Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Responsibility of Raising Sea Monkeys.

First off I spelled responsibility wrong, that is because I am not used to dealing with it.

Anna, my 10 year old, bought herself a family of Sea Monkeys. Yes, it is the Magic Castle Set.

It came with a list of instructions that Anna is taking very, very seriously because as she informed me, "having pet sea monkeys in a lot of responsibility."

1- the water must be purified (packet #1) and left to sit for 12 hours.
2- stir water to oxygenate and refresh any evaporated water with bottled water (Anna proceeded to fill a bottle with water and then pour it in. I stopped her and helped her understand what they meant by bottled water)
3- Get water to optimum temperature for hatching the Sea Monkeys. She was very disappointing we were not willing to purchase a heat lamp for her tank and feels we are not taking this Sea Monkey ownership seriously.
4- After 24 hours have passed place Sea Monkey eggs (packet #2) into optimum temperature water and stir gently to oxygenate the water.
5- They actually have a chart of when the eggs will hatch depending on water temp and oxygenation. She asked if we could get a bubbler for her tank to provide this. She again feels that we are not taking her Sea Monkey endevour seriously.
6- After 5 days she is to place one spoonful (packet #3) (spoon provided) of food. Only feed once the water is clear.
7- Enjoy your Sea Monkey ownership.

There is a sucker-upper thingy in the kit. I am not sure what this is for, but I have a feeling it is going to end badly for the Sea Monkeys.

I have tried, in vain, to tell her they will look nothing like on the package. She is naively optimistic, just like I was as a young girl with my first and last set of Sea Monkeys.

Anna has asked if she could get online later on today to do some research on successfully raising Sea Monkeys; like what pre-schools are feeders for Ivy League universities, is it best to go organic, positive disciplining of Sea Monkeys. I know if I tell her no she will just call in to question my parenting skills, and those are pretty questionable to begin with.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Isaac's Eagle Scout Project

These past 4 months have been very busy with Isaac's eagle scout project. He knew he wanted to do something outdoors because he loves to spend to much time outside camping, hiking, and fishing.
 His first idea was to clean up one of his favorite scouting campsites. We never heard back from land management so that was a no go.
His second idea was to place trail markers and mile markers on one of his favorite hiking trails owned by Spokane Parks and Rec. Sadly they had just placed markers 3 weeks before we asked. 
Bryant, the park ranger, did ask if Isaac was up to the task of replacing a fire danger sign at Liberty Lake Off Road Vehicle Park. The one there was in disrepair. 
This changed Isaac's project into one that he would have to do some fund raising or seek project material donations. I had not had to deal with this with Daniel's project. It brings a whole new level of planning and frustration to the project. 
Bryant was very helpful with the proposal write up and Isaac got it approved right away. Isaac had to learn about tool use safety and at what ages scouts could use tools on his work site. 

At our church we have a friend who taught high school wood shop for many, many years. He also has a wood shop in his basement. This gentleman, Rich Chapin, spent literally hours, and hours, and hours with Isaac teaching him how to make templates, router, dato cut, and make a sign more durable and weather resistant than the previous. I can say with 100% certainty this project could not have been a success without him.

Isaac had to rebuilt the posts of the sign with 8 ft pre-treated 4x4's. They made some improvements from the design of the previous sign's posts. These ones are jointed together and one side is beveled to aid in rain and snow runoff. 

Isaac said the hardest part of the project was routering. It takes a lot of focus and skill. 

Part of an eagle project is to show leadership. Isaac had to recruit people to help him in completing his project. 

 Because legally the other scouts could not use any of the power tools, Isaac had to wait until the painting of the sign to recruit for help. 

 When it looked like the sign would not get done until end of November, it took a very long time to get building supplies donated, I was super worried. I figured the sign would not be able to get into the ground until the spring thaw. 
Then we got a warm snap. It rained for three days before the install. We all figured better rain than snow. Then on the actual day of the install it did not rain. For the Pacific Northwest this is unheard of! The ground was thawed and easy to dig into. 

