Monday, February 24, 2014

Pinewood Derby

Once again, it was time for the Boy Scout Pinewood Derby. Naturally, Eion showed no interest in crafting a car whatsoever, resulting in us missing and of the workshops at which we could style a car built for speed. But a few days before the big event, E changed his mind and decided to put together an entry. A very block shaped, not particularly aerodynamic, entry.

Whatever. At least it was quite clear that he made his car completely on his own.

Built for speed?

It was a gorgeous day and the troop had arranged for a food truck to be there, making it a big picnic.

E and his buddies, all equally precocious.

Neither Margaret was especially thrilled to be there.

Eion's car was too heavy to race and he didn't want to remove the lego guys so we entered for show only. He was overly stressed about losing anyway so this just freed us up to watch, sans pressure.

Or so we thought.

They called him up to race "for fun." E desperately tried to beg off but couldn't escape.

Since his car wasn't supposed to be racing, we hadn't done anything to make it fast. In fact it didn't even make it to the finish line in either of the heats. Excellent. Eion was in tears.

I managed to twist some arms and let the other parents know that really, truly, it is ok if Eion doesn't race again (in the runners up bracket.) The amount of wrangling it took to opt out was high. In the end, Eion rallied and cheered on the other scouts. Honestly, it is exactly what we expected, a little joy, some tears and a slurpee to top it all off.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

In Which E and I are Crafty

Somewhere out on the interwebs, I saw the cutest idea for Valentine's cards that had homemade heart crayons. When I showed it to Maggie, I was informed that Hannah did that last year and, anyway, she was going to make paper frog cards for her classmates. Translation: Mom, that is so last year! But Eion was on board and he and I commenced to crafting, a much feared endeavour around here. Let's just say that Pinterest can be a dangerous place for those lacking skill.

First, we found our mountain of old crayons and peeled a whole pile of them.

The we grouped by like colors, broke them up, and put them into silicone moulds. 

Bake at 250 degrees for about 20 minutes….

Let them cool, pop them out, et voila, heart crayons!

There was utter amazement all around that this worked. I printed out some cards that read "Color your heart out Valentine" and we were all set! Of course, the snow came and Eion did not feel the need to finish the project. After all, Valentine's Day was over. The fact that the parties were rescheduled held no weight with him at all and he balked the entire time. But with a fair bit of arm twisting, he did get them done. At least there was fun and love in the crayon crafting process.

Post Script: I forgot until after I posted this about Eion's reaction to the cards when he first saw them. He just looked at them with a furrowed brow and said, "But why do we want them to lose their hearts? They need them." The explanation that it was just an expression and it only meant to do something as much as you wanted didn't get anywhere with him. Ever my literal child, he just turned to me and said, "That message could be dangerous if they don't know." He may not intend to be, but he's a funny one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
   All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
      All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
         All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Just kidding. We didn't go all Shining during our snowed in time on the mountain. It just occurred to me that I had left this ongoing narrative with us stuck up here. They finally came on Saturday afternoon and plowed us out. That being said, the roads have been challenging. Many, even some fairly well travelled ones, have become, in practice, one lane roads. With snowbanks everywhere and some cars not yet dug out, it wasn't easy out there. Fortunately, it was 60 some degrees today and things are starting to move towards the good.

In the meantime, we took this crew to meet the mayor.

In spite of initial appearances, they were relatively well behaved as they talked to the mayor, posed for pictures and said the Pledge of Allegiance for the City Council meeting. 

Friday, February 14, 2014


Greetings from our sunny, snowy street. Wednesday, the forecast was for 4-8 inches of snow. In preparation for the inclement weather, the schools released the kids early, as the deluge was to begin around 3pm. Much to our surprise, unlike every other predicted winter weather occurrence, this one came through! After the snow started, right on schedule, we were cozied up at home and ready for some cold fun. Luckily, Tim was out of work early so he was with us too. By dark, we were out sledding with the neighbors.

The flakes were big and puffy - it was beautiful! Seeing as Tim had to work the next day, we cleared the driveway a few times, maybe 2-3 inches worth, and hoped we wouldn't have to do much in the AM. 


There was easily an additional foot that had fallen since bedtime. We were pretty sure that Tim's work would be closed but figured, let's clear it off. At least then we'll be done!

Wrong again!

The additional 3-5 inches we were supposed to get yesterday turned out to be more like 10. Overall, we  had about 2 feet (see table above!)

Sitting below street level, the clearing became especially challenging. We just ran out of places to put all the accumulation. We ended up lifting it shovel by shovel, throwing it over the bushes, and into the front yard. Tim and I both are sporting hurt backs and strained muscles from the 5+ hours of clearing.

But the job was made a bit easier by the sweet sounds of fort building and snow fights in the cul-de-sac.

We cleared out the driveway, but once you leave our house, there are 2-3 foot snow drifts everywhere and not a plow in sight.

Our front yard

No hurry to clear her, there is no where to go!

At least it is beautiful out!

The snow has been over for about 24 hours and we are still snowed in. Neighbors' attempts at escape failed. But it is sunny and 51 so hopefully, enough will melt, allowing us to get out.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Next Stop, Chickens

First step in our chicken adventure! Now we just need the birds.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Good Plans Gone All Puke-y

Yesterday we were supposed to attend a wrestling tournament in Franklin County (about 25 minutes away.) As Tim is working all weekend and Morrigan had a conflicting event (fencing,) this took some advance planning which included but is not limited to:

Pre register and pony up the $40 entry free
Arrange a babysitter to ferry Morrigan to fencing
Pack camera, water bottles, food for Saturday's adventures
Buy a movie on the ipad for entertainment*
Make sure to come home early from Supper Club so we can get up at 6:30am

*Note: I don't normally bring movies but this tournament was set up so that E had to weigh in between 7-8am and started wrestling at 9am. Maggie didn't weigh in until 9am and her matches started at 11am. Clearly, we were going to have downtime.

But I was ready to go! I woke up on time, showered and went to wake up the kids, at which point I found Maggie sick and saying she felt she was going to throw up.


Morrigan spent Friday barfing which lent credence to Maggie's claims. Not to mention, she was the driver behind attending at all and it didn't seem logical that she would be faking. Eion was not as excited and I didn't want to leave the sick kid home alone all morning so, change of plans, we were home for the day.

Not that I really took that much convincing. Maggie, on the other hand, is all fired up about wrestling and talks, already, about next season. She was bent that we are going from 3 practices a week to 2 for the month of February. After a few tournaments of seeing her get pummelled, I could do with another sport. Maybe cross country. Not to mention, since I didn't have to pay the sitter to drive Morrigan, we were only out a net $15.

For this year, we have another month of practices and one more meet. Then we'll see what the off-season holds for us.