Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bad hair day???

Of all the crazy schemes I seem to get myself into! Here is another one! I have a patient who I have seen a handful of times since I started and who I have been able to help feel better. She has opened up a hair salon in Sarasota and offered me a free highlight if I brought a friend with me. I took her right up on that offer! JoDee went in with me and Suzanne stayed open late just for us and closed down the rest of the shop so I could bring the kids and they could just hang out with us. Holden had soccer practice, so he wasn't there, but the rest of the crew was PAMPERED!! I got a great haircut (no more uncooperative bangs!) and a highlight (as you can see above), Gabriel got his hair washed in a real salon for the first Alayna:
You might not know that Paul takes care of all the males' haircuts in our family and has from day one! Gabe also checked out the dryer:

Riley kept himself entertained reading his book at the pedicure station that had a massager in the chair:

And Alayna got her hair trimmed and put up in a French braid!

Aunt JoJo somehow escaped the camera's focus that night, but she also got a color, highlight, and conditioning treatment, and haircut! Thanks Suzanne for such posh treatment and for taking such good care of us and the kids!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cross Country and Baseball and Soccer...OH MY!!!

The peak of craziness and chaos has hit our household! All three boys are in different sports and have started having games and meets. Gabe's first cross country meet was Tuesday. I was working in Venice and so glad I could work through my usual lunch time and leave early to catch Gabe's race. He had a 2 mile course to run at Shamrock Park in Venice. If you remember this race last year, this was the one that he had trouble following the crowd and got off course and had to run over 3 miles! He had no trouble Tuesday and ran an excellent race! I was so proud of him and his dedication to keep pushing through plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and run his race. Here he is at the start line with his teammates. He is the only healthy boy on the team. The other 2 boys are sick with swine flu. It hit the school hard this week. Only 4 runners from his school ran. They are in bright yellow:
There were over 40 runners in his race. Boys and girls run together.

Gabriel came across the finish line in 12th place! He ran the 2 miles in 16:17. Much better than I could ever do!
Riley has moved up into the Majors division in baseball. Here they can steal bases and the pitchers throw the ball very hard! He was quite intimidated at first, but is loosening up a bit now. Here he is playing center field:

And here he is (after getting walked) on first:
He stole second:

AND third!
We are quite rowdy in the stands, now that we have Grammy and Aunt JoJo at all the games too. Riley absolutely loves it when we cheer so loudly for him...though he would never admit that know, because he is waaay too cool for that!

Riley played an entire season last spring without a win, so when his team this fall won their first game, we were all excited! We celebrated with a trip to Smoothie King!

And Holden is our soccer player. He has wanted to play for a long time and he finally got permission this year. I guess we thought it couldn't get any crazier, so why not! He is doing really well and really enjoys this game. I personally have never cared for it much because I never watched it or understood the rules. I have to admit I didn't really get much out of the first game besides appreciating how hard the kids work! The field is quite large and they do quite a lot of running around. It was extremely hot and humid and they didn't even seem to notice! Here is Holden's team. They have 3 girls on the team and they are some of the strongest players! It was fun to recognize one of the kids from spring baseball who was on Gabe and Riley's team!

Holden has played in 3 games now. The first game he was in, he didn't even get a chance to play on offense, but he was still learning how things went and had fun and we enjoyed watching the team win 3-0.
The second game, Holden got to play on offense and I am happy to say that I do not have a picture or video of him scoring a goal, because I got to watch it happen as if in slow motion with both of my eyes, not through a camera lens!! It was so exciting! He was able to break away from the pack, he drove to the right and kicked it to the left and scored all by himself! Of course Paul was in Colorado, and when I called him right away, he made me cry by shouting "GOOOOOOoooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllll" into the phone all those states away! He was as excited as I was! Holden's team pulled out a win again 4-3 that day. That was the same day as Riley's team's win, so it was quite fun to celebrate both kids at Smoothie King on Sunday when Dad got home. Holden's coach chose him to do the opening kick off at the next game (not sure why or if they rotate, or what, but H was thrilled!) and I missed it when Alayna had to use the bathroom but Aunt JoJo filled me in that he "whiffed"...who's kid is that anyway?? He didn't seem to mind and didn't let it bother him and had another great game. He played more defense than offense and had lots of fun as his team won again 5-4. I have decided that soccer is great fun to watch, especially if your child is playing!
You would think that we would have lots of trouble making it to games/meets and not having to divide up to get to everything, but so far everything has worked out. Riley's games are on Tuesday and Saturday and Holden's games are on Saturday. But the only game all season that Riley is scheduled to play at the same time as Holden, Holden's game got moved up to an earlier time due to a field conflict and eliminated our conflict! When Gabe's first meet fell on a Tuesday, Riley's team happened to have a bye! It has been great so far! I will likely not be able to attend any more of Gabe's meets because they will be in Sarasota and I work in Venice on Tuesday, but I am coming to terms with that. Paul will go to those with him. I will be the baseball mom. It will work out! In the meantime, we are having lots of fun!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


We have been so blessed to be able to receive some guests over the past month! Dear friends Hanson and David Bloesch came to visit from Iowa when they were able to get great air fare deals! They came in and got to visit Busch Gardens with Paul and then hang out at our house for a couple days and see friends in Fort Meyers as well. Alayna was thrilled that they brought their son Phillip who is almost 3 and a great playmate. He didn't do a lot of swimming in Iowa, but he sure got used to it quickly while they were visiting! One night the kids spent a long time in the pool playing together:

They went to visit Agape:
And took in part of Riley's baseball game:

And crashed hard after all that fun!
We all had great time getting to know each other better and renewing acquaintances!
THEN, we had some cold blooded visitors pop up in various places. This snake came to visit us at church. Holden was very brave and held and took the snake to a safer place. Alayna and her friend Zoe were enthralled and not scared at all. I guess he was just a tiny snake...but I still ran the other way when he started slithering on the ground again!
Then, a week later, we found this snake on our way home from church...there must be something about going to church that makes spotting snakes easier...
This guy was a bit long as Holden is tall!
And in the same day we spotted this guy warming himself in the sun. Now, I don't know how many of you are still reading this blog, or who read the story I told you about the frog that jumped on my leg while we were running past a lake in our neighborhood and talking about hearing an alligator in the water who was "following us", but this was that body of water we were running by and this is the guy I am convinced I heard in the water when we would run! I was glad to see that he was a small one, since Paul was just going to take off running away if I were attacked!
Then, we had some warm blooded, Iowa visitors again in early October! The Gehling family drove down with their kids to a condo at Daytona Beach for a few days and then came to see us! Unfortunately, Paul was in Colorado Springs and I had to work, and I felt like the WORST hostess EVER! We did get to take a quick trip to Myakka River State Park when Riley's baseball game was cancelled. This giant alligator came right over to show off as soon as we got there. I was very relieved they got to see him close up! The water was very high since we were there this summer and I was a bit afraid they wouldn't get to see any alligators. He didn't disappoint!
Alayna was thrilled to have kids come to visit again! She and Dade are just a few days apart in age, and having girls to play with made these visitors extra special!

Here are the Gehlings posing on a horizontal palm tree at the canopy walk at the park:The kids were such troopers to climb all the way up the lookout tower...I think they tolerated it better than the grown ups did! Every time I am up here I am reminded at how flat Florida is. You can never get up and look down on things unless you climb up this tower!

Thanks to all our visitors for coming and bringing a piece of home to us! Just to see familiar faces and hear familiar voices is an amazing blessing!