Sunday, November 19, 2017

I Love Watching Her Play

Danielle's team participated in an all day softball camp last Sunday and again yesterday. The camp last Sunday was at a college 2 hours away. They started at 8am and went until 7pm, playing 6 one hour games in addition to participating in discussions about skill specific topics and recruiting. 6 games in one day was a lot, even if they weren't full games. The camp yesterday was 2.5 hours away. They played 3 80 minute games in addition to the talks. It was a long day, too, but Danielle enjoyed both camps.

I really love watching Danielle play. She still struggles with hitting as well as she'd like, but that's all part of learning to be a slapper. A slapper's job is to place the ball, and sometimes that's easier said than done. But, when she does get it right where she intended and then beats the throw to first, that is fun to watch.

I love watching her field. She is always thinking ahead and knows where the plays are before the ball is hit. She was talking about a play she made in the field yesterday and listed about 6 things that went through her mind in determining exactly how to play the ball. She made it sound so easy, but she had to think through all of that in only a second or two and then put herself in the right place to make the play. Her fielding is usually flawless, and she makes plays that many of her teammates cannot. Yesterday, from centerfield, she threw a girl out at 1st and another out at 3rd. That was fun to watch.


I love watching her run the bases, too. Not only is she fast, she's smart. She has 13 stolen bases for this fall season. The next closest person on the team has 4. Twice yesterday she slid right past the tag at 2nd and grabbed the base as she flew by. That was fun to watch.

But, as much as I love all those things, what makes me the most proud is watching her cheer on and encourage her teammates. 3 different parents told me at three different times yesterday how much they appreciated Danielle's positivity, her smile, and the encouragement she offers her teammates. I didn't go to the camp last Sunday, but they told me how even during game 6 when everyone was exhausted she was up cheering, high fiving and complimenting every girl as they came in the dugout after their at bat, yelling encouragement from the field to her pitcher, and cheering for the girls when they made a play. As I watched her yesterday, I saw her do those same things. Her voice was the only voice you could hear cheering from the field, encouraging on her pitcher by game 3. Her smiling face and outstretched hand was the first thing her teammates saw when they returned to the dugout. And at the end of the very long day, as we were walking out the door of the facility to head to our car and the 2.5 hour drive in the rain, she had to go back so she could thank the college students who were still there working the camp.  That was fun to watch.

I really love watching Danielle play.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Classic Tyler

This popped up on my FB memories today. It made me laugh, so I thought I'd share it.  I'm sure it's funnier to me now than it was then, but this is so Tyler. (And that's so Danielle - doing something to annoy him when I'm not looking.)

We found out on Friday that Tyler wasn't selected in the lottery to be in the Ohio State University Honor Band. He is an alternate, but we're not holding out hope for that. We're a little disappointed, but not surprised. After all, if we had a lot of success at winning lotteries, we'd have already quit our day jobs. ;) It sounds cliché, but it really was an honor to be nominated.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Swedish Meatballs and Inexpensive Furnishings

We decided to check out our new Ikea earlier this week. None of us had been to one and we thought we'd like to see what all the hype was about. First, the store is huge. Thankfully it wasn't busy at all. It took us an hour and a half to make our way through the store but we were able to browse. Second, the prices really are inexpensive for most things. I can see why people spend a ton of money in there.  Third, there are so many decorating ideas! If you have a small space, Ikea is the perfect place to get practical ideas for making the most of your space. Ron said he heard they had really good Swedish meatballs, but we steered clear of the food court that night. (I thought all these light bulbs together looked neat.)

Tyler and I went back yesterday to get some picture frames and shelves. It turns out that Saturday afternoons are much, much busier than Monday evenings!! It was crazy busy. We used the map and followed the shortcuts to get to only the areas we needed to, but it still took us awhile. We were rewarded this time with free Swedish meatball samples in one of the departments, though. They were really good! Next time Tyler wants to try the chocolate cake.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Finely Aged Tartar Sauce

Guess it's been awhile since I cleaned the fridge...

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

A Winning Weekend

Danielle's softball team played in their last fall tournament this past weekend. Danielle didn't have quite as amazing a weekend as the last tournament, but she did well. One of the opposing team's coaches asked her what her home to 1st time was and commented about how quick she was. We played that team a second time for the championship and he commented to her again. It's always nice when other coaches notice you.

We came in 2nd place. The prize was a ring, which is common for tournaments put on by the USSSA organization. The rings were surprisingly heavy and didn't feel cheap. I think the girls all liked them. It was a good weekend.

That wraps it up for tournaments for awhile, but softball is never really out of season. The high school team is hosting an indoor hitting league, and Danielle is one of 4 jr high girls they invited to participate. She is also participating in an indoor hitting league with her travel team. She also has 2 college camps coming up before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

The "One More Time" Concert

Tyler's last regular season football game was a doozy. We had such nice weather the whole season, I guess we were due. It was cold, windy, and very rainy. We huddled together under blankets and umbrellas and made it through the first quarter before we gave up and waited for half time under the home team's bleachers. Watching Tyler sit out there, though, we really couldn't complain. They had to stay for the entire game. When I did laundry the next day, his socks were still soaked. There were a few people who slipped, but thankfully Tyler wasn't one. The band still sounded great, and we were glad we stayed to watch them. We were also glad we were watching a band member and not a football player because we hustled out of there as soon as half time was over!
Doesn't matter how old you are. If you're wearing rainboots, you have to splash in puddles. (But when you're 14, you splash while drinking hot chocolate.)

So much rain!

Tyler is in the middle of the 3 trumpet players in the front.

On Thursday we had the "One More Time" concert. At this concert the band performs all the songs they played over the course of the football season one more time. They play in the gym, where the sound bounces off the walls and you can feel the beat in your chest. I wouldn't want to listen to it like that all the time, but once at the end of the season is kind of fun. There's a lot of energy.  It's also kind of amazing that the kids can remember all the songs from the whole season without any music at all.

Tyler is in the 3rd row, 3rd from the left.

Dinner at Chipotle afterward. Sometimes they like each other.

Our football team played in their first playoff game of the season on Friday but couldn't pull out the win. It was chilly, but thankfully it was dry. The half time show went smoothly and the band got chicken fingers for their post-halftime show snack. It was a good ending to the season.

We enjoyed watching Tyler and the rest of the band as they entertained us every Friday evening for the past 10 weeks. I think football Friday nights will be happy memories we will all have long after high school is over.  Concert band auditions are this week. Tyler should also find out by this Friday if he was selected to be part of the Ohio State Honor Band. He had to be nominated by his band director, but the selection process after that is by lottery. It was a honor to be nominated, but it'd be a lot of fun to be selected!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Danielle went trick-or-treating with her friends again. Her group of friends are all such nice girls. It will be sad when they decide not to dress up any more. This was not that year, though. :)

Tyler and his friend passed out candy while her parents took her little brother trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.

Tyler has asked for years to decorate the house for Halloween but we never want to spend the money on it. He was pretty excited to find some great items on clearance when we were at the mall the other day. He picked everything out and we set it up together the other night. It all came together nicely. He got so many compliments during trick-or-treat last night. Someone even stopped to line all her kids up in front of the ghost so she could take a photo. He was very pleased with the outcome.