Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Carmen's 11

During the week of Carmen's birthday, July 13-16th, she attended a soccer camp at Holy Cross. The camp ran from Sunday to Thurs. Sunday and Thurs were shorter days. Carmen played soccer from 9am until 4pm, Monday through Wed.

Thurs, July 16th was Carmen's 11th birthday. She woke up early and "whooped" when the clock read 7:37am. This was when she was born! She decided to wear a crown to soccer camp! She received cards from new friends she made at camp. Her soccer friends dumped water on her in celebration of the birthday!

After camp she and I made ice cream cakes, one coffee and one chocolate. I believe I made 3 trips to the grocery store in 24 hours just for supplies for her birthday! Dinner was homemade mac and cheese! Jenna, Isaac, Aidan, Carmen's close friend Madelyn, and Sarai's good friend Michelle joined us for birthday dinner and dessert.

Carmen wins the award for exhuberant exclamations about presents! She was overjoyed to get colored jeans that were "just my size" and few cool graphic t's and an alarm clock! Isaac says he wants to have her over at Christmas to open his presents and make exclamations on the presents!
Zori also enjoyed the birthday. She decided to make her new bed in the empty boxes and tissue paper!

Discovery Museum in Acton

On July 13th, Rachel, Sarai, Marita and I ventured off to explore at the Discovery Museum in Acton. It is a really neat place to visit. There are two buildings. One is geared more towards the under 6/7 age group and the other building is for the over 6/7 group. You can go to both in one day, but my experience is to stick with the place that is best suited for your child's age.

Carmen was at Holy Cross for soccer camp and Tobin was working at Synqor.

I haven't visited this museum in years. It has been hard to satisfy them all with either building. Rachel is 7 and was given a free pass from a group that came to do science experiments in her school this spring. Sarai wondered if there would be anything at this museum that would intrest her. You'll see that all three girls really enjoyed themselves!
This is a picture of a thermal imaging wall. Everyone pushed their hands agains the black surface and a hand print was left. The cooler areas are blue and the redder areas are warmest. I had very cool hands (I was cold in the museum). The kids had much warmer hands!

Marita and Rachel spent a good amount of time here. There are two large magnetic walls. Each piece hanging from the wall can be moved because they are also held on by magnets. The goal is to create some kind of tunnel path for wooden balls to travel through. We tried several kinds of pieces, discovered how to make the balls roll upwards and that pieces move with each ball roll. Therefore, your path is never the same and the balls will not react the same way twice!

While Marita and Rachel played with the pieces to make a path, Sarai played with magnets of a different kind. Here there were two different shaped magnets and paperclips. As you moved the magnet under the paper clips you could create different shapes. She experimented with how far you could move the magnet and still attract the clips and other ways to make shapes and patterns with magnets and clips.

She then discovered a huge magnet that had come from a boat. Here we played with the distances you could hold metal washers and have the magnet pull your hand and washers back into the magnet field. This picture shows how she is placing each washer so that it creates teeth inside of a mouth. She "thinks" in art form at all times.

Rachel was able to experiment with a hand drill. We walked into the "creative" area. Here they had wood you could cut, nail, screw, drill and if you wished then decorate with various materials. The wood was hard to work with so the girls went right to creating.
Rachel recreated a rose with loose, silk rose petals.
Sarai created a self portrait. Sarai spent the longest time here (at least 45 minutes) working on her piece! She used fabric, yarn, stickers, paper, wrapping paper (this is how she found the cats!). She said that many other people would just watch her while she created!
Marita and I played with materials. I made a rainbow fish.

Rachel is playing with a funnel that she's filled with sand and can move around to create a sand spiro graph. They had a large table that was used to make spiro graph art. Rachel moved the table and created her own large spirograph art work.

Here Marita and Rachel are trying to use hair dryers to make ping-pong baskets. Marita was great at this! Rachel was determined to succeed. It took many tries, but she did it!

