Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mosby Continues to Supervise

As we keep working on our jigsaw puzzle, Mosby seems more and more interested in what we are doing.  You can see him to my right in the picture below.  :-)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Retro Entertainment

Today we decided to opt in to some "old school" entertainment by starting a 2000 piece Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle.  It's been a few years since we put one together, so we have been looking forward to doing another one for a while now.

Our approach to building the puzzle is pretty textbook in that we started by framing the boarder.

After the boarder was completed, we began sorting the remaining pieces by colors to begin segmenting them into the areas of the boarder that they matched.  (Mosby decided to help me with this step.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

See You Later Jorge

Today was the day that we were least looking forward to of Jorge's visit - they day he left to go home to Tucson.  Saying goodbye to loved ones at the airport is something that I have been doing since before I was in grade school.  Because of this I made it a point to coach Barbie into not crying as to prevent Jorge from getting sad.  I also spent a good deal of time talking to Jorge about the fact that I would not cry when he leaves because I am going to be thinking of all the good memories we had, and not about the fact that he is leaving.

I was very happy to see that my efforts paid off.  On the way to the airport we told Jorge that we don't say "goodbye" when we leave family and friends, but rather we say something like "see you later."  This helps us to stay focused on those good memories and avoid the sad feelings that sometimes come with goodbye's.

Sure enough, when they announced that pre-boarding was starting Barbie and I both gave Jorge big hugs and thanked him for coming and that we would see him soon.  Jorge reciprocated the sentiment and smiled at us both as he said he would see us later.

Although this event was something I had been through dozens of times (although I was always on the kid side in the past), I got to do something for the first time.  As Barbie and I sat and waited for the rest of the plane to board and pull away we met another couple who had just put their granddaughter on the same plane as an unaccompanied minor.

Barbie and I got a chance to visit with them and exchange stories about the month they got to spend with their 11 year-old granddaughter and the month that we got to spend with our 12 year-old nephew.  The stories that we shared really helped all four of us feel better as we sat and waited to see the plane take off.

Jorge Discovers Magnifying Glasses

While we were packing for Jorge's departure, he discovered a pair of magnifying glasses that we use when working with small items.  Things like building micro circuit boards and super-small stitches are what we normally use them for, but he literally loved looking at everything with them.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Playing Ultima

One of the things that Barbie and I absolutely love to do when we visit family in Tucson is play Ultima. Ultima is a mexican version of Domino's.  The games are virtually identical with only a few differences in game play and scoring.

As a kid, Jorge was often not able to get a seat in the larger games because there were so many adults playing.  So, during his visit we made it a point to teach him how to play and to play a few games with him.

As you can tell by the smile on his face, he really enjoyed being able to play with us late into the evening.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jorge Gets Up Close With Geese

Throughout his visit, Jorge was amazed at the number of geese that he would see around ponds near neighborhoods and shopping centers.  As we were leaving the house today, Jorge saw some geese on the walking path near one of these ponds so we quickly ran back into the house to get some bread so that he could feed them.

Although he was excited to feed the geese, Jorge was a bit timid of them once he saw how big they were up close.  The video below is the first time he fed them.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dominion At Dusk

Just past the "International Street" attraction at the entrance to the park, is a 1/3 scale replica of the Eiffel Tower.  We decided to take a trip to the top to watch Jorge's 4th Fireworks display of the summer.

This was Jorge's first time seeing arial fireworks from eye level since we were roughly 340 feet in the air.

The fireworks display was only about 20 minutes long, but the finale was pretty good and the view was awesome!

Jorge's Front Row Ride on the Dominator

The picture above is the Dominator roller coaster at King's Dominion and it is now Jorge's favorite one.  This coaster is a steel floor less coaster that was opened in 2008.  The ride lasts 2:06, travels at 65 mph, has 5 inversions, has a maximum drop of 148ft, and is 4,210 feet in length.

When we first came to this coaster, Jorge was really excited since he had never been on one that went upside down.  So, Barbie and I decided to go on it with him.  The first ride was awesome!  Jorge laughed with joy the entire ride.  We quickly decided to take another turn, and Jorge enjoyed the ride even more.

For the third ride, Jorge said that he wanted to be in the front row.  And he said he wanted to try riding it alone.  So, Barbie and I waited and watched for him at the bottom of the first drop where we captured the video below:

Jorge kept his hands up the entire ride!  He actually had rock fists in the air when he passed by the coaster camera.

If you are curious to see what Jorge experienced on this ride, you can watch the video below.  It was posted by a roller coaster blog that recorded the Dominator ride from the front row just a couple years earlier.

Jorge Rides the Avalance

The roller coaster above is the Avalanche at King's Dominion.  This is a bobsled style coaster in that it does not roll on a traditional track or pipe.  Instead it is released into a series of chutes and half pipes after being lift ed 69 feet to the top of the ride.  Once released it travels 3,200 feet at 41 mph over 90 seconds back to the main station.

This ride was the first coaster that Jorge rode on this visit.

Dinosaurs Alive at King's Dominion

One of the first attractions we ventured into was a new one at King's Dominion called Dinosaurs Alive.  This attraction is based on animatronic life size dinosaurs.  As you pass through the attraction you not only get an appreciation for the scale of these dinosaurs, but also how they lived, and how many of them would die.

The video below was taken before Jorge found out that there were motion sensors that were triggered when guests would approach each dinosaur.

King's Dominion Arrival

Anyone who has been to King's Dominion before knows of the water fountains along "International Street".  For most people this is just an obstacle that is between the entrance and most of the rides.  However, for a young man from southern Arizona these were worth stopping to admire.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013

Another Beautiful Day At The Pool

What better way to recover from the 4th of July, than to spend the day at the pool.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th At The Great Meadow

With the actual Independence Day finally here, Jorge got to see his third areal fireworks display at the Great Meadow.  This display was the longest one of the week at 35+ minutes.  It was also the one with the highest attendance with over 20,000 people watching the sky with us.

Jorge Takes On An Obstacle Course

Today I took Jorge to the Great Meadow for some Independence Day activities.  Several of the activities that were set up were obstacle courses.  When I showed Jorge what these courses looked like, he was immediately drawn to the tallest one and was eager to try it.  Below is a video I took of his run through the course.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Star Spangled South Riding

Tonight was the second fireworks event for Jorge's visit, as we went to South Riding to enjoy their festivities.  The video below is the last 60 seconds of the 20 minute display.  Throughout the entire display Jorge was "ooh-ing" and "wow-ing" with every new color or design that he saw in the sky.

Jorge Catches His First Lightning Bug

A few days ago I showed Jorge what a lightning bug was.  We were on the deck as the sun was setting and a few of them began to light up near some bushes on the ground.  The following night we went out to the grass as the sun set, but a stiff breeze kept most of the lightning bugs on the ground.

Tonight we headed over to South Riding to their Independence Day celebration, and as we were listening to live music waiting for fireworks to start Jorge saw a few lightning bugs.  After less than a minute of trying, he caught one.  The video below is him opening his hands to get his first up close look at one.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Dogs Are Used to Jorge

After less than a week of Jorge's visit, both of our dogs have become so comfortable with him that they sleep with him on the couch.  We took this picture while Jorge was playing Minecraft on the XBox.  Maddie is easy to see, but if you look closely at Jorge's right knee you will also see Mosby.