Friday, September 12, 2014


Did you hear that Isabelle got her ears pierced??

She had mentioned here and there that she would like to have her ears pierced. She was afraid of the pain, though. We've watched girls have their ears pierced at Claire's and online. This is the way Isabelle works - she finds out about something then she researches it on YouTube! So just before school started for the year, Isabelle decided she was ready to get her ears pierced. I had read on a friend's Facebook page about needle piercing. So I had to do research on that via the internet and contact that friend about it. What I found out was that the way Claire's pierces ears, using piercing guns, is typically more painful than needle piercing. This is because Claire's uses earrings that are blunt on the ends, making the holes rougher. This also takes longer to heal and the guns they use can never really be fully sterilized because they are made of plastic. Needle piercing, on the other hand, is done with a needle, then the earrings are inserted and the round back is screwed on (the back looks like a little ball, so it won't poke you when you're sleeping). The instruments are all metal, so they can be fully sterilized. The healing time is supposed to be quicker and less painful overall. Plus, instead of cleaning the newly pierced ears with a cleaning solution and turning the earrings periodically, the only cleaning needle-pierced ears need is with mild soap and water every day (no turning required). I felt that needle piercing was overall less risky and a better experience from what my friend indicated on Facebook. I found one of only two licensed piercing places in Columbus to go to, called Piercology. They only do piercing here (they don't even do tattoos, which many tattoo places also pierce). So on the Thursday before school started (August 28), we went to Piercology for the big event!

This place is a little off the beaten path in the Victorian Village part of Columbus. Parker and Seth were along with us. When we arrived, there was a gentleman loading a truck outside and he had several piercings. A little reluctantly, we went into the store. This being a whole new experience for me (being in a place such as this), I felt a little uneasy. The place, though, was nicely decorated and very professional looking. We were greeted immediately and we let them know that Isabelle was there for ear piercing. He pulled out some earrings for Isabelle to choose from and she picked ones that were fairly small in size and look like white diamonds. He then talked to us about the care and maintenance of her ears and earrings. He was very professional and kind and had a few piercings himself. We noticed a few other workers, each of whom also had several piercings. There were also a few gentleman customers who came into the shop while we were in the waiting area. After about a 15 minute wait, it was Isabelle's turn!

We were taken into a private room (another advantage over a place like Claire's) and Isabelle had a seat in the "official chair". Her piercer, Mike, was very sweet. He talked to her about the procedure and told her what to expect. He even explained to her that is was a good thing that she was nervous, because that can increase adrenaline, which decreases the feeling of pain. Once he marked her ears with dots to show where to put the piercings, Isabelle and I took a look to make sure they were even. The next thing we knew, I was holding Isabelle's hand and he was piercing her left ear! She did great! I'm sure it hurt but she barely flinched. The right ear, she said, was a little more painful, but she still did great. Once both earrings were in place, Isabelle checked them out in the mirror and was very happy that she finally had pierced ears! I forgot to mention that she had 2 vaccines / shots at the doctor the same day, for her 11-year checkup. She had figured that if she could handle the shots, she could also handle the ear piercing. She later said that the ear piercing hurt less than one of the shots, but more than the other shot. So I guess that puts the ear piercing pain right in the middle, very similar to a shot. We went home and she kept talking about how her ears were finally pierced. She let both Grandmas know right away. She's been very good about cleaning them every night. They were a little sore for a couple of days, but are healing quite nicely. She is looking forward to being able to take these earrings out and buy some new ones!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Garden Railway Tour

The Columbus Garden Railway Society hosted a tour of model trains set up in backyards all over Columbus. There were 20 to choose from, and Seth and I made it to 5 of them. These were very elaborate and detailed and the owners obviously have put a lot of time and money into these trains and tracks. Three of the sites we visited included a "search sheet" listing things to find along the railway. We hope to get back next year to see different sites, and Seth wants one of these in his yard when he is grown up.

Stop #1 took up this guy's entire back yard

Stop #1, Thomas and Percy

Each stop had a railroad crossing sign

Stop #2. This stop also had a nice garden with a pond and walking paths.

