Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Kelli and Steve hosted their annual Easter egg hunt on Sunday, March 31 this year. The weather was unfortunately not great, but we still made the most of the day.

After some inside play time, we moved to the garage for games. The kids played a popcorn relay, shook ping pong balls out of a box strapped around their waist, did the "act it out" relay, and passed a Hula hoop. All were fun, but I especially loved watching the ping pong ball game. Super funny.

After games, the guys hid all of the eggs in the front yard (the rain held off!) and we let the kids out to hunt. The whole thing took less than 10 minutes.

The kids went through their loot and made some trades. Then the four of us headed to Nola and Nopsi's for Sunday dinner. 

Always a fun tradition. Thanks for hosting, Kelli and Steve!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Monster Jam

The Monster Jam tour made its last stop in New Orleans at the Superdome on Saturday, March 30. Santa brought tickets for all four of us, so we headed downtown early that evening. We had planned to meet up with Dave, Colin, David, and Brennan at Walk Ons for dinner before the show, but every place anywhere near the Dome was completely slammed with people. So instead we went straight to the Dome.....the boys' first time inside!

We found our awesome seats (thanks Santa Mrs. Dana!) and settled down to take it all in. Kenny offered to walk all the way to the top with the boys, but only Riley wanted to go. Rory and I stayed in our seats, snacked on soft pretzels, and watched all of the pre-show entertainment. Kenny grabbed Riley a huge bowl of jambalaya on their way back, and the rest of the crew finally showed up just before the show began. 

Lots of people had warned us how loud it could get, and I was concerned that we had only brought foam earplugs with us instead of the fancy headphone-style ones, but it really didn't end up being too bad. It was loud, but it was bearable. However, it was freezing inside the Dome; I was very glad that I had made the boys wear jeans and that I had brought jackets for them. I don't know how Colin and Brennan made it through the night in just shorts and t-shirts!

There were 13 trucks competing. And I say competing because it really was more of a competition than pure entertainment. It's apparently become much more of a sport than a show, which was slightly disappointing. The trucks competed in three events, a head-to-head bracketed race, two-wheel skills challenge, and freestyle. Some of the things they did were very impressive, but I wanted to be entertained more than I was. 

However, it was pretty cool that two of the trucks, Whiplash and El Toro Loco, were driven by females. They came in second and third for the freestyle round. But Monster Energy was the big winner overall. Rory's favorite, Dragon Ice, came in fourth. Riley's favorite, Kraken, came in somewhere near the middle of the pack.

It was also neat to watch the huge machines come out to put the trucks back on their tires when they crashed, which they inevitably did. A lot. Our favorite part was when Monster Mutt's whole skin came off in one big piece!

I'm glad we finally got the chance to go, but I certainly don't need to go again. The boys enjoyed it enough to ask to go again next year, so we'll see what happens. It was an awfully late night though!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Hogs for the Cause

We weren't able to attend Hogs in 2017 or 2018, but we made it happen this year. We were only able to go the first day, so we finally got to experience Bacon Night. Nopsi came with us (Nola was in France with Uncle Bill and Aunt Elena visiting QP and James), as did Uncle Jeff, Aunt E, Kate, and Luke for their first time. 

The event is now held on UNO's campus right by the Lakefront Arena. They moved locations after the pig pen we all slogged through back in 2016. Things didn't seem quite as spread out as they were in City Park, but there was still an impressive amount of teams out there cooking up amazing BBQ dishes, all for a great cause. 

We got out there around 5pm on a cloudy and breezy day. It ended up being quite cool, and we were worried about rain, but it fortunately stayed dry. We set up a home base right next to two bouncy slides, which kept the kids entertained until dark, and the adults took turns venturing around the grounds to decide which dishes we wanted to try. Hogs went cashless this year: everyone got a RFID band tied to their credit card, which made things so easy and seamless. 

One thing we all agreed on was that Bacon Night wasn't super bacon forward. The good thing about going on Friday was that it was way less crowded than Saturday usually is, but we didn't feel like we had lots of bacon. We also thought it was comical that Bacon Night was taking place on a Friday during Lent, in a very Catholic-heavy city. 

However, we did have a number of excellent things. Everyone's top dish was the kung pao bacon from Team Porkchoupitoulas. It was so different and so good. We also really liked the Cuban sandwich from Goutte Que and the banh mi-LT from Swine & Stein. Other things we tried was the pork mac-n-cheese from Captain Porkenheimer, jambalaya from Beers Fly When Pigs Die (Riley's dinner), a hot dog from Deuce Pigalow Pork Gigolo (Rory's dinner), and bacon kingcake from I don't remember where. Riley and Kate also got Dippin' Dots, and Jeff tried Mexican street corn, which tasted like feet.  

Overall, I'm really glad we had the chance to go, but I think in the future we'll go on Saturday if we're able. Happy Good Friday, y'all!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

School Days: K Third Nine Weeks {Rory}

School resumed after the holidays on January 7. The kindergartners got right back into their learning routine and had a great third quarter!

In ELA, they learned the /f/, /r/, /b/, /l/, /k/, /g/, /w/, /x/, /v/, /y/, /z/, /j/, /q/, and short /u/ sounds. They talked about pronouns, nouns, verbs, and prepositions. They also learned 16 more sight words (with, he, little, is, was, she, have, for, of, they, said, want, what, this, here, me) and had nine more spelling tests. They continued rocking their reading and started using smartie spelling. 

In math, they learned about three dimensional shapes, composing and decomposing numbers to 10, addition, and subtraction. 

In religion, they discussed Jesus the son of God, miracles, following Jesus, Jesus our example, faith and trust, God comes first, God saves, and Lent. 

In STEM/science, they performed a few fun experiments, including designing and building an igloo using sugar cubes, figuring out how to save Gus the gummy worm without using hands, determining if candy hearts sink or float in water/soda/vinegar, erupting their own volcanoes (Rory loved this), discovering what happens when water is added to a plate of jelly beans, and building traps to try to catch a leprechaun.

I got to be mystery reader on February 15. I read I Will Not Ever Eat a Tomato and brought the kids colorful squishies (a.k.a. Paw Patrol gummies). I also helped out during their Mardi Gras art project on February 22.

They celebrated Catholic Schools Week, sponsored a service project to provide basic supplies to families with sick newborns, and exchanged valentines. 

They also earned an ice cream party for completing their compliment chain, celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday, studied all about the USA during Global Awareness Week, attended the PK4 parade, and discovered a messy classroom after a visit from a sneaky leprechaun.

Rory also got to celebrate his birthday at school this quarter, and I got to pop into his classroom for just a bit to see him on his special day.

Rory had great behavior throughout the third quarter, and he tested very well on the assessments Allison gave him. Hard to believe, but he only has about 4 weeks left of his kindergarten year!
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