Sunday, August 30, 2009


Ladies and Gentlemen....

In the black corner... In the blue corner...


Bud "The Pincher" Big "The Hair Puller"

Age: 4 Age: 2
Height: 41 in. (52 %tile) Height: 36 in. (69 %tile)
Weight: 36.38 pounds (45 %tile) Weight: 34.17 pounds (94 %tile)
BMI: 15.21 (37 %tile) BMI: 18.54 (92 %tile)

The fight is on almost every day, most days more than once... some days, all day! Who will emerge victorious?!?

Truthfully, while they do fight, it has decreased considerably as of late. I don't know if it's something in the water at the new place or the fact that since Bud is now in school absence has made their hearts grow fonder... or maybe they finally realize how wise their mother is and all of the lectures finally sunk in. Whatever the reason, it doesn't really matter, I'll take it!

**Note: I noted that the nurse was maybe a little less than accurate with their height measurement, and when measured at home they were actually 41 1/2" and 37 in. respectively.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Soccer with Bud

The day after Ginger's first soccer game, it was time for Bud to play. I have been looking forward to this day for ages. I am so glad that he is finally old enough to play! Since Bud isn't really big or tall, I have always considered soccer to be the sport at which he might excel. Now is the time to find out. Or get an inkling, at least.

The great thing about the 4 and 5 year old program is that they spend the first half of the hour practicing and the second half playing a game. It's so nice not to have to set aside an extra evening for practice-- not that they have the attention span for a very long practice anyway.

I coached this age once-- back before they combined the practice and game on the same night. You won't believe how hard it is to fill a full hour of practice when your team only has a 2 minute attention span. Let's just say that we did a lot of the run-to-that-tree-way-over-there drill. Eventually I convinced the parents that a 30 minute practice would more than suffice, although all weren't happy about making the effort to get there for such a short amount of time. Really, I was just happy if I could get the kids to run in the right direction during the game. The rest could come later.

Anyway, Bud's team spent half an hour at the beginning running drills and learning a few basics about the game. So, at first there was a lot of standing around interspersed with running and kicking the ball.

And, for Bud, it was interspersed with a lot of scratching. The new, unwashed jersey he received at the start was making his eczema act up something fierce.

Here he is getting some one-on-one instruction from his coach while he scratches:

Group instruction from his coach while he scratches:

You would not believe how many photos I have of him scratching, the poor kid. Luckily, once the game started, his itching was forgotten. From that point on it was all about the game!

As it should be.

After the initial kick-off, Bud jumped right in. I couldn't believe my eyes! I mean, look at the way he's using his body to block out the girl behind him, thus denying her access to the ball. No one taught him to do that, you know. That's just soccer instinct kicking in right there, folks! Awesome!

Look at him go for the ball! He looks like a real, live soccer player!

Even when he wasn't in the group with the ball, Bud stayed on the move. Just like you're supposed to do.

At the end of the game I congratulated him on a job well done, to which he replied, "I didn't just stand there." I guess he picked up a thing or two at Ginger's game the day before. Way to go, Bud!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Soccer is here again. I have been a terribly neglectful mother the past few years when it comes to soccer, but I am here to report that I have mended my ways. I finally signed Ginger up to play again-- for the first time since kindergarten. She really loves it, so I'm glad to have her back into it.

Ginger's first game was last week, on the first day of school in fact. Quite a big day for her. The coach was out of town until the day before the game, so the team was unable to practice before playing. It was obvious that Ginger was excited, albeit a bit nervous having not played in so long.

Here she is at the start of the game, getting some instruction on her position from her coach:

As you can see, she took her coach's admonition to stay in her position very seriously.

Every time she came off the field, she would get a pep talk and a little more instruction from her coach (and just a tad from me) on how to play her position (okay, so maybe I told her several a few times that she shouldn't just stand in one place on the field... I may have hollered kindly reminded her once or twice from the sideline as well..) Then she would get distracted watching the spectators until it was time for her to go back in.

By the time the game was nearing its end, Ginger was doing a little better at understanding the idea of maintaining her position relative to where the ball and other players were on the field. Anyway, it all made her thirsty.

Ginger's coach seems great and obviously understands the game of soccer. He is patient, so I know Ginger will do well. Already, having had one practice since the first game, she seems to be more comfortable with what she needs to do on the field. I can't wait for the next game so I can holler at her from the sidelines cheer her on again!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to School!

