Monday, January 22, 2018

Rock tumbler update

After a week of tumbling, we checked on Kate's rocks. The goal of the first round of grit is to soften the edges, tumbling away all the rough and sharp spots. She took out a few of the larger rocks, rinsed them to see if they were ready, before dumping out the barrel and rinsing them all.
We had to empty the contents into a bucket and then pour the grit outside as the instructions said the grit would wreak havoc on the plumbing.

Back into the barrel for round #2.
Grit number 2 tumbles for 7 days so we'll have another update next week!

Sunday, January 21, 2018


On MLK day, we had a fair amount of snow on the ground so we headed over to the other side of the lake to play with some friends on their hills.

Watch out for the fire hydrant!!
 Sophia and Kate went down together.

 Watch out for the trees/sticks!!
Sophia gave Lucy a push on her snowboard.
Kate got some help from Sophia as well.
We relocated to a neighbor's hill after a bit. It was much wider and much steeper and required you to turn on the brakes before you rolled into the street below.

Lucy has really good balance on the snowboard!

Always looking for ways to make things more dangerous, fun, they built a take-off ramp. AJ lined up Kate before pushing her off the ramp.

She had to fall out of the sled to get it to stop before reaching the street.

I love how they all pitch in to give a push for each other.

Kate gave a push and then decided she wanted to ride too.

Back inside, Jessica ordered pizzas and the kids settled into playing nintendo. Anna was the quick-draw champion, taking down Sophia, Kate, Lucy and then AJ.

What a great snow day!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Kate turned Eight!

Kate turned eight years old (!!!)...many, many days ago.

(I fear this blog is like the puppy that Len and I got before we had kids. The puppy grew up and we still doted on it, even after we had children. But as the children (and their plethora of activities) have grown, the poor dog has become neglected, never going for walks or getting brushed, with just enough food and water to keep it alive.)

Kate opted for another low-key celebration this year. I brought a special lunch from a local restaurant, complete with a small ice cream, to school and had lunch with her during her break. Later that evening, she opened her presents. As is our tradition, she got a new outfit to wear for her birthday. This year, the sequins that flip are all the rage so I got her a shirt that flips from silver to multicolored.

As is also tradition, the girls like to have their gifts to each other opened first. For her birthday, Lucy had received an American Girl puppy dog from one of her friends, which, naturally, made Kate jealous. It was all she could talk about...is there an American Girl kitten?
Why yes, yes there is. I found it online and Lucy bought it with her own money and, more surprisingly, managed to keep it a secret!

Of course, they must show Bella. You can see Lucy's black Scottie as well.
Bella was not nearly as excited about it.
Uncle Terry and Tita Wheez gifted a This Day in History Calendar and a Dreamcatcher kit.

A shirt and some birthday money from the DC grandparents.
Extra loom yarn for her potholder loom from Len and me.
Birthday money and a Rubiks Race game from Papa and Meme.

A new flute cleaner from Daddy and me.
And a rock tumber kit from Nana.
I totally forgot to take "before" pictures of the rocks before we put them in the barrel but they were pretty standard rocks that didn't look like much. We filled the barrel with the rocks, the first packet of grit and some water, then turned it on.

Rock tumbler from Lisa on Vimeo.

It's pretty loud and I have to say it only lasted 2 days in this location before we put it down in the basement. It has to run for about a month with various levels of grit to get to the polished gem state. I'll do followup posts on their progress.

Kate quickly got to work catching up to the proper day on her calendar.
 Kate requested pecan pie as her birthday "cake" so I made one that morning. It was delicious!

The Rubriks Race game has kept them both occupied for many days. Lucy is a good match for Kate on this one!
The following Sunday, Kate picked two of her best friends, Riko and Claire, to join her at a pottery painting place (Lucy was picking out new basketball shoes with Daddy...her regular tennis shoes had her sliding all over the gym floor during her last game).

Claire and Kate chose pineapple containers and Riko chose a Dream plaque. After they picked their colors, they set to work, chatting like old ladies in a knitting circle.

 Kate's finished product, with Claire's in the background, ready for the kiln.
Riko's finished painting.
We headed to Panera for dinner and present opening, where Lucy and Len joined us.

"Dear Kate, Happy Birthday!! When you read this, starting from here, don't do it out loud. The narwhal is for whacking people like if you're mad at someone. The shark game is just for....fun?? Anyways, I hoped you liked my presents. Claire Bean." and she drew of picture of the three of them with Kate in the middle.
They settled in to play the shark game while waiting for their dinner.

When the narwhal started being used as it was intended (see note above), it was time to go!
Happy 8th birthday to my firstborn!


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