Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Monday, August 23, 2010

First day of school

Today was the first day of school, and its official, the boys are way too cool to smile for this picture any more.  It rained all day and we had to settle for an indoor shot. First time for everything.

Football fever

I think its official, football fever has begun. I call it that because it causes us to run around at a feverish pace and really enjoy football! Wow, its so hard to be the parent,  not the player! Riley is the one playing Pop Warner this year. A first for our family: full scale crazy tackle football. Riley was SO excited about the tackle part! He has such a great attitude best of all. Because its his first year, he is a bit behind the other boys who have played for the past 5 years {insert heaping helpings of mom guilt here}, and therefore has to play wherever the coach places him (offensive line right now...I guess he is one of the biggest kids on the team, but I was still sort of shocked at that placement!), and that doesn't include much defense right now. He just keeps working hard and actually got in for a couple defensive plays already.

The first "game" was Saturday. It was the Englewood Football Jamboree. Now, you may be like me asking what in the world is a football jamboree, I was asking the same thing! There were several teams there and each team got to play two 20 minute games so they could play more than one team. It was craziness. Everyone brings their own tents and chairs (the sun is BRUTAL) and tries to stay cool and dry and warm and hydrated. Yes, we had quite the weather that day! It started out brutally hot and sunny, turned cloudy and slightly breezy then it rained gently. Then the sun came out again. Riley's team had to weigh in together. The boys can't weigh over 120 pounds in his division. The slight problem we had was that Riley weighed 4 pounds over that limit when the season started...and 1 pound over the week of the jamboree. If you don't make the weight, you don't get to play. We were just a little worried. Friday night, Riley's dinner consisted of celery/peanut butter and grapes. He skipped breakfast altogether and came in almost 4 pounds under the limit! Big relief! Waiting patiently for their turn:
The sky looked a bit ominous. Then it was their turn to play and it started to rain almost immediately. Riley got in for his first play and the thunder began. That finished the game and all had to take a 30 minute time out (just like if you are at the pool...only its the football field). The poor team who was to play next had their game cancelled and at the end of the 30 minute break, Riley's team was back on the field. But not before it DOWNPOURED on us. The wind blew the rain into our tent sideways and we were all soaked...and freezing all of the sudden. From dripping sweat to goosebumps! Everyone tried to stay dry and had to hold down the tents to keep them from blowing away:

After the rain quit, it was back out to warm up again:

with a little hitting practice

and sprints

Like the perfectly obnoxious, embarrassing parent, I got lots of action shots!

And it was over quickly. Our team won 6-0 over North Port, a rival.

It seemed to me like the teams were quite big, spanning then entire width of the field at the end of the game.

So, we are off and running for the next couple months. Thankfully, football season is only 9 games long, so the fever will be raging and then over!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Birthday Event

Happy Birthday to my summer babies! We have celebrated Riley and Holden's birthdays together for several years, and this was one of them. Our new neighborhood has an amazing pool area and we can use it for a small fee for use of the propane grills there, so we thought it a great idea for their birthday party...we couldn't do a cruise for EVERYONE'S birthdays! Though we would like to! Instead we were happy to grill some hot dogs and chicken tenders and cool off with ice cold watermelon. The kids swam and played together so well that the adults hardly knew they were there!

Paul manned the chicken grill while the rest of us tried not to melt in the heat. It was over 90 degrees actual temperature, and felt like over 100 degrees, accounting for the awful humidity! Grammy and Papa Prachar joined us from Iowa, but from what we hear, the temps are about the same there!

Gabe was in charge of the hot dog grill. You can see there were several parents who joined us and Dan and Kate May as well. The kids invited a few kids from their classes at school (Holden wanted to invite his entire class--24 kids, and Riley wanted to invite three friends...they are so different!) and there was a great turnout. We moms discussed which teacher our 3rd graders have this year since they are the only class in the school with 2 sections and we have this discussion each year. We are glad our kids remain friends even if they are not in the same class each year.

The grill area is up on a deck from the pool and the area is so pretty (lots of palm trees!) that not much decorating is necessary! Just a birthday sign.

The heat was hard on the cake! The flag/finish line for the motorcycle kept melting apart and the candles didn't help the matter. I had to post this picture because its the only one we caught while it was still intact. JoDee worked very hard on it, so I am glad there was one picture of it! We put the cake together the night before the party and had a bit of a mud slide going on as you can just tell the cake is listing to the right a bit. We had to fill in some missing cake from one of the cakes that didn't want to come out of the pan with some frosting...bad idea. As we stacked up the cakes for the mountain, it squished out the frosting and everything leaned. Oh well, at least we could pull it off as a mud slide on this cake! It was still a very fun cake to make and the kids loved it! AND, it tasted great...that's all that matters in the end!

The heat from all the candles melted the finish/flag line again, and there was a cascade of melted wax down one side...never a dull moment!

There is always at least one child scared off by our traditional red velvet cake, but this was all that was left after cake was served up! Its so funny to try to convince the kids that the red cake is chocolate! Some just can't be won over!

Of course there were presents, the kids got some great things, but most of all, we were blessed to enjoy good company and friendships and family!

So, my summer babies, you are growing up waaaay too fast for my liking! You are both such blessings to our family! Some special things about each of you:
Riley: You are such a hard worker and can generally be counted on to do an excellent job without complaining. You can be SO funny. You love to quote Bill Cosby from his stand up routine "Himself" from the '80s. You can get everyone rolling. You are getting so tall!! You are going to be in 5th grade, but you are almost as tall as me already. You are playing your first year of tackle football and after a shaky start, you are loving it. You are one of the biggest kids on the team and are playing at offensive lineman. You have an excellent attitude even though you never hoped to play that position! I love our conversations about dedication and working hard and all of that paying off later. You are getting that already! For your birthday, you wanted most of all a cross necklace. Grammy Mary Lee took you to the store to pick it out yourself and I am so pleased with the way you wear that cross as a reminder of your Savior and that it was your desire to share your faith in that way. You have already worn out the Skillet CD you got for your birthday! We all love it! Currently, you want to be a policeman when you are older. You are a blessing to our family!

Holden: You keep your room the neatest in the entire house! You are a super helper around the house and still get excited about working with me or dad on a project, any project, even a dirty nasty project! EVERY morning, when I leave for work, you can't let me leave without a hug and big wet smooch from lips that you can pucker up to be so big! If you are still sleeping when I leave and I try to rush out, you will come tearing out of the house to kiss me in the driveway! I LOVE it! You love to snuggle on the couch and fight with your brothers and sister to sit near me or dad so you can get some back scratches. You are crazy about soccer and even scored several times during your very first season! You can run fast. You have a six pack that I am jealous of! You have the craziest laugh! We often try to imitate it, but can't do it quite like you. You are an excellent student, you like to learn and have been reading my medical journals with me lately. We sit and discuss the pictures of often yucky looking skin conditions or wounds, but you are interested in them. I am learning lots by teaching you! You have very neat handwriting, you work diligently and patiently at it...two gifts I am sure that will take you far! Currently, you want to be a pilot when you are older. You are a blessing to our family!