Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting ready

We are now counting down the days until Bob returns home to us! The 'just about to come home' frenzy has begun.. both inside and out. We wanted the car clean, thinking it was a quick project, but since it was a long time since its last wash, it took a few tries, a lot of elbow grease and two different car washes. But, the results are great.
At least the car is ready for home coming :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011


Lukas and Noah have been working on their most recent science project for a few days. As part of our science learning, we use Supercharged Science, a fantastic science program. We used the program for our Science Fridays and from the very beginning Lukas had his eyes set on the ROV - remote operated vehicle. This one, an underwater ROV.

On Friday, being Science day, the boys set out to build the ROV. Lukas handled the pre -planning work developing a supply list, finding what he could here at the house and compiling a shopping list. A trip to Home Depot and Radio Shack ensured that all materials were in hand. It was quite humorous walking in to Radio Shack and being asked what I would like to purchase and defer to Lukas. He and the store manager hunted around for a solution to our need as the preferred item was not in stock. It ended with Lukas coming up with a good work around solution and also kindly refusing to purchase more gadgets than were necessary. All the while, I felt quite lost, not being able to contribute to any problem solving while really wishing we could find all the items in one store to bring our shopping and errand trip to an end since we had already tried one other place in town.

Noah and Lukas worked patiently through the many steps, measuring twice, cutting once; having to stop and going out to cut more parts needed but not listed on the original materials list, needing to wait for glue to dry, postponing some assembly until we had returned to Home Depot for a new jar of glue as the first one just was not going to open, learning to work together to solve small mishaps and glitches as they arouse, and realizing this was not a quick get it done project. All great learning for two eager young men ready to conquer the world in a jiffy.

As soon as we got home from CC, all the tiredness from a long day dissolved and Lukas energetically headed to the school room to finish off the ROV. The goal was a maiden journey before dinner.  Goal reached, although dinner was a bit delayed, which delayed bed time routine, which delayed... oh well. It was all well worth it seeing the pride and excitement in their eyes, this was theirs and they built it all by themselves - using Supercharged Science great video instructions of course. Their next dilemma.. where to take the ROV for some real testing, the bath tube is just a bit too shallow.... I am sure by the end of the week, this little pesky detail will be solved as well. 

Back to School

Since we have chosen to educate the boys at home, and learning is something that happens every day, every day is pretty much a school day at the Severinghaus'. Some days we do a lot of 'traditional school' other days not so much.  This means we do not technically have a back to school day to capture on film. So rather than a Back to School photo we took a Back to CC photo as Classical Conversation started again today. The boys were excited to prepare lunches last night: fruit, yogurt, salami, edamame, and cold drinks, and the happily stuffed their backpacks with folders, binders, pencils and pens.

This morning they posed on our front step before we headed off to our first CC class for the year.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Atlantic Ocean

Lukas and Noah thoroughly enjoy playing in the water: body surfing, boogie board surfing, splashing in the waves. Here in Monterey, the water is cold,  but it does not stop them from getting in, getting wet and looking for the perfect wave. While visiting our friends in Florida, we had a chance to head to the Atlantic coast and the beach. No need for wet suits, no blue lips, just blue sky, great surf and fun with friends.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Noah thought there was not enough animals and set out to catch one of the many frogs...

Our friends live in a beautiful house filled with some love, joy and animals. Lukas and Noah got a good taste of what it is like to take care of animals, cleaning out the chicken coop, raking out the stalls for the horses, refreshing water bowls and making sure every animal has food and shade from the strong Florida sun. We even got a chance to see the farrier in action, shoeing one of the horses. Life on a small farm is not all green a dip in the pool was a good reward after the work was done. 

Visiting Friends

After a fun long weekend with Bob we headed to Jacksonville, FL to visit friends while Bob headed back to work in Warren. Lukas and Noah had not seen their friends in about 2 years, but it did not long for everyone to get reacquainted and it seemed like it was just yesterday we last spent time together.  There was lots of time spent comparing electronics and attempting to reach yet another level in a game - giving the Mammas plenty of time to catch up undisturbed.

Christmas all year long

Outside Frankenmuth is 'The World's Largest Christmas Store' and we had to stop to see for ourselves if that is indeed true. Well, we are not Christmas shopper experts, but this store definitely is contender for the title if not the legitimate title holder. What looked like a relatively ordinary size store from the outside, surprised us with its expanse once inside. The greeter handed us a map to help us navigate! Anyone looking for a specific Christmas item would surely find it here, or in the store's online shopping area!

It is hot in Detroit

Summer temperature in Detroit are a bit toasty for these Peninsula dwellers. Fortunately, the town of Warren has set up a really nice water fountain play area right around the corner from Bob's hotel. It did not take much convincing to stop there on our way back from whatever outing we had done, to cool off, and run off some energy.

Lost tooth

Noah lost his first tooth in Germany while eating fancy chocolate. He lost yet another one on our way home from Frankenmuth, Michigan another German influence. He happily showed off his empty hole.


We visited Frankenmuth Michigan on our trip to see Bob. It is a small quaint town about 1.5 hour north of Detroit. After a quick run through the outlet mall, Sonic lunch we headed down town to walk the main 'drag.' Lukas and Noah had fun with the various photo opportunities, and the biggest challenge was to choose which store to purchase the ice cream from, as there must have been at least 10 we walked by.Frankenmuth showed its very best side with cooler temperatures, and just a hint of rain rather than the promised storms, and the rain made the gorgeous gardens and open areas even more beautiful.  It was a fun day in small town America, or maybe more like small town Germany.  The boys as they got tired, worn out and ready to head home commented: "We have seen the real deal, we do not need to see anymore make believe Germany."  They happily rested in the car on our way home to the hotel and got a second wind when there was an opportunity to swim with Dad.

Visiting Dad

Noah look so grown up sitting in the Lazy Boy, remote in hand, watching TV

Noah and Bob doing art together

Lukas getting the radios to 'talk' to the computer
Bob is doing an internship in Detroit as part of his PhD program as a SMART scholar. This means he spends the summers in Detroit, while we are here in Monterey holding down the home front. Thanks to United frequent flyer miles we headed to Detroit to visit earlier this month. The boys were so happy to see Bob and immediately set out to do projects with Dad, and wrestle. While one of the boys were occupying Bob's time the other one happily watched TV, a novelty for us since there is no TV in our home. And yes, I too missed Bob immensely and was ecstatic to see him!

Car shopping.... and Back to the Future

One of the original Delorean cars used in the movies Back to the Future is in town in connection with the Concours d'Elegance at Pebble Beach. After completing chores and school in record time, we headed to the Museum to see it. Walking around the museum we met the owner of the car who was here to display his private collection of Back to the Future memorabilia. As an extra bonus, we were able to have a clear and unobstructed view of fancy cars in display for a car auction, without having to pay the admission to the auction. We had a hard time deciding which one to buy.... so we picked three :-) Cars were not on the shopping list for this week.... Now we need to watch the movies!