tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:/posts CC+BG+Family 2021-09-14T06:28:40Z CC tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1735650 2021-09-14T00:46:29Z 2021-09-14T06:28:40Z First day of school

All three finally in school! Asa’s first day of kindergarten and Emmet’s of grade 2!

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1734392 2021-09-11T00:44:13Z 2021-09-11T00:47:25Z Guess who started 6th grade this week?
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1718533 2021-07-29T06:34:30Z 2021-07-29T06:34:30Z Tofino!

Our next adventure was an all-boys camping trip to Tofino. I scored an amazing campsite at Pacific Rim national park which is right on the ocean beach near Tofino. Beth had too much work to go, so I took the three boys solo to go camping for SEVEN DAYS STRAIGHT. 

A few moments:

The loaded car, the ferry ride, and the first night of hot dogs!

First evening on Long Beach: the kids were thrilled to be on the huge beach.

Hot chocolate: a camping breakfast staple

Family portraits: it's getting harder to fit everyone in the frame!

Chesterman's Beach: the daily Tofino outfit was a swimsuit on the bottom and a winter jacket on top for the wind. We explored many windy but beautiful beaches!

Wickaninnish Beach and South Beach: lots of tidepooling, big waves, and me scrambling to get us all off a rocky peninsula before the rising tide turned it into an island and cut us off from shore. 

Biking on the beach: Long Beach is 10 miles long and we were right in the middle of it. The hard sand near the water was very bikeable and we rode for a couple miles exploring the beach. 

Boat trip to hike on Meares Island: There were some truly amazing HUGE old growth trees here -- the biggest trees I've seen in my life. The boys looked like dwarves next to these things. 

And to cap everything off, Obie lost a molar while eating an ice cream cone!!

Quite the eventful trip. The boys held it together amazingly well and were troopers. We stayed up until 10pm every night (watching the sun set on the beach at 9:30), explored a new beach every day, hiked and biked and boated. We did it all. Beth had a peaceful child-free week (of straight work....sigh), and there was a happy family reunion when we returned. I managed to come back with the same number of boys I left with, and everyone was mostly happy the whole time we were there. It was surprisingly manageable...guess the kids are growing up!!??



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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1718527 2021-07-29T05:54:55Z 2021-07-29T05:54:55Z Okanagan!

A few photos from our summer so far: As soon as school ended in June, we headed out to Lake Kelowna in the Okanagan for a Canada Day week vacation with some friends. Little did we know that this was the heat dome week, and the temperature got up to 113 degrees! Still, we had AC in our hotel room, and a nice breeze on the lake, so we were all good. We swam in the pool and at the beach every day, we dressed up and went out to a fancy dinner one night, and we rented a boat to go cruising on the lake. We did see smoke from two wildfires when we were on the boat though! Yikes! Luckily the fires were eventually contained, the temperatures finally started to cool down, and we all made it back in one piece. And so the summer begins...

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1710482 2021-07-05T00:24:26Z 2021-07-05T00:24:26Z Canadians on the 4th of July

We have so many pictures to post from our recent trip to the Okanagan, but for now, here are a couple of twinners having a backyard bbq on the 4th!

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1703169 2021-06-14T06:39:43Z 2021-06-15T00:25:27Z Asa is 5!

TIme has flown since our last blog post. Well, another milestone: Asa is five years old!

He had a lot of specific ideas for his birthday, and we honored as many as we could. First of all, he wanted just a family party, which is frankly easier given the Covid restrictions. But even before that, Asa wanted breakfast in bed – french toast and bacon – and he got it.

Next was a few presents. We are big into unicorns these days, and Obie and Emmet both gave Asa unicorn-themed presents.

We had a fun day of tromping around in the rain and playing Kirby (Nintendo game). We visited a friend's house where they were sitting shiva (Jewish week of mourning) for a grandparent who had passed away. Not exactly fun, but sort of fitting for Asa's birthday given his shared birthday with Grandpa John, who was remembered by all of us today. 

Then dinner with Howard and Linda – Asa had requested sushi. We surprised him with a sushi place where the food is delivered by table-side bullet trains! 

Then back to the house to fulfill another Asa request. He had been very specific about wanting "mango cake with sprinkles on it." Not your typical Whole Foods cake! We did find one, but the silver sprinkles we put on it melted and the colors bled so it ended up looking sort of tiger striped. It was a big hit though!

