Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top 10 of the Mindset List for the class of 2015

  1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.
  2. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.
  3. States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.
  4. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.
  5. There have nearly always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.
  6. They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.
  7. As they’ve grown up on websites and cell phones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.
  8. Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
  9. “Don’t touch that dial!”….what dial?
  10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.
I am joining the Oh Amanda Top 10 Tuesday.  Beloit College releases an annual mind set list looking at the cultural touchstones of college students entering college this fall.  They will be the class of 2015.  I just found it fascinating as my oldest will be in the High School Class of 2016.  There were a total of 75 mind sets. Number 24 cracked me up, "“Yadda, yadda, yadda” has always come in handy to make long stories short." Their classmates could include Taylor Momsen, Angus Jones, Howard Stern's daughter Ashley, and the Dilley Sextuplets.

    Monday, August 29, 2011


    This past Sunday we met Nonna and Pappy half way in Everett for Brunch.  We were treated to an absolutely beautiful PNW day. We ate at the Marina. We loved watching all the boat traffic.  We could also see Jetty Island.

    Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Chapstick Wars

    I don't know if it is a war but Mrs Epi goal has to been to find me the most outrageous chap stick ever. In the past I have received Hannah Montana Chapstick. On a recent trip she brought me back a winner - Chubby Chap.  It cracks me up.  I have to say it has a delicious smell, though. I think Mrs Epi was jealous that I have been carrying around this Rudolph Reindeer Chapstick. Hey, I like jumbo chapstick.

    It all began when I started carrying around some Jonas Brothers lip balm.  Hey, it was really good lip balm. For the longest time, I have been on the look out for Justin Beiber chapstick so I could put some Beiber fever on my lips. You know, I just want to be able to say that. 

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Treasure Hunting

    I decided there is nothing that I like better than treasure hunting.  I am all about found treasure be it geocaching, beach combing, thrifting. Yesterday, we went to our favorite beach glass beach. There was a lot of seaweed covering the beach but we managed to find quite a few pieces.  I love this found art of a skull made out of cement block?

    The Canadian Geese flying overhead.  They were headed back to Canada. It was another nice day in the Pacific Northwest.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011


    Yesterday was the most beautiful day.  We finally had a day that hit 80 degrees a rarity this summer. We decided to end our day with a campfire and s'mores. 

    We were treated to this great sunset.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011


    My sunflowers finally bloomed.  I was beginning to think with the absence of sun they would never bloom. I hope to participate with the kids in the Great Sunflower Project. The kids and I will be counting how many bees visit our sunflowers during a 15 minute time frame.

    I like this picture in the sunset. These are Lemon Queen Sunflowers.

    Last but not least ,a flashback photo of #1 Son in a Sunflower cutout .

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Oxford Park and Geocaching

    This is a two for one post (Geocache and playground tour) I decided to take the crew out Geocaching, Monday  This was the first time for the Diva and Big E so we started at cache that we were familiar with. We journeyed to Oxford Park. 

    This is a little pocket park. The kids monkeyed around for a bit.  This park is probably more suitable for the younger set. The kids had fun climbing up the slide and going over the monkey bars.We did find the cache.

    Then we ventured to Hovander Park.  There is a cache there that we have been trying to find since we started geocaching.  Armed with flashlights and sharper eyes, we found it. They say the 3rd time is a charm. I wasn't getting let some black Tupperware defeat me. We also wandered over to Tennant Lake on the path.  We climbed the tower there too.

    Along the way we found another cache. By that time, most of the crew was done.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Top 10 Things to do before Summer Ends

    Please check our Oh Amanda for Top 10 Tuesday. Our summer is almost over.  Though the heat nor the summer never really appeared here in the Pacific Northwest. Our school starts September 7th so I suppose we have more time than most before it is back to the books. Here is my list of things that I would like to do with the 2 man wrecking crew before the end of the summer.

    1. Practice more  math, writing, and reading with Chuckles. We have been doing this just not consistently. I want him to be ready to go when school starts.  We are talking 10 to 15 minutes a day at the most on the math facts. We did the great read aloud Mr Popper Penguins this summer.

    2. I want to Hike.  We haven't really done that. Fragrance Lake/Squires Lake seem like possiblities.

    3. Have a cook out at the beach.  This is on our summer bucket list.

    4. Have all the school supplies bought and labeled.  I am close on that.

    5. Do more Geocaching. This was part of my summer bucket list.  I wanted to find 10 caches this summer.  I found 6 so far.

    6. Bulk cook - cookies, homemade pizza rolls, meatballs, waffle mix.

    7. Start our school sleep routine - I feel myself laughing right now.  This is a toughie but necessary as my soon to be eighth grader is really going to have a hard time getting up at 6 am.He is sleeping till 9 am.

    8. I want to have a marshmallow roast.  We haven't had a decent fire in our fire pit this whole summer.

    9. Have a movie marathon/movie night. 

    10.  I want to slow down and really savor the last days of summer.

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    Booking It August

    Check out what everyone else is reading at Life as MOM.  These ladies have some great reading suggestions. You will be inspired.

    I am all about the travel books lately.  Maybe it is because we are having a mainly having a stay at home summer.  Here is a little of what I read this past month.

    What would you say to your 80 year old self? This was a quote from the book "Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World".  I keep asking myself the same question lately.  Am I playing things too safe?  What is holding me back? Am I passing on an opportunity to grow?  I imagine my 80 year old self as very wise.

