Saturday, March 30, 2013

Harold's 17th Birthday

Today, my sweet Harry turns 17 years old.  My goodness, didn't he just turn 16?  I am certain that it was just last week that we were practicing that damn parallel parking before he took his driving test.  These years are flying by entirely too fast.

This morning, we measured him on the kitchen wall and he is just shy of six feett tall.  Needs about a quarter of an inch more to be six feet.  That will probably happen by next Thursday!

For his birthday, we put a radio with a USB port in his truck so he can listen to the music on his iPod.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at his favorite place....Freebirds.....and then his truck was ready to pick up.  I made him his favorite dessert, which is yellow cupcakes with no frosting. He is plain jane on the dessert front.

He is out running the roads with his buddies this afternoon.  The texts I get:

Harry:  Heading to Walmart.
Me:   Why?
Harry:  Already back.  Now going to the outlets.
Me:  K.  Be careful.
Harry:  My life is in Carlos' hands.
Me:  That doesn't make me feel very good.
Harry:  Me either.

He has such a nice group of friends.  Really great kids.  He was telling us at lunch that him and RV will probably go to opening night at the local baseball stadium next week.  They are regulars at the Toros basketball games.  They are talking about trying to work at the same place this summer.  I love that he has friends that enjoy the same things that he does.  You can usually hear them laughing and cutting up as they are walking up to the front door.

My Harry is growing into such a nice young man.  He makes me proud.  We have some great conversations and talking to him is so easy.  He listens well.  He is funny.

It hurts my heart to think about him leaving.  I want him to go.  I want him to get out there and make an amazing life for himself.  But I want him to call me.  Text me.  Send me smoke signals.  Something.  Anything.

I am going to soak him up, drink him in every chance I get.

That sounds kind of weird.

Maybe I should just say that I love being his mom and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life being his mom!  It's the best.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend In Review

I just have a few quick things to jot down about the weekend.

Harry earned some hardware at the One Act Play UIL Competition on Friday.  He was selected as an Honorable Mention All-Star Cast and got a medal.  There were five actors given an award from his school.  It was quite an accomplishment since he had a relatively small role in the production.  Super proud of him. 

We went to see the play on Friday and it was so good.  The lead actress was outstanding! 

In other Harry news, Shrek the Musical isn't going to be in High School theatres until January 2014! 

In even more Harry news, the High School Girls Soccer Booster Club has asked Harry to come out to Senior Night and be the announcer for Senior Night.  He is going to get to be in the booth at the stadium and introduce each of the seniors and their parents for their final soccer game of High School!  There is a little bio on each player and a special message from each girls parents.  I hope it is a special night for all of them.

Chip's baseball team had a great tournament this weekend.  Chip pitched his little behind off on Sunday!  Way to go Chip!











Yesterday was the windiest day ever.  Freezing cold.  50 mile an hour winds.  Perfect for playing baseball.  Look at this picture of the fans from yesterday.  Looks like we were at a Green Bay Packers game.  Nice families, great kids, awesome baseball to watch...it is going to be a great season!


Started the day today getting recharged with a terrific Bible Study with my friends!  It was another really good one!

Now, the real Monday with lots of work to do is calling my name!  Must get to it!

Hope your week is off to a good start!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Speed Round

1.  Harry is performing in the high school UIL One Act Play tonight!  Break a leg, Harry!   Also, for future planning he found out yesterday they will be doing Shrek The Musical next!  Hooray!

2.  Lakeside visit was awesome this week.  They loved the necklaces we made.  Easter crafts were kinda hard.

3.  New six week Bible Study kicked off this week and it was AWESOME!!!  All CAPS for emphasis!  

4.  Doing the laundry isn't so bad.  Putting away the laundry stinks.

5.  Baseball this weekend!  Go Chip!

6.  My neighbor Francene and I saved two dogs in the neighborhood yesterday.  Did a good deed - felt like a dog hero.

7.  Harry's birthday is next weekend!  Didn't he just turn 16 last week???

8.  Today was Chip's last day of Safety Patrol.  Time for the current 4th graders to start working so they know how to do it when they get to fifth grade.  Man this school year is winding up quickly.  Almost done with Elementary School.

