Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hot Air Balloon Experiment

The kids were very interested in how a hot air balloon works after getting to take rides in one.

I gave the kids a bunch of supplies and they created all different types of hot air balloons. We discovered if you leave the basket off, which was a cup, it floated better. The basket would get caught up on the air dryer when it would start to float away.
Cold morning air works best (just like for the "real" hot air balloons).
It was a lot of fun watching the bag fill up with hot air and then float off of the air dryer into the air.
On Saturday Andrew and Jay are going to a hot air balloon festival. The girls and I are going to be Girl Scout camping on the coast. I have the whole time planned out. I will share in another blog afterwards what we did and how it went. I will tell you that I did plan for it to be a Survivor type camping trip with challenges and tribes.
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Monday, September 24, 2007

Visual Cleaner

I sure wish I wasn't motivated by other people's post because now I have a huge under taking going on in my living room. Barb has been posting all last week about cleaning her house. Not just regular cleaning but deep cleaning. I thought that sounded like a good idea to do since I don't already have a million other things going on in my life.

What was I thinking? I now have a huge mess (yes, I know you must create a mess to clean a mess)!! :) I've been scrubbing the living room walls (that isn't so bad). The bad part was when I decided to clean the blinds. I washed them by hand. I thought that mess was never going to end. Is there an easier way to clean blinds than to wash each blade by hand?

I'm almost done with the walls. Next will be vacuuming. Vacuuming is my all time favorite chore to do. I've loved it since I was kid. I remember going to my friends homes and vacuuming (because it is always more fun to clean someone else's house than your own).

Anyone else going to join Barb in Fall cleaning? She has several post to motivate you!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

12 years and counting

I guess taking pictures inside the casino is a "no-no" but I did get a couple of Jay playing the slots. I stopped after the guy at the machine next to Jay got all upset that I took a picture. I didn't know you couldn't take pictures and there wasn't any signs posted anywhere that say no photos. We lost $10.80. Not too bad.

Saturday we went to the Lincoln outlet mall and then drove to Tillamook (cheese factory). Then later around 7:30 p.m. we arrived in downtown Portland. Again they gave us 2 beds (full size). This room wasn't as cool as the one on the beach. We didn't use the computers because you had to pay for internet and we had to pay $18 to park our van in the hotel parking garage. I wasn't as happy with the Hilton hotel.

While checking in we were informed we wouldn't be able to leave until after 11 a.m. The streets were being blocked from Sunday morning at 6 to 11 a.m. because of the race for the cure. Below is a shot from our hotel room. There were lots of pink runners and walkers.

We had Starbucks for breakfast while we waited for the streets to open up.

We had a great weekend. Here is one thing that gave Jay something to tease me about....Friday night when we took the shuttle to the casino, after we sat down the shuttle guy said, "someone smells good and I'm sure its not you." The "not you" part was directed at Jay. I said in a sweet voice, "Thank you." The next day when I got in the van to start the day...Jay replayed the whole scene from the shuttle playing both parts doing voices and all. It was quite funny listening to Jay do a girl voice.

I love you, Jay!
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Hi kids! first night

Wow, it is cold on the coast. I did not bring proper clothing for the coast. We stopped at a pull off and decided to take our picture. Jay put the camera on top of the van and tried to run to get in the shot. He "sort of" made it.

We checked out the camp ground for Beverly Beach and made note that it would be a fun place to come camping in the summer time. Then we head on to the casino. The casino hotel was full so we went a 1/4 a mile up the road. Here is our room.

The room has everything (2 queen beds, TV, dvd player, microwave, fridge, couch, fireplace).

Here we are doing what we do best.

We haven't eaten dinner yet and it is almost 9 pm so we are going to take the shuttle to the casino and have dinner. Jay has never been to a casino before. Of course, I have! :) A friend gave us a gift cert. for the casino restaurant. Oh yea, before I forget, when we went by the casino I was wondering if I was dressed okay to go in (flip flops and all)...but I saw men dressed in flannel and women with hoodies on. So, then I knew I was over dressed! :)
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Free Birds

Or maybe I should say "Foxes". This Sunday is our 12th anniversary! Twelve years ago we were living in Pennsylvania and knew we wanted to move back to my home state. So, for our "honeymoon" we drove across the United States and along the way we camped. When we arrived in Oregon we went to the coast and camped in the back of the truck under the stars.

Fast forward to now! Jay thinks it would be fun to do that again. So, we are going to take the seats out of the vans (middle ones...the back ones fold down in) and throw the air mattress down and sleep in the back of the van (at a camp ground). For those of you who know me know I'm the "Troop Beverly Hills Girl Scout Leader." I'm not a camping type of person. I would prefer to stay at a hotel. But you know what?! This a child-free trip. Jay and I are going back to our roots! Too bad we couldn't have our bodies and energy from back then.

