Sunday, September 30, 2007

Project 365: September 30

Red#14 and Green#8 have been friends since birth.

It turns out that Red#14 won't be around for the Red/Green match because she has a softball tournament so the girls decided to have a little fun by themselves.

Our normally complacent non-aggressive green #8 becomes a wholly different beast on the playing field! While Red#14 kept control of the ball most of the time, Caroline sure stayed with her and finally got it back!

Bonus Pics:

Field Hockey Sunday #1

Caroline had her first field hockey game yesterday. She's on the green team which is comprised of girls from several middle schools, none of which had enough interest to field their own team.

We started out watching our friend Red#14 play her game. It's her first time playing too. She played well, and never let a ball get past her to the goal! Red won their game against White 1-0.

Next it was time for Green v. Dark Pink. Once I trained David not to shout Caroline's name while she was playing the game went fine! She's such a great listener that when she heard her name she turned around to see what he needed! Too funny.

Once her dad ceased being a distraction, Caroline got her head into the game and stayed on the ball!

At halftime the game was scoreless. The pressure was on. Field hockey is not generally a high scoring sport but someone needs to score in order to win.

Here we are about to get the first goal. Caroline got an assist for the first goal. I'm not sure they knew what to do with themselves after that first ball went in, they were so excited!

Then, just to make sure they would win, the girls put another ball into the goal! The game ended 2-0.

It was fun to watch the girls play a new sport. It was also fun because we saw many of our friends from lacrosse!

Project 365: September 29

New running shoes.
No excuses.
Race in 6 weeks.

Time Out?

So this is what happens when I leave home for just a moment to run down the road to pick up a child. I left one to-remain-unnamed teenager in charge of her two younger siblings. Apparently they misbehaved to the point that she lost her mind and made them sit in the corners with their noses to the wall.

Just so it's clear - I have never put any of my children in the corner!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Project 365: September 28

We've long been fans of the Triazzle puzzles so when I found a similar game for preschoolers I had to get it.

Will loves it and has been getting it out just about every day this week. Sometimes he makes up his own rules for the game which drives his sisters crazy. Other times he's content to play by the least until he runs out of pieces that work!

Here he used up all of the pieces except one. Not bad.

Train Trucks

This was a cool discovery!

I was driving the boys home from preschool today when we noticed some trucks driving on the train tracks. Having never seen such a sight before I drove to the next wide spot next to the tracks so the boys could get a closer look. Of course, I got my camera out ready to take a picture. Lucky for us the trucks stopped.

The drivers got out and used a tool to raise the special train track wheels so that they could then drive the trucks on the road. The boys were very excited to see these train trucks, and talked about them the rest of the way home!

Project 365: September 27

New beads.

Not a great picture, but there are orange beads, and black and gold beads, shimmery goldstone, honey agate and snowflake obsidian.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with them!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Project 365: September 26

When you run, these become a way of life.

Instead of holding it and waiting until you get home, you seek them out and curse anyone who bypasses the front of the line!

Repeat after me: Port-a-potties are our friends!

No lines today, but many thankful runners!

MHS Rocks!

Another start to another race.

This one, a dual meet against Western at a local farm. All of the girls ran together in the same race and I don't know if they scored a Varsity and a JV race, or just the Varsity. Anyway, Varsity won!

The race was 3.1 miles long through rolling fields. It's a beautiful setting for watching a race, and I guess for running if you have the energy to notice your surroundings! Here they are with about a half mile to go.

Here's Morgan at the finish. She almost caught the girl ahead of her in the second picture, but not quite. Those three girls have been trading positions all season, which is pretty typical in cross country.

Check out those shin wraps! She's been suffering from shin splints which aren't too uncommon when you've increased your mileage significantly. We think they make her look like a young racehorse!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Project 365: September 25

The Young and the Crustless.

Remember the scene in When Harry Met Sally, when Sally orders her meal and asks for everything different or on the side. Well, she's got nothing on the boy. He know what he wants - "peanut butter and jelly, not honey, and not any crusts. Sank you."

Tonight we went to a potluck dinner at the elementary school. There was very little there that the boy would eat.. He picked my macaroni and cheese (which isn't actually mine since it's David's grandmother's recipe altered a bit -but since I made we'll just call it mine!), and bread, no crust. And a cookie. OH, and "lemonade wif no ice." SO healthy.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Project 365: September 24

She's back!

That dog from Santa.

I can totally understand her need to chew on the lid to the miniature basket that came all the way from Ethiopia. Maybe she had some food stuck between her teeth and needed a good stiff floss.

And the fruity lip balm - maybe her lips were chapped and she just couldn't resist the Skittles flavor.

What I can't understand is why on earth she would choose to climb up on my tub and grab the razor!

*for anyone wondering, I did check and make sure she hadn't cut herself shaving. Oh, and just so you know, these things are not just laying about - she sticks her nose in places and selects very carefully the things she wants to chew.

