My sweet Karli turns 4 tomorrow. She is ornery. Like her dad. I adore her.
She does not really enjoy being the center of attention. During the singing of the birthday song. She hid under the table.
My ornery brother has given some of the finest gifts to my boys. Noisy toys. Dangerous toys. Perfect for boys. So. I knit her a beautiful scarf.
And then we gave her a nerf crossbow. Oh the joy I had when I discovered nerf made a girls line of weapons.
I adore this girl.
Yesterday was the local meet for Science Olympiad.
When the kids were not busy taking tests or doing their building events, they were playing Magic the Gathering or video games.
I happen to coach one event. The boys were disappointed that event did not place, but I told them, we will have it down by regionals. We were just not quite ready for locals. But, I wanted them to experience going into the room and doing the event.
Unfortunately, Jonas placed in nothing. But, it will make you feel better to know, that last year he placed at state. He is ok. I did learn he got 7th in one event, which was one away from a ribbon. Not bad.
Alex did an event for fun. Not his typical event. It is actually Caleb's event. But, Caleb was to old to participate in this particular meet. He went into a room alone. Saw a creation. And, then wrote detailed directions on how to duplicate this creation. His partner then came into the room, and using materials and his notes. Did the creation. This time, it was a craft. Alex drew it for us on the board when he got to the room. Then Tristan came back. We instantly requested he draw what he made.
Keep in mind. They have never practiced before. Never. It is not Alex's event. Tristan said he wanted to do it, and Alex agreed. Sure, he would do it.
They got first place.
They never practiced.
Alex declared that Write it Do it was a fun event.
On to regionals. Where my event will place.
I am alive. Just falling behind in this area of my life. Updating this small site.
This weekend was the soccer tournament.
Two fun filled days of soccer goodness.
Soccer goodness filled with siblings on the sideline, rooting for their family and friends.
There were picnics between games. And bees. But, I did not photograph the bees. There were lots of bees.
These two, are not suppose to play this position. Or, should I say, they have not. Look out. Double trouble.
They have a plan.
On Saturday we got to participate in five games. On Sunday, 2 games.
Caleb, unfortunately, did not place in the tournament.
Jonas' team got 2nd place. It was a good championship game. So close.
Alex's team. Wow. Tied at the end of the game.
Went into over time. Tied at the end of overtime. Then, each team gets five penalty kids. Five. Each. Penalty kicks make me nervous. Such pressure for the goalie. Oh. I should mention. Alex was put in as goalie. For the penalty kicks! I have no photos of this. The crowd was silent. I did not want to make him nervous. I do not remember play by play how it went down. The two goalies were supportive of each other. Wishing each other luck as they traded back and forth. Turns, blocking the penalty kicks. Finally, our last kicker. Alex. Got it in. Put us ahead by one. Now, they have one person left. Alex is in the box. Ready to block. The poor kid from Lawson aimed for the corner and missed.
They were pretty happy.
There are a lot of girls on this team. Lots of hugging.
The coach was proud of her two goalies.
Alex's team got third. It was a hard fought third.
It was a good season. Indoor soccer starts soon!
Work has started. Today is the Friday of week two. I am exhausted. Surely every year I am not this tired.
Way back when. Three weeks ago. Before I was so tired. I got up much to early and drove Caleb to see the Chiefs at the training camp.
I manage to show extreme patience for this very boring event. He is just so happy to be there. I spread out my blanket on a super steep hill, and sit there for two hours. Watching them do, who knows what.
Then the fun begins. Autographs. Jared sent me with four cards to get signed. Caleb assured he would help me. But, as soon as those players came, he shot up from the grass and rushed over. Leaving me to pick up all of our personal belongings and fend for myself. I am proud to say, I managed to fight the crowds and get two of the cards signed. This means, in case you are not following. I figured out who two people were, on my own! I think it is impressive.
Then, I got to sit back, and wait for Caleb to finish up. He only took about an hour.
Patience. I had such patience.
Did I mention I figured out two players on my own? So impressive.
This is our third year of going. We are getting to be experts in picking the seats, and getting the most autographs. It was also their last day of training camp. The weather was nice, they ended practice early, and the players were extra patient with staying out and signing things.
This guy is a K-State player. Keep your eye on him. Go Wildcats!
They should have won. For sure. I told Alex the story, that when I was little, I was in this very talent show. I got third place. The first place winner was a tiny boy, who pretended to play the piano and pretended to sing to a tape. First place.
