Thursday, May 31, 2007

Project 365: May 31

Our First Swim Team Practice 2007

Day 3 of swim practice and 2 of 3 swimmers finally made it! Morgan had a concert and had to stay at school to rehearse, but Katherine and Caroline were ready to swim!
First, the swimmers had to do lunges around the pool. There are different styles of lunges. Today Caroline was trying out the tongue-out method. I'm not so sure having her tongue out did her any good.

Time to get to the pool - brr!

Then came the thunder - everybody out! Thunder doesn't mean go home, it just means exercise out of the water!
and more...

Time was up and the next group got to start their lunges!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Project 365: May 30

Will loves to get his hair cut by Earl at the barber shop in town. Earl looks pretty tough but he sure is a softy for little boys. He always gives the boy a handful of lollipops when he's done!

Here he is just halfway through his turn in the chair. Earl gave him a mohawk before continuing on with the cut. I showed his Daddy this picture first and he thought I left it like that.

Hello! Now really, how likely is that? The whole reason we got it cut in the first place was to get rid of all that long hair, so why would keep it?! Geez.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

So there we were, Will and I, driving to the barber shop after my PTO meeting and straightening out the sports photographer. Will's been needing a cut for a long time and I figured I could take just as well as David. Besides, he took Katherine to get her hair cut the other day, got points, and did just fine. So we headed to see Earl.

Then we got a call from Gabey's mom, and it turned out she had to go shopping and Gabey needed a haircut. Great, we told her, meet at Staples. Two is definitely better than one! Besides we had cars and books - everything necessary for the almost 1-hour wait for our turn! The boys were numbers 56 and 57. Lucky for them, and me, 52, 53, 54 & 55 we all waiting for Frank!

Here they are prior to getting in the chairs...and during...

and here they are after their cuts! Wow! What a difference! There was quite a bit of hair on the floor under their seats!

They both looked pretty serious when they were in the chairs, and I thought for a moment that it was a mistake for Gabey to be there without his mom, but they actually enjoyed the experience and both want to go back. Remember the lollipops - one for each hand!

No one is quite sure about these haircuts. The mommies were a bit sad to see their babies look so grown up - "4 is big mommy," Will keeps telling me. And even the daddies were a bit taken aback by the new look. The best was the little boy at preschool who kept following Gabey around asking, "Gabe, Gabe, where did your hair go?"

Truth Works

These people put on a musical at church tonight. The two biggest kids in the front were the coach and his assistant, George. The choir is made up of children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. At our church that's under 20 kids. You'll notice only 11 children in the cast. Who knows why not everyone joins the choir. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they meet at 9 on Sunday mornings!

Anyway, they performed Truth Works. I won't get into the whole thing, but I will say that they did a great job with their lines and their songs. They sang nine songs! I was surprised at how loud they were with so few voices!

Katherine played the good girl. Imagine. The one in the middle is Emily. She got a big kick out of playing the sassy girl!

Caroline and Mattie sang a duet. I didn't know it until the musical started and I finally had a chance to look at the program. There it was in black and white: duet. Geez. When I asked her about she looked at me like I had three heads. I should have known by osmosis.

These four are the only ones moving up to the Youth Department in September. There will be 7 rambunctious little boys starting kindergarten in the fall so the choir will look a lot different next year - 10 boys and 2 girls. I wonder what musical will work for that group!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Project 365: May 29

Tonight we celebrated the spectacular Orange Crush girls' lacrosse season at Cici's Pizza! The kids gathered around this table and signed cards for all of the coaches and helpers and were really cute when they presented them.

Emilie Jane

She's here!! She came a bit early but she's home and healthy! Yay! 7lbs 3 oz.

Meet little Emilie Jane! She's little sister to Evan Mark, who looks so big next to his sister! And that's their mom, Jennie, who looks like she just took a walk through the park rather than having just birthed a baby! I suspect the daddy, my big brother Doug, is the one who took the picture, so maybe someone else can get a whole family picture to us soon! Grandma (Jane) will be there next week, maybe she'll take one or two!

Do you think they'd box 'em both up and send them out here to me? They'd have good time and we have enough clothes to keep them for years! My girls are crawling all over me to find out when we can fly out to see these little ones.

If it's Tuesday - Celebrate!

Have you ever been to Cici's? It's great place to go for a quick, feed everyone meal. A lot of the schools around here have a Cici's night once a month and sports teams like to use it for the last team get-together and trophy give-away. The latter is the reason for being here tonight.

The kids ate their fill and made the rounds. In all we probably had 45 people there just from our team. The kids ate their fill and made the rounds. Cici's is very fortunate that we didn't come after practice. As it was they had a few dry spells in the pizza line!

