Monday, June 30, 2014

June 2014 videos

7 years + 8 months

Emily has spent a LOT of time this month working in her store in the basement called 21st Century Inventions.  Her main product has been toilet paper tube dolls.  She has also done foons (a fork/spoon combo), paper purses and whatever else she came up with that day with the materials she found.  Lincoln has been her main customer.  She also tried to hire him as her employee, but that didn't work out the greatest.  Emily definitely has talent in product development, but could use some more training in marketing, finance and HR. ;)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sturgis Falls half marathon

For the fourth straight year, Austin ran the Sturgis Falls half marathon.  The route was again changed due to flooding.  It was also quite humid and was raining as he finished.  Despite the adverse weather conditions and his ear buds not working the whole time (a critical component of his running with motivational music and audible split times), he posted another PR of 1:36.27, which was 22nd overall and 3rd in his age group.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

National Jr. High Rodeo Finals

My cousin, Jory Boote, is a 6th grader from Binford, North Dakota.  He qualified in two events for the National Junior High Rodeo Finals that were held at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.  We couldn't pass up the rare opportunity to see him compete at the biggest event of the year!

Emily & I joined several other family members to cheer him on in the ribbon roping event.  This is a co-ed partner event where the first person (usually the boy) ropes a calf running out of the chute.  Then the second person (usually the girl) has to grab a piece of the ribbon tied to the calf's tail and run back to the start line.  After missing the calf the day before, we saw Jory and his partner, Hannah, post a great time of 9.79 seconds tonight.  It was the 5th fastest time of the round.  Below is a video of his run.

Emily & I stopped to congratulate Jory and see his horse, Nacho, before we left.

Storytime at the Arboretum

I had been wanting to take the kids to story time at the Cedar Valley Arboretum for a long time.  We arrived too late for the actual story, but took part in many of the other fun activities the children's area has to offer.
The highlight for Lincoln was definitely the train garden.  Today they had a Thomas engine pulling the train.  Lincoln joined right in with the volunteer engineers trying to diagnose a problem. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fireflies & puzzle balls

Lincoln has been begging to chase fireflies, so we went out after bath time tonight.  He was a master bug catcher--even with just his bare hands!

Emily was enthralled with the puzzle ball she received as a prize from the library summer reading program.  After taking 2 hours to solve it the first time, she had it down to 30 seconds.

My birthday

I had a pretty great birthday this year.  It started with a pedicure in the morning.  While I was gone, the kids decorated. 
Then I got to open my presents from the kids.  I received a pencil, a bookmark, two fridge magnets, two paper tube dolls and a nice card from Emily that contained two quarters and a gift certificate for $100 to her store, 21st Century Inventions.  I did feel special! :)

Except that it was my 34th birthday. :)


Lincoln was very excited to participate in T-ball this year.  We chose to do the program at Wartburg rather than the Shell Rock league Emily had done in the past.  The Wartburg program was in the mornings and focused more on learning skills rather than just games.  There were so many little boys registered they decided to add another session.  We took advantage and Lincoln was in a group of about eight kids with two coaches, so he got a lot of one-on-one attention.

There was definitely improvement in Lincoln's throw and swing.  However, Lincoln is still Lincoln, so he spent more time chattering and looking around than concentrating on the task at hand.  The 4-on-4 scrimmages were pretty funny to watch.  The last two games Lincoln decided he just wanted to walk the bases instead of running each time.  So he did--until he heard Austin yelling at him to get going!  When he was playing first base, it took four batters before the first base coach convinced him that he didn't need to chase every single ball out into right field and scuffle with the right fielder for the ball.  During batting practice one day he was so excited he actually hit the ball instead of the tee, he jumped up and down saying, "I scored a point!  I win!"  (see video)  It was a fun experience for Lincoln, and he's looking forward to doing it again.  Below are some picture highlights with captions.
Fielding practice

Batting practice

Base running

First baseman

"Throw it to me, guys!"

"Infield ready?"

"I got it!"

"This dirt is pretty cool"

Thursday, June 19, 2014

VBS at Grace Baptist

The kids attended VBS at Grace Baptist Church in Waverly.  I volunteered to be on the planning team and helped with "busy activities" between the family meal and the start of the programming.  It was a lot of fun to share some of our favorite toys with 45 kids!

The Grace Baptist team did an amazing job of putting together a completely original curriculum called "The Incredible Journey" based on Little Pilgrim's Progress, which is a children's adaptation of John Bunyan's famous Pilgrim's Progress.  In preparation, we had been reading the book as family devotions.  Emily & Lincoln loved it and couldn't wait to go to VBS! The programming included worship dance songs, a narrated mime of the story and smaller groups of age-appropriate activities with a workbook and crafts.  The decorations around the church were amazing and all handmade especially for VBS.

During the week, the kids were challenged to memorize Isaiah 12:2 using hand actions. 
“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”   (NASB)
The deal was if they could recite it on the last night they could squirt the "bad guys" from the mime story with water guns.  Both Emily & Lincoln practiced and knew it by heart.  Unfortunately, it was raining the last night.  Fortunately, it was a Baptist church, so they went with Plan B and had the kids squirt the characters in the baptismal pool.  The kids LOVED it!

Because of time and age constraints, the programming only covered the story through Christian's arrival at Vanity Fair and then jumped to entering the Celestial City.  It was a beautiful gospel message!  When reading the book to the kids, we had to do a little bit of ad-lib editing since there are still some scary, violent parts of the story that may not be appropriate for younger kids.  However, we look forward to reading it together again and remembering the fun time we had at VBS!

5 years + 1 month

Lincoln is loving summer and spending time outside.  He's already had his fair share of skinned knees and bruised shins. :(

Lincoln's drawing skills thus far have been mostly limited to circle people with stick arms and legs and maybe circle eyes.  Imagine my surprise when he asked me to come out and look at his sidewalk chalk drawing. 

He calmly explained that it was a picture of a Ninja Turtle.  This is even more amazing because we have absolutely no Ninja Turtles in our house, never talk about Ninja Turtles and have never watched Ninja Turtles.  He must have remembered someone bringing something to preschool in the sharing bag.  Regardless, it's a pretty impressive step forward in his art skills!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

4-H Day Camp

Emily was able to attend a 4-H Day Camp at the fairgrounds with a Science Experiments theme. She had a great time and came home with all kinds of cool stuff!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Camp Invention

This week Emily had the awesome opportunity to attend Camp Invention at the WSR Middle School.  Camp Invention is a national program backed by the National Inventors Hall of Fame promoting STEM activities for elementary age kids.  It was five days from 9:00am-3:00pm.  It's no surprise that Emily LOVED it!  She was so excited to show us all of her inventions and prototypes at the end of the week.

Money ramp


Bionic hand
Paper shoes with a reinforced heel (washer covered in duct tape)
Kleenex shoes made at home

Emily won the Best Design award in her age group for her battery-operated car.  Everyone got a kit and tested different designs.  Emily made more modifications at home.  She preferred the spinning fan version over the rubber band axle version.
Dream launcher

On the first day the kids got to take apart an electronic device brought from home to observe what was inside.  Emily ended up needing the help of a sledge hammer to get inside her CD player (see above)!  Then the kids took components from their devices and other "invention material" to create pinball machines with a bug theme.  Emily won the drawing to be able to take her group's machine home.  It actually worked!

Pinbug machines by other groups
Camp Counselor Jamie
WSR Camp Invention 2014

We are so thankful for this amazing opportunity.  Emily can't wait to go back next year!  Below is a video with highlights and demonstrations.