Monday, March 26, 2007

Levi Finishes 2nd In County Spelling Bee Due To Manure

My son Levi represented his school today in the county spelling bee. He did a great job, finishing in 2nd place overall out of 26 4th graders. Levi correctly spelled well over a dozen words, including "examples", "probably", and "graffiti" before misspelling "manure." He spelled it "manuer."

This is humorous as Levi comes from a dairy farming heritage, his grandfather worked a large dairy farm which 2 of his uncles still run.

Levi also comes from a great spelling heritage, with several uncles, aunts, and his father having participated in this same county spelling bee. One of the first, uncle Dick, missed the word "license." Levi's grandmother has made it her duty to make sure that whenever another of her kids or grandkids enter a spell-down, they know how to spell "license" if nothing else.

Likewise I made sure he would not miss the first word I ever missed in the county spelling bee, "buried." I clearly remember several other students missing it by starting with "ba" or "be" or even using a "y", but I misspelled it with 2 r's, "burried."

Levi's accomplishment today was much better than my best showing, I don't recall ever even making the top 10.

Many of the most challenging words today were compound words where the kids had to decide if it was a single word, 2 words, or a hyphenated word: "slam-dunked", "air conditioning", "flagpole", "eyesore", and "old-fashioned" were among the tricky words. The hardest word I heard was "Peace Corps" but Levi said he would have gotten that one correct.

Great job Levi!

Family Life

We got included in this weeks Family Life Carnival over at More4Kids. There are some great posts over there, be sure to read a few.

Interestingly, we went to Michael's Crafts again this weekend and it was a free day sponsored by Crayola!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Carnival Of Frugality

For some money-saving tips, check out the latest edition of the Carnival Of Frugality.

Especially don't miss the Entertainment & Hobbies section.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

She's Crafty

We did something today that is one of my favorite things to do with my kids. We went to Kids Club at Michael's Crafts.

Our Michael's has this every Saturday and for just $2 each, the kids get to make a fun craft project. Since today was St. Patrick's Day, the craft was to make a green shamrock pin.

They bent a green pipe-cleaner into a J for the stem and glued it to the back of a small wooden heart. Then 3 more wooden hearts were put together to shape a clover and glued to the base heart.

They then got to paint their clovers and coat them with glitter. Finally they glued a small pin to the back.

I really think this is a great program. It doesn't cost much, some weeks are even free! They do a variety of projects, and there is no mess at home to clean up. My kids and I have been doing this for at least 4 years, and they really enjoy it, especially Bess.

It's difficult now since we are involved with soccer and basketball and have games almost every Saturday, but whenever we can we try to fit craft day into our schedule. Now that I am remarried, I often have as many as 5 kids with me from ages 6-9, and they usually all enjoy the craft project.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pizza Blog Hosts Contest

My other blog, Pizza Delivery Stories, is hosting a free basketball contest for the ESPN Tournament Challenge. Check it out!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rec Olympics

I took the kids back to their Mom's community today so that they could participate in the "Rec Olympics."

Stepson Nolan came along and participated also.

The kids all did really great! Rae was in with a big group of boys and girls age 6 and they only had 3 events: Obstacle Course, Long Jump, and 60 meter run. Rae had fun and earned a participation ribbon.

Levi and Nolan were in a group of about 15 boys ages 9-10. They are both 9. There was a kid named Seth that won 4 of their 5 events. The only person to beat him at all was Nolan who took 1st in the swimming event. Levi placed 3rd in swimming and 2nd in the Long Jump. Nolan also finished 3rd in the obstacle course. I don't think any other boy in their group earned more than 1 ribbon.

They also participated in the 60 meter run and a basketball shooting competition, but the rims were lowered to 8 feet and both boys are used to shooting at regulation 10 foot rims so the lower height messed them up.

Bess was really the star of the day, finishing 1st in 3 events among girls 7-8. Bess won the swimming race, the obstacle course, and she must have beaten all the other girls by about 2 feet in the long jump.

It was a nice day, inexpensive (only $7 per kid and they got a t-shirt). It cost even less for me as their mother signed them up! The kids got some exercise and we all had fun!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Vote For Me!

