Thursday, April 18, 2019

Washing Machine Fire Pit!

A couple of years ago our friend's Lance and Rachael's washing machine went out. They went and got a new one, but Lance did something ingenious with the old one. He took the drum out and turned it into a fire pit! 



You can see it on the left. The base of the fire pit is this big iron pot so the drum sits up higher. It's been so amazing whenever we've gone to their house. The drum just radiates heat from all those holes that were meant for water! Plus when you let the fire burn down to coals you can rest your roasting sticks on the side. I love it!!! 

We were just waiting to see a broken down washing machine sitting on the side of the road so we could make ourselves a new fire pit. Then a few weeks later we were at my parents house and my mom told me that her washing machine broke down and they were getting new ones delivered on Tuesday. The funny thing was....I didn't even think about asking them for the drum. But then Michael showed up and when he heard about it he immediately said that we should ask if Mom and Dad would be okay if we tore their washing machine apart to get the drum. Mom and Dad were fine with that, but we didn't have time that night because we were having dinner with friends at their house in just about an hour. 

So the very next day after church we went down to Mom & Dad's and tore the washing machine apart. I wish I had gotten pictures of that process. It was crazy how many parts are contained inside a washing machine. It was nuts! After Michael and Dad got the drum out they just put everything back in the washing machine and taped it all together. The delivery guys were coming on Tuesday with the new machines and then they'd take away the old ones. 

When we got home on Sunday Michael got right to work turning the drum into our new fire pit! 



It didn't take him a ton of time, but it also wasn't this super easy task. He decided to use the existing stand from our old fire pit and he bolted the new drum to it. 



It's actually SO pretty!!! 



Preparing the fire! 



All ready to go....let's get lit!!!!! 

This was always the most frustrating part of having a backyard fire in our old fire pit. The fire would take FOREVER to start....NOT ANYMORE!!! 



There is SO much airflow into this bad boy that it just started right up! It was raging in no time! 



It was almost like there was a fan on the bottom and the flames were just being forced up. It was so cool! And no the slide does not go right into the flames! :) :) :) 



Fire is so beautiful! 

I will say that ours isn't as hot as Lance and Rachael's...ours has a lot more holes since it's a newer drum, but still it's way more awesome that our old fire pit. Around twilight our neighbor came over to talk with us and while we were standing at the fence with him I looked back at the pit and saw all that fire through the little holes on the side and it was so gorgeous! Next time I'll take a picture! 

Anyways if your washing machine breaks down or you see one for free on the side of the road be sure to scoop that thing up and turn it into an awesome fire pit! 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Captain Marvel!

To keep our good times rolling we decided to surprise the kids with a Family Movie on March 23rd. We wanted to go to Captain Marvel and we figured why not go in style so we bought tickets to the Century Theater with the reclining seats. The kids were so excited! 



I had bought the kids candy at the Dollar Tree so I stuffed the boxes of candy in my purse. In fact that was the only thing in my purse. We did get popcorn and soda though. 



Michael and I sat right in the middle so he could help Jack and Owen on his right and I sat next to him so I could help Zeke and Ella on my left. It really worked out perfectly and the kids loved it. 

We really enjoyed the movie too. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it with the main star saying all that feminist stuff and not wanting a bunch of white male reporters at the opening of the movie. I had also her that the movie was super feminist and I didn't really think so. Most of the main characters were female, but I didn't feel like it was bashing males. I'm all for women getting equal rights, but I get really angry when they start trashing men. I would say it was less politically charged than Black Panther. 

One things for sure....we can't wait to see Avengers End Games! 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Pacific Science Center!

Last year when we went to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in Oregon my parents and I ended up buying a Family Membership for a year. It was actually cheaper to do it that way instead of buying tickets for just that one day. Also it made it so we could visit tons of different museums in every state. Two of those museums are right here in Washington so that was definitely an added benefit. 

Because of Student Led Conferences the kids got both Thursday, March 21st and Friday, March 22nd off. They had their conferences on the 23rd so I thought it would be nice to go out and have a fun day on Friday. I gave the kids the option of going to either museum. There choices were the Boeing Flight Museum or The Pacific Science Center. Owen, Ella and Zeke wanted to go to the Science Center, but Jackson didn't want to go to either one. He said he's been to the Science Center SO many times because of field trips that he's sick of it! Thankfully he was pleasantly surprised when we got there because come to find out he thought I meant the Seattle Aquarium! 

I know where the Science Center is, but it's been years since I've been there. I also know that Seattle has had lots of construction, because of this I pulled it up on Google Maps so it could tell me the best route to go. Once it told me to get off I-5 and go on SR-599 I knew that it was going to have me take the new Tunnel. I had heard that there was going to be a toll so I was prepared to have to pay it...even thought it would kill me to do so! 



