let the games begin!

In the spirit of the winter Olympic games, my nieces and nephews created their own backyard Olympics. My sister posted great pictures of her kids competing in bobsled, downhill, luge, etc. with their own sleds and homemade cardboard skis.


My kids saw the pictures of their beloved cousins. Not to be outdone, they too set out to create their own Olympic apparatus. Last night my living room floor was covered in cardboard, recycled magazines, duct tape, scissors and old shoes. Unfortunately, their mom was busy getting ready to head out for an evening of coffee and encouragement. I had a great coffee evening that was long overdue, but I failed to get pictures and I didn’t get to see the “test runs” that happened last night around 8:30 p.m.

However, as I was telling this story to my favorite librarian today (truth be told, I actually have more than one favorite librarian…), I realized that I needed to at least blog a description of this event. I hope I can do an adequate job of painting word pictures for you to get a glimpse of the fun had here last night.

Eric started the mayhem by bringing a large, empty box into my living room. He gathered scissors, duct tape and old magazines and wouldn’t reveal his intents to his sisters. He took the box down and flattened it out and using a tape measure measured two skis. After cutting them out, he duct taped magazine pages to the bottom side for added slickness and speed. By this time, Ellen became aware of what Eric was doing and she found her own box to work on. As Ellen carefully cut out one side of the box, Eric found his old sneakers and duct taped those to the top of his skis. Ellen worked feverishly on her bobsled and Emily caught on to what was taking place and went in search of her own box. Ellen sat in the box to make sure she fit in her bobsled and then cut more cardboard into runners and duct taped these on the bottom of her box. Emily took down her box and flattened it and carefully cut out a shape of a luge sled. She took Eric’s idea of the magazine pages and taped several to the bottom of her luge to make it faster.

Imagine, if you will, what my living room looked like in the midst of the mayhem. Three incredibly creative and happy children sitting among scraps of cardboard, ripped up magazines and tape. Of course, both dogs were lying on important parts and pieces of the various Olympic apparatus. At this point, I thought it necessary to leave them mess for quiet and coffee. Soon after I left, the kids donned their snow clothes, turned out the outside lights and tried their “test runs”. It should go without saying that the magazine pages taped to the bottom of the skis and luge only lasted about half way down our little hill. The skis came loose from the old sneakers and the runners fell off the bottom of the bobsled. Apparently, the luge faired the best and all three Olympians tried it out.

These are the times that I want to remember. The times of my kids being creative and being children. These are also the times that make me wish that we lived closer to our cousins (5 hours one way and 3 1/2 the other way is a bit too far for our liking…). It would be so fun to have a backyard Winter Olympics. We could have the parade of the nations… Olson, Kreider and Young waving their flags. We could have curling in the driveway, figure skating in the yard, and all the alpine events on the hill. Let the games begin!

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