Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Playing in Indiana

We recently got to make a stop in Indiana to see some of our favorite people, the Culwells. They live about an hour outside of Indianapolis in a beautiful, foresty area. Joseph told me about a hundred times that he wished our driveway were as lush and green as theirs. (Oh wait, we don't have a driveway! :D)
Jeni and Alan live in a lovely home on 5 acres of land with their four adorable children. You can't see any neighbors from where they are, so you feel like you're out in the middle of nowhere. It's so nice. We had a bonfire one night and roasted marshmallows and Starbursts and felt like the only people around. They are growing Christmas trees that will be planted soon to eventually become a Christmas tree farm. Cool!

Indianapolis has one of the coolest children's museums I've ever seen. It makes every other children's museum I've ever been to look like an outhouse. It's several stories high and contains everything from a huge dinosaur exhibit to the world's largest Etch-a-Sketch.

The first stop was the carousel. Avery liked her giraffe, even if it didn't go up and down.

Sophie loved her horsie and loved that it did go up and down. I'm not sure whether Joseph was really afraid of or excited about his tiger. :)

We spent a lot of time in an area that are for little kids only. Sophie loved this water table and worked hard to catch her ducks.

Avery loved the sand table. I commented to Jeni that it's amazing how long a kid can play with the same toy over and over again without tiring of it, and she laughed and pointed to a sign above us that said, "Have you ever wondered how children can play with the same toy over and over again?" Apparently I was on the same brain wave as someone else.

We visited the Barbie exhibit where Sophie became Barbie's new personal secretary. She took down this call very carefully. The girls also got dolled up and got to strut their stuff on the runway. We got a video, but I'm too lazy to post that, so you'll just have to imagine their cuteness.

We even took a trip to Egypt while we were there! Sophie had just finished serving us some drinks and food in this Egyptian cafe. I don't think Lily or Malia liked it very much.

While visiting the Nile we ran into this guy and his babies. He seemed friendly enough.

Avery wasn't taking any chances with those big jaws, though, and kept them shut tight.

The highlight of the trip for me and Joseph was staying up late playing games with Jeni and Alan. They lived around the corner from us in Provo while they were finishing law school and we were finishing our MBA program. We would go over most Friday and/or Saturday nights and play games with them for a few hours, often while bingeing on our favorite candy. The typical games included Settlers of Catan, Speed Scrabble, Ticket to Ride, and a few others here and there. It was fun to do it again since we have no game buddies in CA, and we sure miss them a lot! Thanks again for letting us come visit! We had a fantastic time!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Princess Parties Galore

Sophie has been invited to 3 parties in the last two months, and they've all been Princess-themed.

For each one she was asked to dress up like a Princess. Her first party was for her friend Natalie who turned 5, and she chose this dress which she calls her Jasmine dress.

Sophie's criteria on whether a dress is good or not is how well it can twirl. This is a good one.

The girls were ushered into the bathroom where they all got to have their nails painted and lip gloss applied to their lips. She's always begging me to do this for her at home so she was in h-e-a-v-e-n.

They played a lot of fun games like Pass the Princess, Musical Throwns, Pin the Kiss on the Frog, and Find Cinderella's Lost Slipper.

Sophie had a ball (pun intended) and could do this every single day. Natalie is the cute blonde in the center with the blue Tiana dress on.

The next Princess Party was for Sophie's friend Jensen who turned 4. This time Sophie chose to dress up in her purple dress.

These girls were so adorable, sitting around the table and chatting while they ate their yummy appetizers and sipped their juice.

And guess who showed up for this party? Cinderella herself was there (or so they all truly believed). She really was an incredible Cinderella, and when she walked in the girls' jaws all dropped to the ground and they were struck with idol shock. (Jensen is the little Cinderella on the left.)

Cinderella did a lot of fun activities with the girls including painting their faces or hands,

playing a game where they had to get the wand to Cinderella's hand,

and another game of looking for Cinderella's glass slipper. Then she sang a couple of Cinderella's songs for them, and wouldn't ya know, she had an amazing voice to boot. These girlies all had a great time and looked for Cinderella's orange pumpkin coach to come retrieve her at the end and take her back to the castle. Good thing it didn't or Sophie would've probably jumped aboard, too.

The last Princess Party was for Sophie's friend Paige who also turned 4. She went in her pink costume that she has christened her Glinda dress from Wizard of Oz. Once again the girls got their nails painted and makeup applied, and they played so many fun games and Sophie loved every minute of it.

Sophie chose some Polly Pockets to give Paige for her present and then insisted that she open them right then and there so they could all play with them. By the end of the party she had way more hearts painted on her face than I would have liked, but they all came off in the pool that night anyway.

It's a good thing that Sophie doesn't get to have a friends party this year for her birthday, or I have a hunch what kind of party we'd be throwing. And I for one am all princessed out!