Preschool Graduate!

May 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Our Life

Our little boy is getting so big! Last night was Ethan’s preschool graduation and he was so cute singing with his class on stage. I really didn’t think he’d sing because he told us beforehand that it was BORING and he wasn’t singing BUT he surprised us and was so funny and sang every song nice and LOUD! He definitely stole the show in my mind as he walked in the only kid with his graduation baseball hat on backwards and chewing the gum I forgot to have him spit out. On stage he was very cute adjusting his hat to the side, to the front and then backwards again while he chomped away on his gum. Then the songs started and he sang them all with enthusiasm shouting out the important words loudest of them all and doing the little choreographed movements. Unfortunately we didn’t go early to stake out a seat upfront and I didn’t bring my telephoto lens so I didn’t get the best pictures but John did a great job videotaping and was able to zoom right in on Ethan during the songs. After the little ceremony we had a great time watching a juggler (then the kids tried juggling) and eating a few snacks. A year from now we’ll get to relive last night when Ben graduates from preschool but I’d like the next year to go by slowly!

Just a virus!

May 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Our Life

I heard from the Dr’s office today that the kids’ test results were all normal! No freaky spirogiros living in them! She is seeing more of this where it lasts a long time, comes and goes and the parents stay healthy. I am SOOOOOO relieved but I still can’t wait until all of them are 100% symptom free.

Chickens their first day living outside

May 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Chickens

I was so busy watching them enjoying the sun yesterday that I forgot to get pictures. They were like little dogs rolling around in the grass and laying on their sides basking in the sun, it was funny. These are some pictures of them in the early evening.

Sick Healthy Sick Healthy???

May 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Our Life

John and I are going crazy! These kids are STILL going back and forth between healthy and sick. We went to the preschool and of the year picnic yesterday and all seemed great. Last night all 3 were sick again, Ben the worst with the d-word and throw up. Its like they are active healthy kids and then they are waking up in the middle of the night to throw up. Here are some pictures from the picnic and some from one of our sick moments this week.

Chickens move to their OWN house!

May 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Chickens, Family Activities

Last night we threw the chickens out! Ethan checked their house to make sure it was ready (and to play in it one last time before it wasn’t poop free).

They needed some help finding the door.

It was dark but we kept an eye on them with the flashlight as they adjusted. Soon I’ll paint the coop and John will complete his coop building post. I’m so pleased with how its turned out and the chickens are very happy to be in it today and have their own piece of grass to enjoy.

*Tomorrow I’ll post some cute pictures of them basking in the sun today.

High School Student Isolates Plastic Eating Bacteria

May 29, 2008 by  
Filed under In the News

I came across this wonderful story about Daniel Burd, a Canadian 16 year old that isolated bacteria that can eat a plastic bag in 3 months!  Amazing story and the logic he applied is so wonderful in its simplicity, yet no one else has done this.  Here it is in a nutshell.

  1. It takes 1000 years for a plastic bag to biodegrade.  Yet, it DOES biodegrade so something has to be eating it.
  2. He collects dirt from a landfill and creates and nurtures a bacteria farm, feeding it only ground up plastic
  3. He isolates the bacteria that are thriving on his plastic meals and tests them individually.
  4. First he finds the bacteria that eats the plastic the fastest
  5. Second he finds the combination of bacteria that works the best
  6. His controlled tests find a 50% reduction in plastic bag mass after 6 weeks

Absolutely brilliant.   Can’t wait to see what this  project leads to.  For Burd’s efforts he won a $10,000 prize and $20,000 scholarship although I expect there will be several universities offering him a full ride.

Sick of Sickness!

