Thursday, January 11, 2018

Picture of the Week - 1/11/2018

Do you ever get involved in something, casually, that at some point you realize is probably going to take over your life?  

We did this with lacrosse.  When we first caved in and let Spencer try lacrosse it was really as a way to keep him quiet.  We were baseball people.  He was a catcher.  We didn't *do* lacrosse...  

and now we are up to our eyeballs in sticks and heads and small rubber balls.  We plan weekends and vacations around game schedules.  We are looking at flying half the family to a sleep away camp in June.  We serve as coach and schedule coordinator and vice president of the board.  We have a line item in our budget just for lacrosse...

And now (I fear) we've done it again.  With wrestling.

We got the little boys involved in jiu jitsu, as I've mentioned, over the summer to help keep them busy and teach them some stuff.  Never did we dream they would love it as much as they do.  And I admit we failed to see, until recently, how the jiu jitsu is very likely going to bleed into wrestling.

I think we realized that the little guys might have the potential to be pretty good wrestlers because we've watched Spencer fall in love with the sport this winter.  And THAT was unexpected!  Spencer has always wrestled because it made him a better football player.  Period.  He didn't wrestle for the sake of wrestling.  

Until this year...

West Forsyth got a new wrestling coach this year.  And he's awesome.  And he loves Spencer.  And Spencer loves him.  And I think this is going to be one of those coach/pupil relationships that causes great sadness when it's over, but serves to help build a really great man in the process.  

Spencer found himself in a somewhat unexpected (OK, VERY unexpected) situation this year when he was named a starting varsity wrestler as a Freshman.  We really didn't see this coming...  and were totally unprepared!  I'm so very proud that he was willing to step onto that mat knowing the chances were good he would be outmatched, because that's what his team needed him to do.  

He learned a TON this year.  And he now has his sights on being a great wrestler.  He's focused on this sport for the sake of the sport, not just for the conditioning.  Very interesting.  Who knows what will happen when football season rolls around.  Maybe he will decide his first love is still between the end zones.  Maybe not...

Maybe he will commit himself fully to helping build a stellar wrestling program at West.  Because this team is poised to be something special!  They are at the state dual tournament this weekend.  They overachieved to get there.  They probably won't do very well at the tournament this year, but BOY what great experience and preparation for next year!  What a fun team to be around!  It's so very cool to see kids enjoying a sport without a bunch of pressure and expectation.  Refreshing!

(And I say that even knowing that wrestling is likely to take over our lives in the coming years!)

Here's a picture of the high school wrestling team this year.  I'm betting there are 50% more kids in next year's picture.  (Spencer is the last one on the right hand side in the back in the grey singlet.)

Have a great week!  

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Picture of the Week - 1/4/2018

Happy belated New Years 2018!!

We have been having a great week down in Orlando.  Lots of fun - and lots of cold!  We are all exhausted, but it's that happy-memories-have-been-made exhaustion.  

Here's a picture of us in front of the castle all lit up for Christmas.  


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Picture of the Week - 12/28/2017

We are streeettttttccccccchhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnngggggggg out the Christmas magic for as long as we can!

By shifting into DISNEY MAGIC mode!!!

I can hardly even believe we pulled it off, but we DID!  We surprised the boys with a trip to Disney World as part of their Christmas gifts.  So FUN!  I made them jump threw an elaborate scavenger hunt to find clues and gifts with words on them that spelled out "We are going to Disney World on Saturday"!  I think I am just as excited as they are!

I was packing today with Quinn and he reminded me of some Disney Magic that we had sprinkled around the last time we went to WDW - which was over 5 years ago!  I had forgotten ALL about this, but he remembered.  Because magic is MEMORABLE!  Several months before our last trip Quinn lost his favorite stuffed animal friend, Stegie.  We looked everywhere for that stuff stegosaurus and could not find him.  Quinn was VERY sad...  During a purge of stuff out of the toy room, Bob and I found him!  We were thrilled - and also feeling mischievous.  So instead of giving Stegie back to Quinn, we hid him and smuggled him into our Disney house, where Quinn "found" him waiting on his bed.  He was flabbergasted  - and totally bought the "Disney Magic" explanation.  And he still remembers it all this time later.  

I love that!  

I can't wait to make more memories with these boys next week in Disney (and LegoLand).  And I am so excited that Berber and Pappy are coming with us!!

Here's one of my favorite pictures from Christmas.  It's a repeat if you follow me on Facebook, but it's worth repeating.  

Go make some memories!!!  Have a very Happy (and safe) New Year!!!  Catch ya in 2018!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Picture of the Week - 12/21/2017


A LOT of stuff has happened since last weeks email.  This has been one weird - and mostly good - week.

As I'm sitting here with a glass of wine and really want to go plop on the couch beside Bob for a while, I'll make this a new-sy kind of update and  leave the philosophy for another day!

