Cub Scouts

Camping and Soccer and Sun

We had such an amazing weekend! It was sunny and warm – the perfect weekend for camping and soccer. You really never know what the weather will do for our annual spring camping trip with the Cub Scouts, so we were very happy with this.

Aidan fishing

The boys love fishing here and I am so glad it is part of the trip. I really don’t see me taking them otherwise!

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We didn’t catch anything, but it was so nice to sit in the sun and watch the water.

Dane fishing

We were especially glad to relax for a bit because the boys had just finished Gaga ball. This is still the camp favorite. Aidan won a round.

Gaga ball winner

And Dane was the Gaga ball champion that morning.

Gaga ball champion

Bb gun target shooting is my favorite! (Well, maybe it’s tied with sitting by the fire.)

Target shooting

The boys are pretty good shots too.

Bb gun

Camp Citta is really a beautiful place. I love the flags at the range.

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And the swimming area.

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And the lake.

Camp citta fishing

The boys love just about everything about being here. Finding really big sticks is very important, by the way.

Old friends

You can get as dirty as you want, and whittle sticks in the dirt with pocket knives.

Whittling

It’s basically a boy’s dream come true. I’m so glad we found the Cub Scouts so long ago! Every night ends with hot chocolate, dessert (everything tastes amazing at camp!) and a fire. :-)

Campfire

Of course we can’t forget soccer Sunday! My U9 Hurricanes played so well and won their game 5-1. The best thing about this game is that all of the boys had a great game and they are remembering how to come together as a team. I’m so proud of them. I can always count on my Dane in goal and Aidan is our scorekeeper and time keeper now. They are the best. I am very lucky. Here we are after the game with our good friend Lukas who camped with us too.

Hurricanes win

Tomorrow is Boston Marathon day! One of my SOL Sisters is running it and I am so excited for her. You’re going to do awesome Jen! :-)

April Fool’s Pranks for Kids

April Fool’s Day breakfast is always fun at our house. When the boys were little I put their plastic play food at the table for breakfast and they thought it was hilarious. Since then, April Fool’s is all about breakfast in our house. It’s a fun way to start the day and I get the first prank in before school. 😉 We have done frozen cereal, pudding milk, icing sandwiches. This year on deck are the peach and yogurt egg (except I might use lemon curd for the yolk – we’ll see) and jello juice. (Don’t tell them!)

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I’ll send in a wormy apple for lunch. Maybe with some extra worms for fun.

gummy worm apple prank

Two holidays in one week is just about all I can take. I have soo much to get done for Easter before my race on Saturday! But it’s all good stuff. This year we found a nighttime egg hunt for older kids. It was the best idea! The kids loved hunting for the eggs at night and no one had to worry about the little kids not getting eggs. We had to bribe them with froyo to leave after their baskets were spilling over with eggs.

Egg hunt

Jeannette and I made time for an awesome run today to decompress a bit after a crazy weekend.

Running buddies

It started with a scrimmage. Check out my awesome soccer team. The Hurricanes are back together and I am so excited for another great season with these boys.

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Now that the weather is supposed to be warming up, Nerf Wars are back in session too.

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Dane and I went bike riding while Aidan was capturing the flag.

Bike riding

I swear I do shower and wash my hair.

Me

The boys caught up with their Scout buddies this weekend to work on the video game pin. We really had to twist their arms for this one….

Video game pin

And guess who got a cell phone? He’s just a little happy about it.

Aidans first phone

My mom and dad had us to dinner tonight. My mom made a delicious salad that I will share the recipe for when I remember to get it from her.

Mexican salad

Thanks guys!

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So, I am wondering, what is your favorite April Fool’s prank?

Fake Snow – the best kind

Today was long run day for me. Right now it’s just easier to get my long run in when the boys are in school. I have a feeling it’s going to get harder in the near future, so I am really appreciating the time now.