Local Girl at An Island Life is having a photo contest. Please check it out and vote for me, WeekendsWithDad, if you are so inclined.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Not Just Weekends

First off, thanks to TheHype for including us in this week's Carnival Of The NBA!

The title of this blog is somewhat misleading. I do spend most weekends with my 3 kids but I also have them during the week. Our shared parenting plan calls for me to have the kids every other weekend plus 2 midweek (school night) overnights during the week.

Our schedule right now, set in part by my ex-wife's work schedule, is for me to have the kids one week on Tuesday night, and Friday night to Monday morning (4 overnights). The next week the kids are with me from Thursday night until Saturday afternoon.

The good thing about this schedule is that the kids are with me most of the day on every Saturday, when they are off school and I am off work. This allows me to coach their sports teams, namely soccer and basketball.

I do have a part time job as a pizza delivery driver, and one negative to this current schedule is that I always have the kids on Friday night. This is the busiest (and most profitable) night to deliver pizza, but I try to work most of my shifts while they are with their mom.

This is a Thursday - Saturday week so I am looking forward to seeing my kids tomorrow night!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Inspiration (Photo Contest)

An Island Life is having a photo contest entitled "What Inspires You?" This is my entry.

This picture of my daughter Rae was taken by me in July 2002 at the Columbus Zoo. You can see the wonder, amazement, and joy on Rae's face as she reaches out towards the penguin. My kids inspire me to work (to support them), to spend time with them, to coach them, and basically to do all that I can to help them learn and grow. Seeing a look like this on their faces makes it all worth it.

Two In A Row

We got included in another carnival. This one is the Carnival Of Ohio Bloggers hosted by Sadie's Take on Delaware Ohio. Thanks!

Monday, March 5, 2007


Thanks so much to Mike at Be A Good Dad for including my 100th Day post in the Carnival of Family Life!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Awana Grand Prix (Pinewood Derby)

This morning I took my kids to their Awana Grand Prix at their mom's church. We had to get up and be on the road by 8am.

I participated in 2 pinewood derbys as a cub scout but my cars were both slow and boring. I have no woodworking skills (or tools) so I really am not very helpful in this. Their mom had their brother Jim (her son from her 1st marriage) help them. So when they arrived on Friday night, their cars were put together and painted.

When we arrived, the man who checked us in advised Levi and Bess to add some weight to their cars. He offered some washers and screws and both kids wanted to so we added some weight to the top of Bess's car. Levi's car was too thin for the screw to go in all the way so we added his weight to the back.

We were ready to go!

Before the races there was a short presentation from Jeremy Grimm, a bicycle racer from Team GodSpeed. He quickly covered several topics including his relationship with God, the importance of eating right and exercising, his relationship with his family, and bicycle racing.

Now Rae's age group was up first. Rae's car had no extra weight but won it's first race. She lost her next race but it was double elimination so she was still alive. She won another before losing again to finish at 2-2 and earn a participation ribbon.

Levi's car was up next and the trouble began. His car was triangle shaped and painted yellow with black spots, it looked like a piece of cheese. The added weight in the back brought the front wheels up and his car jumped the track and crossed sideways in front of the car beside him. This happened twice and the judges gave the race to his opponent.

The old-timer who had suggested we add the weight quickly found us and suggested we race his car backwards so that the wheels stay down. We tried this for the 2nd race but now aerodynamics were against us and Levi's car lost a close race.

Meanwhile Bess raced unopposed in her first race and moved on, but lost in her next 2 races.

They gave 3 trophies in each division for speed and 3 more for design. But many of the top cars for speed also won for design, even though they were just very thin, with well-placed weights, and a shiny paint job. Rae's car had red, white & blue stripes. Bess's car had flames shooting up the sides. But Levi's cheese car was pretty creative. Still he was not judged in the top 3 in the design category.

Each child was awarded a ribbon for participation.

It was a fun morning, and then we had to hurry home for Gabe's 1st birthday party!

Thursday, March 1, 2007


A quick thank you to Dr. Homeslice for including me in this weeks Carnival of Education! Much appreciated!