Another Badge Update

Brownies can do anything

Anna’s Brownie badge progress has slowed up a bit since the start of school. We had to switch troops once again in October, but now we’re settled into an excellent troop with a great leader who also happens to be a very good friend. So it’s time to start ironing and sewing again …

Making Games (January 22).

Making Games (1/21/15).

Anna began this badge at a Girl Scout Halloween/Juliette Low Birthday Party last October. She created a party game called Pin the Hat on the Brownie Elf, a mystery touch-box game, and a find-the-differences picture game.

Then at our troop party in December, she taught everyone a variation of Four Corners called “Trefoil.” Instead of separating into four groups, the girls split into three. And instead of the number called being “out,” the other two are. The goal of the girl who’s it (Anna) is to eliminate everyone. The goal of the other girls is to be the last one left.

Finally, at our meeting last night, Anna introduced a brand-new sport she invented called “Cookie Relay.” The nine girls split into three teams and ran a relay. The first girl in each team had to pick out a cookie based on a description, the second girl had to make correct change from a collection of play money, and the third girl had to find an appropriate hello, thank you, or cookie description. The first team to finish (without making a mistake) wins. Everyone enjoyed the game and learned important cookie-selling skills too.

Computer Expert (1/22/15)

Computer Expert (1/22/15)

Anna started this one at the beginning of January and is all set to finish it tonight. The first step in this badge is by far the most important—reading and signing an Internet Safety Pledge. After that, she created a picture in a paint app on her iPad, looked up a bird she saw in our backyard and correctly identified it, and researched Brazil to prepare for World Thinking Day next month.

This evening, she’ll write  “thank you” emails for her birthday presents and assemble a five-song playlist to share at her next Brownie meeting. And that will complete her Computer Expert badge.


Brownie Quest badges

Brownie Quest (in progress).

Finally, there’s our current journey, Brownie Quest. The Brownies in Anna’s troop are working on this set of badges together. Last month, we completed the requirements for the first two keys—Discover and Connect—and last night we brainstormed ideas for a community service project to complete the third key. The plan is to pick a project next week and try to complete it before booth sales start.

Brownie Cookie Badges

Wait! I almost forgot about Cookie Badges!

Bloggerhood Etc. 1/5/15

2015 rollover

Via Google Image Search

Happy New Year! Here’s the best of the week from around the blogosphere.

Best News.Pope Francis Is Trying to Rally 1.2 Billion Catholics to Help Avert a Global Disaster” by Tom McKay at World Mic.

Best Advice.Counting Gifts Instead of Problems” by Abby McDonald, guest-posting at Purposeful Faith.

Geekiest Post.Who Would Win and All-Out Battle: Star Wars or Star Trek?” by Rom Lokken at Gizmodo.

Best Theological Post.Why it Matters That the Bible Was Written by Human Beings” by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry at Inebriate Me.

Best Parenting Post.A Tale of 2 Elsa-Themed Birthday Parties” by Jennie Sutherland at Huff Post Parents.

Best Question.Is Depression a Kind of Allergic Reaction?” by Caroline Williams in The Guardian.

Best What If?The Alternate Histories of Mario Cuomo” by Russell Berman in The Atlantic.

Best Infographic.‘Let it Go’ with Phonetically Accurate Lyrics” by Andy Herald at How to be a Dad.

Best Commentary.The NYPD’s ‘Work Stoppage’ is Surreal” by Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone.

Best Reflection.Hail Mary: You Have More in Common with the Mother of Jesus than You Think” by James Martin at Slate.

Best Story.The Most Important Cardboard Box Ever?” by Stephen Dowling at BBC News Magazine.

Best Bad Idea.Nothing Gold Can Stay: In Pursuit of the Best Sports Account on Twitter” by Jon Bois at SBNation.

Best Confession.I Am Lord Business” by Buzz Bishop at DadCamp.

Best Video.The Teleporter” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

“Yep. The blog’s ruined.”

Bloggerhood Etc. 12/29/14

Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Xavier Romero-Frias (CC BY-SA 3.0)

And the Twelve Blogs of Christmas (aka the best Christmas posts of the week).

1.SB Nation’s 12 Days of GIFsmas” by Bill Hanstock at SB Nation. 

2.Have a Merry, Messy Christmas” by Kelly Langston at Support for Special Needs.

3. “The Town With Three Christmases” by Yolande Knell at BBC News Magazine.

4. “By His Light” by Ashley Larkin, guest posting at Christine Purifoy’s blog, There is a River.

5.House of Bread” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

6.Things I’ll Be Doing This Christmas Vacation” by Andee Zomerman at Nature of a Servant.

7.An Unexpected Revolution” by Elizabeth Stoker-Bruenig at Democratic Socialists of America.

8.Books on Monday: Charlie and the Christmas Kitty” by Leslie Lindsay at Speaking of Apraxia.

9. “A Nation in Dire Need of Christmas” by Christopher J. Hale at Time.

10.Cool Gifts Christians Can Give Baby Jesus for His Birthday” by John Pavolitz.

11.Pope Calls for Peace, says: ‘Truly There Are Too Many Tears This Christmas!’” by Gerard O’Connell at America.

