Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hypothesis Confirmed

We hypothesized that everyone would have a blast at Joseph's 7th birthday party, and we were right!  Here's the last batch of pics of all our friends and family that made it such a special day.


Dry ice makes lunch tons of fun!






Pipettes and colored water are just as entertaining!



But Jello "shots" are the most fun of all!





I never did get around to a group photo in front of the Periodic Table.












Thanks to all for sharing in our celebration.  Joseph had the greatest time!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

She Blinded Me With Science

Rather than risk blowing up our house by performing random experiments on our own, we hired the Mad Science of DC company to provide the entertainment for JT's birthday party.  Joseph and his friends donned their safety gear and were ready to get the party started.  They just had to make it past security.




I could not have been more excited when Ali drove up.  I've seen her at several other parties over the years, and she is absolutely the best!  She is so great with engaging and educating the kids.  The company also deserves a major shout out for brainstorming and coming up with a whole show's worth of brand new experiments after learning that Joseph had just seen the only show they perform in outdoor spaces recently.  They wanted to make sure he had a truly unique experience, and I am so grateful for that.





I love how some of the kids got really into it!





But then, who wouldn't, with things like fire, explosions, and confetti cannons?!






The best part is that I got to sit back and enjoy the show too (although I did help out a little bit here and there).



The grand finale was heading out into the front yard for a rocket launch.







Our neighbor took this awesome video of the rocket launch in slow motion.  It seems like nothing is happening for a while, and then off it goes!  It went straight up through the tree top and disappeared into thin air.  My parents then found it around the block as they were driving back to NJ the next day!

                         video



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Baking is a Science

Or so they say.  My task at hand was not to understand the science behind baking, but to bake and decorate a science themed cake for Joseph's birthday party.  I had far too many ideas swirling around in my head, so I flat out asked Joseph what he wanted for his cake.  He had 2 simple requests: 1. that it be half chocolate and half vanilla, and 2. that it have gum balls on it.  That 2nd request might seem bizarre, but his buddy Jack's birthday cake was decorated with gum balls, and the kids all loved eating their cake and then getting to chew gum.  Joseph drew a little picture for me:


I had to put my foot down and tell him he wasn't getting a 3 tiered cake (but the fact that he requested it makes me feel like I'm raising him right!).  In the end I passed on all the typical Google and Pinterest examples out there that had exploding beakers and oozing test tubes (that I wasn't sure I could pull off....) and decided to make the cake look just like the invitation, which we both loved.


One thing I had planned from the start was that the top would be covered in the universal symbol for radioactivity, since it was so simple to recreate.  For the rest I just enlarged the images of the beakers from the invitation and used them as a template to cut them out of fondant with an X-acto knife.  Then I used the wrong end of an icing decorating tip to cut out all the circles for the molecules.




In the end, it wasn't my best fondant work at all, but I do love how striking and graphic it is.  The microscope has to be my favorite!  And to let you in on a little secret, the only reason the 7 is really there is because I ran out of beakers and still had this huge gap, and it was easier to grab a cookie cutter and make a 7 than trace out another beaker.  Shhhhh!



Joseph seemed fairly content that the cake met all his expectations.





Half chocolate, half vanilla, as requested.  The addition of Martha Stewart's somewhat salty "Rich Chocolate Frosting" (with 3 sticks of butter and a pound and a half of semisweet chocolate) definitely took it up a notch.  The birthday boy gave it 2 thumbs up!