Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What Happened to Summer?

Summer is over and I didn't manage even one blog post the entire time.   I didn't feel like we did much this summer but looking back on it, we managed to stay busy.  :-)

I guess I'll start with the hike I referred to in my year-end wrap-up post.  (whoops)  We were checking out a local 4-H group and took a hike with the leaders to Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch.   We didn't see any hawks and actually saw very few birds, but there were lots of interesting plants and bugs.   We also checked out an old car rusting in the woods.  There used to be a road running through the area and it was amazing to see how nature has taken back the area in just a few decades.

Georgie went to summer camp at our local universities GT program.  He had a great time and was evidently a big hit with his Robotics teacher.
He received all A's and Excellent in every category but I had to laugh at her comments (especially about the absolute angel part.  Squidy is George's preferred nickname these days):
Squidy was the most hysterical and wonderful student this summer. Every morning, bright and early, he would run into my room, start working, and come up and say "teacher teacher" with a very interesting question or topic. Please look for my name next summer if he is going to take classes after lunch. I typically only teach robots in the morning (he is welcome to take it again...I have alternate projects for the 2nd/3rd year students), but I teach other items in the afternoon and am writing a new class about physics/philosophy and maybe will teach my zombie science (epidemiology) class again (I teach it on a two year cycle). Good luck in school this year. I used to live in B**** and love the beautiful town. 
Squidy's group built Echo the battlebot with a steady drive train that they controlled via bluetooth with the strategy of pushing the other robot out of the battlebox. It has a powerful spinner. He was an excellent programmer who created multiple autonomous programs including light & ultrasonic sensors. He enjoyed designing, building, and programming. He is a polite, gracious, and respectful young man who should definitely continue to pursue science and engineering activities. He received an A for his mastery of the subject matter and was an absolute angel & delight. A super ninja! AWESOME!
George also now has his own youtube channel to record Minecraft videos.  Check him out at EmeraldSquid0007.
We went on a homeschool field trip to a small local amusement park.  Vicki had a great time riding the roller coaster and all the rides with Jen, while George and I kept our feet closer to the ground.  Both loved the water park but only Vicki went on the big slides.  This park (minus the water park) has been there for a very long time and I visited as a child.

We went to a Butterfly Festival at a local nature center.

The kids and daddy participated in the fishing contest at our lake.   Vicki caught the first two fish out of everyone (3/4 pound perch, 1 1/2 pound largemouth bass) and was tied for 3rd place in her age category, Georgie actually spent HOURS sitting fishing and caught a 2 pound bass for 2nd place overall and for his age category.

We went to the Kutztown Fair with Gramma.  It was fun but seemed way more commercial than I remembered and it was very very hot so we didn't stay long.

We celebrated the kids birthdays with a fun party at the lake. Vicki spent a ton of time kayaking in the lake with her friends.


We celebrated Vicki's baptism.

As I mentioned in my wrap-up post, daddy and I are starting a 4-H STEM group.  We had a display at the county fair, and the kids and I went to check out the activities.

And we had the first meeting of our club earlier this month.  We have around 30 kids registered (!!).   In addition to sharing information about the club, picking a name (the Mad STEM Scientists), we did a fun activity I found on Pinterest - Saving Sammy (I think I've also seen it called Saving Freddy) involving gummy worms and paper clips.  :-)  I'm really looking forward to all the fun activities we're going to do.

And last but not least, we had a new surprise addition to the family this summer.  Andy is a Brittney and is settling right in.

The kids are already back into the swing of school and activities.  Both are back in swimming lessons and Zumba, while Vicki is also giving tumbling a try.  More on all that later.  :-)