Geocaching at Plum Creek- 2 out of 3

Today’s geocache fun was at Plum Creek. I picked this park in the Medina Park system because there were 3 caches large enough to hold trinkets, a stocked fish pond, trails, and a playground.

Things started off a bit rocky as we were following a clue for the second cache while we were looking for the first cache. Luckily, my friend’s sharp eyes picked out the container anyway.

We spotted a duck at one point while searching.
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Looking through the cache:
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After finding that one, we walked around the pond, stopped at the playground for a bit, and had some snacks. My daughter and her friend were having so much fun on the swings while my son was getting antsy, that we split up. I went off searching for the next cache with him while they stayed and played for a while.

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It wasn’t hard to find the second cache, but the walk was way longer than we expected when we entered the woods. The GPS said 800 ft., but the path kept twisting and turning back, so we really walked almost a mile to it.

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On the way, we found this awesome hollow tree 🙂
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We tried for a few minutes to see if we could locate the third cache but gave up after we could see still more path twistiness and headed back to the others to give them a turn to search.

While they searched, my son and I hung out and he drew in his notebook and told me about his older drawings.

We stayed for a bit longer after the others came back until it was chilly and getting late.

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We saw this hive in a tree.

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The girls ran back to us with fossils!

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Finding 2 out of 3 caches isn’t bad, but we will probably come back to this park again to see if we can find the third.

Red Lobster appeared on the menu for dinner.

Toy From the Random Parts Bin

My daughter really wanted to go to a store to buy a new toy tonight. I was beyond not in the mood for that and was beginning to miss the days back when the kids didn’t want store-bought toys. I suggested she get out our bin of parts and make a toy.

She wasn’t sure about the idea until I dumped it out. Suddenly she and her brother were sorting and playing with little input from me or J.

My daughter decided to make a mobile from some bits and pieces of things that fly. Airplanes, a butterfly, and a bee made the final cut. I helped her put it together with an old ribbon spool and some string. Here it is hanging rom her bunk:

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Whiteboard Drawings

Most recently on our whiteboards…

My daughter drew this one. She said the water was coming up by the road like in the movie “Ponyo”.
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My son added more content to some magnet sentences I put up. I was sure he would end the story with the shark eating the person. Nope. They become friends. They are sitting at the table together. The man is eating peas and the shark is eating fish.

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I love the motor on the boat and the flag and the fact that the shark is in a tank at the table…

T-Shirt Take #1 and Supercheetah

I decided to try my hand at sewing a t-shirt for myself today after scouring the internet for what folks considered a “good” pattern fit-wise. I wound up with 2 Simplicity “New Look” patterns. I took all my measurements and discovered why off the rack clothes fit me so poorly…I am one size on top, up a size in the middle, and up yet another size at the bottom. Boo!

I carefully drew and cut out paper pattern pieces that the directions assured me would fit when sewn together. One of my old oversized shirts got sacrificed for the cause. I thought I would be able to make a new shirt that would fit from one oversized older shirt. Really- I need 2, considering the way the pattern goes together. J. kindly threw one of his shirts into the mix for me.

Goodness gracious- sewing a t-shirt is kinda tricky, especially the darn sleeves. That isn’t even mentioning the collar that I accidentally sewed inside out!

Luckily I kept some of my sense of humor thanks to my daughter, a.k.a. Supercheetah. She dressed herself up in a cape made from the back of one of the shirts and ran around at top speed.

Here are pictures of her (as there will be no pictures of my sorry shirt here):

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Yes- This cheetah has a nasty gum habit.

I will try again, perhaps taking breaks between steps to gain clarity. I will also be haunting the thrift stores for some XXL shirts to see if they have enough fabric for my bod.

Carnival Time Again

My daughter decided to make a carnival in the house again after sticking more balloons to the wall with her static cling hair, LOL. She created some pin darts to throw at them, which unfortunately bounced off our balloons instead of popping them.

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She also set up a bean bag toss, a throw-the-markers-at-a-waterbottle game, and a find the correct egg game.

