Corinne's Egg Drop

March 28, 2024 7:35 pm

Every year Rancho has the 3rd grade students build projects to protect a raw egg which are then thrown off the top of the multi-purpose room (probably about 25 feet up).

Corinne designed her project with a friend. I assisted with construction (handling the hot-glue gun and cutting cardboard), but the design is all their own.

A cardboard box, bottom covered in cotton balls, filled with layers of cotton balls, tissues, paper towels, and an uninflated balloon. Then a parachute made from a small garbage bag.

Watch it fly!

Corinne's 9th Birthday

March 25, 2024 12:10 pm

For Corinne's birthday this year I designed a Minecraft adventure. She's been big into Minecraft this year. Since her birthday was on a Sunday we had lots of time for the adventure. Jess took the girls to lunch at Panera while I set everything up.

I was actively involved with the adventure as it happened and I asked Jess to take video, so I don't have any pictures during the event, but you can watch the whole thing if you like (55 min):

When she arrived home from lunch she was welcomed to Minecraft and given an inventory bag and a map. She was told that Blockville was being threatened by an Ender Dragon because someone stole the dragon's End Crystal. She needed to follow an old legend about a lost end crystal, recover the End Crystal, and return it to the Ender Dragon to save the village.

Her first stop was to see Shelly the Shepherd in the meadow. All of her llamas got loose and needed Corinne's help to gather wood, build fences, create a pen, and then bring all the llamas back.

Once the llamas were corralled Shelly was able to tell Corinne some information about the lost End Crystal and referred her to Farmer Peregrine on the Farm.

Peregrine wanted to help, but there was a wild pig loose in his crops. He needed Corinne to mine some stone, build a trap, and trap the pig.

With the pig trapped, Peregrine was able to dig through some old family documents for some information about the crystal. He suggested Corinne visit Annie the Archaeologist who has been studying ancient relics and runes.

Annie found a locked chest and determined that the combination was related to the coordinates of a nearby statue. Corinne needed to measure the coordinates from the origin indicated on her map. In the chest was the last piece of information she needed about the End Crystal. She now had all 3 coordinates for the crystal and just needed to find the location.

In her closet she found the lost End Crystal and then activated the portal to The End. Inside was the ferocious Ender Dragon.

With an acceptable substitute for the stolen End Crystal having been returned, the village rejoiced, showered Corinne in gifts, and threw a party in her honor.

Along the way she crafted a sword/pickaxe and some diamond armor. Here she is with her new friend, the Ender Dragon:

I designed and built the llamas, pig, Ender Dragon, armor, and End Crystal. They're all made from cardboard and hot glue. The dragon includes an aluminum skeleton of 1/8"-thick flat bar running from head to tail and wing to wing. Jess painted the llamas, pig, and dragon. Some concept art of the process:

Celebrating after the adventure with presents!

If you couldn't tell by the gift selection, she's really into Minecraft right now.

The rest of the family was recovering from sickness, so we stayed home for dinner (for which Corinne chose Taco Bell). Then it was time for cake!

The following weekend Corinne had a birthday party--the first we've hosted since the pandemic. She invited a few close friends and they made name tag headbands (so your name shows up over your head, like in Minecraft), assembled Lego kits, decorated cupcakes, and painted on canvases to take home. She had a blast.

The End of Elementary School for Heather

June 10, 2023 2:46 pm

Heather finished up elementary school this year which came with a bunch of end-of-year activities. Here's a smattering of them.

On April 21 she had her "Walk Through the American Revolution" play for which she was Benedict Arnold:

On May 5 was the Rancho Color Run, which included Corinne:

On May 30 Heather had her first violin concert:

And a video of part of the concert (sorry for the shakiness, I was standing in the back hand-holding the camera with a zoom lens):

June 2nd was the 5th grade recognition assembly:

And the last day of school was June 8:

That afternoon and evening we invited some of the girls' friends to go to Lost Worlds (family fun center) and have a little party to celebrate.

Corinne's 8th Birthday

March 19, 2023 3:19 pm

Sometime last year Heather had asked if she could help with the next birthday adventure. So as Corinne's was coming up I asked if she still wanted to help. She was very excited to plan an entire adventure for Corinne.

Heather was sick the final weekend before Corinne's birthday, so Jess and I ended up assisting with final prep work. But, in general, the entire thing was Heather's design with some consulting from me to smooth out rough spots and clarify tasks.

It all revolved around a story book which Heather wrote and assembled. The book provided the narrative and character interactions and Corinne was instructed to turn to specific pages during the adventure to continue the story.

The overall theme was a My Little Pony adventure. She helped each of the ponies with some task which provided her with clues to the encoded message Pinkie Pie found where Corinne's presents were supposed to be. Once all the clues were collected it became clear that Queen Chrysalis had ordered the presents taken. With the assembled ponies and the collected elements of harmony she was able to defeat Queen Chrysalis and recover her presents.

Reading the introduction in the story book:

Baking a cake with Pinkie Pie revealing the first 2 clues to the coded message:

Helping Fluttershy rescue stranded animals revealed the number 13 which was the next page in the adventure:

Apple Jack needed her baskets, but couldn't remember how to disable the anti-pranking alarm system. Corinne needed to retrieve them without touching the streamers and found a note with more clues.

Rarity couldn't remember the combination to her lock where she kept her notebook and Corinne needed to sew the pattern which Rarity created as a back up. Once sewn, the pattern marked the numbers 3-1-7-8.

She also needed to clear the clouds that Rainbow Dash forgot to take care of, which recovered another clue and Twilight Sparkle knew a book with helpful information in it (not shown).

Queen Chrysalis was confronted at her hive (in the backyard) and the presents were recovered from the bench.

Then it was time to open presents! At the moment she is all about Squishmallows and reading.

We went to dinner at her choice of restaurant, which was Taco Bell. And after dinner, cake!

Jess whipped up the crochet crown for her to wear to school since she didn't have anything super green to wear and wanted something.

Gymnastics Recital 2022

May 21, 2022 6:18 pm

Like Heather's class play, the girls' gymnastics class held their first recital since 2019 this weekend. Corinne was nervous about it, but had a great time. She was positively beaming when she got her medal. Heather is always very stoic during public performances, her play and this recital included. Pictures came out a lot better this time since I have the new camera. The gymnastics recital is always incredibly challenging for getting decent pictures. Full sun outside, but dim inside with lots of backlighting. We went and got frozen yogurt afterwards.