May 28, 2008 by  
Filed under Our Life, Past Contests

I feel like we’ve been on some bad rollercoaster the last 2 WEEKS! Ethan first got sick on the 15th and the most that all 3 kids were healthy since then was a little over 2 days straight. We keep thinking the stomach thing is all gone and have 1-2 days that the kids seem totally healthy and then the shit hits the floor (literally) and the vomiting always happens in the middle of the night or very early morning. Our kids never used to get stomach things but I can’t say that anymore and I also fear this is no regular stomach bug. We were at the hospital lab about 2 hours yesterday (thanks to the pediatrician’s office forgetting to fax the testing forms and then closing for lunch) and they did blood work on all 3 of them and we were able to get stool samples from 2 of the kids that we toke with us for testing. Of course yesterday was a seemingly healthy day but Monday Ben had the d-word over 10 times and threw up 6 times. I am heading off to preschool today because its their last day and I am so neverous that this thing will come back while we are there. Luckily I’ll be there the whole time since its Jamie’s toddler class today too but there is no way I’d be chancing going if it weren’t the last day. Hopefully I’ll be able to write an update soon that their tests were normal and they are over this but I’m not really feeling that will be the case.

*Update: Blood work was good for all 3 kids! Still waiting on the stool sample results but our pediatrician thinks its going to just be a virus the kids have, she said she has other patients with it lasting a week. We’re well over a week but the kids could be passing it around I guess. They must just be worn down because John and I have managed to stay healthy all this time. Luckily Ethan is symptom free for 2 days now and maybe its ending? Jamie did throw up today but she was the last to get it.

Podcasts and Audiobooks for Teens

May 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Tips and Websites

I’ve been listening to a lot of podiobooks and audible books lately and find myself saying “the kids will love this…when they’re older”. Since some of our readers have older kids or are themselves young at heart I decided to post a list of some of my favorites. These are all for the Harry Potter crowd and are stories I really enjoyed.

Free stories from Podiobooks Books

Here are some other great podiobooks suitable for mom or dad

I’m sure there are others I have forgotten, but this is a great list to get you over 100 hours of audiobooks, most of it free. If you have an ipod and spend any time in the car, train, or are taking a long summer trip, please download a few of these and try them out. is a great site for getting audiobooks and it is important to support these authors so they keep giving us more great content.

I find it funny looking at this list. The majority of these I listened to in the last year, but if someone asked me what I’m reading I would tell them that with 3 kids and too many home improvement projects in progress, I don’t have time to read. Yet here is a list of novels that I’ve enjoyed while driving back and forth to work.

Do you have any favorite audiobooks that aren’t on my list? I am always looking for more.

Unplugged Project: Metal

May 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Art Projects, Unplugged Project

Well it finally worked out for us to do an Unplugged Project again. When I first saw this week was metal I was stumped but then I thought about how the boys have been so into robots lately and how I have been saving little odds and ends that looked neat instead of throwing them out. I gathered a container of parts for Ethan and set him loose with scissors and glue and a heavy piece of old mat board. He wanted some help with parts like when he wanted one of the arms to move and I had to poke some holes so he could attach whatever those brass fasteners are called. Other things used were a metallic frozen pizza thing (that you use if you cook it in the microwave), the inside gears and metal strips from my empty Advair inhalers, the metal top to the cinnamon rolls frosting container, a googly eye and an old antenna part. The red stick on jewel is supposed to be a light up eye. I was originally going to give him some foil but I decided to keep it a project that used all old junk. The only new items were the glue and the one goggly eye (even the mat board had been used on the other side and I pulled the red jewel off an old gift bag). The kids are fighting some nasty stomach thing off and on for over a week now and we’re going to head to the Dr tomorrow morning to find out if its something more serious than a virus so I just did this with Ethan today since he is currently doing okay. Ben has been in our bed throwing up and having the d-word since 5:45am! UGH!

1 Week until my ultrasound!

May 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Our Life

I am so anxious and excited to have my 18 week ultrasound next Monday! I of course want everything to go well and see a very healthy baby but this will be my last baby and I can’t wait to find out boy or girl! With 2 boys and 1 girl already, we could either balance things out or surround Jamie with brothers. I’m okay either way and I really don’t have a super strong feeling this time about what it will be. With both boys I was sure they were boys. With Jamie and this time I haven’t been so sure. I had been saying I was 75% thinking boy this time but now I’m about 50/50.

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