So. . . I Wrote a Couple of Books

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Friends, I have a request. Recently, I have written not one, but two children’s books. They are like Magic School Bus books, but for younger kids. One is about friction and the other is about energy. I need some people to read them to their kids, and tell me what you and your kids think.

I promise I tried to make them fun. They are meant to be picture books, but since I have no drawing skills, I haven’t tried to illustrate them at all. I know that makes it harder for the kids to pay attention, but I just can’t draw. Anyway, if you want to read one or both, let me know in the comments, and I’ll send you a copy. I would just let you download it from here, but I want to have some idea who is reading them, so I can pester them for feedback.

Summary of Niels vs. Energy

Niels would take potential energy over kinetic any day. Kinetic energy has way too much motion, but Malena never gives him a rest, unless you call waiting to fall over the edge of a cliff a rest. Riding in a human-sized marble, Malena shows Niels just how dizzying turning one form of energy into another can be.

The top of that cliff has a lot of potential energy, enough to send Niels and Malena soaring across a field, bouncing off the trampoline, down through the funnel, over parked cars, and spiraling back up to the top. The temperature is rising; the marble is losing energy as heat. Adding just a touch of chemical energy, Malena gets them enough speed to get up and over those cars and back to the top of the hill.

Summary of Niels vs. Friction

Niels’ best friend Malena is determined to ski in the summer despite the lack of snow. It is only the friction they have to overcome she tells Niels. After catching on fire and skiing over gooey banana peels though, Niels might just stick to skiing in the winter.

Malena explains that friction is like tiny trucks on the skis driving up and down on microscopic mountains on the ramp. Niels helps sand off those microscopic mountains and catches on fire while doing so. By almost causing Malena to go tumbling down the ramp, Niels learns that friction is greater with two people on one set of skis. He also learns that while lubricants can be used to reduce friction, some lubricants are more effective and less smelly and messy than others.

Miles – age 16 months

Posted by & filed under Family.

Since I’m not really sure where the whole month of June went or what happened to being caught up on the blog, and since I can’t remember what I was going to write about these pictures except that Miles is stinkin’ cute and funny, I will just say, “Enjoy the cuteness.” Also, Scott just brought me a hot fudge sundae from McDonalds which trumps blogging.
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In other news, I got a funny Fourth of July present. I was sitting on the couch and found an Easter egg in the cushions…it had a Twix in it. Happy Fourth of July from the Easter bunny.

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Knott’s Berry Farm

Posted by & filed under Family.


This is another post to show all our would-be visitors what there is to do in Orange County besides going to Disneyland. Let me introduce you to Knott’s Berry Farm. Knott’s and us go way back. Oh wait, wait, wait…this calls for more high school pictures…

Knott's Berry Farm


Scott and I have been going to Knott’s Berry Farm together since middle school (but I don’t have any of those photos scanned). Our school band had a competition there every year. The pictures above are some friends from high school and Sara is there in the goofy hat. Can you see that smirk on Megan’s face (top right pic)? She was teasing me by asking if Scott was behind her, and whether that was why I was taking her picture. Pshhh. Technically Scott and I weren’t dating yet, because he wasn’t 16, but we were writing really sweet love notes to each other folded up all fancy. We wrote to each other like every other day.

Okay, enough of the flashback. Here’s our fun crew now.



So Knott’s Berry Farm grew up around Mrs. Knott’s fried chicken restaurant, and was for guests to kill time while waiting to be seated for dinner. Now it’s a full-fledged amusement park. As a side note, one time when Sara and I were about 10 and 12 or so, my grandparents took us to Knott’s Berry Farm…for dinner…just fried chicken dinner. I remember being really confused that we would drive over an hour to a place that had roller coasters, to eat fried chicken…and not go on roller coasters. Not a nice thing to do to a kid. 😉 Just kidding. I guess my grandparents were of the era when Mrs. Knott’s restaurant was the place to eat.

The whole thing is California themed (gold rush Ghost Town area, Fiesta Village, Boardwalk beachy area) with the excepting of Camp Snoopy which is for the little kids. There are tons of great rides for little, little kids. Miles can go on most stuff in Camp Snoopy with us, and there’s even a roller coaster that Andrew, Zana and Elira can ride by themselves. Andrew has his special roller coaster that he can ride with an adult and it’s a really fun roller coaster by adult standards. There are six or seven really great roller coasters for adults, including my all time favorite roller coaster Ghost Rider (do yourself a favor and wait for the very back car, it is sooo fast), plus a ton of other fun rides.

Are you sold on Knott’s yet? Here’s the best part…way. cheaper. than. Disneyland. Way cheaper. And so not crowded that during the week you can just walk onto everything, even the big rides. We’re super excited we got season passes this year, which also get us into a waterpark. Part of my love of Knott’s Berry Farm is the memories from going every year in high school, but seriously it’s a great amusement park. So come visit us.