Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Couple of Big Field Trips

It is the end of the school year and Megan and Emilee have been looking forward to some long awaited field trips.  Emilee is in the fourth grade and learns all about Alabama History and so every year the fourth graders visit Montgomery, AL to visit the capital and other historic sites.  Megan is in sixth grade and finally gets to go to the long awaited NASA Space Camp.

First up......Montgomery, AL
I was able to go with Emilee on this field trip.  I went a couple of years ago with Megan and I was glad to do it again.  It's a fun one to go on.  Long, but fun.  We started at 5 AM and got home around 7 PM.  Emilee was so excited for weeks and weeks.  A few days before, I told her and her friends that at the parent meeting they said the trip had been cancelled due to a freak snow storm in Montgomery.  Let's just say I was a little afraid for my life.  Let me give you some advice.  Don't mess with fourth graders.  They are a little scary when you tease them about such serious things such as a long awaited field trip to Montgomery AL.  Some of the fun things we did, we visited the AL. archives and saw some cool things specific to Alabama.  We visited the Capital, the Civil Rights Museum, and Old Town Alabama.  We even got to ride a riverboat and eat some lunch on the riverboat.  I think the kids liked Old Town the best, at least Emilee did. They take you to different old buildings and have characters dress up as if you were living in that time.  The kids have a huge appreciation for their teacher now because back then, they were not nice.  As you can see, Emilee had an awesome time, though it did take me a few days to recover.

And then.....Space Camp

We moved here when Megan was in second grade.  Back then, Megan was very interested in space and swore she would be the first girl on the moon.  Jeremy had told her all about the NASA Space Camp and had promised that when she was old enough that she could attend.  She had been looking forward to it for some time.  Well, since we live here in Huntsville, AL, many schools participate in sending the students to Space Camp for not as much money as if you would have to pay if you went on your own.  Schools go at different grades, but Horizon goes when you are in sixth grade.  They stay there the whole week and experience it all.  At the end they have a short graduation.  Megan had a great time, didn't like the food much, but had a great time anyways.

We have so much to look forward to in the next couple of months.  So much is going on.  All three kids turn a year older in the month of May, Hunter gets baptized at the end of May, Emilee goes to Globals for DI in Knoxville, TN, Hunter gets to go to Cub Scout Camp, we are driving to Vegas for a family reunion, we have some camping trips planned, and much much more.  It is going to be so busy the next few months, so stay tuned for so much more.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Destination Imagination at UAH

This weekend was Destination Imagination day at UAH (University Alabama Huntsville).  It was the competition against the whole state of Alabama to see what teams would go to Globals and compete against teams from all over the world in Knoxville, TN.  Both Emilee's team and Megan's team were very excited to compete.  It was a long day, but the kids had great fun performing their challenge and doing the instant challenge.  Both teams had great successes.

I am actually the team manager for Emilee's team.  How that happened, well who knows, but it has been an experience , that is for sure.  The name for their team is "Rabid Squirrels".  Weird, I know, but that is fourth graders for you.  Their challenge was a Solar Challenge.  They had to build a prototype of something that could use solar energy and use it in a skit that they created to teach how solar energy can be used.  They had to provide theatrical lighting and it needed to be 8 minutes long.  It didn't have to be realistic though.  They decided to build a solar power rocket car.  In the skit, the kid's took their dad's NASA solar power rocket car and traveled to "Solarpoweria" where solar powered robots taught them how their car worked.  I know, "CRAZY".  It was fun though.  Well, I couldn't believe it, but Emilee's team got first place and because they got first they will be going to Globals in Knoxville, TN at the end of May.  They worked hard and her team has come a long way since the beginning of the year.  I am so proud of them.  I have to admit, I was hoping for second place so we could be done, but now that we got first I am quite excited to go with the team to Globals.
Megan's team is called the "Green Glossy Gummy Bears". They chose a challenge where they had to make up a movie trailer with a soundtrack and the movie trailer had to portray the interaction of characters from at least two Nations.  It had to give an exciting peek into the full movie.   At regional their team had gotten first place.  They did awesome.  At UAH, they went against some tough teams and because they were sixth graders they were put in the middle school division.  Even with all that, they got third, which was really good considering they were going up against some tough teams.  They had about six teams in their division so coming in third was really good.