9.  Finally mailed Megan's card and Wes' box!

10.  I need a machete, a chain saw, an ax, a backhoe, a bush hog and a dumpster to get my backyard under control.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

First Scrimmage

Chip had his first scrimmage game last night.  It was a great game and Chip absolutely tattooed the ball a couple of times.  It is going to be a fun season!  First tournament is this weekend with the first game on Friday night!  Can't wait. 


My little slugger in his A's gear. 


Chip and Dad.  

Let's Play Ball..............

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Change

I am spending more and more time contemplating life, relationships and mostly what the future looks like when you send a child off to college.  I don't even know where Harry is going to end up going to school, it may be in our current city, but I think it probably won't be.  Regardless, change is coming.  It is not that I am dreading it, because I am not.  I am so excited for him.  So excited to see what he does and how his life unfolds.  His opportunities are endless and he is such a great kid that I know he has amazing future waiting on him.

What I think about is how different it will be not to be in his life so intimately.  I mean, if you have children you know, it is an intimate relationship.  You love them completely with every ounce of your being.  You are interested in what they are interested in...even if it is Legos or Robots or Football or Trains.  You want to know if they are hungry, thirsty, constipated, upset, happy, late, early, in bed, out of bed....every detail of their lives.  That is going to change.  I may not get into every detail of his business.  Our relationship will change, it will be different and I think maybe even be better than ever.  I think it has the potential to be awesome. 

It makes me think about my parents and how lucky I am to have such a great relationship with them.  To look forward to seeing them, talking with them, sharing my life with them.  I am starting to get why my mom starts most conversations with "You are not blogging enough."  I get it.  I want Harry to start a blog...and then Chip...so every single day I can read their blog and connect with them.  I want to know what is happening in their lives, how they are feeling, what is worrying them, what makes them happy, how in the hell they ran out of gas on vacation!  So, I totally get why my parents enjoy connecting with me and my family through this blog. 

I went through a similar contemplating stage when I had Harry and again when I had Chip.  I would just weep with emotion.  I loved my boys so completely and with more feelings than I knew a heart could hold.  What was even more moving to me was that I finally understood how much my parents loved me.  I knew that they had held me, just like I held my boys.  That their hearts had been filled to overflowing with joy that I was theirs and that they were mine.  I got it.  For the first time, I understood how much I was loved by them and it was powerful stuff.  It also set the stage for me to understand how much God loves me.  I think that when you have parents that love you, it makes it easy for you to accept love from God.  It makes it possible for you to grasp that kind of big love.  It is such a gift that my parents gave me.

So, Bob and Lana I want you to know that not a day goes by that I don't think about you, tell a funny story about you, want to tell you something, appreciate you and the family that you created.  I hope that Harry and Chip feel the same way when they are adults.   That would be the best! 

Love you to the moon and back.  Seriously.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Break - Last Day

Our last morning in Phoenix and we didn't wake up that early!  Hurray!!!  


I snapped a quick picture of Hubby's pool wristbands that he had been sporting all week.  The lady at the pool desk said "Kids do this all the time, but you don't see many adults that collect these bands.  I like it."  I think he only did it to embarrass the boys.  

We loaded up the car and said goodbye to Squaw Peak.  We will miss you!  


On the way out of town we stopped at Salt River Fields - the home of the local Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.  This was a brand new complex and it was my favorite! 


Apparently, the boys are not big fans of the Diamondbacks.  I didn't know that.  We headed over to the Colorado Rockies side of the park.


Cool morning.  Beautiful blue skies.  Mountains in the background.  The sound of baseball all around.  Not a bad way to spend a morning.  


Chip took his shoes off and ran on the luscious grass they have growing in the complex.  Perfect grass. Not a weed to be seen.  


This complex had a river running through it that was just a stark contrast to the dry desert conditions you get used to seeing.  It was awesome.





