Sunday, April 12, 2015

Big White Van

First of all, I know I hardly blog anymore.  Those of you who know me well know why, and I truly do miss it.  But tonight I had to share.  Too much of a story for FB.  

Our kids are in their second year of AWANA and they love it.  This is their first year doing the AWANA Grand Prix.  I did pinewood derbys when I was a little girl, but #1 did not.  My dad owned a workshop full of woodworking tools.  #1?  Not so much.  We were a little intimidated by this project, but he and the kids (and I) had a good time doing this anyway.  

The older the kid, the more we had them do by themselves.  None of them got to use power tools as #1's jigsaw is a little unpredictable and we wanted to be safe. However, they were in charge of sanding, painting, and we thought putting on the wheels.  But that proved to be a bit of a challenge and #1 ended up with that task also.  It's our first year people, give us some grace.  

So here is Sweet Pea's "car".  When it was time to cut them, I had the boys draw on their block of wood where they wanted daddy to cut.  Rosebud announced she just wanted it to be a triangle (well that won't go very fast).  Sweet Pea?  "I want a big white van!"  We own two full sized white vans so I guess she just figures when you say "car" you mean ginormous box on wheels.  #1 did his best to cut out the shape of it, but the jigsaw got fidgety and the front windshield didn't turn out as he wanted.  I think it is fine, but this just ads to the story.  We both marveled at how wonderfully aerodynamic it would be.  Basically she had the clunkiest car at the derby.  The large van and the triangle we laughed about and moved on.

We gave everyone sandpaper and had them smooth the edges.  Sweet Pea REFUSED.  Fine.  Your car.  You're not going to win anyway.  She painted the whole thing white and then wanted me to put on windows.  After she painted the white, we let it dry overnight.  In the morning...well...she had at some point in the night or wee hours of the morning gotten up to continue painting.  With orange.  And no brush.  Just unscrew the lid and dump.  We also have orange paint on our hardwood.  And on my Norwex.  I was super pleased.

The boys thought her "big white van" was pretty ugly but I left it.  It is, after all, her car.  I proceeded to have WAY too much fun painting on the windows, and a few other details.  I then tried to put on the wheels.  I did a terrible job.  #1 had to take them off and try again, but even then not all 4 wheels sit on a flat surface at once.  Whatever, she's not going to win anyway with that big clunker.  

 Here is LMM with his car.  He called it "Lightning Bomb".  Big surprise.  The wonderful gray things are weights we had to hot glue on the front at the church because his car weighed in at like 2.3 oz otherwise. It was nicely sanded, and before the weights, it was nice and aerodynamic.  He placed 5th in his age group if I remember right.
 Snug's car was also worked on for a long time but weighed like nothing so we gave it some heft when we got there.  He had a good time working on it.  He placed 7th in his age group.
 Little Miss "I want a triangle car" placed 3rd in her age group and beat her brother's cars consistently when they were matched up in a heat.  (Some computer system let all the cars race but put the kids into their age group for placing).  They were a little disgruntled.  #1 and I were pretty amazed.  Who knew a triangle car would be so speedy?  You will notice we also had to add weight to her car to get it to 4.9 oz (they can be 5oz)
 Big White Van?  Well, let me tell you about Big White Van (they had to name their cars and that's what she named hers).  Big White van was WAY over weight so #1 had to use the drill provided and pretty much make Swiss cheese out of the bottom of it.  Big White Van did not lose a single heat in the "main" competition.  EVERYONE was amazed.  Really?  This monster of a vehicle was winning?  Really.  They were actually timing them with a computer and she was the winner every time she raced.
 Not only did she win first place in her age division...she went on to the final showdown.  There were 4 age divisions and they did 4 races with the top car from each age group, averaging the 4 races.  She got second place.  An extremely CLOSE second place.  With her Big White Van.  She then proceeded to "we are the champions" with her trophies in clenched fists and a big 'ol grin on her face.  Her brothers would have like to have had some of those spoils.  Don't worry, we know what to do...

Basically next year we'll just leave them as chunks of wood, pour paint on them, put their wheels on crooked, drill the bejeebers out of their undersides till they make weight, and launch them down the track.


Laura said...

Love this! Elizabeth had a princess carriage a few years ago. It was basically a thin frame with a Christmas bulb and pipe cleaners for some bling. Desperate for weight I added sugar to the bulb before attaching it. My husband and my dad both said it was a horrible idea and would never work. It WAS too tall, so at the check in the top of the bulb had to be cut off and so we did an emergency saran wrap and rubber band surgery. But in the end that thing came in first in her category and second over all. ��

Jenney said...

I love it! Picture???

cclauson said...

Love it! I helped with the "Shape-n-Race" at church this year. Judging craftsmanship and design for the girls. They did it up big this year, darkened the gym, turned on the spotlight and had the "drivers" run out to get their cars. Instant photo finish and times! Some cars average 135mph going down the track! Glad your kids had a great time. Sometimes the most unlikely designs win! Go BWV!