Sunday, January 29, 2012

Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto.

Isaac is the family Mr. Roboto. He is in a 4-H robotics club. He looooves it. The only drawback is that they meet only once a month for 2 hours. But January began the challenge nights. So now he gets a second night for 2 hours. But it's all about the challenge. Last Friday Isaac participated in his first challenge night. He teamed up with Nathan. Here they are building and programming.
There are 4 challenges. So they basically need to build a robot that can accomplish each challenge and then program for each one and make simple changes in the robot itself. Here Isaac measuring the distance from the start spot to the bulls eye. With that measurement they can figure how many rotations the wheels will do and program that in.
Isaac and Nathan got the full point score for 3 out of 4 of the challenges. That fourth challenge, the placement challenge, was very vexing.
But they only lost 5 points on the placement challenge because they did get their robot to the other side of the board and then back. It just didn't get placed on the target. Dang it! Here they are lining it up.
After the challenges were over each of the boys got a certificate of participation. The 3 blue stickers are for the Movement, Sensor and Wildcard challenges. Each of which they got all possible points. The red is for the Placement challenge. Congratulations and well done boys!!
And here is most of their club who participated that night.
3 more challenge nights to go. Isaac is really into robotics and is extremely close to his goal to raise half the money for his own Mind Storms robotics set. Then I don't know if we'll ever see him again. The robot may take over for him.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday Came And Went.

By the time Thursday was done, I'd taken 2 kids to the dentist for cleanings. No cavities. Got them to school, cleaned up the house. Then I went to the dentist for my cleaning only to have the dentist, who tried to smooth out a filling that keeps catching on floss, chip the filling and take a whole chunk out. This was a filling that I had to have redone 6 months ago because it had fallen out. Soooo, I told him he owed me a lollipop, to which he only gave a small chuckle and said, "It will only take 40 minutes. I'm sorry!" Then raced back to the school in the pouring rain to pick up those 2 clean teethed kids because it was raining too much for them to ride scooters home. Got them home and dry. Got Ruthie to Activity Days and then dinner made lightening fast and then I went to Pack Meeting and then came home and crashed. Hard.

But during much of that day this boy....
Was up at Snow Basin with his dad for a ski field trip. Yay!! It rained and was cold and wet and miserable. But Sam had a blast...
And when Daniel emailed me all the ski pics from his phone to my laptop, he found all the pics he'd taken at Disneyland when he took the boys on the steam boat thing around Tom Sawyer's island. They had asked if they could see the room where they steer. So the captain invited them to actually steer the ship and blow the whistle for the whole trip.
And a fun picture of all the kids trying their skill at pulling the sword from the stone.
Fun fun. It's been a terribly busy week with lots more each day. I need a vacation. Disneyland sounds like fun...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just Another Tuesday.

Nothing more than just another Tuesday around here.
Ruthie wants a sister really bad.
Sam could eat pizza bagels all day.
Isaac wants to be an engineer and build robots.
Daniel is half way done with his home teaching.
I really want a bowl of M&Ms.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Happy Chinese New Year


Welcome to the Year Of The


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese New Year.

Monday the 23rd is the first new moon of the year. That means it's... Chinese New Year on Monday!

I have already gone to my boys' classes to do my CNY presentations where I give them each a red envelope with a chocolate coin in it, a pair of chopsticks and a fortune cookie. It's one of my favorite things to do for CNY.
Monday I go to Ruthie's class. Tonight we will meet our good friends Kim and Jon and their daughters for dinner at a Chinese Buffet.
This is the year of the Dragon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Under The Influence.

Over the years, there have been many people who have come in and out of my life who have influenced me. I was brought back to an influence in my life that I had forgotten. So let's go back to 1987. I was a junior in high school. It would be my last year at this school in California before we moved to Utah that summer. I had signed up for a public speaking class. I think mostly because I was so shy that the thinking was this class could help me to break out of that shell. What happened was, I really really enjoyed that class. And here is the heavily eye lined me way back then. And I especially love the upturned collar.
The teacher in the class would give us an assignment of a topic or two that we would prepare a speech for. We did a couple of debates, too. She taught us to speak clearly and without saying "like" and "um" while doing so. Which is difficult if you spoke Valley Girl. Which I kinda did. And you may notice that I still say "like" a lot. Sheesh. It's ingrained in my speaking! There was a boy in the class who always sat behind me. When we had to do an "interview" of someone in the class and then introduce that person, we chose each other. We got all of our info down and then, like, chatted. I told him I would be moving to Utah that summer and that my dad was going to get a car for me when we got there. He was totally into the car thing and so we talked about my choice of car. Honda Prelude. A red one. He said I would look good in it. Well of course. I mean, look at the heavy liner and feathered hair!! He would have been sorely disappointed at the Dodge Omni I got.

