A day at the races!

Last Saturday was the big event in Brigham City: the “Soap Dish Derby.” We reported last week on some of the preparations in getting the car ready. We were all quite pleased with the final product: hopefully you’ll agree:


We had quite a time explaining to the race officials that we wanted to number our car π. They asked, “Do you mean 3.14?” “No, we mean π,” we responded. They eventually got it, but on the schedule on race day, our number was listed as “Pie.” Sigh.

From the get-go, it was obvious that our car was very fast. Larissa won her heat by a few car lengths, and then Ben won his heat in the “slow” lane as well. We got excited! In the end, our people took First Place (Hannah), Third Place (Larissa), and Fourth Place (Ben). Hannah and Larissa won medals, but Ben, who finished fourth by 0.02 seconds, went home with nothing but memories.

We estimate the AVERAGE speed of the car on the track was 22.3 MPH for Hannah’s winning heat. The max speed at the finish was higher–probably around 25 MPH.

Check out these photos:

A couple of days before the event, we took the car to a nearby hill to test it out. Sherrie got to drive it (click for video):


The look on her face is one of sheer joy–trust me on this!

Here are our drivers:


(Larrissa, Hannah in the car, and Ben)

And here’s the crew (those who were able to attend on race day):


For a couple of weeks, I had been able to resist the temptation to get into the car, but after the race, I couldn’t stand it anymore:


It’s a good thing I didn’t try to drive! The only way I could reach the steering column was by crossing my arms between my legs.

If you care to download a large file, we have a video from the helmet cam for one of Ben’s runs. It’s pretty fun: Ben’s run (helmet cam)

We’re already looking forward to next year!

Back in the (blog) saddle

Sherrie and I have been lax in writing in this space. Part of the reason is that it’s been Winter, and since we don’t do much stuff outside (besides skiing and snowboarding), we haven’t been writing stuff. Actually, Sherrie had some fun adventures snowshoeing with her friends, so she should probably write about that sometime.

And the other part of the reason is that we are lazy and don’t always follow through on things we should be doing.

Yesterday was our (34th) wedding anniversary. We celebrated by cleaning the church (with some of our fellow ward members) in the morning! Then we went to Mantua and ran around the reservoir (4.2 mile run). We were invited to attend Esther’s dance recital in the late afternoon, so we went to Layton and had a bowl of Pho for lunch at a favorite place, then went to Salt Lake. We were early and went tennis shoe shopping for Sherrie. It’s surprisingly hard to find real tennis (court) shoes–most sporting goods stores only sell running shoes, basketball shoes, and field (i.e., football and soccer) shoes. So we went to a tennis store and found some good (read: WIDE!) shoes for Sherrie. She wasn’t too enamored with the blue and yellow (she likes nondescript white), but the lady in the store and I convinced her that blue and yellow would be dandy.

After that, we went to the Missio Dei church in Salt Lake to attend the recital. And then I promptly dropped Sherrie off at the Missio Dei church and drove back to the tennis store because she had left her sweater. Never fear, I was able to get back by the time the recital started.

The recital was a great success. The “kids community ballet” has the mission of helping each child feel “seen, known, and loved.” (Kids Community Ballet). We feel like they are accomplishing their mission. One cool thing that we’ve not seen done before is that before each group performs, they do a slide show with a photo of each child in the group, and their response to the question, “What do you like about ballet?” Here’s Esther’s:


Apparently, Princess Walks are quite the rage amongst the three-year old crowd–that was the most common response given. It’s fun to see the little ones enjoying moving about and being together. It’s also fun to see the older ones and they progress they’ve made since they were little (assuming they were once like the little ones are now). If Esther sticks with it, she should have many fun days in the future doing ballet.

Here’s a picture of Esther with her parents:


I wanted to post a video of the performance, but our site doesn’t support that (have to pay for that option). If you want the video, send me an email and I’ll send you a Dropbox link.

After ballet, Sherrie and I returned home and made a nice dinner and enjoyed the end of a good day. It was fun throughout the day to talk about our life together and our wonderful family and the joy that we have in the many blessings in our lives.

I (Michael) was in DC this week for some meetings, and I got to see Sherrie’s brother Randy on Friday. It was fun to catch up with him about our kids and families. We miss living close to Randy and Karen.

The Brigham City office of Veracity Forecasting and Analysis (our company) is building a soapbox derby car for the April 28 races here in Brigham. It’s been fun for our folks to do this project. Here are a couple of photos:


(Ian on the right, with two kids from David’s family, painting the baseboard with Danish oil).


(The steering mechanism with David’s son, and Ben in the background)


The nearly completed car–only lacking the decals on the side!

We’re all excited to see the car run this Saturday! We have two or three employees who are small enough that they can fit into the shell and drive the car, and at least one who can’t fit:


(Ryan trying to fit into the car shell before it was painted)

I’ll post photos after the race next week.