Monday, January 16, 2012

Science Fair Weekend

All three of the kids are entering the science fair again this year, and wonderfully enough, they all want to do their projects with Jeff and I.

Jackson is studying how clean a human's mouth is compared to an animal's mouth. So luckily with the help of our neighbors and friends, he swabbed 5 animals' and 5 humans' mouths yesterday. Then, he added the saliva to his petri dishes to see what grows.  Thanks to Mr. Wallace for providing the insight into controls and the petri dishes!  His project will take awhile to finish, so you will have to be on the edge of your seat waiting for the results.  Here are some fun pictures to keep you company while you wait.

Testing Shandy

Nana Nancy swabs enthusiastically

Jackson swabs Shadow with Rachelle's help

Human samples

Will participates in swabbing

Adam graciously participates
Next, Emma is testing pH levels in various products. She hypothesized that juices would have higher pH levels than other products such as vinegar, baking soda, and soap.  Attached is her presentation and results as well as some photos for interest.  She did a good job learning about pH, acids, and bases.  She even made a PPT movie for her presentation.  Thanks to Mr. Hatak for providing the test tubes and pH paper!
Emma swabbing the pH paper with a sample

Shaking up a sample

Measuring pH

Emma cleaning up her own project without being asked- now that's impressive!
Slideshow of PPT presentation:
Finally, Will created two projects. Our first project wasn't successful last night, so at 8 pm, I had to come up with a different idea: how does warm air and cold air effect how balls bounce.  Will found six different kinds of balls, and we tested them inside late last night. Then, this morning at 8 am, we tested them outside.  He had an interesting series of questions he wanted to answer, but unfortunately his hypothesis didn't come true. What was neat though, was what we all learned about air pressure and cold air.

Will capturing Nerf ball bounce height

Will capturing racquetball bounce height inside

Will's inside drop location

Will ascending the ladder for outside drops

Will needing a little extra assistance on the ladder

Slideshow of Will's PPT presentation:

Nugget's game

Wednesday night, Jeff was rewarded for all his coaching efforts by one of his player's parents.  Marcus offered Jeff 4 court side tickets for the game against the Nets. Needless to say, we accepted. We surprised the boys with their tickets once we arrived inside the Pepsi Center not telling them why we were there or where we were going to sit.  As they meandered their way down further and further to the court, suddenly they realized how close they were going to sit to the Nugget's bench.  Then, I pulled out their Nugget's jerseys out of my purse.  The surprise worked out flawlessly.

What a night! Nene and the Birdman literally right in front of them.  We had a fabulous time and now we know how the other half lives.  Plus, Jeff DVRed the game so this weekend, we could watch ourselves on TV-AWESOME!
Jeff, Jackson and Will

Anne, Will and Jackson- yep- those are our seats!
Big Al Harrington and the Birdman right in front of us; Ty Lawson on the side
Sitting close!

What are you doing on MLK?

Having a hot chocolate stand of course?!
Emma, Will and Jackson setting up the stand

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jenn's birthday

Jerry, Kailey, Nancy, Jackson, Jenn, Jeff, Will , Emma and Greg
Tonight we celebrated Jenn's birthday with a family dinner at La Sandia.  I asked each of us to think about what makes Jenn so special and we created a list to add to the celebration.  Here's to you Jenn!

Will: Jenn, you are always nice to me.  You are really intelligent and athletic.  

Emma: Nice, kind, special, loving, playful, aunt, there for me, thoughtful, shortbread!, caring, jovial, conscientious, affectionate, truthful, humorous, great to be around, teller, and talker.

Jackson: smart, jovial, loving, fun, energetic, humorous, kind, cool, sweet, generous.

Anne: Jenn, you have always made me feel so loved and so appreciated.  You care so much about others and are truly interested in what others are saying and doing. You make me feel as though your mom is still with us whenever you are around.  You treat others the way you wish to be treated, have a great sense of humor, and make the best shortbread in the history of shortbread making. The fact that you know someone anywhere we are or can find a connection to someone you are talking with is both awe inspiring and weird at the same time. On top of all that, you are a great wife, mother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt.  I can't imagine not having you in my life,  nor in my family's.  We are all so blessed to have you as part of the clan!  I love you!

Jeff: You are one of the most generous people I know.  Whenever someone is in need, you're willing to take the time to be there for people.  I'll never forget when I ran the Colfax Marathon and you were in the middle of downtown Denver, about mile 22, where no one else was standing - I was in a daze and needed some inspiration to make it to the finish line; you gave me that inspiration.  Likewise, you celebrate others' successes as much as your own - you're one of the first to share in the joyfulness.  Through the past 40-some years, you've been a great friend, a role model, a co-conspirator, an inspiration, a confidante, and a wonderful sister.  I love you so much.

Jenn with her flaming sopapillas

Nice gift courtesy of Jerry and Nancy

Smith-Krauses contributed to her wardrobe

Emma saved up pop tabs for Jenn's friend

Jenn  brings the funk to every party!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years Eve

We celebrated New Years Eve with the regular crew: The Leclaires, The Thurmonds and The Epps.  Jeff made prime rib and everyone brought something to accompany the feast( yummy sweet potatoes, spicy meatballs, an Italian salad.  For dessert, we all awaited chocolate fondue, a group favorite.

Our night took an interesting turn, when we had to call in the paramedics.  Sam's G-tube came out as he was sitting with Kristin and Emma.  Kristin and Jason were amazing. I don't think I would have been as calm, knowledgeable and in control as they were of the situation.  

After the paramedics informed us they weren't trained in reinserting a G-tube, Jason, KK, and Sam got to take a ambulance ride to Parker Children's Hospital. AT and I followed along in a couple of cars.  Luckily for us as well, Greg happened to just get on duty in Parker so he policed himself right over to the hospital to make sure we were all ok.  

After the nurses carefully reinserted Sam's G-tube, AT and I thought for sure the Leclaires would want to return home. However, they surprised us all coming back to the house for fondue and champagne.  I think it was the mint Oreos that lured them back.

Paramedics trying to help Sam

Jenn sampling the food with Jeff

KK and Emma

Jason, Greg, KK, AT, Jenn, Kailey and Jon

Adam eating his NYE meal. Yummy, hot dogs!

Adam and Sam playing

Jackson, Emma, Kailey and Will

KK, AT, Jeff, Jenn, Jason, Greg and Jon

The group

The kids enjoying the kids' table
Emma and Kailey

Jason, KK and Anne

Will and Sam

An early New Years kiss

How grateful I am to be surrounded by such an amazing group of family and friends. We are so blessed to have each and everyone of our friends around.  And, we truly missed not having the Holmans here for NYE. It was the first one celebrated without them for the past few years.  They definitely were in our thoughts, though.