Lock-in Fallout

Normally, words on the page will keep my girls up into the wee hours of the morning. Nothing will keep any of them from finishing a book once they've sunk their teeth into it. Nothing.

Add to that the fact that Caroline usually requires very little sleep to function, I was completely amazed yesterday when I walked into the kitchen and found this sight!

Definitely the result of not getting enough sleep Saturday night at the Youth lock-in!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Project 365: September 23

David's car was really dirty. It looked like the Pigpen of cars in the church parking lot this morning! Something had to be done.

Dirty cars are a way of life when you live on a dirt road, but still it was really too dirty. On the way home from church Caroline decided that she would wash it for him, and that Will would help her. Great! I only wish my van was here to share in the moment!

I let them handle the job and went outside only once when someone running for public office stopped by and rang the doorbell. What she thought of me and my kids hanging on the car with no mother in sight, I do not know. Nor do I care.

Her arrival did give me the opportunity to grab my camera, which was totally necessary because as the woman wandered up the driveway Will started singing as he scrubbed, "It's a hard knock life..." over and over again. I'm still laughing!

God Made Me

The Creation lesson has reached "God made me!"

I challenge you to find Will's picture! I'm thinking he thinks there's an 11th commandment "Thou shalt have no blank spaces on your paper!" The boy makes me laugh.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Project 365: September 22

Constant motion.

A Full Afternoon

Decorating bulletin boards doesn't come easy to me. When I became Director of the Preschool Department at church I asked for additional bulletin boards so we could keep our families abreast of upcoming activities.

In doing so I hadn't given much thought to how they would look! Totally unprepared from a creativity standpoint I went online to look for bulletin board ideas specifically for church preschool departments. I may come across a bit harsh, but I found nothing inspiring - the choices were either ugly or too corny for our families. What I was then left with was my own mushy brain.

So, the first board ended up with the Creation theme combined with the current season. Pretty easy, not corny, and attractive but certainly not perfect. The theme connects with the current Bible study that our children are doing. Here are the projects that Miss Patti's class has done so far.

Notice the busiest pictures belong to a boy named Will - very rarely is there white space on a page when he's finished with his artwork. He told his teacher that his leaves were falling which explains why there are so many. I'm not sure what explanation he gave for the over-colored animals!

Today Katherine and I were at church delivering the big girls for a community service project and decided to work on the other larger board that had just been installed this week. I had managed to get up 2 pumpkins and a leaf when Katherine decided she should be the one to finish the board. So here's her board in progress, and completed except for the notices and photos that are my responsibility!

After collecting the big girls, and sending Katherine off for a spontaneous sleepover, we all headed over to Carter's house for Chinese food and a movie until it was time to take the girls back to church for their lock-in.

They'll stay up all night, eating junk, watching movies, and playing games. There will be some Bible study - the girls were doing their best to memorize the books of the Bible before tonight. They'll have fun and it'll be all I can do to keep them from falling asleep in church tomorrow!

Hot Air

All Wet

Fifteen brave souls left town this morning headed for yet another weekend on the New and Gauley Rivers. By now they've arrived at the outfitters and are getting ready to start today's adventure. After getting their feet wet (pun totally intended) today, they'll eat well, rest well, and get up tomorrow ready to face bigger, better rapids. They'll come home thumping their chests dreaming of jobs that allow for this kind of fun every weekend and on the days in between!

Monday morning will come quickly and will hit hard. Such reality is never pretty! Soon the fantasies of the dream job on the river will fade and they'll begin making plans for next fall's river trip.

* for the record, that non-paddling wee thing in the raft is Morgan. David took her last year for Bridge Day and she loved it. For being such a petite and frail looking child she sure is quick to chase tornadoes and swim with sharks! She and her daddy get along great!

Another Pancake Breakfast

The cross country team had another fundraising pancake breakfast at Applebee's this morning. By the looks of things while we were there this one was not nearly as successful as the last one. Remember the last one? They raised over $900 for the team - for warm-ups and other uniform components.

Today the restaurant wasn't nearly as full. We wondered if it had something to do with the fact that (a) the volleyball team was hosting a similar event at the other Applebee's across town this morning, (b) there is a home football game today, (c) there wasn't as much advertising for this meal, or (d) maybe that so many groups use this fundraiser that it's just been overdone.

Who knows.

We went and we ate - it worked for us.

*It worked better for us this time because we brought our own milk. Some of us cranksters need milk in the morning...can you tell who in this picture might have been a bit cranky this morning? He'd be the same one who has just been put to bed for a nap. I'm thinking I got him up too early this morning. Chalk that up to the no choices category - the authorities typically frown upon mothers leaving their 4-year-olds home alone.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Project 365: September 21

Mustang tattoos, noisemakers in the form of horns and cow bells, t-shirts, and mustang jewelry! Fun things were there for the purchasing at the football game.

If it's there, they will buy it.

It was and they did. The crowd must have purchased a whole lot of cow bells because that's all we heard from our spot inside the concession stand.