Five years old. Kindergarten in the fall. No preschoolers soon, no kids in daycare for the first time since....2011!!! It definitely feels like a new family phase. 

Asa is a big ham at home, joking and making his brothers laugh. He loves to jump off the couch in his brothers' room, spinning and shrieking. The three of them are deep into Pokemon, and Asa has reams of esoteric knowledge around different creatures and their particularities and statistics. 

He loves books, can read many small words already, and requests me to provide him with six books every night when I leave his room. He loves his unicorn dress, his many stuffies, and his best friends Zoe and Sophia at daycare. At home, he is learning chess from Emmet and can almost outrun both his brothers with a soccer ball. These days he can be reticent in big groups, and feels shy when he is in new places or social gatherings, though he warms up after a while. 

He is a close observer when it comes to conversational dynamics with family and friends, and is quick to make lateral connections and jokes. He's a natural night owl, with energy long into the evening. We hear industrious play noises from his room long after his brothers' lights have gone out. At the dinner table, I am often impressed by Asa's sophisticated language and his maturity in engaging with his brothers – he views them as peers and they treat him like one. 

But despite all this maturity, I can still wrap him up in a towel after a bath and carry him back to his bed like a burrito. Enjoying it while it lasts. I love you Asa and can't wait to see what 5 will bring for you!









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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1674378 2021-04-04T04:36:58Z 2021-05-25T21:38:39Z March catchup

What's new over here? A few things...


The family discovered the Wombo app which turns any picture into a lip-syncing video:


Asa had photo day at daycare...but he was feeling a bit shy that day and wouldn't look at the camera. Oh well...better luck next year!! 


We had lots of ski days and early spring outdoors time. Asa did his first chairlift, and the boys all did ski lessons. That is actually Emmet and Obie under all those layers!


And Howard and Linda finally made it through their vaccinations and quarantines just in time for us to have Passover together: 


Everyone is looking forward to better weather, Covid numbers going down, vaccinations going up, and border restrictions going away. Here's hoping sometime soon!



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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1660958 2021-03-03T03:55:17Z 2021-03-03T05:11:09Z Emmet is Seven

Well, having your birthday during a pandemic is not the greatest. But I think we made the best of it – Emmet had a pretty terrific 7th birthday. 

Skiing, presents, a dancing hamster birthday card, a piano lesson, more presents, cake, a movie with his brothers (Alvin and The Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked!), a visit from a friend, and even a toy store shopping spree!

Happy birthday to our own sweet, creative, independent, growing Alvin Emmet!


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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1638498 2021-01-11T05:39:04Z 2021-01-11T21:35:11Z Asa the chef
We haven’t posted anything for a while, but here’s a quick pic from today. Asa helped me make green beans and cauliflower, cook salmon, and make oatmeal cookies!
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1597859 2020-09-27T02:56:10Z 2020-09-28T17:57:31Z The beat goes on
Today’s instalment.
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1597308 2020-09-25T03:04:03Z 2020-09-25T04:10:05Z That’s really some rock! Emmet has been reading about musical instruments and is way into electric guitars. He even got to play Yoni’s electric guitar recently. 

Here are two guitars he drew: on the bottom is an electric guitar that can switch between rock and pop music. On the top is the loudest instrument in the world. The very large number indicates how many loudnesses it goes. As the caption says, “that’s really some rock!”

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1593638 2020-09-13T03:00:31Z 2020-09-13T03:00:32Z And School Begins!

For now, school is in-person, 5 days/week. It's going to be a strange rollercoaster of a year, no doubt. 


5th grade!

1st grade!

Emmet was so excited to go to school that he - unbeknownst to us - got into his clothes late at night and we found him like this in the morning. 
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1593635 2020-09-13T02:47:29Z 2020-09-15T21:59:29Z Final Trip of the Summer
So grateful to Chris for filling our summer with adventures across BC and Alberta. Our last camping trip was to Tofino - the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island - and it was pretty glorious. The first half of the trip was socked in by fog; when the fog lifted, it was awesome. Because of Covid, the majority of the public parking lots were closed - so the only folks on the beach were from our campground. It was incredible to hike for hours and hours down an endless beach and to see only a few people throughout the whole day. Bear and wolf tracks and scat! The most 'wild' and unpopulated beach I have ever been on. 

