Well, we made it through the weekend without childbirth and all the children got to all the activities planned. Friday morning was a lot of fun. We were able to go to our riding lesson but we were short a couple of our volunteers so our instructor decided to have the kids vault. They haven't done it in a long time and I don't think David or JM had ever tried it before. Too bad the camera was packed in my hospital bag because David was loads of fun to watch. He got up on that big tall horse in a frog and flapped his little butterfly wings and laid all the way back across his horse. It was great. The rest of them did really well too but it was especially fun to see David really trying all the tricks for the first time.
Friday night was the premiere performance of Grease for which JT ran the light board. That's a particularly neat thing for Tad and I since our courtship happened within the world of Bucknell technical theater. We have many, many memories of light hangs, scene constructions, headset chatter, crewing shows, strikes (where Tad really learned what I'm made of!) and now we have Ben with a passion to act and JT quickly falling in love with the technical aspects of theater. Tad and Ben were able to see the play on Friday night and I got a chance to go to it on Sunday afternoon. We all thought JT did a stellar job (I've never before seen an 11 yo who could run a light board of any size) and the play turned out quite good as well in spite of the length and breadth of the project.
Saturday morning Ben and Tad got up for Ben's 3rd Baseball tournament game. The Yankees have had a fantastic season, losing only 2 games (and in their defense they were down to 6 players for one of those losses..). They are doing quite well so far in the tournament also with 2 wins and 1 loss. Ben is really beginning to look like a seasoned player. He is fun to watch because he loves to play the game. He's not at all interested in pro ball, following player stats or even watching a game. He just loves the feel of a bat in his hand and the excitement of being on the field. He's become quite a dependable batter and he stays awake in the outfield. His skill this season won him a slot in the All Star game for his league - quite an honor since he was voted there by his peers and their parents.
The afternoon brought the Great Lego Boat Race. Our local lego guru, homeschooling dad and coach of several award winning competitive lego teams, Marco hosts a lego boat race each year in his swimming pool. Last year was the first time entering for JT and Ben and this year they talked their friends Patrick and Emory into joining them in the fun. JT and Emory are the mechanical-minded ones of the bunch and they worked for an afternoon coming up with their boat, which had to be made out of legos, had to mobilize itself across the pool and could not have any non-lego parts above the water.
Being the more artistic of the bunch, Ben knew he and Patrick would not do well with the logistics of getting a boat to move so he decided to put a different lego skill into play in the competition. They created a stop motion animation film of a lego boat swimming merrily across a lego pool with a little lego Mr. Marco cheering them on and announcing them the winners. They knew it would probably disqualify them from the contest but it was worth the laugh for them and much more fun to do than figure out the physics involved.JT was disappointed that their boat capsized in the water before it could really take off. He had spent a long time trying to get it balanced just right but he and Emory did take home a certificate for Best Looking Boat. It turned out Marco was quite impressed with Ben's and Patrick's project and allowed them to enter the movie as a "digital entry". He did ask Ben to put the model boat in the pool just to be part of the crowd. He was so impressed that he dedicated a page of his website to the movie which you can watch ( a bit pixillated) by going here. They earned a certificate for the Lightest Boat and a participation certificate. There are more pictures of the event here.
While it would have been nice to stay and picnic, the crew was on to the next thing for the evening immediately after the judging of the boats. JT went off for the 2nd performance of Grease while the rest of us grabbed our bag of peanuts and headed to the local community college to watch Ben play in the All Star game. That was great fun as the college has a nice facility complete with electronic scoreboard, sound system, real dug outs and LIGHTS. Ben was playing on the American League team and his team was the first to line up on the field. Ben got to run out with his teammates, onto the lighted field, while the announcer called his name over the loudspeaker. He did manage an at-bat with a single to first and on to home before the game was called due to lightning. The American League was ahead 2-1 as we all headed home, hoping for a rain check on the evening's game.
Sunday was supposed to be the day for Ruth and Betsy to have a tball game but due to the heat index that was canceled. That's probably a good thing since Ruth wouldn't have been able to play anyway - heat and sickle cell disease are not a good pairing. That freed me up to see Grease and Tad to have a little time to chill out after running hither and yon up to that point. It was a great weekend and I'm sort of glad Tali decided to hold off her delivery so I could enjoy at least some of the children's accomplishments as well.