Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This & That

Danielle attended a softball clinic this past weekend at the college/university Ron and I graduated from. It was weird to walk around campus with our daughter. It had been a long time since we'd been there. There were a lot of girls at the clinic. This is an NAIA school, and we expected there to be a smaller turnout, but there were probably more girls there than at the D1 camps she's attended.  They divided the girls into 7-9 and 10-12 grades. She was definitely the best outfielder in her age group, but we didn't watch them hit or watch the older girls. It seems so early to be talking about colleges with Danielle, but that's how it works with athletic scholarships. Tyler still has another year before he needs to start worrying about it.

I saw this in the parking lot and thought it was hilarious.

There are several rows of girls. Some of the current college players are standing in the back.

Speaking of Tyler and college, we had him take the ACT test a few weeks ago. When I was in high school, you took the ACT test once. That was the score you got and you hoped it was good enough. I don't think it was as competitive to get into colleges then, though. Now, most kids take the test multiple times. Everyone in our state has to take it their Jr year. Danielle will have to take it her freshman year to get a baseline score for college recruiters. Thankfully they don't expect a 9th grader's score to be very high. We wanted Tyler to try taking the test once just to see how he'd do - so he could get the experience under his belt. We didn't have him do any prep classes or study. We registered him and he showed up with pencils and a calculator on the day of his test. We got his score today, and he scored a point higher than I did. It's a great score, especially for midway in his sophomore year, and it's certainly good enough to get into a lot of schools already. We are excited to see what he can do when he actually studies for it. I think he surprised himself, too. The great thing is that he still has at least another year to work on improving his score. Every point that score goes up means more opportunities and more academic scholarship options.

I thought they looked nice the other day so I took their picture before school. Danielle doesn't like it because she thinks her face doesn't look like it's awake yet.

Danielle got her hair cut today. She got 4" cut off. It was a pretty big decision for her. Lol.

And here are some random pictures just because.
She won a typing contest in her computer class. Tyler always won those, too. He is by far the fastest typist I know. I'm fast, but he has me beat hands down.

She joined me for a walk in the rainy fog the other day. Daughters are such a blessing.

Just because. :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

I celebrated Valentine's Day with 2 of my sweethearts tonight.

My other sweetheart is out of town on business. He's pretty sure his boss scheduled this trip just so he would have a date for Valentine's Day. Ron always sends me flowers on Valentine's Day, but somehow they are always a surprise. I guess I forget about them, which makes them even more special. The kids always like to see what he writes on the card. This year's did not disappoint:

I'm one lucky galactic princess.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Happy Birthday to Clara!

This old girl is 9 today. I've never had a dog quite as special as she is. She's so smart, and she loves me best of all. :) She celebrated with some doggie ice cream and a new toy. I love her so.

Napping with her new toy.

This young lady is 14.5 today. She celebrated with her favorite home cooked meal and dessert. I love her an awful lot, too. :) This picture is from yesterday. We had a snow day. What better way to spend it than curled up with a good book?!!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

This & That

Ron's birthday was Tuesday. We went to the Japanese Steakhouse again this year for dinner and then had cake at home. It was a nice evening.

I drove through one of the metroparks after dropping Danielle off at her speed & agility class the other evening and all these deer were grazing by the parking lot. Sadly, I only had my phone to snap a couple pictures. There were 2 others that I didn't get in the picture.

The weather has still been all over the place. It was bitterly cold a couple days ago but warmed up a bit. Tonight it's really windy and is either snowing or sleeting out. I don't feel like looking. Tyler wanted to ride his bike the other day, but the sunny sky misrepresented how cold it really was.
Saturday was my new hip's birthday. I celebrated with a walk. I couldn't have done that (painlessly) a year ago. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think how glad I am that I had that done.

