Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More Architecture - Lego Style


I put this Lego Architecture book on hold at the library and when the boys saw it on the shelf they were so excited. They poured over the pages and dreamed of all the great sets that they want.


Then last night Henry brought me this lovely creation. He didn't have any directions. He just had the pictures in the book and what ever pieces he could find in our Lego bin. It isn't the off white or tan color that the actual lego set comes in but I thinkhe did a very nice job on his Empire State Building. 


Here are some other buildings Ian made out of bricks we already have. 


I don't know if we will ever buy one of these Archtecture sets. I keep telling the boys they have way more legos than they need.  The state of the floor in their room is enough to tell me they have too many! Yet they always seem to want yet another set. For now I am happy the boys are being creative with the legos they already have.

Henry is dreaming of the Trevie fountain


That is the set he thinks is the best and is now on the top of his wish list.  I may have really stepped in it by getting that Lego Architecture book. My boys have only found yet another lego theme that they can't live without.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Iggy Peck

Henry is taking an online art class and this week's assignment was to draw or create something that illustrates some of the elements and principles of art:  line, shape, color, ballance, pattern etc.  I had also picked up a fun book at the library that I decided was the perfect jumping off point for his assignment.
 So after reading the book aloud to Molly and the boys, I pulled out the drawing paper, pencils, and some rulers to make our own drawing of buildings.
 We started by making a few tall rectangles and then adding in strips of windows or some sort of pattern on each which made it look more like a building.
 Henry of course added a creeper destrying his metropolis.

 Ian worked on this assignment with us too. He added a few helicopters to his.
 Here is my page of buildings.
 It is fun to draw and I don't do enough of it. I am happy to see my kids' art skills improving and see their creativity come out.
While we were down in the kitchen doing our art, Molly was upstairs using my sharpies to draw some ponies.

Sophie was attending one of her online classes while we were having a good time drawing  but later saw our masterpieces and had to give this project a try too.

My kids loved this assignment. They loved the book. Who wouldn't appreciate a well illustrated book with a clever rhyming text. They showed their artwork and had their Dad read the book to them again when he came home from work.

I really don't do enough of these types of "school work". I am sure glad Henry is taking an art class and for the many blogs and such that I read each day that give such great recommendations on fun books to share with my kids.

Bonfire

It is always difficult to get good pictures at night around the campfire. So bare with these very fuzzy shots. 

 Each time we go up to my parents house my boys ask Grandpa if there is a burn pile.
My dad had made it a habit to create or save a large pile of sticks for my boys (one in particular) who love to play with fire.
 Grandpa actually had a BYU basketball game going so he didn't care to head out to the fields to light up the fire so my husband had to be the adult in charge out by the flames.
 Molly quickly wanted to join the boys so I headed out with her and she stayed until there was nothing but ashes.
 This is Henry's favorite part! He loves throwing in old papers and magazines and moving the sticks around.
 We were stripping off coats and enjoying the warmth of the fire.



 Eventually even Sophie came out to join us. She had been off with her cousins to one of their friend's birthday party. She came home in time to play with the fire for a bit too.

 The game must have ended because Grandpa came out to finish off the pile.
Even Hoppy came to check out what was going on out on her turf. 

This is one of those things that we only get to do at Grandpas house. My kids will forever remember doing bonfires out in the fields. I guess it is good all those old trees around my parent's place keep dropping limbs or falling over. There seems to be an endless amount of branches that need burning.

He got the red plate

We had a birthday to celebrate last week. Ian turned 11. He didn't ask for a party. But he did ask for ravioli for dinner. So we came through with that for this birthday boy.

 I even broke out the goblets and put a cloth on the table to make it a little festive.
 Chocolate cake was also requested.
 Our resident fire bug couldn't let an opportunity pass to light up a few matches.

This Minecraft, Mindstorms, computer programming kid had a great birthday. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

I don't go anywhere without my Kindle.

Ove the past two years I have kept a little notebook beside my bed and I write down all the books I read. I am sure I missed a few but not many!

I included books I read aloud to the kids and the Audio books we listen to together in the car or house. These aren't the picture books I read. Maybe one year I will actually write those down. But I would have to keep a notebook with me all the time to do that so I could jot them down as the day goes. I didn't count any book we count for school either. The books I added to my list were the books I read aloud, listen to with the kids for fun reads. Some of these books I read because Sophie was assigned to read them for her school classes and I wanted to read them also so I could help her and discuss them with her.

