Racking up the Snow-covered Miles

Racking up the Snow-covered Miles

Racking up the Snow-covered Miles


We’ve really been on the move lately!  Over the last couple of weekends we’ve been racking up the miles, first driving to Champaign, IL for a Lego Robotics state competition for Spencer, and then to Peoria, IL for a band state competition for Logan.

But here’s the thing, when I think about getting up off of the couch and going somewhere, this comes to mind:




Or this.




Or, oh yes please, this!




But never this.


U of I trip panoramic - winter farmland in Illinois


Yet, this is what we got: winterized cornfields in central Illinois, as flat as a flounder.

And we got this.


U of I trip panoramic - winter farmland in Illinois


And, oh boy, but we got this: the torch-less Statue of Liberty, Peoria-style: beckoning interstate-weary drivers to try her steel belted radials on for size.


Female statue in Peoria, IL


So, despite having logged many miles over the last few weekends, my desire for exotic beauty in foreign lands, or at least foreign states, hasn’t exactly been satiated, yet my desire for seeing my boys performing in the activities that fulfill them has.

For the last few years, Spence has been a part of a robotics Lego league, where the team programs a Lego robotic vehicle to perform various maneuvers on a predetermined course. The whole scoring system that decides how well teams do has been explained to me in detail several times. I always nod but think things like this.




Suffice it say, however, the kids have a ball, and they’re learning invaluable lessons in teamwork, engineering, public speaking, and problem solving techniques. Quite a step up from spending countless hours building virtual cities out of blocks with a mindless video game or blowing up cars and humans alike. These boys actually interact with one another. In person, no less. (Astounding!) It’s also fantastic to see some robotics teams comprised of only girls who are learning the basics of engineering, and kicking butt while doing it.

Here’s Spencer’s Lego League team.


Spencer's First Lego League (FLL) Team at the State Championship at U of I


And here’s their special Lego robot that performs the routine, or in some frustrating cases, like say at a state meet, doesn’t. (Obstinate little bugger!)


Spencer's First Lego League (FLL) Team at the State Championship at U of I - Soundbuster Robot


Once we completed Lego-fest 2015, it was on to the state band performance for Logan where we got to hear brilliant music and see his lovely mug on the jumbo-tron like this.


IMEA State Band Concert in Peoria


And where I got to sit with my legs smashed together like this.




Because all of the guys for miles around were sitting like this.




Now, come on, gentlemen, is that truly necessary?  I think not. #man-spread

And then, with singular determination and focus, we headed home once more, not to be derailed by “snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night” like this.


Focused on Heading Home Through the Snow


And the next time we get off the couch to venture far off into the big, bold world, you’d better believe it’s going to be to go to a far-away, fantasy destination more like this.




Written by Becky


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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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