Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More from the Zoo!

Yes this place is as much -if not more -of a zoo here than ever!

For a change too, some of it has been fun and games of the nice type to write about. So far this summer, the kids have been able to go to DelGrosso's Amusement Park over in Tipton, PA -which is between Tyrone and Altoona and is a nice, clean, decent sized place to spend a day. Usually, it is that, anyway. The day we were there was hot, hot, very hot and for much of the afternoon, I really was convinced that I was surely going to melt away!

When we left the amusement park to go over, across the highway to the Water park, and as I was trying to climb up the rampway that crosses over that highway, my legs and back hurt so bad by that time that I seriously was thinking I might have to get down on my hands and knees and crawl up that to get to the level crossover part! But thankfully, I made it up, over and down the other side and while the kids and Kurt's TSS were cooling off in the big pool there, I camped out under a big canopy a little ways away from the pool area and did a little bit of embroidery work on the project I was trying to get completed then.

After that there was the parade in Osceola Mills on the 4th of July -Annual Fireman's Convention there, ya know -and Miss Maya and her Mom both marched in the parade as representatives of the play, "The Aristocats" which the Philipsburg-Osceola Senior High School's Drama Club presented then that weekend. Maya was in that play -her third appearance in the past 16 months or so with one drama group or another in the area.

Friday and Saturday -July 6th and 7th -was the play and the whole family here, plus older daughter and my older grandson plus a very close friend of Mandy's and his six-year-old daughter all got to watch this presentation. It was sort of an experiment for us in that Kurtis had never attended a play before so prior to the start of it, Mandy gave him one heck of a stern lecture on how he was going to have to sit still, be quiet, totally behave just as he would do were he in school!

And the experiment with him worked out fairly well too, in that he did manage to be on his very best behavior for the entire play. It wasn't until we started to leave the auditorium and got out into the lobby area where there were way more people than he was able to handle milling about and the meltdown started to surface. Thankfully, Mandy recognized the signs of that and grabbed his arm and hustled him outside, got him seated on the grass up against the building wall and told him then it was okay for him to let loose and scream, cry -whatever was needed -to regain his stability factors then.

After that, we celebrated the end of the summer play season for Maya anyway with a visit to the local Dairy Queen for some much needed cool refreshments!

This past weekend was the Community Yard Sale in the neighboring village of Lanse so Mandy, the kids and I went out there and hit as many of the sales as we possibly could, with all of us coming back home having spent not a whole lot of money but with lots of cool, neat little things we wanted!

Maya was given $4.00 to spend at the yard sales and I had her with me, while Kurtis went with Mandy. Much easier on all concerned to separate the kids and go in opposite directions, ya know!

I was really proud of Maya, watching her look over the many items people were offering and she checked the prices carefully, then, did the math in her head as to whether she had adequate funds in our pocket to purchase this or that and when she decided on something she wanted, she took it to whoever was in charge of collecting the money and had it all figured out how much she had to turn over to that person then too. She also knew exactly how much change she would get in return too! Pretty good practice for her to learn the ins and outs of "high finance" and budgeting, don't you think?

I spent around $9.00 in all I think and came home feeling quite pleased as I'd managed to snag about 10 or 12 books I'd not had a chance to read before along with finding a few items along the crafts lines plus a beautiful completed craft project of a cloth Christmas tree, trimmed with tiny red ornamental balls and some silver inexpensive beading looped over the branches! Mandy even found a good assortment of clothing that will work very nicely to provide almost a whole new wardrobe too for Maya when it's time to go back to school this fall!

Sunday was another excellent day with the service at church during which Kurtis continued on with improving his social skills -a whole lot, as a matter of fact that morning! For openers, he went up for the Children's Sermon along with his sister (and of course, had his special comfort item -"Bear-Bear" in tow too. This week he engaged in a fairly lengthy conversation during the Children's Sermon with Pastor Matt, answering a lot of the questions asked of the kids and giving some very descriptive answers but thankfully, not that had any potential to be the least bit problematic in any way! During communion, again with Bear-Bear at his side, Kurtis knelt and allowed Pastor Matt to put his hand on his head while giving the Children's Blessing and then, before Pastor Matt could move on to the next person, he offered up Bear-Bear so Pastor Matt was obliged then to bless that stuffed animal/pillow -whatever you want to call it -too! And, once again this week, as he did last Sunday, when it was time to do the Sharing of the Peace, Kurt's hand was offered up to anyone and everyone who was anywhere within his reach!

Always so great to see advancements of any kind, but especially those on the social skills level like these are, for either of the grandkids but especially so for Kurtis as he has frequently been more than a bit on the shy or standoffish side.

Monday, we all went to State College so Mandy could do a transaction with the local consignment store there (Kid-to-Kid) and build up her credit there for use yesterday and still have some leftover too for future purchases. I went to Michaels Crafts Store there to get information and then, from that info, was able to make a purchase of a nice pretty large-sized frame and mat so I can then frame the embroidery piece I completed about two weeks ago. I've never framed anything like this before so I had not a clue how to select a frame that was appropriate nor to pick out what color to get for my mat background for the piece too. 

Then last night I got to try out something I purchased last Friday -a set of special baking pans and equipment needed so I could try the fine art of baking cake pops!

One of my favorite bloggers -Mrs. 4444 (Barb) at Half-Past Kissin' Time - has been extolling the virtues of these things -cake pops -for quite some time now and when I saw this pan set on sale at a store near here for half the price all the other stores were charging, I decided, what the heck, give it a shot!

I had purchased a packet of Wilton's meltable candy/icing toppings at Micheals to use to decorate my first attempt at this project and realized once we got home, that from being in the bag in the trunk of the car most of the afternoon, those candies were already melted down so I'd best get busy then and do the required baking then!

I was going to try to get some snap shots of the finished product -which looks like a fat lollipop but is actually just a nice little ball of cake, baked in this pan and then, rolled or spread -whichever method works best for the baker -with the topping but apparently Mandy must have my camera in her purse as I couldn't locate it to take pictures today. But they turned out pretty decent for my first venture ever into this process and judging by the response I got from all three of my grandchildren here, this is something they've given me authorization to make again!

And it wasn't really all that difficult -only took me about 2 1/2 hours, start to finish (meaning clean-up too) for a yield of 18 cake pops, 3 cake balls (not enough of the sticks to put them on), decorating or icing all of that and chilling them! They aren't exactly the kind of food I should be eating as I can see my blood sugar levels going into sky-rocket mode but still, everyone needs a little sweet stuff every now and again, don't we?

And when the kids are happy, that generally tends to make the adults very happy too! So, call that a Win-Win situation!

And now, since Mandy will soon be home from work and after that, it will be time for supper, I best get busy fixing the pork chops I plan on cooking on the grill tonight! Or maybe not, since I just glanced out the window and what was when I began writing this post a beautiful, very sunny day, is now clouding over quite rapidly, looking more and more like we probably will get at least a brief shower, maybe a bit more. Who knows? Well, I know it most likely will rain now that I announced to the world -and the weather -that I had plans to cook out on the grill!

Murphy and his law invading my space yet again!


Maggie May said...

Sounds like you've done some really good fun things.
Its hard to think up things to doall the time without spending too much money or using bags of energy.
Our schools break up for the six week holiday this week.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Dianne said...

when you were describing crossing the ramp my muscles started to twitch!!

fun stuff though

now I want pork chops

Paula said...

Sounds like you guys are having a great summer! I love going to the zoo, yard sales, and pretty sure those cake pops are delicious...think I should come and hang out at your house for awhile!