Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fires and Castles

Last weekend we took Emmeline and Mabel camping for the first time. Some friends in the ward own some property out in the Alabama wilderness and invited us to go with them. We had so much fun. Emmeline loved roasting marshmallows and hotdogs. She thought the fire was so pretty (and it was). Emmelines other favorite part was setting up the tent. She was holding a flashlight while Brett worked and as the tent started to come up and take shape she excitedly exclaimed, "Yes, a castle!" The rest of the trip all the tents were known as castles. The only hard part was getting her to go to sleep because she was having so much fun playing in "the castle".
There were a couple of young men that went up with us. They were so nice. Having been in the primary for 3 years and having two very young girls, I havent had much reason or opportunity to meet the young men. But they were so great with Emmeline. They let her interupt their football toss and included her in passing the ball around. They also let her sit by them at the fire and follow them around everywhere. I was surprised at how nice they were to a two year old little girl. (Lucy when you come visit. . .we'll have to arrange a setup or something!! :) )
Up on the property there is a place to shoot guns. Brett brought up his .270 rifle. Holy cow does that thing pack a punch. After one of the boys shot it he told Brett that now he felt like a real man. There were a couple of other guns brought up. One guy brought his handgun and he let me shoot that a couple times. It was my first time shooting a real handgun and it was pretty awesome.
We had a lot of fun and definitely plan on taking the girls camping again sometime!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Making Cakes

I thought it was fun to watch Emmeline and Mabel play with these bowls while I was making dinner the other day. Emmeline informed me that they were "making cakes." She did start to stack the bowls up and by the end of the game she had made quite a tall cake indeed. :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Last Sunday was the best mothers day ever. It is true that Brett has taken good care of me on every past mothers day we've shared but this one was especially great. I woke up with Brett and Emmeline bringing me breakfast (mango/pineapple smoothie and strawberry toast) in bed. Then Emmeline gave me a big hug and said, "Happy Mothers Day Mom!!" She continued to give me the message throughout the entire day. That made it the greatest mothers day of all. Brett did continue to spoil me and I ended up with a movie I've been wanting and a pre-order for the book Breaking Dawn which comes out in August. Thank you Brett, Emmeline and Mabel for the best mothers day ever.
Here is a picture of the hand/flower craft we made in primary. Each flower is made from a handprint. Each finger has been rolled with a pencil to give it the petal effect. This particular bouquet has handprints from Mabel, Emmeline and me (I had the girls help me make a sample to take to church so the kids had a visual example of what we were doing.) It turned out to be a lot of fun to make. It was really fun to watch the kids and see how creative they were with their flowers. It just added to my really great mothers day. If any of you are looking for an easy, young children craft--this one was super great!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dancing with the Symphony Orchestra

Here is Emmeline dancing with the Orchestra on May 10, 2008. We were lucky to have a small patch of free space where Emmeline could dance. I probably wouldn't have let her dance in front of people except the people she was dancing in front of were a couple of elderly ladies who kept smiling and laughing at Em's moves, so I figured it was okay to let her keep going. :)

"More Fireworks!!" --and Musical Moments

On Saturday May 10th Brett took the girls and me to an outdoor concert. The Alabama Symphony Orchestra was playing a special concert for families in honors of Mothers Day. Apparently this is an annual thing because Brett and I remember it happening three years ago when we were here for a weekend looking for a house. Anyway, it was so much fun. We brought a blanket to sit on and we got a little patch of grass. Most people were sitting in lawn chairs in the mall parking lot. There ended up being a small little space in front of us where no one was sitting. Emmeline decided to make it her personal dance stage and she twirled and danced her way through the music.

During the concert Emmeline floored me with her musical knowledge. I'm sure there are other children out there who are smart like this and doing things to amaze their parents. . .but since this is the Pickett Family Blog, I'm going to brag about Emmeline here. Near the end of the concert the symphony played a medley of songs from West Side Story. Before they started they announced that the fireworks would start near the end of the medley during the song "America". So the music started and it was lovely. Emmeline was sitting in her stroller listening. The song was slow. . ."Tonight". . .and Emmeline asked when the fireworks would start. I told her when the music got faster the fireworks would start and for her to just settle into her chair to listen. A minute or two later the music started to speed up. Emmeline jumped from her chair and yelled

"Fireworks now!!"

"Sorry sweetie," I replied. "You're right though. The music is faster now. But we have to wait until it sounds like this. . .do do do do do do do do do." (I sang out the melody of "I want to live in America."

Emmeline sat back in her chair with a look of concentration on her face. After another few minutes the recognizable "America" tune began and immediately Emmeline jumped out of her chair.

"Fireworks now!!" She shouted.

I couldnt believe it. The fireworks hadnt started yet but she recognized the melody I had tried to hum to her a few minutes before. I was very impressed. A couple of seconds later the fireworks started. This was the highlight of the show for Emmeline. She loved every second of it. Mabel enjoyed it too. The fireworks lasted through two other Patriotic songs and then the concert was over. The entire way home and into the next day Emmeline kept asking for "More Fireworks!!"

I loved every part of this experience and will certainly have to take my family back again next year!!! Two thumbs up Alabama Symphony Orchestra.

Friday, May 9, 2008

"I've got Rhythm"--Primary Activity

We recently had a primary activity called "I've got Rhythm". It was centered on music and it was really fun. There were four different stations each group got to go to. One group played different rhythm games with sticks and learned the primary song "Hum Your Favorite Hymn", another group played games where they listened and learned about different great composers, the third group listened to all sorts of different kinds of music (hard rock, country, alternative, classical, etc., ) and talked about how different kinds of music makes you feel, the last group (the group I was in charge of) made homemade musical instruments. We made paper cup marraccas, paper plate tambourines, and toilet paper roll hand bells. It was so much fun. Music has such a strong influence in my life and I hope we were able to pass some of that on to the children in our primary.

I also made these Fruitie Pebble treats. If you can't tell they are shaped like music notes. They were super easy to make, tasted super delicious, and if I do say so myself, they are super cute. I'm posting a pic so my mom can see what they looked like since she mailed me the music note cookie cutter. But I guess anyone else who reads this can see how cute they are too. :)

Jumping and Splashing

This is what we like to do during the summer. We go and jump and splash in the fountains at the zoo. It is so much fun.

"Tinkle Tinkle Little Star"

Here is Emmeline singing one of her favorite songs.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Adam was here

Last weekend my "little" brother Adam came to visit. He was driving home to Virginia from Provo Utah and decided to stop here in Birmingham for a couple of days. We had a lot of fun visiting with him. We took him to the zoo where Emmeline showed him all of her favorite animals. We also went to 5 guys burgers and Dreamland BBQ. Each night he was here we stayed up late and played phase 10. Adam and I both love card games so it was great to stay up late and play. Even though I will admit we have been recovering from our lack of sleep all week long. lol.

We love you Adam and miss you already. Thanks for coming!!

Jello.. . . .MMMMMM

Mabel sure loves her jello. Here she is being so cute while she eats it.