Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

District Science Fair Awards

Last Wednesday, we spent the day at the District Science Fair. As I mentioned in this post, when we went back for the public open house that evening, there were participation certificates on every project, and 3rd place ribbons on a few of the projects. A handful of projects (one or two in each category: microbiology, chemistry, zoology, etc.) had gold balloons tied to them, with invitations to attend an award ceremony and reception Monday night at the district offices. We were told that all projects with invitations would be awarded either 1st or 2nd place. Ryan was one of them!

Monday, February 27, Papa, Ryan & I went to the district offices for the awards ceremony. We were lucky enough to get a spot right on the front row! As we waited for the awards ceremony to begin, we were excited to see not only most of the kids from Ryan’s school, but a cute young woman from our ward, and a family that had formerly lived in our ward, with a girl Ryan’s age. They were all winners!

The administrators announced the winners by category. They had all of the kids come up to the front (side of the room, really) for every category (microbiology, chemistry, zoology, etc.) and then started with second place and worked their way up. As they were announcing the awards for microbiology (combined with medical, so two groups of kids), the other kids left the side of the room, leaving Ryan standing alone. He looked over at me with a look of realization that he had won first place!

They called his name, and he proudly walked over to get his award.
He received a medal, $25 cash, and an invitation to submit his project to the NATIONAL science fair!

He then went down the receiving line, with the district superintendent, other district administrators, and all of the principals that were there supporting their students!

At the end of the ceremony, we chatted with Dr. Bryan Bowles, Superintendent of the district. Papa has known him for many years, so it was fun for him to chat with Ryan about his project and plans for the future. Ryan’s principal, Ms. Rawlins, was one of Dr. Bowles students when he was teaching. So this picture of Ryan, his science teacher, Mrs. Larsen, his principal, Ms. Rawlins, and the district superintendent, Dr. Bowles also represents 4 generations of teachers and students!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Feb 24 & 25 – SDAT Polar Bear Open Swim Meet

Our home swim meet – the Polar Bear Open – started Thursday, February 23 with just a handful of events. As I mentioned in the prior post, Ryan swam the 200 IM, finishing 7th overall and beating his own time by 6 seconds.

Friday, February 24, Ryan swam the 50 fly (beat his own time by over a second)…

And the 100 IM (beat his own time by about 4 seconds)…
Cheered for Maddy…
And had plenty of fun with his friends on deck…

He even helped himself to the coach’s chair a couple of times!

Saturday, February 25, Ryan swam the 50 back - 2nd in his heat, and beat his own time by about 3 seconds. (Special thanks to our great home teacher and friend, Jeff Novak, who fought the crowds to come & cheer for Ryan during this event.)

50 free …

And 50 breaststroke…
And chatted with his coaches about his performance…
One friend made sure that everyone knew who he was…BIG-O!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Brace Face, Metal Mouth, Tin Grin, Tinsel Teeth…

What an exciting week Ryan is having! The day after the district science fair, Ryan got braces! I couldn’t resist – I snapped a few pictures of him with the interesting gadgets in his mouth.

After we finished at the orthodontist, we went to Rara’s & Papa’s to show them Ry’s new look. Alice & Claire were there, so all of the kids “showed their teeth” to Rara for a photo op.

We went home, got Ryan into his swimming gear, and headed to our rec center for a swim meet. Luckily Ryan only had one event on Thursday – the 200 IM. In true Ryan form, he swam through the mouth pain, finishing 7th overall, and beating his own best time by 6 seconds! (I was on deck as his timer, so we don’t have pictures of this event.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

District Science Fair

Wednesday, February 22, Ryan participated in the District Science Fair. It was a long day, but it was exciting!

Ryan looked so handsome sitting with his display!
These are the kids from Ryan’s school who made it to District, along with their science teacher.

They do something really interesting at the District science fair. There were hundreds of projects, filling the entire exhibit hall. The judges had us all leave for a couple of hours in the late afternoon, and then we went back for the public open house and to see the results. Rara & Papa were able to go back with us. They put participation certificates on every project, and 3rd place ribbons on a few of the projects. A handful of projects (one or two in each category: microbiology, chemistry, zoology, etc.) had gold balloons tied to them, with invitations to attend an award ceremony and reception Monday night at the district offices. We were told that all projects with invitations would be awarded either 1st or 2nd place. Ryan was one of them!

It's hard not knowing exactly how he did for so long, but we're pleased to know that he'll finish with either 1st or 2nd place in the district! And, I’m going to say this again – the only thing I did was take the pictures of him swabbing the school surfaces to collect his samples. He did everything else (charts, display board, etc.). I’m so proud of him!

This was the write-up in Ryan’s school’s newsletter (written by the principal):

District Science Fair Produces Wonderful Results!

