Dancing Robot

I'm pretty sure it was nearly a year ago that Michael saw a picture of Rob and I in robot costumes and decided he wanted to be a robot for Halloween. Month after month he has kept this idea in his mind and not wavered an iota in his desire to be a robot - which is fascinating to me considering how whimsical and fleeting most ideas from 3 and 4 year olds tend to be.
Naturally, Ella wanted to be a robot, too. She also wanted to be a butterfly. And the beauty of homemade costumes is that I could make that happen.
The costumes are semi-complete because I didn't think the kids would fare to well in a bulky headpiece. My favorite thing about Ella's costume was that once we added the light to the control panel up front, it lit up a green circle on the ground about a foot in front of her. She kept trying to step on it as we walked around, and it really kept her moving! I think that is the fastest, most decisive walking she has ever done. So I'm now considering taping it to her shirt anytime we walk somewhere.

Michael got his dance button pressed a lot this night, and he performed almost every time. It was awesome!

Sideways video....ooops. I thought I could rotate it but can't figure it out. Ella's tagline as a robot is "I am a robot, you have pretty eyes!". She got it from a book about a kid who dresses up as a robot. I think she's got the robot voice nailed.

Showing off his rocket boosters


Girls With Guns

We took a road trip to the Golan Heights, at Israel's northern boarder, to check out Banias Falls
and Nimrod's Fortress.
My sneak photos of girls with guns
The hike was beautiful and fun, and exploring the tremendous Nimrod's fortress (from the 1200's) brought out our inner Indiana Jones. But the most memorable part was all the young adults (although 18 yr olds look like kids to me now) casually hiking around with rifles. Big groups, all dressed casually in civilian clothes, texting on their phones, listening to ipods and playing around...with huge weapons hanging from some of their shoulders like a mere accessory. We asked someone why they would carry rifles on a casual outing to the waterfall, but his vague response was sort of like, why wouldn't they? The obvious guess is that they were kids young adults in the military...but it still seemed funny for a just-for-kicks trip to a nature reserve. (At least the guns were not loaded.) The area is right on the boarder of Lebanon and Syria, and at times during our trip we could hear loud blasts echo through the canyon from beyond the boarder, just a few miles away. It was a surreal reminder of what is other people's reality, day-in, day-out, just on the other side of the mountain. And a peek into the crazy things to which people right there where we were are accustomed.

Exploring a tower of Nimrod's Fortress


Sensory Table

A couple months ago, I found a good deal on a tall coffee table from Ikea and decided to make it into a sensory table. I finally had a good excuse to use our round power saw (is that what it is even called?) and I'd say that cutting up a table with a power tool was definitely the most fun I've ever had doing a project. Happily, the kids have also had hours and hours of fun with the result. Even without the sensory bins inside, a table with two holes has been fun for the kids all on its own. I can't thing of any other toy or activity that has captivated them for such long stretches of time that require ZERO help or attention from me.
Table + bins: $31
Hours of cooking dinner uninterupted: priceless

Black sand and a pretty collection of colorful rocks

This last picture is with water marbles, which even I can't get enough of running my hands through.
We've also tried rice (colored and scented with Kool-Aid) and seashells.
I got a little kitchen scale, also on the cheap, and hopefully someone, sometime, will learn something about measuring and weighing from it. But if so, it will be on their own, because this is one activity that I revel in doing nothing. (Besides clean up...which is actually far from nothing.)


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