Monday, April 30, 2007

Project 365: April 30

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Project 365: April 29

This was a day for lacrosse.

Morgan had her game at noon and Katherine and Caroline had their games in the late afternoon. This picture shows the girls on Caroline's team cheering for their teammates. They were behind almost the entire game, until they managed to tie it up in the last minute of the 4th quarter. We won 8-7 in sudden death. It was great to win, but even better was seeing the girls on the sideline finally understand the need to support their teammates.

For the record, Morgan's team won, and Katherine's too!

OIAM 2007

"...Truly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40

Saturday morning we all dressed in our matching blue t-shirts and headed into town to church. That's right, on Saturday. That was the day for our annual Operation Inasmuch, where teams go out all over the area and complete projects for those in need. The recipients range from low-income or disabled families, to summer camps, to hospitals, even the Salvation Army. We started out the morning with a good breakfast and a group picture. Uncle Bill was visiting from San Diego so he jumped right in. The kids were so happy to see him! Will had to sit right next to him, and Katherine just could not stop hugging on him!

There are so many good projects each year. In the past I've always participated in the sewing project - at first out of a need to be at church and closer my kids, but then later because I enjoyed that more than gardening and painting! The first year that I participated we made over 60 sundresses and 45 pairs of shorts to send to Yetebon, Ethiopia for students at a school sponsored by Project Mercy. Then last year we made over 65 lap quilts for a local nursing home. This year's sewing project was to make 44 pairs of curtains for a local summer camp for children with special needs.

I did not get to work on that project. Instead I helped facilitate the Youth Department's project, which did involve some sewing. They were making little teddy bears to donate to the local police department. The police officers will then use those bears to comfort the young children whom they encounter in their work.

Because they wanted to be able to finish the project in one day and they wanted to make 75 bears, we had to get the bears sewn prior to Saturday's blitz. Luckily we have some very handy and willing women who volunteered to sew the bears ahead of time. That way the youth had only to decorate, stuff, sew up, and attach a card to each bear. They dove right into the decorating of the bears. I had assumed that they would draw on a face and be done with it. I was taken aback when I saw their intricate creations. They all put so much effort into their work.

The bear project was done before lunch,* but luckily the Youth Minister had something else lined up to keep them busy! After cleaning up the bear mess, the youth made goody bags for the officers. Once that task was complete, they ran around the building playing sardines until it was time for their break-the-fast meal.

*The Youth were participating in World Vision's 30-hour famine this weekend so they did not get to eat the yummy breakfast or lunch. They did however break their fast with a meal of pizza and junk food...everything a youth could want in a meal - pizza, soda, candy, dessert, and even veggies!

Project 365: April 28

I'm thinking my girls are headed for careers in the circus!

After a long Saturday away from home, along with some increasingly bothersome, but fairly normal, quarreling between siblings, I sent the girls outside to throw the ball around. They did for quite awhile, and then later when I looked out the window to check on them, I saw Morgan balancing her stick on one foot, and Caroline balancing hers on her hip.

They are so talented.

I wonder how much better they'd be on the field if they would concentrate that much on their stickwork!

I Didn't Win - Revisited

Remember this? And this?

Well, get a load of this!

I did win the digital photo frame after all!

No, I didn't win it in that contest. We had the annual spring festival at the elementary school last Friday night and I won it in the raffle! Too cool!

As I was walking around talking to people while my kids played games, several people came up to me to tell me I had won something - figuring it was pizza at Casella's (which I love!) I didn't hurry in. I know my jaw dropped to the floor when I was handed this box, I just hope I didn't start drooling. I was completely and utterly floored! So, many thanks to the donor of this prize, and the picker of my name.

Was it kismet, good karma, coincidence, pure luck, or just plain good fortune?

I definitely believe I have oodles of good fortune...good fortune to have my family and my friends. And, as much as I love this digital frame which I never would have gotten otherwise, none of my good fortune has to to do with winning anything. Really.

Project 365: April 27

My mom sent these roses in celebration of our 16th wedding anniversary. The picture doesn't do them justice - they are absolutely beautiful! I ended up putting them in two different vases so that we could enjoy them in more than one place!

Friday, April 27, 2007

16 Years Ago Today

Who are those young people?

Our wedding day was just perfect. Almost all of my favorite people were there, most notably absent being my mother's parents who were not in good enough health to travel across the country.

The only mishap was my Aunt Linda's heel getting stuck between the bricks - not a problem, my dad dug it out with his key, and on we went.

If anything else went wrong, I didn't know about it, and didn't care.

I found out afterward that it had started to rain just before the ceremony, but it stopped before we ladies made our way to the Chapel. The rain would have put a damper on the outside garden reception, but we would have made do inside!

