Ani’s Escape Room

Ani's Escape Room

For the Laurel class mid-week activity last night, Ani put together an escape room. The story was Russia had just launched their nukes and the girls had one hour to solve all the puzzles and find the abort code and save the world.

Ani's Escape Room

We got to the church a few minutes early and got things set up. We put things the girls would need on the walls.

Ani's Escape Room

We spread the boxes to unlock as puzzles were solved around the room.

Ani's Escape Room

We set up the computer on a table in the corner. The language was set to Russian (one girl knows a little Russian and it actually came in handy) with a nice picture of Russia as the background. The girls needed to find the code to get into the computer and another code to get into a file on the computer.

Ani's Escape Room

We spread the keys around the room. Since we didn’t have physical locks and keys to use, Ani wrapped toothpicks in washi tape and tapes the boxes shut using matching washi tape.

Ani's Escape Room

Once the room was ready, they went in the room and the clock was started.

Ani's Escape Room

To get into the Russian theme, the password to the computer was 10071952 (Putin’s birthdate), the code they figured out using the English Book of Mormon was St. Petersburg, the code they figured out using the French Book of Mormon was Vladimirovich (Putin’s middle name), the password for the file on the computer was 862 (year of the beginning of the traditional history of Russia), and the abort code was 05072012 (the date Putin became president of Russia).

Ani's Escape Room

The key taped under the chalkboard gave them a box with puzzle pieces. The puzzle pieces, when put together, revealed the password to the computer. The key taped onto the back of the laptop opened the box with the English and French Books of Mormon. The Post-It notes on the wall (which led to a pigphen cipher), when solved, gave the girls the password to the file on the computer (this puzzle took them the most time to solve).

Ani's Escape Room

The Books of Mormon code was solved by going to page number-verse-letter number. They had to figure out what the code meant, but knew which book they had to use to get the answers. That code gave them access to a box with popsicle sticks wrapped in pipe cleaners. They had to unwrap the pipe cleaners and all but one stick said “try again.” The one with the key ended up being one of the last they opened. That key opened the box with an envelope with the abort code.

Ani's Escape Room

The girls solved all the puzzles and got to the abort code envelope within the hour time limit and so they saved the world from destruction! They really had fun solving the room and Ani had a lot of fun putting it together.

Scout Law Box

Adrian’s working toward his Wolf badge in Cub Scouts right now. One of the requirement options for his Hometown Heroes elective adventure was to honor a serviceman by sending a care package along with a note thanking them for their service. We decided that would be fun to do (and could also be our random act of kindness for the month).

Scout Law Box

I talked to my friend who has a currently deployed son and asked if we could send him a box. She said they love themed care packages so we decided to get creative and choose things that fit the words of the Scout Law (and included what I wrote below to explain why we chose each item).

Scout Law Box
A Scout is trustworthy (you have to be trustworthy to play cards with your friends),

Scout Law Box
loyal (tissues will always be loyal to you, ready and waiting when you need to blow your nose),

Scout Law Box
helpful (a Lego kit is always helpful for passing the time),

Scout Law Box
friendly (conversation hearts have friendly sayings whether you eat them yourself or share them with others),

Scout Law Box
courteous (Tic Tacs help you be courteous by making sure your breath is nice before you speak to others),

Scout Law Box
kind (you should always be kind to your feet and foot cream will help you),

Scout Law Box
obedient (when you are being obedient and following orders and marching, socks will be your constant companion),

Scout Law Box
cheerful (there’s no way not to be cheerful when you’ve got comic books to read),

Scout Law Box
thrifty (you need to shave and disposable razors are the thrifty way to do it),

Scout Law Box
brave (if you get a cut, superhero band-aids will help you be brave),

Scout Law Box
clean (no explanation is necessary for how toilet paper helps you get clean),

Scout Law Box
and reverent (throat lozenges help you be reverent by making sure you can always pray, even out loud)

Scout Law Box
(and always hungry (while technically not part of The Scout Law, we all know Scouts are always hungry, so jerky will help that just a little)).

