveling home over the weekend to end the trip with some fun!  We're members of the Pacific Science Center in Seattle used our ASTC Passport benefit to get in free to three awesome spots along the way home.

Hands up like the Lego sculpure at the Lego exhibit at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park in Redding, CA!

The fountain at the Children's Garden at the botanical gardens there

The boardwalk and bridge in infrared.  We also got to see several animals, and play on the playground on our whirlwind stop at this incredible, large park.

Next stop... science Works in Ashland, OR!  We especially had fun in their bubble room!  They also had a lot of great hands-on physics experiments.

On the second day of our drive home, we made one big stop in Portland around lunch time to go to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry!  They both spent the most time in the Science Playground area... lots of fun activities for toddlers.  Maylee especially loved throwing the balls in this vortex and the other water play activities there.

The Turbine Hall.  Lots of cool physics and engineering activities... more for older kids but there were still several exhibits that Ry Ry and Mei Mei enjoyed... including the paper airplanes and pretend cargo shipping area.

Bottle rockets (on a line)

Touching the propellor from the USS Blueback submarine in the OMSI courtyard

After a picnic lunch we hopped back in the car and rolled all the way home.  Our first family road trip was a success!  And we had so much fun, from the wedding, to San Francisco, to our adventures on the way there and back.  We were so thankful for safe travels and for the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Lainie and Gary and see so much of our family!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The California wedding trip - San Francisco

On Friday after the wedding, we drove down to Berekely to stay for the next two nights.  Friday afternoon we drove into San Francisco!  I'd been to SF a few times by myself before we had kids and really enjoy it there... so it was especially fun to go as a family!  

First stop - the Julius Kahn playground on the southern edge of the Presidio!

They had some really neat play equipment and the kids had a blast getting their wiggles out

More from the Presidio... the Golden Gate Bridge from the waterfront along Marine Drive, near the Warming Hut and Bookstore


It was windy on the water!

We drove back to Berkeley after this and had another yummy dinner with Lainie and Gary.  The next day, we ventured into the city on the BART and explored the waterfront near Fisherman's Wharf.

Sitting on Grandpa Larry's shoulders at the Aquarium of the Bay


They have over 300 feet of tunnels featuring marine life from the San Francisco Bay


Touching sting rays in the touch pool!

Beyond the docks, we caught a glimpse of race 4 of the Louis Vitton Cup Round Robin (the boat in the background with the Prada sail; this was part of the 34th America's Cup events) 

We walked along the waterfront and saw two historic ships from afar

Rylan was even brave enough to pose with one of the street artist/entertainers! :)

We had fish and chips for lunch, took in several more sights along the waterfront and had ice cream cones from Ben and Jerry's, then took a historic street car back to the BART stop.  It was quite a day!  And so much fun to explore SF with our family!

Sleepy and reading bedtime stories with Dada at the hotel :)