Sunday, July 06, 2014

New driveway!

One of the exciting projects that started on Sammy's birthday was the reconstruction of the driveway. No more cracks (for a while, at least)!

The asphalt was laid about a week later:

That machine reminded me of Bessie from Cars. It had flames near the wheels to melt the asphalt.

For a bit, we had a steamroller in our garage:

And then we had a driveway perfect for using our hovercraft. (No pictures of that yet. I was too busy running down the driveway with the wet/dry vac to use the camera.)

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Toronto

Our Independence Day festivities were followed by us fleeing the country to Toronto.

Our main goal was to visit with our friends, whose son was participating in a Rubik's Cube contest. We ended up missing seeing him compete because we were busy getting lunch. (Henry did get a chance to watch, though.) We then went walking around Toronto. We headed toward Chinatown, passing by the Parliament building on the way.

(Sammy really wanted the perspective of the picture to make it look like he was bigger than his brother.)

In Chinatown, Henry shared a sugar cane drink with his brother. It tasted vaguely melon-y.

Then we stopped at a park to rest for a bit, and contemplated the wall of a building.

Most of our family members were convinced that the staircase on the building was part of a mural (it wasn't).

We wandered on and found an art show.

My favorite pieces were part of a collection the artist called his "prayer machines". They were wire sculptures, many of which had cranks to make elements of the sculpture move.

We tried our best to get to the waterfront to have dinner down there, but between the construction going on there & the dinner hour traffic, there was no way to get there easily. :( We also tried to go to a place called The Lake House, but an hour wait was just too long to deal with. We had a very elegant rest stop dinner that night (at Tim Horton's).

Friday, July 04, 2014

Independence Day

July 4th was a perfect day. The weather was gorgeous and we got to do many fun things.

We started by watching the parade (one of the few where we were watching rather than participating in the parade). Henry insisted on walking to the end of the parade route so he could check out who he knew in the crowd.

We finished the parade and walked to Mac's Philly Cheesesteak for lunch. (We love that place.) Mike joined us, and after lunch, we walked along the canal to Perinton Park to see what the Party in the Park was all about. (It was very similar to Perinton Summerfest -- bounce houses, climbing wall, Skycoasters concert...)

Mike had some work to finish up, so the boys & I went to launch rockets at Lyndon Road Park. I had purchased the biggest engine that Sammy's rocket could use, and...well...we saw it go up and then watched it get blown entirely out of the park into someone's backyard. Try as we might, we couldn't retrieve it. At least we still had the bigger rocket that we assembled the night before.

We headed home, grabbed some dinner, and went to Penfield for their party before fireworks. The ReMax hot air balloon team inflated their balloon, but we were disappointed when it didn't take off. We had a great time playing Guillotine and volleyball.

We left before the end of the show, but we were treated to fireworks that a neighbor set off in the cul-de-sac as well as a gorgeous night for stargazing. The boys played with sparklers and watched the stars with me. Every now & again, a sky lantern would float over our heads. They were very pretty.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Trebuchet


One of the first things we did at the end of the school year was create a trebuchet. My friend Crista happened to have a half-finished kit in her house that she was looking to get rid of. It launches golf balls pretty far across the yard. The boys have been having a great time building cities out of cardboard and then trying to destroy them with the golf balls.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Rochester Rhinos

Sammy & went to see the Rhinos play the Saturday between our birthdays. While we were in line, the woman behind us offered us free tickets (the owners didn't end up showing for the game)! It was a beautiful night, even if the Rhinos didn't win.

My birthday was a little less exciting. Henry woke up sick and we dealt with that for most of the day. (Sammy & I did get a chance to go for frozen yogurt at the end of the day, though.) Fortunately, none of us caught whatever Henry had.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Superhero Party

Sammy wanted a superhero party for his birthday this year, so we did our best to put one together in the week after we returned from our vacation. As each kid came in, we had them pick their superhero name from a bucket of adjectives and nouns. Saving the day at our party was The Musical Marvel (Sammy picked his name on his own), The Pokemon Master (likewise for Henry, although he did select The Jet-Powered Hawk from the bucket), The Camouflage Bus Driver, The Really Angry Goldfish (my favorite), Captain Falcon (a real video game character), The Arrow-Shooting Tuba, and The Rock-Crushing Orangutan. The first task for them was to make their costume from a t-shirt and a plastic tablecloth. I was impressed that the kids really got into wearing the capes all around the yard.

They then took some time to draw out the blueprints for their lair and vehicle on some dark blue paper with white pens.

We had pictures of enemies (a very strange assortment -- Firelord Ozai from Avatar, Khan from Star Trek, Team Rocket from Pokemon, Chick Hicks from Cars, Dr. Wily from Megaman, and Zurg from Toy Story) on the fence for the kids to throw water balloons at (yes, they did end up mostly getting each other wet). They also built a city with cardboard blocks and flung golf balls with the trebuchet and playground balls with the catapult. When they got tired of that, we brought them inside to watch The Incredibles and play a couple more games.

First, they had to figure out a way to save cats & dogs from ledges using a box of random craft supplies (popsicle sticks, paperclips, zip ties, cotton balls, tape, etc.). Then we played a version of the "Whose Line Is It Anyway" Superheroes game with more names from the bucket and various scenarios I had made up previously.

In the morning, the boys did more water balloons and had a rubber duck race where they had to use a straw to propel their ducks through a tub of water. I think they all had a great time. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Baseball 2014

Baseball season has since come to an end, but here's a shot of Henry in his traditional "ready position" pose. He did pretty well this season. His confidence is building, and he was a consistent batter.

He was on the DiPrima Mobil team this time around. The coach and some of the kids were very nice, but there were others that just didn't seem to be wanting to listen to instruction from anyone. It certainly made for a very long season.

Ten!

Sammy has now turned a perfect ten. It's tough to believe that it's been that long since I've given birth. He's such a great kid. For his birthday, he got breakfast in bed as well as getting a new piranha plant stuffed animal and a pipe that his other toys will fit into. Later that day, we had a couple of his friends over and they spent the time running around like goofballs and shooting golf balls at a cardboard village with the trebuchet. (Harrison broke one of the cardboard windows. :) )