## Sunday, June 10, 2012

### Going to the Beach

This summer we are going to try participating in Junior First Lego League with our friends from the homeschooling group. And the theme is Ocean Odyssey. So it was only appropriate to accept our friend's invitation to go to the beach.

Now, here's a math problem for you. How many bagels should you pack for a day trip with two adults and three boys (5, 5 and 3-year old), assuming that there will be plenty of other food too. The answer is at the bottom of the post.

Ah, we had a wonderful morning at the beach. The water was so nice and warm and the waves were strong enough for boogie boarding, yet not so strong that they'd pull the kids off their feet. And we got to the beach early enough to snag a shady spot under the pier. Perfect!

Since the kids outnumbered the adults on our trip, we couldn't go swim. Nor could we really take turns watching the kids because each of them wanted to do something totally different - one wanted to run from the waves, another one - jump in them, and the third one - search for pretty shells far from the water's edge. Still, it is impossible not to have a good time at the beach on a day like this. It really makes me miss living close to the beach!

Once we all had enough sun and were getting good and hungry (not to mention our parking meter running out of time), we drove over to Wilmington for a picnic at the USS North Carolina.

Needless to say, a tour of the battleship followed. This was a very thorough tour and the five-year olds led the way. They wanted to climb every ladder and look into every nook and cranny of the ship. And they wanted to check out every gun mount, every firing position, and turn everything that could be turned. Imagine how much fun they had in the engine room! When someone decided to replace "a kid in a candy store" metaphor with something fresher, I will suggest "a 5-year old in a battleship engine room".

I know when M is really taken with a sight since he demands a camera and starts taking pictures. Surprise-surprise, the ones he took this time around, in the engine room and in the ship's kitchen, turned out really well. Enjoy!

After the kids explored everything there was to explore, it was time to make some souvenir pennies. M collects them now (he's up to 5, but we're hoping to really work on expanding his collection this summer). Since we got home very late from the beach and M went straight to bed, he didn't have a chance to play with his new penny until the next day.

Now, the next day he wanted to count all his coins (5) and all the spaces in his special coin book (36) and figure out how many more pennies he'd need before the book is full (31). And then we talked about how each time we make these pennies we also need several quarters. Which led to M digging up some loose change and arranging it on the floor. Which led to him noticing that in our loose change pennies outnumber other coins. Which led to this interesting conversation:

M: Mama, when I organize all these coins just right, I will unlock a secret of the coins.
Me: Ok, honey.
M: Ok, I'm done now. Look! And I know the secret of the coins.
Me (trying to sound interested as I'm washing the dishes): Oh, yeah? What is it, honey?
M: You see, there are lots of the little coins, too many. And so there are too many of them and we have a problem. And then they decided what to do with this problem. Sort of like three people decided. The first one said: "Let's throw the little coins away". And they said "no". Then the other one said: "Let's recycle them." And they said "no". And the other one said: "Let's turn them into souvenir coins instead". And they all said "good plan!"
Me: speechless

And now to answer the bagel question: you need 13 bagels. Moms eat one bagel each for a total of two bagels. One bagel gets dropped on the ground and cannot be recovered. Kids eat the rest.