06. February 2015 · Comments Off on A Chess Game — in Double Time · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

Timmy got a GoPro-style camera for his birthday. Tonight they tried their first video…an 11-minute chess game. We put it in my iMovie software on my MacBook and adjusted it to double-time. So it’s now 5 1/2 minutes.

There’s no sound…we’re still trying to figure that out on the camera….

Jacob’s on the left, Timmy’s on the right. Enjoy!

31. December 2014 · Comments Off on Grand Canyon: Our Junior Ranger · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
Timmy performed all the tasks to earn Junior Ranger. He then had to pledge to respect nature and the environment before earning his Junior Ranger badge.

Timmy performed all the tasks to earn Junior Ranger. He then had to pledge to respect nature and the environment before earning his Junior Ranger badge. We did this on our way out of the park on our last day.

Timmy earned his first National Park Service Junior Ranger badge while we were at the Grand Canyon. He was required to complete several age-appropriate activities in a workbook (which includes things like taking observations, coloring pictures, answering questions, and writing a poem about the park), attend an age-appropriate Ranger-led program, and then take a pledge to be respectful and protect the things the National Park Service finds important: nature, the environment, and animal life. More »

21. December 2014 · Comments Off on Colorado Discoveries 43: Ski Copper (Not Cooper) · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
My boys on the ski lift!

My boys on the ski lift!

Earlier this month our family took advantage of a local Boy Scouting promotion called “Scout Family Day” at Copper Mountain Resort. A day lift ticket, breakfast, and lunch all for $32 per person!

I had to clarify that this is “Copper” and not “Cooper” because I wrote about Ski Cooper last season. Ironically, the two resorts are very close to each other. More »

24. November 2014 · Comments Off on Jacob the Cellist · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,


Jacob took up cello at his new middle school. It’s been a joy listening to him practice: the 4 years of piano has helped him get a leg up on reading bass clef and understanding things like tempo, dynamics, and rhythm. Here he is playing at his winter concert on November 11th.

19. August 2014 · Comments Off on First Day of School: 2014 Edition · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,
Happy First Day of School!

Happy First Day of School!

This week my sons started 4th and 6th grades. Both boys are very excited to be back in school.

We’ve taken an incredible leap with Jacob’s school situation: we “choiced” him into a school other than the “neighborhood school” in our district. He’s now attending the school district’s STEM-focused middle and high school. I meant a(nother) new school coupled with the paradigm shift of a middle school schedule (9 different teachers!). It seems like a lot to pile on him, but he’s taking it like a champ. So far he’s really enjoying the middle school lifestyle and seems to be handling all the new information — things like block schedules, locker combinations to memorize, and dressing out for PE — really well. He is making some friends in his math class, and is looking forward to joining the Chess Club and trying out (yes, you read that right, trying out) for the Science Olympiad.

Timmy was thrilled to be reunited with several of his 3rd grade friends in his 4th grade class. His new teacher puts an emphasis on keeping a class blog (WHOO!) that includes individual miniblogs that her students can write. It’s password protected, which I think is great when involving such young kids. I explained to Timmy that this is where he and his friends can “publish” the Adventure Time, Pokemòn, and Regular Show fan fiction they spent all their spare time writing. He is so excited about this coming year.

As for me, I’m doing well enough with my classes. I have 77 cadets in 4 sections of calculus, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them.

18. April 2014 · Comments Off on Spring 2014 Baseball · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Jacob watching a strike go by. The pitcher throwing in this picture was very good and had VERY fast pitches.

We are armpit-deep in baseball here at the Vollmer house. Our boys joined the Academy Little League (ALL) baseball club here in the Springs, and we have been busy with the boys’ respective schedules. More »

18. March 2014 · Comments Off on Chugging Right Along: Baseball, Skiing, and Scouts · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,
Timmy the catcher...again.

Timmy the catcher…again. His new coach’s son is also a catcher and his coach works hard on training them on techniques.

Yep, I’ve been scarce. I’ve been spending more time on my Facebook fan page than here, because I can pop up quick discussion items and engage with friends and fans that way.

That’s because baseball has started at the Vollmer house. And as the boys get older, their practice schedules become more intense. And as the practice becomes more intense, we are making more investments of time and protective equipment for them: new slider pants for Jacob, impact-resistant sports goggles for Timmy, a new catcher’s mitt for Timmy, a wheeled baseball bag for Jacob… More »

13. March 2014 · Comments Off on Colorado Springs School Choice Drama Part 2: Discovery Canyon Campus · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
Making the right school decision in Colorado Springs can make you lose your mind.

Making the right school decision in Colorado Springs can make you lose your mind.

As promised, here’s the rest of the story with our school choice.

The boys had expressed interest in the STEM schools in our district. This would be the Discovery Canyon Campus, a K-12 school about 9 miles away. Not unreasonably far away, and there would be bus service (somewhat) available if the boys got into the school.

You can go back to Part 1 of this diatribe about how the choicing process works.

In the months of January and February, each school offers a “choice night” where you can go to an information meeting and/or take a tour of the school. We attended both the Discovery Canyon Middle School and Elementary School meetings.

The middle school meeting was very informative. Jacob and I were pleased with the school’s methodologies and programs. The tour of the school showed us some of the classrooms and Jacob was pretty excited about it.

The following night we went to the elementary school meeting. The plan was to have Timmy’s second choice on his form be Discovery Canyon Elementary. The schedules would match up very well. Timmy liked what he saw with the school tour, also.

However, the very first words out of the principal’s mouth at the start of the meeting was “If you don’t live in the neighborhood, your student won’t be able to “choice in” to this school. We are overcrowded as it is.”

You see, the neighborhoods nearest Discovery Canyon are building at breakneck speed. The biggest planned community is called “Flying Horse” and many young families are moving in with elementary-school aged children.

Perhaps we should have left right then and there…but we didn’t. We stayed to listen to how the school distinguishes itself from the other (such as with their International Baccalaureate Primary Years program).

Timmy really enjoyed learning about Discovery Canyon, but was more interested in School in the Woods.

We submitted the applications in mid-February, and eagerly await the decisions about our sons’ futures.

27. September 2013 · Comments Off on Walking to School · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I’m about to embark on a topic and present an opinion that might make me very unpopular.

When the weather cooperates, I have my sons walk to and from school. It’s about 1/2 mile, gently uphill towards the school, gently downhill all the way home.

We are surrounded by houses with families who drive their kids to the same school every day. We walk past several houses where we see the kids loading up in the cars — to go to the same destination.

More »

09. September 2013 · Comments Off on First Day of School Pictures · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Jacob AND Timmy!

Okay, so I’m a little behind. A couple days after the boys’ started school, I had to go for a 10-day trip to Nebraska (more about that later).

In an ideal world I’d have loved for the boys to dress up some for the first day of school, but (a) I have sons, not daughters who are more likely to dress up and (b) kids simply don’t dress up for the first day of school the way they used to. I feel like a won a battle (not the war) with their at least wearing “nice” shorts.

More »