Scout Law Box

We hope my friend’s son and his buddies enjoy the box as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

The School Year is Halfway Done

Today we finished the first semester of the 2016-17 school year!

In Science we learned about plants and have learned about most of the organ systems of the human body. In History we learned about ancient China, the Hebrews, the Phoenicians, and the Americas. We completed quite a few creative art projects from The Art Assignment. Cameron and Adrian have stopped doing Latin now, but Fritz is continuing it on his own. We are continuing learning how to play the piano. We’re all still doing taekwondo for PE. Cameron will be testing for his second degree in June and Cameron earned his first degree in December (Adrian will be testing for his first degree in approximately 6 years at the rate he is going).

Cameron has completed 14 lessons of Math-U-See Geometry. He’s written several research essays, finding more and more reference material on his own. He read the Epic of Gilgamesh, Iliad, Odyssey, Oedipus the King, and Medea. He has switched to Fix-It! Grammar for grammar and vocabulary. That seems to be going very well.

Fritz has completed through lesson 27 of Math-U-See Epsilon (he will move on to Zeta in early February). He finished Outcast and read The Eagle, The Silver Branch, and The Lantern Bearers. During reading time he is currently working his way through the Harry Potter series (he finished Order of the Phoenix today). He has learned to write through the letter s in cursive. His cursive handwriting is surprisingly neat compared to his printing.

Adrian has completed through the middle of lesson 25 of Math-U-See Gamma (he will move on to Delta in late March). He’s in book 6 of Explode the Code. He can identify and mark vowel chunks, consonant chunks, endings, bossy r’s, and more in spelling passages. He finished a children’s retelling of The Odyssey and read Black Ships Before Troy, The Gods and Goddesses of Olympus, and Atalanta’s Race. He is reading very well, but still doesn’t like to do it for fun.

Grades
Cameron
English: B
History: A
Geometry: B
Biology: A
Latin: A
Art/PE/Music: Pass

Fritz
English: A
History: A
Math: A
Biology: A
Art/PE/Music/Latin: Pass

Adrian
English: A
History: A
Math: A
Biology: A
Art/PE/Music/Latin: Pass

Adderall is Amazing

If there is no school, taekwondo, or church, Adrian does not get his Adderall. So, during Christmas break, he rarely took it. Now that he’s back on it daily we’re reminded just what a difference it makes in the boy. He’s calm, he reads really well, he’s very cooperative, and so on. It’s amazing stuff for kids who really need it!

Back to School Again

We had a wonderful 3 1/2 week Christmas break, but we were back at it today. I was a bit discombobulated, though, because I had to get up at 4:45 to take my brother to the airport and then I had a nearly two hour long young women presidency meeting at 9:30. As a consequence, school went late, but we got it done with minimal issues. It’s good to be back.

Guinea Pig Mansion

For one of his Webelos electives, Fritz had to make blueprints and plans to make something useful. He and Ani worked together and designed a 5×2 plus 1×1 bumpout C&C guinea pig cage (well, really, at that size for two piggies, it’s more like a mansion).
Guinea Pig Mansion

Everyone got involved on New Year’s Eve working on creating the cage from the plans.
Guinea Pig Mansion

We put Hera in the cage to check it out before adding the fleece and special additions on the ends. She seemed to approve.
Guinea Pig Mansion

One end has a double decker area (Adrian calls it their bunk bed). Hera gets the top bunk because she’s the only one who can get up on it. She just hops right up while Demeter tries to pull herself up (and fails every time).
Guinea Pig Mansion

The bumpout has a curtain in front giving it a little more privacy. Like the upper bunk is Hera’s special place, the bumpout is Demeter’s. She likes to hide so it is perfect for her.
Guinea Pig Mansion

She’s a one trick… piggie

She's a one trick... piggie
The other day Hera was making all sorts of noise and when we looked at her we were surprised to see she was up on their igloo. Fritz gave her a treat because it was pretty cool and she was obviously proud of herself. She did it again another day and Fritz gave her a treat again. Well, then she started climbing up there to get a treat. And now she expects one every time she performs her little trick (and of course we oblige because she’s so darn cute).