Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tobin's Last Week Before his Colorado Trip

Tobin was preparing to go to Estes Park, CO for a running camp. Here are some of the things he did in preparation, most of them were fun!

Tobin had promised to re-stain the swing set over the summer. He began the project, with Rachel's help the weekend before he left.

The day was hot and we caught Rachel showering her sister with an elephant watering can.

Then came the hair cut. Tobin hasn't cut his hair since we gave him a buzz cut in Feb. He wanted to be lighter for CO.

Here is the full head of hair:

The mullet look:

Now the lighter Tobin!

As much as I love his curls his new look is growing on me. I do like the buzz look.

We ventured to Wallis Sands in NH on Friday the 20th. Carmen brought her friend Madelyn with us. We met up with Chip, Marie, Marita and a family friend Alex Pietravalle there. I am amazed that Rachel, Madelyn and Carmen went into the water. NH water is too cold for me.

Rachel brought her snorkel and goggles for the beach. She did use both of them too.

Slowly walking into the cool water.

That water has to be so cold, but some how they can go in and stay in for a bit. Rachel said to me that she didn't think that the water was too cold since some many people were in it! I told her they were just crazy NH people who liked not feeling their legs.

Trying to feel their legs.

They did come out for a bit to regain feeling in their legs. Rachel decided that goggles were good eye protection on land and in the sea.

Madelyn and Carmen turned Rachel into a mermaid. I do believe that Carmen got burried, but she has little patience and I didn't get a picture of her.

Madelyn was teaching Rachel to body surf. It is hard to do it with these small waves. I still cannot believe Rachel was in the water for so long. I was cold just standing at the water's edge taking these pictures. Yes, I really like warm water.

A boy shared his a starfish he caught with Rachel. There are rocks separating the public beach from the private areas. He found 4 starfish and some crabs among these rocks.

Here's Tobin the day before he leaves for CO. He has his trusty buddy with him. He was trying to finish some AP English homework on Huckleberry Finn. I don't think much was accomplished. I did use the beach trip to teach Tobin how to use the camera I was lending him for the trip. I am the one who takes 95% of the pictures and then the others are taken by his sisters.

Not sure who took this one of Marita, but I like it.

At 6am, on Saturday Aug 21st, we met 12 other cross country guys and two dads in the center of Shrewsbury. I told Tobin have fun and let your mom know you are still alive daily. He was great and sent me a text each day with something they did. I will post some of the pictures he took and information on how wonderful his trip was.

August flew by. This is just a snippet of how we spent our summer.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Summer Art

This summer began with several trips to the cape and continued by sport camps. Once those events ended we still had many things going on. The girls decided to create murals of themselves. I believe this project was inspired from a time several months ago when Marita and Sarai painted a huge poster of their names.

At my house Marita, Sarai, Carmen and Rachel traced each others' silhouettes on banner paper. Then they spent hours in the basement painting these banners.

This is Sarai's:

I like how Sarai used large areas of color on her person.

Here is Marita's:

I liked her mermaid looking legs.

and her heart

Carmen decided to use splatter paint effect at the end of her painting session.

I liked her name on her shirt.

She also decided to use crayon for her hair.
Rachel used the splatter paint method as well. I took these pictures While the paper was on the basement floor. The perspective is odd because I'm trying to capture the whole body.

We are still in the process of working out how we are hanging these pieces of art work.

Way back in December, Sarai was given a wall tattoo of her name. It only took 7 months, but we finally put it on her wall. Here's a picture of it. We jokingly say that now people will definitely know this room is Sarai's! For those of you who don't know, this blue is the color of her walls.

We also tie-dyed multiple times this summer. I have never tie-dyed until this winter when Carmen did a pair of white jeans. The girls wear their shirts all the time. Rachel actually had a shirt come out with a heart shape on the front of her shirt! We could not have done that if we planned it.

Rachel took another sewing class in August. She made a zebra printed messenger bag.

It completely lined with pockets sewn in.

She learned how to put on magnetic closures in the inside of the lining. I am impressed with her sewing abilities. She did all of this in less than 4 hours!

I believe her next project is her Halloween costume..

Jenna and I took a sewing class at the same place as Rachel. It was a class that was held over two Tues. We learned how to sew a quilted purse. They remind me of Vera Bradley, but I think ours are cooler.

I took these pictures with my iPhone sitting in the car waiting for take out. The purse is made of three main fabric pieces. One side has two panels of the bubble pattern and one of the flower.

While the other side has two panels of the flower material and one of the bubbles. Both sides have red pockets. The inside is lined, with magnetic closer and multiple pockets. The handles are made from the same main fabric from the outside.

Now we know how to make these wonderful purses. Both our mother's would like one! I think we have sewing projects to work on.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Abram Learning to Fly

Some of you have heard that Abram is learning to fly! It is true. My husband is planning on getting his private pilot license. He tries to take lessons two or three times a week. Last week, Abram took Rachel on one of his lessons and then Sarai during another lesson.

