Sunday, April 6, 2014

And they're off again!

This weekend, we accompanied three of our homeschool Odyssey of the Mind teams to the state competition in Charlotte, NC.
We all had a great time, and I was glad we got to see all three teams perform their long-term problems.  We brought one high school team (that was Clay's team, they had to be in that category because one kid on the team is 15, even though the rest are middle-school age), one middle-school team and one elementary team.

We watched the hat parade/competiton:
The awards ceremony was hard for ZB to keep her calm through, she was pretty tired by this point in the day, and it was pretty loud and crazy.
Unfortunately, the younger teams didn't place, but Clay's team placed 2nd!! 
And even though I would have been quite happy if they had placed a strong 3rd, we are so proud of their hard work!  They are headed to the World Finals at the end of May which are in Ames, Iowa. We need to raise the first $5,000 by May 1.  This means my next two months will be packed with fundraising yard sales, fundraising lunches at co-op, finding sponsors, etc.  Last year, when they went to Worlds, they raised a substantial amount just from friends and family donating, which was amazing!  If you are reading this, and would like to help these kids make the trip to World Finals, you can easily donate any amount here:

Per the OM rules, I can not share a video of their skit until World Finals are over, but I can give some details.  They did a vehicle problem again.  They had to construct a vehicle that could transport a person with two different propulsion systems.  It has to be able to move forwards, backwards and sideways, as well as split in half.  No easy feat, there have been some very stressful days for sure! 
The story line they invented was that a fast food company invented a new menu item that was so unhealthy it became alive as a monster and started destroying the city.  The healthy food crusaders have to fight this monster.  They use a sandwich car that turns into a mec.  I like the political undertones that this skit has, and they have also had a lot of fun with it!

Thanks for all your support, we are grateful for all the donations as well as well-wishes!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rainy Day Birthday

Little ZB is 3!!  She's so excited about it, too.  Each day since her birthday, she has been asking if she is still three, just to be sure :) 

Her party was rained out, so we took her to the toddler free play at the gym.
She jumped and played the entire time.  Apparently, she even has some time to kick back and relax as the parents did all the work with the parachute!

 A few of her friends were even able to make it and play.  After gym time was over, we walked across the street to the Asheville Brewing Company.  The parents enjoyed their great beers, and the kids enjoyed pizza and homemade ice cream.

 ZB asked for me to make chocolate and avocado... yum!  Made with good ingredients like maple syrup for sweetener, and eggs from our own hens, it was nothing to feel guilty about eating :)
We are all so in love with this fun little girl!  She's growing up way too fast...
Thanks to everyone for their sweet birthday wishes and gifts, she has enjoyed everything!
Love to all!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Not Quite Three

This is one very anxious girl who has to wait to turn three!  She has been hoping that each day for the last week it will be her birthday.  It's finally coming up tomorrow and she is READY!  We cancelled the party due to rain, but ZB will happily eat the ice cream anyhow :) 

To document her nearly-three-ness, she asked to be photographed with a drawing (of a monster), and sing one of her favorite songs, so here ya go!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Rainy Days and Giant Tinkertoys

Our weather has been all over the place (typical North Carolina!)  The saying here is, "If you don't like the weather, wait a couple days".  Within a week, we've had 60 degrees, then snow, then 40 degrees, now a couple days of non-stop rain.  Our garden is glad for the rain, for sure!  The kids, however, are getting on each others nerves and trying to think of indoor activities.

Just in time for the rainy days, I found some vintage Giant Tinker Toys on Craigslist this weekend!  All three kids are designing with them.  ZB making simple items, Reed getting pretty creative (car, robot, etc), and Clay making weaponry (13yo's... go figure).
Reed and ZB built a pretty fun castle fort to fill up with pillow, blankets and stuffed animals, and of course themselves :)

Only a day or two more of rain and then we'll be glad to welcome back the sunshine!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Road Trip to Raleigh - LEGO KidsFest

Reed invited 2 of his friends to join us on a road trip to Raleigh this weekend.  The LEGO KidsFest was set up in their Convention Center for the weekend.  After a 4 hour drive with these great traveling companions, as well as a toddler who was feeling quite under the weather, we entered the LEGO mayhem :)

Cool sculpture area, set-themed building areas, and games all had to be explored.  The kids wanted to spend quite a while in the Monochromatic Build area.

They played in the Racer area, building cars and racing them down big ramps.  Next, the nearly-literally dived into the Big Brick Pile!
They buried each other, searched for interesting pieces and got stepped on a couple times before moving on to challenge areas.  One of the challenges they did was forming a team to build a 4-foot platform out of Duplos (big legos).  The structures were elevated onto pillars to make a bridge, which then was tested to see how much weight it could hold.
We checked out the Lego shop and got a glimpse of Creation Nation before they closed.  That was a HUGE map of the US covered in kids' creations - very cool!

These were a great group of kids to travel with, so glad we got to go!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Monster Trucks!

Little known fact about me:  I have secretly always wanted to attend a Monster Truck rally.  Seriously.  When I was in college in Florida I almost got to go see school bus racing on a figure 8 track, but plans were changed and my dreams of seeing big vehicles doing stupid things were put on hold for quite a while.

And then I found out that the Monster X Tour was coming to Asheville - woohoo!  There was even a Groupon for it.. it's like it's calling my name.
Bobby and I took the boys on a Sunday afternoon.  The "Pit Party" happened beforehand.  You get to check out the trucks, meet the drivers and take silly pictures:
The kids also got to ride around in the arena in the back of one of the trucks.
Unfortunately, the photos stop there, sorry!  Reed has great photos on his iPod, but we can't seem to get them to email to me.  If you are friends with him on instagram, you have probably seen the awesomeness already :)  There was racing, wheelie competitions, jumping and freestyling, as well as quad (4-wheelers) racing in between the monster truck racing.

One more thing to check off the bucket list!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Toddler Snow Fun

We had a bunch of fun on our snow day today!
ZB loved piling into all her snow clothes and was delighted to romp in the fresh powder...
Last night we set some food-colored water in an ice cube tray, out on the front porch.  We had used those to decorate our mailbox snowman:

We also filled a squeeze bottle with food-colored water.  ZB  had great fun making abstract art down the driveway:
The boys had a snow-day sleepover at a friends house.  When we went to pick them up, Reed was anxious to take ZB on her first sled ride!