Memorial Day rolled in cool and rainy around here. Christopher left early to work at The Root Beer Store, promising in exchange that he would vacuum the entire house later. That was an easy deal. He came back around 11 and we headed to meet our friends for a family version of The Amazing Race. I don’t know how we ended up with such cool friends, but it sure is nice to do fun things and not have to plan them. So we met at the Park and Ride–20 families total–and got our first envelope. I was driving and Christopher navigating. Before he even opened the letter he instructed me to beat everyone out of the parking lot, so I started driving. A block away, we realized the first envelope contained a Harry Potter quiz, and we’d need to fill it out and turn it in back at the Park and Ride for our first destination. Thankfully, Megan and I knew our Harry Potter, so we didn’t need to look up any answers. Our second envelope contained this picture:
Our next task: Head to the closest Root Beer Store – at the store you will need to bring in ID and find a brand of rootbeer that begins with your last name. They need to buy it and bring the bottle to the finish line – empty or full is their choice.
That one was easy. The next clue sent us to a comic book store in Crossroads Mall:
Where do you find a Hulk Statue in Bellevue? Go there and look for an Amazing Race person for your next clue.
Kris was waiting for us with another challenge. We had to either:
- Nail Polish – find someone in the food court and paint their nails.
- Puzzle Time – go to Uncle Games and ask for a puzzle. Complete the puzzle.
We decided the nail polish would be faster and Megan completed the task in record time. We ran back to our car to find the next location. “Now head to Issaquah to find where the tracks end the edible landscape tour begins.” A quick Google search sent us to the Issaquah Visitor Center on Gilman. Smart phones are amazing.
When we got there the challenge was: On foot go to the Gossypium Quilt Shop and find material which matches this swatch (but you can’t repeat any other material that others before you have picked. When the employee feels that you have picked material that matches – buy a ¼ yard and leave it there to be added to the mix.
We had assigned Gavin to this challenge (before we read the clue), so Gavin and I ran down to the quilt shop in Gilman Village. Although I was not supposed to help him, I did hint that the easiest way to match the flower fabric we were given would be to pick a solid color in the fabric. He did great. Ours was the yellow. And Kris is going to make a quilt out of the fabric we all picked. The original fabric is on the bottom.
We made up time in the quilt shop and headed to an address, which was the Folkman’s house. The challenge there:
- Jump – one member of the team must jump off the top dock into the water
- Run – your family must carry the rice in the spoon to the measuring cup each taking a turn til it fills up the line.
We knew the rice would take forever, so Christopher jumped in the lake. Thankfully he had brought his bathing suit, and quickly changed, but next time we’ll have someone wear their suit to start with.
I wish I had captured Christopher jumping off the dock at full speed, with the kids cheering him on, because it was a fun moment. Unfortunately I was too focused on the game to also take pictures. Another mom took a picture of her daughter about to jump off. Christopher didn’t stand at all; he just ran up the stairs and took off. Ben had to be restrained; I think he would have followed his daddy right into the lake, rainy weather and all.
The next destination was the Beaver Lake Pavilion, right by our house, where we had to solve a logic-type puzzle. While I chased the kids Christopher breezed through that. What took half an hour (according to one family) took Christopher maybe 5 minutes. The last clue was to find Owen, and he was just over by the lake. However, we were a bit behind and came in 5th place. I was still pretty proud of our family, and I hope we can do it again. The Allens were awesome to plan it! We love them.
Fortuitously, the race ended a mile from our house, so we headed home, dirty and wet, and went straight down for naps. The weather stayed cloudy but it was dry enough to grill some chicken for dinner.
Tuesday was back to the grind after our four-day weekend. Ben was back in school and Logan and I hung out with my friend Andrea and her two kids.
Wednesday dawned cold and rainy (again!) so I took the little boys back to Kidz Bounce and let them go crazy for an hour. It was worth it (again). That afternoon I sent Megan and Gavin to Cub Scouts and Activity Days with a friend. An hour later when I went to pick them up, I realized that it was not June 5, Megan did not have Activity Days. Fortunately, they were making a Father’s Day craft, and Megan just helped out the Scout leaders. She’s such a great kid.
Thursday I had the carpets steam cleaned while Ben was in preschool so Logan and I ran errands. Thursday night Christopher was invited to go to a Mariner’s game with some friends.
Friday morning I had the IEP meeting for Ben at the elementary school. I still feel weird about putting him in special education, thinking there are kids that need those resources more, but it’ll be good for him, and for all of us. The rest of the day was typical. Friday night I took Gavin to the athletic club to try out for swim team, but he still needs to learn the strokes. My least favorite part about living here is the lack of places to swim. Swimming has got to be the fastest way to wear a kid out, and there aren’t many options here. They are building a huge YMCA aquatic center about a mile from us, but that will take several years.
Saturday morning my friend Bethany picked me up along with six of our friends and we took the Theo Chocolate Factory Tour in Seattle. See what I mean about cool friends planning stuff? We had a blast, and got Mexican for lunch after. I absolutely love factory tours in general, and I think one summer I want to drive around the US and do nothing but factory tours. The kids would learn SO much. I have been happy with my kids’ education so far, but I think public school really lacks the connections that ties everything they are learning together. For example, in a chocolate factory you can learn about geography and history and chemistry and engineering. Those subjects are never connected in a school environment. I took biology and history and literature and never realized how it all related. I hope to be able to connect some of those dots for my kids.
But enough about education, because really, Saturday morning was just about eating chocolate and gabbing with my friends.
When I got home around three, Megan was babysitting the sleeping boys while Christopher and Gavin were at his last regular season baseball game. Christopher and the kids had gone garage sale hunting while I was gone, scoring a toy storage rack, a bag of Duplos, and Logan’s dream toy, a mini Dirt Devil.
Sunday was church. The kids were pretty good in Sacrament Meeting, but my 9- and 10-year-olds were bouncing off the walls in Sunday School. My co-teacher (Jamie Savage) and I are going to have to figure something out. After church Christopher and I made a huge dinner while the little boys slept. I made barbecue and mac and cheese and green beans and rolls and Christopher made German potato salad that was SO good. Corey and Pam and Lexi came over with Christopher’s Uncle David, who is in town from Utah. We ate and talked and played Rook until 1 a.m. It was fun.
I had to snap a picture before David left. There’s a definite resemblance.