Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tiny White Fuzzy Jumping Bugs?

Have you ever seen a tiny white fuzzy bug that looks almost like a tiny cottonball? I wish I could say this is a story my kids wrote for our blog, but no this really happen to me yesterday! 

I was in the yard yesterday doing some yard work, even tho it was ridiculously hot outside.  I did take breaks and I got it all done too! Not sure what made me think that yard work was a good idea when the feels like temperature was almost 100 but I couldn't stand to look at how high the weeds had gotten.  It happened quickly too, it is not like we let the yard work go for long.  Ok onto the true story about the tiny white fuzzy bug.

While I was pulling weeds I saw something tiny that first reminded me of stuff that falls off the cedar tree.  Didn't think much of it the first time I saw it because we get these little things all over being we have a cedar tree.  But as I am looking at another one that I found, I noticed that it is all white and looks a little bit fuzzy and not solid with a tint of color like the pieces from the cedar tree are.  So I stop for a second to get a better look and figured it was a piece of lint or something from somewhere.  What else was I to think? It was white, tiny and fuzzy just like a real small cottonball only way too small to be a cottonball.

Take note that I was kneeling because I was pulling weeds and stuff.  As I kneel down even closer to the ground because I see another little fuzzy white thing and I was curious where it was coming from, I saw it moving.  Now I was a bit more curious but thought maybe it was just the slight wind moving it.  All of a sudden it jumped (no joke either) about a foot in the air right at me - yikes! You want to talk about me jumping? Ok it was NOT a piece of lint :) Yes my back is now hurting today and I am sure that bug has much to do with it, I haven't jumped that fast in a very long time!

So I have no idea what this tiny little white fuzzy jumping bug was, but I was finding them all throughout the yard.  I couldn't believe it jumped as high as it did, but these little buggers sure can jump.  Anybody have any idea what this tiny thing could be or if they bite? I got a couple bites yesterday, but we have so many spiders that every time I pull weeds spiders scatter so I don't know what actually bit me.  We also have the Asian Tiger Mosquito here now which bites aggressively during the day so I don't think it was these little white things that got me.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Twist on Bedtime Story Book Reading

Many parents read a bedtime story to their children and it helps them fall asleep.  It also is a nice bonding time and kids enjoy it too! There are definitely benefits to reading bedtime stories to your kids.

Well our girls are getting a little bit older and not as interested in me reading them a bedtime story anymore.  There is a new twist on story time here at our house! Both of my girls love to read and they both read on higher grade levels then the grade they are in (yup so proud!)

My younger daughter is a night owl in the summer and so she often stays up quite late when she doesn't have school.  There are many times that she makes sure that she stays awake late enough to "put me to bed" and then she goes to bed right after me.  No worries, Daddy is still up when she does this until she goes to sleep.

She now (if she can stay awake) stays up until I go to bed.  She comes in and brushes her teeth with me and let's me finish getting ready for bed while she picks out a book.  She then sits up next to me once I am laying down in bed and reads me the book she picked out.  Just like I would do for her, it is so cute :) There have been times she has told me that she was going to tuck me in before the bedtime story as she is fixing the blanket around me.  Yes I sound spoiled!

This is all her idea and she looks forward to doing this at least a couple times a week in the summer.  It is our little twist on the bedtime story books here.  I am proud of her for picking out difficult books to read too.  She doesn't reach for the easy one.

Have your children read you a bedtime story in bed?
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day :)

We should always be letting our dads know how great they are, but today is his day and let him know how much you appreciate all he does for you! Dads do so much for their kids.  They play with you as you are growing up, they give us unconditional love and show us how to be responsible adults as we grow up.

Happy Father's day to dads all over the world: You are awesome and thank you for all you do for your kids and the love you share with them.  You have an important part in your child's life - even tho sometimes it can be rough going and they may not like the decisions you make.  It is ok, they love you still and will see that your tough decisions were for their own well being.  I know sometimes as a kid you can't see it being the right decision, but they will thank you for it later.

I remember my dad making some tough decisions and I had a few choice (and not so nice) words to say about it when I was a kid.  I didn't see that it was for my own good, but trust me I appreciate those tough decisions he made now (and of course my mom made tough ones too.)

