wan-na find something?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

saving the planet, three bags at a time

the old lady has been collecting empty water bottles in a big ass bag in her room for months.  it's kind of ridiculous, although i certainly won't fault her for trying to be mindful of the environment and setting a good example for her sister.  not to mention, she was hoping to earn some cash once she finally managed to save up enough of them.  but when she found a significant corner of her room occupied by what had turned into three trash bags full, she moved them out into the garage.

except that the garage is the hub's domain.  sure, i have a lot of my crafting supplies and things stored in there, so it's not necessarily just "his" territory.  but most of my crap is organized into plastic storage boxes and placed neatly on wire shelving along the wall.  she decided to plunk those bags down next to the garage door, between the wall and the very much unloved elliptical machine...right where he can see it and walks past it every single day.  this did not go unnoticed, and after several weeks he finally snapped.

"if those bags aren't gone by the end of the week i'm tossing them into the recycle bin!"  gah.

so while the bean was off at her saturday math class one day, we tossed the bags into my trunk and headed out to find the nearest recycling center to drop them off and hopefully cash in.  turns out there's one just down the street from where we were, and so we pulled in and waited in line behind the man who was dragging what seemed like a shitton of bags full of recyclables.  he emptied them into containers to be weighed, and then the dude who was working there put them on the scale before dumping them into a compactor.

there was a sign posted with all of the rates for the various types of plastics and such, but we didn't pay too much attention to it because math.

her sad little three bags of plastic bottles just barely filled up a couple of tubs, and it took but a few seconds to weigh them and print out her receipt.

when all was said and done, all those months of saving and taking up all that room added up to...

that's right.  she had just enough to buy her sister a treat and pocket a few bucks.

let's just say that every time we empty a plastic bottle nowadays, it just goes straight into the recycling bin.  heh.

Monday, May 30, 2016

an extra magical brunch

in the flurry of cookie rewards recaps, i totally forgot all about our outing to goofy's kitchen at the disneyland hotel.  this was for all of the girls in our troop who sold at least 250 boxes, and they also received both a troop t-shirt and sweatshirt that my co-leader and i made for them.  between the two of us, there's not a whole lot of customizable stuff we can't make at this point.  kind of awesome, if you ask me.

so on a sunday morning, we all gathered here to have a fun little brunch:

because we were such a large group, it took awhile for everyone to arrive.  and of course, we couldn't be seated unless we were all present.  AND they would only hold our reservation for 15 minutes.  it was quite the stressful situation for a bit there, but then it all came together and we finally made our way to our photo op with goofy himself.

we were given a great table near the entrance (perfect for those potty breaks) and split up the group so that we could keep an eye on everyone as we headed to the buffet for some grub.

because of the timing, we had access to both breakfast and lunch - plus the all-you-can-eat soft serve ice cream bar.  yum.

and i had to try the pb&j pizza.  it was delicious, by the way.

as we ate and chatted and laughed, we were visited by a bunch of familiar faces.

we were there for at least an hour and a half, between taking pictures and multiple trips to the buffet and several restroom runs.  it was fun and crazy and loud and stressful, and then it was over.  the parents came to collect their kids, and then we were left to hang out and chat and relax a little.  and of course, we had to have this:

almost seems like the next cookie season will be here right as we're finishing up rewarding them for the last one, huh?  but i promise, this is the last of it.  no more mention of cookies...unless they're MY cookies!

