Mara’s Blog Influencing the world one day at a time since 2005…

May 22, 2011

“I’m Riding My Bike Everybody”

Filed under: Videos — Luke @ 5:08 pm

Last year was Mara’s first time riding her bike without anyone holding on. At that time she still needed some help getting started. We have had a couple of sessions of practice since then trying to get more used to the bike. Every time is accompanied by a “don’t let go of me dad” type of comment. She has never let me let her go of her own free will. And at no point has she ever had trouble riding it after I did let it go.

Last Sunday was no different. We had gotten back from eating breakfast out and Mara was feeling like trying her bike. The session began like all the others, “don’t let go of me dad,” accompanied by a quick letting go of the bike, running right next to her so she can see that I am not holding her and replying, “I’m not holding on to you Mara,” and a cackle from Mara.

A few weeks before, Preston had visited and demonstrated his elite bike riding skills. He was all over the place with Mara’s bike with no problem. Somehow I think that gave Mara some added inspiration. It wasn’t long on Sunday before Mara was standing the bike up, walking it a little with her feet, and then lifting her feet onto the pedals and riding away. I ran with her for a few of these attempts since she hadn’t had a chance to learn to stop yet. But quickly that was at an end too. She got used to the stopping as well and then she was riding all on her own. Only an hour or so of practice and she was doing it all by herself.

RidingBike1 Video
RidingBike1 Video

10.3 MB / Time 0:23

Sunday turned out to be a full bike riding day. Riding in the morning, and riding in the afternoon. She was showing off to the neighbors and was very very proud.

RidingBike2 Video
RidingBike2 Video

9.72 MB / Time 0:22

View these videos with Quicktime, or I am afraid you might be seeing them sideways.

January 19, 2011

We call it playing t.v.

Filed under: General,Videos — Steph @ 8:42 pm

We have snow on the ground again. School is closed. What shall we do? Make some videos of course. We calling it playing t.v. and the kids absolutely love hamming it up for the camera. Check out these videos and get a good laugh. Honestly it was hard holding the camera still. Not sure I did a great job of it because it was so amusing to me. Thanks for the Harmonicas Nana and the Ukelele Grandma.

Click on the picture to watch the video
Mara singing 2011 01 19

Here are a few more videos to watch
Campbell’s trash can song

Mara’s random version of Spice Girls song

Campbell sings Beyonce

October 20, 2010

Hitching a Ride

Filed under: Videos — Luke @ 10:36 pm

This past weekend was brunswick stew weekend at Nana’s house. Mara and Campbell got to see their cousins and play around a little bit. They stayed the night as well and they always love to do that.

Since the cousins were together all of us planned to bring the kids Halloween costumes in order to take their pictures together. This might spoil it early before the holiday for those of you that don’t know, but there is a general theme for the Smith family heritage that has to do with Toy Story 3. Yes, that means cowboys and cowgirls. Well, little did we know, but Nana had a surprise for everyone waiting in the barn. Take a look at the videos.

MaraOnPony Video
MaraOnPony Video

1.9 MB / Time 0:36

CampOnPony Video
CampOnPony Video

1.7 MB / Time 0:31

July 19, 2010

She Keeps On Rollin’

Filed under: Videos — Luke @ 12:24 am

As we already wrote about just a few days ago, Mara has been making some new accomplishments lately. This weekend was no exception. On Sunday we got Mara’s bike out and were doing some practicing. First, we did some balancing and we tried to do that by mimicking a Strider which is a bike with no pedals. I lowered the seat on Mara’s real bike and took the pedals off. I wasn’t getting much support for that method, however, so no one was trying to use the bike in that fashion with Mara. So Sunday was the first time.

Then, as Mara was able to glide a little with her feet off the ground, it seemed that her biggest problem was speed. We went to putting the seat back up to height, and putting the pedals back on. Within a couple of trial runs, Mara was pedaling herself without me holding her. Actually the first run that I let go Mara had no idea I wasn’t holding on.

Then, it was camera time to capture some of this on video. Check it out.

Bike1 Video
Bike1 Video

34.5 MB / Time 1:44

That video is Divx and the best resolution (except for the horizontal line artifacts), but if you have trouble with viewing it, you can try another of these versions.

Bike1 WMV version Video
22.6 MB

Bike1 MOV version Video
48.4 MB

July 9, 2010

Until Next Time Lisa

Filed under: Videos — Luke @ 7:07 am

Today is a sad day in the Evans’ household. Lisa will no longer be visiting us. In honor of her last day we asked the kids a few questions and we are posting them to Mara and Campbell’s blog. Here are Mara’s answers.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do with Lisa?
A: Play with her.

Q: If you could go anywhere with Lisa, where would it be?
A: Chuck E. Cheese.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Lisa?
A: When she gives me love.

Q: How much do you love Lisa?
A: To the rainbow and back.