The kids are going to spend the weekend at my Mom's house. Pray for her! :)

We don't really have any plans per say.... we are just going with no agenda. It is going to be great. I'm so use to planning everything out that I'm not sure I'll be able to function in an unplanned world. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

WFMW- Toilet paper storage

Have you ever been in a friend's bathroom and realized there is no toilet paper on the roll? Now, what? Do you yell out to someone for MORE TOILET PAPER?! Or do you go without? Or do you desperately search the bathroom cabinets for toilet paper?
Well, this happened at our house several years ago when my G'ma came to visit. She informed me after not finding toilet paper that you should always have toilet paper available in your bathroom so not to embarrass your guest. Well, we don't have cabinets in the front bathroom (pedestal sink). So, there was no where to put toilet paper rolls except for on top the toilet tank. We tried that but with young kids the toilet paper would end up falling in to the toilet and being ruined. So, I decided it was time to do some research at the local Walmart and Target for a solution.
Here is what I found.

It holds two rolls of toilet paper. That is not our toilet paper dispenser, that is across from the toilet.
This gadget just hooks to the inside of the toilet tank.
We have had this for about 6 years and it has worked well for us.

If you want more great tips...join us at Shannon's blog under Works For Me Wednesday!
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Purse clutter

My purse looks like a bomb of receipts went off in it. I need a good working solution to cutting down on the paper clutter within my purse. Does anyone have a system that works well for them?

Maybe it is the product I have (meaning the type of wallet or purse) that makes it look like a paper monster went off in my purse??!

I need suggestions! What do you do with all the receipts you get? Once I pay for something with my debit card I just throw the receipt in my purse and off I go. I feel like I would be holding up the "line" at the register if I took the time put the receipt in my purse (but then again I'm not sure WHERE I would put it). See, my problem?! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Carbon Dioxide

In science we have been learning about water. The kids had been studying about the 3 states of water (liquid, solid and gas). Their science book had an experiment making carbon dioxide and putting out fire.

The kids put baking soda in a cup and poured vinegar over the top of the baking soda. Then they put a piece of cardboard over their cup and waited a minute and half for the solution to mix and make the gas, carbon dioxide. Once 90 seconds was done they took the cardboard off and put a match into the cup. The carbon dioxide put out the fire.

They thought that was very cool to watch the match barely be put into the cup and then go out once the gas came into contact with the fire. The more they tried the deeper they had to reach their hands into the cup because the gas was escaping from their cups. In there science book it talked about how gas changes shape and size (it will fill the area in which it is in).

They like doing experiments better they "learning" from the text book. But don't we all?
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting Works For Me Wednesday.

We recently discovered a new thing called REDBOX. Around here you found them in McDonald's and Albertsons. You can rent a movie for a $1.00 a night and you can return it to ANY REDBOX. You can even order it online and it will be waiting for you to pick it up.

This past Sunday when we went to Portland we rented a kid movie through REDBOX and then returned it to Eugene when we returned back home. How cool is that?!

There are lots of movies I won't ever watch but there are few that we have seen. I'm not sure why they have so many horror movies but maybe if they see enough people renting other movies they will start getting more of that genre.

Every Tuesday they get more "new" movies to rent. Also get your first rental free by entering the code- REDBOX.

Just be careful you will start saying "it is only dollar", when you drop off the movie then you pick up another movie because it is only a dollar.



part 3 of Sunday- zoo

We went to the zoo (field trip #3) for a couple hours on Sunday afternoon. The kids were excited because now there is a new bear to stand by and get your photo with. My camera was dieing by the time we got to the zoo so I only have a couple of pictures. It was late in the afternoon so most of the animals were taking a nap (plus it was HOT).

Two of our favorite things to do at the zoo is to see the Winged Wonders (butterfly garden) and the Lorikeets. Both exhibits had napping animals. The kids were a little disappointed. We were too but since my camera was dieing I'm glad I didn't miss any great photo ops. Last year we had butterflies landing on us (even on noses) and the Lorikeets always looks so beautiful when the kids hold them.

The zoo is getting a Lion in 2009. I'm excited because that was one of my favorite things about the Pittsburgh Zoo when we visited last Spring.

We were tired when we got home on Sunday evening after our long day with the balloons and picnic. I hope I'm caught up in my blogging...but can you ever really be caught up? It is like scrapbooking there is always more you can do! Now, that I mention that I haven't even blogged about how our daily school life is going this year. I guess I have more blogging to do! :)


Sunday afternoon- JRA picnic

After our hot air balloon adventure we headed to Portland for a JRA picnic. For those of you who don't know what JRA stands for: Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Samantha was diagnosed with it when she was 2 years old.

I think there were 70 people at the picnic. They had all kinds of yummy food and crafts for the kids. Then they had 2 pinatas for the kids (one for the younger kids and one for the older kids). That is Andrew wearing the pinata head.

It is always nice to get together with other people who know your struggle and pain as a family dealing with this disease.

