Tuesday, November 27, 2012

school: magma toothpaste

We've had a busy several weeks so home school has been a little truncated. That's the beauty of home school! But I've been feeling a little blah about it. So when I saw a science project I could do with relative ease, we went for it. Because that always makes me feel like I'm doing a good job. 

We just learned about the three layers of the Earth and how sometimes, hot magma breaks through weaker sections of the mantle and forms volcanoes. The project idea was to use toothpaste to push up through dirt to show how magma pushes through the Earth's crust. 

I sent Noah out to get some sand (all the dirt is frozen) and used up what very little toothpaste we had in a travel size tube. You can't hardly see it here but the kids thought it was pretty cool. And it was a good way for them to "see" what we were talking about.

The green is the toothpaste. There was more of a mound than there appears to be here. 

Evie, meanwhile, has been entertaining herself when she's done with her little workbook, by writing "words." She didn't know any letters at the beginning of the year so I think this means she's making progress. She kept wanting me to read her words, but like Curious George making up nonsensical words out of random letters, I told her I cannot read them. She was persistent though and kept asking me to read them and I kept telling her I couldn't. When I told Terry about this, he clued me in to why she wants me to read her words. Because daddy did and it was really funny. Mommy fail.

Thanksgiving 2012

We did my family's Thanksgiving a week early since we were all home. My sister and her husband, Stephanie and Steve, were in town from Utah for the first time since moving away in March. My brother and his wife, Nathan and Ana, also made the trip from the frozen tundra of Watertown, SD. I love having us all home, not to mention my mom's amazing cooking that is Thanksgiving dinner. 

Terry couldn't hold back on his turkey portion. I love Samuel's expression. It's like he's taking notes...

...about how NOT to eat a turkey. Check out how Samuel carefully attempted to use his fork and spoon to feed himself turkey after witnessing daddy's Viking tendencies emerge. Too much Brave and How to Train Your Dragon. Or it's my family's Norwegian genes getting the best of him.

Evie, however, followed in her dad's footsteps. Funny Noah caption? I can't think of one. 

After dinner while the troops cleaned up, mom entertained the kids with photo books until I became available to play their favorite after dinner Super Nintendo Game: Aladdin. 

Monday, November 26, 2012


The second weekend of November, Terry and I went to Melbourne, Florida for a get-away. Just the two of us! It was perfect timing since we had just finished being crazy busy.

I remember when Terry called me from work with the idea of going. Um, yes, please! Only a couple days later, when we hadn't even talked about it that much, he surprised me with a text that he had just registered us. Woo hoo! It didn't seem like it was really going to happen, despite buying the plane tickets, renting a car, reserving an extra night in Orlando, shopping for babysitting menus, etc.. So when we got up early on Friday morning to fog and then sat in the airport as they cancelled flight after flight, I thought maybe we weren't supposed to go at all (we were leaving a day early so we wouldn't be late). 

Thankfully, Saturday's weather was a tad clearer and we were able to get into the air right as it started snowing in Rapid. 

We made it to our hotel on the ocean just in time to have a last minute dinner before the evening session started. You see, we were going to a sessions because it was the EFCA Rebound 2012 Youth Worker Retreat. So that made the trip a little cheaper and encouraging to be with people who are in the same place in life.

We were quite exhausted after our day's travel but were so excited to see the ocean the following morning. I had never been that far east before, nor had I seen the Atlantic Ocean before. Excited much.

We loved our hotel:

We loved the ocean. I would have rather done more walking and relaxing than going to sessions, but it was still good. 
This was the view from our 8th floor room. The sound of the waves was just wonderful.

Here is the view directly down from our room. The pool and hot tub were great too - warmer than the ocean. But really, the ocean wasn't that cold. It took a little getting used to, but not like the Pacific, according to Terry.

Sunday afternoon was our first dip. Terry has more experience swimming in the ocean so he was a little more adventurous than I was...

Proof I was there! I'm always surprised how salty the ocean is. 

Drying out after swimming.

Here is a video of the ocean from our room.

But wait, there's more than just sitting on a beach.

Monday we weren't feeling so well. After both of us ate the hotel's powdered eggs, we both didn't feel so hot. We didn't even want to finish breakfast. I should have guessed something since I'm pretty much a bottomless pit right now due to pregnancy. But we didn't think anything of it. We pushed lunch back to like 2pm by which time I was starving and light headed. We went to Chic-Fil-A because we had never gone before. After one bite, both of us felt completely full and not that well. Not wanting to let our stomachs keep us down, we drove north to Cocoa Beach, which was supposed to be really nice (it was). It took me quite a while to gather courage to swim out beyond where the waves were breaking with Terry, but I finally did it. Even though neither of us felt well, it was a blast. 

Afterwards we had a nap, being exhausted. I thought I'd better eat something so we went out to dinner at a yummy Italian restaurant at like 830pm. One bite of that food and we were full and exhausted. We did not feel well at all. Furthermore, I couldn't sleep that night and ended up throwing up. Terry followed me. 

The next day was our last. We missed the final session and had to drive back to Orlando and get on our plane even though we had crampy bellies. By the time we got to Minneapolis, we both felt a little better and ate some food. Moral of the story? Say no to fake eggs? I dunno.