Day 1 - tidepools, exploring the foggy beaches

Wolf tracks? Bear tracks? Definitely bear scat. 

Day 2 - at first, a very foggy day (and check out those bizarre pelagic goose barnacles!)

And then, the fog lifts!

Final evening - gorgeous sunset

Sun kissed, beach smiles

Our campsite, with a beach view!





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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1589328 2020-09-01T01:43:52Z 2020-09-01T03:06:56Z Rocky Mountain Road Trip!

First big road trip with the boys! Third time camping this summer! First time in Alberta and seeing the Canadian Rockies! Lots of firsts this trip. 

We spent a week in the Canadian Rockies exploring Banff and Jasper national parks. We drove over 2000 km / 1200 miles, went on a zillion hikes, camped most of the time and cleaned up at a hotel in the end, and saw some great wildlife – including three black bears, two elk, and a mountain goat. Everywhere we went was gorgeous with stunning scenery, and we were blessed with sunny weather the entire time except for the final day. 

Quick overview with lots of pictures:


Vancouver to Banff 

Spent the night in Revelstoke, continued in the morning over Rogers Pass and gorgeous mountain scenary, stopped in Yoho National Park for a waterfall visit, and headed to our campsite outside the town of Banff. 


Banff

We settled into our campsite for the next four nights. The boys settled into the routine of a daytime adventure, and then either a campsite meal (aka hot dogs & s'mores) or a restaurant in town. Lots of activity: A quick hike walking distance from the campground that turned out to be GORGEOUS. A trip to Lake Louise. Another hike through a beautiful dry riverbed canyon, with an exciting/terrifying rockfall event that livened things up. And then another hike from our campsite down to the Bow river and into Banff (ending with me running 5km back up the hill to our campground to get the car and drive everyone else home!)

Tunnel Mountain Village Campground & Hoodoos


Grotto Canyon


Bow River


Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of those iconic vistas we knew about before we visited – the glacial-fed green water, the mountains ringing the lake, the stately chateau-style hotel. We got there at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds and it was still mobbed, but...it lives up to the hype. The lake was beautiful, and we went on a great hike to a civilized tea house at Lake Agnes, a high alpine lake. Then we continued on to the Little Beehive mountain lookout. The kids (including 4 year old Asa) hiked 11 KILOMETERS up and down the mountain (6.84 miles). Way to go! After the hike, I sampled the lake water, and found it was cold!


Icefields Parkway

After four nights in Banff, it was time to move on. We had done some cruising for wildlife sightings in Banff, but no luck. But within a half hour or so of leaving our campsite in Banff on the road to Jasper, we saw our first black bear! The road from Banff to Jasper is another iconic Canadian Rockies sight – a three hour drive that you could spend days exploring. High mountains, alpine lakes, glaciers! It's beautiful but desolate. You don't want to break down on this road! We stopped at the Athabasca glacier and got as close as possible – noting all the signs marking its retreat over the past decades. And finally our wildlife prayers were answered – in addition to the morning bear leaving Banff, we saw two more black bears, a pair of bull elk with giant antlers, and Beth and Obie even spotted a mountain goat! 


Jasper

We only stayed for two nights in Jasper, but we could have extended it much further – there was so much to explore. We did a hike through a deep river canyon with many pedestrian bridges and waterfalls. And we drove to Maligne Lake, a stunning glacier-fed lake with mountains everywhere. They run a retro-feeling boat tour, which we took across the lake for a stop at another one of Canada's most iconic viewpoints – Spirit Island. More jaw-dropping scenery. Even the kids, jaded by days of amazing mountain views, appreciated how beautiful it was. The weather was looking iffy, but fortune smiled upon us and the rain held off until we were back across the lake and in the car. 

Maligne Canyon & Road


Maligne Lake & Spirit Island


One more night, then a long nine-hour drive and we were back in our beds. The kids were total troopers through the whole week. So many adventures and fun memories for them. Camping, hiking, animals, family time. They were patient on the drives and on the hikes, and while they definitely drove each other (and us) nuts at times, it was such a fun time for the whole family. So thankful we were able to make this trip happen during Covid summer!

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1583762 2020-08-15T15:01:01Z 2020-08-15T15:01:02Z August so far

A quick summer roundup before we head out on our road trip to Banff and Jasper:

Hiking on Mt. Seymour with the big boys

Playing at home and in the park:


Emmet's color museum:

That's it for now – stay tuned for many Rocky Mountain photos....

