The Pinewood Derby

The day had finally arrived! The Pinewood Derby was here!

To see our preparation for the event:

Pinewood Derby-Last Chance

Since the last post, the kids have lovingly played with their cars. So much, that they are now mostly hot glue. I have attached and reattached the horn on Mirah’s unicorn at least 5 times. Lucas’s Gup B fins- well it has been a constant struggle. Three to four times a day since we finished them, I have had to deal with a sobbing Lucas, upset because a fin came off. So I would attach it, and he would run off, happy again, until the next fin was torn off in a blaze of wheels and skidding on the tile.


The picture above, is Mirah, watching a Marco Polo, waiting for the hot glue to warm up, so we can glue her horn back on, again, so we can leave to the derby.

Another layer to add to this story, that is significant for me, is that the cultural hall was double booked for the night. Tuesday night is our ward’s designated evening for the building. And despite that fact, the Stake went ahead and scheduled a blood drive. SO you will see in the back ground of some of these photos a line of American flags. Yes, we all love America. However, they are actually acting as a barrier between us and the blood drive on the other side of the room. This solution was the result of many phone calls, conversations, and disagreements between so many people in the stake and wards I won’t bother mentioning it.

The resolution of course turned out fine, but it was a lot of work. I had to arrive at the church THREE hours before the activity, to make sure we got enough space. I worked with my fellow Primary counselor Melissa Swan, and our Activity Days leader Renee Gray, to set up chair, tables, and then flags. (Which are the flags used in the neighborhood to celebrate national holidays.) In the end, the sweet Nurses running the blood drive were generous and kind and very reasonable about sharing the space. Much more flexible than the leaders running the event. 🙂 It all worked out.

At 5:00, the Pipkin Hite’s arrived at the church, ready to finish the set up, and get all the cars weighed in and graphited (meaning to put graphite on all of the wheels.) Somehow, this whole month, it was Karl in charge. Not only did he make over half of the cars himself, but he single-handedly weighed prepped and checked in all of the cars.


Yes, you may notice that there are GIRLS waiting to get their cars ready, well, for our ward last ever pinewood derby, we had all of the activity days girl join in too. Which, spoiler alert, was fantastic.

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Check in went like this, the kids would come in, check in with Karl. They would make sure their weight was good, add pennies, lead weights, etc., OR like in the case of our buddy Lucas Powell, have to drill out an entire OUNCE of lead from the bottom of the car:

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This is as good a place as any for another aside-and what feels like a near tragedy of the day. Remember this open door. (pictured above)

So Karl’s actual assignment for the activity was to take pictures of the event. BUT since he was much too busy for that, I happily did it. After check in, I would usher the kids into our side of the cultural hall, and take their pictures.

My sweet Lucas was running around with his car. Always very near me. He was really so happy very in his element. I took this picture, between other pictures.

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Well as the race began and I was rushing to take a big group shot of all of the racers, I realized Lucas was NO WHERE to be found. The race was about to start. He had been hovering near the track the whole time, racing his car down every chance he got. After the picture was taken, I started running around the church trying to find him. He was nowhere. I got my friend Melissa to help me-Karl was still busy. Every moment that passed I became more frantic. Melissa found him with a sweet couple OUTSIDE of the church soaking wet and crying. With a bloody lip, his car still clutched in his hand. He had gone out the door when the Powells had been drilling down their car to make weight. He had run out of sight when they closed the door, which then locked. He couldn’t get in, and couldn’t see us, so he got worried and thought we went home, so he started to run towards home, crying, when the couple found him-no new on where or when he hurt his little face.

When I asked his what had happened, all he could say was, “I was really REALLY lost! I thought you guys left me and went home!”



This kid is going to kill me. As great of a night as it was, I was so scared from him disappearance I had terrible dreams, wakeful sleep, and woke up early this morning in a terror that Lucas had run out of the house again.

BUT before all of this, there was lots of running around, testing car on the track, and smile and happiness.

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And here are our racers:

Of course, the cutest racers, for me were my kiddos, Mirah and Lucas. They were secondary racers, and in the end were able to participate. Which was kind of awesome. Lucas’s heart would have been broken if he hadn’t raced.

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Benjamin Pitcher with his dad and fellow Cub Scout Leader Paul.

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Bridgette Martin and her Dad John.

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Gracie Osborn with her Mom Marcy and her sweet little sister Mani.

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Brooklyn Hunter with her two older brothers Curtis and Conner.

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Brooklyn and Gracie are neighbors, and I think they made their cars together.


Jace Winward and his Dad Rick.

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Charlotte Kennedy and her dad Brain.

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Magnis Gray and his dad Ivan.

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Maddie Ramage and her dad Cory.

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Two of Cory’s other kids, Taylor and Parker came too. Taylor had made a car in their old ward, and Parker wanted to race it. So they came along too.

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Bridger Baer and his dad Devin.

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Our racer, and new neighbor, Veronica Ambriz with her whole family. Mom and dad Rebekah and Anthony. And her little sister Jade and Naomi.

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Jada, and her mom.

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Lucas Powell and his dad Eli.

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Our late comers, Daniel and Edward Arkell.

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All of the racers, well most of them, getting ready to start the race!

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The cars! Most of them. It was at this moment I started to freak out about where Lucas was.

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Karl was all done getting all of the cars ready. What a guy!


Hands covered in graphite.

The crowd was gathered, Lucas was found, the rules were announced. His wet hair…

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The races began!

The kids were called by name, they would put their cars in the lane on the tack that they were told, and then they would run down to the other end to catch it. The track and it’s owner, a Brother Joseph Brown, (I think) were very cool and high tech. There was a sensor at the end of the track, that could tell us to the thousandth second which car won. There were several acutal ties which was surprising. It was all connected to a computer, that showed us, and recorded the times on the wall behind them. It was all pretty great.

I think there were something like 20 heats. Here are pictures of the first several:

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Ivan putting Graphite on the wheels between every heat. haha.

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Mirah and Lucas were able to race with Parker and the late comer Arkells.

Lucas was SO SO excited. He couldn’t be kept off the track one more second.


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They did 10 quick  heats while the other kids patienly waited the results, and have a blast…

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Mirah even won a few!!


Lucas was exhilarated and in his element!

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He wouldn’t let Karl add weights or graphite, so he didn’t really win. But he didn’t mind at all. He was happy to just be there.


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My cuties waiting at the end of the track for their cars.

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Winner winner chicken dinner!!


Mirah won!!!

The final score were in!

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Lucas-look you’re right after Mirah 😉


Awards time!


Sadie and Eli Powell presented our winners!

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First Benjamin Pitcher, Second Edward Arkell, Third Magnis Gray.

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And all of the kids with their participants ribbons!!


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“Show me your ribbons!”

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Man, these kids just couldn’t be bothered.

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