These photos are from Sarai.

This is the plane Abram flew that day. They forgot to get a picture of the plane until after they were done and another person is getting ready for a flight. The plane is a Piper Warrior, which was designed to be a training airplane. The airport is Hanscom Field in Bedford, Massachusetts.

So many people ask me if I'm scared that he's flying. Not really. He has an instructor who has duplicate controls and can take over if something goes wrong or to demonstrate technique. Also, pictured here is Abram going through a long check list making sure instruments and engine are operating properly. We should be doing the same with our cars every time we get in, but we don't. Maybe we should be more afraid when we enter our cars.

This is Sarai's view out of her window.

Abram is now flying the plane. He landed the plane all by himself on this run. Up to this point, his instructor guided a bit during landings.

Here are some instruments. Top left is attitude indicator: tells you banking and horizon. Top right is altitude. Bottom left is heading. Bottom right is vertical speed indicator; it's measured in hundreds of feet per minute up or down. There are actually six main instruments used to monitor the plane's flight. The other two to the left are the airspeed indicator and turn coordinator. The turn coordinator tells you how the plane is oriented during a turn; whether it is 'slipping' or 'skidding'. Or course there are many more instruments as well, to monitor the engine and fuel, navigate, and control the radios.

Based on the picture, you can see they are sitting on the ground -- the altitude is 130 feet, which is the airport elevation. The horizon indicates a descent only because it is not powered when the engine is off.

View from the sky. They flew near Nashua, NH during their flight. Sarai thought it would be neat to land and surprise relatives that they had flown there! It is surprising how quickly you cover distances from city to city when you don't have to follow the roads and you move twice as fast as a car.

Many small airplanes do not have air-conditioning. The air is cool up higher so this is not an issue, except while waiting on the runway to take off or while landing. It does get hot inside the plane. As soon as you can, windows open to let cool air in. Here you can see windblown hair on Abram and Michael, his instructor. It is also very windy on a runway without trees and buildings blocking the airflow. Michael always looks as if he has been hanging his head out of the plane's windows with his curly hair.

Flying is tough. It is unlike anything else. There are many controls to keep track of, react to, foot pedals to push or not. Abram spends most nights reading flying manuals, recapping his flight to correct errors and studying for his pilots exam. Possibly next year we will reap the benefits of his new skill and hobby.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Room Renovations

OK, it's not really renovations, but getting new double bunk beds is a big change for Carmen and Rachel's room.

The bunk beds took 3 full weeks to come in. They are hand made. Both the top and bottom bunks are full mattress size.

Here's Abram assembling the beds. We did this on Friday evening. The only catch was that we didn't have mattresses for the girls.

The cats enjoyed climbing in between the slats and into the drawers under the bed.

Saturday, we ordered mattresses. Carmen was concerned that she would not approve of the mattress we had picked out. It is difficult to find a nice 9 inch mattress that is not $500+ because it is all made out of foam. We were able to find a nice mattress through an online store. My bargaining chip was that I would take them out to pick out any pillow of their choice for the new beds. This worked!

Sunday afternoon the mattresses came and Carmen loved how soft and comfortable they were! The girls had found zebra satin sheets while we were out shopping on Carmen's birthday. They also bought double fuzzy throw blankets for their beds.

Rachel picked out a huge body pillow when we went pillow shopping. Luckily double sheets come with two pillow cases. We used both to cover her body pillow.

Both girls LOVE their new bed. If we ever wanted to take these beds apart we can have two separate double beds.

The other room renovation we did that weekend was to put up Sarai's name wall tattoo. I blogged about this in December of '09. Here's a picture to remind you:
Now it is above the love seat in her room. We joke that people will no longer be confused as to what her name is or whose room it is. The wall tattoo was so easy to put on and looks great!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tobin's horn concerts

Tobin plays the french horn. He was in honors Wind Ensemble sophomore year. They put on a concert a couple of times a year. This picture of the whole band is from the spring concert. I photo-shopped four pictures to create this large one. I believe that you can see a larger version of this picture if you right click on the picture. Carmen and Tobin share the same teacher, Mr. Liporto.

This is the only close up picture I have of him at the concert. It is hard to get a good picture with in a large band. I wish I had a picture of his band uniform. They were given tuxedo shirts and pants to bring home. The blue bow tie and cummerbund stayed at school though. They looked fantastic.

During the month of July Tobin played in the town summer band. It is open to anyone who plays and instrument. Carmen could play in it next summer too! Tobin switched horn teachers and his new french horn teacher played with him. I believe the oldest band member was 80 and the youngest was 14. They put on two concerts. This one photographed was done at Dean park outside. We could hear this band from our old house years ago.

Here is Tobin playing his horn. Notice "buddy" came too!

Tobin will be playing for the Honors Wind Ensemble again this year. I look forward to great concerts!