Since we last "spoke"...

- I had surgery on my eye again on Friday.  I'm still messing with this droopy eye.  I had it fixed last November and it looked way better than it started, but still looked pretty different than the "good" side.  So we did a different procedure this time and I *think* once the swelling is gone and the stitches all heal and I look a bit less like Frankenstein, I'm going  to be really happy.  The recovery for this one was much easier than the last procedure, which was great!  But it still sorta knocked me on my butt last Saturday.  

- While I was applying cold compresses on Saturday, Spencer and Bob were at a wrestling tournament.  For this one, Spence got to wrestle at 195 lbs, which is his "real" weight class.  He did really well and ended the day in 4th place with a 3-2 record.  The 2 losses were both to the same guy.  There were 11 guys in his weight class.  The first time the guy beat him, he got pinned in about 35 seconds.  The second time, they went to the 3rd period, so Spencer definitely improved.  Tomorrow he's going to a BIG tournament down here.  It's a 2 day deal and he'll be at 195 again.  We're taking all the kids to watch him tomorrow (except Zane*) and hopefully it will be another fun day for him.  

*Zane is staying home to go to a Minecraft coding camp at the High School.  I think he's almost as excited about this camp as he is about Christmas!

- On Sunday we got 2 new members of the family - a couple of Guinea Pigs we've named Phineas and Ferb.  They are adorable.  We are all kind of smitten with them.  Quinn likes to put one on his shoulder and carries him around nearly everywhere.  The boys aren't even phased by the fact that these guys are poop machines.  LOL  Ozzie hates them.  Or maybe he's afraid of them.  He's been a nervous wreck since they got here.  Willow could care less.

- On Sunday we also got to watch Quinn play a lacrosse game.  He's definitely got more of a temper now than he used to.  I guess testosterone will do that to you!  At one point he got a penalty - then mouthed off about it - and got an extra minutes.  LOL  I kinda love the  fire!

- Somewhere in there we discovered that the truck wouldn't run.  So we left it parked with a plan to get it to the shop on Monday.

- Sunday night we got to go out to dinner and a concert with my mom and dad.  We had gotten my mom some concert tickets for her birthday and it was SUCH a cool night.  We went to a Korean barbecue restaurant and then watched a really cool Christmas concert with For King and Country and Casting Crowns.  Such a fun night!

- Monday we did the work thing, Bob went to Beckett's holiday party, and we found out the truck needed 6000 worth of transmission work.  BLAH

- Tuesday Bob went to Zane's holiday party while I took Quinn for a check-up at the scoliosis clinic*.  Then we went car shopping.  I test drove a bunch of different options and picked a car we thought we wanted.  Of course when we went to test drive it, the battery was dead.  So back home we went with a plan to revisit the next day.

*Way more on the scoliosis thing next week.  Short story is that his curves are worse than they were last year.  He has 3 instead of 2 and they are all more curvy.  So we need to go see a specialist.  I was, honestly, shocked because to me he didn't look any worse than he had before.  Oh well...  we have an appointment with an orthopedic scoliosis specialist next Wednesday.

(We were still trying to work through all of these distractions.  Work...  BLAH!)

- Wednesday Bob and I both put in a few hours at our jobs and then headed back to Carmax.  (BTW - This is the second time we've used Carmax and I really couldn't recommend them any more highly.  It's an easy experience.  No pressure.  We love them!)  I bought a black 2014 Infinity Q50.  I love it.  To say it's a step up from the 13 year old truck is about the biggest understatement of the decade.  

- Today we did the work thing again, gather up the big boys - who both got out of school early today because they had finished their exams, and had a lovely lunch with them.  Then I had an appointment with the eye doctor.  After that pleasant experience (seriously, does anyone enjoy getting stitches OUT???) we drew names and let the boys shop for their annual gifts to each other.  This year I had Quinn and Zane and Target.  LOL  We had fun!  Knocked over a whole display of wrapping paper.  Bought WAY too many bags of holiday M&Ms and giggled through the store.  Goodness I love those boys!

I am SO excited for Christmas!!!

Before we get there though...  we have MORE stuff going on!
- Tomorrow is wrestling day (and somehow I need to find time  to grocery shop or there's going to be a mutiny...)
- Saturday is WAY up in the air because our plans will depend on how Spencer does in the tournament tomorrow.  It also will, hopefully, include our Church service and our traditional Christmas Eve-Eve Mexican dinner if we can squeeze it in!  (If not, concession food it is...)
- Sunday we get to go to my sister's for our annual Christmas Eve brunch and then we are going to see Star Wars.  One of my favorite days of the year!
- And of course Monday is Christmas.  I can't WAIT to share some of the secrets that we have wrapped under that tree!

I wish you all the Merriest Christmas!  Enjoy those around you!  It's such a special - and kinda nutty - time of year!!  I love it!