Monday, March 31, 2014

Cake decorating contest

Noah crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts this past weekend. Part of the celebration was a cake decorating contest. Each Scout was encouraged to bake and decorate a cake, with the assistance of a parent, on the themes of Cub Scouts Belt Loops. Noah knew from the moment that the contest was announced that he wanted to make his favorite special chocolate cake. He mulled different ideas around in his head and settled on a belt shaped cake decorated with the belt loops. The only rule was that everything in and on the cake was edible. A trip to a cake decorating store solved his dilemma on how to present the belt loops - edible paper.
He whipped up his cake early Friday morning. After it cooled, Noah and Bob discussed different ways to portray the belt. Next, Noah rolled out his fondant, and gain a much greater appreciation for the talents on 'Cake Boss' and other bakers who use this tasty treat. With the help of a little water, he attached the edible paper with the printed images on to the fondant squares. Lastly, he needed to fashion a belt buckle, and decorate it. The tediousness and attention to detail did not deter him. The final Friday task was to make the filling, Nutella and whip cream.
Early Saturday morning, the cake was assembled on a plank. More whip cream into the Kitchen Aid and then the food coloring challenge began. The color of the belt had to be dark blue, not baby blue, not turquoise, not cobalt blue, but dark navy blue. Noah kept on adding food coloring until he finally achieved the perfect color. Covering the cake with blue whip cream he then laid out the belt buckle and belt loops- it now looked like a Cub Scout belt.
His cake was assigned a number to keep the judging anonymous, and his competition was pretty stiff. Lots of beautiful cakes, some were even wordy of 'Cake Boss' comparison. As the Cub Master announced the second prize winner, number 7, Noah first looked around to see whose cake was number seven, and then realized it was his cake.  He jumped up and ran up to the stage to receive his trophy and cake baking badge.  All the hard work, his attention to every single detail and a well executed concept was the winning formula.  Noah was so happy, and then cheerfully offered to cut up the cake for people to sample. Overheard by another Scout: "best cake ever, so tasty!"  Tasty and nice looking - perfect combination.
Maybe there is a side business for Noah in decorating cakes? I think we are going to surrender all future cake makings in this family to him.

Birthday Celebration

Friday we celebrated my birthday. Bob brought me lovely flowers and made sure there was a new vase to match the theme of the evening - Japanese. Lukas took charge of the dessert, and Bob headed up the dinner preparations. He worked diligently for over two hours to prepare gorgeous platters of scrumptious sushi. Noah was busily working on his Scout project but lent a hand as needed. 
I felt very well feted by my wonderful family, and the wine was fantastic, courtesy of my sister-in-law Lisa. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Many hands make light work and lots of laughter

Bob is so talented with his two hands.. what will he be able to do with three pairs??

There is Google Glass and then there is Lukas Glass

Lukas devised a new pair of glasses for himself, a pair with great near vision. The cool factor on the other hand.... not so sure. :-)

Lukas off to camp

The slightly warmer weather departed the area just in time for Lukas Boy Scout camp out. Dressed in layers, and more layers, he cheerfully packed up all his gear along with food to cook a lunch and a Cracker Barrel. He is working on his Cooking Merit Badge and the entire family is benefiting from his new found knowledge and food safety awareness.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Last Den meeting

Noah has thoroughly enjoyed the Cub Scout opportunities to earn badges, pins and belt loops. He liked the challenges and excelled at learning and doing what was required. As he reviewed his accomplishments, he realized he only had a few more to go before he had completed all the possible Webelos activities, yet, enough is enough. Only one more den meeting, meaning only one more chance to present, he simply could not 'hog' the entire meeting for his numerous presentations; and those requiring outdoor activities could not be completed as the weather was less than cooperative. Alas, he picked two more achievements to complete, presented at his last den meeting and called it a day as a Cub Scout.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Digging, of course

Today we finally had some warmer weather, the sun was shining and the snow piles are melting like butter in a hot pan. The boys headed outside for some fun snow play. I envisioned snowball throwing, but no. As I look out the window, I see them huddled together digging a hole. Sand, or snow, it does not matter, the perspective hole is calling these two boys. The mining and geology genes????

Educational Grant update

A dark cold evening in the late fall, the board members of SILL Research attended a educational grant proposal meeting hosted by the grant writer, Mr Lukas Severinghaus. After a well composed Power Point presentation and Q&A, the board voted to grant funding for Phase 1-3, which in reality only meant Phase 3 funding, phase 1 and 2 had no funding requirements.
Not unlike other proposals and project, this one met its share of challenges, as well as unexpected breakthroughs and surprises. This week, Lukas was able to complete these Phases. He along with his assistant Mr Noah hauled the robot upstairs, in pieces, assembled it, and proudly demonstrated it for the board member that was available at the time. The large, extremely heavy robot moved backwards and forwards on its own! Success!!!!

The board is now eagerly awaiting the next briefing, what will the robot do next?

Food art

Noah could not help himself, he made a pineapple, avocado, banana sculpture; if only we did not eat his art...

Snowball fight!

Lukas, Noah and Bob took advantage of the break in the weather and headed outside for a snowball fight. The fight quickly moved from the smaller back yard to the front where the terrain was not as flat. Bob's ball is in the air as Noah is getting ready to send one back. Lukas is managing to keep himself outside the fray by hiding his face in the snow.

Lovely hat

Lukas volunteered at the Boy Scout's Spaghetti Dinner on Saturday evening. Luckily for him, we did not bring a 'real' camera with us, so Noah could only get a quick shot of Lukas' stylish hat.
He served meat balls with a smile and walked around selling 50/50 tickets before helping with the break down, and clean up activities. Needless to say, he slept well that night.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Last Cub Scout Pack Meeting

Noah attended his very last Cub Scout Pack Meeting today. At the end of the month, he will attend the Blue and Gold Dinner at which time he will 'cross over' to join his brother in Boys Scouts. One of his last requirements was to participate in the flag ceremony, so today he was Color Guard and proudly carried in the US flag to start the Cub Scout Pack Meeting.

The Cub Scout Master called up all the Webelos 2 who are crossing over and shook their hands, the boys seemingly not as aware of the importance as they happily continued their munching on the snack, trying to juggle a mouthful, a snack bag and a hand shake all at the same time.

Pinewood Derby

One of the most well known events that each and every Cub Scout takes part in is the Pinewood Derby. Noah had the chance to participate once in this epic event, before he crosses over to become a Boy Scout this spring. Since Noah is an accomplished wood worker, he enjoyed working on his car, and painting it to suit his style. A last minute trip with Dad to Home Depot ensured that the weight was right on. 

Mamma had to be out of town and therefore could only experience Pinewood Derby through pictures. Lukas' busy robotics schedule did not permit any respite to go and watch his brother compete, so Noah and Dad headed off to the local race.

A few hours later and Noah, car and Dad were back home, thinking this was the end of Noah's Pinewood Derby career. There were many children competing and since the competition took much longer than anticipated, they left before the final ceremonies. Today in Noah's Cub Scout Pack Meeting, Noah found out that he and his red car has advanced to Districts. Noah rushed home to locate his car, making sure that it remains in great shape for the next round of racing. Now, he can hurry up and wait, the next event is May!