I was a little nervous because of how long the tunnel is...I get claustrophobic so I was hoping it wouldn't freak me out. I had my phone mounted on the dash so I was able to snap this shot while driving. It was actually really awesome and I didn't feel like I was closed in at all. I was driving at 60 MPH so that probably helped...I'm sure if my car broke down in there I would be freaking out. I thought the lights that were directly overhead were pretty cool. They almost looked like a pathway that you needed to follow in a video game. The best part was...NO TOLL! Yahoo! 

We parked in the garage that's right next to the Science Center and then walked right up to the counter. Our membership passes made it so we didn't pay a thing. Unfortunately we didn't have the best membership so we weren't able to get discount tickets to see an IMAX movie. I wanted to watch one that all about Volcanos, but at $18 per person that was a no go! 



I love how the Science Center is just set up with something fun around every corner. The kids immediately just jumped into exploring and learning even if they did just think it was having fun. Jack and Zeke were making a gravity maze. While Ella and I learned about pulleys. 




Then they all wanted a chance to make giant bubbles! 




It was so fun to see the bubble wall warble and bulge! 




Zeke didn't try to make a bubble come out he just made the whole bubble wall wiggle. It was actually really cool looking! 




Jackson got a real kick out of the trick mirror. We are pretty cute looking little people. 



This mirror wall was fun and actually freaked the kids out for a second when I showed them how to do it. 




After stopping at the restroom it was upstairs to discover more fun things like this giant guitar. This area is always my favorite which is why there are no more pictures! I was having too much fun with the kids to take any pictures. This is the section that's all about sight, smell and strength. 

Before we went to the next section we decided this would be a good time to eat. There was a school there on a field trip and there were so many student all the tables were full. When we walked out there I heard the teacher say they would be leaving in 5 minutes. I figured we'd go out on the walkways and play with the water toys for a bit and then when they left we'd go over to the tables. 



We really were blessed with such beautiful weather. It was so nice, but not too warm to be out in the sun. Because of this we decided to sit on a bench out there and eat our lunch instead. 



The kids would eat a little and then run over and enjoy the fun toys to play with. At one point we went over to try to get the water wheel to move and it's really really hard! 



I love these kiddos and I love that I get to stay at home with them and do these kind of things and they still enjoy being with me. :) 



It was beautiful, but it was also very bright! ;) 

A funny thing that happened when we were eating lunch was I saw these kids with shirts on that said Eastridge Community Church. Pastor Andy used to preach at that church so I struck up a conversation with one of the mom's and she actually had just worked with Pastor Andy the week before when he spoke at a conference. It can seriously be such a small world! 


Back inside we moved on to the next building. This area was all about learning about sleep, food, direction and time. 

The food area was definitely a favorite! It has a conveyor belt with all these disks that have pictures of food on them. Then there were these computer stations where you could track your food to see how many calories you were eating in a day. I was really fun getting to pick and choose and see if we were making good choices. Owen was enamored with this game where you had to match the vitamins or minerals with the correct food. He and I actually did so well we made it onto the leader board! 



The part I thought was the most fun was this "Drive Thru" window. It had a microphone so you could speak into it and talk to the person trying to place their order. There was the menu board they could look at with all of items they could order. 



Inside there was a flip book with all the different items on it and a giant calculator to they could add up the items you wanted. 



The numbers in the flip board weren't the price, but it was really the amount of calories each item had. I didn't care though I used like a normal drive thru. 

The name of the restaurant was Burger Planet and all items on the menu had fun names. I had so much fun pretending to be a New Yorker and taking Jack's order. When he first got up to the window I said..."Welcome to Burger Planet where are burgers are the best in the galaxy and our milkshakes are better than the Milky Way...how can I take your order?" I was being all sarcastic and silly so when Jackson ordered a Jupiter Burger with everything on it I said, "It's your heartache!" There was this other kids there and he was smiling and giggling...he thought I was quite silly! 

After that we went over and touched starfish and sea anemones in the shallow saltwater pool. Then we learned about planets and found out that Zeke would weight 2lbs on Pluto! 

Then it was off to the Dinosaur section! 


All the kids are sitting in one dinosaur footprint. 




I love that Zeke wore his T-Rex shirt! 



Look their wrestling! ;)




Zeke's favorite dinosaur....right now. 




The T-Rex was actually a bit disappointing really.




This is a Pachycephalosaurus and I love listening to Zeke pronounce it....he's been saying dinosaur names since he was a toddler. 



The next area was where we had a bit of trouble. Jack and Owen were playing a game of chess and everything was going great, but then Zeke saw that Jack could take out Owen's queen and he couldn't keep it to himself. He's still learning the game and he was just excited to share. Owen knew he had made a mistake and he was just counting on Jack not noticing it. Of course Owen got super angry at Zeke when he spilled the beans and he was quite vocal about it. People were staring and I was trying to get Owen to calm down. I ended up having him sit down and cool off. Jack and Zeke continued on with the game. We had a good talk about it not letting a few bad seconds determine how the rest of your day could go. He was still upset about it, but surprisingly he bounced back. 