When the picnic ended we still had a few hours before we needed to head back down South so we went on our next adventure for Sunday.
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Hot Air Balloons

Yesterday (Sunday) was a busy day for us. We got up while it was still dark outside and went to where they were launching the hot air balloons for the Eugene Celebration. Our friends, Jeremy and Sabrina, own a balloon but for the celebration they were just being grounds crew for another balloonist. We arrived in time to see the balloons get filled up. It was very neat to see and hear all the sounds that are involved in ballooning.

We went along as the "chase" crew for the balloon. It didn't fly very long before it landed in a big field next to a church. The lady who owned the balloon offered us "tethered rides" in the balloon. Samantha didn't like the noise involved but she did give it a little try. Andrew barely went in the air the first time but the second time he went up high. Maddie didn't want to try at all she just wanted to be "grounds crew". Jay could hardly wait to get into the balloon. He was like a kid in a candy store. He loved it.

Yes, I did go up because of peer pressure. I'm afraid of heights but this was a very different experience since you are standing in a basket. I wasn't at all freaked out like I thought I would be...which is a good thing since I didn't want to look like a fool.

Jeremy had just given Andrew a ride in the balloon and Maddie got brave enough to stand inside the basket for a photo. We all are holding the balloon to the ground.

One of the most amazing things about this balloon was the fact the lady who owned it had sewn the "envelope" which is the part we think of as the balloon. I can't image coming up with a design and then being able to sew it. It was so huge I would think the material would over take your house. Plus would I trust my life with something I had sewn?! Sabrina was telling me of another envelope this lady had sewn and was selling. It sounded absolutely beautiful.
After we were done with this experience we headed up to Portland for adventure that I'll blog about later. I've been trying to catch up with all my overdue blogging. :)
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Part 2 of the field trip to Wildlife Safari

This baby was so close to us. I really wanted the kids to get out of the van and run up to it so I could snap a photo but you aren't allowed to get out of your vans. Wouldn't that of been a cute picture?! The kids were freaked out and telling me no they wouldn't get out when I was teasing them about jumping out so I could get a picture.

As you can see in the photo below (car mirror is even in the picture) that Mom and Dad weren't to far from baby. Our van could of been gored. That would of made for interesting conversation piece.

Isn't this white deer unusual looking?

I don't know if you can see the egg in this picture but this Emu was nervous with us being only a couple feet away. I could of touched it's head. It was trying to scare us away. Jay rolled my window down and then left it locked down so it could stick its head in the window. That was getting me a little freaked out.

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Labor Day! Field trip #2

Labor day was the first day I felt normal after my surgery so we decided to head South to Wildlife Safari.

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and it was warm. We took a train ride, watched the elephant perform and saw people getting their pictures taken with the Cheetah.
In the petting part the kids discovered that they could be sheep.
"Baby sheep, Maddie"

Big sister sheep, Samantha

Brother sheep, Andrew

We drove the the wild animal part. I really like the bear area. We saw bears swimming and one huge bear napping. To be only be few yards away from the wild animals was amazing. Of course in the bear area we couldn't open the doors of the van or roll down the windows. And the sign told us if the bear approaches your vehicle to keep driving slowly. In the next blog I'll post more pictures (Picasa only allows a few pictures at a time).
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Fighting Duck

Picasa won't let you blog that many pictures at one here is the rest of us with the Duck.

Andrew (in the pants) and his gym mate- Owen.

Maddie (yes she has on a pink hula skirt and swimsuit under her clothes)

Andrew being fed to the Duck.
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Eugene Celebration

Saturday was the Eugene Celebration. The girls walked in the parade with the Girl Scouts. Since Eugene is such a liberal town Andrew and I had to talk about what some of the parade entries meant and if we agreed with their beliefs. Some of the stuff upset him such as the people who were against our President. I think he thought that was very unAmerican.
Samantha is dressed as a Girl Scout cookie. She said some people asked her if she was "sponge bob."
We went to kid zone later in the day and got our picture taken with the Duck. Some of you might of seen on the news last weeks the football game where the Duck mascot was not showing very good conDUCKt when he beat up the Cougar at our home game. If you haven't...there are youtube videos. I won't post it here since the kids read the blog.

Samantha and the Fighting Duck!!
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1st field trip-> OMSI

Our first field trip for school this year was a trip to OMSI in Portland. This field trip happened a couple weeks before school started because I knew with my surgery I might not be up to going at a later date. It was the first time the kids remember going (last time we went Maddie might not of been born). I mailed out a photo postcard with all three kids wearing their "chemistry goggles", hopefully the family got it. That picture was taken in the Chemistry lab portion of OMSI. There was so much to see and do that we need to go back a few more time so the kids can finish doing all the fun stuff there. My favorite part was the Physics lab where you could play around with making static. Jay tried to get my hair to stand on end but I think I had too much hairspray in to make it work correctly.

Even though this picture was taken in August did you notice the Oregon sunshine (cloudy and drizzling)? It has been a wet summer. I sure hope that we have a nice Fall. Yesterday it was close to 90 degrees.
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