One of the the rules in the class was that while someone was speaking, everyone had to listen. And be respectful and to really be fair to people. We were all there to support one another. I never felt like I was out of place there or that I should be overly embarrassed about speaking. We were all pretty well acquainted by now and learning about each other was fun and interesting. This was a fun class full of friends and support.

Then a choice of topics came up to speak on. Share an embarrassing moment or read a children's story. So the teacher gave an example speech about an embarrassing moment. She was a well blossomed woman and shared an experience involving those blossoms. She was taking an aerobics class and wore a regular bra. Which had, like, 5 clasps on the back. During the class she was jumping and running and stuff and then it happened. The clasps broke. We laughed hysterically, because she was too. She talked about going the rest of that class without her bra in working order. I chose to read Where The Wild Things Are for my speech. It's my favorite. But her story, as well as others told by students, and really just this one class, really helped me learn a great lesson.

We are all people. As women, we all have bra clasps and sometimes those clasps break at the most inopportune times. I can get up in front of people and actually entertain them and give meaningful information and not be looked at as a complete moron. When you really listen to each other, even though you don't all know each other, you can learn a lot.

This teacher was a great influence on my love of public speaking. I don't do it a lot, but when I have the opportunity to teach, speak, or anything else in front of others, I find a great sense of fulfillment and peace in it. Under the influence of public speaking!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm Famous!

After school Sam said to me, "Guess what? I'm Famous!"

At school today they had an assembly. When they asked for volunteers to come up on the stage, Sam rose his hand. He was chosen. He was taught how to do a double spin in the air. He's been practicing all afternoon. He's too tired now for a picture.
It's tough being famous.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Told You They Was Organized.

Here's what I've been doing lately. Except for taking care of super sickos inflicted with a nasty-asty version of the stomach flu. Organizing. I planned 3 rooms to make a project of for the first few months of the new year.

The first was the play room. I made the play room many many moons ago. My kids were little and loved to go in and play make believe. Now that they're a bit older I wanted to update it just a tweek. It's not much really. Much of it is still the same...
Oooh. There is something new. It's a book shelf. With games.
This is the update. You see, these games were taking up a ton of space in my laundry room. I needed that space! So I took them out and put this together. So the new addition is the game shelves. So far it has produced much game playing. And it made for some much needed space for the second project.
The second project was the laundry room. Or "dump all your stuff in here" room. I just spent yesterday afternoon cleaning and organizing it. And it looks spectacular! I don't have pictures of the loveliness, but I made an executive decision while cleaning it all out. You see I have a lot of cook books. A LOT. And I love them. I have collected them as I have needed to expand my cooking horizon. But every time I get one, the inevitable happens...I find and use awesome recipes and then I type them out with my own variation or whatever, and then put it in my all consuming cook book. Wanna see it?
Here it is. Well, here is the open version. See? I just put everything in here.
And it's quite full and very well used. So the decision to get rid of the honkin' stack of cook books was necessary. But don't worry, I still have a sizeable stack of 'em in there.
So now my play room and laundry room are finished. Next project??? Drum roll please...


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Someone Hit Me!!

Well. Not me exactly. I wasn't in the car. Apparently no one was. But yesterday while outside playing at piano lessons, I noticed a dent in the Durango. I didn't think much of it though. But then I really looked at it. Closely. It is a nice round dent and there are those classic "marks" that are the norm when you are hit by another car. Because I know about hitting another car. Or another car hitting me. So I went through my day. Then my week. And it quite literally could have been weeks ago. Because I keep my car in the garage and then just get in and out without really looking at the smooth blue exterior. This was the first time my car was out in the sunshine with me actually there looking at it.
So I'm peeved. There was no note. No one waiting to tell me. I mean, look at it. It's not terrible. Daniel can knock out the dent, the paint wasn't scratched, and the marks will wash off. But my hope in humanity has diminished. Just kidding. I still have hope for humanity. But I did really think about what I would do if I ever hit someone's car in a parking lot. I did already have a plan..I would wait or go in and ask for the license plate to be paged or leave a note with my info. Now I know that I will for sure no questions asked make sure the owner of the other vehicle knows it was me. Had that been done in this case they would have been off the hook for the damage, but my respect for them would have been paramount!

And humanity would get a gold star for integrity.