Q: If you were to give Lisa something from your room, what would it be?
A: I would give her the unicorn My Little Pony. I don’t know her name.

Q: What do you think about Lisa and Mark getting married?
A: I feel happy that they’re getting married. And they will kiss at the wedding. That’s funny, isn’t it?

Q: What is the funniest thing you remember about Lisa?

3.9 MB / Time 0:09

Q: How does it make you feel that Lisa won’t be your nanny anymore?
A: Makes me feel sad.

Q: If you could give Lisa a present on her last day, what would it be?
A: I would give her the things needed to do a video call so we could do video calls with her.

Q: What do you want to tell Lisa today?
A: I will miss you.

December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009

Filed under: Videos — Luke @ 1:13 am

Now that Campbell, bringing up the rear, really understands what is going on during the holiday it was really fun to watch the kids on Christmas morning. They get so excited and enjoy the day so much. With the amount that they get in gifts, it literally took the whole morning to get through all of the stuff with breakfast squeezed in in between some opening sessions.

Here is some video of the beginning of the morning where they are exploring their Santa gifts. Campbell running in and interestingly bypassing the gifts to see if the cookies had been eaten. Mara calling his attention back to what really matters. And all the way to Mara closing by saying how she is surprised by Santa.

Xmas2009 Video
Xmas2009 Video

16.1 MB / Time 6:39

November 9, 2009

Weather Resurgence

Filed under: Videos — Luke @ 10:32 pm

Yesterday was a beautiful day down here in NC. We got a chance to go to the playground as a result yesterday morning and the kids had a blast getting outside. We went to a new playground, for us anyways, and it was huge. We went to City Lake Park that we heard about from the Sowell’s. Unfortunately the park was “closed” for the season which meant some of the attractions were closed, but the playground was plenty of entertainment. Here are a couple of videos of the kids having fun.

Zip Video
Zip Video

0.97 MB / Time 0:17

Climbing Video
Climbing Video

2.8 MB / Time 0:52

You might need to use Quicktime to view these.

August 31, 2009

First Time Reading Mail

Filed under: Videos — Luke @ 8:53 pm

It has been a little while since we last checked in with Mara and her reading progress since seeing her off on her new adventure back in March. She did an amazing job getting through those BOB books and we were having some trouble finding the next step to take her on. The same series of books were no longer on sale at Costco, so we moved on to some other first reader books that we could find or just kept repeating what she already had read. Then the summer came and we enrolled Mara in a “summer camp” for reading put on through the UNC school system. She really enjoyed her first school-like setting and it was a great course to help parents to understand how to teach reading to their kids. It was one day a week for five weeks with some home lessons to do as well. It sounds more involved than it was, but the intent was to teach parents to teach their kids.

This year Mara will be attending Pre-K down the street. Her new teacher Miss Alicia sent a little introductory postcard to all of her students so this was one of her first personal pieces of mail. We saved it for her to read herself.

Here is a video of her reading the card. She had read it once to Mom earlier in the day. Mom indicated that she did even better the first time. Here she was a little distracted I think (with the camera on) and brother also comes by to interrupt. But she still does pretty good! There are some words in there I wouldn’t think she would get.

Postcard Video
Postcard Video

8.5 MB / Time 3:25

January 31, 2009

Swinging Monkey

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , — Luke @ 11:51 pm

One of the favorite things for the kids to do is go to the playground in the neighborhood. Its a simple one, with swings, a slide and a couple of other things. Mara has been getting more and more bold with the jungle gym. Once she wouldn’t go past the first rung, and now she has made it all the way to the top on the last couple trips to play there.

This video was taken in December. You will see that she likes spending time on the jungle gym so much she is willing to go without seeing Mr. Sprinkles, her best buddy, as well as just live on the apparatus for a few weeks. Needless to say, that did not happen, and she came down with her latest unique dismount.

MaraJungleGym Video
MaraJungleGym Video

6.4 MB / Time 2:02

If you have trouble viewing this, it should be possible to watch it with Quicktime, which you can download for free here. It was recorded on my mobile phone.

April 9, 2008

The Perfect Purse

Filed under: Pictures,Videos — Tags: , — Luke @ 11:54 pm

Mara was getting crafty again last week. Grandma had gotten her a purse for her birthday and had put a Michaels giftcard inside for her to go spend. Lisa took Mara over to the store the other week for her to get whatever she wanted to put on her purse.

Now, Mara liked the purse as it was, with it plain. But after they were done with it, it was quite a sight to see. And she likes it even more.

Purse 05

Doesn’t it look fancy?

Her favorite thing to do with it is to carry some of her smaller buddies around in it. You can see who is hiding in the purse in the second video below. (WARNING, the videos are large)

Purse1 Video
Purse1 Video

241 MB / Time 2:12

Purse2 Video
Purse2 Video

147 MB / Time 1:18

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