Thursday, June 27, 2013

Museum of Clean

For those of you who live in or around Pocatello, Idaho, I have found a hidden gem worthy of a visit. Don Asslet's Museum of Clean is much more than a museum of old, cleaning tools.  This was a very kid friendly, interesting to adults kind of museum. 

 This Knight made from cleaning buckets and a garbage can lid greeted us at the door.  It was the first of many pictures my boys wanted to take while were here.  And their parting words were, "Can we come back here?  This was the best field trip ever!"  It really was quite cool. 

We received a guided tour from Don Asslett's brother.  (Don himself was also offering tours but was out on one when we arrived.)  Before we departed, my boys spend a few minutes in a giant sphere where every inch was designed for kids.  From a human sized vacuum to a large window you could squeegee clean, to toys and old gadgets (old typewriters and a rotary phone), my boys were mesmerized

Our first stop on our tour was to an indoor garage filled with junk, complete with a working automatic door. When it opened, the kids had to locate and name 5 things we have in our garage.  We also stopped and each of the boys got to suck up a piece of cloth into a large vacuum, and then watch where the dirt went through a set of transparent pipes.  Next up was a picture in front of the vacuum cleaner dinosaur, because "every museum needs a dinosaur."   
 There really are so many pictures I wish I had taken, but I had my arms full with Jenna and I was just trying to keep us all together and move us through.  One display was on washing machines.  The boys each got to take a sock and get it wet, then clean it on a wash board and run it through the ringer, finally hanging it on an old fashion clothes line.  There really is quite a bit of history there.  We learned where the phrase "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" came from and it was so crazy to realize that it really has not been all that long ago that people live using these old items as a way of life.  Even my own mom, who joined me part way through the tour, could remember using an electric ringer washer, and having a large metal basin for bathing as their home only had a shower at the time.  She said they would wash their clothes all in the same water, the whites first, followed by colors, then darks and finally my grandfathers work clothes because he was a mechanic and they were filthy, so they were always last.  Wow!  Things are different today! 

 These two pictures were of a contest that Don Asslett had given to a group of attendees at a recent seminar, to create a working piece of workout equipment from cleaning supplies.  There were some really cool things that people came up with.  The museum is only about a third complete, with 6 floors totaling 75,000 square feet.  The building alone is pretty awesome and a piece of history in itself, build in 1911? if I remember correctly. 
The last stop was a display about chimney sweeps.  There were costumes to put on, complete with a smudge of soot for your nose and then you got to enter a room the size of an old chimney and see how dark and small it would have been to do that job. 
Of course, my boys had to revisit the giant globe and play again for a bit before we could go, and I'm sure they could have spend the remainder of the day there, had I not needed to get going to feed Jenna.  So, if you need something new to try this summer, check out The Museum of Clean!  Well worth your time. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Family Vacation

We had our annual get together with Dave's family this past weekend.  Each year, we go someplace new.  Last year it was Driggs, Idaho.  This year-Treasure Valley, Idaho, about an hour past Boise.  Dave's sister found a wonderful condo there, surrounded with trees.  It was like a large and endless playground.  My boys could build forts for hours on end.  This year, Joan-Dave's mom, brought tarps to tie up and use as a roof for the forts. 
 We enjoyed taking several hikes together and searching for nature treasures. 

 Tyler and Chad each found a 4-leaf clover.  That might have been the highlight of the trip for the two of them.   
There was also a hot spring heated pool that the boys enjoyed at length.  They LOVE swimming and are always sad when its time to get out of the pool.

When we returned to Boise, we took a field trip to the aquarium.  This aquarium was unlike any I have been to before.  Many of the tanks had open tops and the children were invited to reach in and touch the fish, or rays, or yes-even sharks.  It's worth the trip if you're in the Boise area. 

 We also had the chance to introduce Jenna to great grandma Hall and Dave's aunt Debbie for the first time. Somehow, we've missed seeing them on each of our other trips to Boise since she was born. 

 Not the best picture, but a four generation picture none the less. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Shirts 2013

We started a tradition several years back where my boys and I make summer shirts.  Yesterday, I finally had everything together that we needed to complete this year's project. I had done a Sharpie tie dying with my young women a while back, and I thought it was simple enough that my boys could have a lot of fun with it.  Here's what we used. 
 I already had the cups on hand.  I think the small cups worked great.  The large one were a little too large.  Next time, I'd use the smaller size red drinking cups, just one size down from what I have here.  I grabbed the ear droppers and alcohol at the pharmacy. 
 First, take one layer of the shirt and stretch it over a cup.  Wrap the rubber band tightly around the cup.  Then use permanent Sharpie markers to stipple various colors onto the circle.  It works best if you leave a blank spot in the center with no color, but my boys didn't do too well with that part. 

 The more dots, the more color there will be to spread once you drop the alcohol onto it. 