It was a fantastic day.  A bit exhausting, but it was great.  We are really proud of both Megan and Emilee and we are hoping the best for Emilee's team when they go against the world.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Playing catch-up, yet again.

It seems like lately I am always playing catch-up with the family blog.  At the beginning, I blogged just about anything I could, but I find now that I tend to get busy and I don't think about it.  So I had some time and I decided that I would play catch-up.

First -up, Destination Imagination.  I have talked a bit about Destination Imagination or for short, DI.  It is an after-school activity that involves kids on a team using their imagination to solve various problems or challenges that are given to them.  They have one challenge they work on all year long and then on tournament day they have an instant challenge that they have to do as well.  Both Megan and Emilee are involved with this.  They are on different teams though.  Megan's team is called the Green Glossy Gummy Bears and Emilee's team is called the Rabid Squirrels.  I am actually the team manager over Emilee's team.  Let's just say, it's not my favorite thing, but as teams go, this one has definitely come along way.  Well, they had their first tournament about a month ago.  In the tournament, they take the top three teams in each challenge and grade level and then those teams compete against other teams in the whole state of Alabama.  (Megan and Emilee are not only in different challenges, but they are also in different levels)  Well, Megan's team came in first and Emilee's team came in second.  Both teams were fantastic and worked really hard.

They then go on to compete against the whole state of Alabama, which is this weekend at UAH.  There, they will take the first place team in each challenge and grade level and from there,  they compete against teams around the world in Knoxville, TN at the end of May.  Teams come from US, China, Canada, Korea, England, and many other places. It is quite the experience, but even so, I will be glad when it is over.  It has been very stressful for me.

OK, up next....Davis cousins visit us here in Alabama.  My youngest brother Darin called one day and asked how I felt about them coming to Alabama for a visit.  They wanted to come for their Spring Break which was the week after ours.  We all thought that sounded great.  We did a few things together and then Darin took his wife Betty Jo to the Smokey's for an anniversary trip for a few days while the kids stayed here.  Now let me tell ya, it was quite the adventure while they were gone.  The kids did great, don't get me wrong about that, but I had a little taste of what it would be like with a huge family.  Seven kids all together, Jeremy was gone on TDY for those few days that they were gone and at night time, I was very tired.  Just dinner time itself was exhausting.  I have to give all you guys with big families props.  You are fantastic.  Since my kids were at school in the day time, I tried to keep Darin's kids busy until mine got home.  We went to the Space and Rocket Center (though Darin was still here with that), took them to the Children's Museum, Kid's Kingdom a couple of times, and Constitution Village.  I think they had fun.  When Darin got back he made us all a great dinner in which I really need to call and get the recipe for.  He started it the night before in the crock pot and it cooked all day long the next day.  It was very good.
Before Darin and Betty Jo left, we took them to Green Mountain Lake and walked around the trails.  As you can see, it happened to be St. Patrick's day which is why everyone seems to dressed in green.  Jeremy then took Hunter and Darin and his son Trevor to a Monster Truck show that night, while I took Betty Jo and  her three girls to Bridge Street to eat ice cream and enjoy some of the music being played down there.  I think we all had a great time.

I guess that brings us to Easter.  Not much to tell about Easter.  The bunny definitely came.  I had to get a few things the evening before and I had to laugh because when I got home, the kids were in bed and I found this note out with some carrots and ranch for the Easter Bunny.  Easter morning, they were gone except for one carrot.  Go figure.  Emilee was very excited about that.  The kids woke up early of course, the Easter Bunny had left them an Easter Egg Hunt in the living room and family  room.  They found all their eggs with prizes inside.  We all got ready for church in our new Easter clothes and when we got home, we had a great Easter dinner.  It was a very nice relaxing day.

I believe that brings us to now.  Our next DI tournament is this weekend, the days are beautiful so we might have some camping going on and soon, birthdays are coming yet again.  If you remember all three kids in the same week, plus Hunter turns eight this year, so that means a baptism as well.  We have some busy times coming up and hopefully I won't have to play catch-up too much.