Sunday Stealing: The (Still Not) Pretentious Blog Meme Part 2
First Finished Object Of 2010

A Little Of The Up, A Little Of The Down


On Friday night, the Littles watched a movie (we're doing a LOT of that since canceling cable, and they've about gotten the scripts memorized for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and G-Force), so Chloë decided to work on the Valentine's craft kit that her grandmother sent. She was all gung-ho about it, carefully deciding who was on her list to get a Valentine, so she was highly annoyed whenever Jack or Sophia would pop over and want to make a heart, too! I kept having to remind her that Grandma sent the kit for all three of them and not just for her. She didn't like that. Hee.


She had a good time sticking on glittery hearts. It wasn't until the next night (or maybe Sunday morning, I forget) that I let her crack open the silver glitter glue that came with it, so this is an unfinished masterpiece.


At bedtime, instead of having me read them a story, the kids wanted to listen to Grandma "read" their new book she recorded. They absolutely love it; I am always hearing it going off, somewhere around the house. And they recite it from memory a lot, too. They love the part where she gets LOUD, and they love the parts where she says their names. This is an excellent gift! 

I couldn't sleep yet again that night, so I stayed up all night, fooling around with this and that. I did a lot of knitting on the kimono and am almost-but-not-quite finished. I'm hoping I WILL finish, but the yarn situation is getting kind of iffy. I'm going to end up with, like, a yard left. I watched the indie movie Bella on Netflix instant play on my computer while I knitted, and I cried my eyes out. Good movie; watch it.

If you have any recommendations for me for instant play on Netflix, let me hear 'em! I think I'm going to be doing a lot of sitting here, watching that and knitting or crocheting, now that the TV is gone. Especially since it's perceptibly much colder to go down the two steps into our living room to watch DVDs there.

I finally went to sleep at something like 0700, only to have Rob wake me up at 0900 and tell me that it was time to go to Jack's Pinewood Derby! I hadn't forgotten, but I was hoping that couple of hours of sleep would feel more like eight. It didn't.

I didn't have time to shower, so I just threw on my coat and went with the family to the church down the road where the Derby was taking place. It's where they have their den meetings, too. Anyway, when Rob told me later that I was a little stinky, I wasn't too offended. (Never fear, I have since showered.)


Being in the military, of course Rob is a stickler for making sure Jack's uniform is just right. He's always telling me who isn't wearing this or that correctly. 


There was a lot of checking and double-checking that the track was running properly, before the den races began. Having grown up with all girls, and no brothers, I had no idea what to expect from the track, the race, or any of it. I knew he had a fast car, though, so I was excited! And have I mentioned how proud I am of my husband for knowing how to make such a fast car? Mama didn't raise no foo'.


 After the Color Guard did the colors and we said the Pledge of Allegiance - you know, because all Boy Scouts events and activities start with that (as do the Girls) - it was time for the Tiger Den to race! Jack's up there in the blue lane. Each car raced in each of the six lanes to account for one lane running fast or slow, and then the lowest score was dropped for each car. Start your engines! (The boys had to shout that for each heat, and Jack nearly lost his voice, he yelled so loud!)


As the cars sped through the finish line, the blue lane (Jack) was the fastest! Repeat that through all the heats, and Jack won every time!  We had a little speed demon on our hands.


Jeff, the Pack Leader, called out which cars were on which track before each heat. He was very careful to run a tight race; everything was well-organized and well-planned. A very exciting six hours at the church!


Kind of hard to see up there, as he's in the purple-on-black, but this is a pic of Jack taking first in yet another heat!


There was a lot of downtime, and the girls had no interest in watching when Jack's Tiger Den wasn't racing, so it was a smart thing that there were game rooms and a craft room set up during the races. Of course, my crafty little Chloë was all over that like white on rice. She stayed there for most of the day and made friends with the older girls who, fortunately, seemed amused by her and not annoyed. You never know.


(Gah, that mouth! Those teeth! I can't wait until they're all grown in...) She was so pleased that she figured out how to do this square-stitch sinnet (or whatever you want to call it, I've heard a half-dozen different things). I had never learned to do it before, myself, so I picked up one and worked on it for much of the day, too. Jack laid claim the first one I made, for his backpack, so now I'm working on a second. I tried to do it the spiral way, but it just wouldn't go for me!


Sophia tried to learn how to do it, too, but she just wasn't ready yet. They also had switchplate crafts there, where the kids could glue on googly eyes, use Sharpies, and glow-in-the-dark paint to make silly plates for their light switches. That was more her speed, and she made two. The second one was covered in differently sized googly eyes, and she calls it "My Monster." Both Jack and Chloë made one, too. Funny, I haven't gotten any pictures of those... and now Chloë's is ruined.


Oh, I forgot I had this pic. Here's Jack making his switchplate while the older boys raced their cars.

At noon or so, we broke for lunch. They had sandwiches on croissants, chips, soda/water/juice, fruit salad, and cookies. These Scouts don't mess around, they really put on a spread! We Girl Scouts only wish we had the budget the Boys have! (The Girl Scouts seem to be a bit more apathetic about fundraising, though, at least the ones I'm involved with...)




