Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ben's zingers

Remember four years ago when I posted on here that I wish I had a video camera recording every second of our days, since there are so many funny things said? Yeah? I still feel that way.

Last weekend we were having dinner with Muddy.  Brian and I were teasing each other about something, I don't remember what. Ben very exasperatedly throws his hands in the air and said, "I still never understand why you two got married anyway!" When we stopped and stared in disbelief at him, he continued, "you're not like each other at all. I just don't get it."  Not what we expected to hear from our precious six year old and apparently we've done a poor job of explaining compatibility and love!!

Last night we were driving in the car and Addie was telling us about a boy in her class who said "The B word."  Ben immediately wanted to know what "the B word" was and I tried to play it dumb and say, "I don't even know what she means Ben," to which Addie said, "you know the B-I one." That immediately prompted Brian to interject and cut off the conversation. He said, "the most disgusting thing to me is a kid who talks like that." Benjamin immediately replied, "Um, if you licked your own butt that would be more disgusting." It was so funny and so innocent. I couldn't see his face, but I can imagine the perplexed look on his face thinking "really? out of all of the gross things, it's that?" The conversation went further into what actually was even more disgusting than licking one's own butt, which not surprisingly, there are several that we came up with.  I kept saying, "I need to write this down when I get home," and since Facebook is an app on my phone and my blog isn't as immediate-connection-friendly, I got to capture it there first.  Not to worry Blog Followers, I promise to share some more gems here first.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lego League

Each Wednesday for ten weeks the kids have been staying after school to work participate in Lego League, which is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program.  The theme this year was Super Seniors, where they had to interview a senior citizen and find some way to create a Lego model that would help them solve a problem.  
 This is the Lego Cats.  Ms. Gormley (hopefully Addie's third grade teacher!) the coach, Elijah, Ben, Addie, Rana, and Ms. Croes.  Two other teammates couldn't come to the competition on Saturday, but they were on the poster board.
 We had to be at the competition at 8:30am and found out that we were the last team to be judged... at 11:55am! That's a lot of waiting, but luckily there were Legos to keep everyone busy.

 These are the trophies!! How cool right? They even have gold plaques on them each.
 During the waiting, each team had to go around to the other 54 teams' tables to see their creations.  This gave the kids the opportunity to explain their projects, etc to each other. 
 Addie demonstrating the Super Dooper Looper Scooper-6 to some another school's students.
 Che is Rana's older brother and Ethan is Elijah's older brother. They are both in fourth grade.  Ben and them made the American flag for fun while waiting.  Usually I think Ben looks huge, but clearly compared to boys who are 10 he is not! 
 The two Highlands teams all together.
 Muddy came by to watch the competition and cheer the kids on.
 This is when the Lego Cats were called up as winners of the Explosive Award- for research design and poster presentation demonstrating the model.
 The certificates. Look at Addie's expression, she's so proud. 
 Showing off the trophy!
 Pretty proud of themselves.  
The two Highlands' teams with their trophies.  For height perspective, Elijah is in second grade with Addie. Rana is in first grade.  Kayla, to Ben's left, is in first grade.  Ben is in kindergarten. 
The coolest thing for them is that at Highlands basketball is a really big deal (you know, with the National Anthem singing each year).  The trophy case in the lobby is full of basketball trophies.  These will be the very non-basketball trophies in the case!! Addie was trying to convince us that when she goes into 6th grade and changes schools the trophy should move with her. We had to explain they won as representatives of the school...
Next year they will surely be back as Lego League designers.  Really fun and clearly educational.
To hear how the judging went, here's the video of it.  The man didn't give them any lobs- he was really grilling them for information and process!  

Snow tubing

We went Snow Tubing the other weekend in the Poconos.  Piece of cake drive up there and then three hours of tubing. Tons of fun.

This next picture made me laugh because for anyone who kept up with "Avett, come on out" pictures, this picture is eerily similar to the final one we made (they will all be posted as a separate blog post soon.)
 It was actually us walking through the underground tube under the road to get from the parking lot to the tube area.
 In order to get to the top of the hills, you have to ride up a conveyor belt on a mighty-steep angle, for the first time ever feeling like a piece of food at a grocery store.