 Next, just fill up the dropper with the rubbing alcohol and drop it into the middle of the dots.  Let it spread and do its job.  On the smaller cups, one dropper about half full did the trick.  The larger cups required a little extra dripping around the edges. 
 You can also remove the cups and place others to overlap edges of completed circles for a more full effect.  The alcohol evaporates rather than dries so it is ready to wear fairly quickly.  We ironed the front once we were complete just to set the colors. 
 And here is the finished result.  Fun.  Not perfect, especially the littler boys' shirts, but it was something that they were able to do with little intervention from me.  And it was fun enough that it kept their attention for quite a while.  Happy summer. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

End of Soccer Season

This was Chad's first season playing spring soccer, and boy, was it busy.  His cousin signed up and was on his team this season, which helped considerably with carpooling to and from practices.  As fun as it is to watch the games and cheer him on, I am always ready for the season to end, and I think he was too.  After the regular season, there was a weekend of tournament games as well.  We were already a full week into summer before those games started and I think Chad's mindset had already changed to summer, but his team finished up undefeated and we're all glad to take a rest until fall.  We're proud of you Chad. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lemonade Sale

My kids think lemonade sales are about the best thing on earth.  Chad asked me every day last week if he could have one.  But, the weather was cold and I knew it would be a waste of his time. 
Today, it was beautiful, and he knew it by looking at the weather app last week.  He started planning clear back then.  Then, on Saturday, his cousin offered him a chance to buy his DSi.  Chad has been wanting one, and I keep telling him no.  I am not real excited at the prospect of another screen device in my home.  We visited with Chad about our concerns, and laid down some laws.  Then, we told him that he would have to come up with the money to buy it himself, and that he could not borrow from us as that would be going into debt, which we don't do (except in a rare emergency, which this is NOT!).  
Now, Chad was not just excited to have the sale, but to earn the money he needed at the same time.  I made it a little tough for him, as I was trying to teach him a few things in the process.  I made him use his own money beforehand to buy the product he was going to sell.  That cost him $4.75 for kool-aid packets, frosting and sprinkles for cookies and cups.  I donated the sugar cookies and sugar.  Luckily, we live on a good corner for these types of things, and he earned back his original investment and what he needed to buy his new toy, plus a little extra. 

I apologize to my neighbors, as I'm sure this becomes quite annoying at times.  My kids have become quite the salesmen, even being known to go to each door to advertise that there is a lemonade and cookie sale just down the road.  Nonetheless, here's to many more of these this summer. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Our First Week of Summer

There is something to be said about the power of a memory-or in my case, the lack thereof.  It's only Monday, and here I have been thinking back over our first week of summer and not having the greatest memory of the fun that we created together.  Then, as I sat and began to go through pictures, a smile crept over my face as I began to remember that we did indeed create some fun memories together. 

I don't have pictures of all of it-in fact, I don't have pictures of most of it.  But it's all there, in our hearts.  We are very fortunate to live just a hop, skip and a jump from our local library, so for our Library & Treat day, we headed on down the road to check out a few books.  Our library also checks out board games and we got a few of those too.  We've had the most fun with the games (Scrabble and one other I can't remember the name of and the boys mostly used the square blocks from it to build castles with).  Our library also does a summer reading program that starts this week, where you can earn prizes for reading during the summer.  That is on the docket for this week. 
Our science project was a bit of a flop, but we had fun with it anyway.  He strung a thread across our house and then attached a small piece of a straw to an inflated balloon and strung the balloon onto the thread.  The idea was that when we let the end of the balloon go, it would zip down the thread and we would have balloon races.  Well, it only "zipped" the first time we tried it.  From then on, no zipping.  After a bit of trying, we gave up and just had fun blowing up our balloons and letting them go.  I also taught my kids how to make a balloon "scream" by pulling the sides of the opening apart.  That has been fun!  (Dave has long since regretted my decision to teach them this little trick.)  I wish I had pictures of it all, but Greyson and I started to get sick that day, and we ended up making a visit to the doctor, so it really was all we could do just to do an activity.  Taking pictures would have pushed me over the edge. :)

But, I did get pictures of our field trip on Friday.  We went bowling!  Toward the end of the year, Chad brought a postcard home from school about FREE bowling for every kid, every day of the whole summer.  Well, obviously, we aren't going to go that often, but Chad picked it for our first field trip, and it was so fun.  The link to sign up for free is HERE.  You do have to pay for shoes, but it is still very reasonable. 

This little thing they are standing at was pretty cool.  It looked like a little dinosaur slide, and it was, but a ball slide.  All we had to do was line it up in the middle of the alley and put the ball at the top, and it would roll that ball right down the center.  Greyson had so much fun bowling, thanks to this thing! 
Chad found that he did better without it and he bowled a 91 all on his own!  I thought that was pretty good for being 7.  He had 3 spares that game.  

And this little lady was quite a trooper.  She was happy the whole time, and fell asleep in her car seat right as we were getting ready to pack up.  There weren't many people our bowling, which was nice, and this happens to be the same bowling alley we always go to on New Years Eve with my family, so that was extra fun for my kids to be there and remember all the years we've gone for that event. 

Well, we're already getting a good start to our new week, and I better get this finished up and be present in the moment, because if this summer is like any of our others, it will be gone.  Fast. 
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