It's nerd day at school today. Megan was so excited to dress up for it. She's talked about it for a couple days and laid her clothes out yesterday afternoon. She was really excited to wear Luke's tie and said she was so glad she had a brother for that reason. She really wanted to make fake braces but it seemed like to much work. Luckily didn't have to talk her out of the idea this morning because she realized on her own it wouldn't work or be safe. However, she thought about it all last night and even woke me up at 2:30 to tell me how we could do it. Her idea was to tie a string around a tooth, then put some aluminum foil around the string and then tie it on another tooth. At 2:30 am I figured it was best to agree with her idea.
Luke has been super sick with the flu (I assume) since last Saturday. He hasn't moved off the couch or bed except for to go to the bathroom or get a drink. However despite feeling sick he generously made Megan a "kick me" sign to add to her costume. What a brother :)
We finally got our Christmas tree up YESTERDAY. Sigh. We have never done this so late, but this year we've been busy fixing up our house. We now have a new bathroom, new paint, new carpet and a new kitchen floor.
This funny picture on the left is a picture of a very special fruitcake. I assume there is really a fruitcake in there because I've never looked. Keith gave this to his boss's wife, Debbie, as a joke in 1990. In 1991 she gave it back to him by mailing it to him on his mission in Australia. On and on it went until 1996. She gave it to us as part of our wedding gift. We filed it away in a filing cabinet and just yesterday finally returned it to her after 16 years. We can't wait to hear her reaction. Can you imagine how awful? It's never had an odor though so who knows if it was safe to eat in the first place. Our kids were so excited to help deliver it. Debbie and Phil don't know our kids so we had them take it up to the door for us. We rehearsed what to say. Their job was to tell Debbie not to open it until Christmas. She wasn't home so the kids told her son that. The son asked what their names were and our kids said, "Elfie and Elfer".
Yesterday was lots of fun. Earlier in the day, while running errands, Megan and I went to Del Taco drive through. There was an envelope on the speaker that said, "Finder's Keepers - Merry Christmas". I took the envelope and saw $3 inside. Ahhh. I put the envelope back so someone else could have it without even asking Megan, but a few seconds later Megan agreed that was a good thing to do. She got excited about it and thought it would be a fun traditon for our family. Later when we told Keith and Luke about it, they agreed to go with us to find places to leave our own Finders Keepers envelopes. We made three and left one taped to a gas pump, one in a shopping basket and one on the drive up speaker at Wendy's. I loved doing that together with my little family.
My little girl is throwing her aunt (my sister) a baby shower. I'm excited. Excited for the shower... but especially excited about this cute little neice I'll have. I'm praying for her and can't wait to meet her.
Thanksgiving dinner was great last night. We went to my mom's for dinner and spent quite a bit of the day there. I have an amazing family as you can see in this video. Later we went to my in-laws for dessert. I also have incredible in-laws who I love and appreciate. I'm very lucky.
Yesterday I was a guest blogger for our favorite science guy, Steve Spangler. Check it out :) In the middle of December they are going to post another article I wrote about our science club. It's been fun writing the articles.
Today is Thanksgiving. I am truly grateful for so many things, especially my health and my family. I'm also very grateful for good teachers. Megan listens to her teachers and often comes home and does exactly what they teach her. This week her Sunday School teachers (Linda and Margo) taught told her to do secret service and gave her a necklace with little pictures that said "secret service". She hid the necklace under her shirt (so I wasn't supposed to see) and left the pictures throughout the week when she did service for me or her dad. She doesn't know that I know it was her... but I'm a pretty good detective.
Another teacher this week (Bethany) gave her an idea and some supplies for a thankful banner. Right now Megan is cutting out leaves and making the banner. At Thanksgiving dinner she is going to have everyone write their name and what they are grateful for on a leaf and put it on her banner.
Sometimes when you buy science kits the instructions are really hard to read and because of that aren't any fun. Ugh. We have wasted our money on a few science kits that looked great in the store. The instructions in this Big Bag of Science are great and easy to understand.
I made a video of our science club using the Big Bag of Science. Haha... videos are going to be my new thing now that I have iMovie :)
Thanks to my iMovie app I created two videos before we even got off the mountain after getting Christmas Trees. I love that app!
“I don’t know the secret to success but the key to failure it to try to please everyone.”- Bill Cosby
This year we had a honeybee (because Grandpa Oaks is a beekeeper), a man with a mustache, and Nikola Tesla.
This week I'm attending some real estate training. One of the questions asked was who was taught to set goals by their parents. I was one of the few that raised their hand. That was shocking to me. My parents have taught me as long as I can remember how important it is to set goals. The speaker who asked the question went on to talk about how our society doesn't put a strong emphasis on goal setting. What a shame. I'm confident that goal setting is what has helped my parents become so successful.
Tonight I started talking to my kids about goals and asking them what physical possessions they want when they are 30. My idea was to start talking about what they want so we can set goals to get them those wants. Megan's answer was very detailed. First she said she wanted a house, then she said she also wanted a small store where she could sell clothes she designed and made. She would make the store solar powered and Eco-friendly. I asked her why she wanted a small store and she said that if it was a small store it would be easier to have it be Eco-friendly and then she would name the store Eco-Cutie. She also said she would sell all her designs really cheap. She said by selling them cheap, she could sell more and eventually make more money than selling a few for more money. This idea came from a previous conversation on businesses and how they work. I wish I could remember more about what she said. She was so detailed. I had to cut her off eventually so we could move onto something else.