12 miles

This is my longest run since “recovering” from a stress fracture. :-) I thought about going 13 for the half, but I know that if I re-injured my leg I would really regret it. I was also making sure along the way that I wasn’t pushing too hard. It is really hard for me not to push to run faster. The truth is that I really should not try to PR in my upcoming races and that is going to be torture. I just have to remember how much better it is to be running instead of sidelined with an injury.

Elephant cake

After my run Jeannette fed me my favorites – crumb cake and a zinger (yes, the juice cancels out the cake ;-)). Look at this adorable elephant she made for a baby shower cake. Jeannette makes the best cakes – ask anyone. I’ll post a picture of the completed cake soon.

Seeing eye dog

We had seeing eye dogs visit at Cub Scouts tonight. The kids actually sat still for 20 minutes, which is a record at Scouts. They loved seeing what the dogs could do. Maybe we should teach Fezzy to answer the phone and put the boys stuff away. He could be really helpful around here.

Fezziwig on a pillow

Then the kids made fake snow and other science related projects. Fake snow is pretty cool (haha). It’s lasts forever, smells really good (especially if you use mint conditioner) and doesn’t make a mess. You should try it.

fake snow recipe

And who doesn’t like to finish the night with a chocolate fountain?

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Spring weather is really messing with our soccer schedule lately. Cross your fingers that we at least get our scrimmage in tomorrow.

Festivals and Derbies, oh my

Lots of fun for us this weekend, starting with a Futsal Festival bright and early Saturday morning.

Futsal 2015 U9 U10

This is the U9/U10 crew that we have been coaching in Futsal for this last training session. Futsal is a variation of 5v5 indoor soccer that emphasizes control of the ball. It’s a very fast moving game and a lot of fun to watch! Here are the rules if you want to learn more. We ended the training session with a Futsal Festival (tournament) that the kids loved. Here is Dane’s team.

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And here are the girls + Alex that I coached. Great kids. It was so different to coach girls! I’m not even joking. It was nice to get that experience.

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This weekend was also the district competition for the Cub Scout pinewood derby. This race is much more relaxed for us because all of the work was already done for the first race. Here are the boys at tech inspection.

pinewood derby registration

I love seeing all of the cars! The boys put so much work into these little cars and you can tell.

pinewood derby cars

The boys had fun hanging out with friends and getting ideas for next year’s car while they waited for their races.

pinewood derby

Aidan’s crew came back for the race because they were Cub Scouts when they qualified. The top 5 racers from each rank in the Pack are invited to our district event. And Dane’s crew is as silly as usual!

pinewood derby race

Watching the cars race down the track never gets old.

pinewood derby track

I wonder what our cars will look like next year…

pinewood derby cars

Here’s a pretty sunset for your evening.

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We kept busy enough that I didn’t think too much about missing my first race of the season. I’m so happy for all of my girls who ran and did awesome though. Congrats girls. Next year…

Goodbye Cub Scouts… sort of

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Aidan “graduated” Cub Scouts this past weekend! He is now officially a Boy Scout. Once your kids get to a certain age, they don’t have that many milestones anymore. When one sneaks up on you it’s kind of bittersweet.

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It is hard to believe that his 5 years in Cub Scouts are over. Here he is crossing the bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

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We had a great time at the Blue and Gold dinner with Nana and Popop.

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There are ceremonies and slide shows and tons of desserts. The best part is being with all of our friends and family though.

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Of course Aidan and his friends were sad to say goodbye.

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Luckily they can still go camping with their siblings! Dane has a few years left to hang out with his crew.

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It’s a good thing too, because they are definitely not done being silly together yet.

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Dane didn’t love the saluting part…

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But they were definitely all into pizza and video games after a long day.

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Looking back at all of the fun times we have had with the Scouts makes me smile and feel very proud of the young men my guys are becoming.

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We will always remember “Go See Its” and

Pie eating contests…

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Camp Citta…

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Campfires and movies…

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Learning “boy” things…

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Den projects…

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Summer camp…

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Fishing in the lake with friends…

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Games…

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Early morning breakfast at Mohawk…

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Medieval camping…

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Christmas caroling…

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Beach picnics…

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The Pinewood Derby!!!

