Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween!

Halloween is still great fun for our eight and ten year old kids. I'm not sure when trick-or-treating starts to be uncool but we're not there yet. This year Greta went as a Minion and Wesley was a whoopie cushion. He's very much into bathroom humor at the moment and this was a fitting costume.


We actually remembered to buy pumpkins and carved them before Halloween for a change. I let them use the tiny saws and carve them all by themselves, they did great!

Yep, a poop emoji. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Underground

My parents and the kids and I went on a road trip yesterday to visit a salt mine. It's still a working mine but the sections that are open to the public are already mined. The salt mine is 660 feet below ground and you take a elevator down. I had read the reviews online and they were glowing so we were excited to see it.


We watched a short video to prepare us for the trip down and then were fitted with hard hats. They were fashionable.



The elevator ride down takes 90 seconds and is pitch black. It made me a bit anxious but it's over with quickly and then you are down in a large open area of the mine. We were free to explore at our own pace and there were several exhibits positioned around.





The ticket price included admission to the mine, the dark ride and train ride. The dark ride was my favorite and it was a tram ride that takes you all over the unused portions of the mine. At one point they turn off all lights and we sit in darkness to truly experience how dark and quiet it was. The only sound you hear is that of the fan that pumps oxygen down into the mine. It's a little unnerving. The highlight of the ride was they stop at a pile of loose salt and let everyone take a chunk home. The kids loved that.






What a fun experience! The kids really enjoyed it, more so than I thought they would.

Friday, October 27, 2017

This and that....

The fall parade was last weekend and the kids just love going. Every year it seems to get longer and longer which just means more candy. It was a nice warm day and lots of people came out, it was nice. There is always a craft fair set up afterwards and we like to go support the local artists and buy their goods. We walked away with several knit hats for winter and some cute Christmas decorations. It was a great day.




When Sean's brother came to visit two months ago they brought some avocados for tacos we ate one night. We aren't avocado people (they make my tummy hurt) but have always been intrigued by growing the pits into trees. So Becca put toothpicks  into them and suspended them over a jar of water. About a month later one had sprouted roots and was transplanted into a pot. I'm anxious to see what will come of our little avocado tree.


Little bean has made herself right at home. We've had her for about a month and a half and she's doing great. She and Winston just adore each other and sleep like this often.


Our schnauzer house guest has gone home after living with us for 6 weeks. It's just not the same around here without Dieter but I think he's quite happy to go home to his quiet retirement home.


A couple of weeks ago Wesley had a birthday party to go to so Sean, Greta and I went to the local park to get a nice walk in. My church is doing a "Walk to Bethlehem" where we all walk and add up the miles to do a virtual walk to Bethlehem before Christmas. It's about 6200 miles so every little bit helps. It's been a fun motivation to get outside and enjoy this beautiful fall weather.





Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Jump!

Both kids are in the local elementary school and each year they bring home some sort of fundraiser for the Parent Teach Organization. This usually consists of cookie dough, pies and or little trinkets to buy. They are always overpriced and the school gets a small percentage of the sale. But for the past two years they have been trying out something new. Instead of buying stuff they just ask for a flat donation where 100% of the money goes to the PTO. Then after everything is collected there is a fun run and carnival night where the kids get to go have fun. It's been really fun for the kids the past two years and it brings in a lot more money for the school (about 3 times more than the traditional fundraiser). They have different tiers of donations and if you donate the highest tier the school takes those kids to the local trampoline park. We didn't donate that amount last year and pretty much half the school left for the day. I promised the kids we would let them go this year since it's Wesley's last year in the elementary school. I decided to tag along since I've never been there.

It was a ton of fun! Trampolines everywhere, foam pits that you can jump into, obstacle courses and trapezes. We jumped and jumped and jumped and I could hardly move the next day. In all there were 150 kids there and it was memorable. I'm happy we went and I told Greta I'll go with her again next year.






Monday, October 23, 2017

Friday Off

October is always a month of Friday's off for the kids. I'm not sure why but three of the four Friday's are no school. It's fun and we try and go do things together on that day off. Last Friday I took the kids into town to have lunch with Sean and then a nice walk. Wesley's teacher is doing a unit on Japan and brought in some Japanese candy and soda for the kids to try. He enjoyed them a lot so we went into the same store to buy some. We couldn't resist all the Day of the Dead merchandise they had displayed and had the kids model some rather strange sunglasses.






