Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#25 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

See Critterman! This past Saturday we went to the weekly 2 pm Saturday show in Northpark Mall with Bookmarks library to see Critterman. Every Saturday they have awesome folks come in to entertain the kids and it is a great way to stay cool and have fun. You can click here or here to see upcoming shows. My daughter Madeleine even was called up to touch a hedgehog!

and then out came the snake! It was long and this brave boy let Critterman hang it on his shoulders too!

and he also had a lemur!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#24 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

See the Declaration of Independence at the Downtown Dallas Public Library. I know that I already posted about the awesomeness of the Downtown Public Library, but did you know that on the night of July 4, 1776 a limited number of copies were made of the Declaration of Independence. Today, there are 25 surviving copies and 1 of them is at the downtown branch of the Dallas Public Library! It is also the only original copy west of the Mississippi. I took Madeleine to see it and I learned that this document is the first time that the name United States of America appeared in print.

The copy of the Declaration of Independence is in there! There was no one around, we had a private showing!

I took a picture...

The Dallas copy was found in storage in Leary's Book Store in Philadelphia in 1968 when the book store closed after 132 years in business. It is thus deemed "The Lost Copy." It was bought at auction.

There is also the original 1623 volume of Shakespeare's First Folio. According to the informational pamphlet, Shakespeare died in 1616 without publishing any of his plays and 2 of his friends published all 36 plays that they believed to be authentic to Shakespeare. Without this First Folio, plays like The Tempest, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, or Twelfth Night would have been lost to obscurity. The Dallas Public Library copy belonged to a cleric on the Isle of Man in the 1700s and to a Philadelphia banker in the 18002. It is one of 250 copies that exist today.

and of course you have to visit the ipads on the children's floor!

#23 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit the Crow Collection of Asian Art. First, it's free. Second, it's right across the street from the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art. Third, the art is amazing.

I love the origami crane hallway! When I visited Hiroshima when I lived in Japan I saw the 1000 cranes for the first time and learned about the Japanese legend that promises "anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise), and is said to live for a thousand years. In Japan, it is commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes makes a person's wish come true. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family." (from wikipedia)

I was truly blessed when I lived in Japan with a student's gift to me of 1000 cranes which have hung in each of my kid's bedrooms.

And all this week, Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta are constructing a mandala sand painting. According to the website, "During the week, millions of grains of crushed marble are painstakingly laid into place in this ancient spiritual art form to generate energies for global healing." We saw it a day after they started...

and Friday, August 26 the mandala will be dismantled to remind us of the impermanence of all that exists.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2nd Grade!

Madeleine is in 2nd Grade! Seriously, I am not at all sure how that happened. It wasn't too long ago that she was having trouble figuring out how to pick up the cheerios and get them into her mouth...The iconic first day of school shot in front of the school sign.

with her daddy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

#22 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Go to the Nasher Sculpture Center. We used the kids summer coupons from the Mayor's Summer Reading Program to go for free (35 cents to park in the meter for an hour) and thoroughly enjoyed the sculptures, but the highlight was Martin's Creed's balloon room. Sadly, the balloon room has been dismantled. It was so amazing and terrifying. I was terrified of getting lost, all I could see were balloons. I made us all hold on to each other. But when we found our way out it made me think about perspective, when all that you are focusing on is what seems to be in front of you and you do not realize the children laughing all around you. The description on the website said that the art would alter one's physical experience of the space and that was true! I am so glad that we went (the day before it closed!), Everett loved it and even after we went in twice he wanted to go back in again. As long as I did not appear scared, Everett did not appear to be scared. At the end of our second visit in the room he was falling back into the balloons on purpose! Madeleine loved how the balloons made her hair stick straight up.

the balloon room

It was really hard to take pictures in the balloon room, but here is Madeleine.

Everett surrounded on all sides by balloons.

Feeling safer in Daddy's arms.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Freckles Smith, the dog

We have a new member in our Smith family! It is Freckles Smith, the dog! Freckles is 2 years old and was found by a loving family who found him running in the street. We found Freckles from and the petfinder app. Freckles is a Brittany/Setter mix and rarely barks, loves to have his tummy scratched, and did great on my 3 mile walk this morning!

Everett laying on Freckles.

Madeleine and Freckles. She filled out a prayer card in church today that Freckles would like our family :)

Madeleine giving Freckles a good tummy rubbing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#21 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Go to Chuck E Cheese. If you will notice from my 52 things to do in Dallas with kids list, most of the activities that I have written about have been free. So, I went to the Chuck E Cheese website, and printed out a Reading Reward Calendar. If my child read every day for 2 weeks, then she would get 10 free tokens (it said that you had to purchase a food item but it was 9 am when we got there and the Chuck E Cheese employee did not make us purchase anything). So, with Madeleine's cousin Sydney in tow and 2 reading logs filled out, we appeared at Chuck E Cheese. We were the first ones there (they open at 9 am) and they had a great time in the relative quiet playing games. I was very clear before we went in that they only had 10 tokens each and that was it. It was a great, free way to spend an hour.

Madeleine pedaling up to the sky on one of the games.

The loot from all of our tickets.

Monday, August 8, 2011

#20 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Visit the SPCA. We visited the SPCA today, loved on some puppies, kitties, gerbils and hamsters and had a great time! It was a great opportunity to talk to the kids about animals and how much responsibility it is to have an animal (we currently have one fish). The kids loved it and were excited to learn that you can volunteer (with your parent) at the SPCA when you are 12 years old!

Sydney (my niece) and Madeleine enjoying Minnie.

#19 Thing to Do in Dallas with Kids

Build stuff for free at the Home Depot kids workshop on the 1st Saturday of the month from 9 am - noon. Home Depot provides the kit and all of the materials (the kid size hammers are so cute!) as well as fruit punch and popcorn all for free! The kids made pencil boxes and had a blast. I would recommend getting there early to avoid the crowd. Lowe's also has a build and grow program that is every other week.

My daughter has started posing in all of her photos...