Iron Man Build Slideshow

This was put together originally by Ben and me as a Powerpoint Presentation for his Elementary School Talent Show during the last week of his Fifth Grade Year. I was to voice the narrative, and then the last screen said, “All this has led up to…” and then “Cue the Music,” which started the IRON MAN song by Black Sabbath – and then he walked out … Continue reading Iron Man Build Slideshow

Halloween 2014 – Complete Cardboard Iron Man

This happened. Ben worked all through the summer of 2014 making prototype after prototype, until he was happy with all the moving parts. For his 5th Grade Halloween parade, he got to walk down the middle of the hallway, with the entire school in lines on either side of the big hall, getting high-fives from every kid and teacher and parent who was there. (I can’t … Continue reading Halloween 2014 – Complete Cardboard Iron Man

Cardboard Iron Man

This was Ben’s Saturday Project. We were in the process of de-cluttering, and making a dump run, and Ben kept pulling cardboard out of the dump pile that he could use for building. I walked into the Living Room at one point, when he was just putting the whole thing on, and the timing was just too perfect… he turned around and said, “Hey, this … Continue reading Cardboard Iron Man

Keeping up with Ben

Ben is our nine-year old, who builds with paper and tape. He wakes up every morning with a new plan, and goes after it with a rare determination. We have recently started homeschooling him because spending all those hours at school every day with no access to his art supplies was actually really hard on him. Here at home, we can work on grammar or … Continue reading Keeping up with Ben

Motorcycle Builders, Be Prepared. You have Some Competition Growing.

For the next year, give or take a few hours, we will have to refer to him as a nine-year old. However, this latest paper and tape creation was made by an eight-year old. He is nearly a tween, but still, to his mom, a boy with big dreams. He wants to do everything. He is at the age where everything is possible, and there are … Continue reading Motorcycle Builders, Be Prepared. You have Some Competition Growing.

Coffee with Einstein

It has been a while since I have written strictly for the fun of it, just to let my mind wander and circle around something ephemeral, and then dance with the next thought that popped into my head; spinning around in the swirl of ideas and wonders. This morning, though, I woke up early to have time to sit and read and ponder the great … Continue reading Coffee with Einstein

Once Again I am Floored by a Paper Creation

It started out like any other night. Ben got an idea, and sat down with some paper, tape, scissors and stapler, and started creating. He does this all the time. What is funny to me is that sometimes the intricate things he tasks himself to build aren’t even very familiar things. Last week, he built a cash register out of cardboard, with a lever that … Continue reading Once Again I am Floored by a Paper Creation

Young Artists Making Revolution Irresistible

We are not staging a revolution. But I read an article by Lisa Russell today on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation blog, Impatient Optimists, which had originally been posted on, and it struck a chord. We have talked at our dinner table about how the problems of the world will be solved by artists who can combine math, science, creativity, engineering and passion. … Continue reading Young Artists Making Revolution Irresistible

Would we have been Friends if we’d Met when we were Kids?

In a radio interview with movie director Robert Zemeckis, I learned about the origin of the movie, Back to the Future. Robert and his writing buddy were talking about their fathers, and their relationships with their fathers, and wondering if they had met their dads when they were kids, if they would have been friends. That was the seed, he said, from which sprouted the idea … Continue reading Would we have been Friends if we’d Met when we were Kids?

It Could be a Disaster, or It Could be Kind of Funny!

Today, I am not only the invalid, I am also the one in charge of this joint. It turns out that only one hand is still needing to be swaddled in gauze. The other hand had surface burns, but healed really quickly. Today Scott goes to work. Both boys are home. I have to attempt a one-handed shower, and the boys have said they will … Continue reading It Could be a Disaster, or It Could be Kind of Funny!

Night of the Living Oblivious

Talk about going through the motions. Grown-ups never cease to amaze me, and not always in a good way. Last night we trick-or-treated with our kids for two hours in a Kid-friendly neighborhood where houses were decorated, pumpkins lined sidewalks, and some houses even had creepy music piped out into the street. It was everything a kid could want for Halloween. Except that we walked … Continue reading Night of the Living Oblivious

Our Little Crush on the Whole Idea of M.I.T.

Ben has been building, drawing, creating various versions of Iron Man since he was three years old. He has watched Iron Man and Iron Man 2 a couple of times each. As I get caught up with photos, there will eventually be an entire category here on this blog of pictures of his creations. Hence, the idea that M.I.T. is where he wants to go … Continue reading Our Little Crush on the Whole Idea of M.I.T.

The Salt Flats

For a Friday Night Movie night not long ago, we watched, The World’s Fastest Indian, the story of Burt Munro and his Indian Motorcycle and the story of him setting land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Ben has been obsessed with it ever since. Tonight, he built a miniature, including canning salt sprinkled onto glue on cardboard to make the Salt Flats Continue reading The Salt Flats

Smithsonian Institute Paper Airplane Challenge

We did this on the wrong day. It’s okay. I’m going to date this so it looks like I’m way more organized than I am, there, at least I’m honest! Science really isn’t my forte. But, I want my kids to see Science as this magical discovery of things that they are interested in, things that matter, things that go boom and light up the … Continue reading Smithsonian Institute Paper Airplane Challenge

Catapult to feed the Chickens

There are rarely days when Ben is not dressed as some sort of Knight. This is Ben helping in the garden. It had been a quiet couple of hours in the garden weeding. Already, I had pulled several buckets full of weeds to fill an entire wheelbarrow. It’s been raining in Southern Oregon, so everything is blooming, most dramatically – the weeds. I love how quiet … Continue reading Catapult to feed the Chickens

With Great Success and Aplomb

Bean being outfitted as a Knight for Jousting We are starting early at raising our boys to be Renaissance Men! A renaissance man or polymath is a person who is skilled in multiple fields or multiple disciplines, and who has a broad base of knowledge. The term renaissance man is largely based on the various artists and scholars of the European Renaissance, (starting in about … Continue reading With Great Success and Aplomb

Various Interpretations of Iron Man, by Ben

The Iron Man costume that Ben is in the middle of building. He has done all the cutting, shaping, and welding himself (with supervision, of course)! Iron Man made out of Legos (The first three pictures are at our new place in Oregon. These next few were back in California. Ben has been building Iron Man costumes since he was 3 or 4.) Ben, and his … Continue reading Various Interpretations of Iron Man, by Ben