Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Duke, the Duchess, and Prince Harry (Potter)


This. Makes. Me. Happy.

William, Kate, and Harry went and toured the Harry Potter Studios outside of London on Friday.

You might recall, I was there last May. I walked through this very door.

Wish I'd thought to have a wand fight, though. Dang it. Photo op lost.

And doesn't Harry make the PEFECT Weasley addition?!?!

 My worlds have collided, and all is still well.

Better than well, actually.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Last Catch Up: Houston Family Time

Embarrassingly enough, this post was from October. Not sure why it never got posted, but Carl brought it to my attention it was still in draft form.

Still, it seems appropriate to post it now that I am finally just about done catching up on the past six months.

So here we all are, back in October when Beau and family came to Houston to see Bebe.

We've since been treated to a subsequent solo Beau visit, so it seems all kinds of wrong that I'm just now posting these.

We had a great time visiting, and it was wonderful for BeBe to get to see them.

Since I knew there was a good chance of four younger kids going a bit stir-crazy at BeBe's house, I loaded up my vans with all our wheels - bikes, scooters, skateboards, roller skates and roller blades.

And yet they STILL managed to fight a bit over who got to use which wheeled accoutrement.

Carl and the boys had a Scout camp-out planned for the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi that Saturday night, so we decided to take the kids out of school to get the most cousin time bang for our buck as possible.

I'd feel a bit worse doing this, but neither boy has missed a day of school this year otherwise so I think we'll survive.

They left Houston for Corpus around noon on Saturday, and I got to have some time alone with my nieces (notice the new clothes I bought them? I just wish Laurel's shirt came in Auntie sizes.)

I especially loved when Laurel went out shopping, and Audrey and I cuddled on BeBe's bed and we (and Beau) watched Pride and Prejudice together, which just happened to come on television.

I explained to Audrey that Elizabeth was about to meet her Prince Charming, and that they would get married and she would become a princess, but she didn't like the prince at first, sort of like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, but that Mr. Darcy would soon change his bad ways like the Beast so that she could love him. And that both Belle and Elizabeth were very content with their books. :)

Meanwhile, Alex, Ryan and Carl all had a great time on the Lexington.

This was Ryan's first official camping experience as a Scout, and he was VERY excited about going. Alex's group had already had their camp-out, so he just got to be the sibling on this trip.

We all had a great weekend, and most importantly, I know that it meant a lot to BeBe to have Beau and the girls in Houston.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

And Finally ... the Blue and Gold

The Blue and Gold ceremony is the Scouts' annual "graduation" ceremony.

Every year, there is a theme to the evening's activities.

This year, it was a Western theme.

Each den in the pack has to decorate their table, and there is a cake decorating contest.

And each  den puts on a skit before the new patches are handed out.

Both Alex and Ryan loved their evenings all about them and their friends.

Bonus mustache picture. Because every blog post deserves a mustache picture.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Still more Scouts: Pinewood Derby

Carl posted a while back about the boys' cars they were making for this years Pinewood Derby.

The event was a great success.

Alex built the Blue Angel, and Ryan built the Lego Racer.

Its so much fun to watch the cars racing down the tracks.

The boys had a fantastic time that night.

But the icing on the cake was that Alex's car, for the third year in a row, was a Top 10 finisher for speed.

Go Alex! He came in 8th place.

And while Ryan's car (for reasons unclear to Team Danger's engineering division), was nowhere near the Top 10 (coming in somewhere in the mid-forties for speed), he still managed to win the award for Most Colorful Pinewood Derby Car.

His good friend Derek won best Tiger Scout effort, and they could not contain their joy.

The irony of Ryan winning Most Colorful? I had nothing to do with the car or the painting. When I saw the finished product, I politely questioned to Carl (never to Ryan) why the decidedly un-Legoish color was used for yellow, and the un-legoish green and purple were used. To which Carl responded that Ryan had picked them himself, so that was it, and I was silent thereafter. Still... I thought the traditional lego colors should have been used for Ryan's Lego Racer. Amusingly... another lego derby car was at the Derby this year, and I quickly noted they had used the expected four primary lego colors. Since Alex's den hosts the Pinewood Derby, I was privvy to the fact that the two lego cars were the finalists for the Most Colorful Award (the voters didn't know it was Ryan's car). And the reason Ryan won over the other lego car? Because his had MORE colorful colors , and not just the typical ones.

Which just goes to show you that I can, in fact, be wrong every once in a (non-lego colored) blue moon. (Although I will note I was TOTALLY right that we needed to buy a yellow paint pen to write  "1", "US NAVY" and "Blue Angels" on Alex's car. And I'll note that Carl also agrees he was wrong that we didn't need to add the text.)

The best part of the evening, though? Despite the huge amount of work and effort for the den to host the Derby, despite the wrong lego colors, despite the yellow paint pen, despite the fact that one brother's car was WAY faster than the other brother's car... we still came home with two smiling, happy boys, two trophies, and two happy parents.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

More Scouts: Rocket Launch

Meanwhile, Alex's den hosted a rocket launch.

The boys had all built model rockets this year as Bear scouts.

Which gave us a great excuse to host our meeting outdoors and launch them up  in the sky.

Chris and Al came to help us out.

Alas, the morning of the launch was freakishly cold and windy.

So more than a few rockets were lost. :(

That didn't stop the boys from having a great time, though.


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