Sunday, February 27, 2011

Train Layout Accessories

With Evelyn's train table painted and the track laid out, Evelyn was all set to buy model layout accessories. We drove 45 miles north to go to The Moose Caboose, the hobby store that Eric recommended for us (and Santa had given Evelyn gift certificates to). It was a small store, which was a good thing for our beginning model railroader. Even with just a few things to choose from, we spent an hour there, perusing the variety of goodies.

With only $40 to spend, Evelyn had some tough choices to make. Her main priority was a tunnel, and we found a life-like one for only $16. Evelyn also picked out a set of six pine trees, white picket fencing, a backyard pool set and a dozen telephone poles. The grand total, including tax, was $40.02. She was only two cents over budget - not bad!
Now that the tunnel is set up, there are trees adorning the landscape, telephone poles provide communication and the house has a fenced yard, Evelyn is well on her way to building her first model layout.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ballet Update

We had a chance to watch Evelyn in action at her ballet class this evening, and she continues to do well. Now that she is in the six-year-old class, the students stretch and warm up on the barre.
Here's Evelyn doing a passe, without holding onto the barre. Good balance!

All year the girls have been working on keeping their legs straight while pointing their toes. Even with the teacher pressing down on her feet, Evelyn has got this down pat. It looks like we have the makings of a true ballerina!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Train Table - Part III

This past Saturday, Evelyn drew where she wanted her river and pond. If you look really hard, you might be able to see her pencil marks . . .
Then we busted out the paint. First, we used sponge paint "brushes" for the river and pond. I did the edges, and Evelyn filled in the rest of the water.

Next, we painted the rest of the table green. Again, I painted around the edges of the river and pond, and Evelyn painted the open spaces.
I did the second coat to ensure good paint coverage.
This morning, once we were sure the paint was really, really dry, we laid down the tracks. Evelyn explained to me that the left side will be a city and the right side will be a farm. Two months after getting a gift certificate to a train hobby store, Evelyn is now ready to spend her $40 on layout accessories!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Belated Valentine's Cookies

Julia and I finally got around to making Valentine's cookies this afternoon. I let her choose what color the heart cookies would be, and she went with pink. No surprise, there!
Since the sprinkles didn't come out of the container very fast, Julia was fairly successful with decorating the cookies. Well, actually, the sprinkles came out too slowly, so she gave up after the fourth cookie, and I had to take over.

After all the cookies were pressed, Julia got to lick the batter - literally!
And then, to ensure she got every last bite, she used her fingers to scrape the spatula clean.
How did the cookies turn out? They were so yummy that Julia devoured her after-dinner treat. I couldn't get a picture of Julia eating it - she ate it that quick! - but her smile lets you know how tasty it was.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Farm Fun

When we went to Aunt Leann's and Uncle Tim's farm this evening, who did Evelyn find first? The cats, of course. Gus is on the left, and Evelyn called the other cat Gracie (we don't know its real name).
The donkey and the horse were sloshing around in the muddy water so much that Evelyn didn't want to get too close to them.

There were four baby calves by the barn. Here is a set of twins with their mama. Evelyn was so excited to see the cows because it was the first time she heard a cow "moo" in real life.
Pictures don't do it justice, but the sunset was really beautiful tonight. I love how the trees were silhouetted against the sky.

Thorell Grandchildren

Even though it was a sad occasion, Grandpa Leland's funeral brought all of his grandchildren together. Here is a picture of all of us, including Grandma Shirley:

Pictured from left to right - Valerie, Eric, Laura, Tracy, Brenda, Kevin, Brooke, Letty and Tertia.

Friday, February 11, 2011

7th Lost Tooth

Yesterday at gymnastics, Evelyn kicked herself in the mouth with her knee. The result? A slightly-loose tooth got incredibly loose.

All day today Evelyn ate slowly because that tooth hurt. It was protruding at an odd angle, and it just didn't feel right when she chewed. After dinner tonight, Evelyn had had enough. She came to me holding Snowman and two tissues. That's the sign that Evelyn wants me to pull her tooth. It came right out.

What makes this an unusual story? Evelyn and I are staying at the Super 8 in Holdrege, Nebraska tonight. Looks like the tooth fairy needs to work a little harder to get Evelyn's 7th tooth!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Train Table - Part II

This afternoon, Troy helped Evelyn attach the plywood to the table Evelyn had painted a week ago. Troy drove the screwdriver while assistant Evelyn handed Troy the screws.
After securing the plywood, Evelyn sanded the edges and corners as best she could.

Ta da! Evelyn's model train table is assembled!

Bird Watching

Evelyn went to a bird-watching program at Black Hill Regional Park this afternoon. It involved a one-hour walk around the lake, checking out the different waterfowl birds that winter in Maryland. I didn't get many clear pictures of the various ducks since they were all the way on the other side of the lake, but I did get some good shots of a chickadee and a cardinal.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Night Pizza

Before leaving the house this morning, I set up the bread machine to make pizza dough. The recipe that came with the bread machine yields the best pizza dough I've tried, and it's even better since I can throw all the ingredients together at 7:30 a.m., and the dough is ready at 5:30 p.m.

When we girls got home from running errands after school, our dough was ready and waiting for us. Evelyn had it in her head that she and Julia were the ones making pizza, so I let 'em at it. The girls were the chefs, and I was quality control, making sure the ingredients were evenly distributed.

After 20 minutes in the oven, dinner was served. Nice work, girls!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Science Fair 2011

Evelyn participated in the science fair at her school tonight. It was the first science fair for the school, which also made it Evelyn's first science fair. After steering Evelyn away from the idea of an erupting volcano, she settled on doing a plant experiment for the fair.

Evelyn's original plan was to grow plants in two different environments - one with light and one in the dark. Rosie sabotaged the plant growing in the light, so we had to scrap that part of the experiment. However, her initial question was "Do plants need light to grow?" and we could still answer that question with the plant growing in the dark closet.

After 15 days of living in the closet, the bean plant grew 10 cm tall, although it was a pale green color. Evelyn hypothesized that the plant would grow, so she actually got her hypothesis correct. She typed up her directions, materials, conclusion and growth table to mount on the display board, and she also drew a line graph to show how much the plant grew over a period of two weeks. Since the plant is still alive, we included that as part of her display.
Here's our budding scientist, standing by her display.