My Rube Goldburg Machine

When my dad came home from work today I asked him to help me with a project that was due for science. At first it was quite fun…but it quickly grew into a gruesome 3 hours of hard work and thinking. Why? well its for school and its due in two weeks. I’ll do any school project even if its at the last minute. So anyway I decided I would get it done early so I wouldn’t have to worry about it in the future. I didn’t expect it to be as complicated as it was. It turned out that I would be turning off a kitchen light switch in a very complicated way. I must admit I get frustrated very easily  so when things don’t work out…let’s just say I get pretty upset. It took about three tries to finally get it to work. I think we did a pretty good job…I give a lot of credit to my dad for his awesome ideas and I’m so grateful to have parents that are so willing to help whenever they can. The candle was entirely my dads idea which was my favorite part.

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The Bird that got away!

I am a villain and a very bad man!

My oldest, Scott, was so excited to have found a female canary for only $25 dollars on-line the other day.
He had called the guy and arranged for me to stop by and buy the bird.
I thought I was all prepared by taking an older, cleaned out, cage with a big blanket to keep the bird calm during the drive. I drove with the cage in-mind as to not need to stop too urgently. It was a gorgeous day and so I rolled the front windows down, thinking the bird would still be safe under the blanket. I even thought the bird my enjoy some fresh air! However, my my attempts at ‘safe-driving’ were cut short by somebody who sought to take advantage of the space between me and the car in front.
As fate would deliver, the approaching traffic lights were turning red and I was required to step on the brakes at an alarming rate. In the juggle of gauging distances and anticipating the bird cage rolling and while trying to close the 2 front windows, the bird cage fell over and out sprang the bird!
I was surprised at how quickly it navigated the interior of my vehicle and before I knew it, it had flown right out of my window!
I tried spotting the bird to see which direction to maybe retrieve it, but the car behind me didn’t appreciate the delay.
I turned around and headed back to ‘the bird man’, only to dish out another $25 for a lesson well learned!
Poor little bird, I hope she’s ok, wherever she decided to rest.
I could recover from this little accident though, nobody had to know about it. But then I recall that I had called home and told them how beautiful it was and described it’s colour with precision. Bird #2 didn’t align with my previous statements! Gulp… I headed home and hoped for the best.
“It’s kind of orangey” was the first words uttered from Scott!
Doh – my cover was broken, but I remained calm and collected… “Yeah – kind of orangey yellow” was my reply, “it must be due to the lights”. That seemed to satisfy, but I think he knew that something wasn’t quite right.
Scott and my other kids still don’t know what happened on my trip home with bird #1, however it seems to have caused the giggles with Kristy whenever anything about bird #2 is mentioned.
Therefore I vote I should be banned from future pet delivery services!
Better leave some bird food out for Bird #1, it’ll help me sleep better anyway!

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Foot and Mouth in Eagle Mountain, UT!

Just when you thought nothing else could happen in Eagle Mountain, along comes the plague of foot and mouth!

Well – that is my foot and Kristy’s mouth!

What a week of fun it’s been! Sunday night I landed on my ankle while navigating over a gymnastics mat in the basement! and Kristy had to have a fractured molar removed! At 7pm on Tuesday, all is calm… me elevating my leg (doing what men do well – relaxing), and Kristy keeping to her busy schedule of teaching gymnastics.

I have to say that Kristy is my hero. What an unbelievable woman she is. Her energy is just so amazing that I wonder how she pushes through.  She experienced toothache Sunday afternoon and finally succumbed to the pain Tuesday morning. A quick visit to Dr. Vogel soon took care of her pain problem though, but she presses on, determined not to have her day fuddled up. What an inspiration she is.

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Chilly Billy to be replaced by Open Source!

As a young child, Peter Mayle opened up a whole new dimension to my impressionable little mind. A fictional character called Chilly Billy was brought to life in my own fridge! I couldn’t wait to go home to try and catch him in the act of turning the fridge light on and off. Something had to be turning the light on right? … it had to be Chilly Billy!

So you can imagine my delight when I located a copy of this book on eBay. I had been searching off and on for a few years, hoping to bring Chilly Billy to life in the minds of my own children. Scott, my oldest at 11, instantly wasn’t fooled by such fictional content, but my 3 others were. It was great to see their eyes sparkle with their own imaginative ideas of Chilly Billy. You can ask any of my daughters about Chilly Billy and they’ll have an answer for you. Whenever our new Fridge makes a sound – Chilly Billy! That little banging in the freezer section – Chilly Billy! Somebody has to keep the ice from sticking together right?

Well, sorry to say Chilly, but your days are numbered. Electrolux / Frigidaire have released plans of using Open Source software to provide a new tech approach to maintaining the insides of your fridge.