We had a good time in Florida, but were pretty happy to be home. I realized after we were back how incredibly good it was to have a break from everything here, despite a less than perfect trip.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


 As I mentioned in my last two posts, the end of October and beginning of November were crazy around here due to the Box Maze and Fall Retreat at church. Since Terry was out really late every night, he stayed home in the mornings. He decided to take Noah out running during that time. 

Terry has been a runner since high school and a pretty good one, if I do say so myself. He used to run with the Gburg Cross County team before we moved home and I know he misses that. So perhaps he'll instill a love for running in our first-born.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fall Retreat 2012

Directly after all the Box Maze insanity, Terry had our youth group's annual Fall Retreat to direct over the weekend (I had previously mentioned that we had been just a tad bit busy and I wasn't exaggerating.). Since we just moved back to this church in April, this was Terry's first time directing the Fall Retreat, but he had been the speaker back in 2010 when I was pregnant with Samuel.

So, the evening of Friday November 2nd was when the Fall Retreat began at the church with another run through the box maze and the destruction of said maze. Then they had a session and headed up to Camp Judson. After a night of very little sleep with 100+ kids hyped up on energy drinks and candy, they had more sessions and played lots more games. Here's Terry playing Barbarian.

Me and the kids were going a little stir crazy after the long week without daddy, so we headed up to camp for some human interaction. Samuel skipped his nap and we all had a good time running around with the students.

On Saturday night they played a game called Tron in the dark with glow sticks and glowing frisbees, like the movie. Sounds like it was a big hit. Another night of little sleep brought Sunday morning brunch and another session before heading home by lunch time. Here's the group, which included ours, the speaker's group from Wyoming, some from Hot Springs and a few from Terry's parents church. But actually, I think this was just our group pictured. Needless to say, Terry could hardly keep his eyes open when he got home. He also had a cold! We were so glad to have him home.

box maze 2012

Since Halloween fell on a Wednesday this year, Terry decided he'd like to try to make a box maze for the Awana and youth group students at church. Sort of an outreach night. So all of September and part of October, Terry collected large refrigerator, stove, freezer boxes, etc. from places like Lowe's and broke them down to store. Then he had people volunteer to help him make the maze, hoping for School of Mines students, who are mostly engineering majors. You can see why he'd want their help!

So the Sunday before Halloween, Terry had a group of guys help him begin on the maze. They removed half of the 550-seat sanctuary chairs and got started. They didn't have a plan, but made it up as they went, which worked well for them. They lined up boxes, drilled holes through them, used zip ties to hold boxes together and then taped the seams, inside and out, to seal out light and protect the students from any protruding pieces of cardboard.

Here is what the maze looked like at the beginning of construction on Sunday afternoon. Terry stayed that night until after 11pm and got quite a lot done. He stayed that late pretty much every day that week.

I think this was Monday or Tuesday. Probably Tuesday. The maze it almost complete except for the exits, which they are working on. The tall boxes are a part of a bridge over some reinforced chairs which led to one exit. Another exit went under the bridge in triangle shape.

And here's the completed maze! It was completely black inside after they got done duct taping all the small holes up. Terry's plan was for the middle and high school students to find their way through with no light source at all. He even took away their cell phones. To make it even harder, they were only allowed to use one exit - the other was blocked up. Only one or two students found their way through. That made Terry happy.

But the Awana kids were given glow sticks to help them. They had a wonderful time and no trouble at all finding their way out of both exits, going through again and again. There's Ninja Turtle Noah! He had been at the church every day while the maze was being built so he was an old pro at getting through. 

A great time was had by all. But talk about exhausting.

And here is the video Terry made:

halloween 2012

I'm so far behind.

So, nearly 4 weeks ago, I dressed up the kids and took them out trick or treating on that Wednesday by myself. I've never had to do it alone before, but Terry was putting on his Box Maze at the church for Awana, middle schoolers and high schoolers. So we had dinner with him in his office and then took an hour's time walking about the church neighborhood before it was time for Awana and the Box Maze.
Noah wanted to be a Ninja turtle again like last year. Evie was Tinkerbell. Notice the cotton balls I super glued on her slippers? I was quite proud of that. And Samuel was a girly frog like Evie had been when she was a year younger than him in Gburg. He was mistaken for a girl, but he sure made a cute frog, even with pizza crust in his mouth.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

carving pumpkins 2012

I haven't blogged for over two weeks. Guess it's been slow around here. Well, that's just not true. I just need to take more photos. I'm getting lazy!

So the day before Halloween we finally got around to carving the kids' pumpkins. Well, not Samuel's because we ran out of time. Terry was very busy last week owing to the huge Halloween box maze at church that he constructed and the Fall Retreat he planned for last weekend. Phew! 

So he and Noah and Evie carved their pumpkins. By that I mean the kids drew silly faces and Terry carved them up as best he could.

She is so pretty if I do say so myself.

Samuel's like, "BALL!" That's all he cares about.

The older two do not care for the icky insides of the pumpkin, as we saw last year (but, Noah surprised us by remembering Terry's lesson about how carving a pumpkin is like salvation!). Samuel on the other hand, was most intrigued with the icky pumpkin insides. He started grabbing handfuls of long pumpkin innards and cramming them in his mouth. He tried to slow him down but he did have a few mouthfuls. I will just say there were some serious repercussions in his diaper the next day. Diaper rash city!

Here's the only photo I got of one of the completed pumpkins - Noah's I think. Samuel is wanting to eat more I'm sure.