Madison Children’s Museum

We have a new Children’s Museum in our town, which we checked out today.  They had a special admission price of $ 1.00 which made it an attractive deal.

The kiddos and us had a blast.  A lot of different interactive things to do and a roof top garden to boot!

The water gazebo has water flowing from the top down gutters into troughs that the kiddos can play with by scooping and filling containers.  It also has something that makes cool steam for the kiddos to play in.  An obvious hit with the kiddos.  The boy also dunked the top of his head in the water and sported a spiky hair look for awhile.

Before getting to the water gazebo the kiddos and I had to make our way across a dinosaur bone bridge. 

Next up was a slide… Look at the beautiful wood here… I had some fleeting thoughts about how we could do this in our house… just look at the beauty of the this wood, it is gorgeous.

Not only good looking wood but fun too!  Could you imagine getting to slide downstairs every morning and using a rope to help climb upstairs, all while admiring a gorgeous piece of wood.   Yeah, like I said a fleeting thought…

After that the kiddos made their way to the hamster wheel.

Next on the tour is the dragon lair???  A climbing apparatus which reminded me of old time bird cages but the slide down was a dragon (with a saddle on it?)  Stay tuned for a picture coming up soon…

Going up….

The bird cage …

And here is the dragon riding cow girl princess…

Next on the adventure was table play, they have a model city made out of wood that the kiddos can put together…(think train table but on a grander scale).

Love this replica of the capitol building

The princess loved  pretending that she was driving this little cart. 

Lots of fun little things to sit in and pretend, such as this old fashioned car replica.  Oh, look at the floor in this room… is that not to die for?  One of the recommended links is to an aritcle which states it was recycled from a gym in the Milwaukee

I LOVED this mural in the art studio section… Mostly made out of bottle caps with kiddos art work glazed into the bottom of them…

The paint wall kept their attention the longest…. water, paint what is there not to love.  (oh, except the boys white T-shirt when he was done.   What is it with the boy and white t’s -they are doomed the day he first wears them!)   🙂

This  mural is found by the elevator on the roof top garden.

The boy looking down at the street from the roof top.

The roof top class room area:

The roof top garden was my favorite area:

The final highlight was this water sculpture/exhibit where columns of water will shoot/balance balls into the wire holders eventually moving them to the center down a swirling column of water.  Water and kids seems like a winning exhibit.

Click here for more information concerning The Madison Children’s Museum.

Thrifty Wall Key Display

Look at what I did for less than $ 10.00.

A key vignette of thrifty finds.

This baby is from Hobby Lobby super duper clearance.  $ 1.27 originally $ 18.00.  It WAS is good shape (until my daughter played with it).  She broke it.  It  is made of a plastic resin material, I thought I had hot glued it back together but when I went to hang it, it fell apart.  After a couple more tries I gave up with the glue and just taped it back together.  I used clear packing tape and I had a black paint pen I painted over it.  Looks pretty good, you have to really look close to notice it.

A GW find.  It is the most expensive at $ 3.99 but it was keys and at the time I thought I would do something crafty with only the keys but I have decided I like this piece the way it is.  It was originally sold by Target, 1 in a series of 4.   Does anyone have the set?  Or have seen it in blog land anywhere?

This little treasure was such an ugly duckling when I found it at GW for $ 2.99.  It was originally sold by World Bazaar and in the ugliest reddish brown color shadowbox frame.  The keys were just glued to a piece of plain wood (even the glue was showing.  Ugly, but I have no before pics – sorry.    A little can of black spray paint fixed the frame right up.  I used my hair dryer to get the keys unstuck from the piece of wood.   Found  a lovely piece of scrapbook paper and covered that plain wood right up.  When I repositioned the keys they were off a bit and I thought I should add something to the center.  HOME was it … a few more supplies from my scrapbook stash and viola.  Much prettier wall art than how it was originally sold.

These two little shadow boxes came from IKEA years ago… I have never been able to find a home for them until now.   I forget h0w much they cost but not much and since they have just been collecting dust for at least the last 5 -6 years they are happy to finally have a home.

