Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zara's Birthday!

Here is Zara's Birthday in pictures :). 

A very excited girl up very early!
Dora 'eating' set
Michaela's presents for Zara, a 'horse' pillow
pet and a royal robe for Moon Light Star!
The 'rule' in our family is that when you turn five you are allowed to have your ears pierced. This is of course optional, some of the girls have done it at five and some a bit later :). Zara was very keen and so off to the mall we went. I picked Albert up for an extended lunch and drove to the mall. We treated the girls to the 'merry-go-around' and lunch. 

Albert and Zara
Waiting patiently to have her ears pierced.
Doing the deed.
All done, pretty pink heart earings!
 (this girl knows what she wants as she picked them
out from about 30 other choices!)
Lunch at Taco Bell - Zara's choice
Once we got home we skyped the grandparents so that Zara could open her presents from them. It is good as we are going to get for now :). 

Opa and Oma
WOW a doll set which included a pram, cot,
highchair all for about $14!!
(Thanks to Aldi's Christmas clearance!)
Pake and Beppe
They (I) bought her a Cinderella dress (Thanks Aldi!)
and some more Little Ponies.
Showing off her dress and pram

The same day a whole lot of snow fell as well more about that in another post!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Museum of Science and Industry - Part Two

(A guest post by Albert :) )

Hanneke and the girls enjoyed the Museum so much, and had lot's of great stories, that it whetted my appetite. I had some days off between Hebrew and the start of the second semester and another free museum day came up. So we thought that it would make a great family day out. We went along with the Warners and the Knotts, two seminary families. I had heard that they had a good Space Exploration section, and was keen to check it out. Hanneke and the girls had also talked a lot about the Submarine that they had there as well.

The Museum was very impressive! The first thing that we visited was the train, which there are pictures of in a previous post. 

From there we went on to the submarine. It was an impressive display, there were lots of posters and videos explaining how the submarine was captured. The tour inside the submarine was also very interesting. A submarine was not a very nice place to live in! They had a crew of about 60 people, but only about 30 beds. So they had to do what they called "Hot Bunking". You did your shift, and then you swapped with the person that was lying in your bunk. The Submariners only had one change of clothes, and water was something that was very precious. Apparently at the end of a tour, they didn't even bother washing their clothes, they just burnt them! Still, it was amazing to see the technology that they had back then.

Getting the submarine to where it was was also an impressive engineering feat. They dug up the front lawn of the Museum, and excavated down three stories. They then lowered the submarine into the hole, and built a bunker around it. It cost something like $6 million dollars to do!

The Screws of the Submarine
The Inside of the Submarine
Sleeping with the Torpedoes
This was the bath plug. The first thing that the Allies
had to do when they captured the boat was
to put the plug back on to stop it from sinking.
Aaron and Andy in the Engine Room
The Forward Torpedo Room, with more bunks.
I wonder how they got the cow to sit still?

My favorite part of the Museum was the Space Hall. It took me back to my childhood days of my fascination with all things Space. They had a full size mock-up of the Lunar lander that was used for training during the Apollo program. If you have seen the movie Apollo 13, where they had an astronaut on Earth trying various scenarios to bring the astronauts back home, then you would have seen what they were using for training. 

They also had the Apollo 8 module that was the first Apollo mission to take man around the moon. You could see the burn marks on the Command module from it re-entering the earth's atmosphere.

There were also many videos explaining the various aspects of the Space Program, and some ideas for the future. As well as this there were many hands on activities, for both children, and the adults. There was plenty to do, and we struggled to get through it in one day. Here are some photos. It is funny how some of the 'astronauts' look very familiar.

This was a training full size mock-up
 that was used during the Apollo Program
Another photo of the mock-up
Apollo 8 Command Module.
This was the first Apollo Mission to go around the moon.
They took the famous "Moon-Rising" Picture.
I wonder if they need a Pastor on the
Space Station, or even MARS ? (get it?)

Mind Games with Aaron. The aim of this exercise was to relax as much as possible. The more that you relaxed, the more the ball moved away from you. The winner was the person who made the ball reach the oppositions station. Let's just say that Albert has to work on his relaxation and that Aaron is very relaxed.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Museum of Science and Industry - Part One

In Illinois State where we live are a lot of museums, most of them in the Chicago area. The entry fee not to mention the parking is a bit pricey and so what better than go to on one of their FREE days! One of the benefits of home-schooling is that we can go on a free day when everyone else is at school! 

So I went in January with a seminary family to the Museum of Science and Industry on one of their free days.We still had to pay for parking (which is $20) but apart from that the entire day was free! We even took our lunch! The girls and I had an absolute ball so much so that when Albert had some 'spare' time before he started the Spring Semester we went again (on a free day of course!)

One of the main highlights for me was the U-boat (U-505) that American's captured and salvaged. In doing this the American's got hold of the German Enigma 'typewriter' decoder. The Americans reckon that capturing this submarine was instrumental in winning WW2. Not only were the displays VERY fascinating which included, video, elaborate pictorial displays and physical displays but the ACTUAL captured U-boat was on display! WOW what a treat, the submarine is restored and the museum built a special 'bunker' to accommodate the U-boat! 

The second highlight was the restored Zephyr. This train broke the record between Denver to Chicago. The tour was very interesting and included a talking donkey! Apparently a real donkey made the trip as a mascot on that record breaking train ride!

The third highlight was the science area where they had real tornadoes, tsunamis, avalanches, lightning and a wind tunnel. No earthquake house though! 

On this trip we didn't see the space exhibit and so will elaborate more on this in part two! 

We are SO blessed to be able to go to these places which we haven't got in NZ. Here are some pics for you to see and there are plenty more to come in part two!

Talking donkey
"First Class Passengers"
Part of the U-505
Other side
Zara in the gallery Submarine Kitchen
Michaela on right 'steering' the sub
Grace on left
You could even see the bullet holes!
Taste and Smell Show with Kate and Michaela
Humongous Tractor 
Combine Harvester, VERY impressive
Airplane - been there done that ;)
Girls in the Tornado!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Random January 2013

Random photos, ignore if this is not your thing :)

Leftover night which the girls thought was VERY exciting!
Zara and Kate showing of their necklaces
for their special teddies!
The beads are glow in the dark!
soo Pretty!
Wrapping up!
Melty beads, hours and hours of winter fun!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Michaela's Birthday Party

Here are some photo's of Michaela's birthday party which we held at the end of January 2013. Having a December birthday is always tricky. I had co-ordinated with two families a free Friday night to celebrate Michaela's birthday. Michaela chose the dinner which consisted of lots of party/finger food with plenty of raw veggies and dip.

I LOVE her VERY much as for dessert I made her (she and Grace helped) cakepops. Being VERY Dutch the cake-pop kits were very cheap at Aldi's and I thought that would make a nice dessert for Michaela's birthday. I was very impressed with the kits which I paid very little for and included everything including a mini gingerbread cookie cutter, cakepop sticks and even a display board! Excellent value for money at least the ingredients! As far as time, a lot of time, well I told you already that I love her very much! AND I'll stick to my day job and not cake-pop maker! The result as you can see is pretty cool. Being very processed, the cakepops tasted OK but I suppose when you are used to real butter, sugar and flour anything processed is below par!

80 Cake Pops!
Gingerbread Man
Our lovely neighbors who spoil us rotten!
You are never too old for the chocolate game!
Using our new bean bag toss game!