Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Memorable Day

Wow. Where to even begin. Yesterday was a fun-filled day for us, packed with excitement from the moment we awoke until we put the kids to bed (late, even on a school night!). Before you read any further, you might need to refresh your coffee (or Dr. Pepper) and settle in. Today's blog is a long one.

When you're not sure where to start, I guess you should just start at the beginning. It was a banner geocaching weekend for us. We've already told you about our first two adventures, and we managed to log another cache, Road to Revolution, on Monday. After Ted made us all an amazing breakfast (pancakes, eggs, sausage-yum!), we headed out. It was a two part cache requiring us to first visit the Minuteman Visitors' Center to figure out answers to clues. Those answers were in the form of numbers, which then fit into a set of coordinates directing us to the actual location of the cache. A short drive into Lexington brought us to Whipple Hill Conservation Area where we hiked a short distance up the trail to the cache.

Lucy, being the big girl she is, insisted on walking up (and down) the rocky path herself and even took to bushwhacking to the actual cache.
After returning home we prepared to have a neighborhood Tie-Dying party. Having never done this before brought its own challenges to the activity beyond the challenges of doing this with a crowd of 30 eager (read impatient) kids and a few adults (thankfully they were mostly patient! ;)) as well. However, with some willing parents helping out we were able to tie dye t-shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops and a few socks for any who wanted to--and at the same time teach a lesson on delayed gratification! First there was the 20 minute pre-soak, then waiting a turn for the table to dye, then wrapping the shirts to soak the dye for 6-8 hours, then getting the shirts washed and dried. The kids are thrilled that they will finally be able to wear their shirts to school tomorrow.

Now, at this point some might be inclined to call it a day, but noooooo, there is so much more in store for Freedom Circle's Memorial Day Bash.

For a few years now I have wanted to have a bicycle parade/decorating contest for the kids to participate in, and this was the year to put it in action. Our Circle of 9 houses has 30 kids and most of those decorated their bikes. It was amazing to see all the unique and fun things the kids came up with. There was the 'Zoo on Wheels,' a tank, a cowboy on a horse, a pirate ship, a doctor bike, a Little Mermaid bike, X-Wing Fighter, hockey bike with attached Zamboni (a bike trailer), a rock n roll bike, a Webkinz bike, Americana bike...really they were all so well done! After the kids lined up at the top of the hill, we had them ride their bikes down and around the circle a couple of times to the cheers, applause, and flashing cameras of their parents.

The worst part was trying to pick a "winner" in each of the four categories. I don't think we did the best job on that one, but I think the kids had fun parading their bikes--there were smiles everywhere! Although our kids didn't 'win' a prize, I know they had fun.

We had a flower garden:

a Hawaiian bike

a space shuttle

and a princess in her castle

But wait! That's not all. After the kids had their competition, it was time for some adult competition. A throw down to Build a Better Burger. Everyone was invited to submit a burger for a 'friendly' contest. I say 'friendly' because a few on this circle are pretty darn competitive (you know who you are!! :)). Indeed, it was friendly, and we all gorged on 10 different burgers (apparently there was division in one household on the best submission, they submitted two)
and then ranked our three favorites in the categories of presentation, uniqueness of ingredients and the ever important category-taste. The winner received a gift card to Fuddruckers, which Ted found humorously're a really good hamburger maker, so you go eat someone else's hamburgers?

After that, we just kind of hung out while the kids played capture the flag at the top of the hill and some of the adults played bocce ball. We may not have built the best burger, but apparently Ted and his buddy did win the bocce ball game.

Unfortunately, the fun we had all day did no favors to the house. After herding all the kids inside for baths (they were filthy) and bed, we still had a house to clean. Between tie-dying, last minute bike preps, and burger building, our house was a wreck. Earlier, Ted overheard one of the kids say that the burger winner should be the family with the cleanest kitchen--maybe not such a bad idea.

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