And the race is on…

One place that my boys liked to go, but is not much fun by yourself, is the BMX dirt bike track in south Columbus at Heer Park. Since Daniel went away to college it has not been much fun for Thomas. Until BJ got back into town. So last week on a free day I took the boys down to check it out. BJ was a bit hesitant, not knowing what to expect. He was worried that there would be lots of other kids at the park and he would embarrass himself. Luckily there were only 2 other kids and all 4 boys seemed to get along just fine.

After a few practice runs the boys were ready for a race. Thomas had just finished a race with the other 2 boys that were at the park. They beat him by quite a bit but we guessed they were from the neighborhood so they probably spend a lot more time at the track then poor Thomas. BJ may have thought this would be a good time to race Thomas since he was still a little winded from the last race.

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And they’re off….

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BJ took the lead right from the beginning

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and managed to stay in front through the whole race.

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And here he is going for his victory. Thomas really fell behind by the end of the race. I think BJ wanted to go out on a high note since he didn’t ride anymore after this race.

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Thomas’ favorite thing to do at the track is the jumps. He likes to see how much air he can get. I think it feels much more impressive than how it looks in the pictures.

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After a few successful jumps Thomas decided to go get his helmet (yes, that is a motorcycle helmet) so he could really go full force into the jumps.

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All was going well after the first jump and going through the first turn. Here he is gearing up for the next big jump…

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Then I got distracted by this adorable little girl that came running up to me. And I completely missed Thomas’ major wipe out. I didn’t realize he wrecked until I saw him picking his bike up off the track. He was pretty shaken up and little bloody so it was time to go home. I guess the motorcycle helmet was a good idea after all since he landed on his face. Luckily there were no head injuries just some scraped knees.

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On the way home BJ did let me know that this wasn’t really his thing, even after beating Thomas in the race. So we’ll probably not be returning unless some other friends want to go check it out also. Maybe BJ would prefer to check out some the skate parks that around the city.

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Another fun day with the boys

We are really enjoying having BJ, umm I mean William (that is just not gonna stick) back with us in Ohio. It’s like Thomas’ long lost brother has returned.  The boys are doing great together, they must still be in the honeymoon phase because they have not had any fights or problems at all. It probably helps that they’re not together everyday. BJ splits his time between our house and my parents house. That little bit of away time seems to be keeping everyone happy.

I don’t think BJ was expecting to have as much fun as he’s been having hanging with all our homeschooling friends. It’s always a little awkward being the new kid in a group. But our group of kids are just awesome and completely welcoming to everyone that joins them.

We’ve been to the rock climbing wall at the Scioto Audubon Park twice this week. The second time was for a class on climbing the wall. That was nice because there were lots of rangers there to help belay the kids. Unless you have at least 2 people with gear you can’t climb with the ropes. The kids still have fun though, even when they don’t get to climb all the way to the top.

Climbing wall: The largest free outdoor climbing wall in the country, 35 feet high. Climbing is free, but climbers must bring their own ropes and equipment. The climbing wall opens at 9am and closes one hour before the park close. On the second Friday of the month, from March through November, the climbing wall will stay open till midnight.

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There’s also a fun playground for the kids to play on on when they’re not rock climbing.

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Bzzzzzzzz….

We have a new family member, well actually we have about 10,000 new family members. (Hmm wonder if we can claim that on our taxes?) We now have a bee hive, right smack in the middle of our garden. Dan thought our past dismal tomato crops were due to lack of pollination so he decided to get a hive. Well I’m sure much more thought and preparation went into it but from what I saw we just all of a sudden got a hive.

Last week made the early morning trek over to Conrad Hive and Honey in Canal Winchester to pick up his 3 pounds of bees with queen. Our bees had just been driven in along with a truck full of bees from southern Georgia.

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BJ is not too excited about the addition of bees to our yard. He keeps reminding me that he is allergic.

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Here’s our friend Tim, who has a few of his own hives, helping us get the hive set up.Thomas is all geared up and ready to go.

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This is what hive looks like, you just keep stacking these layers on top of each other as needed. We’ll be starting with just 2 levels but can add more as the bees fill it up.

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The bees have been released. They’re slowly making there way into the hive. The queen is in her own little box and she has already been placed in the hive. The bees work to release the queen from her box by eating through a plug of sugar candy. If she is just released into their midst before they are used to her they will kill her and the hive will die.

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About 4 days later Dan is opening up the hive to check on the queen and see if she has been released.

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That’s the queens box that he is pulling out of the hive.

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The queen is still in her box, since the bees had not released her yet, Dan will pull the plug out and put her box back in the hive so she can make her new home.

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Once the queen and her box has been replaced Dan closes up the hive.

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But the next day we were worried because there was no bee activity outside the hive so I did just a tiny peek into the hive to make sure all our bees hadn’t flown the coop. Dan publicly accused me on Facebook of single-handedly destroying the hive and scarring away the queen. But no worries he is just an alarmist and the hive is buzzing happily.

I wasn’t sure about having a hive right in the middle of our, not so big, garden but I really like having the bees back there and you hardly even notice them.

Circuit Benders’ Ball

Thomas, BJ and few friends did a workshop this past weekend at The Columbus Idea Foundry on building a Two Transistor Light Theramin.

And what exactly does that mean you may be asking? Well essentially it is noise maker that has a light sensor on it. But in the process of building that the kids learned how to solder the very small electronic connections and they learned how to create a simple two transistor light Theremin based on the 1976 Forrest M. Mims III design.

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Both Thomas and BJ knew how to solder form previous classes they’ve taken. But building the transistor was something new for them both. BJ thought it was even more difficult than working on computer boards like he’s done in the past.

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All the kids ended up with their own noisy little transistors, whose sole purpose seems to be only to annoy all the older people within earshot.

What’s Dan been up to

He’s been spending all his free time trying to get this renovation done. There is just not enough time in the weekend for him to finish the house, plant all the seeds for our garden and fish! Poor Dan all he ever does is work, work, work.

This weekend he got our new back door installed. I’m really excited about having the glass door in the back of the office. Once the back porch is cleaned off and not a staging area for all the construction stuff it will be really nice to look outside and see the back yard.

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First he had to remove the existing window and raise the header.

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Then he had to frame in the spot for  the new door. And Finally he had to build a new doorjamb and install both the jamb and the door. It’s way more work to install a door than one would think.

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Boy the office is bright with that huge hole in the wall. Of course today was cold outside since there was a big hole in the wall all day.

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That’s a very fancy lock system we have going across the door.

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