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After a while, my son joined in and set up a prize jar.

Science Friday

One of our friends who swims with us on Fridays often comes over beforehand and the kids play and have lunch here. Today, we did some science experiments too.

First up was balloons. While getting everything ready, the kids let the balloons fly around the room and tried to stick them to the wall using static.

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Then each kid got a balloon to test out with a pin and some tape after we popped a spare one with a pin. The idea was to see what would happen if you put tape on the balloon before poking it with a pin. The loud bang of our control balloon dissuaded some from trying, but we did get the pin into a few. Tip for those trying this experiment- don’t use Duct Tape. Scotch Tape worked much better. With the Scotch Taped balloon, not only did the pin go in, but it came out without a bang and the balloon slowly deflated letting the kids pass it around and hear and feel it.

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Next up was trying to figure out how to lift a book off the table using air. The kids came up with ideas ranging from paper fans to the balloon pump to an inflated balloon underneath. The balloon came closest to the intended solution which was to put an UNinflated balloon under the book and then blow it up, lifting the book.

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Our last experiment was for each kid to cut a shape from a plastic bag and create a parachute for a little bear. My son cut the weirdest shape, yet it still functioned when he threw it outside. In fact- All of the parachutes opened!

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After the parachuting, we rushed off to swimming where the kids learned how to play “Monkey in the Middle” with a beach ball…

Hit the Lizard

My son was complaining that there was nothing good on the Professor Garfield website when he stumbled upon a comic strip maker in one of the links. He proceded to make his own comic about a bad guy lizard who had locked up a cute mouse. The mouse and the super hero trick the lizard into coming into their cell so the super hero can beat him up. Then the mouse is free to go home. The title of my post is, of course, the title of his comic!

Here is a video with my son narrating his strip:

Here are the stills:
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Apples to Apples Kids

I picked up “Apple To Apples Kids” the other night hoping to try it out with the kids. The “Kids” version has easier words in terms of reading level and in terms of social knowledge (for example- my kids might not know who Marilyn Monroe is yet).

It was a huge hit! All 4 of us played and we used the rule where you throw in a random card from the deck each time to give the judge more cards to pick from. My daughter needed a bit of help with some of the words, but it actually played well for us! Good, silly, fun. Did I say silly? Hilarious.

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Kirby Love and other Distractions

While my daughter was making more Kaleidodraw creations, my son was playing the GameCube version of Kirby Air Ride. For those who haven’t played, it is a racing game where you can gain powers from your enemies and must avoid obstacles while trying to get the best time and earn trophies for different skills.

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When he was finished playing, he decided to invent his own game called Kirby Air Ride 2. He drew maps for the different levels and then created obstacle courses around the house to recreate them. He hid trophies and then he and I raced to complete the courses. I must say, I did pretty well, LOL.

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During one of his planning sessions, which mostly consisted of him walking back and forth on the front porch detailing all the enemies and obstacles he would use, he spied a firefly. We have never noticed one during the day before so we snapped a picture.

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My Son is a Big Fat Manipulator

Lately, he and his sister have an ongoing game where if he says “Coo coo”, she turns into a baby. I made fries today before loading the kids in the car to go pick up a prescription. My son ate his at the house. My daughter took hers with us and was adamant that she was NOT going to share. When my son said the magic word, my daughter turned into a cute, giggling baby who was very, very generous. She shared her fries with him. Whenever he said “Coo coo” again, she turned back into a kid and demanded to know what had happened to her missing fries. “Coo coo”. Another french fry gets eaten. “Coo coo”. Another pretend angry girl.

It was quite fun to listen to.
My boy has skills!

Going With the Flow- Cuisenaire Rods and Wedgits

My son has been waking up earlier lately, giving us time to play together more in the mornings. This morning, he woke up as I was considering scanning in the picture puzzles from this book, Picture Puzzles with Cuisenaire Rods
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I decided to skip the scanning and just do a random page together to see what the picture was. Here is our final picture and my son acting it out, LOL.
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Then we started building stuff using the Cuisenaire Rods
– towers, buildings, etc.

