Monday, May 30, 2016

Drop EVERYTHING and Dance, Sucka!

We built this city. built this city on kindie and folk.

We listen to a lot of music in our household.  From Kindie, to Blues, to Folk, to Americana, to Classical, to Indie, to Grunge, to Classic Rock, to.....well anything really.

That being said, we do have a kid themed Pandora station we listen to on most weekend mornings.  It is a mix of kindie artists such Caspar Babypants and Elizabeth Mitchel, with some Johny Cash, Jack Johnson, and the like thrown in for good measure.

And, once the algorithm gets cranking, it ends up being a fairly fun and breakfast appropriate mix.  The only problem I guess would be that there is not a lot of new music added to the profile, so after time you end up hearing the same songs on a regular basis.

I say 'problem' but, in all honesty, even this has it's advantages.  It's silver linings, if you will.

The most obvious of these to the LIAYF household is that the kids, as well as Mrs. LIAYF and I have identified for each kid a song that is "Their Song".   For each these are songs that elicit a healthy round of dancing and general merriment.


Usually, as I mentioned, this is in our kitchen. On a weekend morning during breakfast.  So, if Annabelle's song 'Ho Hey' by the Lumineers comes on, we drop everything, crank up the volume, and proceed to enthusiastically dance around the kitchen like complete fools, laughing and intermittently hugging all the way through.

Thankfully, Ho Hey is a relatively short song, because by the end Mrs. LIAYF and I are pretty much worn out.  In fact, after a minute or so we are usually eagerly awaiting the conclusion.

Similarly, we laugh and dance enthusiastically and sing to Lukas' song 'The Best Day of My Life' by American Authors.  This is a great song, sure, but it's even longer than 'Ho Hey', so takes a lot of effort, especially for dad such as myself.

Bottom line, it's fun, but it can be a little much if done on too regular basis.  And now the kids expect dancing to happen anytime either of these songs come on.  Nay, they DEMAND it!

That became apparent a few nights ago, when, after walking around our local business district, we all stopped into a local Starbucks where most tables were quietly taken up by singles on their laptops. But the music was playing, relatively loud.

And of course, as soon as we had ordered, 'Ho Hey' started piping loudly out of the speakers.  Annabelle, in here cutest 3 year old voice, immediately screamed "My Song!", grabbed our hands, and led us to the middle of the store where she started to dance around still holding our hands.

Well, what could we do?  What would you do?

I'm sure we looked rather foolish to the rest of the onlookers, but we all danced around until the song was over.  We were a little more muted and not quite as enthusiastic as we usually are in our kitchen.   But drop everything and dance, we did.

Annabelle was pretty happy with that, which made it all worth it.  Although I sure hope we don't start making a habit of dancing around public places.

Even if it is pretty darn cute.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

What a Rube!

For his 3rd Grade Science Fair recently, Lukas was tasked with entering a project as part of a class assignment.

He was excited about the idea not only because this meant no additional homework for a month, but because after entering a project in the fair during his 1st grade year (I wrote about it here), he was not given an opportunity last year in 2nd grade, as the teacher opted instead to do a whole class project, which bummed him out.

So, this year he went all out and decided to go with an idea he has been wanting to pursue for some time, having collected various and sundry items that might someday be used in just such a project.

What was the project, you ask? Well, for his Science Fair Project, Lukas designed and built his very own Rube Goldberg Machine, which was all kinds of cool once completed.  

Just take a look at this, his first successful test of the full machine, and try not to smile a 10th of what he does in this video.   Don't worry, it's only a minute and well worth a watch.

Yes, it was test #101, like he said!  But only test #7 of the whole finished machine.  Mrs. LIAYF worked with him on many of the details, but make no mistake, this was his project and he was the point person on every part of the process.

We are all very happy with his choice of projects, because besides being a lot of work, it was also a lot of fun as you can see, and Lukas also learned a LOT about physics during the process.  As he is quick to point out, his Machine used gears, levers, pulley's, wheels, axles, and springs to convert energy into completing the task of popping the balloon. 

Thankfully, the Science Fair went off without a hitch too, with his whole class - as well as curious onlookers from around the school, expressing much interest in the machine, and wanting to try it out for themselves.  

Of course, not every individual run through went off without a hitch, but that only stressed the delicate balance that had to be attained to make the Rube Goldberg Machine work as designed.

Before you ask, no, I guess I am not smarter than a 3rd Grader.

Which is also pretty cool I suppose.