The students had a fabulous time and their projects got great reviews. Congratulations to Maria Jacobs (Chemistry), Ryan Olson (Microbiology), and Chase Miller (Math/Physics) for getting either first or second place in their categories! They will find out final results at the awards ceremony at the district on Monday. We also want to congratulate Kade Larsen (Math/Physics) for a 3rd place award; Addison Morris (Botany), Lauren Harvey (Botany), and Claire Hawkins (Chemistry) for getting Honorable Mentions. I am very proud of all the students. They have put many hours into their projects and we were so proud to have them represent our school!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18 marks the halfway point of the Biggest Loser contest. I haven’t lost as much weight as I had hoped, but I feel so great! I am doing everything I possibly can, and I’m proud of what I’ve done. I’ve lost one pants size, and I’m actually close to another.

The official standings: I am in 14th place out of 32 contestants. Four have no loss.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Pamper Me!

When I started doing The Biggest Loser challenge, I decided on non-food rewards that I’d give myself at significant milestones. Friday, February 17 was my day to pamper myself to celebrate 10 pounds lost! Ryan didn’t have school, so he hung out at Rara & Papa’s house. Alice & Claire were also there, so they had a fun “cousins day.” I enjoyed getting my hair done and having a pedicure. It was wonderful!

Earlier in the week, after delivering the cake pops to Ryan’s friend, and sharing them with family members, we still had a lot left. I wasn’t going to have them in my house, since I’m working so hard on my Biggest Loser goals. I thought about who I could share them with, and felt that I should take some to a particular family in our neighborhood. They are fairly new, and although I have had a few interactions with them, I do not know them well. I knocked at the door, and the cute mom answered. I explained the cake pops to her, and told her that we wanted to share some with them. We chatted for a couple of minutes, and then I left. I honestly wondered what she thought about the impromptu gift. Here we hardly know each other, and I show up with treats.

I’ve been following her blog for a while, since we have a couple of common interests. I was touched (and relieved!) to read this a couple of days later:

While I was in the process of making the cake, my sweet neighbor showed up on my doorstep. She had made cake lollipops for Valentine's day and brought us some. She is so sweet! The note she wrote was so heart felt and made me feel so great! She is one of those people who is always happy for no reason. When we had the big wind storm, she was left without power for more than 72 hours, yet she was still happy and had a smile on her face. When we had the snow/rain storm, her basement flooded, yet there was still a smile on her face. She is such an example to me. I am so grateful for her. I don't know her all that well, but I can truly say that I love her.

I’m so glad I followed the prompting to take the treats to her family. I’m especially grateful that I had the opportunity to do something to lift someone else during the day I had set aside to pamper myself. It made my day that much better!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

10 Year Anniversary of the 2002 Olympics

I can’t believe it has been 10 years since the 2002 Olympics were held in Utah! Oh, what fun memories I have of that period of time.

The Olympics were held from February 8 - February 24, 2002. My volunteer assignment was in the Athlete’s Lounge at the Delta Center (known as the Salt Lake Ice Center during the Olympics, and now the Energy Solutions Arena), which housed the figure skating and short track speed skating. Yes, that means that Apolo Ohno, Sarah Hughes, Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Todd Eldredge, Michael Weiss, Timothy Goebel, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Elvis Stojko, and Evgeni Plushenko were my “kids” during that time. It was so much fun! Apolo has done so well since then – every time I see him, I remember him as the little 19-year-old who came into the lounge looking for food! :)

We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the athletes, but there was one day that we were allowed to take our cameras to take pictures of the different spots in our venue. Here are a few of mine, including this one with Gail and the late Larry Miller, who would regularly come around and visit us at the different areas at the Delta Center.

With this being the 10 year anniversary of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, there have been a lot of events held around the Salt Lake valley and in Park City. Unfortunately, because of our other responsibilities and commitments, we were not able to make it to any. However, on Thursday, February 16, as we were leaving the rec center, we realized that was the day they were having an ice show there. The Olympic mascots were in the lobby, so I took a few blurry pictures with my cell phone camera.

My friend, Melissa, took her kids to most of the 10 year anniversary events. You can read her recaps and see her fun pictures here and here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Even though I don’t have a “special friend” for Valentine’s Day this year, Ryan does. There is a girl in his school class, and on the swim team, and on student council with him that is really cute. They are great friends, and are a good support to each other in their academic and swimming pursuits.

Since our first attempt at cake pops was so successful, we decided to take on Valentine’s Day. We made red velvet cake pops and decorated them with a variety of Valentine’s Day decorations. They turned out so cute!

We delivered a bouquet of cake pops (in a mug being held by a stuffed bear) to Ryan’s friend between swim team and Jr. Jazz basketball.