Mirrors are always fun. Here Sarai is standing on a box (not sceen) and with reflection is able to create a whole image. A whole crazy image. It was great fun! Dancy's notice the '91 OM shirt she's wearing?!

This part of the museum has three floors to it. We spent over 3 hours playing in it. The girls enjoyed all of the different experiments to play with. My pictures can only capture a small portion of what was there. I hope we return soon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Super Carmen

While Sarai was at Holy Cross for basketball, Carmen was going to a field hockey camp in town. Carmen's camp ran for 4 days. Each day the organizers tried to have a fun theme such as twin day. Well, the last day of camp was super hero day. Carmen was determined to dress up as Super Woman. I have to give her credit. She found white leggings, her blue striped bathing suit bottom, Rachel red tank top and aluminum foil for wrist bands, oops cannot forget the crown!

She won the prize of candy for best costume! I've got to hand it to her for having the guts to go out onto the field and play field hockey dressed like this!

Tobin knows all the high school girls that were helping out with this camp. A few of them emailed him right after camp to tell him that his sister, Carmen, was very cool almost cooler than he was (and that's hard to beat in their words)! Carmen has amazing spirit!

Rachel's biking

I don't think my recent posts are creating the proper picture of Rachel and her biking. She has been biking for several years now. She was/is a determined rider. We had bought a tag-a-long for Rachel at least 4 years ago. A tag-a-long is a contraption that attaches to the adults bike seat post. The tag-a-long has only one wheel, a seat, handle bars and peddles for the child. The child can coast at will without causing instability for the adult. Noteably it is harder when they aren't peddling! She would always say "Faster dad, faster!" We would use the tag-a-long for family rides. She had been riding a smaller bike until this year, when she was finally tall enought to use the pink bike that has 7 gears. The bike also has a spedometer and odometer computer attached.

To give you a good picture of how determined she is about riding, she will ride in circles in our driveway until she has gone at least 3 miles! We live on a semi-busy road and she needs to ride with me. I will take her on rides, but we also live where there are many hills. She doesn't like going too far and up many hills. So her rides with me are limited and I think she enjoys her circles in the driveway.

So even though she didn't ride on the rail trail for long, it was the fact that she couldn't hold 16 miles an hour for long that frustrated her. We may have a racer on our hands in the future!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Holy Cross Basketball and biking

July 5th was a full day.

We went to church at 8am because Sarai began Holy Cross Basketball that morning at 10am. Monday through Wed her camp ran from 9am until 9pm! We were amuzed to realize that the 3 other families at the 8am mass were also seen at Holy Cross a few hours later! Most families are still sleeping or slowing getting up at that time.

After dropping Sarai off at camp we decided to go on the Nashua Rail Trail that begins in Ayer, MA. We took the tandem, my bike, the pink bike (the one you saw from the 4th's post) and Tobin's bike. The plan was to have Rachel and Carmen split riding time between the tandem and the pink bike. Our friend Dave also dropped by after he had finished a triathalon. He decided to come with us too.

When we ride on the rail trail we bike 8 miles to the ice cream shop. Treat ourselves and bike back. True Dancy style, ice cream at the heart of the activity.

Rachel began the bike trip on the tandem. She lost rock-paper-scissor-shoot and was to ride back on her bike. Most of the pictures I have are of us eating ice cream! Definitely the highlight of the trip!

Well..... Carmen rode strong for eight miles. We all enjoyed the ice cream. Now for the ride back. Rachel held up her end of the bargain. She bike fast and strong,

for almost 3 miles! Then she asked to go back on the tandem. She wanted to pass people and couldn't do it that well on the single bike. So, Carmen was a great big sister and rode the single bike back. Even though it was tiring for her, she was determined to finish strong. I am very proud of her!

At 9 we picked up Sarai from her 1st day at camp and watched the fireworks. Worcester always has their fireworks on the 3rd of July. This year it was forecasted to be bad weather conditions so the fireworks were postponed to Sunday night.

