This is Jethro's Science Fair Project, being worked on by all the boys. The project title was 'Supercapacitors vs. Lithium-Ion Batteries.' It went through several adaptations, the first one would have been the easiest and best--it involved the slot car track and the slot car. Unfortunately, once when he put the track/car away less carefully than he should have, the car got lost and was never recovered. So then they had to come up with other plans, and so on and so forth.
I don't think the final edition of his project involved any of the Snap Circuit stuff seen below (I could be wrong), but it was one of the versions.
And finally (after Jethro stayed up late the night before finishing it, of course) he made it to the Science Fair. He placed 14th.
(Trying to get the flash to be not-dreadful is ridiculous. I need to buy me a little point-and-shoot camera just for indoor shots like these.)
Brett helped Jethro a lot, but after it was all done, I sent him this, because, truth:
Jethro also went to a TSA (Technology Student Association) competition at a campus south of Pittsburgh one day (I wish I had taken a picture of him when he got home, he looked so spiffy in his mandatory gray slacks and red tie). He did one event of programming (I forget the official title) the lego mindstorm--they told him he had to build a turnstile thingee for cars as if they were going through a toll gate, and he said he was the only one in his group (of 3 kids) who knew AT ALL how to do it, they couldn't even help him put the lego bricks together or anything. And it was the older version than the one he has, so it was a bit strange to him, but they placed for that event. Then he had built a car for a racing event but their track didn't work. What a rip-off. And then he did the Information Bowl, which was like a game of answering random technology questions, and his group was undefeated.
He recently read 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich' and LOVED it (actually I think he didn't read the whole thing from beginning to end each and every word, but he essentially read the whole thing). I kind of think that when he grows up he should be an engineer for 3 days a week and a history professor for 2 days a week because he loves it so much. His piano teacher convinced me to give him 15 minute longer lessons because he needs to be challenged more and I finally got him a guitar teacher. He recently made a lot of noise about wanting to play the cello (he even got my friend Stef to teach him how to play 'twinkle twinkle little star' on their cello when we went to their house for dinner). He's a bright kid, so it really baffles me that he can't figure out how to close his dresser drawers.
Here is a fish Hazel made in her art class. I like it.
A blurry picture of her holding it.
She was a little mad at me recently because I told her she couldn't read any more books until she read the German one I got her for Christmas. She just kept reading other ones until I realllly got after her and then she grumped a lot (apparently she doesn't love the book and it's much slower-going to read in German), so I feel very sympathetic right now towards parents who have to cajole their children into reading. No fun.
So I bought a groupon for Orrin to take swimming lessons for a month, twice a week, from the British Swim School. Their lessons are ordinarily prohibitively expensive, but the groupon was a great deal and I thought I would just do it for the month. Well, he did FANTASTIC! He started out in the class where all they do is focus on floating, and once you can jump in, roll to your back, and float for 20 seconds, you pass to the next level. He was pretty much floating his first lesson, and it only took two more lessons for him to pass. It was so fun to watch him! His teacher was impressed with his no-fear attitude, and she asked, "How does he know how to float so well already?" and Orrin said, "Hazel taught me." :)
So here he is holding up his ribbon when he passed the Minnow Level.
Now he's in Turtle 1. And the following video is the first time his teacher had him try Backstroke:
He's doing so awesome!
So, since he's making SO MUCH progress and loving it so much, I got suckered into buying more lessons for him and for Wyatt too. So I'll post pictures again I'm sure.
Here's Talmage holding up his 100 Day Hero cape for school on the 100th day. So, he brought home a note explaining that he would need to put 100 of something on his cape and everyone would be expected to have one ready on that date, yadda yadda yadda, he brought it up several times in the course of the following couple weeks--telling me that we needed to do his cape, I kept putting him off and saying we'd do it later, and then one morning he said, "We forgot to do the cape!" and of course he had to have it that day, so I hurried and printed off a picture of the boys on their motorcycles and 92 more motorcycle tires and we glue-gunned them on as fast as we could, and then I dropped them off at school because they missed the bus by a few minutes, because I AM AWESOME like that (pretty sure that's the take-home message, right?).
And the last achievement--look how tall Jethro has grown! It's crazy! Wears the same size shoes as Brett too.