Thursday, April 30, 2015

Picture of the Week - 4/30/2015

Sure wish I had something enlightening to tell you all this week!  But I sure don't.

We are plodding through a busy week.  We have a lacrosse game tonight (Spencer), tomorrow night (Quinn), between 2 and 5 games on Saturday (Quinn) in 2 different locations (holy tournaments) and 4 games in 3 places on Sunday (Quinn x 2, Spencer and ZANE!!!)  Thank goodness the weather is going to be beautiful!  I couldn't deal with that schedule in the rain.  (That's 8-11 games in 4 days in case anyone's counting.  If you are interested in doing my laundry or grocery shopping, I will not argue!)

I am ridiculously excited to watch Zane play a game.  He was so funny after his coach told the boys last weekend that they would be playing a scrimmage.  (Remember, he's doing little shooters and that's mostly just skills practice for the littlest beginners.)  He talked about his game non-stop after the practice.  At first he talked about being scared.  And then he was like, "No...  not scared.  I'm just... frustrated."  It took a little work on our part, but we figured out that he's just nervous, but doesn't know what nervous feels like.  So sweet!  I'm sure it will be a hilariously, funny train wreck of a game.  Can't wait!

Spencer's football tryouts are going well.  Every time I pick him up I'm a little more comfortable that he'll make the team.  He's just so much bigger than 90% of the other boys.  It's fascinating to me to see him with his peers.  I never in a million years would have dreamed that my kid would be one of the "big ones".  One of Bob's friends went to the practice the other day and sent Bob a text saying "Bovy's crushing it."  When Bob asked what he meant, he replied that all the kids (about 90 of them) look pretty much the same, except the "big ones".  (Steve actually shared that it took him about 25 minutes to find his son in the group...)  The "big ones" tend to catch your eye, so you find yourself watching them more often.  And apparently Spencer is more than holding his own.  SO that's exciting!  They have been practicing in "shells" - helmets and shoulder pads only - through today.  Tomorrow they do full pads and start hitting each other.  When I told Spence that the hitting was coming on Friday, he lit up like it was Christmas Eve.  That child LOVES football!

I started a new quilt pattern last night.  It's called the gypsy wife.  Google it if you are interested.  It's TOTALLY not me, so it should be a good challenge.  One of the groups in my quilt guild is doing this pattern as a Quilt-a-Long.  And I do love a good QAL.  The idea behind this quilt is that it's supposed to be very scrappy.  So it's a good way to use up some fabric stash.  It should be fun - and a good way to practice some different techniques.

Tomorrow is May 1st.  Crazy!  This year is flying by so fast!  Only 21 days until we leave on vacation.  We can make it!!  Have a great May Day!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Picture of the Week - 4/23/2015

The countdown is ON!  For now we are hanging on for dear life, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel from here!

After today the boys will have 21 days of school left.  That's all!  And really my boys will only have 20 because we are going to hit the road heading southbound with the pedal to the medal as soon as the 5th grade graduation ceremony* is over on the last day of school.

*In true 40-year-old-in-a-12-year-old-body fashion, Spencer refuses to call these end of school events "graduations".  He calls them "met expectation" ceremonies.  Can't say I disagree...

We currently have 29 days before we head off on our Disney Cruise.  To say I am excited is about the understatement of the year.  I have a box of goodies already set aside to take with us.  I have lists of things to pack.  I have a spreadsheet of our itinerary.  I've got our pre-cruise hotel lined up along with our cruise parking reserved.  I've checked out all our ports and spent way too many hours pouring over details of past cruise reports looking for things we need to do and might want to do and definitely want to avoid.  I made a countdown which hangs on our fridge so the boys can see how many days are left until we leave.  I recently pulled out old pictures of our last Disney Cruise - which just got me even MORE excited.  And then I went and found some of the SAME outfits the big boys wore 8 years ago to make sure we take them for the little guys too so we can have some fun with "then and now" pictures.  I really, really can't wait.

(Yes, I know I am overthinking all of this and possibly setting myself up for a let down.  I know...  you don't have to tell me.  In fact, DON'T tell me.  Let me live in my little fantasy vacation planning bubble.  And then be there to cheer me up in June when it's all over.)

The challenge with this time of year is that it gets busy.  Really busy.  It's not too much different for Bob and me, but for the boys things really crank up.  Spencer has a particularly challenging schedule for the next 2 weeks.

In addition to the normal lacrosse practices twice a week, Spencer has added football stuff to his schedule.  This week is an "optional" speed and agility camp led by the head middle school football coach.  Not sure how "optional" it really is as it seems like pretty much all the boys who want to try out for the team are there.  I know it wasn't optional to Spencer, who couldn't wait to get out there.  This camp goes from 4:30-6 this week.  He has his lax practices from 7-8:30.  That leaves him about 12 and a half minutes for dinner and he's up late with homework, etc.  Add to that this week and next are Milestone testing weeks.  Good times...  I'm just doing my best to make sure he's fed and getting as much rest as he can.  Not much else we can do to help him.