12.The Glove and Boots Holiday Playlist” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

Her First Track Meet

Anna loves to run. From the time she could put one foot in front of another and keep her balance, she’s been trying to go as fast as she can. She’s fast enough now that people are starting to notice.

Her coach at our local after-school fitness program noticed. Anna started winning sprints and steeplechases, and her team won a relay. So we looked into local track clubs and found one holding an open meet last Saturday.

Her coach thinks she’ll be a great hurdler someday, but she’s too young to run hurdles at a track meet. Instead we focused on what seem to be her strengths—running fast and jumping. We signed her up for the 100 and 200 meter races and for the long jump.

The long jump was first. The kids compete in age groups—from youngest to oldest—and Anna was in the “8 and Under” group, so she went first.

She’s never tried a long jump before and has no real technique, so she fouled all three times. It was pretty upsetting. We almost had to leave, but once she calmed down, she decided she wanted to stay and try running.

Then we waited and waited (and waited). They were running behind schedule and a meet we thought would only last the morning looked like it might go all day. Being our first track meet, we had no idea how long it would last. We watched some of the other races and caught glimpses of the field events. Then around 11 am, they called the 100 meter competitors over.

The kids got their lane assignments and lined up in rows. Once again, the races were schedule by age—from youngest to oldest—and alternated between girls and boys. Anna’s race was first.

She was briefly confused by the curved lines on the track, but once she figured out her lane, she was all set.

The starting pistol fired and they were off. I was at the start of the race so I couldn’t see what place she was in, but despite a slow start she seemed to be keeping up with the other kids. I walked down to the finish line where Julia was and asked how she did.

“Fifth place.”

She got a ribbon and was very happy with her finish. For her first track meet ever, it was an excellent result. We are so proud of her.

By this point it was about 11:40 a.m. and there were several more races until the 200 meter sprint. Anna had a Brownie meeting at 1 p.m. so we had to pull her out of the last race and leave.

She was okay with that. She earned her first ribbon.

Fifth Place

And hung it up as soon as she got home.

Now it’s time to start looking into track clubs.

Bloggerhood Etc. 9/9/13

Baseball cannon!

“Hey batter, batter, batter!” Photo:

I begin this week’s entry with a tie for funniest post—both from SB Nation.

Best Distraction.Browsing the Sports Section of Sky Mall” by Bill Hanstock.

You may know SkyMall from being on a plane and suddenly realizing you forgot to bring anything to read. Dang ittttttt. But we’re here to let you know that SkyMall is online and you can purchase any number of sporting goods, accessories and collectables right through their handy website!

I love Skymall! And now I can enjoy their catalog without the cost of a plane ticket. O happy day!

And …

Best Video Game Character. Breaking Madden: Meet CLARENCE BEEFTANK, the Jaguars’ five-foot, 400-pound quarterback” by Jon Bois.

He is indestructible. Trying to injure BEEFTANK is like trying to puncture a cinder block. He runs like the roundest of freight trains. He is like Pac-Man, only his maze is of the existential sort that funnels him through the cockles of football’s pure heart. He can frequently bowl over multiple defenders in a single run. He can also throw very, very far, a skill that does not fit into his game at all … (but) his throwing power is fully tempered by his thorough inability to throw with any degree of accuracy.

Bois makes up for this apparent flaw by never throwing the ball. BEEFTANK either hands off to Maurice Jones-Drew or runs the ball himself. He’s all-but-impossible to bring down, but tends to tip over while cutting. And no matter what, the Jags still lose.

Moving on to some of the more serious and thought-provoking posts of the week.

Best Open Letter.Authors and​ Booksellers: Join The Indies First Movement” by Sherman Alexie at the American Booksellers Association website.

Here’s the plan: We book nerds will become booksellers. We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends’ books. Maybe you’ll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling (maybe even world-changing).

Sounds great! I’m in!

Most Moving.The Good Father: Of God, Doubt, and Gay Relationships” by Stephen at Sacred Tension.

One Sunday morning, when I was at the end of my rope, I was on my knees during mass crying out to God for an answer. And then something happened.

I don’t know how, but I suddenly knew that God was there with me. I knew that His holiness was wrapped all around me, gathering about me like heavy smoke. In the midst of that holiness, I didn’t feel judged, I didn’t feel cast away – I felt safe. Safe for the first time in years.

Best Start to a Long Overdue Conversation.Christians, Divorce, and Marriage: On Being Excluded from Conversations” by Natalie Trust.

In the past seven years, people have questioned if I was bitter, if I had forgiven, it I would ever want to get married again, and of course were always curious if I had missed any red flags.

Very, very rarely have people asked me something like, “What was it like to go from married to single all of the sudden? Tell me about you experience.” Or “How does it feel for you to go to weddings or events where couples are a predominant part of the crowd?”

I think we can ask better questions.

And to end on a lighter note, and because it’s one of the most stunning videos I’ve seen in a long time …

Best Video.Atlas” by Coldplay (via YouTube)

Switch the player to full screen. Put on headphones. You will want to be immersed in this video.