As I said, the 5th was a full day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 4th, 2009

My brother Joel has his birthday on the fourth of July. We usually spend the 4th with my mom, Lawrence, and my brothers in Merrimack, NH. This year we went up to NH. After such a rainy June it was finally a beautiful day and enjoyed by everyone!

My mom has a pool. Rachel LOVES to swim and play around as you will see!

Rachel learned how to snorkle today! She would spend a long time swimming around the pool breathing through the tube. She wants to get one for herself now!

Rachel convinced Uncle Noah to join her in the pool for some noodle fun!

These googles are ours. Kathy Dancy bought them for the NC beach trip one year. We took them home. There are functioning lights over the eye pieces so you can see under water. She brings these googles to eveyone's pool so she can see underwater.

Carmen got into the pool later in the day and was having noodle wars with her sisters.

Sarai always uses a float in the water. This float we've saved over the years from our pool in the last house we had.

After the pool time was over, Carmen and Sarai "rested" on the hammock. Really, Carmen tried to rock Sarai out.

Abram, Tobin, Noah and Joel began the game of Bocce. Matthew and I played Abram and Tobin and swept them. We tried playing against Rachel and Carmen but that didn't last too long.

Afterwards, Abram decided to go for a bike ride and......

rode Rachel's bike around the culdesac my mom and Lawrence live on! This began a string of others riding Rachel's bike.

Noah -

Tobin -

and finally the person the bike was meant for, Rachel!

This bike was Carmen's last year. Carmen now has outgrown it and passed it along. Rachel began using this bike the first week of July.
There are more biking adventures to come!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Aquarium Visit

June 28th all but Carmen visited the New England Aquarium. Carmen went to the Revolutions game instead. The organization honored the tickets we bought, but never used from the previous week at Footbolito.

At the equarium we saw Penguins

Sea turtles

Rachel was able to hold starfish and hermit crabs. The one in Rachel's hand has lost a leg, but we learned that each leg on a star fish has an eye. Ths star fish had grown its eye, so they assume it will begin growing the leg soon!

A really unnique sea creature. I have no idea what this was. I just saw the face and had to take a picture!

And other cool fish, like the tiger fish

Marita, Isaac, Jenna and Adain came with us. Actually, I believe it was Jenna's idea first!

Don't forget Travel Monkey! He came too!
After the aquarium we went to Faniel Hall to have lunch. There are almost too many choices for food there.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Futbolito at Guilette Stadium

On June 21st Carmen and 6 of her traveling soccer team entered a Futbolito competition at Guilette Stadium. They played on the main field and the "practice" field.

It was a 4 v 4 competition. The games were short. They played on tiny fields, no throw-ins and 2 out of three games were on astro turf. It was also a cold, drizzly day! Notice the umbrellas in the background! Carmen is wearing a red pinnie.

We arrived at the stadium around 8:30 and didn't leave until 3:30. Our last game was delayed because there weren't any refs! I think they were wet and cold like the players. It had been raining steadily all day. Dave King was able to come to see one of her games. He had finished a triathalon that morning nearby. He saw her make one of two goals for that game!
The plan for the day was to stay and see the Revolutions play their game at 6:30pm, but we were too cold to stay.

The organization did honor the tickets for the following weekend. Carmen went with her coach to see the Revs play. The rest of us went to the aquarium. That adventure is for another blog though!

Summer Life is Busy

Wow, I thought that I would have more time to blog now that I'm not working, but I was wrong! The week after school was over I took a graduate course in Photoshop for Teachers! It was a great class. We spent over 36 hours in class that week. Here are a couple of collages I created during the class:

I am hoping to use the skills I gained to great a pleasing web page. All the teachers have access on the school website to keep an updated webpage. Also, I should be able to create memory pages for the parents at the end of the year of skills each child has mastered!
I recognize that I still have to perfect these pictures, but I wanted to share some of the work I did.
While I was in class, Sarai was the babysitter. Tobin began working at Synqor 3 days a week. The kids are growing up!