Roots and Shoots

Today was our first “Roots and Shoots” meeting at the zoo and we got to learn about the organization and then spent some time brainstorming ideas for projects for our group.  Our group will be following the plan of choosing 3 projects- 1 for animals, 1 for the community, and 1 for people.

We had a turnout of 13 families today and I think there are a few more interested in joining!

After the meeting, we walked around and got to see the animals with a few friends before heading home.

More Snow Fun

P>We have been struggling to start our days earlier so that the kids and I can participate in more of the group activities going on.

J. stepped it up this week, being much more active than usual with the kids earlier in the day so that we could hopefully get to bed earlier and make it easier to get up the next day.

Today he got the kids outside before lunch which is doing pretty great for a weekend in our house. I joined in and we had some good old-fashioned snow fun!


First Homeschool Co-op Meeting

Today was the first meeting of the local homeschool co-op. It is an informal group that will be meeting at the local library, setting up events and bringing in speakers.

Today’s theme was “games” and people were invited to bring their own board games along. Having a 3 and a 5 year old made me think twice about bringing board games, so I brought a tub of legos hoping it would ensure my son’s ability to make it through 2 hours.

Everything went pretty smoothly and the kids did actually play some of the games- Yea!  🙂 It was nice to get to see everyone and have a chance to try out some new games.

New Game in Town

Or at least in our house 🙂

“Nicktoons Unite” for the GameCube is the new game of choice lately and my son shared it with one of his friends today. It is a bit challenging because there is quite a bit of reading, so adult help is appreciated.

I thought this game was really lame, to say the least, when we first got it. I was suckered into it by a Target employee who had obviously never played the game and compared it to Super Smash Brothers, a game with absolutely nothing in common as far as game play. 

After an initial few plays with J. when we first got it, this game sat in the cabinet waiting patiently to be rediscovered. 

And what a discovery! This game is actually thoughtful and fairly interesting. You play as 4 Nickolodeon characters who must complete missions cooperatively using special powers (unique to each character). It is like a modern day 3-D “Lemmings” utilizing each character to complete separate small tasks within each larger mission. Cooler yet, it can be played 2 player with 1 of the players able to drop in and out at will (VERY useful when you have another kid and a house to keep an eye on).

For me, this is yet another time when the play value of a video game becomes much more clear after playing it myself and giving it a real chance.

Water Pouring in our Window turns into Water Soaking our Carpet

Well, not really.

In our haste to chip the ice off the roof and melt what was in the gutters, we did successfully use a hose attached to our hot water faucet. However, when we pulled the hose in the window to keep it from freezing overnight, we failed to notice that there was a slow leak from the faucet. By morning, we had very wet portions of carpet in our family room.

We pulled up the carpet and draped it over several chairs and aimed heaters and fans at it for 2 days to get it dry. Now it looks all rippled and isn’t really attached at the edges.

At least the water isn’t coming in anymore, we didn’t need to file a claim, and life is getting back to normal…

Science Question You Don’t Want the Answer To

Why is water pouring down my windows into my house?

Apparently when you have a huge, several inch thick layer of ice coating your gutters and your roof and the water runs out of places to go, it finds a way in through the roof. Then it goes into your walls and finds whatever happy openings it can, which for us was the big window in our family room and the window above our bathtub.

And I found out by calling the guy, who happens to be J.’s uncle, who had installed out *new* windows and doors last year. I called to complain and found out that basically we need more insulation and we should’ve kept our gutters clear.

I spent almost 2 hours today on a step-ladder pouring pots full of hot water onto the ice and adding some salt for good measure. After that I was exhausted and called J. at work for help. He came home a bit early and we decided to run a hose and try that. The outside outlet was iced over and nothing we did could coax water through it. Memories of the birth tub from my daughter’s birth send me looking for the connector to use our kitchen faucet. No go. “How about the washing machine ?”, we thought. We brought in a hose from the garage only to find it iced over as well. The kids helped us give the hose a nice warm bath to melt the ice and clean all the mud off of it. Then we tried again. Yeah! It worked. We are going in shifts as hot water replenishes trying to get the first gutter clear.

Have I mentioned that I hate winter?