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Bottle rocket derbies…

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Hikes…

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Putting up your first tent without help from any adults…

image18-e1397542165291-1024w_2205Geocaching and the family picnic.

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We are going to miss Pack 61. Thanks for such a wonderful ride.

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The Finish Line

Sometimes we take the good with the bad and this last weekend was exactly that for me. Luckily there was more good than bad. My property law professor in law school, Paula Franzese, always told us that “To finish the race is to win the race.” (By the way, how cool is it that she has her own Wikipedia page?) A great Monday morning finish is coffee with the girls.

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I swear Jeannette and I did not plan on wearing almost the same shirt. 😉

We celebrated a finish line for my sweet nephew this weekend who got his spica cast off during the week. He is such a trooper and so are my brother and sister in law!  Can you tell they were happy?

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It was a great reason to get everyone together too. My mom made the cutest spica cast centerpieces!

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Are you surprised that there were Nerf wars in the backyard with “boys” of all ages?

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Aidan just loves his little cousin.

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I did manage to get a run in, which always makes me smile. It was pretty muddy but I was determined to get back on the trail. Sometimes it is fun to have obstacles to jump over.

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I was pretty frustrated when I realized I stopped my Runkeeper early! Ahh. I know my fellow runners can sympathize. It was pretty symbolic of my weekend though – the good with the bad.

We finished Sunday up with Scouts. Aidan has his last Cub Scout meeting next weekend before he becomes a boy scout. Another finish line. He is excited.

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So, I am wondering, what do you pack your kids for lunch?

Morning People

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I need that cup! Or Stephanie, I needed to borrow your coffee cup this morning. It was definitely a two large cups of coffee day! (It’s fair to call it two large cups and not three cups because my Keurig only makes tiny portions!) Are you a morning person? As you may have guessed, I am not. I don’t “wake up” until at least 10am, unless I am running. In all fairness though I can stay up all night with no problem. It seems like there are morning people and night people. You never really hear anyone say they are an afternoon person! What are you? I would love to know if there are any midday people!

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Did you watch the Super Bowl last night?  Such an exciting game! The commercials really got me this year. So many took on tough issues and made you think about things. This one was my favorite.

#runlikeagirl. Sometimes we just accept things without thinking. This ad really made you think about what we are mindlessly doing to young women. I don’t think most of us would actually say these things if we thought about the impact it was having. Women have come a long way in our society, but I really believe this ad is just the tip of the iceberg. The truth is that women are not given the credit they often deserve. Too often they are marginalized and told by the media and popular culture that their value is directly related to how they look rather than what they can do. I hope ads like this one and the Dove Real Beauty campaign from a few years ago keep coming!

Bib -run like a girl

This weekend we had our final player development indoor soccer practice. Next, on to Futsal!

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Dane and his friends thought riding their bikes around the community center at Scouts was a great idea for a February day. My favorite was the race to ride the slowest! It is not easy to ride a bike slow – try it.

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Remember these days? This time of year I am often dreaming of summer.

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It’s actually pretty warm out today. I’m heading out for a run, of course!

So, I am wondering, do you think we (as a society) send the wrong message to girls/women?

Guess What I have Been Doing

This is really going to shock you, I know. I guess I am still pretty excited about it.

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I have been running every chance I get. I realized last week that as long as I don’t run hills, my leg is fine. (No, really! Many of you know how much I used to hate hills and avoid them at all costs, but I got over that. My leg is just not ready for them yet.) So I am trying to talk the girls into going out as much as we can. I talked them into signing up for my favorite race so now they have to train with me!  Yay!!! 😉  April Fool’s Half, here we come. We are going to have the best time.

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But if they can’t make it, I am learning to love running by myself again. It’s not as much fun as being with friends, but you get something totally different out of it. After running by myself my head is totally clear.

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Running in the snow is so beautiful. Today was not runnable on the trail without Trax though. I’m so glad I got them last winter!

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I just went through my spring race calendar and I am getting really excited. :-)

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Aidan made a ping pong ball launcher in Scouts. Thanks, Mr. Gatto!  Actually he loves it. He would like to bring it to his next Nerf War, but we decided that wouldn’t be fair.