Danielle enjoyed playing softball with the other team last weekend. They offered her a spot on their team, which was nice. They are better than her current team. We made a commitment to the team she's currently on, though, and will see that out through the end of the summer. This team understood that and knew that would be our answer. Danielle has an open invitation to play with them any time she's available this summer. It's nice to know she will have options at the end of the summer.  She's playing in an out of state tournament with them this coming weekend. Some of the games are scheduled to start at 2am! It should be interesting. School softball tryouts are this coming Friday. We're excited to get the season started! She has a track meeting tomorrow, too. Looks like our slower days may be coming to an end. We had a meeting on Thursday to talk about scheduling high school classes. I can't believe she's going to be in high school. Or that Tyler's going to be a junior. I'm not ready for them to be that grown up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

This & That

The snow finally stopped and it warmed up. In fact, we had thunderstorms the other night. Then it got chilly again. The only thing predictable about our winter weather is that it's unpredictable. I'm ok with that. It makes life interesting. Sometimes we get to experience all the seasons in one day!

We are working on our first full week of school since mid-December. We are eagerly looking forward to school softball & track starting soon. We are also counting down the days to spring break! Tyler has started driving himself to school, which leaves me with about 40 minutes to myself between work and the kids getting home. I've been picking Clara up and heading out for a walk on the trail. It's really nice right now because no one else is there when I am. I can let her walk off leash and explore, although she always stays close. When we start out, she's way ahead of me, but by the time we get back to the car, she's only a few steps ahead. Guess we are both a little out of shape. :) She is such a good dog. The increasing amount of white on her face makes me sad. Anyway, it's nice to have a few minutes to myself before the bustle of kids coming home, reviewing homework, shuttling kids to and fro, making dinner, etc.

Today it was snowing "Styrofoam" (graupel). I thought the dead seed fluffies looked pretty with the balls on them.

Danielle just finished up a hitting league with the high school softball players. She and 3 other 8th graders were invited to play with them. She was put in a group with the varsity players, which she enjoyed. At the last game, they faced one of the toughest pitchers the HS will face this year (according to the assistant coach). Danielle did as well or better than some of the varsity players, so she was pretty happy. That's the head varsity coach watching her in the background. He did that almost every time she was up. This weekend she's playing in some friendlies (scrimmages) with a team that asked her to sub. She practiced with them a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it. It's actually one of the teams we played in a championship game this fall. Danielle made a couple excellent plays against them, and they have been interested in her ever since. She is also playing in an out of state weekend tournament with them in a couple weeks. Inside softball is a little different, especially for a slapper, but I'm looking forward to watching her play.

We stopped to see my brother after Danielle's hitting lesson the other night. He made sure he was standing nice and tall so Danielle wouldn't look taller. It won't be long before she can look him in the eye, though. The dr told Tyler he's probably about done growing. Unfortunately he got more of my height genes than Ron's. Average for a male is 5'10". He's not quite that yet, but the pediatrician thought he could squeak that out before he was done. It was nice to visit with him for a little while. He has done a lot of work making things his own at his new house, and it was nice to see all that.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Lots of Snow

It's been snowing. A lot. I feel like we were short changed on the snow the past two years, but I am satisfied this year!

Tracks on our patio

Tracks on our patio. Squirrel and chicken. ;) Ok, maybe not chicken.
Drift by the house before yesterday's snowfall.

I love a good snow fall. Especially when we're all in the warm house where we belong. When it started snowing the other evening, the snow sparkled as it hit the ground. The wind whipped it around into swirls and created all kinds of interesting formations and drifts. The next morning, our neighborhood came alive with people shoveling and clearing the snow from their cars. Some of the neighborhood kids worked together to build a snow fort in the pile the snow plow made at the end of the street. The guy down the street with the snowblower cleared 3 more drives when he was done with his. Moving from one to the other with just a smile and a wave. Our neighbor &  her son shoveled the drive and sidewalk of the neighbors across the street while they were gone. A couple moms with toddlers took turns pulling their little ones around the yard on a toddler sled. They were so bundled up, I'm not sure how they could bend to sit. We came back in from shoveling, made hot chocolate, and settled in for the day. I guess maybe it's not just the snow fall I love.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Snow Birds

Snow buntings

Lapland longspur

Horned lark

White throated sparrow

Downy woodpecker
Chilly mallards