Category Archives: Summer

Summer 2017

Man, what a crazy, awesome summer we had.  Hannah and I went to Myrtle Beach with her team.  She had an amazing tournament and made the all-star team, which was cool, but more than that, she bonded with some awesome teammates who have quickly become our family.  Having that time with just Hannah was really special for me, too.

Then in July our whole family went to Florida for my niece’s wedding and it was so much fun!  I don’t know that we’ll all ever get to be together on vacation like that again, so I’m so glad we got to do it.

Katie’s team had a great summer & she is enjoying playing a more local schedule with her team (and so am I! Whew!)  She got her permit this summer!!!!  We have become so close and I am extremely thankful for that.  It’s like having a daughter and a best friend all in one.  She is growing into a beautiful young woman, which makes me happy and breaks my heart at the same time.

My sister & her husband successfully went through IVF and she is due any minute now.  I’m so excited for a new baby in the family, I could just die!  That’s our summer in a nutshell.  We are so blessed. ❤

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Shew! What a Summer!

Been a while since I’ve had time to post anything.  We’ve been softballin’ it up big time since the end of March and are finally heading into the end of our busy season. Both girls should be finished by the end of July, though I imagine they will probably pick up one or two tourneys in the fall.  They play on different teams (one is 12U and one is 10U), but they are in the same organization, which means that we are usually playing in the same tournaments, though not always at the same parks.  We all enjoy it and we love spending time with our softball family.  But I always do look forward for the slower days that come at the end of the season.

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I’ve been working on a couple crochet projects that I’m really excited about and can’t wait to finish.  I’m also continuing to plug away at exercising.  I can’t tell you how much exercise and a healthy diet have changed my life.  I am 39 years old and haven’t felt so good since my teen years.  Even in my 20’s, I never had as much energy and just general wellness.  So on that note, I want to share a website I recently stumbled upon.  Skinnytaste has tons of awesome recipes.  We just tried the Santa Fe Chicken last night and I served it with brown rice.  It was a big hit.  I think I may just serve it in lettuce wraps next time I make it, as it was very filling.

I went to an informational meeting the other night for parents of incoming 7th graders and it didn’t really hit me until I got there that I have a 7th grader!  I can’t believe how fast the years fly by.  She’s growing up so fast!

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She asks me almost weekly now what she should choose for a career.  She’s throwing around the idea of interior design or a therapist right now. 🙂  Although when I told her she might have to live in a big city to be successful at interior design, she kind of balked at that one.  I don’t think she wants to get too far from home.  Of course, that may change later.  I think she also is thinking about some sort of sports therapist, which I think would be a fabulous choice for her, but whatever she wants.  I know this, she is super smart, witty, hilarious and talented, I know she will be good at whatever she decides. ❤

Random Stuff

I haven’t been able to sit out on the porch much lately.  It’s been way too hot and we’ve also been way busy.

Today is Sunday and Katie played in her last tournament of the summer (thank goodness).  I am looking forward to returning to a normal routine.  And more time to spend sitting on the porch with a glass of sweet tea.

I did, however, get out on the porch for a few minutes the other morning before the scorching heat took over and I found this guy flitting around my phlox.

We got together the other day to celebrate my niece’s 17th birthday.

We cooked hot dogs on the grill, played frisbee & threw the football around and of course, it wouldn’t be a party if we didn’t dance on the Wii!

Look at my step-son, he’s totally doing the wrong move.

Again, completely clueless.

Why so serious?

There, that's better.

This is the card that Hannah made for Maryka and told her she would look like this when she got older.  Such a charming daughter I have.

Maryka & Jake

Holy Time Travel, Batman! It’s August Already!

Wow.  I am so behind on blogging it ain’t funny.

And I’m behind on reading blogs too, so don’t take it personal if I’ve been absent from your blog for a while.  I just can’t seem to find the time to do it.

Softball, swimming, bike rides and ice cream runs have been keeping us hopping.

School starts in 11 days and the girls are bursting with excitement to get back to it.  Me?  Not so much.

Aside from the fact that I think it is ludicrous for school to start before Labor Day, there were some really negative changes made at the school at the end of the year that actually have me dreading this little school that I used to love so much.  For starters, all 17 teacher’s aides were let go and a whopping ZERO were called back.  That’s right, no aides whatsoever.

I would like to tell you a little story about how I was substitute teaching in Nanner’s class last year and how important the aide was to me that day.  The aides at our school do so much more than make copies and do recess duty.  They are teachers right along with the real teachers.  But on this particular day, there was an incident.

You see, first thing that morning, my little Nanner comes up and says, “Mama, ‘Billy’ has a knife.”  (!)

Now granted it was just a little pocket knife, but rules are rules and this had to be treated as a very serious situation.  Not to mention the fact that the little boy told someone he brought it for protection and would stab someone if he needed to.  Remember this is kindergarten!

So, as I said, it was first thing in the morning.  I had a class of 24 students and the teacher’s aide in the room with me.  The front office is very busy first thing in the morning and it’s very likely that if you call up there at that time, you won’t get an answer.  Had I not had an aide in the room with me to take the boy up to the office, I would have had to march the entire class up there to deal with this issue because you can’t leave a room full of kindergarteners by themselves and you also can’t let one walk around the building without an adult.