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We finally had a real snow day. Not nearly as much as we were expecting, but enough to cancel school. Good enough!

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The girls and I snuck some girl time in too. Always a blast. Sushi and RumChata and lots of laughs.

So, I am wondering, do you like to talk while you run, or just listen?

Pinewood Derby 2015

20150126_222750Greetings from Blizzard – Dane’s first snowman of the year.

Our Cub Scout Pinewood Derby was last week and it was a really fun, super exhausting day. We spent so much time and energy on it that I had to take a break before I could write about it. Kind of like race days.

The Pinewood Derby is an event where the boys build race cars to very specific guidelines from a block of wood. Here is the original block of wood.

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We spend a ridiculous amount of time on these blocks of wood and turn them into this.

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This is the first year I build a car too. We have a great time planning and building the cars, but the real fun comes on race day.

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The boys are so excited to watch their cars race. One of the wonderful things about this race is that they are almost as excited to watch their friends cars race too. Most of the boys stay and watch all of the races, cheering on their friends.

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This year Aidan’s car was up first. The boys cars race against cars built by other boys the same age. After a few test runs on the track, they were off.

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Our Pack’s track very accurately measures the speed of the cars – which is often necessary to tell which car won. Each car races in all six lanes of the track and the times are averaged to determined a winner. From there, the top six racers move on to a finals round to choose the final fastest car.

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This year was Aidan’s year. His car was super fast and consistently placed first at a speed of 211 + miles per hour! I could not have been happier for him! :-) He was pretty excited too.

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Dane’s car was up next.

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Dane came up with an original design for his car this year. We talk a lot about physics principles when choosing a car design and the boys have learned a lot. Dane decided to add wings in front of his back wheels to change the air flow and potentially reduce drag. I am so proud of him for understanding these concepts and coming up with this design!

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It’s always trial and error with our car designs and we learn from them each year. Dane’s car did well this year, but was not a top three finisher like he is used to from previous years. 210 miles an hour is still a very fast car! I am so proud of him.

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It was so much fun racing my own car in the non Scout division this year too. It’s such a different feeling being on the other side of the track!

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Mine wasn’t as fast as the boys’ cars, but raced a pretty consistent 208 miles per hour. I came home with a second place trophy!

As usual, it was an amazing day. Our tradition is to go to our favorite burger restaurant with friends for a late dinner. More fun. We slept late the next day. 😉

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Dane's snowman

Pinewood Derby Days

It’s that time again! The time when we drive ourselves crazy trying to turn a block of wood into the fastest car possible. This year isn’t nearly as stressful as past years have been… yet. The boys are older now and we have a lot of experience at this point. Here are the boys cars from past years. Aidan’s (of course):

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And Dane’s:

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This is what we start with:

20150110_112224 Once the cars are built we race them down a metal track where they are powered only by gravity. It is so much fun.

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We love this race. It is a great time to teach the boys (or review at this point) the physics concepts of gravity, friction and momentum. We talk about aerodynamic body designs and how to maximize the potential energy of the cars by strategically adding weight. We talk a lot about friction. Now that they are older, the boys get to use power tools and spray paint. Then on race day they get to show off their work.

There are a lot of ways to cheat at this race, but in our Cub Scout Pack, we stick to the rules. There are quite a few of them too!

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The boys cars are well under way now. They have cut and sanded them.

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And they are now painted. They just have to add the weight and the wheels and they are ready to go! I can’t wait to show you their cars after race day! We do have the tricky part ahead of us. This is always the toughest part for us.

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We are hoping for a little luck with this one! This year I decided to make a car of my own to race in the non Scout division. Since the boys are old enough to make their cars on their own, this gives me an opportunity to still be involved. 😉

Dane has basketball and he and I both have soccer on the day of the derby. It will be a busy day.

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It’s Monday run day. I am so happy to be back out there. The rain didn’t bother me at all. I hope I can keep going.

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So, I am wondering, have you ever made a pinewood derby car?

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