The reception was perfect. We held it within walking distance from the chapel on The Lawn at The Colonnade Club. The club has a beautiful garden surrounded by serpentine walls. The flowers were in full bloom. I'm told the food was good, but I don't remember. My mother-in-law says it was the longest reception she's ever attended, but I blame that on the endless receiving line! I guess we stayed until after 6, but since we really didn't have anywhere to be until the next morning, and many of our relatives and friends had come from far, far away, it made sense to stay.

Still, in the end it was good to get away and be by ourselves...and to settle into the newness being husband and wife.

*The photographer was Jim Carpenter of Gitchell's Studio. He was also the Grand Marshall of the Dogwood Parade which was being held that day which meant he had to skip out of our reception. The upside of that was that we had 2 photographers for the price of one!

I Didn't Win

So, I didn't win the really cool digital photo frame. Alas!

Here's another contest being held by 5 minutes for mom- the prize is one limited edition set, which includes this book and a soft plush Angie.

Angie the Ant is the official mascot for Prevent Child Abuse America and 50% of all proceeds from the sale of this book will go to organizations that work to prevent child abuse.

Looks like a fun's definitely a good cause...and since we don't have it yet, I thought to myself, "why not enter?"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

If it's Thursday...


The 4/5 team members were lucky enough to have a sub so everyone got to get a water break during the scrimmage. That was a good thing because they were busting theirs...all over the field! L was in the goal and was fantastic! CD(in pink shorts) stayed on my Caroline, and vice versa. They all hustled!


The 2/3 team had a fun time scrimmaging today, too. Little Emma was in the goal for the first time and did really well! There were 4 pairs on the field which gave the girls a lot of room to move around and get open to catch the ball or to try to shoot. One of the funniest things about these scrimmages is that when one side has made the requisite number of passes and has been given the all-clear to shoot, ("Orange, you can shoot!"), the other team (white) just stands there and lets them shoot! Too funny. They just don't have a good understanding of their role, I guess. Or didn't - they do now!

A Day in the Life of a Boy

First, he had preschool, said goodbye to his friends, waved to the bus driver who takes just one friend home. Then off to the turtle place to meet more friends (only one showed up) so I could have chat time with friends. Carter's mommy was there, but Philip and his mommy had to go rescue a mud-covered brother! Later, after running home to let Gracie outside, we headed to the girls' lacrosse practice where he caught caterpillars. By the time we left I think only two were dead. Not bad for such a long practice!

If it's Tuesday....

So the girls won all three of their games on Saturday! Yay Orange!

Having determined that they won, in part, because they did not get worn out from all the running, which he attributed to the running they do in practice, their coach had them run 3 laps instead of the usual two!!

The girls were not thrilled but picked up their sticks and cradled their way around the field three times!

She looks so sweet and dainty in her cute green flowered skirt.

Just when you think you know someone really well, they can go and pull a fast one on you! This one, sweet as she is, decided she wanted to play goalie* on Tuesday. So she went from being all sweet and pretty to being Gladiator Girl! OOH! Watch out world!

Surprised I was, definitely! This is, after all the girl got beaned in the arm on Saturday and had to leave the field to get ice - and what a wonderful bruise that was! So who is this child anyway?

She had a good time in the goal, managing to defend the shots thrown by the bigger girls. Coach put her in the older girls' scrimmage because I was there and because the other little goalie didn't have any parents present. Katherine came away with good sense of the position and with only one really good new bruise...on her hip! How that could happen with all those pads, I don't know.


This one just gets better and better with every practice! She was really on the ball today, and having a great time!

*What is it with these girls?

Project 365: April 26

Here's our Orange Crush team, minus 3 (one sick and two AWOL). They are a happy bunch, especially since they got to sit and rest. Coach had them run 3 laps again today. They really don't know how lucky they are. If I were the coach....

And aren't their sticks so pretty?! When I played (countless years ago) most of the players had wooden sticks and the ones who did have the newer sticks certainly didn't have pink, or green, or yellow heads!

Project 365: April 25

The entire 3rd grade went to Newport News yesterday. They left school at 7:30 and got back just before 5. What a long day! Here she is after the long ride home. The students spent the day at the VA Living Museum and had a blast. Katherine passed on touching a snake, but did get to pet a skunk.

Speaking of skunks...David had Gracie outside last night and saw some movement on the other side of the yard. Thinking it was a groundhog (since we have lots of them!) he and the dog decided to rush the beast.

Oops! When they got about 15 feet from the animal David realized what it was and high-tailed it into the house. They were fast enough thank goodness to avoid the stench that was to envelop our yard for the next 12 hours! It must have been a really slow skunk.

That scare brought back memories of The Partridge Family episode when the skunk climbed aboard the family bus....thank goodness we didn't have to invest in any tomato juice!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Project 365: April 24

Thirsty for words, always. Got to have them anywhere, any form, all the time.