Stop #3

"Lake" at Stop #3

Stop #4 (I liked the Ohio barn)

Overview of Stop #4

Stop #5 included a train that went into the roof

Stop #5. This was Seth's favorite train of the day. Along the back fence, one train car kept traveling back and forth on the top.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Heard of geocaching? We just found out about this. Basically, anyone can hide a "cache" which is like a hidden treasure. Caches can come in many forms and sizes and can be hidden just about anywhere. They cannot be buried, however. Once a cache is found, there is a log inside to be signed by the finder. There may also be a trinket to take, but if you take one, you have to leave a new one. Look up to learn more and find caches near you!

Isabelle and I are taking part in two programs. The first is her teacher's geocaching. He is going to hide a cache somewhere locally each Friday and provide the students with a map of where it is hidden, using his class blog. Isabelle found the first one on Haughn Road, underneath an AT&T control box.

The second program is through the official geocaching website (link above). This website provides general locations of caches in an area you choose. There are several in Grove City. We looked for four of them, but were only successful finding one. We are slightly handicapped because we can't really use the official app which would get us to within 30 feet of the caches using a GPS system. We may try to use our Garmin GPS and see how that works out. The first cache we did find was at Windsor Park. It was a small, black magnetic box.

It's been fun so far, and hopefully we'll get to explore a lot of places with this activity!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Home Depot Builders Workshop

For the first time, we went to the Home Depot kids workshop! These happen once a month at Home Depot and give kids an opportunity to build something to take home with them. Best of all, it's completely free! Surprisingly, this is the first time we had ever been to one of the workshops. Just Seth and Parker were interested, so we ventured out with them to build a Wizard of Oz birdhouse. First we had to nail together the walls, roof and floor. This was done by the parents (Seth and Parker didn't want to hammer).

Next the boys painted the birdhouses and put stickers on them. Since it was a Wizard of Oz theme, we had stickers to decorate the houses with.

The finished products:

Seth made a fake door on the back of his birdhouse

Notice the wicked witch's shoes

Done, but didn't want a picture taken.

Friday, September 5, 2014

First Days of School

Isabelle and Seth started back to school on September 2. The start of school was delayed this year due to new elementary schools being built.

Isabelle is in Mr. Morgan's class for 6th grade at Hayes Intermediate. She was super-excited when she found out she got the teacher she really, really wanted! The class if full of student that Isabelle has not been in a class with before. She's excited about that because she loves to make new friends. She is hoping to join choir, orchestra and Student Council this year.

Isabelle's first day of 6th grade

 Seth's is in 3rd grade with Mrs. Gastin at J.C. Sommer Elementary. This will be the last year for the "old" J.C. Sommer because a new building is being built and will be ready by next school year. Seth said his first day of school was "Awesome!"

Parker started pre-school! He's in a class for older 3 and younger 4 year olds. His birthday is in November, so he's an "older 3-year old". He goes to the Gantz Barn in Grove City, which houses the Grove City Parks and Rec pre-school classes. We went there together last year for PlayGroup every Friday, so he's very familiar with the school. His teachers are Ms. Vicki and Ms. Ramona. His class is held every Monday and Wednesday from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm. This first week was an exception - he had class on Friday only. He was so excited - we took a lot of photos!

Proud of my Parker!

Goofing off

All set!

Walking to the building (red barn)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Century Village

Each summer, Century Village in Grove City has a day to visit and see how life was in the 1800's. It is conveniently located on Orders Road which leads to our neighborhood. We got to pump water, throw tomahawks and explore the old buildings and barns.

Obetz Zucchinifest

Last weekend we went to the Zucchini Fest in Obetz. We'd never heard of this before, but saw an advertisement in our newspaper. We thought Parker would especially enjoy it, because he didn't get to go to Kings Island with us. While we weren't expecting ride wrist bands to cost $18 each... we still have a good time despite busting our budget! The festival was the cleanest we've ever been to - workers were constantly cleaning up cans and plastic bottles and there were plenty of covered trash bins. The rides also seemed very well maintained and "newer". We came nowhere close to a zucchini because we spent the entire time at the rides! And we were right -  Parker loved the rides! All the kids rode many rides and had so much fun!

Isabelle on the left. This ride went up a bit and dropped down.
This ride (Typhoon) was extremely fast! Isabelle is the only one who rode it:

Ferris wheel

The boys went down the slide many times. Parker practically ramped on the last hump.They both loved it!