Friday, April 24, 2009

School Project

My son, who is in sixth grade, had to create something to do with an historical event for a recent school project. It took him some time before he could actually decide what he wanted to create, with the materials we had on hand, but he finally decided to build a Pueblo Indian dwelling. We all worked on it together and it was actually pretty fun to create.

We started with a small styrofoam cooler and worked from there. The Pueblo Indians used "oven domes" to cook with, so we made one of those out of homemade salt dough, then we glued small stones in a circle, put a few twigs in it, sprinkled some of my husband's red chalk from his chalk line tool for embers, and sprinkled some ash from our pellet stove around that to create a small fire pit, and we glued some twigs down next to that for a wood pile that we topped off with some cotton to create a smoke effect. I took some small pieces of leather and we created rugs out of them and decorated them with some of the symbols that the Pueblos used to communicate with. Then finally, we topped it all off with a few mini clay pots filled with various items such as corn and indian seed beads.

It turned out really good and he was so proud of it. His teacher gave him the best grade possible, and while we were at the Education Fair, we heard several people who were looking at it talk about how cool it was, which made Brenden even more proud of himself.

Here's some pictures:

View from the side

View from the front

Corn in a clay pot & clay pitcher

Fire pit and stack of logs

View from above

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Our Trip

Well, we made it home from the trip. It actually turned out pretty decent. The kids had their fair share of fighting, but we had enough fun to overcome all of that. I took tons and tons of pictures, but wouldn't you know, I could not get the kids to pose for even one picture together where they were not actually arguing, so most of the shots with both of them in the picture have forced smiles.

We started out driving through Howell, the town I grew up in, to see how things had changed, and boy they have changed. It's amazing how time changes things in only four years. Funny though, as much as I've missed being down by the city, I realize how much of a rat race is really is, and it makes me glad I now live in the country.

After we checked into our hotel, the kids enjoyed some swimming in the pool, and then my son just had to go try out the treadmill without my knowledge and he wiped out. He had little imprints on his chin from the tread and a big gash on his lip from his tooth. He stayed away from the treadmill for the rest of our visit. LOL

Our second day was spent down in Detroit visiting the Henry Ford Museum, driving downtown to show the kids the Renaissance Center (aka the GM building), watching the animals at the Detroit Zoo, and showing the kids where I used to work off of Telegraph Road in Southfield. I was quite surprised, even with the Final Four going on, there was hardly any traffic, although the zoo was quite busy.

On Sunday we drove down to Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor and then I just had to stop at Colasantis in Milford before we finally hit the road to come home. Colasanti's is a market, slash deli, slash bakery, slash nursery, all rolled into one. When we lived in the area, it was one of my favorite places to shop. I miss it immensely and wish I could find something up here that compares, but as of yet, I've had no such luck...

Here's a few shots of our trip...

This is a cactus flower from the botanical gardens.

The polar bear at the Detroit Zoo as seen from the underwater tunnel.

The Henry Ford Museum, note the plane flying overhead.

The kids swimming in the pool.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Night Before

Here I sit, catching up and passing time while I catch the final episode of ER. I have to rise early tomorrow for a mini-vacation with my mom and my two kids. We are going down to my hometown for three days. I moved away from the Detroit suburban area four years ago this month, and I have only been back a couple of times, the last time being when I attended the funeral of my ex-husband in 2005.
Anyhow, the vacation will involve a little trip down memory lane, as we plan to drive by some of the old haunts. We are also planning a visit, per my son's request, to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, and a trip to the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, for my daughter, who wants to see the polar bears and the penguins. And as for me, well, I want to visit the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens. My mom wants to do some shopping, so I am sure we'll be making stops at a few thrift shops and nurseries along the way. I can't wait. The funny thing is, I have been to all of the places listed many times. When we lived down there, I would make a point to go at least once a year to both the zoo and the museum, and the gardens, well, I went to them at least once every couple of months, it is just such a wonderful place to visit, even if you are not a big plant fanatic.
I am feeling a little nervous though, funny as it sounds, I have grown to love the country life and the thought of dealing with all the traffic and rush rush kind of scares me. Not to mention, the NCAA Final Four will be going on in Detroit this weekend, so the traffic is going to be a little higher volume than usual.
I'm sure I will be fine though, that is as long as my kids can keep from fighting for more than an hour at a time....