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Then the Wedgits
came out. He made up estimation puzzles for me while I made up towers for him to destroy. He would make an object and I would need to guess how many total Wedgits he used. I got pretty good as guessing and even got the total right one time! He had fun destroying my towers by “taking out the legs” as he put it.

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Then my daughter woke up and joined us. I started making pictures out of the cuisenaire rods.

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Then somehow the bucket became a drum.
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Then we started shooting down the towers with a Nerf gun and blowing them down with our breath.

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Then the bucket wound up on top of my children’s heads.
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Good times 🙂

Park Day

Today we headed to a park with friends to find a geocache and then hang out at the playground and nearby pond. The weather was fantastic and the cache was not too hard to find.

The kids had fun picking out their new trinkets (although my daughter picked out one that I brought, LOL).
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One of our friends brought their new puppy, so the kids enjoyed getting to see her.
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The kids explored the playground.
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Then we headed over to the pond. We brought scraps of bread and cereal, but the fish didn’t come for any of it. We hung out by the water while the kids ran up and down the hill, gathered piles of grass, picked up huge sticks to toss in the water, and other fun stuff.

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It was a really nice afternoon.

We continued our day over at my dad’s house and had a great time.

Finally Got Out Our Scanner

My daughter has been asking me to make a copy of a picture of our oldest cat and her brother when they were kittens. She wanted a copy for a friend of hers and has been pretty patient about me finding time to get out the scanner and set it all up. Today I finally got it out and installed all the software on my current computer and then, since I already had it set up, I decided to continue scanning and tackle some of those little things I thought I would eventually get to.

I was able to get lots scanned over the course of the day, including lots of fun games from a few books we own:


Family Math

Polyhedra Dice Games

Make Your Own Games Workshop



My daughter and I tried out a few of them to her great delight (as she beat me almost every game)!

These 2 are from the “Polyhedra Dice Games” book.

“QUADS” is basically “BINGO” using dice. You roll two icosahedra dice (values from 0-9), add them up, and call out the number. Each player covers their boards as the numbers are called and matched up. The first player to get 4 in a row wins. We must have played this one 5 or 6 times.

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Then we played a game called “Egghead” where you move around the board by rolling 2 six-sided dice. If the sum is in the next “egg”, you get to move. Otherwise, you pass the dice to the next player. First one to the final “egghead” is the winner.

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These games are nice because they are really easy to learn and short so they can be replayed a bunch if winning matters.

I Am Not Survivorwoman

My daughter found the glass part of her new thermometer on the driveway today. It must have fallen off the window. When we went looking for the remainder of the thermometer, her brother located something and said that he had found it. We all went to look and found a pile of ash on the pavement. At first, I insisted that it was from our neighbors cigarette, but my daughter said she found a piece of glass in the pile, so perhaps (???) the thermometer caught some sun rays and burned the backing. The jury is still out on that one, but it got me thinking…

I decided that the kids needed to see something lit on fire by a magnifying glass. Why? Because I thought it would be cool, kinda science-y, and I wanted to see if I could. I started off with some newspaper, then tried some dried grasses. The paper did get hot enough to make scorch marks and the grasses did smoke, but no fire. 15 minutes later, I have decided to try again closer to noon and perhaps to seek out a stronger magnifier.

Good thing we weren’t counting on it for survival, LOL.

New Fish

We went to the pet store today to pick up litter and a new collar for Tom. While we were there we also picked up new fish for my son’s tank. One of his goldfish died last month and after moving his other one to his sister’s tank, he agreed to add a heater to his tank and get different types of fish. He settled on 2 neon tetras, a catfish, and a ghost shrimp. Each kid also picked out a small decoration. His is a tiki mask.

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All this went down while our cat, Pandora, was at the vet. After x-rays, urinalysis, and a blood draw, she was sent home with a clean bill of health and a bottle of kitty Prozac.