Saturday, November 24, 2012

Feeling Festive

Most years, the weekend after Thanksgiving is spent getting the Christmas tree up and decorating the house. But due to some slight changes to our schedule this year, we got the tree up on Thanksgiving day itself. And that left us looking for some special adventure for our long weekend.

After only a short pause, we all agreed it would be a great time to trek south to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Texas Renaissance Festival!

It was a beautiful day, though a bit cool to start off with. Thankfully we remembered our jackets and of course there were stands to buy hot chocolate all over the place.

It's been a couple of years since we were last able to make it to the Ren Fest. And I think this was probably the most fun we ever had there as a family. Wonder Boy was not as focused on the rides this year. Instead, he was much more interested in the comedy shows and the musicians. The first performance we caught was a real fun group called Clan Tynker. They kept us laughing as they performed various acts from sword swallowing to juggling to fire eating! Not a bad way to start the day!

Next we made our way to the Fire Whip Show. If you ever get a chance to catch this guy's performance, you do NOT want to miss it! He is even featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for his amazing skills with the whip!

We couldn't miss out on the Birds of Prey show either. I love the bird show - that is always one of the highlights for me. The hawks, falcons, and even the vultures are pretty cool, but it is the owls that bring me back year after year.

The final show that we were able to squeeze into our day was the Ded Bob show. This is the show that had Wonder Boy clutching his side and laughing his head off (which for me was just as entertaining as the performance)! Again, if you ever have the opportunity to catch Ded Bob and his act - DON'T MISS IT!

We enjoyed the whole day - the weather was great, the shows were fun, the store fronts and vendors gave us plenty to dream about. It was such a nice part of our Thanksgiving holiday. And the time spent walking hand in hand, laughing, and enjoying life together is something for which to be truly thankful!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Doing the Dash

It has long been our philosophy to be "Do as We Do as Well as What We Say" kind of parents to Wonder Boy. And one thing we have always stressed is the importance of staying physically active. We feel it is not only good for the body, but for the mind and the soul as well. I know that for me personally, the downward spiral that follows periods of inactivity is something I try to avoid at all costs.

Even before Wonder Boy came along, we worked to be counted among the 'active'. And now with Wonder Boy in the picture, we try even harder to set an example he can follow. We are regulars at the gym. We enjoy mountain biking and hiking. We dabble in the martial arts. And we keep an assortment of fitness equipment and activities at the ready even at home.

But with all that said, sometimes you need to find something NEW to put a spark back into your training program. One way to do that is to set some kind of fitness goal. As this fall started to approach, we were getting that all too familiar feeling in our workout routine ... the fact that it was just ... too routine. So we made some changes at the gym and we started to look for something novel and fresh on which to set our sights. And we found it in the Warrior Dash.

For those who don't know, the Warrior Dash is a 5K trail run that sprinkles in about a dozen obstacles along the course. Obstacles that include hurdles, wall climbs, short swims, balance beams, army crawls under barbed wire, an infamous mud pit, and even a fire jump!

One of our soccer friends, Mrs. D, encouraged us to sign up with her and another pal so we could run as a pack. And I am so very glad that we did. Having a new goal gave our training a new focus and purpose.

On the morning of November 10th, we caravaned with Mrs. D and family to the Warrior Dash site, just outside of Bastrop, TX. We got registered and secured our timing chips to our shoes and then began the wait for our start time.

Finally our wave came up and we got our chance to take off. Mrs. D and her bud were a bit better conditioned that Wonder Dad and myself and eventually we got separated. Wonder Dad could have left me behind to work on his time, but he decided to hang back and experience the whole course by my side. I am glad that he did as there were plenty of moments to stop and consider what we had gotten ourselves into with this little endeavor.

I am very proud to announce that while we didn't have the most stellar times recorded, we finished each and every obstacle (I was worried about the Warrior Wall as I am not a great fan of heights). We crossed the finish line muddy and tired, but together. And Wonder Boy was there with Mrs. D's family waiting for us - that made it even more special for us.

We stay fit for our own personal reasons, but actually showing Wonder Boy that we value the things we profess to value is a huge bonus. And I hope that over time regular fitness will become an integral part of his way of life as well.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Transforming Rose Box, a tutorial

Welcome to this inaugural origami video tutorial by Wonder Boy. Here he will instruct you on his latest origami project, a transforming Rose Box. Enjoy!

Origami Rose Box