Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not a new idea...but it never seems to get old!

A long time ago I talked about a science project we were working on. Making a salt-flour volcano was that project. We started it way back at the beginning of January, and we just now finished it. We mixed the material and formed the volcano on one day. Then we waited for it to dry for a week or so. After it was dry we spent an afternoon painting it. Then we let it sit for a month before we "erupted it" this afternoon. Caroline is sitting on the floor beside me looking at the volcano book we got from the library...I'm sure she understands why we have the book and is reading about what kind of volcano we created. I'll let her post all about the reaction of baking soda and vinegar tomorrow. Seriously, even though the kids don't understand all about chemical reactions--and they can't tell the difference between a shield and cone volcano--this is a project that they love start to finish. And someday when they DO understand all these concepts, they'll remember this long ago project and make the correlation. And, in theory, it should make understanding come easier and learning later in life fun. Yadda, yadda. (read: something to do on long rainy winter days that involves two toddlers and makes mommy feel like she's doing a good job at the same time).
Day One: Math & Home Economics--mixing the dough and forming the volcano.
They love to measure and stir.
We used a glass juice bottle from Trader Joe's for the center of our volcano (you have to have a container in the center to pour the baking soda and vinegar into).

We added some trees to the landscape while the dough was soft. Plan on a week or more for drying time--unless you spread the dough quite thin.
Day 2: Art!
Paint the volcano.

I love those pudgy little hands with the paint brush.

I left the kids for five minutes while they were painting and they started tearing the volcano apart. The dough had gotten soft from soaking up the paint and they were able to peel chunks off and throw them at each other. What a mess. I got frustrated and this is probably the reason I let the project sit for so long before finishing it.

Day 3: Science
All the necessary materials--this is not an expensive project--perfect for a recession : ) You could add red food coloring if you want, but remember the stain-potential.
I didn't have a funnel, so that is baking soda all over the rim of the volcano. Then I carefully added the vinegar--we had to use a lot of both since our volcano was so tall. The kids can create the reaction in small dixie cups using a lot less baking soda and vinegar. I forgot to let them try that today, but when Ezra took a science class, that is how they did it. They can cause reactions to their heart's content.
And the eruption flows down the volcano--make sure you do this outside, or have a big huge old sheet on the table to catch the flow. The kids want to make it re-erupt as many times as I let them, and we used up about 20 ounces of vinegar--it all has to go somewhere!

Hey, now this is fun.

She chortled and squealed and enjoyed watching from a safe perch--happy to let brother be the one involved.

He got brave enough to add the vinegar himself.
Wait for it, wait for it...

This is what we're going for--this reaction right here!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Icky Sickies

Like everyone else this winter, we are battling sickness. For the past week or two I've been coughing up pieces of my lungs to trail behind me everywhere I go. Just as the coughing has started to wind down, all four of us got head colds. I can't complain too much because we've been surprisingly healthy for the past couple of months. We tend to get all our bugs at once. Here are the kids lounging in my bed the other morning while I showered. Don't they look nice and pathetic? They asked for water and I ran to get it and the camera. As I exited the room I heard Ezra tell Caroline "Now I'll tell you a story...Once upon a time..." and then I didn't hear anymore. Unfortunately for Caroline "once upon a time" is usually followed by some motorcycle jump or daring cowboy story rather than princesses and ponies in this house.

Like my mohawk, guys? We are currently working on potty training with Ezra. Now, this is not to say that he's done--because I know how often set-backs occur. We've lost more than one pair of cute little fire engine or dump truck underpants to those setbacks in the past few weeks. That said, he is doing so much above and beyond better than I expected. Some days I wonder when I blinked and allowed someone to steal my baby and put this grown boy in his place. He's wearing underwear, riding his bike to the park, shooting hoops and dreaming of "kingerdarten".
Mommy and kids on a "berry boat" ride to Bainbridge Island. We enjoyed a ride over and back and then had delicious fish and chips at Steamers. The waterfront was jam packed and we ate outside--in February! It was cold, but not completely unbearable. After eating it was definitely time to go home and nurse our coughs and snots some more. We are not very good at keeping our germs home, I'm afraid. Especially with showings going on all the time.
A nice lady encouraged Tadd to join the picture while she clicked away.