Once everyone was finished eating, Coach called the girls over and, starting with the youngest ones, handed out goodies. First, Brooke handed each girl a poster of a lacrosse player. Then Mark gave them each a pink ball and said kind and encouraging words to them quietly. When he was done I got to give them their trophies. Next year we should hand out bags for their loot!!

Once the girls got their goodies, some of them were given the task of handing out cards to the coaches. I think they had just as much fun doing that as they did getting their own prizes. We were so lucky to have such a great group of girls on our team. I am looking forward to being with them again next year!

Project 365: May 28

My very first memory after moving to Baltimore from Northbrook, Illinois almost 37 years ago (!) is having my very first root beer float. It was on a hot and Baltimore humid summer evening. I think we had eaten dinner at the house of one of Dad's colleagues. Not sure about dinner, but I am so sure about the root beer floats! I remember exactly where I sat on their front steps and how the root beer tickled my nose!

Fast forward to this day - we all love root beer floats, except Caroline (can you say different drummer?!) who wanted a grape float.

We wondered if orange crush floats would be good. We'll try that next, but I'm not sure there's anything better than root beer cascading over the ice cream creating little ice crystals and slushy foamy ice creamy root beer! Yum!

Beading Bug

Caroline's caught the beading bug!

She spent Monday afternoon creating a beautiful garnet and sterling silver bracelet for her piano teacher. She had a good time designing it and had gotten it halfway strung when she dropped all the beads on the floor. Discouraged, but not one to give up, she started again, this time finishing the piece without mishap!

Her teacher loved it, of course!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Project 365: May 27

So what would you do with these letters? I love to play Scrabble, even if I do draw really crummy letters! Or maybe they're not crummy at all and I just didn't have the brain cells to make good words! No comments necessary.

Dinner for 21?

Thirteen kids, one twenty-something, and 7 adults...what a crowd!

All but 3 will be heading to the beach together in the middle of July. Judging by how well the kids got along it should be a raucous time! And based on the game playing that is anticipated there will likely be no sleeping at all until we return home. Picture late night Scrabble games, or Boggle! Maybe even poker.

So dinner - chicken broccoli braid - oh so good; corn casserole, everyone's favorite; an incredible spinach salad; and fruit salad..oh, and chicken nuggets for the picky ones. After dinner, the kids played kickball and sat for a picture. Then they (all but 2) headed to the "clubhouse" for ice - the highlight of the evening for some. Then a movie for some, while the remaining adults played Scrabble.

Sometimes that game just clicks. Sometimes it doesn't. It didn't for me this time, but it did for others, though no one seemed to have an easy time with the word flow. My words included diva, teen, fans, noses, pi, and fire. Not very inspired, I'm afraid.

Of course, then there's the English major who put down kinder and zit. And the premier Wahoo fan who put down Heels, and tried to tell us he was talking about feet. Maybe he was, but who'd believe him?! It was the quiet one who took the game though - slowly and methodically she played never making a fuss or creating a scene, and took the game.

So we finished the game and started looking for the kids. All but two were downstairs watching a movie. Of those, two were asleep on the cushy chairs. The non-movie watchers were oblivious to the time and having a blast upstairs!

No one wanted to leave which is always the best way to end an evening!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Project 365: May 26

These fish are just huge. They live in a pond at Short Pump Mall and have learned to gather when they sense people at the edge of the pond. We didn't have any food to toss in, so the orange one in front splashed at us and told us to move on! The big bully!

Caroline's Turn

On Tuesday I took Katherine shopping. Today it was Caroline's turn. Someday, it might be Morgan's turn. I doubt it'll ever be Will's turn, at least not any time soon.

Caroline has graduation in two weeks! She'll graduate from elementary school and is supposed to wear a dress. Okay, well, the girls do have dresses galore in their closets. They're really cute dresses, too. The problem is that someone has reached an age where she doesn't really appreciate the cute and wants something a little more, well, (David, stop reading!) mature. Yikes! So soon?! Yup, she's hitting middle school in August and this girl wants to make a statement!

That is a huge exaggeration. She just wants a new dress that isn't a hand-me-down!

So we decided to go Short Pump Mall. We'd never been there before and I really had no interest in going until this week. I'm not a huge mall person, and I hate crowds, but when K and I were shopping on Tuesday we ran into a girl wearing a beautiful graduation dress that she had bought at Dillard's at Short Pump Mall. Voila! The plans were laid.

So off we went, after extracting a certain 13-year-old from the back of the van!

First stop was Dillard's, where we found nothing remotely close to the dress I'd seen earlier. That was fine because, among other items, Caroline was able to find several dresses to try. She has forbidden anyone from seeing her graduation dress but I'll document the dresses she tried and nixed. The first one she tried because of the blue in the pattern, but she hated the pink flower. The second one was my favorite because it was such a pretty party dress - the major problem with that one was that it had no blue in it at all. The third one was really pretty on but looks horrible in the picture, was really too big, and not really dressy enough.

