Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Birthday

This weekend it was Bob's birthday. The boys could not keep the secrets any longer, and barely took the time to wrap the gifts before handing them over to a barely awake Bob.

We spent lunch and the afternoon with dear friends, and after a Hawaiian dinner we had cake back home. White Chocolate German Cake with Coconut Pecan frosting.
The boys found the 1965 year book very interesting, so many things that were new then are no longer... I guess it is a sign that we are getting old(er).
Happy Birthday to the best husband and the most amazing father two little boys could ever ask for.

Family visit

This past week, Lisa and Laura came to visit us. We had a great time touring Carmel, sampling vinegars, shopping the many little stores before spending a few hours at the Aquarium and driving the shore line watching for sea lions, otters pelicans. We even had a chance to stop and see the lone Elephant seal who is still laying patiently and expectantly on the shore waiting for his beau.. (nobody told him he took a wrong turn... and there will be no beaus coming his way.)

Later in the week, we headed north to Stanford and San Francisco for some culture and good food. The views are a bit different than the flat land of Missouri so we stopped at the vistas for some gazing and some release of pent up energy from the time in the car.

It was great fun to be with family, eat some fabulous food and see some interesting and thought provoking art.

Lettuce galore

Our raised garden beds are producing lettuce and a lot of lettuce! We are enjoying fresh, organic, local, low carbon foot print lettuce daily.

Can't resist

This is one of my favorite creatures at the Aquarium, the Leafy Sea Dragon. When we visited on Saturday night, the Leafy Sea Dragons were asleep....

Our amazing aquarium

This past week, we had the chance to attend the Aquarium not once but twice! Saturday evening was member night and since Bob rarely gets to go with us, we headed over after dinner for a late night view of the sea life.
The jellies never cease to capture my attention, whereas the boys can sit in front of the Ocean Tank for a long time. We have been to the aquarium more times than we can count, yet we always learn something new, and see something we have not noticed before - it is truly world class and we are so fortunate to live right here so that we can take advantage of it as often as we would like.


Anytime science involves fire is a great science day according to Lukas and Noah. The experiments were designed to help demonstrate that fire can be used to identify unknown substances based on the color it burns.
Lukas and Noah immediately began to think of ways to make home made fireworks, now that they know how to create colored fire...

What's cooking?

Lukas took advantage of his fire pit and cooked up some home made brew - water, lemon from our tree and a large heaping of soot and smoke - not a hit with his customers, but a good try. And the chef is smiling.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Great tools

Lisa, the boys' aunt, gave the boys a bunch of dental tools last time we visited Missouri. These have come in handy in many situations and this morning was another perfect example.
We celebrated Valentine's Day with Swedish pancakes filled with strawberry jam and whip cream for breakfast, and the boys each found a small token by their plates. Noah's was a metal model replica of the Eiffel Tower, one of his favorite structures. He and Lukas set out to put it together and quickly realized that despite the instructions 'easy no tools required' statement, there really was a need for good tools.
A quick trip to the garage, where they quickly located the proper tools, and the tower came together in a jiffy. I think I have lost count on how many kinds of Eiffel Tower Noah has put together either by himself of with the help of his brother.

Valentine's Day certainly has a different tenor with boys around the house - as the Mamma I am truly blessed.

School is always in session

Learning never stops in our house - over lunch on Saturday Bob and Noah discussed atoms, particles, neutrons and electrons..

Not enough computers

Lukas and Noah did not think we have enough computers so they fashioned one out of a joy stick controller, a circuit board and a surveillance camera. It worked great! Noah wanting to make sure it looks good as well, helped make a shell for the monitor to match the Lego decor of their bedroom.

Bridge building

The boys built a book bridge to simulate the concept of natural bridges, where water or other elements wither away the rock to form a natural bridge. Books are so multi purposeful!

Poster child

Noah had fun with the banana stickers one morning..

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Science Friday is back

It is Friday, which means science at the SILL Academy. This spring we are going to do a lot of chemistry experiments since we have a great chemistry kit. The boys cracked open their science journals and dutifully recorded the materials and processes along with hypothesis about the ph of water and vinegar.
This first experiment was a two day event - make the potion the first day, use it the second,  - so school continued on Saturday.
After we mixed up the potion, we talked about chemistry and how materials are made up of basic elements. To help visualize this, and it was snack time after all, we used yogurt covered raisins, mini marshmallows and dried pineapple to create  water and sugar molecules.

Since can be both fun and tasty!

Sunday drive

The sun is shining, the sky is blue, there is a slight breeze, and it is Sunday afternoon, a perfect day for a bike ride. We headed up towards Marina on the bike trail and could not help but stop and marvel at the view. The conditions here are favorable to para/wind gliding and this afternoon we saw several gliding through the air as we rode our bikes up and down the hills of the coast line. It is hard to conjure up a better Sunday afternoon activity - some exercise, sun, amazing views and family fun.

Chef Noah

We baked a cake for a friend in honor of her birthday. The left over pieces were not going to waste! Noah plated these discards, dolloped raspberry induced whip cream on top and drizzled some raspberry puree for color pop over the white chocolate straw decoration.

It was delectable and delicious.

Solar power

This is California and the songs tell us it is always sunny in California. Well, that is Southern Cali, here on the Central Coast it is not always sunny, and not quite as warm. However, as we watch the weather maps for the rest of the country and for Sweden where the cousins are, we feel fortunate. In comparison we have a very mild winter. For science last week, the boys experimented with solar power, understanding when and how it is suitable, what works and how much solar power is needed to power small cars, and wind mills. They had fun, learned some and definitely got some Vitamin D.