Sunday, May 30, 2010

Inventor's Program

The second grade has a huge end of the year project. Each kid is responsible for a different inventor and they need to research, write a report, create a tri-fold display, create props, learn lines for a program and have a costume. Really it is a lot for the end of the year. Harrison was Jacques Montgolfier, one of the brothers who invented the hot air balloon. Let me tell you this may have been one of the most frustrating projects I have encountered. First of all since Jacques has a brother there were two kids working on pretty much identical projects. Originally Harrison wanted to make a prop balloon that looked like the original. I can do that, we hauled out the plaster casting stuff and got to work. But then the other kid says his balloon is going to fly, so yes now Harrison wanted his prop hot air balloon to fly. Plaster does not fly. But it still sounds simple right? How hard could it be to make a balloon float? It is really really hard. Especially when you have a kid who really wants it to fly AND look like it is supposed to look. I suppose I was giving helium way too much credit. One layer of tissue paper? Too heavy. I would add something to the balloon and wait for it to dry, paint, glue etc all weigh more when they are wet. And we needed to last at least 24 hours. It became a little ridiculous. I have never willed something to float so hard in my life. We ended up with a floating painted balloon (fortified with hi-float for extra time) after very slowly and carefully adding painted details one by one to see how much paint it could handle and still float(not much is the answer) and trimming centimeter by centimeter of ribbon until it lifted. And while this was going on he wrote a really nice research paper and learned his lines. He also was front and center for the "Robot Dance" which he was really proud of, he is a good robot. Here are some pictures, a video of his lines and a video of the dance. Pardon the shaking, I am not great with video yet.

And just for added fun I forgot to have him try on his black pants that he got in December until a few hours before the show. I don't exactly know why I thought they would fit but they were about 2 inches too short. So in the midst of the balloon insanity I was tearing out the hem of his pants hoping they would reach his shoes. It's a wonder we ever have it together!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Avery and the Hawaiian Dress

My mom and dad just got back from a trip to Hawaii and sent Avery this dress... many other fantastic thing - don't even get me started on my amazing shampoo - but this dress has been worn three days in a row.  And yes I had to paint her face to match.

Tom and Dan came to play

Tom and Dan made an extra long weekend trip - the kids are always thrilled to see their uncles.

We did the beach!
And ice-cream - and yes this was the closest to them smiling I have
And they were just in time to see the new sign out front (which the kids loved - me not quite as much because now I feel like I HAVE to pick up leaves and mow on time)
A lot of this went on

And I finally got around to getting the pool up