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Monday, February 28th, 2011.  It will take me a few days to catch up with everything that happened over the weekend, but in summary, it was simply awesome.  One of the best ever.  It all started Saturday morning with the Boy Scouts of America Dogwood District Pinewood Derby.  I was a little nervous about Ben taking his car to the district race, but I felt that it was competitive enough to give the district race a shot.  Mostly because it would give Ben a few more chances to run his car.  And you never know, maybe he would win the trophy that he wanted so bad.  Ben did not loose a race.  He was ecstatic.  Bullet Bill went undefeated through the entire competition and Ben brought home a beautiful shiny 1st Place trophy of which he is terribly, terribly proud. What a fun, exciting experience.  One that I am sure he will remember it for a very long time.  More photos on our Derby Page.


Monday, February 21st, 2011.  We had another busy, fun weekend.  On Friday night, Ben came home from the Jones' Winter Carnival with a goldfish named Patrick.  We spent Saturday working in the yard, washing the car, throwing baseball and playing basketball.  That night we settled in to watch the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest, although Amy and Ben dozed off before it started.  On Sunday, we visited my grandmother.  Ben rode with Papa to feed the llama and cows at the Moorefield Place, Jackson and I went for a hike with his bb gun and did a little target practice and Amy checked out Papa's new baby calves. 

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011. Today's photos are of our friend Brett's sweet little sister Sammi, who spent a day with Amy last week, Ben on Scout Sunday and a really fun birthday party that Ben attended on Saturday for his buds Peter and Martin.  And one last update on Ben's Pinewood Derby, according to the software that communicates with the track timer, out of the 34 registered racers, Ben had the 6th fastest car.  Way to go Ben!

Monday, February 14th, 2011.  I wish every weekend could go as smoothly as this past one.  We started it on Friday with Ben's 1st Pinewood Derby race.  I was so worried that he would not win a race, especially since he would be competing with boys all the way up to 10 years old.  But my worries were unfounded as Ben's little Bullet Bill car turned out to be pretty smoking fast.  That's right, he raced the car that he almost totally designed himself and built himself.  It was just as fast, if not a little faster, than our Lightning car, so I let Ben pick which car he wanted to run.  He chose Bullet Bill.  Ben won his first four races before getting beat by last year's champion and the car that went undefeated to become this year's champion.  He actually won a race against last year's champ earlier in the evening, but was beaten by a hair in their second match up.  His loss to this year's champ was, in my opinion, that car's closest race,  so I think Ben had a very competitive car, one of the fastest for sure.  And I would be lying to you if I told you I knew how or why.  I was so worried about that car being slow that I built two more, which shows exactly how much I know.  It was a really fun evening.  Click here  to watch Bullet Bill in action.  And I have many more photos here.  Besides the derby, we also had a basketball game, a super fun birthday party, kite flying, baseball and a trip to the pool.  We delivered Valentine's Day cards at a nearby retirement home, cooked out and had a family movie night. On Saturday night, Deana and Martin took the boys to the circus, which gave Amy and I the night to ourselves, which was a very welcome treat.  It was just a really, really nice weekend that led into today, Monday, which is also Valentine's Day.  Amy started the holiday with heart shaped strawberry pancakes and Ben gave us all the Valentine he made at school.  The kids got their traditional boxes of chocolate and it was off to work and the office.  This afternoon Amy took the kids to my parents to deliver their presents and tonight Amy made a wonderful Valentine's Day dinner. 


Thursday, February 10th, 2011.  We finally finished two of Ben's three pinewood derby cars last night.  Bullet Bill #1 and Lightning.  Click here for a 3 minute video of Ben and I building the cars.  It's a cool video.  I suspect that Lightning will be the car he uses for the races, although I think he liked the idea of running a Bullet Bill a little more.  It took us exactly three weeks and I would say that we did at least a little work on the cars every day.  There was a lot of steps that I had to do, but Ben was heavily involved in most of the process.  Aesthetically, he is solely responsible for how each car looks.  I am a big fan of his idea of a silver car with gold lightning bolts and stripes.  Our neighbors, Mark and Jack, came over last night to show us how to grind and polish the axles.  Tonight we weigh the cars on the official scales, then race them tomorrow night at First Baptist Church.  Other exciting events this week include Ben's Teddy Bear sleep over at school.  Definitely a highlight of 1st grade.  And on the negative front, Jackson is home sick today.  He is the first in the family to get sick this year and has been running a fever/feeling yucky since yesterday afternoon.  He felt bad enough to put himself to bed before dinner. 

Monday, February 7th, 2011.  There were a lot of wonderful parts to the weekend.  Amy and I, for the first time in our 10 years as parents, hired a sitter for the boys, which allowed us to enjoy a nice Thai dinner alone.  On Saturday, for the first time in almost a year, I made it to Wilson Creek for a little low flow paddling (photos and trip report here).  Ben and I continued to work on his Pinewood Derby car (I should really say cars since we are now have three of them in the works, plus a fourth for Jackson).  We melted lead to go in car number three, which was probably the most exciting step yet.  The weather was nice yesterday, so both boys were able to spend time outside shooting basketball.  Friends Jeff, Steve and Lee came over to watch the Super Bowl and Amy supplied us all with wonderful snacks, including a made from scratch, delicious enchilada casserole.  Which only leaves the outcome of the game as the one thing I would have changed.  Still love my Steelers though. 

Friday, February 4th, 2011.  Ben and I started working on his pinewood derby car two weeks ago.  After several of what we will call learning experiences, we are now on car number three.  Lots of sanding, chiseling, painting, sawing.  Even lead melting.  Ben is having fun along the way, only in small short bursts.  He works a little on the cars each evening, but quickly moves on to something else.  Something else we do a lot of these days is play ping pong.  Here is a clip of Jackson and I playing last night.  Ping Pong (7MBs)  Jackson's basketball team is now 6-1 with a guaranteed share of 1st place in the regular season.  They have one final game to play next week before the tournament starts.  The photos from his last game are courtesy of Deana.