Because every kid needs a yard of bubblegum.

Friday's are my usual grocery shopping days and as much as I love my kids I need to shop by myself (it's a lot of "Mom we need these! or Mom you never buy us candy!). Let's just say it's exhausting. So my friend Jessica and I teamed up and she watched the kids while I shopped and then I watched the kids while she shopped. It worked and the kids got five hours of play time with their buddies.



Saturday, October 21, 2017

Rocket Launch

The fifth grade did a rocket project and built their own rockets. Then last week they each launched their rocket. I reminds me of when I was a kid in 4H and built rockets that were launched. It was fun to watch!






Friday, October 6, 2017

Sunflowers

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love Fall. I love that it's the end of the growing season and it's time to slow down and relax after a long summer. The air slowly becomes less sultry and more crisp. It's been in the 90's still here as of last week so I'm ready for that to happen.We found a field of sunflowers not to far from home and decided to go see them. The farmer said everyone was welcome to take pictures. They are actually trying to sell the field and thought this would be a good way to bring people out to see it. I thought that was clever.



After being stung by couple of bees this summer Greta was a little worried about wearing a yellow shirt in a field of sunflowers.



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Birthday Girl!

Greta just had her eighth birthday. Crazy how times flies! She sure is a good kid, kind and gentle (well to everyone except her brother). She's a happy kid that makes friends easily. We let her invite three girls from her class this year in addition to Jessica's kids (that are like cousins). It was a crazy fun party with 9 kids running, screaming and having fun.






Eight years with the same hat and same cute girl.
 We went to Olive Garden (her favorite place to eat) and then to Build-A-Bear (her favorite place to go) for her annual Birthday outing.



Our church likes to put the spotlight on the kids celebrating a birthday and this year was no different. She got to wear this to Sunday school and to the church service.


She's very much into arts and crafts and sewing. We thought it might be the perfect time to introduce a sewing machine since she's been asking about learning to use one for months. My parents got her one and we set it up and sewed a few items now.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Chicks & Bean

So do you remember those chicks that I saved from their murderous mom? They left my living room this weekend. I'm kind of sad. I kinda like chicks in my house. The cute little peeps that welcome me when I come into the living room, their sweet little faces staring out from the little window. But alas they had become teenage chicks and weren't so little and fuzzy anymore. Plus they make a lot of dust in the house. No, they need to go join the flock and hopefully get along with their evil moms. They are being kept in a pen inside of the hen house until they are around the same size as the other hens. Oh and as for whether any of them are roosters, I have at least one....which I'm kind of excited about. I've been keeping chickens since 2010 and never had a roo.

On nice days they get to go outside.

Our little Bean is integrating nicely into the household. It's like she's always been here. She's already situated herself as alpha dog and bosses all the boys around. Every morning when I put my shoes on to take the kids to school she jumps up on me and waits for me to take her to the car. She sits between the kids when we go to school and rides on my lap on the way home. It's our little routine. I feel bad not bringing all the dogs be she's so tiny and calm compared to the others.



I tried to get a selfie with her and she went all "spazy" but it made for a funny picture.


Did manage to get a good one.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Sean's Home for Retired Milling Machines

The Hubby has been spending a lot of time out in the shop on various projects. Last month he gained another project when the F250 blew a spark plug. He bought the kit to replace all ten spark plugs with inserts to prevent that problem from happening again. Most were fairly easy but several in the back were pretty difficult to replace. I believe it took him two weekends but he got them all replaced and the truck back to running smoothly.

As you can imagine, his knees hurt.
He's been on the hunt for the perfect milling machine to replace two of his current milling machines. He has a Bridgeport in pieces that he planned to restore but decided to replace it with a working machine and sell it. I think he's decided he has too many "project" mills and wants to actually use them rather than put them back together.

He found a nice one on Craigslist in working order and decided to buy it. He brought it home and then we had the fun opportunity to unload this 2700 pound piece of machinery off of our trailer. He loaded it onto the trailer using a Come-Along and a few lengths of pipe (and about three hours of time) so he used the same method to get it off the trailer. He slowly let the cable out of the Come-Along while I took the front pipe out and replaced it in the back. It worked great and since we had gravity on our side it went pretty quickly.






So now he has four milling machines in his small shop. I told him he's running a rescue for elderly milling machines. We'll see if he can rehome a couple of them to free up space.....for more.