There are times when I think I would really like to live out in the country on a large plot of land and just enjoy life from that perspective. The last few weeks have shown me that there are some great advantages to living in a big city, though. There are so many things to do and a lot of them are free. It's been so fun spending time together doing some of those things over the past several weeks.
I am thankful to be a part of a really great home-school coop. One of the things we've done recently is go on a field trip with the rest of the group to the Science Museum. They're having an exhibit on the Titanic right now. We got to see the exhibit and the Imax film on the Titanic, and Allika loved it. She also got to experience the rest of the museum which is hands-on science. I should be honest with you here and let you know that she is not the most focused person. She takes after her mother who does not like to spend a lot of time absorbing one thing when there's so much else to see and do. Poor Van has no hope. He likes to stay at one little, tiny display until he has processed all the information there is to process and then some. Ahh! It just drives me crazy. We are not the cute, little couple walking through the museum, holding hands and discussing what we are seeing. We are the guy who gets very annoyed at the girl for being so impatient and the girl who gets very frustrated at the guy for always being about 25 exhibits behind when there are still 1,000 more things to see. It's very romantic.
Sorry my pictures are blurry. This is the science guy doing his thing. Very cool.
Allika and her friend in front of an iceberg display.
(Wow! Really blurry pictures. Apparently, I don't like standing still in front of a display long enough to take a picture either.)
Another thing we did recently was attend a free college symphony concert that was performing "Peter and the Wolf." They really tried to make it for the children, so they had an instrument "petting zoo" before hand, where the kids could play all the symphony instruments. They also had a little craft and snacks for everyone. It was very nice, and Allika really enjoyed it. The conductor was so cool with the kids. He told them he needed them to help him conduct the symphony for one song, showed them what it involved, and then stepped back and had all the kids in the audience "conduct" for him. It was so cute to see Allika get jiggy with it when the music got really loud and exciting. Van and I were laughing. She kept looking over at us and telling us to stop laughing. It was really hard.
For their performance of "Peter and the Wolf," they had their Opera professor come out and read the story while they showed pictures of it up on the screen. It really made the music come alive for Allika and helped her to appreciate all the instruments and what message they were trying to convey. I was very impressed with everything they did that night.
We also got to go to the free Christian Community Fair last week. It was fun to see all the different Christian ministries in the Twin Cities and learn about the various ways we could get involved. Of course, I wanted to volunteer for everything from mentoring victims of domestic violence to building houses for Habitat for Humanity. Van kind of has to keep me in check because I'm a little unrealistic when it comes to how many more things I can fit into my schedule. What I was really looking for was something we could all do together as a family. I did find some things, so I will be looking into them and keeping you posted.
They had a lot of fun things for the kids, so Allika got to ride a pony for the first time, catch a fish for the first time, jump on the inflatables and do the inflatable obstacle courses, enjoy the petting zoo, see a real bald eagle up close, go on a treasure hunt that she never finished, and a few other things.
Our adoption agency also put on a "Circus of the Heart" for people who are waiting to adopt or who have already adopted. It's just pretty much a big carnival. I thought it would be something that provided more information and opportunities for networking with case-workers. It was fun, though, so I'm not complaining. I always like to do fun things with the family, especially when they're free.
The last recent event I will tell you about was really neat because Allika and Van got to do it together as their date on Tuesday night while I was at school. We are really trying to help her be more outward focused during the holidays instead of just thinking about herself and all her wants. There are several things we are tying to do to accomplish that, and maybe I'll write about them sometime, but one of the things we're doing is looking for service projects we can do for those who don't have all the advantages we have during the holidays. That is why, on Tuesday night, Van and Allika were found making Christmas cards to send to the orphans who don't get any cards during Christmas. It was another event our adoption agency sponsored, and both Allika and Van really thought it was a lot of fun. Allika did find that she is more creative than Van when it comes to making cards.
Anyway, those are some of the things we've been enjoying together lately. I still wouldn't mind living out in the country someday, but until then, I can enjoy whatever I'm doing, wherever I'm doing it as long as I can spend time with my wonderful family...even going to the museum.