We watched some fun drills.  My favorite was a group of about five guys that were practicing bunting.  They were trying to bunt a ball into a five gallon bucket.  They were having so much fun.  Every time one of them would get close you would hear screaming and hollering.  Just another reminder that these are just kids who love the game of baseball.  How awesome that they get paid to play.


Harry found a ball that was hit out on our way back to the car.  Fun souvenir. 


Goodbye Salt Flats....next time we are going to definitely see a game here. 


On the road again.  There is absolutely NOTHING in West Texas.  It is as barren and empty as you can imagine.  We hit this convenience store for a quick potty break because the next one might be 100 miles away.  They had a giant tee pee.  That's it.   From El Paso to Fort Stockton.....one giant tee pee. 


And a beautiful sunset.  They did have some beautiful sunsets. 

We found a nice hotel in El Paso and ate dinner at a local spot that was really good.  The final day of driving was on Saturday and it was fairly painless.  We got home about 6:00 and had time to do a couple loads of laundry and put everything away from another awesome family vacation. 

That wraps up the pictures of our adventures.  I know we will come back to these pictures frequently to walk down memory lane.   Spring Break 2013 is over....bring on Summer!  

Spring Break - Day Seven

Our last full day in Phoenix started early...is anyone surprised by this?  I am not. 


Our collection of autographed baseballs is growing.  We are going to hit the Angels home stadium in Tempe today.  It is another gorgeous morning in the desert.  



The Angels have an enormous practice facility and tons and tons of players.  It is really quite astonishing how many players are in their program at one level or another.  They had at least four fields going with about this many players on each field.  This did not include any of the big boys like Trout, Hamilton, Albert or Trumbo.  They were inside the stadium taking BP.   All of these guys are good.  To play at any level you have to be really, really good.  To make it inside the stadium and play in the big leagues takes a very rare talent.


The Angels have a really nice complex.  Although, honestly I don't think there is a bad one in the bunch.  



We watched all the activities on the practice fields until they opened the gates to the stadium.  


The boys were happy to get inside to see some of the big stars. 


They got down close where they could see them hitting the long ball for BP.


Mike Trumbo's bag.  He is a large unit.  


Here come the White Sox. 


Unfortunately, the Angels didn't sign after BP or before the game.  It was really disappointing for lots of fans who were hoping that they would stop and sign a few.  My boys were trying to get an autograph for their buddy Pootie who is a big time Angels fan and just celebrated his 13th birthday.  They thought it would make his day.  Sadly, they came up empty handed.  Sorry Pootie!  We tried!


Leading off the game was the big stud, Mike Trout.  



He hit a homer.   No big surprise.


My Chipster eating sunflower seeds.


Trout gets walked and promptly steals second.  Teams are powerless to stop this kid.  


Josh Hamilton is new to the Angels squad....leaving lots of disappointed Texas Rangers fans.  There was a shirt in the store that said "Josh Gets His Wings".  He was having a good time out in right field. He was taking aim at some pigeons with an air rifle.  Waving to the bull pen guys between batters.  Just entertaining himself.


The stadium was PACKED. Beyond packed, really.  To get to the bathroom was like being a salmon swimming upstream.  It was wall to wall people, standing, sitting, everywhere you turned.  

It warmed up again pretty quickly and we were sizzling by the time we headed back to the hotel in the afternoon.  Another afternoon of swimming, floating and throwing a water football was the perfect way to wind down the afternoon. 

I texted my friend Sheri who went to ASU and asked her if she could recommend someplace for us to eat for dinner.  She promptly emailed me back and said "The Chuckbox".  We took her up on her recommendation and we were not disappointed.  


The Chuckbox is a little joint down by the ASU campus in Tempe.  Cash Only.  You walk in and there is a flaming grill right in front of you.  You order your burger or chicken sandwich and the cook throws it on the grill.  You stand in line until your burger is ready.  It smelled divine!  


