Thursday, July 17, 2014

Giving a "Dam" about Nevada

What a difference twenty-four hours can make.  (I act surprised about this, yet I live in Michigan.  You think I'd be used to the crazy Midwest weather by now...)  I was THRILLED to wake up to sunny crystal blue skies this morning and a temperature that eventually crept into the upper 70's.  Perfect for our planned picnic and trip to the park.  The library was hosting an event but we actually never made it over there!  We enjoyed our lunch and then some friends showed up so we headed over to the playground instead.  It was nice to get out and soak up the sun for a bit, play with tons of other kiddos and just enjoy ourselves.  Plus, they were both agreeable to a bit of quiet time (I think between VBS and the park they were a tad worn out as both crashed for a good hour without even a suggestion from me to do so) when we did make it home.

They were soon up and raring to go again and were anxious to work on their map coloring pages.  I try to remind them on Thursday mornings that we'll do them that afternoon if we have the chance so they have a chance to think about what they may like to draw.  Sometimes they totally surprise me (Noah usually goes and studies the wall for a bit before he actually colors) and sometimes (like this week) I am pretty sure I know what they will come up with.  I'll let you check it out for yourselves below...

One of the things that both of them have expressed a great deal of interest in are the Las Vegas hotels.  I have shown them quite a few pictures and even some video of some of the more famous hotels.  As I am sure you can guess, Mikayla is all about Excalibur  and Noah has been torn between New York, New York (for the roller coaster), the Venetian (for the river that runs through it) and the Bellagio (for the fountains).  So we have been discussing what they would do if they were to create their own Vegas hotel.  And since we had the art supplies out this afternoon, I asked if they would make me pictures of what they would look like and what they would call them.  (Oh how I love the four and six year old imagination!)   Noah was especially really really into it (the kid followed me to the bathroom to continue to fill me in on all the details.  Twice.) going as far as to come up with a logo, tell me how much it cost to stay there ($14 for the duration of the stay) and his plans to play baseball to make a lot of money so then he could build hotels.  There is a roller coaster, a zoo, a robot river (robots can go in the water), free food - I want to go!  I can't even begin to cover 1/100 of what he came up with today.  I was in AWE.  I so wish that I had a video camera running while they were doing this today, it so made me laugh. Pictures will have to do.  It was easier to 'explain' their creations in the captions on the pictures, so check it out there!

For dinner tonight I continued to stretch to come up with something truly Nevada, but had come across a facebook page from Nevada chef Larry Edwards called "A Taste of Nevada)  (I can't link to it, but if you're on facebook you can find it there).  He writes and posts recipes inspired by Nevada, and tonight I decided to try out his recipe for The Famed Cosmos Sandwich.  His take is that Nevada is a melting pot when it comes to cuisine and this dish "may be the most international sandwich ever created" since it pays tribute to French, Italian and Southwestern cuisine.  Me, I just thought it sounded fun :)  I will admit that for our purposes i swapped out the pancetta for regular ham.  It was kind of a fun different dinner tonight.  The MUCH bigger hit - Nevada Mud Brownies.  HOLY COW!  Mississippi may be known for its Mud Pie, but Nevada mud is downright sinful!  I whipped up these fabulously gooey, chocolatey treats while the kiddos were at VBS this morning and my house smelled AMAZING.  I'm honestly not that big of a chocolate fan (I know, I know) but these were kind of epic, I gotta say.

Speaking of epic, the engineer in the house (nope, DEFINITELY not my creative, emotional self, that'd be the hubster) gave a crash course in dam building to the Dynamic Duo tonight.  One of the most recognizable man made structures in the country, the Hoover Dam spans the Colorado River and is situated in both Nevada and Arizona.  Built during the Great Depression, the construction provided over 21,000 jobs during the 5 year build and was intended to prevent flooding as well as provide much-needed irrigation and hydroelectric power to arid regions.  I tried my best to explain the construction, size, purpose and all kinds of fun facts about the Hoover Dam to the kiddos, but I thought that it would be fun for them to learn more about how a dam is actually constructed, why it is built the way it is and what the benefits of the dam are.  So I asked Grant last week if he'd be willing to take this on (I know my strengths and weaknesses - structural engineering = definite weakness) and tonight he made it happen. 

Last day of VBS tomorrow (the kids are crushed, they have had SUCH a good time) but little do they know I have a fun surprise of pizza at the park when I pick them up :)  Hopefully that will soften the blow a bit.  Check in tomorrow when I tell you what is so 'awful, awful' about Nevada and maybe we'll get the chance to fix the dice so we can play with them some more.  So until then...

Nevada Fun Fact of the Day:  Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the USA and contains enough water to flood the entire state of New York with 1 ft. of water (26 million acre ft.).

Playing with mud (brownies)

Picnic at the park


This is what the brownies looked like all dressed up!

Hard at work

Noah's Nevada included a drawing of The Luxor hotel - complete with the sphinx in front!  I LOVED it!

Noah paid tribute to the Comstock lode, Nevada's gold production (top right) and then The Luxor (I know it's kind of hard to see, but the black is the night sky, then theere is the pyramid shaped hotel with the sphinx in front.  The blue dots on the side are the lights that run up the side of the hotel at night.  He had it all covered!)

Mikayla's Nevada - gold and showgirls

Hard at work on his hotel

Mikayla working on drawing her showgirl that dances at her hotel

The logo for Noah's hotel

Kayla's showgirl

Still hard at work

Mikayla's finished hotel

"The Showgirl Hotel" by Mikayla - featuring nightly performances by "Rainbow the Showgirl"

Noah's finished hotel

"Robot River Resort" by Noah - featuring (and I by far can't cover all of it) a river in the middle of the hotel guided by robots, robots to run all your errands, a zoo, fireworks, a roller coaster inside and two outside, a "Flower Power Tower" ride, a pool...  

The Famed Cosmos Sandwich

The inside of the brownies

Learning about why they build dams so high

Because the water at the bottom comes out faster then!

They each got to build their own lego dam

And test it out


The Bean, too

Woo hoo!

1 comment:

  1. Brownies!! They look fabulous!! And what fun with the dams. Kids and water - what could be better?