Bankhead Adventures

31 July 2017

Anniversary Backpacking Trip 2017

Amy and Paul celebrated 13 years of marriage with a backpacking trip through Sequoia National Park, our most challenging adventure yet. Thanks to the wet winter, we enjoyed dozens of waterfalls, river-crossings, and snow-stomping. The wildflowers were outrageous and the alpine lakes pristinely inviting and our marriage all the better. 

Paul gets big kicks out of tracking our trip data with his cool watch, so here are the details he has spent hours analyzing: 

Day 1: 5000 up, 5500 down, 16 miles

Day 2: 6500 up, 3600 down, 9 miles
Day 3: 4600 up, 4400 down, 11 miles
Day 4: 1600 up, 4300 down, 11 miles
Total: 17,700 up, 17,700 down, 47 miles

Amy gets big kicks out of disappearing into the wilderness and tromping through the glories of nature, so here are the photos:

Some previous backpacking anniversaries:

Mount Whitney in 2015
Yosemite in 2012
Kings Canyon in 2010

30 July 2017

Bankheads in D.C.

Astronauts at the Air and Space Museum
In honor of Aunt Heidi's graduation from Southern Virginia University, the Bankheads made the trek across the country, taking the opportunity to visit the capital. Thanks to their excellent school teacher who prepped them with plenty of historical background and thanks to our obsessive listening to Hamilton, the children were excited and engaged with everything we saw. Museums! Monuments! Memorials! Government! Art! Washington D.C. lived up to our high expectations. Even riding the Metro was an adventure, with Miles yelling every few minutes "Next stop Crazyland!"

Building an igloo at the American Indian museum

The kids love all the Cubi art 
We briefly lost James at the WWII memorial, which is why he's not in this photo

19 June 2017

From Nimbus 2000 to Firebolt

 After nine years, we said goodbye to the Nimbus 2000, our Honda Odyssey that happened to come in the color Nimbus Grey. Because Sadie was pretty upset about the change (we've had that vehicle since before she was born), we dedicated an entire family home evening to a eulogy for our old minivan, praising its boat-pulling, mattress-hauling, bike-transporting, and overall adventure-enabling. But the silver lining of this goodbye was welcoming the Firebolt, a sparkly red Chrysler Pacifica, which will inevitably make many future appearances on this blog.

07 June 2017

History Fair 2017

 One great thing about having the Bankhead kids in a one-room school is the project collaboration that happens among siblings. This year for the history fair, James and Amos chose to be Lewis and Clark, while Sadie chose Sacagawea. The evening was staged as an animatronic museum, so when visitors pushed a button, the students came to life and recited their memorized spiels about their chosen historical figures. Happily there was a trip to Utah scheduled during this project, because of course Grandma Glauser happened to have perfect costumes in her collection for us to borrow.

04 June 2017

Amos Starts Kindergarten (surprise!)

 For various reasons, we decided that Amos would skip his kindergarten year and begin first grade next year, which was working out great. But one Thursday in February, Amos said, "Mom, I see no reason why I shouldn't start kindergarten on Monday. It seems like a great opportunity for me." So we pulled some strings and off he went, joining his older siblings in a one-room school, mid-year. His first day he began working on a research paper, which ended up being several pages long. Not your typical first day of kindergarten, but he rocked it. The only downside is how much Amy and Miles miss Amos at home.

31 May 2017

James Graduates from Cub Scouts

James has spent three years as a Cub Scout, earning awards, learning stuff, and doing cool activities. He was the only kid in his den to successfully light a one-match fire, and he won several awards for cool car designs. He earned his Arrow of Light award this year
(which he pointed out seems useless without an accompanying Bow of Light), and he has now moved on to Boy Scouts.

03 April 2017

2017 March Madness

Tonight is the championship game of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Every year the Bankhead children fill out brackets and enter the Glauser group in an attempt to win a prestigious trophy. Unfortunately no Bankheads will be winning the trophy this year, but that doesn't detract from the entertainment of watching them learn how the system works.

11 January 2017

Sadie's Broken Arm

Broken arms are never convenient. One Wednesday afternoon, while Amy was caring for an extra 3 children under the age of 5, she received a phone call from Sadie's teacher, explaining that Sadie had fallen from the rings and hurt her arm and would need attention right away. Amy explained that she had a boatload of small children and wouldn't be able to come for a while. But then the teacher texted, "I think her arm is broken, but I didn't want to say that in front of Sadie." So after digging 5 little ones out of the sand box and then hunting for their shoes and then transferring 3 extra carseats into the minivan, Amy was pulling out of the driveway when one of the other moms arrived and generously offered to take the whole gaggle.

Because Sadie's PE teacher is an army medic, Amy assumed her suspicion of a broken arm was correct and didn't bother unwrapping Sadie's arm from the make-shift sling before taking her to the ER. But she had second thoughts once we arrived. When asked to rate her 1-10 pain level, Sadie replied 4. When asked to move her arm, hand, and fingers, she had full range of motion. And when the doctor showed her how to use the TV remote, Sadie was thrilled. So Amy figured the whole trip was a waste and that clearly Sadie was fine. X-rays proved her wrong, though, and despite Sadie's invincibly cheerful demeanor, the doctor diagnosed a Salter Harris type II distal radius fracture. 

After 4 weeks of wearing a cast, Sadie was plagued by two anxieties: "What if they accidentally cut off my arm when they cut off the cast?" and "Will I be able to ski over Christmas?" We'll leave our readers in suspense about the answers to those pressing questions.