Sunday, March 30, 2014

The {American Girl Doll} Food Festival

Emma had found a few photos and videos on making a snack cart online. She had studied them all, decided what she wanted to do, and the creating began. 
The good thing about renovating your house is that you have a bunch of excess material available for all these promptu crafts (last week a couple of her friends and us made a formal dining table for the dolls out of old shelving and closet rods!). This was much easier, because we didn't use the table saw, the chop saw, or the sander. It was a lot of hot glue and duct tape!
By the time we were done, Evan's Shlumpie frog was ready to be first in line at the "food truck" vendor. 
Shlumpie, having popcorn and a root beer float

Maria was the food truck worker. 
 That push handle on the side of the cart was a drawer pull from the cabinets we pulled out of the house, spray painted pewter. The four rods holding up the canopy were cut from some molding that I had pulled off from around the fireplace, and the canopy was madde from a fabric scrap left over from the bedding that I made for Maria's doll bed. Recycling at its best!

 That "Today's Special" chalk board was actually just a paint sample card glued onto cardboard and trimmed in washi tape!

The sink bowl was made from an applesauce container, spray painted pewter. The faucet and handles were spray painted, too. The handles are pushpins and the faucet is the top of a baby clothes hanger! (So sad I almost don't need those anymore) :(

 The cart itself is just a cardboard box covered in woodgrain contact paper, and the countertop and fold-up bar are covered with black duct tape. The wheels were just castors we bought at Atwoods Farm & Home Supply. They were about $2 each, I think, and the flag bunting was cut up paint sample cards glued onto a ribbon. 

There was also a Shaved Ice stand that Kanani was working, and Saige was working at the snack cart. It was a grand opening!

 Em actually made tiny little snocones for the dolls that fit into the holder on her cart. She made them with moldable styrofoam sticky stuff? and colored glitter in cardstock cones. They were precious! I don't know why they weren't out this day...

Evan's Slush drinking a soda

Love her.

 The back sides of the carts hold all her goodies inside. 

Saige's cart is even lined with hello kitty material cut from some old pajama pants of mine in the donate box. 
Even though he's a bit small for the American Girl Doll stand, my Ogon came out to enjoy the feasts of foods :) 
 Ogon, my best friend since babyhood. 
Enjoy the weekend!

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You're about to get schooled.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

So before you read this educational post, brought to you by the letters L & M, and the number 25, go re-read about the big, fat caterpillar here, because that's some important back story, right there.

So, that big fat caterpillar turned itself into a big fat cocoon the day after we brought it home, and there it stayed, first in our kitchen windowsill, and then to the laundry room windowsill, for 25 WEEKS. I was pretty sure that thing was dead. (Read about THAT adventure HERE.)

After researching a LOT, we had a belief that it was a luna moth caterpillar, and did even MORE research on the matter. Sunday, we were proven right. Little miss Luna Lovemoth made her appearance from the cocoon and was ooh-ing and ahh-ing us with her miraculous transformation. (Okay, okay, it was pretty much just me. The hubs and kids all called me "Cam" (modern family) and ran away, leaving me to my bug eyed mumblings of "Its a miracle!" and such...). She was a beauty, that's for sure, and I was so happy and proud!
More research ensued, and I am happy to say that I am now a self proclaimed Luna moth expert! Side note: did I tell you I got my certificate to be an ordained minister? I can marry you now! (random heidi things - my Nickle loves those...)

Luna Lovemoth, her wings full and dry!
So, these big ol' fat caterpillars either cocoon in the summer or they overwinter, like Luna Lovemoth did. If they're an overwintering caterpillar, they turn kinda reddish brown, which was what made me (at the time), think that maybe she wasn't a luna caterpillar, or she was sick. Now i know, and so do you. Gold star!
She is a she because her antennae said so. She's got more of a normal sized brow antennae, while the males look a little more like Brooke Shields or Ben Stein. She also had a fatter body, because it was full of eggs - ready to be fertilized!
When Luna didn't fly away the first night, or the second, I found out that females often don't fly until the 3rd night, because they are saving energy for the egg-stravaganza that would follow suit, and also, they send out pheromones on the wind to attract the males to come an' get it! (smells like teen spirit! anyone remember that? anyone?...totally aged myself...) Adult moths don't even have mouths. They live for up to 10 days - long enough to make that love connection and move on to the great bug catcher in the sky. Snif snif.
I had dreams that a handsome man moth (not the mothman!) would come and fertilize those eggums and in the morning I'd see them in the little cage and close it up and breed a zillion baby fat caterpillars this spring, but she did as mother nature has told her to do for hundreds of years now and she flew off the third night and I was a bit sad, but a bit happy. Good luck, Luna Lovemoth!