This post will not include a list of the books. I won't bore anyone with that. Not all of these books are ones I would recommend or are even worth reading. I read a few books for review that I really thought were a waste of time!

 I just wanted to keep track of what I have spent my time reading and and have a record of the titles in case there was a great one that I needed to revisit. I would often star the ones that are great and I needed to read again. Or note the ones that had language or such that I don't want to revisit or can't recommend. I didn't note down the ones that I didn't finish at all. There were several that I was supposed to read and review that I didn't finish so never made my list. I guess I should have noted those.

In my notebook I mark a "K" next to the ones I read on my kindle and an "A" next to the ones I read via Audio. And I also add an R if it is a book I read to review.  I hadn't really counted them up or analyzed this list but thought I would spend a moment to take a look at it now.

In 2013 I read 136.
56 were read on my Kindle, 25 were Audio books and I read 29 for review.

In 2014 I read 140.
95 were read on my Kindle, 23 were Audio books and I read 76 for review.
(13 of the Kindle and Review books were Novellas so quite a bit shorter than a full novel)

I guess you could say I am pretty consistent. No dramatic increase or decrease as far as reading goes. Except I am reading a whole lot more books on my kindle and more of the books I read are books I am reading for review.

I admit that books I read on my kindle are usually not the harder reads. If I read non-fiction it has to be hard back not digital. Digital format is great for novels and such. Which means, if I am reading more and more books on my kindle. Does that mean I am reading less substantial novels or non-fiction books? Perhaps so!

I think this year I am going to start ranking the books in difficulty as well. I know I read a whole lot of easy, mind candy like books. I love historical novels! And I am always happy to indulge in a clean romance to escape from my everyday hustle bustle. But I know I haven't read a whole lot of non-fiction lately.  I guess I read enough of that with the kids as we do school so I don't feel the need to pick it up for my pleasure reads.


So how is that for analysis on my reading habits. Just a few numbers to throw out there as I face a new year and think about what is on my "to be read" pile.



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Another set of pictures I forgot to post - Disney Studios!

While in Southern California  after visiting Disneyland we had one more stop before heading back North and home. My husband has a former Mission companion who is an exective at Disney. He was willing to let us come and visit him at his office which is at the Disney Studios in Burbank. 


 Security was pretty tight. We had pass through the gate and receive passes to enter.
 We parked near this cool building being held up by the seven dwarfs.

 Hey isn't that the same statue that we just say at Disneyland?
 This is where his office is. It is in the old Animation building. He actually had an office just down the hall from where Walt himself had his office.

We visited in his office and talking about his latest project (He is the producer of a live action Jungle Book. He said live action but the animals will all be computer generated but there is an actual little boy who will play Mowgli).

He thought it would be fun for us to go to the Disney Archives. This is a little museum like area inside one of the other buildings on the lot.  It had a bunch of Disney memorablia to look at. Lots of books along one wall and a few rooms full of "other things" that they didn't really let us see but said was used for research.


One thing he did pull out for us was this Academy Award. Walt won this one for one of his Wilderness documentaries.

 Of course the kids had to take turns holding it.

 It was pretty heavy!

I guess I was too busy looking at everything and forgot to take pictures but we were able to see an animator's desk from back in the day when animation was actually hand drawn. We were also able to see the multiplane camera that they used for filming the early Disney movies.

 I guess we can claim that we actually visited the Disney Vault.

 We were told this building is where the Marvel comics people work. Security is even tighter there and we couldn't get anywhere near it.

We walked a bit through the lot and looked around.  I kept thinking of the movie Saving Mr. Banks as I walked through. It all looked so familiar because they have tried to preserve the look the buildings had back in Walt's day. 


 We visited the company store. They had much of the same stuff we had seen at Disneyland but at much more normal prices.  I guess we could have waited to buy our Mickey and Minnie souveniers.
 The theater had a huge poster of Anna and Elsa above the entrance.

 We also walked down to the actual studios where they film shows like Once Upon a Time and one called Blackish? (I haven't ever heard of that one!) We couldn't go inside of course but did see some of the props men setting thing up inside.

 That was about it for our tour. We walked back by the seven dwarfs.
 Said farewell to Walt and Mickey. All along the walls of this plaza were plaques with the handprints of famous Disney artists. We tried out the hands of musicians, actors, animators and other important people of Disney History. It was a really fun visit.
Molly even took a rest with Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse. 

So what did we do after this? 


We found a theater in Burbank and watched Big Hero 6. The perfect way to finish off our week of all things Disney.