Monday, December 29, 2014

Re-purposing Starbucks and Two AWESOME mail calls!

When I decided to push Washington back, I was initially a little leery.  I had found so much cool stuff about the state (see Saturday's blog post if you don't believe me) and I really didn't want to let it go by the wayside.  So I promise, Washington, we're doing our best over the next couple of days to get in everything!

After a breakfast, books and some cuddle time with Grammy Caren and Papa Tom this morning, it was time to say goodbye.  We're glad they made the trip and look forward to seeing them again soon.  Then the kiddos and I made a quick run over to Kroger to grab our necessary supplies for the day - Starbucks Frappaccinos!  I let them each pick their own flavor to try out and so then we could have fun re-using the bottle.  Noah went with Caramel and my Bean Coffee.  They each taste tested when we got home and were delighted with their choices.  They've both had coffee before so I wasn't surprised this kind of a treat was a hit.

As they sipped and snacked on the end of the Christmas cookies, I told them that I had one BIG box for them to open.  This in itself made me glad we had put off Washington - what an awesome package to end our state celebration with!  Many thanks to N and G (and Morgan!) for loaning us their Uncle Jim and Aunt Amy in Seattle who really put together one heck of a box of goodies for the Dynamic Duo.  There was a great informative letter about the climate, terrain and sights in Washington (I should have enlisted them to write the blog this week!) that Noah shared with us.  His favorite fact - Washington has 5 active volcanoes!  Then it was time to dig into the box.  It was filled with all kinds of goodies - I know if I try to list them here I will miss something, but I took plenty of pictures, so check it out!  A million heartfelt thank you's to Jim and Amy - yet again my heart overflowed at the kindness of people who have helped us out this year.  I'm going to try to wait to Wednesday to get all weepy with everyone about wrapping up this project, but seriously THANK YOU EVERYONE!  You all have touched my heart and given me a renewed faith in how kind people can be.

When we finished up our box, we started using our Starbucks supplies.  First, we used the really cute bottle caps to make magnets for their white boards.  (Thanks for the magnets, Colleen!)  Then I showed the kids all kind of ideas (check out here, here and here) and challenged them to come up with a fun way to re-use their bottle.  Washington is VERY BIG on conservation.  In fact, when I went to (well over a year ago) request travel guides from all of the states to use for this project, Washington would not allow you to request a free travel guide (found out today that has changed) so that they weren't just printed and wasted.  So we recycled!  Noah decided he wanted to make a pencil jar and Kayla went with a flower vase.  We pulled out all kinds of supplies and they went to town.  I'd say they did Washington proud!

And then, even more fun!  The mail arrived and one (badly beaten) package came addressed to the twosome from Wisconsin!  My wonderfully delightful cousin, Molly actually lives just outside of Milwaukee in Whitefish Bay.  Weeks ago she set about putting a package together for Noah and Mikayla for Wisconsin week.  She was dutiful, mailed it on time and it should have arrived no problem during Wisconsin week.  But the silly post office sent it back!  And said that the address was incorrect.  (which it so wasn't!)  So they sent it back to her, she went and fought with the post office and the remailed it and it arrived today!  Yay!!!  So two awesome packages today.  This one was full of Brewers gear, cheese and some fun postcards.  Molly - you are an all-star, my dear!  Not just for helping us out (which we so appreciate!) but for going the extra mile to make sure it got here.  Mikayla was opening the package and said "Hey Mom, if Molly likes the Packers she's a cheesehead - that's cool!"

In the meantime, we've been having tons of fun just hanging out and playing with all our new 'stuff''.  And me?  I've been hard at work on getting Miss Direction around for our official launch!  I think (hope) the kids are still in the dark because I have a super fun reveal I am planning for Thursday.  Hopefully.  :-p  No, I'll be ready by then.  Can't wait!

More of the same around here tomorrow.  We're going to wrap up Washington, maybe hang with some friends, we'll see!  So until then...

Washington Fun Fact of the Day:  Before it became a state, the territory was called Columbia (named after the Columbia River). When it was granted statehood, the name was changed to Washington, supposedly so people wouldn't confuse it with The District of Columbia.

One more book with Grammy Caren

Starbucks drinks of choice

Washington package (Kristi's note - this actually arrived about a month ago - when I had originally intended to do Washington.  I had to go ahead and open it because there were fresh apples in it that weren't going to make it)

Ready to open

Reading their letter

Diving in

A Seattle Seahawks football!

Which we had to try out

A Space Needle pencil sharpner


Dead Sea Salt Chocolate

Which we of course had to taste

Seattle Memory!

The pictures on this are gorgeous


A piece of Evergreen

Sand and Stones from Alki Beah0

Water and rocks from Puget Sound

(Noah's favorite)

Hot Chocolate from Starbucks

And one cool Washington sticker

Thanks Jim and Amy!!!!!!

We checked out the view from the top of the Space Needle Cam

Starting work on the magnets

Waiting for them to dry

And starting on painting the bottles

Noah's finished pencil jar

Kayla's flower vase

It made it!

Brewer's gear!

And cheese!

A note from Molly

Monkey see...

Lots of fun postcards

Two cheeseheads

Magnets are up

We made flowers for Kayla's vase

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