 Once we got up there, we all took an individual tube down the first run.
 Then we were headed back up the conveyor belt.
 We sat around on the tubes, allowed to link up to three tubes together at a time.
 An action shot of Muddy linked up to my tube.
 As the sun started to warm things up, the slickness of the snow got more slushy, which made it hard to scoot oneself as easily to get moving.
 Cool action shot of Addie hitting the ledge on the downhill.
 We got to ride double tubes too.
 Muddy was really having fun!
 Look at the wind whipping through her hair and her lift ticket!
 Action shot of Brian.
 This was when all five of us decided to race each other in individual tubes.  That's Brian to the bottom right, and Addie to the left.  I'm clearly already at the bottom, and that tube half-way up the hill is poor Benjamin, who once the snow got slushier  his weight wouldn't take him any further down the hill.
 Eventually he just laid back and gave up.  He had to walk down the hill.
 "Call me Brian, I claim these tubes in the name of tubing."
 Here's another run.
 Looking adorable.
 Waiting for tubes at the conveyor belt.
 I gave Brian a hard time about the fact that I filmed the whole and there were no pictures of me. So he indulged me once, and I had to ham it up!
 Just lounging around.
And our final ride down the hills.  We ultimately let them go down head first (paranoid of trauma, hey I work in the children's hospital, ok?). Look how uncomfortable Ben looks laying there.  We had to scoot him up so his face was closer to the front.
Overall a really fun trip!! We will definitely go again!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

January fun

Just so I don't forget this.  Addie was so incredibly excited about my being named Associate of the Month.  I got the very front parking spot the whole month too.  I have another picture of her hugging the sign! Nothing quite as cool in parent as seeing your own child proud of you.

Valentines Day

Don't think it gets much better than this.  Let's me know they are being raised right.  And seriously, look at my kindergartner's spelling and handwriting.  Really a spectacular find in his backpack.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Wild Cat Award

The first Highlands Hooray Day honored four children from each classroom for demonstrating one of the Highlands characteristics (responsible, courteous, cooperative, respectful).  After those four characteristics are celebrated, the coveted Wild Cat Award is given out- this is for the student in each class who consistently demonstrates all four characteristics.
Surprisingly (or not) both Ben and Addie won the Wild Cat Award for their classes! 
The ceremony happened to be on "pajama day" so it may look a little weird to see them in pjs but that's why!
 Even  Ben's teacher is wearing her pjs.
 He's pretty proud of himself. 

 It was only fitting that amongst the three second grade classes that Addie, Hyltin and Elijah won the award! They were her two best friends from kindergarten and first grade...and we were so sad that they each got put into a different class this year, but as we explained the school wanted to share the wealth that each of them has to offer to other students.
 This picture is a good demonstration of just how petite Addie is for her age. They're standing on the same level.
 Very proud.
As her class came in, she mouthed to me "I won the Wild Cat!" 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Halloween 2012

Halloween this year was a hectic, with Guppy being in the hospital and Hurricane Sandy hitting our area.  The afternoon of the evening Guppy went to the hospital was the neighborhood Halloween parade.
 Muddy had spent several weeks making Addie and Ben's incredible costumes, the Minions from Despicable Me.  Addie threw her a typical curve ball when a week before she said, "muddy aren't you going to make a Gru costume for yourself?"  Of course Muddy did!
 Muddy and her Minions stole the parade show.
 Amazing right?
 This is what they looked like with the tubes off. Ben was quite content to model the mid-driff.
 This is what they looked like with their goggles off.
With Hurricane Sandy hitting when it did, their week of school was almost totally cancelled. That also meant that instead of them having their Halloween parade on Halloween day, it got postponed...which meant they could come the hospital's Costume Contest with me! I wore the Gru costume and my Minions.  We won Most Creative. 
On Halloween night, Aunt Wendy stayed with Guppy at the hospital so Muddy could trick or treat with us.  The entire time around the neighborhood people were stopping to take pictures with them and Muddy! It was hysterical.  I have one picture on my cell phone with them surrounded by 20 kids and their parents!