Well at least I am assuming it was easy to dig into. I did not do any actually digging. ha ha 

The one thing Isaac could reuse from the old sign was the arrow. He got it on nice and tight to that the arrow should stay where it is placed instead of just falling off like it did on the old sign.

The old sign was put in really, really well. They were most generous with the use of concrete. Luckily David had volunteered the use of his truck so we could get the sign up to the off road vehicle park. My dad had a chain in the back of his truck because my dad firmly believes in never leaving the house without a chain. 

The smile on this kid's face is one of relief. He was so ecstatic to be finishing this project.

Bryant asked that a plaque be placed on the sign of those that helped make the project possible. 

This was Jakey's first Eagle Scout project he got to help out on. I think it is really cool that it got to be his brother's.

Once the posts were out of the ground it took three boys to lift them once at a time into the back of the truck.

The new and improved sign get ready for placement.

Sign placed. Project complete. Some very happy boys that are about to get some well deserved doughnuts. 
Now all Isaac has left to do is this Eagle Project refection packet. This is quite lengthy and very in depth. He will also need to write a letter as to why he feels he is ready and worthy to hold the rank of Eagle Scout. He will need to solicit three letters of recommendation from people in the community as to why they feel he is worthy and ready to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Isaac will never see these letters. I am push him to work on this packet over winter break. I think if I push him just enough, but not too hard, he can have it done in the two weeks time plus still have time to relax.

I am just so dang proud of my son!! He has showed a lot of growth throughout this process. Even he has noted it. He wants to get an after picture because he looks so different than when he did standing next to the sign in the beginning. I will probably drive him out there to do that and post it in a following post. He is such an amazing kid. Very kind and compassionate but also determined and not one to allow his views and opinions to be trampled on.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A School Quarter's Worth of Catch up....December

Every year our the youth of our church perform at our annual Christmas party. Each year gets better and better. This year they practiced twice a week for four weeks. It was intense and the pressure was on. LOL

I had Jakey and Isaac in this routine. The stills are okay but the video tells the true story. Hope you enjoy.
 Isaac is the tall kid on the right.
 Jakey is toward the middle.
 Jakey is up front next to the dude in the Santa shirt.
 Jakey working the dance floor.
In the middle is Daniel's best friend. It was great to see him, as you can tell Isaac is super excited, or super faking for the camera. I am gonna go with faking. Either way it was great to see Forbush. 

Here is the video. About half way through you will see a man in a white headband and plaid sweatshirt. Watch him closely. His moves steal the show.

A school quarter's worth of catch up.....Pictures from Elder Brown

For letters from Elder Brown check out his Facebook page I update this every week with letters and photos from Elder Brown who is serving in the Toronto, Canada Mission.

 Elder Brown will fellow missionaries and mission president when he arrived in Toronto.
 I recieved this picture after not seeing him for two months. I was so happy to see his smiling (even if fake) face.
 Here is Elder Brown with the mission president and his wife.

This is Elder Brown's first companion. Sadly he only had a few weeks left on his mission. 

 Fresh off the plane.
In front of the Toronto Temple which Elder Brown said is beautiful.

So these are the pictures I have gotten so far. He is not that great at sending them. I just hope he is taking lots and lots of pictures.

I miss him so much. He brought such light into our home. I am so grateful he is willing and able to dedicate two years of his life to teach the gospel and share the love of Christ to all in Ontario Canada that are willing to listen.