Friday, May 27, 2016

keeping the tradition alive

we were excited to find that we were able to shuffle some things around last weekend to be able to attend mini cee's birthday party.  because she is the master of all things party-related, lilcee found a pretty awesome venue for this year's shindig - the fairly new discovery cube museum in sylmar.

the day started with a quick selfie in the back seat.

it was a nice and easy ride out on the 210 freeway, a drive i hadn't done in a really long time.  we managed to get there pretty quickly and even with a couple of stops along the way, managed to make it almost on time.  heh.

once we were checked off of the guest list and given wristbands for admission, we headed inside.  this museum is very similar to its sister location in santa ana, but way nicer and newer.

we met up with the birthday girl and some of her friends in the market area, where the kids were happily playing a grocery shopping game using specially equipped carts.

when she was done, she decided to help her friend mini DG with his shopping.

after standing around watching, the old lady decided she wasn't too old to play along.

she did such a great job, she ended up on the "super shoppers" wall of fame!  i was so proud.

and then she moved on to the recycling game.  this skill would come in handy a few days later.  heh.

by then it was time to head to the party room and grab some grub.  on our way out, she decided to test out the tornado chamber.

and her sister snuck in a couple of quick experiments.

the party room was super cute and the perfect size for our group.

 the birthday girl got some fun gifts from the museum.

and i was pretty excited for the party favors (which i knew the bean would be happy to share with me).

love the panda headbands!

and pizza.  i love pizza.

after everyone had had their fill of party food, it was time to build a robot with the assistance of two staff members who were clearly not feeling it that day.  i get it, you probably do this crap multiple times a day every weekend, but come on girls, muster up a little enthusiasm.  anyway, the kids were all excited to work on their project and gathered all of their supplies as instructed:  a motor, a rubber band, a glue stick, a AA battery, and a plastic cup.

it was actually a pretty simple little project, but with great results.  first, they tested their motors to make sure they worked by touching the wires to the ends of the battery.  if the motor vibrated, they were good to go.

next, they wrapped the rubber band around the battery lengthwise twice.  yes, the old lady got in on the robot action too.

then they took the glue stick and stuck it on the pointy end of the motor before mounting it to the top of the plastic cup with some masking tape.  the wires were then attached to the ends of the battery and secured with the rubber band.  apparently, i was super proud of her skills here.

except that somehow, her motor decided it didn't want to work after all.

the bean is a perfectionist.  because she couldn't get her pieces aligned so that they were perfectly straight, she got frustrated and didn't want to finish the robot.  instead, she sat back and watched everyone else get theirs done.  they each taped four markers to the sides of the plastic cup and when the wires were in place and the motor turned on, the glue stick spun around like a propeller, causing the whole thing to bounce up and down and draw dotted lines all across the paper on the table.  it was actually pretty cool.

she was happy to get a few minutes of time with the birthday girl, though.

after that, we were free to roam about the museum at our leisure.  i got my chance to stand in the tornado too.

meanwhile, the kids were happily screaming and laughing inside the wind tunnel.  yes, all of the kids.

upstairs, we noticed a strong presence of an obvious sponsor:

towards the rear of the building, we found some fun games to play.  someone was entertained for a few minutes before getting distracted by an incoming text or twelve.

the bean and mini DG found a really fun racing game that involved lots of pedaling.

 we made our way over to the hockey stuff, where everyone got to participate in some way.

then it was back downstairs, where the kids played that recycling game and we found ways to keep ourselves entertained.

i really do love how places like this turn my too-cool-for-school older daughter into a six-year-old again.

then she took her sister over to grab a tablet so that she could play the home inspector game.

the mock home was really cute.  i could totally live there.  you know, minus the fact that nothing actually works and tons of people walk through it every day.

she was pretty excited to have made it onto the "super inspectors" photo board.

 after checking out a couple more attractions, we finally managed to get the kids to head out.

since we'd postponed the old lady's traditional birthday dinner in favor of the trip out to au fudge, i'd suggested that we take a quick drive out to northridge to pick up food to go for dinner.  but first, we made a stop for some shave ice (which usually comes after said birthday dinner, but whatever).  it was a great treat, despite its extremely phallic appearance.

yay for fulfilling a birthday promise!

i don't know what it is, but that pasta and sauce is just magical.  we made sure to order enough to have leftovers, and we've been enjoying them little by little almost every day.  talk about spreading out the happy.

the hub 45.0

happy birthday today to this guy: hopefully he won't kill me for any of those pictures.  ah well...happy birthday to the love of my life!