Tuesday, April 30, 2013


 The girls got this set of blocks for Christmas. They care called "Contraptions." And really all they are, are very regularly cut rectangles with smooth edges in exactly the same size. An entire box of the same size piece. They came with a booklet of building ideas to get you started building, but not entire plans. The girls and I built a ping pong ball tunnel and a few other things. They really had fun with this, and their imaginations surpassed my own. Although they did get frustrated because their ideas were better than their fine motor control of balancing these blocks. That's the other thing, this kit relies entirely upon balance, no velcro, glue, notches, ect.

Above, Izzie made a simple ramp and then stacked blocks in front to knock down domino style. She kept resetting the blocks up and experimenting to see how many she could get her ball to knock down. She got to 11.

 Maddie working on a different kind of ramp.

 Izzie with up to 5 blocks knocked down.

 Maddie making a long ramp.

 Maddie looking through a Wizard of Oz book.

 Izzie looking through her Oz book.

 I'm loving my "pantry." When I first saw this house and this corner of the kitchen with no cabinetry, I figured I'd have to go to Home Depot or perhaps IKEA and buy some cabinets since there is no pantry and this is a small kitchen. I had one of these wracks in my art room back at my old house and it dawned on me it'd make for great kitchen storage. I soon bought another one and I have been loving this. I even put my toaster oven on it, so as to free up counter space. It's plugged in so it just stays on the shelf.

 One of my new friends, JoAnn invited me to go check out a store in Portland called Scraps. It's a really cool idea. They take donations of junk you plan on getting rid of from your art supplies and they organize it and sell it at really cheap prices. It was a really cool space! I ended up buying a bunch of paper for the girls, but otherwise you sort of need a plan of attack, otherwise the stuff was just a bit overwhelming. As we were leaving we saw a shop across the street called Vintage by the Pound. We walked in and were sifting through the stuff when we found some dress up clothes for the girls. Emily and Angela (JoAnn had to leave before we made it to the vintage store) started piling more and more dress up clothes in my arms. I ended up with 5 pounds of dress up clothes for $15. It was quite a lot! These are two "witch" costumes that made it. Izzie even went to grab her broom for her witch costume.

 Maddie making some mud stew.

 I've been doing most of my shopping at Chucks since you can buy Raw Milk there. I really like Chucks but the owners are some religion that doesn't eat pork so the entire grocery store is pork free. No BACON. I heard that New Seasons also sells Raw Milk so I decided to go there and see what they were about. They were about HIGH PRICES. My grocery bill was almost double what I normally spend. It was too bad too because the girls each got a grocery cart to push around which they loved. Luckily the store wasn't very crowded, this would have been hard to manage with a full store!

 Izzie and Maddie checking out the new gym. They are on the balance beam. This was a trail class. I didn't enroll them last week because of Take Your Kid to Work Day, and I'm not sure if we'll make this week or not. We are getting over pretty bad colds. But I'm ready to get back into our routine!

Two Friday's ago, we went to a new park near Angela's house with Angela's kids and Emily's kids. It was a beautiful day. Izzie is up there running on the hilltop with a bunch of the other kids.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Backyard Pics and More OMSI

 It's been fun as spring is rolling around to take photos of the backyard and find all the new plants that are blooming.

 We rigged this fence out of scrap pieces left on the side of the house. We made it so Ripley can only stay on this side of it to use the doggy facilities. That way poop isn't over the entire yard and he doesn't risk walking into the pond. Since his is mostly blind and deaf that is an issue. So this isn't too glamorous yet, but it gets the job done for now.
 One of the many blooms. Here it starts out white but now, a couple weeks later it is turning pink! (These were taken April 9th and today is the 27th.

 I think this used to be an old bird feeder from the previous owners. Or maybe a planter... but it's still interesting even as it is falling apart.

 I've seen holly bushes before, but not holly trees!

 This tree stump had a bench sort of placed on top. Today it fell off, I didn't try to put it back on though.

 A trip to OMSI, it is raining but no one really uses umbrella's here. Ball caps keep the rain out of our eyes and we keep on truckin!

 The girls (Maddie/Izzie) really love this nature table. It is set up for them to create rivers, dams, ponds ect.

 This table was fascinating to me. Well, the girls interest in it was actually what was fascinating! It was an electricity table. Those clear plastic pieces each had a picture engraved on it for different types of electricity. There was hydro, thermal, wave, wind, solar, etc. They had to place them across this map of Oregon and see if they could light up the entire state. Maddie manned the switch and they worked together to figure out the right forms of electricity. For instance over on the left where there is ocean they tried the wave electricy and it worked. They tried thermal over the land and in some spots it worked, but in some they realized they needed wind power. When Izzie saw a river she knew it needed the hydro electricity. The amount of logic they used really impressed me. They almost had the entire grid filled except for three spots when about 4 other kids came along and started messing with the table. I quickly stopped the kids and told them what the puzzle was. Maddie directed the other kids (two of which were clearly several years older than her) on which pieces to put where. When the entire table lit up, all the kids let out a collective cheer. It was awesome!