I could go on with more examples…like the time the little boy had head lice and the aide took him to the nurse…again, i would’ve had to walk the entire class up front.

I know in the older grades, the aides aren’t quite as needed, but in the primary level, they are indispensable and I am just so sad that the school chose to do this.  Well they say they had no choice because the money wasn’t there for the aides.  And yet, they managed to give all administrative staff a 5% salary increase.

And let me not forget to mention that Katie will be going into 4th grade and they cut back to only 2 classes which means that she will now be in a classroom with 30 students, 1 teacher and no aide.  I could scream because we specifically chose to move back here after having kids for the small classroom sizes and individualized attention we knew the girls would be getting!  We could move to the neighboring “bigger” town and get this kind of crap!

~sigh~ I digress…

Anyway, as you may have guessed, I am a little anxious about this school year.

As reluctant as I may be, the girls are quite excited and ready to go.  Katie especially because she is finally old enough to join Little Hoosiers, which is a group that gets together and learns about our state.

We’ve got all the school supplies and we took them this weekend to get their new “school shoes”.  I still need to get them some new lunch boxes as we have decided that they will no longer get to eat at school.  They didn’t eat there much before, in fact, Nanner never did, but Katie would every once in a while.  She still gets to eat there on pizza day, but I can’t handle the thought of them eating that stuff.  I’ve heard tell that our school actually has a pretty decent lunch menu, but I honestly think that the people who are spreading that around probably don’t know what real food tastes like anymore.  I can barely look at the food, let alone entertain the thought of eating it. (Geez, I am so bitter about the school right now, can you tell?)

We will wait for the weather to cool down a little before we go clothes shopping because both of them are going through a growth spurt right now and I can only imagine that nothing will fit when fall gets here.

In other news, Katie hit her first home run this past weekend.  Actually she ended up with 2 of them.  Not over the fence (although one little girl on her team did actually hit one over this weekend) but way over the outfielders heads and rolling to the fence.  It was so exciting because she’s been struggling a little with her batting this year.  Brian and I have been working with her a lot at home and we switched her to a heavier bat and that really seemed to do the trick.  She was so excited!

Softball is over for Nanner so she has resigned herself to getting as dirty as possible at all of Katie’s tourneys.  That and killing bugs and trying to put them on me.  Her and another “little sister” from the team are like two peas in a pod.  They actually found a huge locust that was either dying or already dead, buried it (after trying to throw it on me and some of the other spectators) and then built a small memorial for it out of sticks and rocks.

Nanner has pretty much spent her entire summer climbing trees, running barefoot and just in general being covered in boo boos, black eyes and band-aids.  She got a new bike and the very next day decided it would be really cool to race the neighbor boy on it.  She hit gravel, wrecked and ripped the skin off her knee.  And it was bad enough to make me cringe.  After the wreck, her seat was turned completely sideways and had two holes ripped in it.  She’s lucky to have only tore her knee up.

And on a happy note, she hasn’t got poison ivy at all this year!  (Knock on wood.)

That’s what we’ve been up to, hopefully I can get back to blogging and reading blogs on a somewhat more routine basis once school is in full swing.

A Long Weekend

We had a very long, hot, and tiring but fun weekend.  It started with Katie’s first All-Star tourney in Shelbyville on Friday night.  We played 1 game Friday night, 2 games on Saturday and one on Sunday.  It was smokin’ hot.  The girls did great for their first tourney.  Placed 3rd out of 9 teams in the Babe Ruth Sectional.  Not bad…

After we got done playing ball on Sunday, we came home and celebrated my niece & nephew’s 12th birthday.  I can hardly believe that they are tweens!

My sister had a little party for them up on the square.  The kids played at the park and we had cake & ice cream.  Well, everyone except for Pouty Butt here…

She didn’t want cake & ice cream, she wanted to walk over to the cafe and get an ice cream cone.

My nephew, Mason and his buddy, Brandon

My niece, Madie and her friend, Jade

Chillin' with the Spinster

Menfolk

Nanner climbed high up in a tree & GOT STUCK!  🙂

Madie looking so grown up

Oh and I can’t forget my other bratty niece, Maryka and her boyfriend Jake

After that, we were off to the fair.  The girls both had a 4H project, which I neglected to take pictures of for some dumb reason, but they each received a blue ribbon.  I will have to post pictures of their projects later.

We found some friendlies in the livestock barns.

Brian and I laughed ourselves into tears watching these guys ride the rides.

Nanner is looking a tad nervous

 

Don’t know who this kid is, but had to throw him in because he’s having such a great time.  😀

Whew!  Long post for a LOOONG weekend.  🙂

I’ve Been to the Twilight Zone

As you may already know, in my family, we are big Yankees fans.  As in, you are born a Yankees fan and you will die a Yankees fan.  Except for my Uncle Doug, of whom we do not speak.  He is an Orioles fan.

So, when we found out that the Yankees would be playing the Reds at Cincinnati this year, we were all excited at a chance to see them so close to home.  And thanks to my wonderful Aunt Brenda and her connection to a season ticket holder, most of us that wanted to go were able to get tickets.

