Thursday, December 20, 2012

Oobleck, Missiles and More Minecraft!

Last month I was getting ready to place an Amazon order and asked Russ if there was anything he needed.  When I went to place the order, I saw that his needed items included three different colored lasers...  Highly necessary items. :)
And they are used almost daily between driving the cat crazy, making our own disco rooms in the dark, and like this--as a high-jump bar.

Russ decided we needed a Minecraft-inspired tree this year and came up with this.

I love the texture of the bark, the 3-dimensional branches, the lights and ornaments hung with fishing line, and his small fire so we can snuggle by it (we are fireplace-less in this house and were surprised at how much we missed it!).

We were leaving Open Gym at gymnastics, walked out into the parking lot to go home after they closed, "Mom, can we do more gymnastics out here??"
2 hours at the gym + 1 hour spinning around a bar in the parking lot...

...leads to exhaustion.

I can always tell when this kid is growing--for about a month straight he'll take random naps, either anytime we go anywhere in the car or between 4-7pm...

So the kids like to watch tutorials on YouTube for how to do things in Minecraft.  So of course Brooklyn wanted to make her own tutorial.  I figured out which software to download, how to use it, and let her go.  This is Brooklyn giving a tour of the windmill she made, explaining everything as she shows it including detailed information on the axles, gears, pistons, how the wind makes it work...unfortunately though, the audio doesn't work!!  Sigh. 
I was quite impressed while listening to her though, she knew her stuff!

So, Brooklyn dropped gymnastics.  Unfortunately, one of her first teachers wasn't a good match and she got burnt out on it.  We love going to the open gym, but it's only once a month!  So we did the only logical thing...bring gymnastics to the house!  Each day has about an hour of flipping, hanging, jumping, rolling, cartwheeling, hand-standing...pretty fun stuff!

She has been working on flipping over the bar at gymnastics for weeks and was getting really frustrated.  Set up something at home, let her go, and she gets it in minutes.  Love her!

We were really into Oobleck for about a week.  It was everywhere.
We had a friend come join in the fun one day and went through NINE boxes of cornstarch!! 
The photos below are only having used five of those boxes.
They had an Oobleck fight.
After using the additional four boxes, both girls' hair was completely white.
Thank heavens for showers.

The aftermath.

The city Christmas parade was just a mile down the road from us, so we walked down there. 
We had to leave a bit early since it takes awhile to get there when there are so many fun things to climb on the way...

We finally got there and were miraculously able to snag a seat.  Well, the kids were able to.
We were at the end of the parade route and we didn't see anything for an additional 45 minutes.
During that 45 minutes, people kept coming and coming.  Thank heavens I stayed by the kids (Russ ran into the store) because by the time the parade got to us, the crowd was 8-10 people deep.

I kept a close eye on the kids because I knew Sam was apt to get up and go if he got bored.  Of course in the 10 seconds he's not in my sight, he disappears.  I was SO glad Russ was at the back of the crowd because I could hardly turn around, much less search through the crowd.
And thank heavens Brook got tired after about 40 minutes of parade because the rest of us were ready to get out of there.
The reason she got tired and wanted to go?  She was apparently singing Jingle Bells non-stop for the entire time she was sitting there.  I wasn't close enough to hear it, but I'm sure all of her neighbors enjoyed it (it looks like they had a lot of space in the photo, but believe me, they did not!).  :)

Earlier this month, Russ's class headed to Livermore for a week.
They also checked out the surrounding area.  I always wanted to go out to this vantage point, but we never made it.

Here's the inside of a missile.

I missile, rising up out of the ground.


This was Morning #1 after Russ leaving for the week.
No one can ever say that I'm not loved.  :)
(Sam LOVES his dad.  As in, asking me multiple times a day, "How many hours until Daddy is home?!"  This morning I told him that Russ gets a full TEN DAYS off for Christmas.  That kid was bouncing off the walls!!)

I adore this photo.
Sam had asked me to help him with something on Minecraft that was going to take me a bit.
While waiting, he's jumping all over the place (literally over the back of the couch, running around to the front, jumping over, running around...), and at some point he only got halfway with his jump before passing out...

He is also my Popsicle fiend.

Sam and I needed to get out for some fresh (frigid) air one day and did a little sidewalk art.
(It says "SANTA!  Don't forget me!")

Ha, I've got a few of Sam, huh?
This was taken first thing in the morning.  The way you can tell that is because Tesla usually avoids Sam...except in the mornings.  She will get up off my warm lap to saunter over to his where he asks her how she slept and loves on her.  He is hands down her favorite...for about 5-10 minutes.

The kids discovered socks on wood floors the other day.
Now I seem to find stray socks everywhere I look.

For the past couple of months, Brooklyn has been into using various accents and has asked about certain words in Spanish and French (I think the accents bit is due to many that she hears on YouTube).  I can help with the Spanish, but not so much with the French.  So I got some flashcards and started putting them around the house.
Sam was actually the one that was most interested!  He loved when I'd put a couple of new ones up while he was out of the room, then finding them and repeating the words after I tell them how to say them.

I didn't hear the full song or see the video to Gangnam Style until about a month ago.  I turned it on though and the kids flipped.  Immediate jump up and dance!
Can you imagine how excited they were when a Minecraft version of the music video was made?!
So this is longer than it should be (2 minutes, I think), but just before this they were totally in sync and I was dying.  So fun!

At the zoo, hoping to see the new baby rhino!  Unfortunately, the rhino was not available to the public yet.

But it was still fun!!  The best part about it all is that we hardly saw anyone else the whole time we were there (including our homeschool group that we were there with!).

Of course we had to visit the gift store.  We played lots--burying an alligator in rocks in this photo.  Told the kids they could each spend $10 or save it or whatever.  Brook decided she wanted to save it, but found a $3 key chain.  Sam decided he was going to pass as well, but then found a $3 windup snake toy that the cat loves.  Works for me!

Sam asked me to document our Minecraft decorations that I made in-between cutting out snowflakes for the window.

Brook and I did some Minecraft Christmas-themed scratch art.

Aaaand more Minecraft!
I was lying on the floor, exhausted, ready for bed, but the kids were playing together on our server and were having a blast.  I had to document some of the non-stop conversation that goes on.  I love to listen in as they often come up with the most sweet and/or hilarious things.
Don't get me wrong, I've had to break up an arrow fight or two, but all in all they play really well with each other.

Brook asked to take some photos with the phone. 
I wasn't aware she intended to follow me around, snapping everything I did!

Recall what I said earlier about how Sam feels about his dad??  Yup.

Sam asked me to play a Memory game that was included in one of the magazines we got recently.  It was all about different kinds of shells.
Sam said, "What if we did a Minecraft game?!"
So I googled the things he thought we should have images of.
Print, cut, paste, voila!

We love our homeschool park day!! 
 Always lots to do and lots of friends to do it with.
I love that I'll be pushing the kids on the swings and some of the older kids will come and ask if I'd like for them to push for awhile.  Or if they can help dig holes and bury the kids in the sand.  Or lift them up so that they can reach leaves.  And in turn my kids love taking their computers for whoever wants to play our games.

When the weather turns cold, my need to crochet something kicks in.
This year I had the idea to do a creeper for Sam--it's perfect, since creepers are just a bunch of pixels!
I got started the week Russ left town and finished a week after he got back and I love it!
He's seen me working on it, but has never seen it laid out.
SO excited to give this to him!
I actually had a Lot of fun doing it and Brooklyn's already requested a Minecraft ocelot face...hmm...

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of the year!  Love to you all!

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