Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pinewood Derby Dash

The Pinewood Derby is one of those scouting rites of passage that all of our boys have gleefully anticipated. This year was no exception as Rex had his first and Bowen his third. There are always the weeks leading up to the races in which the boys debate about what will be the best design for a speedy car. They also take great care in choosing the color of their mighty racer. The common thread year after year has been Theo. He always shares in the enthusiasm of all the planning. He guides. He suggests. He encourages. I love watching the process unfold over hours and hours of cutting, sanding, more cutting and sanding, chiseling, painting, hammering, drilling, and gluing.

The derby was put on this year by the Amarillo Stake. This includes the four wards that are in Amarillo, but also many smaller wards and branches from around the Texas panhandle. Some families came from as far as two hours away to race with our local kids. There were a total of 32 cars that raced, and it was a morning filled with excitement. Rex finished in a very respectable 11th place and Bowen was 5th. Two more cars for the history books.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Touring Texas

This spring break was kind of a last minute affair for our us. Theo and I had talked a little bit about what we would do over the break. This is actually going to be the last time Theo is off school at the same time as the kids until Christmas (boo). Of course, I had all kinds of ideas about what we ought to do. Many of those ideas included things like digging up half the grass in our backyard in order to put in a vegetable garden, or landscaping in the front yard. We could've been scraping our popcorn ceilings, or painting the boys' bathroom. You get the idea.

I also had some grand designs to travel.

Sadly, none of our family or friends had the same week of spring break that we did, so a trip to visit was out. We started looking at what kinds of places were not too far from Amarillo. We are hoping to see more of this great state during our tenure here. Just in case you have never looked closely at a Texas map, it is a HUGE state, and everything is really really far apart! Not to mention, Amarillo is kind of in the middle of nowhere (kind of like Page, is there a pattern here?).

In the week leading up to spring break, Theo had a slew of big midterm tests, so he was essentially MIA in our own home. So, I took the proverbial Texas longhorn bull by the horns and went into planning mode (one of my favorite modes of all). I landed on the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. This is about 5ish hours away, and being a very large metropolitan area has lots to do. In my internet browsing, I discovered that Six Flags was open for one week only, the very week of our spring break! OK, one big draw. I found lots of other fun things for us to do in a variety of price ranges, and some hotels to boot. I was armed with information galore.

On the Friday that kicked off spring break, Theo had his biggest test yet, pharmacology, not his fave. I had avoided bothering him at all costs as he feverishly prepared for this monster test. That afternoon, he finished the exam, and we went out to lunch as a sort of sigh of relief/nice to see you for the first time in a long while kind of date. Theo was clearly relieved to have that hurdle behind him, and so we were then able to get down to brass tacks and decide once and for all what we would be doing for the next several days. I made my case for our little mini-vacation, and victory, Theo was on board. (Timing can be everything).

Sunday after church, we jumped in the car and headed south. We arrived at our hotel just in time to enjoy some cookies from the lobby, watch a little TV, and hit the hay. Monday was our big Six Flags day. This was going to be the first time our kids had really gone to a big amusement park (other than Disneyland), with really big rides. It worked out great with me and the youngers taking it more easy while the olders and dad hit all the scariest thrill rides (yes they did the one pictured above, the Batman). This is also the first time we have done an amusement park with the benefit of multiple cell phones. How nice to text and keep track of each other with such minimal effort! The weather was perfect, warm, not too hot, sunny with a gentle breeze, perfect! We got to the park right as it opened which enabled us to ride tons of rides with minimal waiting. By the time the lines got really long in the afternoon, the kids were done thrill seeking. Here are a few snaps from Six Flags day.
Ready to Ride!

Bo takes us for a drive

Crazy brothers

Say cheese

Waiting in line

I'm tall enough!

Me and my sweetie

Give me a bite!

Spring Break!

On Tuesday, we had a few different options for the kids, and they ultimately settled on going to the Dallas World Aquarium (I may have used some of my persuasive powers on this one). Most of my boys really love to read non-fiction stuff, and a lot of it is stuff about animals. Rex has been especially into this kind of thing lately and was so excited to see a "real live shark"!

We made a big effort to get there very close to the time it opened which turned out to be a  very smart move. The place was busy, but we got right in and were able to see everything with no waiting. It was awesome! There were tons of cool exhibits and animals. My favorite part was Rex acting as tour guide. I was astonished by the sheer volume of information that kid had. He knew more about the animals than I ever would have dreamed! It was amazing!

Did you see that?!


Lovin it

Meet you on Corbin St.

After taking in the sites at the aquarium, we headed out. After a long stop at an outlet mall and lots of driving, we got home on Tuesday night, tired and happy. This was a fantastic foray into the heart of Texas!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bringing our Traditions to Texas- Blue and Gold

This week, it was time again for the Blue and Gold Banquet. In Page, one of our traditions was to have the boys and their dads participate in a cake decorating contest. This was something we have always enjoyed. Since I am now the Cub Committee chair, I have some sway over the big activities. I told our leaders about the cakes, and they liked the idea.

I was a little worried as we planned and prepared for this event. Our pack meetings have not been well attended since we have been here. I really wanted to get lots of families out. All of the den leaders really pulled together to do their part, and we had all of our regular scouts come out along with their families. It was awesome! The theme was Resourcefulness, and there were a total of 11 cakes to be judged. We had some good eatin when it was all said and done.

Happy Birthday to the Cub Scout program!
Rex and his recycle bin, complete with worms and pop bottles

Bowen loves baseball

Look close and you will see the pool of blood a plastic soldier was laying in

a compost heap and an oil slick

classic Blue and Gold

A cozy Campfire

a gourmet raspberry delight, I have a feeling there was a mom involved here

Swiss Army and a fisherman