Monday, July 18, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blue and Gold Banquet- Knights of the Roundtable

We held our Cubscout Blue and Gold Banquet a few months ago, and I never got around to putting the pictures up.  But I think it's important to share great Cubscout ideas, since I am always hard-pressed to find them!  So here goes:

Our whole idea revolved around the Knights of the Roundtable.  We had an amazing costume resource from our friend in the ward (thanks Valerie!), so we ended up with totally cool costumes for all the leaders, which was fantastic.  We invited the families to come in costumes too, but really the only ones who obliged us were the little girls in princess dresses.  We decided to set the cultural hall (read: big gym) up like a Great Hall, with the tables in a giant U-shape.  Each family was asked to create a family crest, and we hung them on the front of the table where each family sat.  My brother-in-law, Jakob, is awesome at playing the French Horn, so he came in costume and played some super cool fanfare music before we started the event.  We thought it would be fun to have everyone eat with their hands, so the menu consisted of cooked whole cooked (Costco) chickens, platters of grapes, platters of vegetables, small bowls of ranch dressing, and whole loaves of french bread, all served with no utensils, and one knife for cutting.  The boys thought eating with their hands was super fun!  We used cleaned/recycled aluminum cans to hold our paper cups, used candles for centerpieces, and the tables looked great. 

After everyone ate, we gave the boys their awards. They had to walk up the red carpet one at a time. One of our leaders dressed up as the king, and he "knighted" each boy, using a super cool old sword, and presented them with their costume. (The boys had made poster board shields at their Den meetings the previous week. In addition, I made each cubscout a simple Knight hood by using no-fray metallic fabric and sewing one seam up the back, adding velcro at the chin, and completing the costume with a soft noodle sword.)

After the awards, we played Knight Games. We had Tug-o-War, Knight Jousting, Stick Pull, Leg/Arm Wrestle, and Hand Sword Fighting. All the families were put into groups and everyone rotated around the stations. It was really such a fun night, and I know the boys and their families really enjoyed it.

Shan was a good sport and played the Jester part.  He walked around while people were eating and entertained them with his juggling skills.  Overall, this activity turned out great because the menu was simple which made it possible for us to focus on other details that really made the "Knight night" special:  live fanfare, red carpet, real knight of armor statue, costumes, table decor, games etc.

Running Away

The other day I was briefly visiting a neighbor who lives about 3 houses away.  Apparently while I was gone, Ryan and Emma had gotten into an argument, and Emma decided she could no longer live in the same house with Ryan.  She packed up her little suitcase with her most prized possessions and decided to run away.  I think in her mind, the idea of running away sounded exciting, but the reality of it seemed a bit scary, so by the time Emma got outside, she decided maybe it was a better idea to run away "to the backyard" instead.  What I think is so cute is how her 8 year-old brain decided what the necessities of life were:
One change of clothes- check.  Three journals and a pen- check.  Life Savings of $106- check. Handmade paper box holding "jewels"- check. Three geodes in a plastic bag- check. Puffy (Emma's all-time favorite stuffed animal)- check.  Not pictured are the three apples, two bananas, and washed strawberries (individually wrapped in paper towels) that I asked her to put back on the fruit platter.  How adorable is this?

I remember doing the exact same thing at about the same age.  I was really upset with my family for some reason; decided to load my white bike basket with snacks, allowance money, and a change of clothes; and then rode off with the intent of running away.  The problem was, after I had gone a few blocks, I started to get scared-  I had never been on my own that far away from my house!  After assessing my options, I decided to just circle around about a 5-block circumference over and over until I was sure my family was unable to find me, super sorry for their ill- behavior, and looking forward to my grand return.  (In my mind, I felt like I rode around for hours, but in reality, I think it was more like 20 minutes.)  I have to admit I was offended when I returned to our house and no one was frantically running around the yard calling for me.  I rode up the driveway and parked in the garage, just waiting for my mom to come out and scold me.  Nope.  Thinking I must be in really deep trouble, I timidly walked in the house and when I encountered my mom I lied that I had just been out riding my bike, to which she replied, "Oh- I didn't even notice  you were gone."  Humph.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Skiing at Sundance

Ryan and Emma took their first ski lesson and did really well!  They had an instuctor to themselves and he was super great with the kids.  After a few hours they were ready to brave the mountain and they got two runs in before it was time to go home.  Way to go guys.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dun, dudda, dah.... The Pinewood Derby!

