Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Homeward Bound

Off to the homeland with the munchkins tomorrow for six and a half weeks. Yay. I can't wait to see my family again!!
Someone please pray my sanity makes it there too and isn't left somewhere over the Atlantic...Traveling with three is making me a bit (!) nervous. Provided we aren't ejected with a parachute mid-flight, I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Is Weirdness Hereditary?

A few snapshots of the oddness around here:

Baby S chasing neighborhood boys, sporting L's helmet that she insisted on wearing. Maybe Toadette will be her new blog name...

Toadette loading a nerf gun. She does it remarkably well.  Should I be worried?

I don't even know what is going on here. But there you go - this is our home on a daily basis:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Good Days and Bad...

It has been a crazy month at the homestead...We have had some hard times - my fabulous grandma passed away - and some amazing times - I passed a final and E's sister got married. I have been a little overwhelmed by it all, not knowing where to even begin blogging. I wanted to honor my grandmother with a post and felt that blogging about anything else would seem trivial and make her passing seem inconsequential. The days went by in a flurry of activities and events and just day-to-day stuff, I couldn't wrap my mind around a post I felt would show my grandma the attention she deserves and so I just didn't blog anything.

Meanwhile, as I was feeling the guilt of not putting up a post for her while still not recording the other events and happenings in our lives, I clearly heard the voice of my grandmother in my head - several times. This is a woman, who was always outspoken and didn't sugar coat anything - and I am pretty sure her response to my lack of recording family memories because I couldn't think of the words to honor her would be blunt and possibly include the word stupid. With that, I have decided that I will post a post (heh) for her when I have the mental capacity to sit down and put it together the way I feel it should be. In the meantime, I will record some of the many great things we have been experiencing...

Last things first, S started scouts in May. An American scouting tradition is the "pinewood derby." Basically, each scout is given a small block of wood (approx. 7"x1.75"x1.25" or 18x5x3cm) and has to carve a car from that block, add wheels, and optionally weights to make the car go faster. Then the scouts race their cars down a track. I think I may have mentioned my feelings about woodworking on this blog at one time or another and I have to confess that I may have been hoping we would miss the derby this year.

Imagine my joy when we didn't miss it at all...I went through several stages of grief about this entire event, staring with despair (how will I ever help S with this?), then annoyance (I can't believe I have to figure out how to carve a car!), then anger (this is so foolish - aren't kids punished enough for their parents shortcomings?!) and then I remembered our secret weapon: E's dad is a genius when it comes to building stuff. (Not genetic, in case you are wondering why I would have been the one yielding the saw and not my dear husband...who has a lot of great skills, none of them involving tools.) Hoping for the best and remembering that grandpa once built an actual car, we went to him wooden block in hand and it turned out to be a great experience for S. He and Grandpa researched and worked on the car for hours and hours. S was so happy to be able to do this with his grandpa and I was so happy I didn't have to... As it turned out it was very fortuitous that they were at Grandpa's house, because when they were missing an axle for the car, Grandma somehow managed to find an old car with a useable axle in the basement. It was a great process for S and in the end, we all had a blast at the pinewood derby.

As a funny side-note, we all spent quite a bit of energy talking to S about the importance of participating and having fun even when you don't win. We spoke of the slim chances of winning and how in his father's scouting life, their family had only ever had one winning car. It was all to absolutely no avail. In spite of a couple of close heats, Green Lightning won the race for S's age group. The bar is set for next year's race.
Hey Grandpa, are you busy then??!

The boys ready to watch the race:

And the cars are off! Notice Green Lightning take an early lead:

It was so fast it went over the barrier at the end:

A few of the local scouts. What a handsome crew:

Proud S, sporting his ribbon and car:

Thanks Grandpa. You rock.