Thank you dad for all the fun we had when I was growing up and the fun we still have when we see you.  I know we don't see you as often as I would like with you living further away, but we do always think about you here! I remember the days of daddy and me play dates, canoeing down the river and having an awesome time :) The days of helping out in the garage because I was having fun hanging out with dad and learning about how you fix the cars! There are so many more thanks and we always did so much together as a family and I will always remember those days.

Happy Father's Day Dad and thank you.  Happy Father's Day to my honey too and thank you for being a great dad for our kids!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Bird Attacked my Tomato Plants!

This year I have been keeping a close eye on my tomato plants and making sure that they don't start to get
Tomato plant after bird attacked it!
any insects eating them.  I have battled a few pests that attack the plants in the past years and I was being quite cautious this year. This morning I was on the deck having my cup of coffee and looked into the yard to see a bird by the plants.  I birds in our yard throughout the day, usually looking for something to eat and then fly away quickly (after all  there are a bunch of wild cats in the neighborhood.)  I didn't think much of it since I see them walk the yard and pecking at the ground before quickly flying away every day.

As I am watching this bird, I see it is staying a bit close to the plants the whole time but I couldn't see what it was doing from the deck.  Then all of a sudden it flew off and away with something green in it's mouth.  Yikes! I went down to the plants to see what the bird was doing and found a poor tomato plant there with absolutely no leaves on it and only short pieces of the branches were left.  It had gotten a branch or 2 off of a couple other tomato plants too (or another bird did) but not as bad as this poor plant.

This all happen today since birds are not night creatures and the plants were in great shape last night.  I was so frustrated and could not believe that a bird attacked my tomato plants.  It was such a healthy plant too.

I wish I chased it out of the yard, but I have never had this problem before.  I also looked at all the other plants to see if there were any hornworms (trying to give this flying feathered creature the benefit of the doubt) but there was no evidence of the hornworms.  So now I am going to be trying some experiments to see how I can keep them from attacking my garden! I won't do anything toxic, I prefer to just keep them out of my yard/garden.

If anybody has any advice on how to keep my garden safe, please do share!

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our Fun Adventures in the Crayola Experience

Yesterday we were able to get a preview of the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA.  The girls have been to the Crayola Factory before and it was definitely fun, but then they closed to renovate and opened a whole new world of fun! It is still in the same location at Center Square (except now the store moved in with the Experience instead of being a couple doors down.) We were there for about 3 and a half hours - we had so much fun that time just flew by.  It was a lot of fun for the whole family, not just the kids!

The Crayola Experience opens to the public Friday May 24th and they are giving a box of crayons in a classic box with admission on opening weekend.  The price is $16 a person for admission and $29 a person for annual passes which is what we will probably be doing since I am sure we will be there a few times over the summer.  More information can be found here: Crayola Experience.  We are not affiliated and we do not make money on sales of tickets, this was our experience and our opinions.

Are you ready? Ok here we go on to the fun adventures we had with the crayons! First we went through the newly designed Crayola Store.  They had the same great stuff and more! Stuff you can only buy directly from Crayola.  One thing that was really cool (and this is new to the store) is that you can personalize a large crayon (I can't remember the size exactly but will say around 2 feet long) and name it whatever you want.  After naming it and having the wrapper (with your name) put on, it will be in a box with a certificate of it's birth and also it's birth weight - how cool, right? I can't remember how much this was in the store, but thought it was really neat!
name your own crayon in the Crayola Store

They have a cafe now instead of the McDonald's that used to be there.  There is a selection of items to choose from, including pizza.  When you visit, you want to go inside the cafe (even if you are not hungry) because that is where they keep the world's largest crayon - seriously it is huge! It used to be in the store and the girls always loved this crayon.  It was made from crayon ends that children donated and they were all melted down to make a huge crayon!

The world's largest crayon
Some of the other cool things we did was to design our own crayon label on a regular sized crayon.  You can pick the design and then the name you want on it.  This is a part of the Experience and you get 3 tokens with each admission - this costs 1 token.  Then you get to wrap the crayon and keep it with your name of choice.