But, a mere 2 days before we were to leave, things started to get a little wonky.

We were sitting there on Father’s Day talking about the upcoming game and I suddenly had no idea where our tickets were.  I remember sitting at Subway with Brenda and paying her for them.  I remember setting them out on the table and looking at them.  And then I have no more memories of those tickets whatsoever.  And here it was, 2 days before we were to leave and it was just now occurring to me that I should locate the tickets?  I am pretty sure that I must have accidentally tossed them into the trash at Subway that day.  But we had only 2 days before we were to go, how could we get tickets replaced at this late date?!

Luckily for me, Brenda’s friend was able to go to customer service at the ballpark and get them replaced.  I am still scratching my head over this.  What kind of dork throws their tickets away???

Anyway, the day finally came that we were to leave.  My BFF and her husband went with us and we left that afternoon.  We got to the ballpark around 5ish and pulled up to find signs everywhere saying that the game was canceled and would be played the next night due to rain.  Rain?  What rain?  The skies were blue as could be.  Apparently it had rained most of the day there and the fields weren’t dry enough.

Ugh.  Now we were faced with driving all the way back home and coming back the next night.  We decided instead to make an adventure out of it and stay overnight in downtown Cincinnati and sight-see, then go to the game the next night.

Mistake.  BIG mistake.

First of all, everybody else had the same idea as us.  The hotels near the ballpark were pretty much already booked.  My uncle and a few other family members were staying at a nearby hotel and he tried to get us a room there, but they were already booked up.  So, we sat in the lobby of a nearby hotel and used their wi-fi to look for something on Priceline.  We finally found something, but we had to drive 20 minutes out of downtown to get to it.  Not ideal, but better than nothing.

We drove to the hotel only to be turned away.  They had made a mistake and overbooked and could not accommodate us.  Well crap.  Back to the drawing board.  We were finally able to get a room booked at another hotel not too far from the first one.  We checked in and instead of going to our room we went to Wal-Mart to get toiletries and some cards and games to play in our hotel room.  At this point we had decided to just get what we needed, then chill in our room because it was getting close to 9 pm.  The game wasn’t until the next night, so we had all day the next day to sight-see.  This turns out to be another big mistake.

We go get everything we need and decide to look for a Taco Bell.   We find one and when we entered, it was really surreal.  First of all, it was almost cold enough to see our breath in there.  Secondly, they were playing some kind of crazy techno music really REALLY loud.  As in, I kept expecting the lights to go out and to see all of the employees jump over the counter with glow sticks and start dancing.  At 10:00, the manager came and locked all of the doors, with us still sitting there eating.  So, one of us asked him if they were closing at 10:00.  He informed us that we weren’t in a very good neighborhood and that they always close the dining room at 10 pm.

Fabulous.

So, at around 10:30 we return to our room to find probably the nastiest room I have ever been in in my life.  Not joking.  The walls were splattered with I don’t know what.  The bathroom had hairs in the shower and sink.  I almost vomited immediately when we walked in from the smell.  The bedding was stained, the carpet was stained…I was afraid to sit anywhere, so I basically stood in the middle of the room while my BFF called the front desk and told them there was no way we were staying here.

So, at 11 pm we started frantically searching for another hotel.  We went to a different one and it was even worse than the first.  At around 11:30 my cousin’s husband called me and said that they had found a Ramada Inn close to downtown that had one room left.  We jumped on it.  Turned out that it was also not the cleanest room, but the sheets were clean and I decided that I could live without a shower for a day considering that this bathroom was barely cleaner than the first fiasco.

Finally at around midnight we got to settle in.  We had to take a single room with 2 beds.  I had forgotten that my BFF’s husband snores like a freight train.  I am not exaggerating in the least.  I think Brian and I maybe got an hour total of sleep.  We went from shock, to annoyance, to at one point laughing hysterically because it was obvious that there was no way we were going to get any rest.

The next day however, things started looking up.  We went over to Newport, KY and walked around the shops and ate at a great restaurant.  We then ended up getting some cheap tickets from a scalper to the day game, so we ended up getting to watch TWO games!

So, I can now say that I have indeed been to the Twilight Zone and survived.

Here are a few pics from some of the better parts from our trip…

Gee, don't we look well rested and happy?!

How Did This Happen??

Did you know that we only have 5 weeks left until school starts?  FIVE WEEKS!  I hate it that the summer breaks are so short now.  When I was a kid we got out sometime in May and didn’t go back til after Labor Day.  Now THAT’S a summer break, people!

Here’s a look at some of what we’ve been doing so far…

Lots of softball and All-Stars has just started and we’ll be doing that right up until time to go back to school…

Small town 4th of July

The town hired an awesome bluegrass band

The girls got all hyped up on junk food and ran around the square playing games, riding rides and burning off that sugar while my dad & I sat and enjoyed the band until time for fireworks.  One of the first songs they played was Salty Dog Blues, which is a fave from the Andy Griffith Show.  🙂

Brian celebrated his 43rd birthday…

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Life on the outskirts of town.