Friday, January 10, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Presents

A collection of cool stuff from Christmas! We open presents very slowly: we open one an then enjoy it before we open another. That, combined with the number of presents you end up with when each child wants to buy a present for each person in the family, means we open presents over the entire 12 days of Christmas!

our panel of experts
 1. As a present for our house for it's 50th Christmas, on Christmas Eve, we got solar panels installed!  The entire south facing roof is now covered with the panels, or at least so we believe.  That section of the house is in the back, thirty feet up, and on top of a hill, so we can't actually see any of the panels.

You might think we could tell if they were working except, the system is shut off.  Until the power company installs their two way meter, we would be charged for all the energy our solar system produces.  Um.  Not the entire solar system, just our solar panels.

2. What has been most fun this year, has been to see the amazing variety of interests as the kids get bigger.  Klenda and Leena were both fascinated by the cacao trees at the Botannical gardens, so, they got kits to make their own chocolate!  Very cool! And tasty!!

3. The girls also got some beautiful hair pins - more like hair jewelry. Tres elegante!

 4. Mxyl got the green screen set up he had been pining for, as well as lights, tripods, and lenses so that he can make movies with special effects.

I don't think we'll be seeing him for a while. But it's nice for him to be able to goof around on his own interests after his grueling first semester.

If you can call making and editing your own movies goofing around.

5.  He also got an uber cool leather trench coat. He's now so cool that the room drops several degrees when he walks in!

6. Choclo and Oob got loads of building things.  Everything from these beautiful architectural blocks, to a marble run, to demolition sets where you build and collapse towers and other structures.

Choclo and Oob had found the demolition sets  in catalogs, and had determined  independently that they were the most perfect Christmas presents possible.  They unknowingly bought them for each other.  They were both so sweetly happy for each other that their brother was going to get this great toy!

Now they are upstairs combining all the different building kits and Angry Birds sets for hours at a time.

 7. Choclo did indeed get a full set of dissection specimens!  I wish I could have gotten a picture of the look of sheer delight on his face when he opened it - right next to the look of "ICK!" on Leena's face!  To be fair, she opened a box of spa science experiments next which delighted her and left Choclo baffled.

We have been going through doing one dissection a day, with me doing most of the scalpel work and Choclo helping.  Oob and Leena have been interested onlookers.

It's been great, although I find Choclo's tendency to refer to each specimen by name disconcerting: the worm was Dirty, the crayfish was Cray, the grasshopper was Hoppy and the frog was Frogger. As in, "Can we look in Frogger's stomach?" (We did, he'd eaten a beetle.)  I don't remember what he called the clam and starfish.  We still have the perch to do, and then, the piece de resistance: a 30 inch double injected shark.   

More fun with Jen!

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