Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jared wins a contest!

Jared has been inventing these toys...they're plastic cubes that do different things like have wheels to roll around, have a light inside, or a small speaker, etc. They stick together with magnets on each side of the cube, so you can make a fun little machine in lots of different ways if you have a bunch of them. 
Then I saw a sign at the public library advertising that they have a 3D printer. I took the boys to see a demonstration on a Friday, and they told us that there was a design contest. The winners would get their designs printed on the library 3D printer!

The only catch is that the designs had to be submitted by 9 am Monday morning. So we had to find a free program, learn how to use it, and make our design. And decide what to design! We decided to design an ElectroCUBE casing. 

We used to design it. It's fun and free and easy to learn. Jared needed some help to figure out all the intricacies, especially because of the time crunch, but it was his idea and he did a lot of the design work.

Here is a link to Jared's design:

We downloaded the design and emailed it to the library, and a week later, Jared got an email saying he'd tied for third place!

We went to pick up the print yesterday, and were kind of disappointed. It's not terribly smooth and had a lot of flaws. But we looked up how much it would cost to get it printed professionally, and the estimate is $138!!! So we'll take it! I took off some imperfections with a pocket knife and metal fingernail file. I had to file off a lot, actually, to get the lid to slide in like it's supposed to. I cut my finger open, but that's the price you have to  pay sometimes!

And of course, I took too many pictures of the thing.

This is ElectroCUBE Light, so it will have a light inside, which will show through the robot face.

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That in the corner is the logo.
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This is the back, which has a slide-in lid that sits flush, and there's a small screw hole and countersink to keep it shut.
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This corner didn't print very well.
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The inside has circular indentations on each side for the magnet to fit in.
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The logo didnt' print very well, either, and this is after I hacked at it with a pocket knife.Inline image 6

The lid didn't print terribly smooth, either, but at least it slides in now!
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The walls are not solid. When you hold it up to light, you can see the honeycomb interior pattern.
Inline image 8Inline image 9

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving in Oregon

Thanksgiving itself doesn't get many pictures. I mean, a table full of food isn't terribly interesting.

So I'll have to share the pictures of our whole Thanksgiving trip to Oregon instead!

We visited my friend, Mandy, her family, and her menagerie. First is Maya, who used to freak out around intruders, but now she's a living teddy bear! She cuddled up with Zach.

And this is the new puppy. She's huge already, and watch out after she's had a drink. We dubbed her Droolzilla until she gets a permanent name.

The missionaries came over for dinner, and the American kestrels came out, too. They have three right now, two rehab birds and one they just trapped for falconry.

One Elder wanted a turn.
It's strange to see a wild bird by objects like these!

Zach got a turn with a glove and kestrel.
Jared was patient. He had to wait until the next night for his turn to hold a bird.

And this is the one and only photo of food, a quick, last-minute attempt to make a turkey out of our veggie tray. People on Pinterest have done much better, but it was more fun than just piles of carrots!

We got back from our trip the day before Thanksgiving. I feel like it's time to move on to Christmas, but almost everyone else is going to wake up to a parade on tv and a morning of cooking! So happy Thanksgiving!
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween at School

On the walk to school, Luke, I mean, Hiccup, found some dandelions to blow.

And then he found his friend masquerading as a crayon.

We didn't get any good shots of Zach doing his costume parade.

But here comes Jared!

Then we found Zach, and together we found his friend from last year, who just happened to ALSO be costumed as a soldier! Great minds think alike, I guess! 

Inside, at Zach's class Halloween party, each kid had this cute little confection.

Then Zach showed me his Frankenstein artwork in the hall...

...and his Harry Potter pumpkin that he decorated for a book report.

His class took the donut-on-a-string thing outside.

It was pretty funny when the kids started using each others' faces for leverage!

His mouth was so full!

Then we hit Jared's class party.

Someone had a great idea of a class picture.

Then we snapped some pictures with his friends, complete with goofing off and photo-bombing.
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Tonight, I carved pumpkins with my little punkins!

Zach has a thing for weird-shaped eyes and lolling tongues this year.

Luke wanted a goofy pumpkin. We found this idea online. I don't need a pumpkin 'cause I get to do his!
Jared designed, carved, and skinned his pumpkin by himself this year! I can't believe he's big enough to do that!
(I did help with the gut-scooping and a few cuts to expedite things)

Now I get to go clean up the mess!
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween 2013

The kids will be trick-or-treating with their dad this year, so "my" Halloween was tonight!
The Mid-singles held a trunk-or-treat, and I saw it as my opportunity to see the kids all dressed up in the costumes we'd worked so hard on.

Zach is a soldier. We found this perfect shirt at DI. The helmet from the dollar store, but I crocheted the camo netting for it. We also got him an army play set at the dollar store (he just had to have it) but he promptly lost the dog tags, walky-talky, and binoculars. Total was $4!

Luke is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III
(from How To Train Your Dragon)
I bought an entire Hiccup costume at Walmart for $1 after Halloween many years ago, but it's huge. So we just used the helmet. We bought the shirt at DI to get the right color. I bought the fake fur at DI, too, and sewed it into a vest. Total $4.
(Luke tried to smile, but he reeaally needed a bathroom!)

Jared is Stoick the Vast, Hiccup's dad. He liked the idea of a family theme, and I championed his choice because I really wanted to try crocheting a Viking helmet!!! And making a yarn beard.

The tunic, cape, and belt are cut (and even a tiny bit sewn) from on-hand fabric that I need to use up, anyway. I didn't finish the edges, or even sew up the sides. I think we'll be able to use it again!

I did have to buy burnt orange yarn for $3.50. The other yarn was in my stash, probably about another $3. The shoulder sheilds and belt buckle are cardboard, drawn on with hot glue, then spray painted.
Still, the materials I used are all under $10. Time was the big investment here!

Someone asked me how long it took me to make the helmet and beard. I answered, "A few movies!"

Oh, and the kids got candy, which made them happy. And I took spiced apple cider. It was in a church parking lot, but we had two camp stoves. The weather turned delightfully chilly just yesterday, so the hot chocolate and cider really hit the spot!
All in all, it was a great evening!
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