We moved on to take a picture with the crayons in the background (it became a coloring page to color in.)  There were so many things to do that I am trying to remember the order we did them in! We also went back in forth between the rooms to try things out again :)

My personal favorite activities in the Crayola Experience were the interactive ones.  I felt like a kid again with these! We did some coloring with a stylus on a mini computer screen.  You could pick between markers, crayons and spray paint.  After you got your picture done the way you liked, you put it on a big screen and you could interact with it.  It detected your movements and reacted to your movements.  This was awesome! You should have seen the girls running back and forth with their creation.  This was called Art Alive.
The 4 of us creating our art to bring it to life
My turtle I created on Crayola's Art Alive
Her shark she created and was interacting with
We watched a really cool show that showed us how the crayons are made.  A fun lady was showing us along with red and blue crayons (they were helping with the show) how they make them in the machine and how they get packaged.  It was an entertaining and informative show! In another cool room we were able to make a marker - well we watched the machine make it so we know how markers are made.  We also got to keep each of the markers.

The Crayola Experience has a really cool indoor playground.  The playground had a super fast (and I mean super fast) slide! Oh the girls loved this room.  There were also activities set up around the room where the playground was - you could make a puzzle and even play with some paint.

The Water Works room taught us about how canals work and how boats get around in the canals, even when they need to go uphill.  Kids learn by taking crayon boats up through the canal and they learn how boats get up to a higher level in the canal by doing it with their boats.
Learning about canals

There are more fun things we did and more to do, but the last one that I want to share (have to save a little surprise for you) was my favorite! This was another interactive room too and it was called Doodle in the Dark.  There were crayons on a big screen that detected your movements and moved along with you, screens to doodle on with markers that looked like lights as you colored and a really cool game on the floor. The game on the floor detected your movements and you did things like pop bubbles and play air hockey.  I loved that room!

Meet the Crayola crayons! These crayons move with you
Here is what the girls had to say about our Crayola Experience adventures:

My older daughter-

I had a lot of fun when I made a puzzle.  It might not have turned out the way I expected because of my bubble letters that I made, but it was fun! I also had fun making what I drew come to life.  I made a tiger shark.  It was orange with black lightning bolts on it.

They also have a dance floor and it was fun.  It was called drawing in the dark.  I also liked the playground.  The slide was really fun! The best part is when I saw how they made the crayons.  We had a lot of fun!

My younger daughter -

I liked the doodle in the dark.  It was really cool to draw on the window like boards that made my pictures light up.  The dance floor was fun, it lights up different colors and games.  The playground was a lot of fun! There was a cool paint tower I climbed up in the playground, there was a bridge in there and the slide was like a tunnel.  It was really fast.  There was a rope bridge to walk on in playground.

I had a lot of fun at the Crayola Experience and want to come back again soon.
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Garden Soil pH Experiment With the Kids

soil pH experiment - baking soda

soil pH experiment
We have had a little garden here for the past few years now.  Our plants have always looked quite healthy and usually any problems we had with the plants could be linked to me not planting at the right time or the weather so we always figured our soil pH was pretty good here.  But we have never actually tested the soil ph before today.

I belong to a cool gardening forum (I get a lot of tips from there) and one of the members had shared a simple way to test your soil's pH and it looked like a cool experiment to do with my youngest daughter.  She has been helping a lot with the plants and she is really excited about the garden.  This is a fun little science project really and we got to know a little more about our soil pH while we were at it.

soil pH experiment - vinegar
We took 2 jars and put some of our soil in each.  To the one jar we added a half a cup of vinegar to see if it fizzes.  If it fizzes your soil is more alkaline and ours did not fizz.  We did see a couple little bubbles (almost like a couple soap bubbles) but no fizz.

The other jar of soil had a baking soda and water mixture added to it.  We combined a half cup baking soda with a half cup water.  If it fizzed it means that the soil is more acidic.  Again we saw no fizz here.

Being that we saw no real reaction with either the vinegar or the baking soda and water combination, this means that our soil pH is pretty well balanced.  And at the same time our daughter had fun with a little science project!

The gardening forum is a great place to ask questions and it is free.  A lot of nice people there and I have got a lot of questions answered - 
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day to all Moms :)

Mother's Day is a wonderful day to celebrate all Moms.  A mom brings you into the world and helps you grow up to be the best you can be.  She loves you always and is always there for you.  My girls drew me their cards and handed them to me this morning - which means more to me then buying one.  They were beautiful!

Our girls also drew cards for all of my readers to wish all the lovely mothers a Happy Mother's Day.  We all deserve to have a wonderful day today! Here are your Mother's Day cards from our family to you :)
Happy Mother's Day
Happy Mother's Day

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