Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lego 2014

If you're wondering why Lego gets its own post on my blog, then you don't know my kids very well. In fact, since I haven't posted anything about Lego since 2012, I really have two years to catch up on. In 2012, all the boys entered the Tennessee Valley Fair, and Nathan and Noah won big.  You can read about it here. They became local Lego celebrities, and started being asked to give programs at the public library.  Here they are at one of these library visits:

In 2013, they entered again, but I knew it was going to be hard to top their previous performance. There was nowhere to go but down!  Plus all their library visits generated lots of new entries at the fair.  But they did some really cool builds.

Noah made a mall scene.  It was huge with lots of tiny detail.

Notice that between the library visit and the fair entry, Noah got a much-needed haircut.  But I digress.  

Nathan built a castle with removable parts and working portcullis for his entry.

Let's just say that second place is not much fun after first place, apparently.  Besides the individual competition, the boys entered the team build (where you build for an hour with random pieces that you are given).  I can't even remember how they placed, but it was 2nd or 3rd (if it had been first, I would have remembered that!).  Their build was inspired by the TV show, Psych.

So on to 2014.  Early in the year, we experienced a Lego-lover's dream when one of the guys that worked for Terry was getting ready to trash all of his son's outgrown Lego (and some of his own) and gave it to us instead.  It took several days just to sort it somewhat.  It was at least 50 lbs of Lego.

We ended up with about 15 Indiana Jones minifigures.  We need to make a stop-action movie where Indiana Jones is cloned, I guess!

At this year's fair competition, Noah entered a beach/boardwalk scene, Nathan entered a complex spaceship.  

Caleb never finished the jumbo mini-figure he was building, so he just entered the head as a "Lego candy dish."  Guess who won this year?  Perhaps this was payback for the travesty he suffered at a Lego competition that his dear old Mom organized several years back.  

The most fun thing at the fair this year was that the boys got some of their friends involved in the team building competition.  After winning the qualifying round with this ice cream sundae

  They went on to win 4th place overall for their Lego paint set and easel:

But wait, there's more!  One of the most exciting things is that our boys were asked to participate in the founding of the Knoxville Lego Users Group.  There are quite a few of these across the country (mostly in big cities), and they are called "LUGS."  There is not another LUG in Tennessee.  Our group currently has a big project underway sponsored by the Children's Hospital, the Tennessee Valley Fair and in cooperation with the University of Tennessee.  They are building a 6-ft. "Power T"  sculpture that will go on display at the 2015 fair.  Here is a drawing they are working from:

This was the end of my original post.  Then I remembered more Lego news!  Last year, Noah competed in the First Lego League.  Terry and I coached the team of six boys (aka "Brainstorm") that met at our house each week.  They competed in a qualifying tournament here in Knoxville and then at the Tenn. Eastern Regional Tournament at Tennessee Tech.  The boys vastly improved their robot score between the two tournaments and ended up winning 2nd place overall for their presentation - a skit about a product called "Float Your Bum."


Julie said...

Hi! Great post! I currently work at the Halls branch library and we had a very successful Bricks program last summer. I created 2 Lego Clubs at the Burlington Library last year and have recently started one here at the Halls branch. I was wondering if your boys (and others interested or a group they belong to?) might be interested in coming to present some Lego creations as a program to kids and families this summer at the Halls Branch Library in Knoxville?
Our group is growing and I'm sure they'd love to hear all about others creating amazing things with Legos!
Feel free to email me at Thanks!
Julie Piller

Julie said...
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