Monday, December 22, 2014

Guatemala Children's Museum

Last Friday while in Guatemala City we made a visit to the Guatemala Children's Museum.  It was our second time to go there and we just simply love it!  Our first visit was back in 2012 right after Ben was born.  There is still a lot there that my boys are too small for so it will be a place we will be visiting for many years to come.  I'm thinking we might just make it a new Christmas tradition to visit there in December on our annual trip into the Capital.  The schools are out on break so it was not crowded at all.  It was a good time of the year to go.  My boys had a blast (and us adults did too, ha).  Here are some photos of our time there-
My boys at the museum entrance. You can see Jingles joined in on the fun.

This sign was made out of Legos.

Ben loved playing here and making the musical sounds.

The museum is divided into small stations.  Everything is educational.  There is a helper at each station to show the kids what to do and how to do it.  That sure makes it easy on the parents.  At this particular station the kids learned about earthquakes and got to build a "house".  Afterwards they pressed a button and the belt below it shook back and forth like an earthquake.   The point was to see if their "house" was built strong enough to withstand an earthquake.  Their house did not fall as you can see from the video below.
video




Learning how hot air balloons work and getting to see it go up into the air.

my little astronaut

We all loved this bubble station!

They had a whole section devoted to coffee showing how it's grown, picked, cleaned, roasted, etc. 

Here's Cruz "picking coffee beans".  They are picked when they turn red and look like cherries.

Learning about recycling.  He had to sort several items into the booths labeled paper, metal, glass, and plastic.

He loves working puzzles.  Here he chose to make a boat with the shapes.

We love this part of the museum!  It's like a gymnasium filled with balls.  At several spots around the room are places to drop the balls and they are carried either through suction tunnels or conveyor belts to the top and dropped into a large container.  When the containers get full the sirens sounds and the lights flash and the balls come raining down.  It's a lot of fun for the kids (and adults too).

Ben loading balls.  He's a little cleaner so this was very fun for him.

Here's an overhead view of where the balls go.  That clear container holds them until it gets full. 

Here you can see the balls falling down on Cruz.  How fun is that!

Their favorite part was this farm area.  It's just for kids under 5.  It's filled with books, puzzles, and costumes.  Here's Cruz "fishing". 

They loved pushing these carts around and "picking vegetables".

Here they are picking oranges from the tree.

We spent a while outside on the playground area.  They have several of these car suits for the kids to put on and pretend.  The sidewalks are painted like roads and there are traffic lights all around.  It's a lot of fun, especially for little boys.


There's a gas station to refill when necessary.

They had several traffic controller costumes out there as well.  Cruz liked pretending to blow his whistle and direct the cars.

I think he mostly just liked bossing his little brother, ha.

After that we headed back inside to the theater to see a live Christmas play put on by some of the workers.  It was really cute and the boys sat still and watched it all.  It was a fun way to end our visit there.  There is a Pollo Campero restaurant attached to the museum so we stopped for lunch before heading back to the mission house for afternoon naps.  It had been a super fun morning and I cannot wait for us to go back and do it again!

Friday, December 19, 2014

We're Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time

I've always loved Christmas.  But, I'll have to admit that since having my boys Christmas is just a lot more fun and meaningful.  I know I go a little overboard but I spent many, many Christmases thinking about all the fun things I'd love to do if God ever gave me children and now I think I'll spend the rest of my Christmases here on earth making those thoughts come true.    So, with that being said, here's a little of how we've celebrated this week.

Each year our landlord (who is a North American) opens the gate to her property and lets the community in to see her huge light display and enjoy the holiday season together.  She serves hot chocolate and gives away tons of door prizes.  The locals love it and look forward to it each year.  It's a fun time to visit with neighbors and friends from our town.  This year it was held on Monday night.  Her whole property is filled with lights and decorations.  We can see her very large tree from our house and it's beautiful but it doesn't compare to seeing it up close. 

Ms. Nancy's tree
It sits on the open patio of her second story property and can be seen from all over town.

This photo just cracks me up! 

Cruz, Nery, and a new friend.  These three had a blast playing together at the party.

Here's Cruz all dressed up in warm attire pretending to make snow angels while laying on our concrete patio.  That boy is missing winter, ha.  (Ben is laying beside him doing the same). 

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week we were quite busy having an open house/ garage sale/ come take this stuff off our hands event.  I've been going room by room in our house bagging up things we no longer need/ use and I came up with quite a bit.  I had tons of baby clothes and baby gear that I needed to part with.  It was a little sad to see it all leave out our gate but in the end I am glad it's all gone.

Another thing that has kept me busy this week is our little elf friend Jingles.  Here he is on Wednesday morning at our normal mid-week pancake breakfast.  The boys treat for the day was a thing of mini M&M's which they absolutely loved!

They also loved their Christmas tree shaped pancakes!

On Thursday morning we loaded our car and began our annual Christmas trip into Guatemala City.  We travel there each year for our mission Christmas party but always go a little early to have some time to take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Christmas in the Capital.  It's always a fun time, and I look forward to it each year.  And, after having people in and out of our house for three straight days, I was really, really excited about loading in the car and leaving home, ha. 

