Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ride 'em Cowboy

Erik loves the time that he gets to spend with his friends twice a week at preschool. Four kids participate in it and the parents generally alternate on who will do it each week. Toward the end of February it was held at the Francisco's home. As part of the Tucson Rodeo that comes to town each February, the kids learned about cowboys, donned the necessary western wear, and made their own horses out of a wrapping paper tube and a cutout horse head. From the pictures, do you think Erik enjoyed it at all? Erik loves wearing his six shooter, Tombstone sheriff badge, and cowboy hat around the house, but this time he even got to carry a lasso and sit on a real saddle. Oh to be a kid again!

In the following two pictures, three of the gang of four get together for some memorable pictures.

Kira, Erik, and Robbie are ready to get outside and show what they can really do.

Here Erik patiently soothes his newly tamed horse.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tucson Festival of Books

Two years ago we attended the first annual Tucson Festival of Books. The festival has grown each year and just gets better and better. For the last couple of years it has been one of our favorite springtime activities as we climb into the van and drive the 4.5 miles to the University of Arizona campus to attend the wonderful event. The Festival of Books brings hundreds of authors to the campus each year for book signings, lectures, and storytelling. It also offers numerous activities for people of all ages. Since we have three kids, we spend most our time in the kids' area and at entertainment venues.

This year we got to meet the Berenstain Bears. Bookmans, a local store that buys and sells used books gave out the hats that our kids are wearing. Gabs, Bells, and Erik also received numerous other free gifts from the different booths in the children's section. Several of the hospital booths gave out reusable grocery bags, slap-on wristbands, night reflectors, and reading buddies (adorable little stuffed animals). Another booth gave out free children's books. Our kids got three hardbound books (Snow White and two Dr Seuss stories: Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose and There's a Wocket in My Pocket).

We love going to one of the main storytelling tents, where authors do a superb job telling short stories. This year we only managed to listen to one storyteller, Joe Hayes, as he told the stories El Cucuy, The Lovesick Skunk, and one or two others. Gabriela especially enjoyed the stories.

The Lindley Lopez Literary Circus was also very entertaining with a contortionist, jugglers, acrobats, etc. They also did several fun Alice and Wonderland scenes (unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of that).

In the science section, the kids got to make DNA strands using two pieces of licorice, which they put together using toothpicks that had colored miniature marshmellows on each end. Gabs got to sit on the long end of a teeter totter as they taught kids about fulcrums, levers, and pulleys. Bells and three others rode the short end of the teeter totter. The kids also got the chance to try to lift 60 pound weights before having the chance to raise them off the ground using pulleys.

Here the kids wear their turtle hats that the Tucson Medical Center gave out.

And after five-and-a-half hours of a fun but warm 83° day, we finished things off with Frog and Toad.

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