Friday, July 18, 2014

LEGO camp wraps up!

Our last day of LEGO camp-  Justin had a blast, and I was very impressed by the programming, the teachers and the facilities.  We will definitely be doing more science museum camps in future summers.
While Justin was in class, Alex and I visited the "Collector's Corner" at the museum.  She had a few rock samples that she wanted help in identifying.  Because she was so interested in rock collecting, and was willing to talk about what she had found already, the volunteer who talked to her let her pick out a few little samples to bring home!  Normally, a child brings in a sample from nature, and the more they can tell the Collector about it, the more "points" they are assigned.  They can then use those points to 'buy' samples from the museum.  Pretty cool!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ultimate Dinosaurs and Amateur Geologist


Another morning at the Museum.  Alex continued her sketching...
 (I just had to include this shot of her dress-- Mom and I found it at a thrift store in Gotenborg, Sweden!  I'm absolutely in love with it!)
 After we picked Justin up, we decided to splurge and get tickets to see the "Ultimate Dinosaur" traveling exhibit.  It was fairly expensive, even with our membership discounts, but I think worth it.  We got to see many skeletons that are very rare.  For example-- a cryolophasaurus (see the neat crest on his head?)
 Both kids agreed that even though the lights were a bit more 'dramatic', it wasn't scary (although Justin didn't really like the 'rawrs' that were being played as a background noise in some areas).  There WAS a lot of technology integrated into the exhibit- including life-size dinos walking around on wall-sized screens.  Intense, but really neat to see.
 These ipads acted like reverse x-rays.  You positioned them towards the skeletons and they showed you what the dinosaur "really" looked like.
 When we returned home, my budding scientist decided to use her experience of the shell collection and make her own rock collection to enter in the fair.  She spent all afternoon gathering her samples (from South Dakota and the North Shore) and we identified them.
 Some of her 'booty' from the panning-- lots of garnet and quartz!
 Dissolving the limestone from our quartz chunks with a vinegar bath.  It was pretty fun to watch the bubbles!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Painting for the Fair

It's getting to be that time of the year again-  we have to get our entries in order for the Washington County Fair!  We started by finding our canvases for painting.  Justin found this one at Goodwill for $1.50!

 A coat of black paint (his choice) and some chalk outlining were his first steps...

 Alex is working diligently, too-- the finished products will be shared in the short future!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sketching at the Science Museum

After a long second day of driving yesterday, we arrived home and relaxed for a while.  The nicest part about staying in a Vacation Rental was that we had our own laundry facilities, and so all the clothes that we packed to come home were clean!

Justin has a Lego Camp at the Science Museum of Minnesota this week.  While he is in classes, Alex got to explore and sketch the exhibits.  We found a shell exhibit in the Education wing that she was very interested in.


 The facts that she determined were the 'most important'-
 Here's a recent Justin photo:  Between the time we arrived home and Monday morning, he was inadvertently clotheslined by Kolachi and her long lead.  Ouch!  (Note:  There is not an actual injury BEHIND the bandaid....he just wanted one, and we couldn't figure out how to get it on the eyelid itself.  It looks way more legit this way.)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Home again, Home again!

Guess what we found in the backyard after our trip!
We had raspberries and cream for dessert and will have some more rasperries and yogurt for breakfast tomorrow!  Yum!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

South Dakota- Day 7 - 1880's town, on the way home

We decided to cut our trip short by one day.  I had originally planned on driving the entire 10-12 hours (depending on stops) back in one fell swoop, but my mother in her infinite wisdom, convinced me otherwise.  As it was, she rode in our van with us while GranPapa drove separately.  I cannot thank her enough for the additional support-- it takes quite a woman to crawl over a German Shephard in a dog crate and hold a bucket for a three year old to go potty in while on the freeway.  Way to go, Mom!
We stopped at the 1880's Town on the way back and had a fun visit.  They are dog friendly, and Kolachi was definitely ready to stretch her legs by this point in the trip.  She had so many new experiences (and so many treats as positive reinforcement)!
 It was pretty warm that afternoon, so we opted out of the costume rental.  Someday, though, it would be fun to go and all dress up in period wear!
 Both Kolachi and Alex enjoyed the mule ride.  K got to ride in the wagon and Alex got to DRIVE the team!

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We stopped for the night in Mitchell, at a budget motel.  It was clean.  The other guests were an interesting mix of very friendly families and a perhaps-unsavory bunch of road crew workers.  Luckily, walking a German Shepherd around the grounds was enough to fend off any unwanted comments/conversation.  Let's just say that she 'alerted' a few times.  I don't speak fluent Spanish, but I do know what "diablo" and "perro" mean.  Hee hee...

Friday, July 11, 2014

South Dakota- Day 6- Kirkestave, StoryBook Island and Dinosaur Park

We discovered ourselves being drawn back to Rapid City to explore a little more of what it had to offer.  On the way there, inspired by our road construction adventure from the evening before, Justin informed the entire van as to how a road is made.
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  Our first stop was the Chapel in the Hills-- Because the children missed out on my Sweden and Norway adventure, we had to pose for a photo by the beautiful Stav church.  We also stopped in the grass-roofed gift shop that reminded us so much of our travels.
 Then it was on to StoryBook Island, a great public park that has all kind of storybook 'sets' and characters to play in, on and around.
 And, yes, they have a train.

 They also had a tire swing.  Which, apparently, I've never let my son ride on.  He kept exclaiming "This is so much FUN!!"


 After lunch, we told the kids were were going to take a back road to look for the highway.  Which was HALF true....we surprised them by pulling up at the Rapid City Dinosaur Park.
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For a bunch of cement dinosaurs, they sure were popular with our 6 and under contingent!


 The view of the city was pretty cool, too!