Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lowes Build and Grow

What have we been up to lately? We have been busy, but not taking many pictures! Last weekend I ran the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k race downtown (which is 9.3 miles). It was cold, but there was hot chocolate and chocolate fondue after the race, so that made it worth it! I went down with my friend Jill and although we didn't run together, we met up after the race to enjoy the yumminess together! I was overall pretty happy with my race. I finished in 1:17, which put me at about 8:17 pace. It was the fastest per mile average I have run in a while, but I was hoping to get down a bit closer to 8 minutes per mile. I ran the first 7-8 miles of my last half marathon in just over 8 minute pace (and then severely dropped off after that), so I was thinking I could do that again for this race and just hang on for the last mile. But it didn't quite happen. Oh well, I was happy and felt good throughout the race. It was nice to finish strong and not feel like I was completely dying at the end for a change!

Over the past two weekends we have gotten together with the Kurby's twice, so that has been fun! We had a mini-Thanksgiving with them this weekend and it was tasty, but I ate entirely too much. I guess that was just getting me ready for the real thing coming soon!

But yesterday, we took the kids to the Lowes Build and Grow program. I have taken Ben to two before this one, but this was the first one I took both Ben and Abbey to. Basically, Lowes puts on this program where you sign up (early because it fills up quickly) and when you go to Lowes on the date they have a kit, hammer, nails, apron and safety googles and you get to build a project together. Previously, Ben built a monster machine and a monster truck (both Halloween themed). This week's project was a science experiment kit and the kids absolutely loved it! The building on this one was pretty easy (just nailing together the top, bottom and sides of the box), but the fun has been non-stop! It came with two test tubes, a mixing bowl, and a whole set of cards with experimentson them for us to perform. Ben loves doing experiments anyway, so he is thrilled to have his own experiment kit with actual experiments for him to perform. As an example of the experiments, in one we mixed red geletin, baking soda and vinegar together to form an exploding volcano! Here he is with his safety goggles on ready to get testing!

Abbey's not so sure of her safety goggles, but she likes doing the experiments. Abbey is a bit young to do the hammering, but we worked together on it and I think she had fun. This was a good project for her because it wasn't as difficult as the previous ones. I am not sure if I will take her each time - it might depend on the project - but she likes to be included in everything if she can!

Here are my two little scientists!

Mixing the ingredients together!

Careful're not wearing your goggles!

Juliette did not have much interest in the experiments quite yet. She preferred to do what she always Little People and Doll House! She is very independent in her play and will often go off on her own to play with her dolls and Little People toys - it's so cute to watch and listen to her playing with them.

Thanks to Aunt Domi for letting us know about the Lowes Build and Grow program. It is a lot of fun and the kids get a kick out of making these projects on their own. The best part about it is that it is completely free (although I think you can buy the kits in the store if you can't attend the workshops). If you haven't tried it, look it up to see if it is in your area. The recommended ages start at age 7, but Ben does just fine with it with minimal help from me.
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