Of course, all the kids had to stick their heads through the Derby display where Jeff was taking pictures of all the boys. Sophia's eyes are wide set, but they look really far apart to me in this instance!


Before the Pack races for the top 1 and 2 finishers in each Den, Jeff awarded the Den trophies. Here are the standings (there are 8 boys, but they didn't all show up on the screen at once) for the Tigers - with our boy in first place! He was SO excited to get a trophy!


All grins as Jeff awards his first-place trophy


The first thing he did was look for his name... which of course wasn't on the trophy. He didn't seem too upset about it, though. Phew.


A genuine smile from Jack - always hard to capture on camera!


And a not-so-genuine-but-totally-hilarious grin! This one cracks me up every time I look at it. Silly boy.


After the Den trophies were awarded, it was time to run the overall Pack races for the top 2 finishers from each Den. The Boy Scout in charge of starting each heat looks totally thrilled, right? Three Boy Scouts came to help out with our Derby. 


And here's where the "down" part of the blog post title comes in: Jack was in the orange lane, and you can see he had the fastest time yet again. He was all set to win at least second place, if not first, for the whole Pack.  Unfortunately, there was nothing at the end of the track, and his car sped right off the end and broke.  A wheel and a piece of the wood snapped off the car. There was a hush in the crowd - because EVERYONE WAS WATCHING JACK'S CAR, and they were calling him "District Jack" - as we realized what had happened. Rob solemnly went over and picked up the car to see what was white, while the crowd waited. 


Someone quickly produced some super glue, and then some other kind of glue, for Rob to fix the car. It was a few strained moments for Team Odette as Jack peered on while Daddy doctored up his car. I felt like crying; he was doing so well and then this! 


It became more tense in the crowd, as the minutes wore on. A controversy over how much time would be allowed started, with one mother shouting at Jeff to move on, and Jeff saying no, "We're dealing with kids, here," and telling her, basically, to pipe down. (She apologized to me later, having thought there was no way the car was salvageable.)

Rob had designed the car to run on three wheels, and it was the "up" wheel that fell off, so the next heat after it broke, he ran it on just three wheels. It came in last, and my heart sunk. Then he tried gluing the wheel back on, but now it was running on all four wheels and, for the rest of the Pack races, it consistently came in fourth or fifth in each heat. We were defeated. It wasn't to be. Aw, too bad, so sad. But, because he won for his Den, we're still going to Districts next month - and Rob's positive he can fix it by then! (Actually, he already has, so we shall see... we shall see.)

Jack wasn't too upset about the car, because he had already won a trophy, but then he saw the Pack winners getting their second trophies. He wanted to know why he didn't also get a second trophy, and I had to explain it all to him, then. That's when I could see his little heart breaking, and he fell into my arms and sobbed. I lifted him up and let him cry into my shoulder for a good five minutes, while everyone around us looked on sadly. I teared up a little, myself. Poor boy. He's right, it wasn't fair, but no one was to blame. I told him this, and he said, "It's Jeff's fault!" which earned a chuckle from his mama. He's quick to assign blame where it is not due, that one.


On the way home, though, he cheered up, although he refused to hold his trophy until I said I wanted all three of the kids' trophies downstairs on the mantel. He wasn't sure what a mantel was yet, but he realized how proud I was of him - of all of them - when I told them I wanted to put the trophies on display so we could see them every day and remember what a great job they had all done! Sophie ran and fetched both soccer trophies, and they all beamed with pride when I put them up there. One of them - I forget who - declared breathlessly that they looked beautiful up there.

I fell asleep when we got home, so Rob ended up making mac & cheese for the kids and sending them to bed. I woke up later, ate a little pizza with The Bob, and that was it for Saturday night. I had wanted to go to church, but we got a lot more snow during the Derby, and the roads were miserable. 

I woke up on Sunday morning and took care of the kids, and I hate to admit, but it never occurred to me to go to church, because we always go on Saturday nights! Another week missed. Gah.

I spent a crazy amount of time cutting the tons and tons of coupons in this week's paper (times two, since I get two Sunday papers now) and working out the deals I want to get at the drug stores and Target (which is the big winner by far for the week). I won't go out until Friday when the tax refund comes in, so stay tuned for the weekly deals!

At two, I had to take Chloë to her Troop Leader's house for a special meeting. This Wednesday night is Thinking Day for the Girl Scouts, so they had to work on all their swaps for that event. The Littles watched Bolt on my computer while I was gone, although I only dropped her off and then picked her up about three hours later when she called. She sounds so little and cute on the phone, but it's hard to understand her since she has a squeaky voice!


I had promised Rob I'd make dinner if he cleaned up the kitchen, so I started on that after picking Chloë up from her meeting. Nothing too fancy. I baked some chicken breasts in my Pampered Chef stone baker, with herbed butter; it turned out yummy. And then just some rice and corn. The kids all turned their noses up at first, although Rob and I really liked it. Then we added a bit of soy sauce to their rice, and they all ate pretty well after that!

Such has been our weekend. I think I'm going to work on finishing up that kimono, so I can post pictures of it for you tomorrow. Off to peruse Netflix for something to watch!