Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kubbs for Monica

Yesterday was a lot of fun.  After officially becoming a dance mom, I took my daughter out to Mama's Coffee House to celebrate her performance.  We met up with the other dancers and their moms.

This gave me a chance to finally give my friend Monica her birthday present.

Even thought it was hard to come up with a theme for this kubb set it is definitely my favorite one so far and was tons of fun to paint.

What I value most about Monica is she cannot be summed up by a favorite team, color or animal.  There is just too much going on in her mind.  But she does love color, so that's where I started.

I chose ten fun recycled/rescued paints from the shelves for the base colors and only let them repeat four times throughout the set in the decorations.

This gift is green. Everything but the glue is recycled or rescued.

Paint and Valspar varnish from the paint shed at the recycling center.

Scraps of dowels and a slice of bamboo for stamping the circles.

Wood from the cull bin at Home Depot, a construction dumpster or two and the scraps bin from Black Hawk Hardware in Charlotte.

If you are interested in Kubb, here is a quick easy to follow video explanation of the rules:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Beyond Stomp Rockets

Peggy and I are running a Science Time Summer Camp at Lake Wylie Lutheran Preschool, June 11-15.

Our regular weekly format only gives us time to explore natural sciences.  This summer, I have four centers a day and the same kids five days in a row.  I get to plan all sorts of physical experiments.  (Insert mad scientist laugh track)

The family is getting in on the action also.  This weekend my husband and son built this rocket launcher for the camp.  Think stomp rockets on steroids.

The build only took an hour but the fun lasted five.  The whole family got into it.  At the end of the day we realized that a penny and a piece of paper made the best rockets, ten pumps flies as well as twenty for height but twenty five pumps lets you bug the neighbors in the next subdivision.  

Here is the link to the plans posted by Jeff Elmer, a physics teacher at Oshkosh North High School:  

If you already have a bicycle pump, the cost of the materials gives you a lot of bang for your buck.  The rocket launcher is really durable and will provide years of fun. We even plan on building a few of these for gifts.

My only modification for the preschool summer camp will be to spot tie the whole thing down to a 2'x4' piece of plywood so my there's and fours don't have to worry about keeping the bike pump upright.    

Anyone know of some other great Science Builds?  This household is always looking for the next project.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm Back

It's official.  I'm back.  

It has taken me almost a month to get over a silly little appendectomy.  This is the last cat picture I'm posting fro a while.   

Yesterday was the first day that I've been able to do my quirky little routine and enjoy every minute of it. 

My life is laid out in errand loops.  To describe it almost sounds like a Laura Numeroff book. 

If I teach Science Time on Tuesday, I drive right by Home Depot.

If I drive by Home Depot, I'm going to want to check the cull bin.

If I check the cull bin, I'm going to find goodies.  Today I found 3
pieces of peg board, and fifteen feet of 2'x6' lumber for a whopping total of $3.  

If I plan to bring home more lumber, I'm going to need to clean the house and garage.  I do so try to bring more stuff out of the house than I bring in.

If I clean the house and garage, I'm going to need a trip to the recycling center. 

If I go to the recycling center, I'm going to have to look in the paint shed. 

If I look in the paint shed, I'm going to find treasures.  

Today's treasures include a Simple Human kitchen trash can that is larger and cleaner than the one in my house, an almost full quart of clear polyurethane, plus two giant bags full of pristine craft paints, paint brushes and stencil materials.  SCORE!!!!

The Tuesday Science Time kids got a kick out of Butterfly and Caterpillar Self Defense 101.    

A quick cup of tea got me through dinner and soccer practice with enough juice left over to prep for today's writing session.  It's good to be back.  Titus isn't the only one who likes a bit of routine.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brief Hiatus

You all know I just post a picture of a cat and move on when I fall behind on the blog.  Not this time.
I had my appendix out Thursday night.  No, they did not let me keep it in a jar for Science Time.  I asked.  Bummer.

Another bummer was getting readmitted to the ER.  But I'm home now and feeling better everyday.

The biggest danger now is boredom.  This sitting still business is for the birds.  I am eager for the time when my favorite coffee mug isn't too heavy and when a big book sits comfortably in my hand.

The family is going to have a hard time keeping me out of the garden and the workshop until May.

Thanks to everyone who has helped out with meals, thoughts, phone calls and kiddie wrangling.