Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Smith Mountain Lake

We got a cabin at Smith Mountain Lake for a race weekend getaway (read about the Big Lick Triathlon here). I still can't get over how nice and affordable these 2 bedroom cottages are. This one was built in 2009 and was in great shape. Unlike the cabin we had in the spring, this one had a dock, which was all well and good except for the prominent NO SWIMMING sign. We got around that by doing "deep-water wading"!! The water was in the mid to upper 70s, much nicer than the mid to upper 60s in May.

The kids enjoyed frolicking and wallowing, and chasing after the two resident ducks named "Jiffy and Jelly". If you recall from May, Jiffy was named then. We naturally assumed this was the same duck, plus a friend. The kids cheered me on, but because it was an Olympic rather than a sprint, there was a bit more sitting around involved. Still, a good time was had by all!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spencer and Vivian

All you really need in the world is one truly good friend, and Spencer sure has found that in Vivian!

Grant is sparring!

Now that Grant is a blue belt he is able to spar in Karate class. This past weekend was the first time and his intensity, focus, speed, and agility really impressed me. It was also his first time with, as he calls it, a "private protector"!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Y Wind & Solar Ribbon Cutting

On September 20 we're finally having the ribbon cutting for the Y Wind & Solar project that I have helped lead for the last 18+ months. It's shaping up to be a great ceremony with lots of folks from the Town, VT, and the YMCA. More later, but here is the invitation!

Spencer's Winning Choices Essay

The 5th Graders are required to contribute an essay to the County's Winning Choices contest where they describe something that describes one or more desirable attributes. Spencer wrote his about his good friend and classmate, Vivian:

Not Your Average Fifth Grader
By Spencer Martin
Ms. Smeltzer, Grade 5

The American Dictionary defines caring as, “To be concerned or interested.” I believe that my dearest friend, Vivian, exhibits that nearly every day.

In fourth grade, Vivian gave me a gift. It was a handmade pillow with the symbol pi embroidered on it. She chose that because it was meaningful to me, not her. It was a very special gift. The best gift is a gift made with care.

Then, on the Tuesday before fifth grade began, Vivian was teaching me how to embroider. I knew how to stitch, but that was all. She gave me the right fabric. She helped me choose the right thread. She even helped me put the fabric in the embroidery hoop. Because of her, I learned to embroider. The next time I came to her house, I helped her embroider a quilt square with little to no help. We both had lots of fun while showing care, accountability, fairness and a lot of great things. This goes to show you that you can have fun while making winning choices.

At school, Vivian encourages her classmates to follow instructions and is always open to other students. She shows respect towards adults and students alike. She enjoys going above and beyond in everything, whether it be intricate cursive or extremely easy addition. She puts her head and heart into everything.

Vivian shows care towards not only me but everyone in the school. In only the previous two examples, she exhibited commitment, loyalty and a whole lot of positive attitude. Just think, that’s one tiny bit of her life her life. Think of the rest of the great things she’s done for all the rest of her life and years to come. Because of this, I look at her and smile. I know she’s a role model for me and one for you, too.

Dedicated to Vivian Lawrence

Spencer's Scratch Projects

For quite a while now Spencer has been working with a free game development application called Scratch that was designed for kids at MIT. It's a great introduction to programming he's hooked. He has a friend, Davis, who uses it quite a bit and there is even talk of working with it at school. Here's a link to his projects:


Spencer is definitely our technology guy and Grant is following close behind. They finally got me on Skype, they are both on Facebook, and when the teachers have tech trouble at school they often call on Spencer!