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1581684 2020-08-06T17:31:34Z 2020-08-06T17:34:20Z Another day, another tooth!
Emmet loses another one! He spent last evening and this morning sticking spoons, straws, and his tongue through the new double-wide gap in his teeth! 
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1579109 2020-07-30T05:00:19Z 2020-07-30T05:48:12Z Emmet loses his first tooth
Breaking news! Emmet has lost his first tooth. After a round of increasingly forceful wiggling by Dad, Emmet was finally the one who popped the tooth out onto the floor. A pause for a celebratory picture, and it was time to get to work scrubbing the tooth clean with toothpaste — inspired by Ramona Quimby doing that with her first tooth. Emmet has requested the tooth fairy hold off for a night so he can more closely examine his tooth tomorrow. I told him I would pass on the message. 
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1576776 2020-07-25T05:08:58Z 2020-07-27T17:52:36Z Family camp week

Well... another week, another adventure over here. This time it was heading to Camp Fircom on Gambier Island for a midweek trip. Gambier is in Howe Sound, just a short water taxi away from the main ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay. But it is an island with few roads, no electricity, water, anything. Every place is off-grid and self-sufficient. 

Camp Fircom is a summer camp on the island with a gorgeous waterfront property -- it's been there since 1923, and started as a Presbyterian church's outreach program for families in the rooming houses of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Nowadays they do overnight summer camps for kids and families, but this year it is trimmed down, very restricted and Covid-safe. However, we still got to stay in a cabin, eat meals in the dining hall, check out the farm and garden, go kayaking, do archery, and hike. The boys had a blast, we did too, and it was nice to have a break from cooking every day. 

Highlights included: touring the garden and getting rhubarb umbrellas, feeding raspberries to the local chickens, seeing a garter snake, a seal, many deer, and even WOLF POO (photo available upon request). 

Apparently there are wolves on the island that the locals regularly hear. This is not totally unheard of, as wolves have gotten to Vancouver Island and are known to swim to little islands on the west side and basically live on the beach – sea wolves. However, its the first I've heard of wolves so close to Vancouver. We saw some large and very fresh scat filled with fur, so obviously a predator, but too large to be anything else. Very exciting! We also found a deer antler. 

Other camp favorite moments were Obie & Emmet doing archery for the first time (also Beth). Everyone hit the target! We all went kayaking as a family, and Asa did a steep 4+km hike walking the whole way with the big boys and us. The camp was a nice safe spot and just the right size for the kids, and we got to see each boy flex their independence muscles and go explore a little further on their own than they have before. Then when the evenings came, it was s'mores time of course, and the boys spent every possible moment poking the campfire with sticks, as is their wont. 

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1573074 2020-07-15T03:48:18Z 2020-07-15T06:12:36Z Rathtrevor Beach Camping

Another summer camping trip – this time to Rathtrevor Beach with friends. 

A ferry ride over to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and a short drive north to Parksville and we were there. Beautiful forest, great campground for kids, and a top notch beach. It wasn't baking hot when we were there, but we did get a bit of sun. 

This beach loomed large in Emmet's imagination in particular, as it is the closest spot to Vancouver where you can reliably find sand dollars. The beach goes out forever at low tide, and indeed we found sand dollars everywhere. 

The kids ate s'mores and ran around in the woods together as per our mandatory camping agenda. We went on a hike to some gorgeous waterfalls at Little Qualicum Park nearby, and spent the afternoon at a wildlife rescue animal sanctuary with live bears, eagles, and a zillion other birds, much taxidermy, and big grounds to explore. 

It was fantastic to be able to spend so much time with our friends, and the kids were loving it. Our little guys seemed so grown up on this trip, helping to set up camp, entertaining themselves, no one needing to be carried on the hike, everyone sleeping through the night. What a great trip!

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1563602 2020-06-23T06:13:29Z 2020-07-15T03:34:18Z First camping of the summer – Osoyoos

Summer has officially begun!

The border is still closed, so we are staying in BC for now. First camping trip of the summer – off to Lake Osoyoos in the Okanagan for Father's Day weekend. 