This girl started reading when she was just 4 and has not slowed down yet. She's been known to read under the covers with flashlight, read books in school when she's supposed to be listening(!), and read in between homework assignments. You know how it is - you have to read a passage for your assignment, but then you just have to keep going. Cruelty is when the teacher won't allow you to continue on.

We had a big belly laugh recently when her teacher wrote on her report card that "Caroline procrastinated on her AR reading this quarter." What a hoot! AR reading is when the kids have to read a book that's on their reading level and on an approved list and then take a comprehension test on that book. The requirement itself isn't a bad one. For some kids those are they only books they read outside of school during the nine weeks. The problem for Caroline is that there are very few books at her level that she hadn't already read. She really had to scrounge to find books that she hadn't already been tested on and ended up using several of the books from The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - which I'm pretty sure she had not read recently. It's hard for me to be sure, since she reads and re-reads so frequently.

One of the pluses of having kids who enjoy reading is that we haven't felt the need to cave and buy one of those DVD players for the van. Having big sisters who love to read has taught Will to know he should pack books every time we go somewhere. It's second nature for these guys.

What books are you bringing?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Project 365: April 23

Yesterday we had our very first dinner outside for the season! It was Morgan's idea, and a great one it was.
We had burgers, fries, pasta salad, beans & chips - like we need fries and chips! We did not have the yummy ice cream that K and I picked out. That'll have to wait until tonight.

After eating, half of us went on a walk in the "forest" to do who knows what. I encouraged them to take Gracie, which they did. Somehow they didn't catch the hint though, and they brought her back! Alas.

The travelers didn't make it very far into the forest for they spotted the zipline. There they stayed until it began to get dark. Will told me later that he had gone on the zipline all by himself and that his Daddy caught him and dropped him. I asked, "On your head?" "No mommy, on my sandals!"

Here's a BONUS picture! It's gotten a lot greener back there since the last time I took a picture of the backyard!

Project 365: April 22

Where do you want to go?

Project 365: April 21

This is the best marching band in the whole Dogwood Parade! Okay, so maybe I'm biased, but I thought they were great! Look carefully & closely for the pint-sized clarinet player...there she is in the middle! The band was fantastic! This was Morgan's first experience playing in the marching band. They had practiced before school several mornings & during class time over the last few weeks. All that practice paid off! I guess we'll be seeing a bit more of this kind of thing since Morgan will playing in the marching band next year when she goes to (OMG!) high school!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Project 365: April 20

See?! It looks good. It tastes even better! You know you want some.

United in Grief

All around town today, everywhere I went, there were people dressed in marooon and orange. Even Will and his preschool classmate Gabe were in their Hokie colors. Before today we didn't have "Hokie" colors. We do have a lot of orange, and gold & black - I wonder why?! We have exactly 3 maroon shirts - Will's t-neck over which he wore an orange T, K's old soccer jersey over which she wore her current lacrosse jersey & Morgan's long sleeved shirt under which she wore an orange cami. That left Caroline wearing only orange. Oh well. She didn't mind and what she was wearing really wasn't the point, was it?!

I don't know who created this picture - I received it via several emails today. If anyone knows, please tell me and I'll include the proper credit.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dinner Out

After practice on Thursday we had to go shopping. No really, we did!

David and I had to find softball gloves for our first softball game* on Friday night! So we went up to Play It Again Sports to see what we could find. We came away with 2 gloves, a ball, an orange shirt for K for game days, cleats for 2, and a cool lacrosse practice game.

By the time we were done shopping we were all famished, especially Will who needs food every 3 minutes these we headed to our new favorite pizza place - Fabio's! We scarfed down an huge appetizer and halves of 2 extra large pizzas. It was so good, and good again on Friday for lunch!

*Just in case anyone is wondering how the softball game went. I did get a base hit using a sexy bat and a ladies ball, and despite certain stories going around, I did not argue (too much) with the ump!

If it's Thursday

Last Thursday, Caroline got to gear up in her goalie garb again. She really enjoys playing in the goal. Maybe she thinks it makes her look tough! She does look a lot bigger this year than she did last year! I'm finding that I'm not flinching nearly as much as I did last summer when she and Morgan were both playing goalie!

Anyway, back to last Thursday. Practice as usual. It was rainy and a bit cold when we started out, but once everyone got moving it wasn't too bad - really nice weather for practice.*

Caroline & her friend Molly were both playing goalie at practice.

Katherine took being on the orange team to heart on this day and dressed in orange from head to toe! She had a great practice too! Here you can barely see her orange pants and green stick head peeking behind the girl who was guarding her! And there she is (center)throwing the ball to her teammate Caroline. There are 3 Carolines on this team and 2 Emmas! It makes it really easy to cheer but a bit difficult to yell out substitutions!

*The girls did end up stripping off their sweatshirts after about 30 minutes! There's just too much running around to be bundled up!