We had free tickets to go to a VR experience, but we had about 35 minutes until it was our time so we headed for the Butterfly Exhibit. 



It's so warm in there, but the kids loved it! 



They had bowls of fruit sitting out for the butterflies. 




Owen really wanted a butterfly to land on him, but no such luck. 



The kids did get a little upset though because there were quite a few dead butterflies. Some had just landed on the floor and got stepped on. They did warn you about this, but I'm sure there are little kids that don't pay attention and accidents happen. This butterfly isn't dead though! The upsetting part was we found a butterfly stuck under one of the soaker hoses and I told a worker and he said they weren't allowed to intervene and that made Ella really sad. We were only in there for about 15 minutes and even though the kids really enjoyed it I think it was really for the best. 

After our VR experience I wanted to go to the Planetarium, but I didn't realize we needed to have tickets and they were all gone. But the lady at the information desk told us about this show that was starting at 3:30 that didn't require tickets. It wasn't quite 3pm yet so we had some time to kill. 



We decided to get some air and head outside. Zeke of course was all excited about the dinosaurs! 

Ella needed to go to the bathroom and there just so happened to be an employee walking by so I asked where the closest bathrooms were. Surprisingly, they were outside just a few feet away...I'm so glad I asked because I would have marched us all the way back into the buildings. 

This was not an ordinary bathroom though...it was a bathroom that had all sorts of gross facts about bodily functions. It was right up my kids' alley. 



If farts had color this would follow him around all day long! 



Stinky! 



Owen is enjoying this a little too much! :) 



Ella got creative! 



I wanted to get back inside the building so we could get a good seat for the show. We went back into the building through the 2nd floor which put us in the cafe. I let the kids each pick out a snack to eat while waiting for the show to start. Ella and Zeke got chips. 




Owen and Jack got ice cream. Jack's ice cream cone broke though and his ice cream fell on the floor. We went back to the cafe and they were so sweet they let him pick something else. This time he picked a Sponge Bob Popsicle.




The show we went to was called Combustion and this is Max...he taught us about the 3 things you need to have combustion. The show was awesome and it was the perfect way to end our super fun day inside the Science Center. 



I got a video of the big shebang! 

After the show Max said we could come up and ask questions so I asked if the kids could get their picture taken with him. He said yes and asked if the kids wanted to wear any of his safety gear. 



Owen being the amazing dork he is! I love this kid! 




Safety first Jackson!!! 



Fuel - Heat - Oxygen

I had one more thing I wanted to show the kids and of course the beautiful sun was no where to be seen and it was sprinkling. There was no way we were going to be this close and not go though. 



On the way there we had to get a picture with the Space Needle. 

As we were walking I realized that the last time I'd been here was when Owen was a baby and he was still nursing. It was November 8th, 2007 and I was participating in a Guinness Book of World Records event. We were trying to break the record for the most women simultaneously breastfeeding at the same time all over the world. I had been with my SIL at her doctors appointment..she was pregnant with my niece Samantha and we just barely made it in time. I was running with Owen in my arms to make it and she was pushing the stroller. I was the last one to get signed in and then it was..."3, 2, 1....latch"!! It was hilarious and awesome all at the same time. 



We were all sitting around the International Fountain. Komo News was there and I got interviewed by Alisa Jaffe. Later that night I got a call from people saying Owen and I had been on the news. My pastor at the time recorded it when it came on again later that night. I still have the VHS tape with the news story. I remember being so shocked that the part of my interview they aired was when I said that breastmilk was God's perfect food for Owen. 

I jokingly, told Owen we should recreate that interview of us, but he passed. Hahahaha! I wasn't actually nursing during the interview I was just holding him. :) 



Since it was already sprinkling I figured why not go down to the fountain...who cares if we get a little wet. 




I had the kids jump to see if I could get a fun picture, but they could never jump at the same time. :) 




They tried! 

After that I ran around the whole fountain with my arms out like an airplane and the kids followed...although they thought I was nuts. It was so fun! Then we ran up the sides to get out. The kids had a tough time and I showed them how you have to stay on your toes and not try to walk flat footed. Of course we couldn't get away scot-free...right when we were walking away Zeke slipped on the edge and hit his hip and start bawling. Poor guy! I carried him for a bit and then he had to walk. He perked up pretty quickly and then we were all done. We stopped by the booth outside the Science Center to find out the fastest way to the parking garage. We ended up walking down to the road instead of going back through the buildings. Since it was raining it probably would have been nicer to go through the buildings though. 

Of course we were trying to get out of the city at the same time everyone else was. We went home the same way we came...through the tunnel. Surprisingly it only took us 45 minutes to get home. It was such a great day. For the most part I feel like we are just going through the motions. School, Gymnastics, Awanas, Track and so on and so on. It was such an out of the ordinary day and I'm looking forward to summertime when we get to go and do as much as we want.