The evening before the flight :(
Maybe on one of my runs this spring I'll look down and see another big fat caterpillar ready for a nice morning jog, and we'll start this life cycle all over again?

I found a guy online who sells luna eggs. Thought about sending off for some, but then I realized that I had probably just gone off the deep end again (Cam).


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Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's Day Parade and the trip back in time

First of all, HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY! I hope you're wearing green, or some sort of flavorful mix of blue and yellow hues. We at the Castro home celebrate any holiday that allows us to dress crazy or view a parade. Bring on the bands! Men in skirts! Bagpipes! Whatever you can conjure up!
The einsteins and I hop, skip, and jumped up to the annual St Patrick's Day parade in the city this weekend. Daddy was in training for another marathon, so we paraded and returned before he even made it home. (and THAT, my friends, is a long run!)

The three of us awaiting the parade! via instagram, of course...

Green cotton candy, to encourage those green teeth...

Our view from the curb

love them.
I got these socks for Evan last year in the target dollar spot. He adores them, and I adore them tenfold when I see his little leprechaun feet on my rainbow blanket! 

When the baron mascot came by, he gave the kids knuckle bumps and decided to LAY DOWN on my rainbow blanket. I about died when his big ol' head about took out my lens, but Evan couldn't stop laughing for at LEAST 5 whole minutes. And when I say laugh, I mean, he was giggling UNCONTROLLABLY, peoples. Like couldn't catch his breath!

Laugh attack!

My favorite paraders - the wizard of Oz crew!!

Evan's favorite (besides the Barons mascot taking a nap with us) - the batmobile!

Em's fav - the greenish hounds.
 The skies held on until we got in the car, and let go on our way back home with the cold rain of winter's (hopeful) end. Back home, the weather was still nice, though the wind was starting to change. In true parade spirit, Evan decided that there aught to be a parade here at home, and since daddy had missed it, he could easily enjoy the glories of the hot wheel green parade!
The tracks were drawn on the drive, and many of the townsfolk (townscars?) pulled up to watch. 


Sweet girl and her dollies watched the parade from their shopping boutique nearby. Saige was all dressed in green from the parade earlier. Shes so fashionable. 

Not long afterwards, the sky became grey and we all retreated inside for the evening. 


This morning was our annual "green eggs & ham" at Joes. We were in deep conversation about if this was our sixth or seventh year doing this. We actually never came to a conclusion, but either way, little einstein hasn't had a March 17th without this traditional breakfast. 
An early morning family selfie!
Evan brought his friend, Ethan along for the yummies!

The menu has changed over the years from just green eggs & ham to the option of rainbow yogurt to no more rainbow yogurt (waaaahhhhh!), but ow you can order biscuits and gravy (NOT green) or green pancakes. 
oh, and cheese fries. 
Have you ever realized that your whole world rests in the hands of God in heaven and one very special person on earth? Crazy...
my love.
We had the assortment.


Afterwards, when the daddy was off to work, the littles and I headed out on an adventure to a small town named Shamrock, Oklahoma. It was supposed to be a ghost town, and, well, need I say more? It sounded like the perfect mix of St Patrick's day and adventure, yes?

It wasn't a complete ghost town, there were a few people wandering to their cars and such, so we did a short driving tour. Em snapped a few shots and the boys talked about the ghost that lived in the town.

This building was actually green!

There was a bent, chipped sign that pointed the way to the town cemetary, so off we went!

just two.

Some grave markers were hand-made, like baby Davisson's. 

Me & the hubs birthday, 50 years before we were earthbound.  
On our way back home, we stopped at a park my parents used to take us to when I was small. 
There were some new additions, like this merry-go-round.
She's taking pictures for instagram. 
 But, to my surprise, the rocket slide was still standing! This was the sibs and my favorite thing to play on in this park. We have SO many memories on this rocket. 
I remember climbing all the way to the top and feeling like we were SO far up, that we could see forever away. I'm pretty sure it took me a few visits before I actually made it up past the second floor!

One summer, the ice cream man came by and daddy bought us all the red, white, and blue bomb pops. Don't ask me how I remember that, it was just one of those things that stuck. 

It was the strangest thing, sitting there watching my einsteins up there, in the very same place that me and my 4 brothers and sister sat in, decades ago. Kinda wish we had carved our names into the medal ;)

We started to get hungry for lunch, so we wrapped it up with one last slide down the rocket. (The boys had to finish their "mission"), and headed back to home, stopping to grab a cache on the way, for luck, of course. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

xoxo, heidi
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