Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011 Colglazier Times

The Colglazier Times

2011 Christmas Edition

We hope 2011 has been a good year for you. It has been an unexpectedly grand year for us with Carl winning the Grand Prize in C-SPAN’s StudentCam contest and the boys’ FIRST Robotics Competition team, Team PyroTech, qualifying for the Championships.

We just celebrated having Miriam in our family for 10 years, which means she is almost 11. She continues to enjoy dance and cooking. Miriam was recently baptized with her sister. She scored quite a few points for the swim team this year and finished 15th the 9-10 girls freestyle in the City Meet.

Bethany is now our third teenager. Earlier this year, she got braces on the same day Carl got his off. Bethany has joined her brothers on Team PyroTech. She continues with piano lessons, and once again enjoyed the swim team and classes at SEEK (home school co-op).

Carl is 15 and about to get his learner’s permit. His StudentCam win was celebrated with a check presentation, an article in the newspaper, a City Council presentation, and a live interview on Washington Journal with the Historian of the United States Senate, Donald A. Ritchie. Carl continues with piano and enjoyed Philmont and Team PyroTech.

Christian is 17 and has his provisional driver’s license. He taught a class this year at SEEK on brick filming and made quite a bit of money on YouTube from people watching his films and tutorials. Christian enjoyed playing soccer, Team PyroTech and going to Philmont.

Leslie-Jean has had a busy year home schooling. She has assisted with Team PyroTech and has also been very involved with SEEK.

Dan continues in performance at IBM. He is helping the three oldest with math. Dan greatly enjoyed Philmont and is working on completing his Wood Badge ticket. He also continues to enjoy running.

C-SPAN by Carl

C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) is a nationally televised cable network that covers Congressional proceedings and current events (with no commentary). This spring we got the chance to see C-SPAN from the inside! How? As a part of their StudentCam documentary competition, winners get the chance to be interviewed on the network. Furthermore, first and grand prize winners are interviewed live during the Washington Journal program. I was able to get this chance by winning grand prize in this year's competition and our family was able to go to the set itself thanks to our close proximity to Washington, DC.

Some of my favorite things that we got to see were the sets for Q&A, Book TV, and more. From the lighting to the editing rooms to the lighting, it was really interesting to see how everything comes together. We were also able to answer the family mystery: is the background of the capitol building on Washington Journal real or fake? It turned out it is real. In fact the location was so good, FOX News and NBC took some of the other floors.

Another great part of this visit was the people we met including: Brian Lamb, founder of C-SPAN; Greta Brawner, one of the hosts of Washington Journal; and Joanne Wheeler of C-SPAN's education department. It was a very neat experience to get to see what gets put into a cable network behind the scenes.

FIRST Championships by Bethany

In April, our FIRST robotics team qualified for Championships in St. Louis. Championships started the day that Carl had his interview with C-SPAN, so the boys flew there while the rest of us drove. It took a day and a half to drive there. After eating lunch with the team, one of the team members and I went around to all the different pits looking around and collecting (what felt like) a million buttons, wristbands, and necklaces. We got to meet some really cool teams from all over the world! Later on we found the rest of the team in the bleachers getting ready to cheer on Team PyroTech. It was very crowded, loud and fun!

The next day we woke up around 6 since we didn’t need to get there as early as the rest of the team. We were slow in getting up due to watching the end of the royal wedding. I got a ride to the Dome so I could see the opening ceremony with the team. The ceremony was cool and we got to see Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST. After the ceremony, we waited for from The Black Eyed Peas, who was going to control an FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) robot and compete against Dean Kamen. It was an exciting match and turned out to be 77 to 9 with winning. That day we watched many matches with and without our robot competing. At the end of the day we attended a very special concert for FIRST teams featuring The Black Eyed Peas. We were surprised in the beginning to also have Willow Smith. The concert was a lot of fun.

The next day 8 teams qualified for the finals and each of those 8 teams got to pick two other teams to be in an alliance with. Unfortunately, we did not get picked. After lunch, part of the team and a few siblings walked over to the Gateway Arch. Then we went back and watched the closing ceremony and the last few matches of the competition. We did not win Rookie All-Star, but we were told we made it to the top 4 and that was exciting. After the competition was over, the team split up and headed home.

Philmont by Christian

On July 16th, Carl, Dan, and I went to the RDU airport and joined other members of our troop to go to Philmont Scout Ranch. We took a flight to the Denver Airport and picked up a rental van. We got a bite to eat at a Mexican restaurant and decided to try a new (for us) soda called Inca Kola. It tasted like liquid bubble gum gone wrong but was a fun experience. After lunch we traveled to our first camp site in Colorado Springs after stopping at the Air Force Academy. The next day we went to the Garden of the Gods and then rode the Cog Railway up Pikes Peak. On day three we woke up and traveled to Philmont and prepared to go backpacking. At 1:00 PM the next day, we took a bus to North Country and our Philmont backpacking adventure began. We hiked to our camp site with our packs weighing around 50 pounds because of all the food we were carrying. The next day we picked up a burro and got to our next campsite. On day 6 we went spar pole climbing which is a method of climbing a tree with spikes attached to your feet that you drive into the pole and climb your way up. Day 7 we hiked to Miranda and did some tomahawk throwing and black powder rifle shooting. The next day we took a side hike to climb Mt. Baldy, a climb of over 3000 feet to reach an altitude of over 12,000 feet. It was tough day, but we made it for a total mileage on the day of 10 miles. Day 9 we hiked to Santa Claus camp site. Day 10 we hiked to our next camp site and played around on some massive rocks. The next day we hiked to Cimarroncito and completed a service project. Day 12 we went rock climbing and took a side hike with some great views. Day 13 we hiked to Ponderosa Park and held horses because our horse ride was canceled due to a thunderstorm. Day 14 we climbed the Tooth of Time and faced the switch backs of death hiking in a zig zag style for miles in the blistering sun while seeing our final destination the entire time. Finally we made it and our backpacking adventure was done. We treated ourselves with a feast of pizza. After eating only freeze dried meals, it tasted amazing. The next day we went back to the airport and headed home having the adventure of a lifetime. After 15 days and hiking over 50 miles with a backpack on our backs, we were ready to be home.

North Carolina State Fair by Miriam

Every year we like to go to the North Carolina State Fair. We really enjoy looking at the arts, crafts, and food people enter into the fair. We also enjoy eating hush puppies and some fair food. This year Christian, Bethany, and I were able to enter something into the fair. Christian and Bethany entered the Website Design contest. Christian came in 1st place and Bethany came in 3rd. I entered chocolate truffles and earned a 2nd place ribbon. It was fun to see my truffles at the fair.

Christmas – Good News Worth The Trip

This year we received good news which caused us to travel to Washington, DC and St. Louis. In Matthew 2:2 we are told the Wise Men asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” They had received good news through the appearance of the star and had travelled in response to worship Jesus. The birth of Jesus is truly good news. Because of our sins, we are separated from God and unable to come to Him. To correct this, God came to us - as a baby. Later on the cross, He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins forever travelling the gap between God and man. Let us celebrate this Christmas by responding as the Wise Men did to the good news of the birth of Jesus by coming to Him and worshipping Him.

The Colglaziers