Let's stick with the positive things first, shall we?  Ryan loved making his car.  He knew he wanted to make a Star Wars Speeder right away.  I was a bit skeptical of how we were going to turn a Star Wars Speeder into a car, but he knew exactly what he wanted and he made it happen!  He designed it, Shan cut out the car, he picked out the paint colors and helped me paint it, and he hot glued his beloved C3PO to the seat.  The silver dollars were added at the last minute to make weight, but they actually looked pretty great.

And Mr. C3PO won 3rd place!
For the rest of the story, I will go lightly... let's just say that yours truly was in charge of the Pinewood Derby this year.  My personal nightmare to be sure.  But I didn't know how nuts it would be until we got there and there were people weighing their cars, glue and weights and coins being added and parents who cheated to make their son's car go faster.  Ugh.  We had disputes among the parents and parents who wanted us to disqualify cars, and cars that broke during the races.  And each and every boy obviously wanted their car to be first.  Let's just say it was a little intense.  I came home and collapsed.

Together We Can... by Emma

Emma loves the Reflections program and looks forward to it every year.  This year, the theme was "Together We Can."  She entered two projects: a painting of people working together to build a house, and a 3-D paper mache globe with children of the world holding hands around it.  She won first place in her school for both entries and went on to District.  At the District level, Emma took First Place for her globe and received Honorable Mention for her painting.

 Then, she went on to compete at the Region level and she won 2nd Place for that.  They gave her a giant-sized candy bar and it was a hit.

Way to go Emma!  We love your constant need to create, your amazing ideas, and the enthusiasm you have to carry out those great ideas.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Emma's 8 Was Great!

Emma took her friends skating to celebrate her birthday.  She loves to roller blade and looks like the Energizer bunny going round and round.

The roller skate cake complete with chocolate dipped Oreo wheels.
(New pierced ears taken on my phone!)  Emma got her ears pierced on her birthday right after school.  This is something she has been looking forward to for years.  I think it stung more than she expected, but she was very brave.  Afterwards, we got ice cream and she said, "Mom, it was totally worth it!"

And the highlight of this birthday was that Emma was baptized a few days later.  In the weeks leading up to her baptism, we talked a lot about baptism and what it means.  I told her all about my own baptism and the feelings I had and the things I remember.  Emma was so excited going into the church.  She was happy to proclaim her discipleship to Christ by taking upon His name.  She asked to say her own prayer in the dressing room right before the ordinance and vocalized her covenants out loud.  It is a wonderful thing to watch her developing her faith and personal relationship with the Savior.

We had so many family members there and the program was just perfect.  Everyone had a part: Mimi played the piano, Ryan said the opening prayer, Madeline recited the 4th Article of Faith, Emma and I sang a duet, Nana and Uncle Jakob gave talks, dad performed the baptism with Papa and Grandpa Stobbe as witnesses, and Papa confirmed Emma with the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  All in all, it was a pretty special day. 

Emma, Mom, and Nana

Papa, Mimi, Dad, Ryan, Mom, Madeline, Emma, and Uncle Jakob.

I love this age!  Emma is such a light with her enthusiasm, quick mind, and kindness.  She truly stands out in a crowd.

 Her two favorite things right now are Science and Art.  She always has a project going on the kitchen table and some sort of flower/seed/rock collection in her pocket.  We are so lucky to have her in our lives.