Adrian’s Birthday Celebration

On Wednesday, June 19th Adrian turned 11. Jamie had to work almost all day, but he spent the day having fun with his brother, grandparents, and me so that was okay.

His favorite presents were his talking Buzz and Woody. With Toy Story 4 coming out just after his birthday, he’s been really into those movies lately.

We went to see The Secret Life of Pets 2 at Alamo Drafthouse. It was a really cute movie. Everyone enjoyed it from ages 11 up to 74!

We went to a trampoline park where the boys got to jump for a couple hours and played several games of laser tag.

We went to Golden Corral for dinner where Adrian could pick whatever he wanted for dinner. His choice? Rice and cheese, his favorite food.

The boys went swimming in the pool at the hotel.

They played some D&D after Jamie got finished working and got back to the hotel.

When we got home, Cameron gave Adrian his present. Adrian was thrilled to have a talking Forky to add to his Buzz and Woody. He had been slightly disappointed on his birthday to not get Forky since that’s the one he wanted most of all.



The week of Adrian’s birthday, Jamie had to work in Laredo. He always takes off work for our kids’ birthdays so with Adrian’s birthday on Wednesday that presented a bit of a problem. So the little boys and I decided to go with him and to take my parents along, too.

We went way down by the border in the old town part of Laredo to see San Augustin Cathedral, established in 1755. It’s quite a beautiful bit of architecture and overlooks a lovely park.

It was super hot (105+) and humid (60+%) so we headed into the Republic of the Rio Grande Museum. Bonus, it was Tuesday which is their free admission day, though we would’ve paid whatever they asked just to be in the air conditioning for a while. It’s a small museum with displays of old things found around the area.

Our hotel was just a few blocks from the Rio Grande. We caught some Mexican cows coming down for a drink. No walls there and no fences either allowing for an unobstructed, gorgeous view of nature.

We drove down to where a couple of the bridges (border crossings) are. There’s a little park right along the Rio Grande and an outlet mall at that point. We were so close we could practically touch Mexico.

We really enjoyed spending a week in Laredo. It’s a nice little city. I still like McAllen better, but I’d got back to Laredo anytime!

Cleaning Tile With Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

The tile in my kitchen and breakfast nook are absolutely disgusting. I’ve tried so many things to clean them, but nothing has worked. Then my dad read somewhere that Magic Erasers will clean tile. I tried it out and the results were incredible so I went to Costco (because Mr. Clean Magic Erasers happened to be on sale there) and got a whole bunch.

I’m just amazed at how after just a few minutes of effort, the tiles look as good as they did when we bought the house.

They are not kidding when they call them magic!

Science: Oxidation and Reduction

Weeks 32 and 33 of school we learned about oxidation and reduction using Layers of Learning, year 3 unit 19.

We watched a couple YouTube videos.

We soaked pre-1982 pennies in salted vinegar. When we took them out they were nice and shiny, but within minutes they had grown greenish stuff over them. We put two silver ungalvanized nails in the vinegar and after about 15 minutes, they were copper colored.

We made a silver nitrate solution and added a coiled copper wire to it. Over the next few minutes, the solution turned from clear to blue and bits of silver grew between the coils. This is probably our favorite experiment we’ve ever done. It was really cool to watch it happen.

We started steel wool rusting in water with and without salt.

We watched a couple more YouTube videos.

We dipped apple quarters in plain water, water mixed with lemon juice, and water mixed with vitamin C. We left the fourth quarter undipped. We didn’t get to finish this experiment exactly because while we were waiting for oxidation to happen, my father, not realizing the plate of apples was an experiment, ate the undipped quarter and the quarter dipped in plain water. That was all right, though, because we’ve all see how apples brown and we were able to observe that, of the two that were left, the one dipped in lemon juice browned faster than the one dipped in vitamin C water.

Sometimes you need an adultier adult

Last Friday morning Ani left for her Airrosti appointment. A couple minutes later she called because she thought her car’s wheel had fallen off and needed an adultier adult to help.

She wasn’t far off. It was still attached, but the ball joint had broken and the drive shaft had pulled out of the differential (no, I have no idea what that means).

I immediately knocked on my parents’ bedroom door to ask my dad to come with me to rescue her because I needed an adultier adult as well.

Even though it looked like the car bled out on the ground (transmission fluid everywhere and it’s a reddish color – it really looked horrible), the guy at the shop says it’s a pretty easy fix. We’ll see if he’s right.