Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Snow Day!

Our first snow has arrived (and left... didn't last past the day.... !) - and it was fun while it lasted!

Poor Mr. Snowman fell over almost immediately after being built.  He was a rather fine looking snowman and the snow was perfect for building, but the weather did not allow him to stay for long.  :)

Sunday, October 04, 2015

The Big Little Helpers

Lincoln and Evan love to help their Dad - this past weekend they offered their assistance with the tire change over.  I'm sure he was grateful for their assistance?  :)  He's lucky to have them, of course!
And it turns out that little helpers can grow into big helpers with self initiative..... last week I looked outside and saw my guys raking without even being asked to!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Off to Michigan!

Bentley, Jake & Viva are off adventuring with Grandma and Opa in Michigan.  They are going to have the chance to see tons of family, hunt for rocks, check out the horses, and more - I hope it's a grand time!

Friday, October 02, 2015

The Fruit Orchard

Last week we had the chance to take a field trip to an experimental orchard here in Anchorage.  The orchard has over two hundred different fruit trees, as well as a large green house for some apple and pear varieties that otherwise couldn't grow in Anchorage.  The owner of the orchard was an avid gardener who decided to experiment with growing fruit in Alaska in his retirement about ten years ago, and since his death a couple years back the property has fallen into disrepair.  A friend of ours from church has been volunteering her time to maintain and spruce the place up - which is how we learned of this tree treasure trove here in Anchorage (fruit orchards are not that common up here... !)

We checked the place out and were able to help clear a bunch of deadwood from the orchard.  All the kids were great helpers, Bentley in particular was a real trooper - he told me he could do that type of work all day every day.  I guess that means a farm life is for him?! :)

I am amazed at how delicious all the different apple varieties we brought home are.  We were told no two trees are the same!  Most of the trees are crab apples with other fruits grafted onto them.  We learned that when you cut an apple open, if the seeds are brown it means the apple is ripe.  We also learned that without proper sunlight apples that are meant to be lovely reds and pinks will not color up and will remain green.  We had a great time and hope to go back and help (and eat!) more next year!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Happy #3, Evan!

I wanted to title this "Happy Birthday, Baby!" but Evan tells us, emphatically, that he is not a baby.  Baby is his idea of the worst insult in the world and he pulls it out for use on his siblings (and adults) when we make him REALLY upset - you BIG BABY, he'll yell!

Evan is three!  He has been excited about his birthday and knew it was coming up.  It took a little bit of work for us to convince him it's okay to *just* be three though - he would much prefer to be turning 4 or 5 or even 9, as he told one lady at the store!

Grandma suggested the bouncy house for our celebration of choice, and it was a big hit with Evan (and all his siblings, of course... !).  We went for three hours and Evan has already told me that when he turns 4 he wants to go back to the jump place for his birthday.

In the evening we had pizza and cake with Grandma Vicki and our friend Marjory, and finished the day with a new Looney Tunes DVD Evan received for his birthday.  We love you, little guy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Walk Time w/Opa

I love the second picture. Opa tells me that Viva and Lincoln were non-stop chatterboxes on their walk. I love that they love to play and get along so well! They are lucky to have eachother. :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Instant Slush?

The children like to watch science videos by Grant Thompson, The King of Random. Sometimes they ask to do the experiments. Some of the experiments are quite involved--for instance cutting a fire extinguisher in half to create a backyard foundry or using a fire brick to make a mini arc-furnace. Needless to say the adults in the house are not eager to help out with such experiments. However, I want to encourage the children in their scientific inquiries, so if an easy to do experiment comes along, I try to accommodate them.

A couple of weeks ago Viva (and then Jake) watched a video on how to make magic slushies. The key was to super chilll a plastic bottle of pop to the point that it was still 100% liquid, but when you opened it and poured it out it turned to slush as you poured it--just like magic! 

Finding a small plastic bottle of pop was my first challenge. You can only get name brand pop in plastic pint bottles, so I paid top dollar for a six pack of Sprite. The video told us to shake the bottle and put it in the freezer for 3 hours and 25 minutes--the time varied depending on your freezer. We did that and by two hours we had frozen pop. Over the next two days we put bottles of pop in and out of the freezer trying to find that magic threshold where the pop was super chilled, but not yet forming any ice crystals. We never found the magic time for our freezer. The children lost faith after the fifth attempt, but they enjoyed drinking the half frozen pop!

Bentley steered clear of the entire experiment. I'm sure he was afraid we'd make him give the drink a try.