Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fire and Ice

The Gaylord Texan is currently displaying their 5th annual ICE exhibit, this year featuring Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic "How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. The artists recreated the beloved classic from 2 million pounds of ice! The exhibit tent is an arctic 9 degrees and bone chilling cold, even with the huge parka they provide. The kids loved the show and didn’t complain about the cold (perhaps due to my irrefutable motherly preaching beforehand)

Carissa's first exposure to the cold

The ice slide that I was ever-so-eloquently called a “chicken” by Kasey for my non-participation (He even used the chicken arms and the "bock bock bock")

After the Ice show, we were all frosty and needed a defrost so we warmed ourselves with my favorite treat, Starbucks. Not long after we were home, we all passed out warm and toasty in our beds. It was about 4am that I was wakened by the smell of smoke. My room was hazy (and not the California smog kind), so I checked my kitchen for perhaps I thoughtlessly left the stove top on, or maybe due to lack of Charlie Brown tree watering, there was a bonfire in my living room. Nope! So, I went outside and was surprised when I saw smoke coming up from my downstairs neighbor's balcony. I panicked and knocked on the neighbor's door (don't forget, it's 4am!) Of course, no answer. The only thought that crossed my mind is that they've passed out from smoke inhalation and any minute my lovely lil' apartment would be engulfed in flames. So, I proceeded with the infamous 911 phone call. They instructed me to get everyone out of my apartment and outside. In an attempt not to panic my boys, I gently woke them up, handed them their shoes and coats and brought them outside. Carrying my not-so-little Kasey, I got outside just in time to greet the police officers. I told them there was smoke from the balcony and in a mad dash, they rushed around the building. To my surprise, I hear one of the respectable police officers yell in a slightly perturbed voice "It's an electric meat smoker..." Agggghhh, the embarrassment. Just then the fire truck comes roaring around the corner, horns blazing, lights flashing. I proceeded to apologize to the officers for wasting their time and attempted to explain that "I'm from California, we don't enjoy our meat tasting like a fire. I know nothing of this meat smoking." (hahaha) Kasey, in his sleepiest voice, told the officer "UGH, we were in 9 degrees all afternoon and just when I got warm, bam, we're outside being frozen again". So sorry neighbors! I promise to work on learning to distinguish the difference between house fire, and meat cooking.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Carissa's Rube Goldberg "Simple" (but not) Machine

Carissa's 7th grade pre-ap science class was assigned (or should I say, the parents were assigned) the creation of a Rube Goldberg Machine using all 6 of the simple machines. Needless to say, this was anything but "easy".

Thanks to Dennis, we were able to complete the task at hand, and Carissa's project was the only project that didn't require help after the initial action was induced. The project had to include all six simple machines; which for those of you who need a reminder, as I did are: incline, screw, pulley, wheel and axle, lever, and wedge.

To work her machine, we created it as follows: Poured water into a tube that started on an "incline" that moved into the shape of a "screw" to create force. The water then dripped into a hat that is attached to a "pulley" and when the water weighed down the hat, the pulley turned the "wheel and axle" to drop the ball onto the "lever". The lever is set up like a teeter-totter with a "wedge" on the tip that when lifted by the lever, flipped the light switch. Had we not been working with water, we could have done something really cool and created electricity to the light switch to turn something on, but we decided it was a bit ambitious and a bit on the dangerous side.

Carissa's final grade was an 85% due to points being deducted for being over the 50cm height limit and the wedge did not significantly enough resemble a proper wedge. (we got tired and didn't make the bottom big enough to really look like a wedge) I must say, being a prideful parent, that this news was a bit disturbing with how much work went into the project and viewing her classmates attempts at this project (Yikes!). Oh well, a "B" is "not terrible" and since the class is a pre-ap class, it technically counts as an "A", so I'll take it with a smile.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Turkey Day


Katie's Maternity Pics


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August Girls Night

Who doesn't love a girl's night? August was our Taco / Sing-star night. We, of course, had a total blast (with our group, we always do!) Thank you Cristin for offering your home for us to raise havoc in. Thanks Jaime for playing photographer.

The Crew: Taylor, Tammy, Michelle, Me, Cristin

Beautiful Bella! (Thanks for entertaining my kids!)

Aunty Michelle and Carissa, beautiful blue eyes

Why do we always revert to the gang sign?


Taylor, get up and sing!

Woooooowww... Tammy took on Brittany Spears.

Kasey's idea of dancing is me holding him and jumping up and down. I'll take it for a few more years!

Gavin telling me, "Mom, the worst part about these girl's nights is when the moms all start dancing. My eyes! My eyes!"

Umm, Michelle performing her rendition of the chicken dance. I suppose it's the only move she can actually do without her neck brace!

Oh my, that move"s gonna hurt!


I intend to help my children live a longer life than me.

Tom's Farms - Aug 2008

Tom's Farms - Aug 2008