Why blue? Caroline and some of her friends wanted to coordinate their outfits for graduation and have even selected matching earrings and bracelets!

After paying for our purchases and mediating a disagreement between the two sales ladies who tried to help us, we abandoned the girls' dress department and headed to shoes. Caroline found three pairs that she wanted to try -
The pair on the right were her favorite - clear heels with rhinestone decorations. The other two pairs were more sensible for every other use beyond graduation. In the end, none would work. The rhinestone ones, called Cinderella, really were Cinderella shoes! Poor Caroline couldn't even get her whole foot into the shoe, even though they were marked the right size! We had to laugh, took our purchases to the van, and continued our search for shoes.

Here's Caroline with her Dillard's bags. They also hold things she picked out for her sisters. What a sweet girl. She'd see something green and say "Oh, Morgan would love that!' and when she saw an orange crush t-shirt she just had to have it for Katherine!

We wandered aimlessly until we found the children's shoe department at Nordstrom where Caroline charmed the shoe girl, and was presented with the last pair of open-toed shoes. We're sure they were sitting there on the shelf just waiting for us, because they fit her feet perfectly!

With dress and shoes taken care of we needed some lunch! Caroline consulted a map and we found our way to The Cheesecake Factory. We should have been 4 people because more than half of our food came home with us! Even the glass of sweet tea was monstrous! We were so full that we didn't even think about ordering dessert!

After eating we headed to several other stores that had caught our eyes. We ended up only buying a small gift for our little-about-to-be-a-big-brother-cousin Evan and some Thomas books for Will. We wandered on out of the mall and headed on home.
What a great day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Project 365: May 25

Okay, admit it! These have got to be the most adorable tops in the entire universe! The big one is Katherine's and the little, itty, bitty one is for she-who-has-not-been-named!


The cheese steak sub. Tonight's reason to play softball.

Yup. We played again tonight. Being Memorial Day weekend we had a slim showing for the game. As a result I actually played the whole game!!!

On the field I played right field and apparently was so intimidating that all the guys on the other team (except one who never got the memo) hit it to left field. The one guy who did hit it to me got lucky...twice. One ball was short and tipped off my glove, and the other was about 20 feet behind me.

I struck out once. Swinging at the ball was an act of mercy - the poor pitcher kept throwing low & outside and we really thought his self-esteem would suffer so we decided it'd be a good idea to swing the bat a few times. When I didn't sacrifice my stellar record for the well-being of the pitcher's ego, I ended up with base on balls. Those times I was thrown out at 2nd and later, at home. I felt so bad for the catcher when I was running home. The fear of his imminent ridicule was so very present in his eyes, I just couldn't let myself score. I let him tag me out. He felt much better.

I don't fish. Softball may just have become my outlet for telling a fish story. Believe what you want and enjoy the rest. Be sure though that it's all about having fun! And eating cheese steak subs, oh! and onion rings!

Oh, we lost this game big time!!!

Project 365: May 24

Will skipped preschool today.

Huh? He what?! If he skipped preschool then how did he manage to get into this picture. Easy. His teacher called to say he was the only one missing and could we please come in so she could take a class picture.

So we did. And then we left, went to the turtle place, and then the bead store a.k.a the only kid-friendly bead store in town, before heading home to get ready for the last game of the season.

The Last Game

Getting ready for the game is a team effort, not only in the skill development but in the readying of the field. The kids all love to help their coach bring the cooler to the bench or put out cones. Before each game begins the girls throw to each other to warm up and go over any plays that have been developed. They are reminded each time to always watch the ball and to stay with their opposing player.

There's always a pep talk and a cheer just before the game begins. It's also very important to put on your game face before the game! Grr! In real life he's not really that scary.

Orange Crush has had a great season! The girls have worked hard to learn new skills and hone old ones. They've come together to work as a team rather than standing apart and shining as a few standout players! It's been fun to watch them grow this season and I'm looking forward to watching Orange Crush return next year, as well as the girls who will move on to the middle school teams.

As for the game, I had to leave early so I had to rely on David & Mark for details. When I left just before the end of the 1st quarter, the teams were tied at 2-2. Apparently, the game stayed close and they were tied 7-7 at the end of the 4th quarter. As a result they went into sudden death. Sadly (for us), the other team got the first goal in overtime, winning the game. Our girls were disappointed, after all they'd been undefeated all season. While the coaches hadn't played that up at all, the girls were attuned to that fact and hoping for an undefeated season. They played well and should be proud of themselves.

We'll celebrate the season next week at Cici's, and hopefully get together periodically for some scrimmaging. Soon enough we'll head into summer lacrosse!