Sunday, February 26, 2012

Volleyball Season

In November Maddie started back up with her volleyball.  Actually, she had started with the Middle School in September, but November marked the start of her "season".

She's got a great group of teammates and they seem to get along really well.  They are also learning to work better as a team the more they are playing together.

They have had a LOT of playing time together.  There are normally 2-3 practices per week and we've really started up with the weekend volleyball tournaments.

Maddie's biggest accomplishment in the last couple months has been improving her serve.  She really struggled with this last year and a month or so ago it finally clicked.

We had spent quite awhile at the YMCA in their tiny little gym.  I don't know how many times she served against a wall and we'd review each serve.  Towards the end of that practice she was trying to avoid hitting all the kids entering the gym and her arm was worn out - but it definitely paid off!  Jake and I were sitting at her volleyball game the next day and she was rocking the serves!  During one of her turns up Jake finally leaned over to me and whispered, "Mom!  That's SIX serves in a row!"  We were doing a happy dance for her on the sidelines and she was SO excited when the game was over and ran up to us saying, "Did you SEE those serves!?!"

She's gotten to be a pretty strong passer and has started playing in the front row.  She still has to learn to not hold back when going after the ball and it's something she's currently working hard on.

I never thought I'd like volleyball as much as I do.  The games are exciting, fast paced (unless you are there for 5+ hours).  I'm still not a fan of the walking taco that Mike and Jake are so fond of and I have yet to distinguish between the turkey and ham this place serves on their sub sandwiches.  But I am loving watching her play and have so much fun and build her confidence!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jesus Loves Her

Wednesday is confirmation night.  I take Maddie each Wednesday and on the way she recites her memory work for that week (which she has more than likely started/finished memorizing just that afternoon).  

I don't know the exact bible verse she was memorizing, but it's a fairly common one.  It's where whomever is talking is listing out the things that God cares for and somewhere it says something like the birds don't make anything, yet God feeds and cares for them - are you not more important than these animals?

Anyway - she recited this part of her memory work and thinking I could start a little debate as to if one species is more in important to God than another I asked, "Well...are you?"

Maddie replied, "YEAH!!  God's lucky to have me!"

No debate followed.  How do you argue with that kind of confidence?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Instead of working ahead and getting the Valentine cards prepared this past weekend as we all sat around relaxing, we waited until last night.  Frankly, that should come as no surprise to me; it's how we roll around these parts it seems.

I have seen the idea for Jake's valentine floating around the Internet a couple years.  I showed it to him and he thought it was kind of fun too...

When Maddie got home from volleyball she thought they looked cool and I asked her if she wanted some too. (Being generous, we let her have the remaining nine lollipops.)  She said she didn't want her picture on them, but she had a different idea with a glass jar...

When I told her I wanted to take a picture of it last night she said, "Really?" and looked at me like, "You have GOT  to be kidding."  She had just put on her pajamas and was three minutes away from getting into bed.  Hence - she's a hand model here.

Jake and I have already started planning next year's valentine.  Hopefully this means we won't be waiting until the night before but I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Battle

You know that saying, "Pick your battles"?  I've found my most recent one.

This is a typical afternoon after snack time at our house...

It is irritating enough that our children find it difficult to throw wrappers away.  

What is incomprehensible to me is this...

Other than leaving the garbage can ON the counter, I don't think they could ask for it to be much closer.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fitness - Check!

At the beginning of January I came up with a plan for working out that I thought might work for me.  I know I'm a list maker, but what I love about making lists is checking things off.  I also know that when I make general "accomplish-this" kind of plans, I can't just leave it open ended or my enthusiasm just fades away.  I also like rewards and presents - I'm just never good on following through on that.

To that end...let me introduce my newest fitness regimen:

This bad boy has hung on the refrigerator for the past five weeks.  

*I can check off each day I exercised (and yes...there is a HUGE thrill in that for me).
*My overall goal was only to get through working out at least four times per week for only five weeks.
*My rewards: I get a week off and a small gift that I get to choose.

This past Thursday I accomplished my goal and I just won two bids on eBay for knitting needles.  If you are like my sister, you are rolling your eyes at the excitement of my reward.  But, I've wanted these needles for at least two or three years.  I actually won two bids so I got the other sets of needles I'd been eyeing also - all for under $20!

I think I found my system!  I'll be making up a new calendar and taking on another five weeks shortly...better start thinking of my next reward!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Little Chef

This week we had a late dinner one night and needed something fast.  We had decided on grilled cheese.  Jake decided he was going to be the main chef.

First there was the layering of butter.  Every slice got a little thicker with that ingredient until I had to pull in the reins and inform him I didn't want a heart attack that night from clogged arteries.

I think he was a little nervous at first to attempt the sandwich flips.  His last encounter during lefse making resulted in a pretty nasty burn.  After showing him how though, he was again holding court.

Now, please notice the picture above and inspect the pictures below taken when Jake was four years old.  Notice any similarities?

Apparently mouth-wide-open is his way of concentrating.  Some things just don't change much over time!

Sadie has a spot in the kitchen.  Whenever someone is making something this how she sits.  It's a good thing she isn't a bigger dog because this little kitchen couldn't hold us all if she was!

And no, Jake wasn't about to stab the sandwiches - he was just playing around for the camera.

Not that Jake would ever ham it up for a photo...

Maddie did take charge of the soup and it was tasty.  She was in her p.j's though and declined pictures.

15 minutes later, dinner was served!

According to Maddie, Jake makes a delicious Mac & Cheese.  He has Chicken Salad down too.  One more culinary delight has been added to his repertoire. Four more recipes to learn and Mike and I will never have to cook again!