Monday, February 6, 2017

NASA Comes to the Library

Our small local library has a fabulous NASA exhibit in it right now. Last spring one of the librarians contacted Steve and asked if he would like to be on a committee to write a proposal to be one of six libraries nation wide that would host an exhibit on NASA. Steve jumped at the idea and he and assorted other science oriented people in town worked to put together a proposal, including community activities centered on space. They won a coveted slot, by far the smallest library to do so! The grand opening was last week and we went to explore.

There are displays and activities crammed into every corner of the library, each on a different topic. There is SO much information, but also lots of hands-on ways to learn. It's quite fascinating!
The children's area has a wind tunnel and a basket of scarves to shoot through it.
There are a couple of areas set up with low tables full of these interesting blocks. Pattern cards are included, or you can build your own creation.
You can be part of a game show space trivia contest.
Or experiment with heat and insulators.
The teen area is set up for weather reports from Mars. Do you see Rachel on the TV?
There are meteorites to touch and chances to explore their magnetism.
There were lots of interesting conversations about the Where Were You When display, with people remembering watching the first man on the moon and other events. I added a sticky note about my experience watching the Challenger explosion in 8th grade.
There were computer games involving blasting asteroids and a more educational game that determined the impact of various sized asteroids hitting earth. You could type in your zip code and see how big the blast would be in your town. (Steve typed in Washington D.C. just for fun.)
The girls had fun with an electronic game that allowed them to build their own solar system.

I am not at all a space aficionado, but this exhibit was fascinating. I look forward to returning to it again and again over the next few weeks. There are also star viewing parties, book clubs on space themed books, speakers from NASA, space themed art activities for both adults and kids, children's programs, rocketry classes, and many other activities scheduled. Our library rocks! If you live anywhere near, don't miss out on this exhibit.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Almost 13

Katherine will turn 13 this week. Yesterday our family gathered to celebrate.

 Katherine insisted on making her own birthday cake, as she has for several years. She started cooking the morning of her party and the cake layers came out of the oven looking beautiful. She turned them out perfectly, the edges firm and browned. Then the centers of each layer spilled onto the table in piles of weirdly uncooked batter. Katherine took it all with grace, laughing about this cooking fail and offering wedges from the deliciously baked outsides of her cake.
Both sets of grandparents came, and an aunt and uncle. Best of all, 2nd cousin Baby Avery came! This pleased Katherine and everybody else. The birthday girl didn't at all mind sharing the spotlight with an adorable, and very funny, baby cousin!

Katherine's gifts included a curling iron and lots of hair products. After years of a plain ponytail every day, hair has suddenly become something important. Katherine told her golfing Grandpa that she planned on being on the school golf team this spring, so he made sure she had all the required accessories.
And then he carefully explained each one.
After pizza and ice cream and the deliciously bizarre cake, Katherine was happy to pose for pictures with her grandparents.

The day ended with a dad-and-daughter trip to the phone store and a cell phone of her own. We'll celebrate Katherine again on her birthday Tuesday and with her friends next weekend, but the almost-13 party was pretty grand.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016, Part 3

Late Christmas afternoon, we drove to the city to have Christmas celebrations with Steve's family. All of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were there. There is a 26 year span between the oldest and youngest grandchild (Rachel being the youngest), so the older cousins are now in their 30's and starting families of their own. This year there were THREE great-granddaughters:

9 month old Avery
and 2 1/2 month old twins Gretchen, who looks just like her daddy, and Bridget, who looks exactly like her mama as a baby.
With three babies around, we pretty much gave up all pretense of visiting with adults and just watched, admired, and played with babies!

Katherine was fairly confident in her baby holding skills. Cousin Bethanne, not so much!

Sweet little babies!

We'd been up to meet the twins earlier in the week. They live far away, so we know we won't see them often. That day, Gretchen was either crying or sleeping on her daddy the whole time, but we got to hold little Bridget.

On Christmas, Gretchen was much happier and for a while, wide awake.

All 24 of us gathered around for present opening and lots of teasing and jokes.

Since all three babies were awake and happy, their parents decided to attempt a group Christmas picture. The outtakes were as much fun as the good shots!

It was wonderful to see all of our family on Christmas Day!

We finally headed home late in the evening. Rachel insisted on trying out her new remote controlled car before she went to bed.
This morning, she was back playing with the car within seconds of waking. Steve even set up a ramp in the living room made of leftover boxes!
We plan to spend all of today reading our new books, listening to our new music, and playing with our new toys. Christmas was fun and the day after is, too.

I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters


Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way