To enjoy some other thrifty finds head on over to Rhoda’s for the thrift treasure link up. southern hospitality

Wisconsin Dells – Day 2; the rest of the story

After the Exploratory we went back to the Black Hawk Motel to swim until it was time to get ready to go back to Tommy Bartlett for the water ski show. We had some great neighbors in our motel in which their grandson and our boy became fast friends. Luckily, they had headed back to the motel at the same time and the kiddos were able to have a couple of hours playing in the pool and I was able to have some great conversation with Katherine, the friend’s grandmother (not much older than me). These pics are from the motel’s web site;

The kids went back and forth between the outdoor pool, indoor pool and hot tub. They even enjoyed a taste of the sauna to warm up in.

After a fun afternoon of swimming we headed over to The Tommy Bartlett Greatest Show on H2O.  The kiddos loved watching the show and the water skiers.




This was a very entertaining show which kept the kids interest.  The best part, which I don’t have a picture of, was watching my sons face when he saw the water skier jump through the flames at the end of the ramp.  I could see the little wheels turning in my boy’s head trying to figure out how the guy had done that without getting burnt. 

However, do you know what the best part was according to my kiddos,  (drum roll please….)

That’ right…. the juggler;

all in all, a good value for your buck. The show kept the interest of the kiddos throughout which as most of you parents know is not an easy thing to do.

Wisconsin Dells – Day 2

This was a Tommy Bartlett kind of day.

First on the agenda was breakfast.  Paul Bunyan’s is a family favorite, as well as a Dell’s Icon. Everything is delish! Obviously for this trip I left my Atkins Diet at home.

Next on the agenda was The Tommy Bartlett Exploratory. I can not recommend this MORE…it was our favorite activity of the trip. The kiddos had actually been there on a field trip a couple of weeks before and they wanted to go back.  It is an experience, full of hands on science exhibits, set in a space shuttle type of setting.  A little bit of show with a lot of hands on things for the kids to learn and do.

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Still to come a post on the Tommy Bartlett Water Ski show.

Wisconsin Dells – Day 3

We spent a couple of days up at the Dells…we had fun…spent too much money…ate well…. and made new friends. All in all it was a good time, but three days was more than enough in a very commercialized tourist town. Next year back to a nature focused vacation.

Will be blogging more about days 1 and 2 and the great little vintage Motel we stayed at …but today the focus is on our last day there.

From the moment we were awake the kiddos wanted to go swimming at the hotel pool, we spent all morning there diving off the diving board (a favorite of my kiddos since most of the pools we go to has no diving board). Both kiddos have become very good swimmers, princess used her noodle to help jump off the diving board but eventually gave that up and swam with no help after diving in.

We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather during the entire trip… a little chilly the first couple of days and this day the warmest of all with a high of 80.

We thought we would do one more “fun” activity before leaving the city. So we headed over to Pirate’s Cove Golf and Fun Center.

We had a great time golfing the toughest of the 18 hole courses… even little princess did a fairly good job given the difficulty of the holes. Both the kiddos loved it.


My little swashbucklers

loved all the flowers they had blooming…

stay tuned for the second part of this visit to the adventure center…

So do you like vacations in tourist town with a lot of commercial type activities to do or do you prefer the quiet, calm and serene nature focused vacations? What has been your best family vacation destination?

When Life gives you Lemons, make a battery!

The University of Wisconsin has a Saturday morning program for kiddos, which I have been wanting to get to. This past Saturday we finally got to check it out.

What we discovered:

The lemon battery is called a voltaic battery, which changes chemical energy into electrical energy.

The battery is made of two different metals, steel and copper. These are called electrodes, which are the parts of a battery where electric current enters or leaves the battery. The electrodes are placed in a liquid containing an electrolyte, which is a solution that can conduct electricity (the lemon juice).

In a solution of water and an electrolyte an excess of electrons collects on one end of the electrodes. At the same time, electrons are lost from the other electrode.

A single lemon produces about 7/10 of a volt of electricity. If you connected two lemons together, you can power an inexpensive digital watch. About 1.5 volts.

Check out this link for upcoming Saturday morning events for kids at the UW Space Place.

Saturday with my kiddos

Today was a good day…relaxing, calm and easy fun. I had set up expectations with the kiddos on Friday that in order for us to go to a splash park today they would have to spend the morning picking up all the toys and anything else on the floor so we could vacuum and mop, as needed.