Speaking of next week, that's when the fun really starts.  Next Monday is the official first day of football tryouts.  Spencer is so very excited.  I am nervous for him, but also cautiously optimistic.  This is a big tryout and certainly not everyone will make the team.  There will probably be around 100 kids trying out from the 6th and 7th grades.  I'm not sure exactly how many kids will be asked to play for the team, but it likely won't be more than 50ish.  Spencer has the benefit of having 7 years of experience behind him.  He's not the only one who's been playing since he was 5, but there sure aren't 50 other boys who can say that.  And then there's the fact that he's a freakishly early bloomer and is, therefore, a giant among the boys who haven't yet had the benefit of a boost of testosterone to the system.  He's bigger - and stronger - than 95% of the other boys trying out.  That's the rising 8th graders included.  He's been telling me that for months, but it wasn't until I went to pick him up from this camp this week that I was able to see with my own eyes the other boys trying out.  He's not wrong.  Bob and I have been telling him that he really needs to enjoy this feeling of being the (literal) big man on campus while it lasts.  Even after 12 years of him being 95% on the growth charts, I still expect his genes to catch up with him someday.  (In case you are curious, he's every bit of 5'8" and 145 lbs.)

So football tryouts go from 4:30-6:45 every day for 2 weeks starting next Monday.  We've already warned the lacrosse coach that it's going to be a challenging schedule, but I'm pretty sure Spence won't want to bail on his lacrosse team.  Not with league tournaments coming up quickly.  I should be taking pictures of Spencer instead of the little boys because I'm really not going to see him much over the next few weeks.

(If you have any good suggestions on healthy, portable food, that I can make and send with Spencer for him to eat between all of these things, I am all early!  He's going to be burning a ton of calories and about the only way I can help with this schedule is to provide fuel and support.)

The bright side of all of this stuff is that at the end of the next 2 weeks, we are also at the end of the crazy spring schedule.  We have lacrosse games on all Saturdays AND Sundays (barring rain) between now and May 10th, but then it's over.  We will run our butts around picking up and dropping off and trying to keep uniforms clean and mouths fed like crazy, possessed people.  And then it's over.  It's a crazy time, but the end is in sight.

Now maybe you are starting to understand SOME of my excitement over this Disney Cruise.  While it's a little unfortunate that our big family summer trip is right at the beginning of the summer, leaving us with nothing super exciting to look forward to, it is also going to hit at the perfect time for us to really be able to take a breathe, relax, and re-bond with each other after a whirlwind month of May.

Aside - I saw this article recently and in addition to being pretty funny, it's also 100% true.  Take a minute to read it - 5 Telltale signs that Sports Moms are Crazy

OK - enough rambling.  Here are some pictures I took of the little boys at lacrosse practice last night.  It's been such a weird, rainy spring down here that we are trying to get out and enjoy the nice weather when we can - and last night was gorgeous.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Picture of the Week - 4/16/2015

Do you guys like looking down memory lane?  Of course!  Who doesn't???

Do you use Timehop?  I'd seen this little app pop up on social media a few times, but it took me a while to jump on the Timehop bandwagon.  It too me too long!  If you haven't tried Timehop, and you have a smartphone, and you like to look at adorable pictures from your past, go get Timehop!!

Timehop does a pretty simple job.  It goes through all your social media posts and will show you what you posted to Facebook or Instagram or Twitter on this day in years past.  I've been somewhat embarrassed to see how cyclical my postings are!  About the same time every year I complain about the same things - time change, going through closets, busy sports schedules.  Good grief I am boring!  Why do you guys put up with me???

Timehop also digs through all your old pictures and shares those that were taken on this day over the years.  This is where I've found the most interest and value in this little app.  It also makes me want to take more pictures.  There have been many pictures shared of things that I've forgotten many details about.  Did you know that 14 years ago last week my mom and I were in Paris?  Pretty cool way to dig up old memories.

Just today Timehop hit a homerun in the "remember that" department.  I was so blown away with the things it reminded me of that I decided to do a little unpaid Timehop sales pitch.  (If there are any Timehop people out there looking for a spokeswoman, call me!  LOL)

In my Timehop feed this morning I had pictures from 2 years ago that I had taken at a lacrosse practice for Quinn.  It was a beautiful, warm spring evening and I had a 1 year old Beckett with me.  I grabbed a precious shot of a special moment between Quinn and Beck that night.  One of my all time favorite pictures because it captures the caring nature of our second boy perfectly.  Truly one of those "picture is worth a thousand words" kind of shots.  I also got a glimpse of the crazy nature of our youngest that night as I caught him scaling the chain link fence with wreckless abandon!

And then Timehop jumped ahead (or back?) to 7 years ago.  Apparently on this date 7 years ago my dad came over and helped the big boys build a sandbox.  Of course I remember the sandbox.  It was in our backyard for years.  But until this morning, I would never have been able to tell you exactly when that sandbox made its way to our house.  The pictures show a serious amount of patience as Pappy helped the boys, then 5 and 4, work power tools and read directions.  There are about 15 pictures of them working on this project and the last one is the grand finale with the boys sitting in a pile of sand happily playing.  Pretty neat memory that I had completely forgotten about!