The boys were excited for "Canada's only desert" – highlights including rattlesnakes, black widow spiders and...scorpions!! :) Happily, we did not encounter any. It was also billed as "Canada's warmest lake." We also did not encounter this...maybe in August. 


We did however have a great time – what a location. Swiws / Haynes Point park is on a long spit right out in the middle of the lake. 


We stopped at EC Manning Park on the drive over the mountains, and saw many friendly marmots there. 

We set up camp. We went for a desert hike. The boys investigated an ancient metallic object located near our campsite (AKA payphone). Many hot dogs and marshmallows were consumed.

And then I inflated the boats I ordered off Amazon, which may prove to be the pinnacle of my dad career. These things were great – everyone got some use out of them. 

After a sweet weekend, we headed home, stopping for lunch at a gorgeous winery and vineyard in one of the small towns along the way. What a great Father's Day and kickoff to the summer! 


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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1561650 2020-06-19T12:40:16Z 2020-06-23T05:14:50Z Kindergarten Graduation!

Didn’t know (socially-distant) kindergarten graduation is a thing, but that didn’t stop minor waterworks. He’s growing!
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1559023 2020-06-13T20:18:40Z 2020-06-13T20:18:40Z Asa is four!!!

Happy birthday to our sweet, loving, insightful, hilarious, unicorn- and rainbow-loving, hairless child.

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1558499 2020-06-12T18:25:04Z 2020-06-13T01:53:07Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 91: Asa's last day of being three...and a new look

Birthdays are transformational. You're saying goodbye to the age you were, and hello to a whole new you. Asa is really taking this transformation idea to heart on his last day of being three years old.

Can you believe this little dragon is turning four tomorrow?

And can you believe that last night we went upstairs to find he had taken some nail scissors from the bathroom and cut his own hair??? 😱

😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Oh dear. 

We haven't decided exactly how we are going to remedy this, but there are sure to be more photos. Never a dull moment! 


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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1552199 2020-05-31T18:04:20Z 2020-05-31T18:28:35Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 79, Part 2

We all watched the SpaceX/NASA launch, the kids went to their rooms for quiet time, and Emmet emerged with this great rocket!

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1552174 2020-05-31T17:25:50Z 2020-05-31T17:25:50Z Quarantine Chronicles day 79
Haircut places are open again, with some changes. Here’s what the new normal looks like.
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1547501 2020-05-21T02:50:45Z 2020-05-21T02:50:45Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 68
First 1000 piece puzzle complete! We’ve moved up from 36, to 120, to 500, and now to 1000! 💥🧩🎉🎊🥂(When will this isolation be over?)
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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1547098 2020-05-20T04:07:48Z 2020-05-20T04:13:48Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 67: Three Amigos

Life goes on here, even after Tikka. Here's some of the ridiculousness we got today... 

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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1539119 2020-05-03T04:18:41Z 2020-05-05T19:07:44Z Goodbye Tikka

We shared this sad news with many of you and on Facebook earlier this week: ☹️

Beth and I are heartbroken to share that we had to put our beloved dog Tikka to sleep on Monday night. We found out only one day earlier that she had widespread cancer when it threatened to stop her heart. The emergency vets were able to buy us a little time and we got one more blissful day with her filled with petting, treats, and visits from her favorite folks. On Monday evening, her body started to shut down again and we made the decision to take her to the vet where we had a peaceful goodbye. 

We're all still in shock. Tikka was ten – almost 11 – but still seemed like my little puppy. Beth and I got her shortly after we got married and moved to Vancouver. The last decade has been filled with so many changes for us: newly married, new city, new country, new house, becoming new parents, then again, and then again! Tikka was with us through it all. 

Beth and I were blessed with a very full decade together with this lovely, lazy, long-eyelashed, howling, toy-crunching, nature-loving sweet doggie. She was happy and loving until the end. What a good girl. 








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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1533304 2020-04-20T01:28:36Z 2020-04-20T06:22:59Z Quarantine Chronicles Day 37

Our cherry blossoms have arrived! 

Meet 'Helio,' the uncannily fast slug. 


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tag:ccbgfamily.com,2013:Post/1531408 2020-04-15T04:09:51Z 2020-04-16T19:01:54Z Quarantine Chronicles: Day 32 - Marble Racing
✅ Marbles
✅ Train tracks
✅ Giant white board
✅ Social isolation
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Marble racing!

Track 1
Track 2
Head to head
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