Cub Scouts Wood Project

One of Jonathan's Cub Scouts requirements was called "Baloo the Builder" where he was required to build and paint or stain a wooden project of his choice.  I asked Jonathan what he wanted to build and he said a toy gun.  We only had a week to complete it so we got started right away.  

I searched Google for toy wooden guns and Jonathan found a nice rubber band gun he liked.  With an idea in mind, we got to work.  I told Jonathan he was going to do most of the work and I was there to supervise and ensure he was being safe.  The first step was to use a square and mark the L shape of the gun on the wood.  With it marked, Jonathan went to work making his first cut.

He made the first cut all by himself and had to take several breaks since his arms were sore.  We started on the second cut before deciding to move on to power tools to speed things up. 

We grabbed the miter saw and prepared to make our next cut.  Before we got started, we made sure eye and ear protection were in place and covered a few safety rules.  Once ready, I held the wood while Jonathan carefully operated the saw.

Cutting was done, time to sand it.

Jonathan wanted to stain the handle a brown color and the barrel a silver color. We taped it off to help keep it clean and separate 
The design called for a clothes pin to be used as part of the trigger mechanism.  We pre-drilled holes through the clothes pin to ensure the nail didn't split it as we hammered it in (lesson learned after the first one).  J did an excellent job hammering the nail without damaging anything around it.

Time to stain the barrel nice gray color.

Here's the final product after J added several personal touches.  Fortnite is a popular video game so he wanted to have the name on the side.  You can see the rubber band and trigger and how it works.

J hammered a few nails in for the sights and added a serial number.

Well done, little buddy!!!


Kaitlyn's 2nd Gymnastics Meet of the Year!

Kaitlyn had her 2nd gymnastics meet of the year on Saturday, 16 Feb 2019 in Landover, Maryland.  We had an early start to our morning and were out the door by 6:20 am. It was the 2019 East Coast Classic and G-Force had an excellent showing.  There were 13 girls in Kaitlyn's session and she had some excellent performances.  Her floor routine was probably the best she's ever done (all the moves were sharp and on point) and her balance beam routine, which is traditionally her most challenging event, was solid as well.  Her standings are towards the end of the rather than recapping here.  Enjoy!


Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby - 2019

It's that time of year again when the Cub Scouts carve up a block of wood to create the fastest pinewood derby car they can.  The past two years, Jonathan chose military themed vehicles and understood they wouldn't be too fast due to their design.  This year, he wanted to go for speed.  After a little research and watching a few YouTube videos, we were ready to get to work.

Jonathan's first derby car was the Humvee and last year's was a tank. We thought both were pretty awesome!

Jonathan helped with all aspects of the car, to include using the miter saw to cut the wedge design.

Using the dremel to burrow out a section to allow the weights to be countersunk.

The weights installed on the bottom of the car.  The car can weigh up to 5.0 ounces and we were around 2 ounces after the wedge.

After a few coats of paint, Jonathan applied his USA-themed decals. 

All the hard work is done, just need to put the wheels on.

The final product.  We were excited to see how his car would do on race day.  We had high hopes.

The below video shows 4 of his 8 races.  Despite our best efforts, his car didn't do well.  I think we had an alignment issue with one of his front wheels and it was pulling to the side.  His car is in the far left lane to start and moves one lane to the right for each subsequent race.  I was very pleased to see him take the bad fortune in stride without being a poor sport or letting it ruin his day/experience.  We'll try again next year!

Great Wolf Lodge - January 2019

We tagged up with the Wells to go on a short family trip to check out Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA.  Between Kaitlyn's upcoming birthday and excellent report cards by both kids, we figured it was a good time for a treat.  This was our first trip to Great Wolf Lodge and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.  The main attraction is the indoor water park, which is especially popular in winter when it's freezing outside, with plenty of additional amenities to entertain the parents and kids.

Jonathan is still in his Marshmello phase so he brought his bucket and was chillin' while jamming to music on his headphones.  He's happy doing his own thing and doesn't really mind what others think.  Good for him!

The eagle has landed!  The entrance was nice and we were excited to get inside and see what else was waiting for us.

J wanted to make sure 'mello was included in the fun! 

Complimentary wolf ears for the kids...howling was encouraged.

Nice big fireplace with several great looking stuffed wolves.

Kaitlyn with Violet the Wolf.

They had a candy shop that we walked through but ultimately decided on ice cream for dessert.  Only $12.99 to fill up one of those plastic cups (no thanks!).

The kids had a cute setup in their room that included a bunk bed and TV.  We actually left the TV on while they fell asleep, first time we remember ever doing that.

This is the picture on the wall across from their bunk beds.

A portion of the indoor water park.  These pics were taken while we were munching on Dunkin' Donuts and waiting for the park to open.

The big bucket up top was just about full and ready to dump...

Look out beloooooooowwwwwww....

The boys chillin in the lazy river...

...and the girls.

The obstacle course

The lodge has "story time" every evening where parents and kids relax in their pajamas and listen to a story about the history of Great Wolf Lodge.  It was ok, we debated cutting out early but stuck it out.

Jonathan with Wiley the Wolf.

I didn't get pictures of the larger water slides but they are in the video below.  We had an agreement with the kids, whoever rode the Howlin' Tornado, which was the biggest, fastest, and scariest water slide in the park, would receive a full size McFlurry (no snack size this time).  Since they both rode it, they both received a reward on the ride home.
Plenty of good video footage to enjoy!  Until next time....
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