Here's David and Ben enjoying a pizza and cheese fries lunch in Chiquimula on the drive in. 

My boys didn't waste any time getting busy playing when we arrived at our mission house in Guatemala City.  On this trip they wanted to bring their tools.  Here's Cruz "fixing his bike".

and here's Ben "fixing the door" 

On Thursday night we headed out to a local mall to see the decorations and enjoy a good meal.  We ate supper at Chili's and oooohhhh my it was delicious!

You can't go wrong with Trio Fajitas and a sirloin.  The boys had cheese quesadillas (one of their favorite foods).   A little early Christmas present indeed.

As if we weren't full enough we also visited the DQ for a delicious Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard- one of my favorite things!  You can see Cruz here giving me a thumb's up.  That boy was excited about getting some ice cream!

David and the boys 

Of course David had to flip it upside down to see if it would stay.  Thankfully it did, ha. 

The boys loved playing in one of the photo booths set up in the mall.  They had a basket full of Christmas hats and I think my two tried on every one.  Don't they look like they are having fun?

At one point Ben put on four at one time.  He ran over and said "look mama!".  It was precious.
 
Another Christmas tradition is riding the mall carousel.  This was Ben's first year to ride on his own.  My babies are growing up fast!


The beautiful Christmas tree in the Miraflores Mall in Guatemala City. 

my boys in front of the tree 
 
The boys elf treat for Thursday was new Christmas pj's.  It's always cold in Guatemala City at Christmas time so I thought it would be fun for them to get to wear them while there.  They will wear them again on Christmas Eve back at our home.  I found them on clearance back in June at the Outlet Mall in Foley, AL during our family beach trip.  I didn't realize then how perfect they would be with our elf this Christmas.  Here's a few pics of them dressed for bed on Thursday night.

my silly boys 


oh what fun these two can be!
 
They don't know it yet but their elf surprise for today is a visit to the Guatemala Children's Museum.  They won't know where we are going until we get there.  And, of course, Jingles gets to go with us so that should make it extra fun.  We are having a wonderful Christmas time and making lots of fun memories along the way.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Weekend

Good Monday morning everyone!  Hope your weekend was fun-filled.  Here are some photos of how we spent ours.

For lunch on Friday I made the boys these fun little gingerbread men PBJ sandwiches. I used a cookie cutter to cut out the bread and then mini M&M's for the eyes and buttons.  I squirted a little jelly for the mouth.  Simple, fun, and delicious!  They LOVED it!

If you'll remember from my Friday post I mentioned that the boys elf treat for the day was ice cream.  On Friday night we drove into town for supper and afterwards they both got an ice cream cone to enjoy.  We ate at McDonald's in Chiquimula.  They had a choice between a sundae and a cone and they both chose cones.  It was messy, messy, messy, but they sure enjoyed it!

Cruz, Ben, and Jingles


Another missionary family serving in this area joined us.  Our kids always enjoy playing together.  Here are Ben, Gavin, Cruz, and Owen all enjoying their ice cream.

After eating we went back to the Remings house to shoot some fireworks.  Here are Ben and Aaron about to light a Roman candle. 

Most of Saturday was cloudy, cool, and a little drizzly.  We spent the day at home.  We colored, played with playdough, played Uno (which I have discovered is a great way to review colors and numbers with Cruz), and watched movies.  I cooked a meatloaf, homemade cheesy mashed potatoes, and green beans for lunch.  We ate and then the boys hibernated for most of the afternoon, ha. 

When they got up we made a last minute decision to go back into town to visit the Christmas light display at the Central Park in Chiquimula. 

We stopped by the Chinese restaurant for some supper before going to see the lights.  We usually order shrimp fried rice.  The boys will eat it but generally they don't eat enough to fill up.  This time I decided to take them a sandwich and some chips to go with it.  Here's Ben eating his supper while watching cartoons on the television nearby.

My little guys by the Christmas tree at the Chinese restaurant in Chiquimula

Here's the huge Christmas tree on display in Chiquimula. The lights change colors and it's just beautiful!

They blocked off the street in front of the Municipal building and put lights all up and down it.  It's very pretty!

another view of the tree turning from red to green

My boys most enjoyed running around in the park and going up and down the steps to this pavilion.  They definitely burned off some energy that night!

me and my little guys in the Central Park of Chiquimula

The boys elf treat for Sunday was these red Christmas shaped Jello jigglers.

having some fun with crayons

David taught Bible study in the village of Nearar on Sunday morning.  That evening we took the boys to see lights in nearby Jocotan. 

They like this nativity scene.  Cruz was pretending to be a soldier and protecting Mary and Joseph.

Ben snapped this picture of us.

I'll leave you with a few photos of the boys in the tub on Sunday night.  They love bathing but it can get very LOUD and MESSY! 
my little muscle man (he loves to show me how strong he is)

silly boys

oh how I love these two!

Afterwards we watched Veggie Tales "The Toy That Saved Christmas" before putting these two rowdy ones to bed.  Can you believe it's only ten days left until Christmas?  The season is passing by so quickly.  It will be over before you know it so enjoy it while you can.  We are certainly trying to do just that!
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