To completely outdo itself, Timehop ALSO shared pictures from 9 years ago.  On this day in 2006 we must have taken a ride to see our new house, which was in the framing stage 9 years ago today.  Crazy to think that this humble abode is 9 years old.  Crazy!!!

After checking on construction progress it seems we had a little picnic or something at my mom's house.  There are some pictures of the boys with a baby Ella.  And then, as so often happens at Berber's, a water game broke out.  I don't really remember the day, but the photos paint a pretty cool picture of a pretty fun time!  I loved this picture of Spencer.  He was only 3.  The age Beck is now.  Goodness...  time flies...

Enjoy your weekend!  Take lots of pictures!  And if you like being reminded of special times in years past, go get Timehop!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Picture of the Week - 4/9/2015

Greetings from what has to be the most yellow city in the country this week!  The pollen has struck with a vengeance!  In the mornings, when I get to work, you can actually see tire tracks in it.  Not. Even. Kidding.  Bleck!

This past weekend was a really good example of one of those black/white, work hard/play hard kind of weekends.  We celebrated Easter with my mom and dad, my sister and Bart, Ella and Cooper on Saturday.  It was such a fun day!  The weather was great and the egg hunt was a success - even if Pappy did almost hide Spencer's eggs TOO well.  The food was good, the bunny-shaped cake was hideously decorated by the kids, and the dog did not table surf.  All wins!

After the egg hunt and lunch, we took the kids to Medieval Times.  Spencer and Quinn have been there several times.  Zane went once, but he was too little to remember any of it.  It was a new experience for Beck, Cooper and Ella.  We were the Red and Yellow knight.  (For anyone going, do what you can to be the Black and White knight...  he always wins!)  Our guy came in second, which meant we got to cheer him on for a long time.  And he was a fun guy to cheer for!  As Spencer said, "He was either extraordinarily charismatic - or drunk."

The kids all seemed to have a blast and also did really well with dinner - which you are forced to eat without utensils.  They ate so well, in fact, that if I ever have an eating strike, I'm simply going to put away all the silverware and hand everyone a napkin.

Saturday was a good day.  A really good day.

Sunday was the flip side.  The yang to the previous day's ying.

Of course we celebrated Easter morning and got baskets and candy and new movies and new fuzzy stuffed friends.  That part was super fun!  The part that wasn't so great was that I figured since this was about the only weekend in a 4 month span that we didn't have lacrosse stuff to interrupt our time, we should be productive.  (What I really wanted to do was sit and binge watch the 6 Fast and Furious movies Spencer got in his basket.)  Boo for housework!  Who's with me?

I kindly (maybe more kind in my head than in reality) suggested that Bob work on the garage while I tackled my all time favorite household chore - the bi-weekly closet clean out and pack up of clothes that no longer fit.  I hate that chore almost as much as time change.  And that's a LOT!  I managed to get the LBs all squared away and in the process packed up 2 boxes of clothes to give away, 1 garbage bag full for charity, and a garbage bag full of clothes that had seen way better days.  I can tell you from experience that the life span for size 3T boy clothes is 3 and a half boys.  These last few months Beckett has looked really rough!!!

At the end of the day, it was good to get some stuff accomplished and all in all it was a great weekend.  I hope you all had just as much fun - and managed to avoid working as much as we did!

Now - who wants to come down in about a week to clean all this craptastic yellow dust off everything for us???

Pappy had Beck on his head for part of the time while we were waiting for our seats so he could see all the stuff that was going on.  I didn't think there was a way for Beck to be any cuter, but he somehow managed to find one!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Picture of the Week - 4/2/2015

Man, Spring feels good this year!  Even with the crazy high pollen levels and burny eyes...

We were out at the park last night during Quinn's lacrosse practice and the little guys were in a rare, hamming it up mood.  I had a blast with them!

We took a walk and Beck let me hold his hand nearly the whole time while Zane ran ahead.  We giggled and laughed and had a grand time!  Those boys are exhausting, but SO much fun!

And yes...  as you can see in their Table Dancing picture, they were barefoot most of the visit.  They were happy and we weren't bothering anyone, so why not!

This weekend we have some super fun stuff planned.  We'll be holding the traditional yearly egg hunt at our house for the first time.  (Sure hope Ozzie doesn't eat all the eggs...) and then celebrating with lunch and bunny cake decorating.

Then we are off to Medieval Times for a little jousting fun with Berber, Pappy and my sister's kids Ella and Cooper.  I do love going out with the 6 kids without my sister...  the kids' ages make everyone assume all the kids are ours and the looks we get are priceless!

We aren't traveling anywhere for Spring Break, which is a bummer.  I get super jealous this time of year watching all the fun trips everyone gets to take from afar.  If you are one of these lucky Spring Break travelers, have a great time - and know I'm green with PTO-poor envy!

Next week SHOULD have been a little calmer than usual, but I've heard some disturbing rumors about multiple days worth of lacrosse practice (in a row) because apparently the coaches are also stuck home for Spring Break and looking for ways to share their pain.

Have a very Happy, Blessed Easter!