Looking at all the scenery. On our way back we were walking onto the ferry next to a lady with two little "taco bell" dogs. One got off his leash and ran onto the ferry alone. She dropped her bags on a chair and chased him, giggling all the while. We stayed and watched her bags for her until she caught the run-away and brought he and his brother back. The kids had a blast petting the "puppy". Never know what yer gonna see.

Yes, he needs a hair cut...we'll see when that happens!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thank You, Mr. Washington and Mr. Lincoln...

...for having your birthdays so close together that a Federal Holiday was created! We enjoyed our three day weekend in Gig Harbor with the whole family in one house. Below is some evidence. Mommy was quite sick with a hacking cough that I'm not yet over, so it was nice to have so many helping hands with the kiddos. Grandma made us some delicious cinnamon rolls and eggs to kick off Saturday. The day only got better for the ladies, because she (in the role of mom and not grandma) treated herself and her two daughters to mani-pedis. What fun! Thanks so much mom! Thanks also to the boys for playing with the kids back at home while we went out to get pampered. After our nails were finished we ran off to Costco to get the makings of a feast.

A little fort for the little miss.
Our Valentine dinner table.

Playing with Uncle Jake while dinner is being prepped.
There's grandma--thanks again for all the fun and treats this weekend : )

What a yummy, yummy Valentine dinner we had. Steak, rosemary potatoes, grilled peppers, grilled avocados and garlic bread. Oh my!

This delicious and darling Valentine cheesecake dessert was made by our very own Aunt Emily.

The Queen of Hearts herself.

And the whacko she married.

Pig tails flying as Uncle Bett takes her for an airplane ride.

The three uncles played a lot of "mario-cart" and gave Ezra a controller (that was never connected) to make him feel like he was part of the game.

Enjoying shoulder rides...

And a little kiss...

And a push.
Look at the guys. Their faces start out compliant and happy...and as the pictures go on they start to look a little more impatient and annoyed with the photographer : ) I hope you all enjoyed your own weekend!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, it's here--the day to show all of our loved ones how much we care about them. Ezra and I made some lemon-puff heart cookies with pink icing for our loved ones.

This was his idea of a smile. Crazy man with the heart cookie cutter! He actually did a great job of rolling the dough and cutting out the hearts. We added some initials for the folks who are receiving these goodies. Cute and yummy.

Thursday night daddy arrived home with some Valentine's gifts--roses, dried mango and primroses for the front yard. Thank you so much, my love!

Here's a late night shot of the valentines we made. Normally I would have taken a picture of them all...but it was quite late at night and I needed to get them into envelopes and addressed. So here's just a few. Ezra and Caroline provided the art and I simply assembled them.

And that's all folks. Now we are all set to enjoy a 3-day weekend with Grandpa, Grandma the three Uncles and Aunt Emily. Happy Valentine's day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Osklen--this one's for you, Elaine!

A while back I posted pictures of the fun clothing my parents brought us from Brazil. You might have noticed that pictures of Tadd's clothes were missing. He gave my mom the wrong size and so the swim trunks he received were a tad too big. He loved the shorts but was paranoid that wearing them in waves or near his clingy kids could result in disaster. So, he was able to contact the Osklen store in Brazil and they kindly mailed a pair of the correct size to their NY location who mailed them to us. Long route--but they got here this week. When Ezra saw the cool shorts he got very excited and said he had a matching pair. He ran to his room to grab his board shorts. They are from two years ago and too small, but we just keep using them. Here are the boys in their matching shorts. One pair real Osklens from Brazil (suggested by my mom's bff) and one pair plain old Carter's : )

And the rest is just some horse play.

It's a wonder we don't visit the ER on a daily basis.