Monthly Archives: February 2013

Symphony + sushi = ahhhh!

Just a quick note here, but didn’t want to forget the sublime 🙂 Took the kids to the Bainbridge Symphony today – Smetana, Resphigi, Tchaikovsky then Beethoven’s 6th (Pastoral). The kids were advised not to cough loudly (remember, everyone has been sick for nearly 3 months on and off) so what I have gotten used to hearing, others may not appreciate so much. They did GREAT! Sam really seemed to absorb it in a different way than when he was younger. Ben was mesmerized for the first 10 minutes, then very good until intermission, really paying attention. After Daddy’s M&M treats, getting him settled again was more interesting. Grown-up Eagle was also in attendance. He seemed to quite (QUITE) enjoy the Pastoral – quite in keeping with the theme of the symphony, so to me it was humorous. It was all I could do to keep Ben and his Eagle from flying around. Eagle was dancing, pecking Ben’s forehead, dancing…when Ben asked in a loud whisper “How many more minutes is it?” I said “shhh” with a sweet mommy smile and he glared at me! So funny. Mom knows this glare. I am sure the people behind us enjoyed the show. They said we had really nice boys. Then out for sushi as a reward. We just found a really really great sushi place, and got the little table in a private room where you sit on the floor. The boys loved it. So thankful for a wonderful evening. Dave is still sick, but I’m hoping he gets better this week. Boys are on the mend, despite constant sniffle and cough for Ben. It doesn’t slow him down one bit.

Love to all! Hope you have a great week 🙂

So what does it take to get a compliment around here?

I’ve been working on my spiral (football) for months now, and have been throwing for countless hours with the boys. Sam is a good teacher, but there’s no substitute for practice. We went out yesterday to Battle Point Park and brought both footballs. I threw one to Sam and poor guy jammed his finger trying to catch it. The day before I’d nearly knocked the wind out of him with one that hit his sternum. Dave told me I was throwing all wrong. I couldn’t figure it out – they were going right to my target, and spiraling. I thought I was doing great! Dave said “No, throw them up higher, and they should be spinning faster than they are.” I guess I was just drilling them. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody. But don’t you think Dave could have said “My wife’s got a high school quarterback’s arm!”? (That’s if I could keep that kind of speed going for a whole game, and longer than 30 yards!) So now I’m working on throwing well, and not hurting anyone!

Playing around with anything shaped like a domino "stone"! This is at Bay Hay and Feed. These make a nice sound when they topple.


Out at Fish Park in Poulsbo. Dave had not seen all the work they've done there since we moved away. The boys and I managed to "waste" about 20 min at this stump one day while we were waiting to meet up with Dave for dinner one weekend when he was down at work for the day.

Silly guys! They are very big. Ben had his checkup so I can officially report he is 48 inches and 48 pounds. Off the charts on height, 90th percentile on weight. Sam is I don't know how tall, and he can lift me up! My days of rule are over!

Sam launched a YouTube Channel – DominoDude1000

This is the base of an 11x11 3D pyramid, and so far the most popular tutorial on Sam's channel. Click the picture for a link to February pictures. We were very reluctant to let him start a channel for obvious reasons. He has been talking about it for some time and I just finally gave in and decided to look into it. I am not connected to Facebook or YouTube other than to just watch videos, so I didn't really have a sense of how much control you'd have over content. I also never anticipated just how much learning would evolve from setting up a channel.

Sam has been using YouTube tutorials since the summer to learn how to make origami, paper airplanes of all kinds, Rubik’s Cube algorithms, and much more. One of our favorites is Rob’s World – he’s a young guy from Philadelphia in dental school. His mantra – “where learning is fun!” And boy is it. He is really neat. Since then Sam has gotten into domino toppling and this is his way to join the maker movement. He is enjoying creating tutorials, learning about analytics (which videos get the most views and why), creating consistently good content, evaluating other channels for their content, and more. It has turned a really insular hobby into something collaborative, which is all the rage now. Did you know that collaboration is a 21st century skill? I think it has always been a useful skill, but we are using technology to collaborate in new ways, sure.  Here is a link to his channel – he hopes you’ll subscribe! He has 66 views already 🙂

Ben – the big talker of the family – is really into making videos now, too. He grabs my camera and sets it up on the floor to watch him build domino tricks. The camera will stay on for 10 minutes just capturing everything! It is so funny – I think only a mom and Gramma would enjoy. Today he made a domino fallback – two levels of dominoes that topple on top of each other. It’s pretty technical, really, all these tricks. He’s really good! I hope you’ll click on the picture above to enjoy some of Ben’s creations. So every night we are picking up 800-1000 dominoes together. Sometimes…if we’re lucky…Daddy joins us to pick some up 🙂

Dave has been getting home at more reasonable hours lately, so we have really enjoyed seeing him at least by bedtime, even if I’m putting a plate in the fridge or oven for him. He’s traveling to Everett fairly frequently (about 2 hours total including ferry) to oversee repairs on a ship. I’m doing quite a bit of analytical work for the district as they review their math curriculum and think about what to adopt for next year. The new Common Core State Standards are being implemented in about 47 states, one of which is Washington, so the teachers are getting up to speed on what that means for their instruction. And I’m really enjoying being a support to them as they profile the district and understand who the students are, what needs are being met well, and what might be considered going forward. There are about a dozen parents and teachers who email regularly providing updates on meetings and researching innovations elsewhere. I am also serving on a district committee along with about 4 other parents, plus many teachers and administrators (about 20 people total). It’s been very gratifying being so closely involved in supporting this district. From health policy to education policy… never a dull moment. I stay up way too late most nights reading and thinking.

BUT – am I the last person to know about Caine’s Arcade? This is just unbelievable! Do take the 10 minutes to watch this short film. I have been talking about the importance of learning entrepreneurship for a couple months. I think we can teach problem-based learning, STEM and build business-savvy all at the same time. But then Dave says I’m a combiner – too many things in the soup pot. I don’t agree…but he’s often right.

Are chickens smart? For a chicken IQ test I thought it would be funny to see if they consistently pick the cleanest nesting box to lay their eggs. Today they did – two eggs in the cleanest box. I am not sure roosters are very smart. One of them can’t figure out how to get back in to the garden once he’s gotten out for a stroll. The other can’t figure out how to get into the run when the other rooster is mating the favorite hen. We have two now – Merlin (big daddy) and Gordon, his son, who turns 1 in a few months on May 22. Any other chicken IQ tests you think I should run?

Good night all! Aloha 🙂