Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How To Kill A Pumpkin

Start by shooting it with your Co2 Airsoft Pistol repeatedly.  Perhaps he should have tried his sister's .22

Lots of holes and cracks but not much real damage.
Wind up and hurl it across the yard.  Still no damage.
Toss it in the air and let it smash to the ground.  Still no damage.
Hurl it against a tree.  It is starting to crack but still holding together.
Toss it around the yard a bunch more times and it finally, finally cracks open.  Dig out the seeds to plant for next year because this is one sturdy pumpkin.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bakery Field Trip

You know it is going to be a good tour when it begins with donuts.
Smiles at the end.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy 12th Birthday Spark!

Spark's first birthday invitation.
We were going to be gone all day so before we left he got to open one present to keep him entertained, a Nintendo DSi. 
I found this picture of him when he was just a little over one year old.  He has always loved hand held video games, actually any video game.
A burping birthday card, at 12 that is really funny.
It snowed on his birthday, not this much but enough to cover the most of the ground.  On the  year I had Spark we went to the hospital in shorts and two days later came home in winter jackets.
We met Grandma Pat for lunch at Chucky Cheese's for pizza and to play video games.  Then came home to more presents.
Just cute so I added it in :) 
12 candles!
Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Bob came today for lunch to celebrate with him.  We had tator tot hot dish, one of his favorite meals, and more cake and ice cream.

Stick Houses

These were built at a university near us.  Not sure what their purpose is but they are quite unique.


Monday, October 22, 2012

4-H Halloween Party

He doesn't even roast them first.
Trunk or Treat

Our treats were Nutter Butters dipped in almond bark with chocolate chip eyes. 
Noodle pudding baked in a bowl.
Spark was Turtleman Ernie Brown and Dancer a Directioner.
Games - this was a relay, two teams each run to a bowl with work gloves on and have to pick up a Hershey Kiss, unwrap it and have it in their mouth before they can pass the gloves on to the next person.
Digging beads out of brain goo.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

S'more Cookies

Dancer needed a snack to bring to a One Direction - Up All Night party.  After searching pinterest she decided on these.  Good choice, they are scrumptous!
Break graham crackers into quarters and cut marshmallows in half.  On half the grahams put a half a marshmallow and on the other half sprinkle a few chocolate chips.  With the oven on low broil, put them in and watch them very carefully, one minute they look raw and then next they are charred.  When they are the perfect meltiness put the halves together.
Dip one end of them in melted chocolate chips.  We used semi-sweet chocolate chips and wondered if they would not be sweet enough.  With the super sweetness of the marshmallow we decided that the semi-sweet was perfect.  Oddly, these are much better cold than warm, Dancer even stuck them in the freezer for a few minutes to get the chocolate to firm up.

Friday, October 19, 2012

How To Make A Potato Cannon

Materials needed are: 
  •  a hacksaw
  •  shaping file or Dremmel
  • 1 36 inch length of 2 inch diameter schedule 40 PVC pipe
  • 1 3 to 2 inch diameter reducing bushing
  • 1 14 inch length 3 inch diameter schedule 40 PVC pipe
  • can of PVC primer
  • can of PVC cement
  • 1 3 inch coupling, one side threaded, one side smooth
  • 1/8 inch drill bit
  • 5/16 inch drill bit
  • a lantern sparker - these are at Walmart in the camping section
  • Duct tape
  • 1 3 inch diameter threaded PVC end cap
  • hairspray in an aerosol can - it must be aerosol not a pump spray
  • bag of potatoes

First, cut off a 15" piece of 3" PVC pipe.  A hack saw works well and they are inexpensive.  The PVC is easy to cut but make sure the cut is as straight as possible.

The cut end is rough with lots of burrs.  Since this plastic, the edges are soft and fuzzy, not sharp like with a metal pipe.  Spark used his Dremmel and a small grinding wheel to smooth the edges.  A file would work as well. 

Join a 3" end with screw out plug to one end of the 3" pipe.  First, brush on some PVC primer, it is a cool purple color.  It is acetone and highly flammable so work outside.  It will also permanently stain just about everything, take care!!  Next brush on the clear PVC cement. 

When you connect the pieces push them together all the way, turning a quarter turn as you join them.  The cement will melt and "weld" the pieces to each other.  In the picture above the end cap, with screw out plug, has been attached as well as a 3" to 1-1/2" reducer.  A five foot section of 1-1/2" PVC pipe is being cemented to the reducer.  Let this assembly cure overnight. 

A sparker for a gas camping lantern is inserted into the screw out plug.  The sparker we used need a 5/16" hole to be drilled through the plug.  The sparking assembly is secured to the plug with a nut and washer that come with the sparker.

The inside of the plug shows the flint and wheel that make a spark when the knob on the outside is spun.

The outside of the potato cannon is wrapped with duct tape so no injuries happen if the cannon splinters or comes apart.  Spark used the grinding bit on his Dremmel to sharpen the end of the cannon.

Make it sharp enough to cut a plug out of the potato when it pushed onto the barrel.

Push the potato to the bottom of the 1-1/2" barrel with a piece of old broom handle.

Spark's additional decorating.


Spray a two to three second shot of hairspray in the back of the cannon.  Use the cheapest hair spray.  When the can states that hair spray is explosive they mean it really, really is explosive  Quickly screw the plug in.

Spin the brass knob, there will be a loud bang and the potato plug flies about 150 yards.  Aim at about a 45 degree angle for best distance.  If you do this near a road make sure that no cars are coming.  After you are done firing the cannon for the day, shove a wet rag through it and wipe out all the hair spray. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Field Trip

Pumpkins as far as you could see.  It looked like a field of basketballs.  This is a farm that grows pumpkins that are sold at stores out front in the big boxes.  In our area, if it says that the pumpkins are locally grown they came from these fields.  The pumpkins shown here are the left overs.  There was an early frost so some of them froze and I am not sure why the rest were passed over.
All the kids minus two.  The little girl that Dancer is holding is a baby that one of the families takes care of.  The highlight of Dancer's week is getting to play with her and she holds her every moment she gets.
Back to a member's house to carve all those pumpkins.
Checked out their llamas and alpacas.  I loved the expression the middle llama was giving Spark. 
They are quite large but on the plus side they only poo in one place, unlike a goat who goes where ever, and they don't smell.  Although they don't have any males that aren't gelded so they don't have those hormones flying around like we do with the goats.

The family cleaned 50 chickens this fall and then when everything was all put away they realized that they only cleaned 49.  The mom was saying how now they would have to haul everything back out and heat up boiling water to pluck and clean "a" chicken.  Dad told her about how we have had success with sticking the air compressor nozzle in the under the chicken skin and loosing it enough to easily peel the skin off.  "Let's do it!" she said right away.  Her son and Spark headed out to cut off the head and bleed it out with the air compressor humming away.  Dad stuck the nozzle under the skin and the bird blew up, that is why the legs are sticking up like that.  The air compressor was set on 120 pounds and we usually have ours set on 90 pounds for using the stapler or nailer.  We learned when the bird "popped" that 120 pounds is a bit too much pressure.

The kids finished cleaning the bird and dug out all the entrails to find all the parts since we had just done anatomy in our co-op last year.