Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Wrap Up

Can you believe it?  This is the most snow we had this year!  The girls grabbed their sleds and ran around outside with the neighborhood kids and pretended it was two feet.

The GEMS got a tour of the Governor's residence.  All the moms were holding their breath that no one would break anything.

We went on a really wet day to a REALLY good zoo school!

Of course there was the family trip to the water park.

PK1's best friend had a penguin birthday party.  We all dressed in black and white.

There was an igloo...

And everything was penguin!

Can't believe these girls are nine.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Whoooooo went to Zoo School?

We went to zoo school in the sleety snow:

We met the world's smallest owl, Peanut:

And a really big owl too...I took video of him flying across the classroom, but it is just a blur.

Then the girls got to dissect an owl pellet.  If you don't know, this is the gross wad an owl pukes up after he eats a bird or squirrel or mouse.

Of course, it brought a great deal of joy to PK1.

They give you a paper with pictures of the "things" (beak, talon, bones) you might find.  Then you carefully dissect aforementioned "wad."

Oooooo a talon!

Best buddies:

Everyone is very proud of me that I let the kids touch owl pellets and that I let the owl fly around over my head without being on a leash or anything.  I also, am pretty proud of myself.

Friday, January 20, 2012

So grown up...PK1 Turns Nine!

Can't believe my first born is NINE.  Her party didn't have a theme, but I surprised her with this banner of some of our favorite pictures of her.  She actually had two birthday parties this year. The first party was just a quickie after school party with friends on her birthday.  Best friend arrives first.

Then daddy gets home from work.

Favorite gift from a favorite friend.

Cupcakes instead of cake.

The girls.  Actually, a couple girls had left already, I forgot to do a good job taking pictures and snapped this at the end.

Then we had a family party with Cincinnati Cousin and everyone after the holidays in January.  She wanted to go to the indoor water park.

I don't blame her.  It is so fun to go here in the winter and look out the big windows and see the snow.

Cincinnati Cousin was so cute! He and PK2 are buddies.  I am SO MAD that I didn't get pictures of the best part though.  I was not able to run and get my camera out of the pool bag when GRAM went down the big slide!  She is such a fun-loving and brave lady! She takes after her mother who used to take PD on roller coasters.


Pizza and cake for the hungry swimmers! 

and presents. 

We are so blessed to have PK1 and to have so many wonderful people in our lives to help us celebrate her!

This year PK1 taught herself, with great difficulty, to ride a bike and roller skate. Those kinds of things do not come easy for her, but she really challenged herself.  When she sees someone get hurt, she says, "oh no..are you ok?" She wants to be baptized.  She is learning to speak Spanish, loves music and her piano playing is actually starting sound enjoyable. She loves reading and listening to books on tape. She really understands human nature,watches the world news and asks me about politics.   She goes with us into adult church most Sundays now.  One Sunday recently when PD and I had nursery duty, she asked if she could sit with her friend Dylan and his family in church.  I said sure, and watched her walk over to the cafe, pour herself some hot water, add a tea bag to it and walk into church wearing skinny jeans.  WHAT is happening here?!?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Float like a butterfly...sting like a bee

For some reason our church decided to have the Awana Grand Prix in December this year.  In addition to all the holiday parties, shopping, baking, family celebrations and PK1's birthday, we had to make the cars, take them to the test track and carve out a Saturday for the race.  Can you tell I was annoyed at the timing of this?

PK1 designed a bee hive car and PK2 painted her car pink and designed it with different graffiti style words.  They were both pretty cute.  Here they are checking in.  You have to weigh and have the car checked to make sure it is regulation.

Then you park your car in the "lot."

We took this picture for our Chicago cousin who likes snow boarding.

The track:

The girls got first and second in their respective age categories for speed!  We are LITERALLY undefeated at the Awana car race.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Going Green with Granddad

As I mentioned in my Wichita Christmas post, Granddad saves up his recycling for months at a time.  He usually takes Chicago Cousin with him to the recycling plant to sort and process it all.  This time all the grandkids went.  Here they are loading up at the house:

And unloading at the plant:

And sorting:

Ok, but folks the real punchline of all this is what a crazy recycler my dad is and how he once had a quote in the newspaper about it.  They were shutting down some of the recycling options in Wichita back in 2002 and he was quoted as being very disappointed about it.  I think the article was originally in the Wichita Eagle, and then it got reprinted in a recycling magazine.  That is all I could find to copy here.  I highlighted the part about dad below.  Our favorite line, that we quote all the time is "I am not even a democrat!"



Sedgwick County drops glass, but adds magazines.

Beginning December 1, those who recycle in Sedgwick County, Kansas, will have an easier time getting rid of magazines and Christmas catalogs.
But only the most determined will be able to recycle their pickle jars and beer bottles.
Sedgwick County, which operates drop-off bins at area grocery stores, is changing its recycling program by dropping glass and adding magazines.
Curbside recycling programs offered by trash companies also will stop taking glass this week.
The county had little choice in making the switch, said Jo Sanders, the county's recycling coordinator.
Weyerhaueser, the paper company that processes recyclables from the drop-off and curbside programs in Wichita, decided it would no longer accept glass.
Not only was the company losing money on glass recycling, but shards of glass were causing its equipment to break down and injure employees, according to Bridget Lemen, the plant manager.
Those who still want to recycle glass can pay Prairie Dog Recycling a monthly fee to pick up glass, plastics, magazines, newspapers and other recyclables.
Residents also can take their glass bottles to Kamen Inc., 800 E. 21st Street.
Sanders said because it is easier for people to store and handle magazines than glass, the change may boost the county's recycling rate, which lags well behind the national average.
While recycling has increased during the past year, Sedgwick County residents still recycle only about 3 percent of their residential trash each month. The national average is about 23 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Neither figure includes composting of yard and food waste.
The loss of another recycling option frustrates Dick Daeschner, an east-side minister who describes himself as an "ordinary citizen who recycles everything I can."
"I'm not doing this as a cause," he said. "I'm not an environmentalist. I'm not even a Democrat. It seems to me I ought to be recycling as much as I can."
His family of three recycles so much that he puts out the garbage every other week.
Since it will be harder to recycle glass and plastic, the amount of trash he throws away will increase, Daeschner said.
"The trend is moving contrary to what we all say we value," he said.
Other communities also are struggling with glass recycling.
On the Kansas side of the Kansas City metropolitan area, some communities are also dropping their glass recycling program.
Ironically, glass manufacturers need the recycled glass. They use less energy to make new glass bottles from used glass containers than when they must make new glass from raw materials such as sand.
But the manufacturers can't pay enough to offset the shipping and sorting costs.
The two largest metropolitan areas dropping glass is a blow to the state's recycling effort, said Chiquita Cornelius, director of the Kansas Business and Industry Recycling Program, a nonprofit group based in Topeka that promotes recycling.
"That means an awful lot of glass is going back into the landfill," she said. - The Wichita Eagle