Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Homeschool Lego Robotics

Morgan had her first class today in Lego Robotics. The kids had a blast and I was so impressed by the team and homeschool leaders. All of these kids were enthusiastic and
gave their full energy to the project.
Over the summer the kids will research and come up with some examples of “biomedical engineering” – which is the topic for the Fall Lego research project for 2010. The goal is just to get them familiarized with the topic and excited about what is can be used for… and eventually, for the Fall Lego League season using their own idea for the future. The RI FLL will be having an event in October to allow the children to meet folks in the BioMedical field. If they are familiar with the topic beforehand, excited about examples… it will fuel their excitement and understanding of folks they meet at the event. This is a very exciting project!

The kids started out by introducing themselves and exploring the Official Lego table.

It was amazing to watch them figure out all the different parts.

While the bigger kids were making robots,
the little ones played downstairs with.....legos.
Lots and lots of legos.

The team was divided into two groups and each had a robot that they had to put together following the directions provided and working as a team.

The kids worked on team building skills.

It led to a lot of laughter.

Then the two teams got to work following directions and learning all the parts of robots like wheels, geers and cogs....or something like that.

Sometimes they were confused.

They even went on the Lego Robotics team website to program their Robot.

Team one built this beauty today.

The directions aren't always easy to follow.

Team two built this magnificent robot today.

Their directions weren't much easier.

Cool, isn't it?

Ultra Cool.
I was so impressed with this program and we look forward to next weeks class. The kids need to decide on a team name and each week a different child presents something on Biomedical Engineering. I can't wait to see how this unfolds.
Happy Robot Building!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dogs, Dirt and Boys

We have a huge dirt pile next to our pool.
We should have moved it 2 years ago
when the pool was put in but time gets away from you.
Tae liked this huge dirt mound for his trucks and shovels.
The dogs like this dirt mound for digging.
It keeps them from digging up the whole yard.
It's an eyesore.
But my needs aren't important right now.

Harley and Stewie love this dirt mound.
Stewie never returns the color he started with.
He's always ready for a game of "drop the scummy tennis ball in the hole."
I think it's like doggie golf.
Hole in one kinda thing.
But with a tennis ball.
That's covered in mud.
Harley is licking the mud off of his lips.
What you can't see is the kiddie pool we have set up for the dogs.
Actually it's just for Stewie.
Because Harley can't swim.
No really-he can't.
He's half English bulldog and half Dachshund.
Their body build doesn't allow them to swim.
He does know how to sink really good though.
See? Ridiculous body on Harley.
Stewie is lean and svelt. Harley is not. Never will be.
He runs 5 miles a day with Larry. Sometimes 7.
Then Stewie wants to play with the tennis ball while my
husband is plastered on the deck wheezing.
Not svelt.... Svelt and muscular.

Short dog keeps on keepin' on though.
His height disadvantage allows him to duck under tables and steal the ball away
from Stewie and then remain unseen.

No, Stewie is not biting Harley's butt.
Although he has.
But Harley bites Stewie's ankles too.
So I think they are even.

See the muscles on this dog?
Who knew that this is my husband's Hearing Dog?
He goes to work with him Monday thru Friday
from 9-5 and is truly the best service dog ever.
Except when he plays hole in one again.
Maybe he needs more golf time.
If Harley goes in after this ball he will surely disappear.

All that mud upsets the stomach so a little snack
of grass is always welcome.
Too bad Harley just peed there.
Dogs don't care.

Soon the dogs were bored.
The boy child wasn't and helped them dig the hole deeper.

Stewie much appreciated this.
I haven't seen Harley since.

'Course I wasn't really looking for him either.
I had coffee in the pool and an early morning swim.
Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Good Parenting

If the day ever came when we were able to accept ourselves and our children exactly as we and they are, then, I believe, we would have come very close to an ultimate understanding of what "good" parenting means. It's part of being human to fall short of that total acceptance -- and often far short. But one of the most important gifts a parent can give a child is the gift of accepting that child's uniqueness.
Mr. Rogers

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Weekend

Homemade blueberry pancakes make for a fine Father's Day weekend.
Even if the man did have to cook them.

Happy Belated Father's Day to all.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How to Love a Church

Our church is going through a big transition time. We have been at this residence for over 50 years and it is time to build anew. Our Chapel is separate from the Parish house but the parish house is in a state of disrepair. It has been loved and has held much love.

It is a beautiful building but has been altered so much over the years that the historical significance has been lost. Renovating the building would have cost an exhorbitant amount of money and ultimately it was decided that a new green building would help us to grow and thrive.
In the meantime, we are renting space from a closed down Episcopal church.
It is a beautiful space and everyone has been working so hard to make it welcoming.

We will miss this building.
The third floor has been closed for some time.
It used to be the minister's apartment years ago.

I am coveting this blue tub to soak in.

But we won't miss things like this.

Many moons ago, the third floor was used for Religious Education classes.
The kids painted a mural.
I wish there was a way to preserve this part.
The rainbow covering the world.

Between the two doors is a painting of our Chapel.

It has a chalice painted at the top with all the Universal Religious symbols.
The old parish house has a glorious staircase and bannister.
I wonder how many generations of families have run their hands down this bannister...or slid down the bannister just for fun.

There are some beautiful mantel pieces in this old house.

The children's chapel was always a place of song and love
and will be again in our new home.

But now we must pack up our belongings and ourselves and move
to a temporary home until our new building is built.
But we will be together as a faith community.

The bare walls are not so scary anymore.
They help us to anticipate what is to come.

Love is in this church.
This past Sunday the entire congregation wrote messages of love on all the church walls. It helped us to bless this space and thank God for community and our blessings.

The upstairs classroom doors show many children and how they grew in
height and in heart for our church.

Even the teachers spoke from their hearts and gave thanks.

Love surrounds us no matter where we are as a community.

Love is in our helping hands and hearts and help to move us forward.

We say good-bye to the building but not to the memories we have made.

Laughter brings love and invitation for renewal.

Some look forward to the the new journey and anticipate what could be.

Some are sad, and worry and can't imagine being without this place.

And "It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work. That when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey"...
or so Wendell Berry says.

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need is here.
And we pray, not
for earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.
-that Wendel Berry is a wise man.
So many messages of love. Like the Multicultural Turkey of Peace.
Children's hands and adult hands and clergy hands and hands that have worked and have been joined together each Sunday.
Hands that have joined for love, peace, freedom and justice.
Hands that have joined in love and prayer and will lead us to our new ever temporary it might be. Nothing else matters. The new church is very different from what we are used to. The symbols are different, the town is new. It matters not. We are together.