Monday, August 30, 2010

Table decoration or vegetable...

Last week we encountered some very interesting things in our CSA basket. After a few weeks of receiving deep purple cauliflower, we thought we had seen it all. This week we received a yellow cauliflower head, and given our past experiences with cooking the purple one, which just did not look appetizing once sauteed, we opted to eat this one raw. The other new and interesting thing in our basket was the Romanesco Cauliflower head. It hails from Italy, where else would you develop a chartreuse edible? All three of us voted for this one to become a pretty, interesting, conversation starting table decoration. It just did not look like it ought to be eaten. It is still looking pretty green after several days out on the table... maybe I will sneak it into a stir fry later on this week?
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Science Friday

It was our first Science Friday. We have found a phenomenal science curriculum and the boys could hardly contain themselves when the box arrived chock full of stuff to do experiments. Although Lukas declared he already knew all there was to know about electricity, I prevailed and we began with some simple circuits, engines and propellers. It is high time Dad comes back home to take over, because one may never know what this blond Mamma will do with science if she has it her way......
Noah spent a long time using the small propeller to cut paper strips and they both tried to figure out what was a good conductor of electricity and what was not.
True scientists record their work, so there was a bit of writing involved,,, it is great when an activity that double count for school - science and writing all in one.

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New weapons

Lukas and Noah's good friend purchased a rubber band gun - something big, strong and fierce. This new toy was a great hit and both Lukas and Noah coveted over the purchase. Back home, they promptly headed to the garage for some wood and supplies. It did not take them long to construct their very own, much larger, much fiercer and much bulkier rubber band guns. Lukas' is too big to carry on the shoulder, something he quickly realized and it is now a stationary weapon.
Once the construction was complete the boys began target practice in anticipation of the next neighborhood rubber band gun war. The rubber bands flew pretty far and these 'free' from scrap guns provided hours of fun, and were even transported to the 'hood' for show off!

Lukas quickly mastered his weapon and multi-tasked like an expert, loading, aiming, shooting while talking to Dad on the phone describing in details the construction and purpose of the new weapon.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What to do when the heat is on...

Well, we have a heat wave here in Monterey.... it has been a really long time since the car thermometer read 80, but it did so off we went to the beach. The water is still cool, the Monterey Bay never gets varies much, it remains in the 50s pretty much all year around. The boys did not mind and really enjoyed the frolicking dolphins that put on quite the show right in front of us.
How quickly we forget heat.. Lukas today complained that 'it was so hot, so hot Mamma, it is too hot... ' a quick glance at the thermometer it read 70. Life is good here in Monterey!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Class in session

The hammock is the perfect place for reading and Noah was ready the moment the hammock was re-assembled in the front. Later the hammock became a great place for water bottle sword fighting....

Lukas looked for peace and quiet as he was doing math and found it behind the washer and dryer that are still sitting in the middle of the room.... He did fine on his math problems so maybe this is a suitable math location?
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Watch the progression

Summer has finally arrived here in Monterey and we celebrated by heading to the local beach. Most schools in the area have already started so we had the beach almost to ourselves. The only other people were exploring the beach on horses to some of the children's delight.
The six children began the beach play by building a fort, corralling huge logs from all over the beach, moving dried tree limbs and grabbing long lines of sea weed to construct the building. A left behind comforter became a great roof and soon they were all inside, playing and giggling.
I for one did not come with the expectation of swimming, because what is considered warm here is still cool anywhere else in the country and the Pacific is never warm enough for a dip. Lukas and Noah were only set on building and digging on the beach... well, the waves beckoned, and the sun shone brightly and it did not take long before they were all dipping their feet in the cold water. (Monterey Bay water temperature rarely hits 60 degrees, so it is cold) As their feet got used to the chill, they wandered further and further out, maybe their legs were numb by now and they could not tell how cold they were. Slowly but shortly they got in deeper and deeper until everyone was dripping wet from shoulder to toes.
Luckily, my friend is a prepared Mom and had brought not only swim trunks for her children, but also beach towels for not only hers but my little ones as well.
We brought back six wet but very happy children and probably 20 lbs of sand sticking to their feet, legs, arms, hands, hair and bottoms - but they had a great time.

And the clean up for me was easy: the washer and dryer was right there... inside so little boys could run naked to the shower to clean up. A perfect day in our book!

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Another great use for the new room

Since the room is still empty and, after a good sweep and wet mop, clean it beckons for play and decoration. Lukas and Noah found the perfect way to achieve both goals when the hauled some of their many itsy bitsy Lego character and their vehicles to the new room.
The box from the dryer vent became an extra shelf and pretty soon we had a whole village living there. There were chains to bring people from level to level, and several alternative flying machines occupying the air space of the room.
Once the lower window sill was decorated the boys attacked the upper windows - it is too bland up there Mamma...
The play was so much fun that it was almost noon before we found a good enough reason to get out of pjs...

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A Red Letter Day

Yes it is a red letter day in our house - the washer and dryer finally made it inside again! Last time we sorted laundry on the floor in front of the washer and did not pick up sticks and sand from the ground was early April.
This week, the room was complete enough that we can begin to use it. Yes, there are still those pesky little details of trim, cabinets, furniture, and paint - but the room is usable and using it for laundry we are!
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One - One

The free Kids Fest beckoned us on Sunday afternoon, so with good friends we headed to the Fairgrounds for some fun play. The nice weather brought out the crowd, causing long painfully slow moving lines for most of the activities. Lukas really wanted to try out the basketball game and they waited patiently for a very long time to square off. Round one went to Lukas and round two to his opponent - it was really a close game, and both stumbled off a bit weary and tired... ready to head home to the peace and quite of our house and the promise of a cold drink without the crowds.

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All good things have to come to an end

Time passes by so quickly with visitors in town - there is so much to do, so many places to go, and so many games to play, so much to built and construct, there simply is not enough time to get it all done. We capped off the visit with our desert friends with yet another water play, this time at Lover's Point. The kids hunted for crabs, picked sea shells, climbed the rocks and got wet, in other words a perfect outing.
We were sad to say good bye to our friends early Friday morning and hope to see them soon again.

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