The boys LOVED their burgers and fries and my chicken sandwich was awesome as well.  The Chuckbox will definitely be a place we go back to the next time we are in Phoenix.  Thanks for the great recommendation Sheri!

We are leaving in the morning and we all feel like the week just flew by...Chip is begging to stay one more day, but we have to get on the road towards home.  It is a long 1,040 mile drive we have in front of us.

I have just a few more pictures of our last morning in Phoenix.  Already thinking about next year!  Is it too early to make reservations?

Spring Break - Day Six

We left our hotel early again to head over to Camelback to see the Dodgers and White Sox practice facility.  It is really a beautiful place. 

There is tons going on at the practice facility with lots of fields and lots of players doing different drills. 

We found a lovely spot to watch some batting practice. 





The weather is just yummy!  Just absolutely gorgeous.  


Harry soaking it all in. 




Hubby and Chip tossing the ball around a little.  Chip would rather be doing than watching.  

 
Don Mattingly, the manager of the Dodgers. 


Signed a baseball for Harry and Chip.  Nice guy...even if he was a Yankee. 


A gorgeous morning, but time to head to a 1:00 baseball game down the street.  

And here comes embarrassing Family Incident #3.  

We ran out of gas. 

Who does that? What are we 17?  

We are sitting at a light right in front of this QT gas station and the car just stops.  We were low on gas the night before, but it was late and Hubby decided we would get gas in the morning.  In his thrill to get to the ballpark it never occurred to him again that morning.  He looks down and says "Uh-oh, I think we ran out of gas."  WHAT????  He holds us partially responsible because no one reminded him, but I am a firm believer that the driver is responsible for checking important things like whether or not you have gas! 

I get out and walk over to the gas station to see if they have a gas can we can borrow.  They don't, but they do have one I can buy for $10.  So I buy it.  I walk out to fill it up with gas and I see two motorcycle policeman are over by our car.  I hurry to get the gas can filled and by the time I turn around, here comes the old Suburban being pushed by Hubby, Chip and a policeman.  Harry was driving.  They pushed it right into a gas pump slot.  



EMBARRASSING!!!!  Chips says "I always wondered what would happen if you ran out of gas."  I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I was that it happened on a side street right in front of a gas station instead of on the interstate.  With two motorcycle policeman right there...stopped traffic....helped push the car.  My goodness, it could have been much, much worse.  As it was, we just laughed and laughed and gave the driver a very hard time.  

For the rest of the trip, we did not get below a half a tank.   I swear it is always something with us.

We weren't even late to the game.  We rolled in there in plenty of time to see the Angels take on the Padres.



This young man....Mike Trout was the main attraction.  When I tell you that he is impressive...I mean he is impressive.  We saw him in two separate games and I think he had two triples, two doubles, a walk and a homer.  And he only played like four innings of each game.  He is the real deal and a ton of fun to watch hit and run.  Super fast.  



The Angels are not short on talent...their roster is loaded!  



Here is the Mike Trout sliding in for his first triple.  I think he has to slide just to slow himself down because there was not even a close play at third.  I almost think it could have been an in the park home run if he had kept going.  


The boys tried to get some autographs back by the player parking lot, but they were not signing.  At least the big boys weren't.  I heard someone ask one of the stadium workers "will they come back after the game and sign?"  The guys looks at him and says "only the guys that you don't know."


It was a lovely day at the ballpark regardless and by late afternoon it had warmed up significantly and we were ready for a dip in the pool.

We swam for about an hour and then played a round of putt-putt.  I came in last.  I was more entertained by the little kid that was playing behind us.  His name was Thomas.  He was three or four years old.  He would rush through his round and hurry to catch up with us.  His dad kept yelling at him to wait his turn.  After we finished we were walking back to our towels and he was right behind us.  Hubby had to stop and tell him to go wait for his family.  We almost picked us up another kiddo! 



We went out to dinner to wrap up our day.  Everyone got a little sun, but no one was sunburned.  We kept saying how fast the week was flying by.  Just one more full day in Phoenix and then it would be time to head home.