So this morning, after not getting to bed till 3AM due to a late night grocery shopping trip after work I was awoken (several times) by the kiddos coming in and giving me updates as to which rooms had been picked up, etc. I was happy to see that they had done a wonderful job and their updates were accurate (if not annoying due to waking me up!)

The kiddos were pretty excited to get on with the day, not so much for the splash park but according to my son I had agreed earlier in the week that if he was “good” all week long we would go and buy a new DS game. I don’t recall making that deal but went along with it because they had been particularly well behaved all week and had done a terrific job of picking up on their own – something which is really never done without a lot of coaxing from us parents.

So after finishing up some other chores, off to Target we went. The boy was so fixated on the metroids DS game that was all he could talk about. We came up empty at Target for Metoids and decided the next stop was the mall to go to Game Stop. Our lucky day, or at least little girl’s, they were having a special on their used games, buy 2 get 1 free, so we ended up with metoids, littlest pet shop and Disney’s Princess and the Frog.

After that we headed to the Splash Park… well the kiddos had their DS’s with them… one ran out of power and the other it was too bright for the kiddos to see the screen….they REALLY wanted to play those games…

After getting to the splash park, you would have thought it was a chore being assigned to play in the water… little man kept asking how long do we have to stay? Well, it turned out to be crowded and hot but the water felt especially cold. Not a very fun combo for water fun. So after staying a short period of time and spending some time at their little park we headed back home.

On reflection though, neither child was overly (as usual) whining when trying to get their way and just went with the flow. On the way home we also discovered Jim’s Meat Market and purchased a tasty rotisserie chicken which me and the boy tore off a few pieces on the way home to eat. It was very tasty!! The steaks we picked up will be grilled tomorrow, boy do they look good!

Of course, as soon as we were home and the kiddos had there DS power cords plugged in they were pretty much mesmerized with their new games for the evening. To bad I did not get some photos of them playing their DS’s with each other.

So Anyway, I was able to get some good shots of the kiddos playing at the splash park;

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Mt. Olympus Water Park

We spent last weekend at the Water Park. Our favorite part is the 9 ft wave pool, we spent the majority of our time there both days. My boy has never been afraid of the wave pools, three years ago at age 5 he loved the wave pool and was right up front to be able to dive down under the wave as it crashed over him. My princess has been a little bit more cautious but not by much. Hubby man on the other hand dreads being in the water but the second day there he stated he would take pictures if he did not have to go in to a pool. Shoot away dear!!

H2O: two parts Heart and one part Obsession. ~Author Unknown

To check out the Mount Olympus website, click here.

Take me out to the Ballgame

Last week I was lucky enough to win 4 tickets to our local baseball teams game. It was a perfect weather night and the kids were excited to go. (we will not count the meltdown princess had when she realized we were not going home for dinner, she wanted a waffle so bad that we ended up going to Ihop to appease her) Once we had finished our breakfast at supper meal we headed to the ballpark. I think the kiddos and I sat down in our seats for about a minute. Then we were off doing all the other fun stuff there was to do there, like jump in the gigantic duck inflatable, play in the sand box, play at the playground, play on the hill, hug all the mascots.

I am pretty sure the kids did not even know a baseball game was going on, they certainly did not watch any of it. Even though, we ended up having a great, fun and relaxing evening.

Here is the website for the team, Madison Mallards.

I thought I would find a youtube clip of Take me out to the ballgame for your entertainment. I found this vintage clip of a true icon, Harry Cary, if you grew up in Chicagoland you know how funny he could be at times. This is making me nostalgic for my younger days. Hope you enjoy it! (i love the 80’s hair, too!)

CLICK HERE to go to clip.

Are you a cubbies fan?

Kid Projects

Hopping around blog land I see so many great ideas of projects I want to do with the kiddos but am not organized enough to be able to keep track of them. So much like my previous post I am going to start blogging about the other post I see out there so I can quickly look here for inspiration when we have enough time to do a special project.

This idea, making whipped cream and butterwill be the perfect little science experiment this summer.

Colored Sand Art Project

Install a bird feeder and bird bath at a location we can easily look out and observe our fine feathered friends

Make glimmer paint – good rainy day project

rain painting

This is a good start for our Project to do list…. I will add another post as other ideas are ran across on my blog hops…

Needless to say we are going to have a busy, but fun, summer!