Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Olivia's birthday...

It was awhile ago but we did have so much fun celebrating Olivia's birthday here at our house. We had the whole family over and it was great seeing her face light up as she opened up packages of American Girl clothes & accessories for her doll, Kit. She also loved receiving lots of fun new spring/summer clothes for her personal wardrobe. She is a sweet, happy, bright, witty young girl and we loved getting to spoil and celebrate her. Happy birthday Olivia!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Science Fair...

Adam's school does a Science Fair each year as part of their STEAM night. Adam asked us if he could participate this year - yes, it's voluntary, and yes, he begged to do it - who is this kid?! As a family we had several meetings to discuss project ideas - and yes, they were meetings and yes, Adam would call for them to take place after dinner - in the family room - this was very serious business. 

The idea we all finally landed on was "How to Build a Better Campfire - Which Homemade Fire Starter Burns the Hottest." Since camping is such a big thing for our family it seemed like a great topic and while I'll admit I was a bit worried how the whole "playing with fire" bit would come across in a school setting - it turns out his project was a huge hit at school and everyone was coming by saying they'd heard about a really cool campfire project (phew!) 

Adam made a series of homemade fire starters using dryer lint, twigs, and bacon grease. We then tested the temperature of the fire before adding them, 30 seconds after adding them and again at the 2 minute mark. Adam used a really cool infrared thermometer to take his readings - allowing him to be at a safe distance from the fire - safety first right?! 

Adam then had to put a poster board together and while we obviously helped he did so much of the work - cutting out the stars, making the campfire decoration, and gluing everything onto the board. 

The night of the Science Fair I couldn't have been prouder of Adam. He stood by his project explaining his hypothesis, testing method and results to all the people that stopped by. He even got filmed and was included in a video about the STEAM Night (see here at the 1:12 mark). Best of all, the Principal, Mr. Wolf, stopped by and listened to Adam explain his project and asked some really great follow up questions - including "Aside from the results of your project what's something else you learned in doing this?" To which Adam responded without missing a beat "That there's always more than one way of doing things." Spot on Adam!!! 

So proud of our little scholar and we can only imagine what bright things are in store for him!

Adam earns his Green Belt...

Adam continues to make great progress with his Tai Kwon Do. He recently earned his green belt and it was the toughest challenge yet. For this graduation his form was a 12 part series of nun-chuck moves. It was a lot to remember but he rocked it - of course. He also had to do a 1-step with a partner - basically the beginnings of learning self defense. For his board breaking this time instead of doing it with a kick he had to use his hand - he nailed it on the first try! Great job Adam! 

He's accumulating quite a collection of belts - and his brother is anxious to follow in his footsteps. Next up - Purple belt! 


This spring Adam decided he wanted to give soccer another try. We all agreed it would be a good sport to get back into and after Adam's first practice he excitedly decreed "I'm going to LOVE soccer!" 

He played for Germany and was happy to have one of his best friends from his class, Zaym on his team. Adam had a great attitude about the sport and worked hard at all of the practices - even the voluntary skills sessions they held for the whole league on Tuesday nights. He learned a lot about the sport and even asked if he could try out for club soccer. We were so proud of him for putting himself out there for two 90 minute try-outs with kids who had all been playing together for at least a few seasons and while he didn't make the team he even agreed it was a good experience and he'll try again when he's 10 - his words. 

He did score a goal in one of his games though and was so excited and proud of himself. He was even more excited when he learned that a scored goal in a game meant Sweet Frog as a reward!! Score - times two! 

As a soccer mom I found the sport to be a lot more interesting than I thought it was going to be and the more I learned about the game the more into it I got. Of course one downside to soccer is that they don't care if it's raining - the show goes on and you get wet. Oh the things we do for our kiddos! 

Of course Harper was his biggest fan - though he mostly ate snacks and ran around - but I swear he was still cheering on his big brother. 

The season is over but Adam is already looking forward to playing again in the fall. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Spring Break: Easter...

We spent Easter at the Williamsburg KOA last year and had such a wonderful time that it was easy to make the decision to stay there once again this year. They do such a great job of providing fun activities throughout the weekend to add that special something to the holiday. 

The first item on the agenda was a visit from the Easter Bunny - of course as we learned last year she's really just a weird female bunny rabbit who is a bit odd if we're being honest. Adam was still excited - sort of - to get a balloon animal from her - he opted for a Pirate's Parrot and it was cute - but honestly, she's a bit scary. Needless to say - Harper kept his distance. :) 

Also on the agenda was the petting zoo. The kids had a great time with this. Harper was in awe of the animals and enjoyed kissing on them and petting them. Of course Adam was also intrigued and had fun watching his little brother partake in the fun. They also got to see the real "Easter Bunny." (or was it?) 

Happily since they met with the real Easter Bunny on Saturday he knew where to find them on Easter morning. The boys had such great baskets waiting for them filled with all kinds of treasures. Adam was most excited about the DVD copy of "Rogue One" and Harper was thrilled to find bubbles and fruit pouches (ok, Harper was thrilled with all of the colorful goodness.) Regardless, it was a happy Easter morning and we were thrilled that the Easter Bunny decided to gift Adam with a box of donuts as they made the perfect breakfast before we headed out for our third day of Busch Gardens fun! 

Busch Gardens on Easter is a hidden gem and while the drizzly weather from last year kept even more crowds away we still found the crowds on Easter Sunday to be minimal allowing for even more consecutive runs on the Loch Ness Monster, a father/son ride on the Autobahn roller coaster, and more fun rides for Harper to enjoy - that is before he fell asleep again. :) 

After a long day of fun at Busch Gardens we all got cleaned up and went for a nice Easter dinner at Bone Fish. We followed the up with an Easter Egg hunt around the camp site. Harper was loving ever moment of it and did a great job of finding eggs that his big brother was kind enough to leave behind. 

It was another memorable Easter weekend!