Friday, July 22, 2016

Blake did it!

This is a HUGE Fri-yay for Blake that I have to share with you all.  Blake has been trying, off and on, to ride a bike without training wheels.  Thursday, Aaron sent me a snapchat at work and it was two different videos of him riding unassisted.  I tried not to get my hopes up, but when I went home for lunch he was so excited to tell me that he could ride without training wheels!
 Our neighbor, Jon, said to me, "Have you ever seen somebody decide to ride a bike so quickly and just do it?!"  I haven't. 
 I was feeling really crummy for Blake because, obviously, Jenna and Brody ride bikes and Bowen has been riding without training wheels since last summer.  Sometimes, things are just harder for Blake, things like fine motor skills and balancing on a bike.  That's why I am SO HAPPY for this kid. 
 If you can't tell by the photos, he's pretty happy about it himself.  Ha.
 Last nite, despite being 400 degrees, he wanted to go for a short bike ride, so we went about a mile and it was awesome!  He did great, was very cautious at all times. 
 Usually, the kids want to go for a bike ride and Blake and his itty bitty bike with training wheels just can't keep up.  Plus, he gets tired and I end up having to push him.  Not so anymore!!
 When I get to see Blakers do things like this and accomplish things like this, it pulls at my heart.  I mean, look at that smile!  I'm pretty sure this kid will be able to do anything he sets his mind to!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

County Ball Champs!

Waaaaay back in April, I got a call from a guy who is on the little league board asking me if I would coach Jenna's team for pee-wee girls.  He said, "Nobody else wants to do it."  Only knowing that my daughter would be on the team and having no clue who else, I just agreed.  I help coach Jenna's 10U team for the Ames League and really enjoy it.

Fast forward to the first day of practice in May.  In the pee-wee division, it's 2nd through 4th grade.  Now, not only is there a big difference physically in this age group, but also ability wise.  I had Jenna and Josie (the catcher) who have played for a few years and play in the fall and spring and then I had girls who had never played anything before.

I came home from the first practice and I didn't even know what to think.  I told Aaron if we won two games all season, I'd be shocked.  I'm not saying that in a mean way, but in a we lack experience sort of way.  Aaron responded with a, "Just wait and see and if nothing else, you'll help them with the basics and you can be proud of how far the girls have come from day one."
 Fast forward to the first game of the season when the other coach said to me, "I have you guys picked to be in the championship game."  I laughed at him.  Hard.  We ended up tying that game.

Then, a funny thing started happening.  We won the second game and the one after that and the one after that....
We finished the regular season undefeated and tied twice.  I couldn't believe it.  They do a blind draw for tournaments and we had both of the teams we tied with (two very good, tough teams) on our side of the bracket.  We made it through.
I'm sure most of you that knew me back in the day are not overly surprised that my daughter would be pitching. ;)  She pitched every single inning this season.  She worked hard and I couldn't have asked more of her.  God bless those long limbs of hers!  
 These pictures are from the game we had to win to make it into the championship. 

 I feel like she knew her dad was taking her picture?!  Cheese ball.
 It's fun to win, right?  Who doesn't like to win?!  These pictures of the smiles, that's what means so much to me.  They knew they were heading to the final game and they were PUMPED.
Sunday, July 10th we played our final game of the season and I told the girls this was the last time EVER we would be with this exact team.  I told them to just have fun and cheer on their teammates.  We got behind, 1-0, and then came back to win.  As you can see, more smiles from the girls!
 Jenna and Josie.  My battery.  These two crazies started doing the chest bump during basketball and did it after every game this season. 
Proud of her.  So happy that Aaron got this photo.  
 We all got announced and got medal presented to us by the Rose Queen.  Cool stuff.

 I can't say enough about these girls.  They worked hard from day one.  They all improved.  They did what I asked of them with a good attitude. I loved teaching them a sport that I love in hopes that they love it too!   
 We had to have a "State Center Black on 3" one last time....

 I hope this kid continues to work hard.  Softball is her favorite.  I hope to prod her along and foster that love of this game without pushing her too hard.  She will be successful if she continues to put in the time, effort and work. 
 The parents were awesome enough to get me this little thank you card and basket of goodies.  You know how some coaches have a heck of a time with parents complaining about this, that or the other thing?!  Yeah, that was the opposite of what I had.  I would ask at practice for help shagging or hitting or catching or grabbing more balls out of the shed and they just did it.  These parents were always 100% supportive and I was so lucky!!!
 And finally, Jenna has three brothers that didn't really care that she just won a championship.  They were tackling her to the ground any way. Haha!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer snapshots

 I take A LOT of photos with my phone and also put quite a few photos on Instagram.  I heart Instagram.  I feel like they are little snapshots of our life.  The true thing.  The real deal.  Our summer days feel like they have been flying by, but here are a few snippets of what we've done so far.

We happened to be in Omaha for our niece's baptism and the Hawkeye baseball team just happened to make it to the Big 10 championship.  What are the odds?!  We had to go cheer on the Hawkeyes.  Obviously, Bowen wasn't excited.
We were surprised with kites in the mail!  They are big and sturdy and super cool.  We love them!
We recently had a bad wind storm sweep through.  A couple neighbors lost big branches.  Bowen drove around with me taking storm photos for the paper, hopped out of the mini van and got to work at our neighbor, Jon's. 
 You all know we love our baseball/softball.  Many an hour are spent doing toss drill or with the mom pitching some BP.  I wouldn't have it any other way.  LOVE it.
 This summer I'm trying to notice the little things - sunrises, sunsets, puffy clouds, pretty flowers, etc.  I've kind of become obsessed with all things related to the sky.  I captured this while taking pictures at a softball game.  The lady next to me turned around in her chair because she couldn't figure out what I was doing.  She was like, "Wow.  Those are really pretty!"
 A couple friends of mine and I have a garden!  Growing my groceries makes me happy.  Fresh is best!
 Jenna and I take our girl time whenever we can get it!  We try to sneak away for groceries or errands when we get the chance.
 We love our small town farmer's market.  They added giant games, including Jenga.  It's so fun!
One day I was at work and Aaron texted me a picture of Blake with a mohawk asking if he could keep it when he was cutting his hair.  I said sure.  Well, he literally let him keep it.  I actually really ended up liking it!  It fit his ornery personality and when Aaron shaved it off I was sad.
 Nature walks are a must at our house.  It wears them down and we get to be outside and we love the scenery.

 This was an adventure.  We did family photos and when we were leaving Blake got stung by a bee right under his nose.  After an hour drive home (nobody said a word on the way) I turned around and freaked out when I saw the left side of Blake's face.  This picture doesn't do it justice.  It was like something out of a movie.  Jenna and I headed to Ames, Aaron was trying to make calls, I was talking to first nurse while relaying questions for Jenna to check on Blake.  We were concerned his airway would close up.  Anyway, long story short, we were able to turn around and watch Brody's baseball game.  Whew!!
A trip to Minnesota for McCoy's birthday!  Aaron and Justin, the grill masters, were hard at work smoking meat.  It was so yummy!
 Lots of reading this summer.  Kudos to our local library for their summer reading program!  The kids always get excited to go and cross off their reading minutes.  Me?  I'm just a self-proclaimed book nerd and proud of it!

Sunset chasing?  Yep, the twins and I did that a couple of nights ago.  I love the silhouettes of the windmills. 
Ahhhh summer.  You need to slow down.  I actually broke down and let the kids buy a couple of things off their school supply list.  I know.  I know. I need more 80 degree days with a little breeze and low humidity.  THAT is my summer love language.