 Izzie checking out some geodes.

 Maddie and Izzie looking at this model of the human body. When they hit buttons on the panel, different organs lit up. They had me read each and every one!

 Izzie touching a piece of OUTER SPACE (a meteorite)! This was cool because we've been watching Star Trek.
 Emily and her boys joined us at the museum and we soon headed to the Science Playground. The girls didn't find this sand pit the first time we came to OMSI. The boys went in it and it wasn't too many more minutes before the girls found it this time!

 Maddie and Izzie playing in the sand.

 Maddie watching Izzie and Jamie playing Connect Four with Robots. They controlled the two yellow robot arms and had them put balls in the grid.

 Jamie figuring out the air rocket with Maddie and Izzie.

William walking over to see what it is about too.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hanging out at home and with friends

 Spent some girly time playing Barbies with the girls. They have two Disney Prince "barbie" dolls. They lined up all the Princesses and then had each one say whether or not the Prince was suitable to marry. I was mostly watching their role play, they got so into it that they tuned me out. (Maddie/Izzie.)

 There's a joke on the Internet called "first world problems" where it shows a picture of a woman or man upset about something that is only an issue in a first world situation. I took this photo of "First World Kitteh Problems" Jake had a spot the size of a quarter showing at the bottom of his food bowl and he was so stressed out. And it's not like he should be worried that I'm out of food to give him with that big jar behind his bowl! I've seen him paw his food out of the way to make that hole so he can complain.

 I bought these black  t-shirts months ago to sew a design on for the girls, but I haven't gotten my sewing room up and running yet. I wanted them to be able to use them before they out grew them, so I turned it into an impromptu art project. Izzie.

 Maddie. I explained to both girls that there was only ONE t-shirt per girl and if they messed up, they couldn't erase or get a new one. I told them a lot of artist sketch out their designs on paper first to get an idea of what they wanted to draw. Maddie really embraced the idea and sketched out a bat. But then when she wanted to paint on the t-shirt she decided black bat wouldn't show up so she switched her idea to butterfly!

 Izzie dove right in with drawing a Princess.

 Daddy building a lego set for the girls that they got for Christmas.

 First playdate at Emily's house with her triplet boys: William, Jamie and Christopher.

 They have an awesome sandbox. It was sprinkling but that's how we roll now.

 I put up this white board in the school room and the girls love it....

 I caught the girls spying on our neighbor. It was so funny. I had to remind them that she could hear them!

 Putting them to work!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Taking Daddy to Lunch

 My den is progressing along. I was thinking where that Sunflower picture is propped, a big floor mirror would be cool. But not sure. If I could find a big one that had some carving (something like this: http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Lacey-28-Inch-Antique-Bronze-Finish-Large-Mirror/6512242/product.html) but bigger... I think it would look cool in that spot. I also want to put a lamp behind that chair.

 Izzie dressed herself as a pink ruffle princess.

 We picked Daddy up at work to take him to lunch. Maddie, Izzie and Daddy. We went to this little bistro called Twilight that was so good! They have TDF Fries. I didn't ask what the TDF stood for and I didn't know the waitress was standing behind me. I said after tasting them, "Oh my goodness these are the best fries I've ever had!" She said, "They don't call them To Die For Fries for nothing!"

 This wall is painted with dry erase marker paint. That was so cool to the girls! We didn't stay too long since Daddy had to get back to work, but it was a fun quick tour of the office!

 This is the plant that Maddie discovered in our backyard one day. They were out there playing and my rule is not to pick anything that is alive except for the English Ivy (it is all over the place.) Well, she ignored the rule, tried to pick this and got stung. She came running in screaming. I put her hand under cold water and started washing, first looking for stingers/thorns, etc. I was trying to get her to calm down enough to tell me what happened. At this point I wasn't sure if it was a bee sting, poisonous plant, etc. She finally was able to tell me it was a plant. I put an ice pack on her hand and dragged her outside so she could show me which one. I took a photo of it, sent it to my mom and went back inside. While Mom was googling, I put itch salve, aloe and neosporin with pain relief. She didn't like anything but ice water. Mom ID'd the pant and we realized it wasn't anything super dangerous. (Stinging Nettle) Her hand hurt for a couple of hours but eventually got better. The pain is described to that similar of a bee sting or jelly fish sting. OUCH!

 Picture of some of the English Ivy in my house. It's crazy how lush and hardy it is here!

 Maddie and Izzie starting a puzzle.

 Daddy helping Izzie work on it some.

 My first MNO (Mom's Night Out.) I met Emily, Sherri, Natalie and Angela at this German restaurant called Gustav's. It was so good and so much fun!

 One morning Belle, I mean, Maddie, and Izzie woke up and saw this seed pod on the deck. They ran outside to investigate. They had fun trying to figure out how to open it and counting the seeds.

That day for math we were talking about patterns. They were later playing outside and Izzie came to get me. Mom! We made a pattern (they pronounce it pat-er-en) outside! Dirt, Leaf, Dirt, Leaf, Dirt, Leaf, Dirt!!!!