School started up again last week. Pen and Ginger started on Wednesday, and I could see immediately what a better fit this school is for them. It made me realize that even though the move was a pain and Rophone's work situation didn't work out the way it was supposed to, this is the right place for the girls to be going to school. Already they are more challenged so they feel more excited about where they are and what they're doing. Good things.

I really can't believe that Pen's in 6th grade and that Ginger is in 3rd! Here they are before heading out for the first day:

Friday of last week was Bud's first day of preschool. Talk about a kid who was ready to be off on his own. When I dropped him off there was no nervousness on his part. No clinging. In fact, he dumped me at the door to his classroom so fast that he didn't even say goodbye-- just a vague wave over his shoulder in my direction.

I'm glad. Really. That's what I've hoped for and how I've tried to raise him. Ever since his gymnastics class earlier in the summer, Bud's confidence level has been shooting through the roof. It's great to see.

We can't wait to see what the new school year brings-- what the kids learn, how they grow and mature... bring it on!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Eleven days after we returned from our trip, we moved. It was a bit of a busy time for me. Just slightly.

The weather on the day of the move was better than I ever even would have imagined it could be in August around here-- low 60's and overcast for the loading, low 70's for the unloading. Perfect.

We were all excited, but saying goodbye to the neighbors was a bit difficult. We've become rather attached to them.

Still, we were excited for the adventure that was ahead of us-- some of us more than others.

Big was so excited to sit in the truck, and spent hours there while we loaded and unloaded. Thank goodness it was a cool morning, since I often forgot he was even in there.

He was all set to take off and drive us to our destination. He found a spot to peer through the steering wheel and I think he had Bud on the floor working the pedals.

We are both sad and excited to have made the move. The move is turning out to be a good one for us-- the kids are already involved in sports and have made lots of friends. But, we won't ever forget the friends we made and experiences we had while at our old place, either. They will forever be a part of us.

I doubt the old place will forget us either. I think we left a mark.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Trip; The End

(WARNING: All wit and humor seem to have been lost in the move. Another boring post ahead-- sorry about the less than funny or exciting posts I have been writing as of late. Stay with me, the good posts shall return. I hope.)

The last day of our trip was just as busy (and fun!) as those that came before. We decided to go to a nearby state park for a hike and some lunch. We invited my friend, Lima, to bring her kids and come along. Most of the pictures I took while there ended up being of her kids instead of my own, as my children decided to be camera evaders that day (not surprising since I took 629 photos over the 4 day vacation-- I think they were a little sick of being my subjects).

It was a bright sunny day, so we were excited to be heading somewhere with plenty of shade and cool water. The kids were super excited, and I have to say that I was, too. (I worked at this particular state park as a teenager and I love it there.)

We stopped at an overlook just before entering the park so we could check out the view. It was nice, but the kids were ready to jump in to the adventure ahead.

We spent a few minutes at the top of the falls before heading out on our hike to reach the bottom.

In this picture, Brie and Big are taking in the view of the falls-- I mostly watched Big to make sure he didn't take a fall over the wall.

The best part of the hike down to the bottom of the falls is when the trail goes behind the waterfall. It's cool and serene, the sound of the falling water soothing the soul.

We spent quite a bit of time under the overhang that was behind the falls. Some time was spent pondering...


.... climbing in crevices and bonking heads on the rock above. Pen wasn't the only one.

It was so beautiful. Mesmerizing, really.

The base of the falls is nice, too.

We found a spot to approach the water and had some fun eating lunch and playing in the water.

It was such a good time, made even better by the company we were with.

As we prepared to hike back up to the top of the falls, Big looked at the steep trail and said, "I'm not gonna climb that big mountain, Mom. I'm not!", and promptly plopped down on his butt in the middle of the trail. He was just pooped. Not only from the hiking, but from staying up way too late every night of our trip-- so Rophone ended up carrying him back up to the top. Quite a good workout for Rophone since Big is, well.... Big.

We can see from these great pictures I took of the younger kids at the top that Big is so tired that he's just about falling asleep sitting up. He can't seem to keep himself from listing to his left.

After spending a fabulous few hours at the falls, we headed up to my brother's house for dinner. Almost immediately upon our arrival (after cutting up some watermelon, that is) I headed out back with the kids.

They have some beautiful flowers in their backyard. I couldn't resist taking a few shots.

We had fun hanging out back-- swinging on swings, running through sprinklers, and eating our fill. A great evening to top off a great day.

We had such a great vacation, although far too brief. Waking up the next morning and heading home was more than just a little difficult to do. Thanks so much to all those whose hospitality made our vacation even more enjoyable than it might have otherwise been. We can't wait until next time!