So yet again, my mind is thinking about possibilities of hacking this device to do other cool things. I think if the fridge knew what was inside it, and could extract an ingredients list and suggest recipes, that would be a pretty cool. Of course food items would need to have an rfid chip and you’d probably have to inform the fridge of how much was available, a few inconveniences, but I would love it. Audio / Video could be attached to recipes or how about your own personal chef to oversee your cooking… maybe a wi-fi camera looking over your shoulder as you prepare! You could bring the whole culinary experience to your own kitchen, with chefs available from all over the world, right at your fridge! Now that is exciting my imagination!

Can Chilly do that? I think not… but hey, somebody still needs to turn the fridge light off and on right?  ;)

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Athlete of the year: Scott

We had the chance to attend a banquet a few weeks ago held at All American Gymnastics, which Scott and Toby attend. Part of the evening was an award presentation to gymnasts who had impressed the coaches.

Both Kristy and I were amazed to discover that Scott was awarded with the ‘Beau Bailey Award’, named after the first gymnast to receive it. The award now sits, gracefully,  in his bedroom with all his other gymnastics adornments.

Well done Scott.

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Proud Mom!

My two boys, Scott and Toby had their first meet of the season on Saturday.  Scott is currently competing Level 6 and Toby is competing Level 5.  It is Scott’s second season as a L6 and Toby’s first season as a L5.  They both looked absolutely awesome.  Polished and perfect as they could be.  Scott ended up with 1st place all around with an outstanding score of 89.1.  Toby came in 5th place all around with a 1st place on vault and a total score of 80.1.  Their teams placed 1st as well and Toby got to be the trophy taker because of his consistent performance at the meet.  What fun it was to watch them both focus and concentrate so hard on each of their events.  They were disciplined and gave their all on everything.  How can I not be proud of such outstanding boys.  We got it all on video and got to show it off to our extended family the next day at Scott’s 11th surprise birthday party.  I can’t help but brag about them, but they earned it all on their own.  I can’t take any credit, I just get to be sooooo PROUD!!!  Way to go BOYS!

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Great Children!

Yesterday was crazy and I had a lot to do.  The kids were locked into what I had to do and not able to do much of what they wanted.  We created this little giving tree for our family.  It consists of a cut out tree and slips of rolled paper with things we can do for each other to bring the spirit of Christmas into our home.  After they complete the action listed they put a colored star (each color representing a different child) on the tree to show something special has been done.  When I returned home last night from a long day of gymnastics stuff it was later on and the kids were all hungry.  Scott quickly jumped in and helped me make the chocolate chip pancakes.  He was able to make them pretty much all on his own while I cleaned up the kitchen.  The other children played nicely together and let us get it all ready without complaint.  Scott continued to help out by picking things off of the giving tree and doing the things that were listed, which in turn inspired Toby & Alyson to join in.  By the end of the night, they had read the girls stories, told each other what they like about each other, Aly surprised me by cleaning the play room, and brought true joy to our crazy disoriented home.  We had some treats before bed and shared our favorite Christmas memories and it was truly special to me.  These are the moments that make me so proud to be a mom of such fabulous children.  It is these moments that help me to realize what life is all about and what this Christmas season is all about.  Thank you: Scott, Toby, Alyson and Fiona!  You are all wonderful!

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Tis the season!

So it is Christmas, yet again, and what better way to greet this season than to listen to the radio station that plays the same old Christmas songs over and over again! I decided to start listening to them early to help me ‘get in the mood’ of this special time of year. Prior years I’ve been guilty of burying my head in the sand and before I knew it, Christmas was over and done with. So this year is going to be different. If you hear me whistling, humming or singing a Christmas tune, join in with me and we can all have a fun Christmas time. Get into the spirit of giving – go on – give it a try… you just might like it!

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Fiona’s gift logic!

Cute thing Fiona said tonight at dinner!  “I don’t want to get you and dad a present for Christmas Mom!”  I responded in a sad joking tone — “Why not!”  She said: “Because it is too hard to know what to get you guys!”  Laughing I told her we would help her choose something for the other one and she was well pleased!

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Meeting Dad at the airport!

Ian was coming home from his last business trip of the year Sunday night.  The kids and I decided it would be fun to go up to the airport to greet him.  I guess I forgot you can’t go to the gates anymore to meet them, you have to wait by the luggage pick up–not as much fun!   I also forgot that my kids are a bunch of monkeys with tons of energy and to make matters worse I have them all in gymnastics so they think they can flip around everywhere they go.  After the hour wait with these monkeys (includes, playing with the luggage carousels, up and down the escalators, playing tag, cartwheels all over the place, and many more crazy stunts) we finally saw Ian coming and we all hid behind the big gray post so he wouldn’t see us.  Toby jumped out and ran to him jumping into his arms!  It was a shocker for Ian — amazingly enough he loved the surprise.  Bringing the chaos to him was just what he wanted !  All in all it was a success and we were even able to help him get home since the car battery was dead and we had to jump start it! Best of all, all my monkeys wanted to ride with Dad!  YEAH!!!   These are the moments that we will all remember some day!  Love all my monkeys and especially their dad!

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