No Coke, Pepsi

Tonight I worked the concession stand at the football game. This fall the marching band parents are responsible for manning the concession stand at the home games for football, field hockey, and volleyball. There may be other sports that have concessions, but I can't think of them.

Anyway, the evening was fun. We got there at 5pm for a 7:30 start time, and dragged ourselves out of there at 10:30. Some parents had been there since 3pm getting the food cooked and drinks iced. Spectators began arriving to the field as early as 6pm - for a 7:30 start! Being new to the whole football thing, I just stood back and took it all in and did what I was told! No really, I did!

I ended up being the order taker, which also meant I got to count up the tab in my head and give change. Not too bad. Mental math is always good exercise! (Lately my only exercise!) I had a good time working, and loved seeing all the people. Everyone was happy, until of course the end when one team had to leave and drive all the way home after losing unexpectedly!

The evening reminded me of the summer I spent living in Ocean City, MD. I worked as a waitress at The Doughroller which was a pancake and pizza restaurant. My side jobs included a soft crab stand next door which always needed extra help and a funnel cake shop. That's what the concession stand was like - working at those places. The pace was quick and it was all standing in one spot for a long time! But most of all the people were happy. After all, what unhappy person is going to buy a funnel cake or a soft crab sandwich?

We won the game 35-21. And then the rain came down and soaked the field.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Project 365: September 20

I went walking...

And what did you see?

I saw an empty wall just staring at me.

It cried out for color,

so I gave orange and blue,

in an effort to say

Happy Birthday to You!*

*A day late and a dollar short (as usual!)!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Project 365: September 19

Food for runners.

There's never enough.

They drank all the Gatorade. They ate all the sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies. We started with over 130 snacks and were left with 2 packs of crackers, 3 granola bars and a handful of tootsie roll pops! Oh, and a few bananas!

Those guys and gals might look like they don't eat much, but they sure do pack in the food!

Another Meet

Louisa, Orange and MHS met today at Grymes Memorial School. Here they are at the start. They'll pass this point twice more before looping around again and up the hill to the finish.

Here the runners haven't quite gotten to the one-mile mark. After this there's a gap in the pictures because I had to take Will to the men's room!

Here's Morgan heading up the hill at the end of the 3 miles. Another tough finish - the runners had to come up a hill and make a turn into the finish which was also uphill! At this point I realized that David had made it to the race and had been able to cheer Morgan on during my gap moments!

Still coming - it takes a while to get up the hills!

The coach always gives a short post-race talk. He was pleased. The runners all went out and did exactly what they were told to do. The girls ran in groups for the first mile and then found their own paces. This race was run after a 1-mile run and followed by a 2-mile cool down.

These girls are stud-ettes*!

*Speaking of stud-ettes - Morgan lost her toenail! In all my years running I have never lost a toenail. That's quite a milestone to have reached so young.

Art Club

One morning each week Caroline and some of her friends go to school an hour early for Art Club.

The art teacher sent this picture out of their first project - an aboriginal kangaroo! Looks pretty artsy to me!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Project 365: September 18

This little guy plays so hard that he just crashes at the end of the day!

His daddy does too! Crashes, that is. He doesn't play as hard as he works. Too bad he can't play a bit more!

Last Preschool Field Trip To Carter Mountain

I started going on field trips to Carter Mountain 11 years ago when Morgan was in the 3-year-old class at her preschool. I've gone all but 2 years since, and probably went with the kids on those off years!

Today it was Will and Gabe's turn. The boys rode the school bus up the mountain with their teachers and another classmate and I met them there. While we waited for some other kids, and before the structure of the trip got started I let the boys pick out a big pumpkin to take home. The kids always get to pick apples and take a small pumpkin home after their hay ride, but we always like to get one of our big pumpkins at Carter Mountain, too.

After everyone had arrived we had story time. The story taught the kids how to pick an apple without having all of the other apples fall to the ground. It also showed them that all apples have a star in their center.

This is one of Will's teachers, Mr. Neil. Here they were enjoying the hayride. Will was very serious as the tractor pulled us around. He wanted to know what everything was and really seemed to be taking in all the details.

Once released from story time to fill their bags, the boys took off after their old teacher, Ms. Cathy.

Here we have some apples! Gabe wasted no time biting into his apple. Will, on the other hand wouldn't try one. He wants to make applesauce with his. They both did try, and like, the apple cider donuts that are sold up at the apple barn! They are super yummy!

I had to have a posed picture on a very conveniently placed rock!

Here we found red apples - we were only allowed to pick golden delicious apples today!

As it turns out, it's a good thing we got those big pumpkins because our little group hadn't purchased the pumpkin package (!) so the kids didn't get to pick out a little pumpkin. Talk about messing with their heads - these guys know what's supposed to happen at the apple orchard - that's where you get your pumpkins!

After eating their lunches, the boys wanted to climb down and put their heads in the hole in the apple. We did this last year too! In fact, I think I have pictures of all of my kids playing worm at Carter Mountain.

Here's Gabe...and here's Will.