    The book is about three almost thirty year old girls who set off on around the world trip.  These girls left their high stress jobs in New York City and started an adventure.  Each one of them had to make adjustments to attitudes about travel.  These girls are really brave. I really admire them.  This also a great story about friendship. They were quite honest how 60,000 miles tested their friendship. They just didn't travel for the sake of travel. They also sought out a volunteer opportunity in Kenya.  Each of them took on different roles on their trip such as planner and mediator. This true story makes me want to get out there and explore the world.  Their journey was amazing  with destinations like Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Kenya, India, Laos. I like this quote,  "What if taking the journey is the highest act of faith.?" This book is similar to the book " The Good Girls Guide to Getting Lost,"  by Rachel Friedman (my review). They also broach the subject of why so few young Americans travel and if they do they are women. The Good Girls Guide to Getting Lost also noted this as well. It is a common expectation in other countries that kids will take a gap year. The Lost Girls have their own website Lost Girls World.

    I also read another true story called The Big Year - A tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmasick.  The book is about 3 men who would try to set a North American recording for seeing the species of birds in a single year or 365 days.  The lengths these guys will go to see birds is incredible.  I had no idea people did this.  It is really a fascinating read.  I found out about this book from Almost Unschoolers. It really inspired me to start birdwatching more.  Chuckles has been keeping our bird feeder full.  You never know what we will see.

    Chuckles and I did a read aloud this summer and it was Mr Popper's Penguins.  Our review is here. Unfortunately we didn't finish the book in time to see the movie. I look forward to watching this when it comes out on DVD. This was a great read aloud for summer.  I had never read this before.  It is a classic and we both enjoyed it.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011


    Someone posted this Ralph's World Song on their facebook.  It is perfect for this overcast day in the Pacific Northwest. Of course this post wouldn't be complete without this wordy thing from pinterest.

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    My Top Wordy Things found on Pinterest

    Top Ten {Tuesday}
    I admit it I am addicted to Pinterest. I have always loved quotes. This is from my word board at Pinterest. These are my Top Wordy things. I am joining Oh Amanda and the Top 10 Tuesday.  I have been email a pinterest "quote a day" to my sister the Polyester Princess because some of them crack me up.
    Source: etsy.com via Heather on Pinterest
    Source: None via Heather on Pinterest
    Source: None via Heather on Pinterest

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Got Bags

    Chuckles saw this on the sidewalk in front of our grocery store.  We are both a little slow.Chuck and I just stared at it for a few seconds.  It means - Got Bags.  Do you have your reusable bags?  I don't know if we are going to become a town that outlaws plastic or not.  A near by town is going to outlaw the bags. I do try to use my reusable bags as much or possible.  I thought it was a clever reminder.

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    50 sucks bouquet

    I saw this on pinterest(original inspiration below) and couldn't resist gifting this for my cousin's 50th Birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY CINDEE!  I heard there was going to be quite the party in your honor.

    Original Idea

    21 pounds of Puppy Love

    Just a short puppy update.  Tigger now weighs 21 lbs.  I finally got a decent picture of him. He also got to go to Puppy Preschool this week.  I thought my preschool days were over. LOL It is a good thing he is so cute because puppies are a lot of work.

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Mr Popper's Penguins

    Chuckles and I have been reading Mr Popper Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater this summer.  Unfortunately we missed seeing the movie. We plan to catch it later on DVD.  I used the reading guide/journal questions found at ReadWriteThink.  It just helped to keep us on track. Classroom Jr had a nice vocab list. I had never read this before.  It is a cute and funny story. This was the 1939 Newberry Honor Winner, too. I downloaded it to my Kindle as there was a long wait list at the library for this.  I see now that Walmart carries it for cheaper than the download. We did a great penguin project earlier in the year. (pictured above) Chuckles also did an animal report in 2nd Grade on Penguins so this book was right up his alley. Librarianism Chronicles also has some great extension activities on Penguins.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Playground Tour - Ravenna Park

    Last week we got to Children' s Autism Center in Seattle too early for our appointment.  So, we stopped and played a Ravenna Park. in Seattle  The kids and the dogs had fun playing here.  They liked the giant hammock. Of course, #1 Son was drawn to the hammock and the swings. I only have a picture of Chuckles on the hammock thing.

    The puppy loved playing with a pine bough.  It is hard to take a picture of a black dog.

    There were lots of little sculptures.  I liked this little snake.

    We were there in the earlier morning hours.  It doesn't look like there is an abundance of parking.  We also noticed some homeless people encamped over near the playing fields.  But the playground was empty at this early hour. There are also restrooms near the playground that were open.  I didn't check them out.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Birthday Surprise- Great Wolf

    We just got back from a surprise trip we planned for our soon to be 13 year old.  We went to Great Wolf Lodge. 

    He has been asking to go to our local water park bur we thought we could do better.  We were able to get a summer discount to Great Wolf.  The Great Wolf Lodge we went to was in Grand Mound, Washington.  We had a regular room not one of those fancy suites. We had an awesome time.  We arrived at 2 pm and enjoyed playing in the water park though neither boy was interested in the taller slides.  #1 Son really enjoyed going across the Lilly pads. 

    Chuckles was totally into the wave pool. Neither of my boys are swimmers.  I thought the safety was awesome at the park.

     After dinner, we bought wands and played the magic quest game throughout the hotel.  Basically this is an interactive scavenger hunt. You wave wands at various items and they light up and give you clues. It is pricey but this was the big trip of our summer. A lot of the clues are in the stairwells of the hotel.  This is quite the workout.  The kids love this but all of us parents were giving each other the look.  The look of how did I get myself into this.  Though I have to say, the Giant Man Child was really into this.  Next time, I think we will have to get him a wand. We played this until almost 10 pm.  Thank goodness they turn the game off at 10pm. We still had one quest left which we did in the morning. We also went back into the water park for about an hour.  It was mostly empty which was fun to enjoy without the crowd. 

    Of course, the Giant Man Child had to give the lily pads a go.


    Happy 13th Birthday!