Sunday, January 30, 2011


 We woke up to a very wet surprise. Our ice maker decided to quit freezing the water and instead fill the entire tray, freezer, kitchen, dining room, and part of the living room and entry way with water.
I shudder to imagine the water bill. Think: one of your children turning the water on full power, plugging the sink and then going to bed.

Round One: gather every towel in the entire house and blot the water using foot power.
Round Two: Dry towels in the dryer then blot using children power.
Round Three: Try sucking out as much water as possible using a Shop Vac and discover that it is futile.
Round Four: Rent a High Powered Fan from the Hardware Store and run it on High for 24 Hours
Round Five: Call the Carpet Cleaner guy down the road and pay him to use his high powered Shop Vac to extract as much water as possible.

I can't say we won this round but our carpet is clean and dry and the children had a lot of fun experimenting with wind energy. They made Lego cars, helicopters, and boats to be driven across the floor by the air. Liberty summited Everest with her efforts at moving against air.
One plus was that all the children's hair dried very quickly after their baths, and since we did not have any clean towels we just air dried! Just kidding but it isn't a bad idea.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We were supposed to go to Olympia with Ben and Syndi to spend a few days with friends. One of our friends got really sick, strep throat and scarlet fever! We had some very disappointed
 children and a whole day with no school plans.
Syndi and I came up with the idea to do a giant scavenger hunt with the children. Syndi brought over breakfast then deciphered the first clue which led them to the fire station.

We received an impromptu tour of the station and saw them working on some of the engines, we got to hold the Rammer tool which was quite heavy and used to Ram heavy objects (such as cars) out of the fireman's way.

Liberty loved the outside of the engines, and she was brave enough to go into the truck but not brave enough to stay there.

The children all received stickers, bracelets,  fire safety rulers and their next clue.

This clue led the children to a local bakery located inside a historic red caboose. We were really excited to try some of their food (the bacon smelled wonderful)!
The man who worked there was quite shocked at the number of people we had and bluntly told us there was not enough room in his restaurant for us.

We skipped the bacon and skipped off to our next destination. Well, we did not really skip we ran, except Ruby who hops.

The children had to run stairs at the Plaza. Erik was done in supersonic speed, unfortunately we did not hand out lap markers. The rest of the children had a blast before running, jumping, swinging, and spitting before we wandered over to our next destination.

They had to locate a particular book (Ruby decided to color instead). The book was the clue to the next destination. We went to a country store and found the clue inside a vest pocket. This clue told them to travel near the Woods. When they are Outdoors they must be prepared. Their feet will take them where they need to be, make sure that they are warm and toasty.
Dave's Outdoor Sports Shop is located near Woods Coffee and was the place our next clue was hidden inside a pair of warm socks.  They looked near the fireplace, inside boots and by fire starters before locating the clue.
Of course, while we were there they had to hold some knives and guns. Their challenge here was to get their photo taken with one of the many mounts hung on the wall.

Second Chance Thrift store was the location of our next challenge. The children had to find an item and tell me three different ways that item could be used. Aaron's spatula won the contest. He said it could be used to flip pancakes, spank children, and if you had two of them you could use them as arms on your snowman.
Our final stop was a treasure hunt following clues through Safeway to get our lunch. Syndi bought us a latte from Starbucks and the barista made mini smoothies for the children, even soy ones for Taylor and Erik! It was the perfect ending for a memorable day.
I can definitely see with a little more planning that this could become a regular event.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Fun

I have come to realize that unless something is planned, nothing seems to happen.
It gives meaning to the adage,"If you fail to plan, to plan to fail"
We have been studying geography this year and this activity seemed to fit right in with our lessons, I love that!

Aaron got a GPS a couple of years ago and loves to use it on car trips, bike rides, and around the house. We decided to try Geocache with it.

I chose one that was close to home in a cemetery with clear boundaries. I thought I knew where the cemetery was located and that proved to be one of the most difficult aspects of of the cache. The Tom Tom did not have the cemetery listed by name and we were not very familiar with the coordinates, as well as not having an address.

Once we arrived it looked like there were 3 caches in the cemetery but Erik found the only one we could locate.

We read about the history of the cemetery and located the first people who were buried there, as well as the grave of the local fallen soldier Aaron Aamot. Aaron's mother was the woman who led our tour of Pioneer Park in Ferndale last spring.

We tried to find the other cache that looked like it was located outside the cemetery but after a bit of a stroll we  realized that we were way off base.
Reviews that I read about Geocaching with a Tom Tom relate it to driving a nail with a monkey wrench, not pretty but it gets the job done. I think that pretty well sums up our experience.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One Reason Why We Homeschool

Because sometimes you need to do your math wearing a full face respirator.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All In A Days' Work

Some days life goes exactly as planned, other days not so much. One of my biggest challenges is doing projects that pertain to what we are learning, are challenging enough for the big kids and easy enough for the little kids. 

These super cute, bees wax candles fit the bill! They were easy enough for the little kids to have a relative amount of success, and challenging enough for the big kids to make look good.

Of course, if you are going to make candles you simply must try them out. If you are going to try them out why not outside where it is darker? The big challenge here was keeping the candles lit due to extreme wind conditions.

Ben discovered that the wax created a really cool pattern on the driveway when it hit the freezing rain. I had to put a stop to the children who were headed in the back yard to try the candle out while jumping on trampoline. I know, I ruin all the fun.

He only looks innocent. He blew out his candle when it was time, but quickly re lit it with an ember he had created.

When one invites a friend over for dinner it just tastes better in a tent that they created.

Even Sean did not seem to mind eating on the living room floor. I think he appreciated the fact that I used battery operated candles for lighting instead of our bees wax candles.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Guess Who's Two

It seems impossible that 2 years have passed since this sweet little girl has entered our lives. 2 years since my water broke a mile and a half from the van on New Year's Eve, 2 years since I had my last baby, 2 years...