But, these two. I adore them. Alex and Sam.
It was very hot. When they were done performing, they got some cold beverages.
Their goal was not to win, but to beat these guys, Sam's brothers.
Awards time. This is serious stuff.
They did not win. The Skinnies (Sam's brothers, and a friend) beat them. They were robbed. But, they still got cotton candy.
Which, is what they were planning on doing with their winnings anyway.
Next year. You will win.
Here is a shaky video of their performance. Award winning performance.
Yesterday we gathered as a family to celebrate 96 years of life for my Grandma. It is a time for cousins to gether and run, adults to visit, and everyone to eat too much.
I have one of the best grandma's in the entire world. Our family is pretty great when we all get together, and it all began with her and Grandpa. Just looking at these faces, I feel mighty blessed.
Science Olympiad. Our family passion. We discovered it when Caleb was in 8th grade, and have been submerged in it since.
A little background, to understand the challenge our small school faces. We are a 2A school. A town of a bit over 2000 people. We have one elementary, one middle school and one high school. Small town. Science Olympiad is one even that is not divided by school size, by public or private, by anything. A school with a couple thousand kids, has that couple thousand kids to pick their 15 team members from. Our middle school has around 200 kids to pick the 15 team members from. We do not have an endless budget. Many of our coaches volunteer (me inluded).
The kids start around November. They stay after school for an hour and a half to two hours every day. They go in on our days off for multiple hours. They are building contraptions and studying for tests. There are 15 kids, and 23 different events.
Two years ago we made it to state.
Oh my. Look how young they look! Caleb is there, front and center.
Back to the story. Two years ago we made it to state. We were in a local region that had us competing with schools our size. We made it. Only one event placed in state. We were thrilled. I don't recall where they whole team placed.
Then, last year, we were moved to the Kansas City region. Playing against big big big schools. We came in fifth. Top four go to state.
This year. We stepped up our game. Back to state.
These kids, have worked so very hard. Very, very hard. They placed 6th. In the entire state. The best our middle school has ever done. Competing against large schools and private schools. Schools with huge budgets. Schools with professionals for coaches. Sixth. Amazing.
Pictures can be found here. Lots of them. Of regionals and state.
We have begun soccer season. Saturday was day one. Saturday, we also had a snow storm. It made for a fun, cold day. We started our day with Caleb's game. It is his first time playing since he was probably 9. He did practice sometimes with Alex last fall, so his skills were not all gone. My boys tend to not have a lot of agressive qualities, soccer is fun, but they are just not agressive. He will get even better with time.
Up next was Alex's game. It was several hours later. I managed to work in a visit with my grandma and a nap. My grandma is able to watch the games from her room. That is pretty cool.
Alex has found his niche at playing defender. I am learning quite a bit about soccer. Basically.. he is the last resort before the goal. He has some powerful kicks. And some awesome soccer hair.
It started snowing during Alex's game.
Immediately following Alex's game was Jonas' game.
The kids were loving the snow. His coach sent me the next picture.
I do not think these kids minded playing in the snow at all.
It was a wonderful start to the soccer season. Every Saturday for weeks, filled with more soccer. Fun fun fun!!
Today, we celebrated my middle son's birthday. He embodies the personality of the middle child so well. His personality is amazing. He has a spirit within him that is hard to explain. He is kind, and a delightful child.
For the past few months, my grandma has been able to join us on these celebrations. It is wonderful. For Christmas I got enough blue willow ware plates (her pattern) to start serving meals on. It brought back fond memories.
There was a wee bit of music. Instruments for everyone.
Some outside play.
And... after almost everyone left. A drum concert.
I love these gatherings. I am pretty sure the boys and all of the guests love them, too. It warms my heart.
Tonight was the community talent show. I did not get a good photo of Jonas, but he played the Chicken Dance on the piano. Here is is, before the show, messing around with our neighbor, Callie.
Caleb performed an original song, with his band, Randevooz. The song is called "Stray Cat Blues".
Normally, this is loud. Loud. And then a little lounder. They did the accoustic version for this show.
There was a joke at the end. To like them on facebook. Ok. Not a joke. Alex told a joke later. But, here you go. Like them on facebook.
Then Alex and his friend Samuel performed. They sang "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, but Johnny Cash's version.
They have been practicing this number for months.
I was so proud of the boys. I was proud of their friends. I was also proud of all of the kids I know from work. What a great show.