Monday, August 29, 2011


Adam turned nine today.
I took sugar cookies with blue frosting and sprinkles, and CapriSun to his 3rd grade class.
For dinner, he wanted sausage and egg casserole, barbecue Lay's chips and red grapes. (I added a salad to that interesting meal).

We had Funfetti cake with orange frosting and cookie dough ice cream for dessert.

Besides cold hard cash (always fun), he got Legos (what did you think?), Star Wars III Wii game, and The Boxcar Children book. I don't think the latter was his favorite gift, but I saw it at Barnes & Noble recently, and I used to read that series. Thought he might like it...if he can tear himself away from The Hardy Boys.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mini Monopoly

Watch out Hasbro...there's a new game in town. Mini Monopoly.
Zach made the game, complete with Lego dice, game pieces and paper money (which he drew, I copied and printed out, and he cut out).

Unlike the original monopoly game which had a top hat, shoe, iron, horse, wheelbarrow, thimble, battleship and race car, Mini Monoploy's game tokens consist of a laser, farmer, missle, tire, "droid thing," spy camera, cone and light (all Lego pieces). Sounds like a male mind to me.

Properties include local Wichita museums and entertainment venues like the Aviation Museum, All Star Sports and Exploration Place, as well as locally-owned businesses like Spangles and Dillons. National chains like Target, Chilis and Toys R Us are represented too. In Mini Monopoly, the two most expensive properties are not Broadway and Park Place. No, it is Legoland and The Water Park (not to be confused with The Park, which is a low end property, along with The Back Yard.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of School

[Yes, we are in desperate need of haircuts. I'm just glad I got them to wear matching clothes.]

Second Grade

With buddy Aiden. Sitting next to our neighborhood friend, Steele.Third Grade
With friends Ben and Luke.
First day of school 2010
First day of school 2009
First day of school 2008 Adam (kindergarten), Zach (preschool)

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Cost of Education (in 2011)

[This post is mainly for historical we can look back and say "wow...$60 for TWO pairs of shoes...what a steal!"]

The average US family will spend just over $600 per child in back to school shopping.This number is based on clothing and supplies only, but I thought I would add up what we spent in fees and supplies for 2011.

These amounts are for a second and third grader attending a public school. Not included is the amount we spent on new clothes (except required PE shoes)...which is $0, because my boys do not care about new clothes.

Second grade public school fees

Third grade public school fees

$40: Two elementary school yearbooks

$300: Lunch fees (will get ~160 school lunches)

$60: Two pairs PE shoes

$20: 1 backpack

$100: School supplies for second and third grade
($50 each, pre-ordered, delivered to my door)

School supplies for second grade:
1 pkg Pencils –Sharpened -#2 -24 count
1 Sharpener –small –with lid/shaving holder
1 Fiskars Scissors -7”
1 Glue -8 oz. bottle
4 Glue Sticks Large (Purple work best - (2 in August/2 in January)
2 Erasers –Sanford –large
2 boxes Crayola crayons-24 count
1 Colored Pencils -24 count
2 Highlighters –Sanford –yellow
1 pkg. Crayola Washable classic markers
1 set Watercolors –Prang -8 count
4 Folders –plastic, 2 pocket – (red, blue, yellow, green)
1 Notebook Paper – 200 sheets –wide ruled
1 Spiral Notebook (70 page, wide ruled)
1 Facial Tissues –Kleenex –large boxes
1 Space Maker Box (supply box) 5”x8”x2” –no handles
1 Paper Towels
1 container Antibacterial Baby Wipes
1 Ziploc Bags –gallon –boys only / 1 Ziploc Bags –quart –girls only
1 Book Bag –large -(no rollers)
1 pair Shoes P.E. (Physical Education)

School supplies for third grade:
All of the above except no pencil sharpener. Third graders also need an additional spiral notebook and two red ink pens.

$660 TOTAL

Half of my $600 was on school lunches alone. My boys eat hot lunch two to three times a week, the other days they take a cold lunch from home.

We bought one backpack because last year's had multiple holes in it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Quiet on the set

We had a small taste of what it's like to be on a movie set.

We spent about an hour, outside, in 100 degree weather. The boys cooperated very well. Adam wanted to clarify a few instructions, so you can see him talking about his role with the Director. Towards the end, Zach started yawning. It had been a long hour.

[Video disclaimer: This was shot on a FlipCam and edited using the Flip software. It is not intended to be of expert quality.]

A couple of issues delayed us arriving on time. Fortunately the Director was an understanding fellow.
  • Earlier in the day, Adam's bike got a flat tire. A bicycle was one of the main props, so we had to find an alternative. We borrowed one from our neighbor. A couple of rounds of riding to get used to it, and we were good to go. Whew!
  • We had a last minute wardrobe change due to peanut butter on Zach's shirt.
  • As we were leaving, Adam could not find his tennis shoes. Luckily, we had just bought both boys new PE shoes for school. He ended up wearing those shoes (the lost shoes still have not been found, so we had to buy yet another pair of tennis shoes.)
  • Scott forgot his duffle bag. Part of the story is Scott leaving/coming home, so it was important he be carrying a bag. Disaster averted as I was able to drive home and get it.
The camera you see is called a steadicam. It allows you to record action without having to mount a camera on rails or tracks. It weighs about 40 pounds and it's really expensive. That's about all I know about that.

I also learned a new word: bobble. You see, the camera operator's knee might hit the bottom of the camera, tilting the camera while recording. That's called a bobble.

This was for a music video of The Star Spangled Banner.