Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 4 - Pinewood Derby and Bike Riding

I finished my second book this year in just a few days.  Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan.  It's about a young journalist living in NYC who has a sudden and bizarre breakdown caused by a rare autoimmune disease.  It was fascinating to hear her story and to also learn the medical science and explanations about everything that happened to her brain & body during that time.  I couldn't put it down.  (I was little concerned about the language in the first chapter, but it quickly got cleaner as she lost her mind.  Ha!)

For our YW activity this week the Laurels had planned to play tennis.  Kara plays for her high school and has a tennis scholarship for college next year, so she was our instructor for the evening.  We went to the Eagle Watch courts to play - Kara versus Gloria and I.  Though I was pretty terrible, I did better than anticipated and had a lot of fun too.  It had been years and years since I'd played tennis and I was surprised how much skill is involved.  I got some good pointers from Kara and improved my game at least slightly by the end of the evening.  

Charlie is the Scout Committee Chair for our ward, which means he oversees the Cub & the Boy Scout programs.  We went to the church on Friday night to help set up the Pinewood Derby track.  The boys were playing some kind of farting game with balloons to pass the time while the adults worked.

Saturday was the much anticipated race.  We bought pre-cut cars from Hobby Town because Charlie is not really a tool guy and doesn't have the right kind of saw.  The boys chose their paint colors and decals.  Isaac's car was called "The Golden Eagle" and Luke called his car "The Flame Thrower." He didn't like the extra weights I glued onto it, but when we tested it the night before it was way too light and wouldn't even make it to the end of the track.

Isaac's car won third place!  He was super proud because last year his car came in dead last in almost every heat.  The Willy Wonka chocolate bar car won first and I think the red car with the Lego driver came in second. 

Next it was time for the sibling race.  It's actually called the Outlaw Race and any car can participate, with no rules or restrictions.  Luke was probably more excited than Isaac was about the Pinewood Derby.  His car had been super slow the night before during test runs, but after Charlie made some adjustments to the wheels, and we added some weights and graphite powder, it sped up quite a bit.  Luke's car came in second and he was absolutely thrilled with his win and with his plastic medal.  

Of course we had to take a few photos in the winners circle photo booth afterwards.  

Later that afternoon we managed to load all four of our bikes into the back of our van, and drove up to a very flat park in Canton to do some bike riding.  We live in a super hilly neighborhood which makes it nearly impossible to ride bikes around - especially the beach cruisers with no gears that Charlie & I have. 

Before we left California Isaac was riding on two-wheels really well, but then he had a fall and refused to ride again.  We had made a few half-hearted attempts since we moved of getting him to ride, but hadn't really pushed him again.  Until now.  We let him make a lap with his training wheels first, and then Charlie took them off.  Isaac did great!  It took him a few minutes to get going, but then he was off!  

We had invited our neighbors to go with us.  I think it helped that their son Conner, who is seven, is riding well.  That was a little more motivation for Isaac to ditch the training wheels.  

Bike Riding 1.28.17 from Carrie Wood on Vimeo.

The park is really great because it's completely flat and has about two miles worth of paved trails that loop around.  It was a great place for Isaac to practice and I loved being on my bike again after so long.  We really need to invest in a trailer though because cramming those bikes into the van was quite the feat.

We had brought a bike for Luke that a friend had given us, but once we got to the park we realized that the chain was stuck.  So Luke rode his scooter and we'll work on bike riding with him next time.

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