Megan, in 2034, let's look back at this and see how you did.
I have added another incredible day to my life. This past week, Luke turned 11. He had the best birthday!! First he got to talk to Greg Nielsen, a scientist in New Mexico that figured out a way to shrink the solar cell down to the size of glitter. Not only has he done that, but he is also working on a way to increase the solar power by using a type of magnifying glass above it. Luke was so excited reading about Greg's project! He was especially excited to learn that Greg was using magnifying glass to increase the intensity of the sun on the solar panel because Luke had that very idea, but was told by an adult that they didn't think that would work.
Luke was able to talk to Greg because I had the courage to call him a couple weeks ago and ask if he'd talk to Luke. If you know Luke, you know he is crazy about alternative energy, specifically solar power. He is such a cute little geek :) Keith and I were really excited Greg would spend the time with our son! On the phone call Luke asked Greg lots of questions. Greg asked Luke a few questions back, and also gave him some ideas for a science fair project. Greg also said Luke could call him back, so we'll have to do that when Luke gets going more on his science project. Luke loved talking to a "famous scientist".
Later that day, Luke had his birthday at a company called GoalZero. They manufacture solar panels and Luke loves their products. I called them a couple weeks ago asking if we could have a tour of their company with a bunch of other kids for Luke's birthday party. I know this was an unusual and strange request, but I knew Luke would LOVE it and I thought his friends would too since Luke's love of science has rubbed off on them.
Goal Zero has a really cool lobby with a rock wall, slide and a loft. When we got there a bunch of their employees came to look over the railing of the loft and started cheering and wishing Luke a happy birthday! It was INCREDIBLE!! I spoke up and thanked everyone and told them how passionate Luke was about solar power and that most of the kids there were part of his Monkey Mind Science Club. I had previously told this to the girl we set the tour up with and I think they all thought it was really cool a kid would request to have his birthday at their company. The two girls (Kirsten and Raylynn) who gave us our tour started us out by letting the kids climb the rock wall. They had games organized to play on the wall too. The CEO came and talked to Keith, my dad and I while the kids played. Next they took us on an amazing tour. They didn't give us any regular tour, they had every group that worked there talk to us about their job and what they did. The boys were in HEAVEN! However, that wasn't all... at the end they gave every kid a goodie bag, as well as a cupcake decorated with solar sayings, and sent Luke off with some products he LOVES. I was shocked they would do all that for us!
Can you believe the generosity? I am working on ideas for ways to thank Greg Nielsen and GoalZero. I'm also really grateful for my dad helping me get the boys to the party. The GoalZero party was absolutely amazing. Every boy left saying they wanted to have their birthday party there too. The boys also left saying they couldn't believe Luke was the first to ever have a birthday party there. Haha. Can you imagine the lack of work that would get done there if they kept hosting parties? Although, maybe they would be willing to do it more because they posted on their facebook page about Luke's party and said to "like" the post if you want a party there too. We are so lucky, and I am so grateful that they made the science of solar power so exciting to all the kids.
Our family of motorcycles :) Picture by Keith
I never thought I would own a motorcycle. Even a couple months ago I would have never dreamed I would change my mind and we would have motorcycles. Keith has been asking for one for a long time. I kept saying I didn't want him to get one, but soon I realized I couldn't stop him and told him that if he was going to get one than I needed to have one too, because I think it's important we have things we like to do together.
Suddenly, not only did I have a motorcycle, we had four for the family! Crazy! We went back and forth between buying a Rzr or 4 Wheelers for the kids and ultimately decided that motorcycles were safer than 4 wheelers and that the Rzr wouldn't be as much fun for the kids because one would always have to be a passenger. We've taken the motorcyles out twice now and had a great time although Megan won't go past 10-15 MPH and Luke isn't ready to go a lot faster. It's hard to go that slow!!!
Before we bought the motorcycles we bought really good helmets and didn't pay much attention to the prices because we felt that was important. Last night we bought a Spot GPS. It's an emergency GPS that you can use to get help if you are ever somewhere you can't get cell phone service. We are pretty excited about it. This is going to be a fun new hobby!
We took the kids to Trafalga and went to the batting cages. I was excited for my turn, but quickly "struck out" when I hit the ball with my hand instead of the bat.
It's not broken luckily, but my hand looked pretty bad last night. It swelled up quick and looked disfigured. I'll be out of this in a week and the pain isn't bad, so I'll survive.
These pictures were all taken with my iPhone. I tell you because my pride gets in the way sometimes and I feel embarrassed posting blurry pictures.
How amazing is this house now? If you read the post below, you read that Megan and Andrew did all of this to their house I helped them find, in just a couple months. It's even more impressive when you know they are newlyweds. Are newlyweds supposed to start this nice?
It's hard to tell from my pictures, but if you look close at the bathroom and kitchen pictures in the previous post and the pictures above you can compare and see just how much they did in those rooms. I love the beadboard they used and I LOVE the turquoise and white cabinets mixed together in the kitchen. It's genius with the red accents. All of the wood furniture was bought or found and was in bad shape. Megan has a real talent for taking old furniture and making it beautiful again. What do you think? Should she go into business? I think so too.
Andrew and Megan, I loved working with you! Thanks for working with me!
What do you get when you cross a artistic mind with a decent looking house and loads of hard work? You get absolute genius! I can't wait to show you the after pictures of how the house above was transformed.
I had the opportunity to sell a nice house to my friends, Andrew and Megan Horrocks. In just a couple months they have transformed that nice house into an incredible house. It's amazing!!