A school quarter's worth of catch up.....November

Skittles is a snuggly puppy. Her couch buddy is Isaac. 
 This is Isaac and Skittles after Thankgiving dinner. We had the Davis' over. It was so much fun with all the kids. I should have taken more pictures of the event. I am trying to get back into the habit.
 Skittles is also a heater hog. I am a horrible puppy mom because if I need to get something done and do not want a puppy under foot I just turn on the heater because I know she will park herself with the favorite toy of the moment in front of the heater.
 Daniel asked for a cookbook for Christmas this year. I spent all my free time in November putting it together. I also included and standard to metric measuring chart (I was not about ready to convert all my recipes to metric) and a Fahrenheit to Celsius conversion chart. I mailed standard measuring cups and spoons also. This package weighed a bit over a lb. It cost me a whopping $42.00 to send.
 We have a sister missionary serving in our church from mainland China. We has a special dinner for her a few months ago featuring her favorite foods from home. She got a craving for chicken feet again and asked if we could make them again for her and her new companion. I had to take a picture because it just seemed surreal to have a bowl of chicken toes on my kitchen counter. The meal was a success. The kids all love chicken feet and I had a classmate from the Philippines over as well because chicken feet are a delicacy over there too.
Jacob is 12 years old now. This means that he is now a deacon in our church. He helps in passing the sacrament every Sunday. The Brown's bought him a new suit so now he looks goooood passing the sacrament.

He loves being a deacon.

A School Quarter worth of catch up...October


My favorite holiday is in October, Halloween! This year my friend, Cindee Green, let me borrow her costume so I could dress up like my favorite villain, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. I personally prefer the old school Maleficent. 

Awesome shadow cast!! Mwaaa haaa haaaa
 Um.....we sorta had to have the fire dept. show up at our church Halloween party. I am not sure if it was my fault or our leader/ bishop, Brother Green's fault. He is the one in three wig leading the fire dept into the church. We both had fog machines going in our haunted classrooms for kids to trick-o-treat at and turns out that the fog will set off the smoke detectors and the fire dept has to come and punch in the code to turn them off.
 Of course everyone carved their pumpkins. It is really nice that they are all old enough to gut their pumpkins. Ike is getting smart and picking smaller pumpkin so he does not have so much to scoop out.
 This is very serious work at our house. Our pumpkins look the best on the block.
 Anna was Little Red Riding Hood and Maria was Darth Vader. The cutest Vader in the neighborhood. It is so sad that I only have 2 kids to take trick-o-treating this year.
 Skittles, our puppy we got in September, is growing up too.
 She sleeps in the weirdest spots.
So October was pretty quiet for our home. We were still getting used to Daniel not being on our home. We all got to go watch the new Maleficent movie for free on campus and Dawn of the Doughnuts catered. They make amazing doughnuts. Turn out was really low so we got to take a dozen doughnuts home with us and Isaac's friend that tagged along also got to take a dozen home to his family. This made sitting through Maleficent almost worth it.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Farewell my son.

Sunday, Sept 21st was Daniel's farewell. He spoke in church and then we partied! We had friends and family come from all over the great state of Washington.

Uncle Matt tried to cut his middle finger off with a circular saw and Aunt Jenna was showing her moral support. Don't they make a darling couple? I think they are the best. I am so happy they drove over to take part in the festivities.

This sweet lady is Grandma Brown. Don't be fooled by the smile, right before I snapped the picture she was informing me why I should always listen to her and do everything she tells me to because she knows everything. It turns out, she is right. :)

Jakey showing off the spread of food. We did eggrolls, spring rolls, gyozas, crab rangoons, and three different kinds of sushi. For dessert we had cookie platters

Ben worked the fryers and the grill keeping the crowd fed. We have a pretty sweet set up on the patio that really helped keep our kitchen cool during the summer.

This nice gentleman is Bishop Green. He is our ward's bishop. 

Daniel had lots and lots of friends and family show up to wish him well.

This is Linda's littlest dude, Harley, snoozing on Bumpki's lap.

Daniel with his BFF, Jake Forbush. Jake just turned in his mission papers.

In this picture he is now officially Elder Brown

Daniel headed off to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) 6 am Monday morning. There are no pictures I am willing to post because I was a mess that morning and pretty much all day long.