KING TeC returns home from Peoria

Matt's robotics team went down to Peoria for a district competition, made it to finals, lost in finals, but received the Chairman's award for being a model robotics team. Some of the robotics team member families decided to welcome home our little robot people with signs and balloons to celebrate the award and the qualification for World's competition in St. Louis in late April.

It has taken me 4 years to understand how the competition system works (and there are parts I still don't understand), but Matt understands it, and can expound at length. He wore his two medals to school today (one for team finalist in the regional competition, and one for Chairman's award). I could tell he wore them because I heard them clinking as he walked in the door.

At some point I'll get an actual photo of the robot, Sir Bedivere. Jim and I are planning on going to the competition in Minneapolis at the U in early April. I'll be able to see the robot in action.

Last all district band concert

And the one where we finally return Mr. H's house key to him. We've had this house key for two plus years, ever since Hayley dog-sat for Mr. H. (Mr. H is one of the district band leaders and he's familiar with the 4 band kids we've had). Hayley used to babysit Mr. H's daughters too.

We are down to 1 actual band concert and 1 possible marching band event ever as high school band parents. Katie picked up a flute after fourth grade and we've been band parents ever since.

One of the songs the Wind Ensemble played was Xerxes and if I may direct your attention to this post from six years ago, you will understand why I was so excited to hear it again. Also if you go back to that old post, you'll see Matt as a young trombonist. Too bad he wouldn't allow close up pics at this concert so you could gauge his growth.

Re: Xerses, I talked briefly to Mr. K about it, expressing my delight that it was played, and he said Matt was one of several seniors who requested th…

I can't drive 55

The title of a familiar song to Jim and me, which I did not use on Jim's birthday cake. I'm kinda done doing all out, fancy schmancy, detailed cakes anyway since I've done them for so long. I think the first one was a Batman cake for Paul when he was 3 or 4. And now he's in his 20s. But now that I think of it, I do have one more detailed cake to do: Matt's grad cake. Oh and Hayley's wedding cake(s).

I went easy on myself for Jim's cake. Boxed mix, which I like better than homemade anyway, and Katie had given us some leftover buttercream frosting, enough to frost a cake and do minimal decorations on it. So when I sat down to decorate Jim's cake, I had to come up with an idea that was 1)easy, 2)special for Jim, 3)doable in one color because I wasn't going to mess around with multiple colors, and 4)no fondant.

I toyed with the idea of writing the lyrics to The Beatles' You Say It's Your Birthday, but I ditched that in favor of writing random li…

Grand children

Jim and I had Jackson and Emma for the weekend. It was good to be up close and personal grandparents for three full days. Boy, they were full days. Jim and I did nothing else but tend to them. Even sleeping was weird because we went to sleep knowing the baby would get up in the middle of the night at some point but we weren't sure when. It's weird to always be on the lookout. It's been a long time since we've had a baby wake us up. And it's been a long time since we've had to focus so much attention on children. It was a reminder of what it was like to be a young parent, only we had old people bodies to use instead of young people bodies. Not complaining, though. I'm glad we said we would babysit.

It was almost tough to hand Jackson and Emma over to the other grandparents for the next three days, because I was pretty close to deciding to adopt them because they are just so darn cute. I enjoyed hearing Jackson say "Hi Gramma" at random times. I alw…

Matt doing things

Matt has been busy with school and robotics. For not seeing a lot of him, I was able to take lots of pictures.

He's graduating from high school at the end of the school year, and I'm both excited for him and sad for myself.

Como conservatory

First big crossing off of something on my celebrating 50th year list: going to the Como Park Conservatory. It's a gloomy, foggy, misty Saturday in Minnesota, but the conservatory was a day brightener. The tropics room was nice and warm too.

Before we went to the conservatory, Jim picked out a cafe for breakfast (which turned out to be more of a brunch because we got there at around 11), Key's Cafe. Jim had a Mexican omelet and I had Eggs Benedict with a side of avocado. The place was packed. While we waited, the staff put out samples to keep us happy. I had a delicious bite of cinnamon roll, and Jim tried the gingersnap cookie bite that was offered. The food was good, but they forgot my avocado and we had to remind them. But it was still good.

Then we had only a mile or so from the cafe to the park. I had gone on field trips in elementary school to the Como conservatory, so the place has changed. Lots more has been added. But the part I remember is smaller that it was last tim…

January picture dump

It's quiet again after the college kiddies left. Big news, Hayley is engaged! She has grown up quite a bit capability-wise since she left for college, but it's still weird to have many years of memories of a little girl coalesce into an adult that is independent and different that what you might have thought she was going to be. Anyway, we like Austin a lot and they seem to be happy together. (We also knew it was coming)