Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wrapping up April

Annie, who teaches science to my kids on Monday mornings, checked out a water testing kit from a local wastewater treatment facility, and we took it to a couple of local beaches to test Lake Washington the day after Easter/Eloise's birthday.  The weather had been warming up, so we were woefully under dressed for the bitter wind coming off the water.  We did a bunch of testing at Juanita Beach, but the kids were too cold to get out of the car at O.O. Denny beach, so we just grabbed some samples and took them home to our house to test.  This was so cool.  We tested pH, Oxygen, turbidity, and looked at macro-invertebrates to determine pollution levels.  Different species can survive varying levels of pollution, so we identified bugs and larvae to determine the cleanliness of the water.  
 We remembered the Flat Stanley that Landon sent us, and had to cram in a last few activities with him before we returned him to Arizona by May 1.  We took him to the Pacific Science Center.  I took this picture because I know it won't be long before we won't be able to fit all four kids into one dinosaur footprint.  I know they look squished, but there was actually plenty of room for them, if they didn't always insist on parking themselves in exactly the same spot.
 We went outside for lunch, leftover birthday cupcakes, and a clear shot of the space needle.  We are big fans of Flat Stanley, as evidenced by Jared's blog.  Each of the kids made a Stanley cutout as a "support group" of flat kids.
 A lot of the Stanleys had to be in all of the pictures.  Here they are at International Fountain, dreaming of days warm enough to put on swimming suits and play in the water.
 Eloise's favorite place at the Pacific Science Center is the tidepool area.  We often end our visits here.
 B was jealous of the attention Sammy's facial injury was getting him, so he crashed his bike and got a handlebar-end-shaped cut on his face, along with a bloody lip and a small cut on his eyelid.  Okay, it was a total accident, but it's funny how they injure themselves back to back.  B was looking over his shoulder and failed to notice that he was about to bike into a stump.  I'm starting to notice a pattern to these injuries. . .
 Since Eloise turned six, she was old enough to go to the Junior Classics book group at the Redmond library.  Can you guess what we read?  Eloise was a big fan.  This blue whale shirt was a birthday present.  Eloise loves to tell us facts about animals.  Her other loves are comics (Smurfs, Calvin and Hobbes, and Garfield), drawing and crafts of all kinds, gardening, and reading.
 We took Stanley to the Seattle temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where we met friends so that the moms could take turns going inside the temple.  It was a lovely day.
 We brought a picnic, so we went to the park next to the temple (Robinswood Park) to eat and play.  This is the only park we went to last summer that has real seesaws.
 That afternoon we went home, worked frantically to get seeds in the ground for the garden, and left late to get to Seattle for a study/music class Jared and Eloise are participating in at the University of Washington.  I took the freeway, like a fool on a Friday afternoon.  We got stuck in traffic, B fell asleep, and we were half an hour late for the class.
 While the older kids were doing music, we took the little bikes down to the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which is at the back of the study building.  There is a gravel path along the water here, and we saw the famous UW sculling teams out practicing.
 B and Sammy got a kick out of getting boat drivers and passengers to wave at them.
 Sammy's creativity is endlessly entertaining.  I often hear him talking to his toys.  I heard him putting a toy dinosaur to bed.  "Go to bed, dinosaur.  Do you want me to sing you a song? Okay. Just one song.  Stay. In. Bed! Not get up, dinosaur!"  In the picture below, he announced, "I have a BIG suitcase!" and proceeded to pull the pitcher/suitcase around the kitchen.
 Here is a picture of the flat children's support group.  They would like to warn children everywhere not to sleep with improperly hung bulletin boards above their beds.
 Our last stop with Stanley was the locks and fish ladder.  We got there in time to grab lunch from our favorite fish wrap spot.
 We saw a couple of tiny fish in the fish ladder.  The locks were very quiet.  I think we saw only one boat the whole time.  All the extra rain this year meant that the water in the canal was high.  All of the spillways on the dam were wide open.  I don't think I've ever seen so much water coming through.  Usually only one spillway is letting water through.
Eloise's primary teacher (at church), Sister Mortenson, was expecting her first baby at the beginning of May, so Eloise made her a present.  Since Eloise loves animals and crafts, she painted some onesies with animal stencils.  She made a monkey, a flamingo, and a kangaroo.  
 They turned out so well that we have plans to make more of these for future baby showers.  I helped Eloise tape the stencils to the shirts and put cardboard inside them, but she did the rest.  Sammy got his hands on some fabric paint and ruined one of his own shirts, but that is to be expected from our number one mess maker.
This wraps up April, and, we hope, most of the days of darkness and rain.  We were busy and over scheduled for the end of April.  I am really trying to scale us back to one outing a day.

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