Saturday, March 29, 2014

on to Boy Scouts

Marcus had his Crossover cermony last week for scouts.  He has officially become a Boy Scout.  He's worked hard to get to this point and I'm proud of Marcus that he put the effort in.  It's hard, sometimes, to balance scouting with sports, but we will give it our best.  

The Webelos, soon-to-be Boy Scouts.

Across the bridge.

Looking at their new handbooks.

The Scout pledge.

Already, Marcus has started working on achievements for scouts.  He got to go a merit badge university last weekend where he studied astronomy and engineering.  This weekend, he has his first Boy Scout camp out from Friday night through Sunday.  He got a new sleeping bag, sleeping pad and hiking shoes and is pretty excited about the trip.  Andy is going, too.  I think he is excited also.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pinewood 2014

The boys had their pinewood derby a couple weeks ago.  It;s fun to see how the plans for their cars come together.  This year, Andy has Marcus do most of the work on his car.  One of the nice things about this scout pack is that you can tell the scouts do most of their own work instead of the parents taking the lead.  I think the pinewood derby is one of the things the boys look forward to the most in scouting.  So, here are some pictures from this year's race.

Here are the cars for the adult group.  Andy made the purple octopus for Liam, who likes to be included in the racing.  I'm pretty sure he considers himself a cub scout, even though he is 4. 

Some of the scout cars.  

More cars.  4 cars over (the gold one) is Marcus.  Then Cale's and the silver one on the end is Ewan's.

Getting ready to race.  Marcus on the end, Cale in the red lane.

Ewan on the end in the yellow lane.

The boys and their cars.  They had some good races.  Ewan's car was in the running for safest driver.  I think we built our cars for looks this year rather than speed.

The purple octopus ready to race.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Another attempt to get Kella and Kinley together.  They like playing next to each other.  Kinley loves it when Kella talks to her and thinks that Kella has some super-nice hair to grab.  Kella thinks Kinley is okay as long as Kinley is not chewing on Kella's toys.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not a creature was stirring...

My view from my spot on the bed...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kinley 9 mos check up

Kinley had her nine month check up this week.  Signing in, I noticed that we had been to our peds' office once a month already, and I know she will see us the next two months, too.  No wonder out doctor knows us so well. Liam and Kella came as well, so you can imagine how easy it was to have a conversation exclusively about Kinners.

Kinley weighs an even 19 pounds which is in about the 60th percentile.  She is 28 3/4 inches long which is the 75th percentile. Her exam was great. This day Kinley was sporting some nicely chapped cheeks. We do put lanolin on them but not every day. I can't wait for warmer weather for the sake of Kinley's skin. She also just got 1 shot this day, which she took with a few tears that stopped as soon as I picked her up. Then the visit was over and, when we checked out, Kella and Liam got gum, which was one of their highlights of trip.

Soon to be kindergarten-er

I toon Liam to kindergarten round-up at the primary school tonight. I was not prepared to bring his shot records or birth certificate. Nor did I pre-register online before hand. But, I did go for the "screening" that the teachers do with the kids. Pretty sure they just ask about letters, numbers, shapes and colors. Liam did fine. The teacher that brought him out said that he was the most excited kid she had seen. He was so happy to be there and answering questions. Liam even changed into his "church shirt" for this event. And, the PTO provided all the new kindegartners with magnetic letters to help their letter recognition skills. Liam was in heaven. He loves letters and has been watching a lot of  the Electric Company recently. He loves trying to spell words and sound out letter combos. That boy can read a fair amount, too. Give Liam the book Go Dog Go, and he can read probably 3-4ths of the words. I anticipate a whole lot of spelling going on in our house. I asked Liam what the teachers asked him about. He said, "letters, numbers, colors, shapes and lowercase letters." It sounds like the teachers had them mixed up and had the kids identify the different things. The whole trip took less than 30 minutes and we made it home in time to get ready for karate. And now the boys are getting a good workout with Mr. Phifer. Busy day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

the last weekend of basketball

Who can believe that basketball season is finally over?  Both Marcus and Cale's teams managed to make it to the championships, played at the high school main gym.  All the kids were pretty excited about that.  I kind of figured both the teams would make it, although it was a little tight for Cale's team on Thursday night.  Cale played first against a team they had played twice before and were 1-1 against.  I'm sure he was tired of my advice the past few days, but I do think he was listening.  
The kids got to go into the locker rooms and run out onto to the court.  Pretty sure they thought that was cool.

I only got a few pictures of the game.  I spent most of my time holding Kinley and cheering on the team.  Maybe I yelled at Cale a little bit, too.  But it was all encouraging stuff, like "get in front of the ball" and "good job".  I may have sat behind him on the bench so I could give unsolicited advice such as pointing out which way the main ball handler on the other team always tried to go in for the lay-up.  I'm just a little competitive.  I really wanted them to win. 

Cale had a great game.  Took mostly good shots.  Scored some points.  Played terrific defense.  Handled the ball great coming down the court.  Can I just say it was very satisfying to see Cale totally out ball-handle the "best" player on the other team (who is also on the travel team, is the travel coach's son, and I think Cale is better than) and get in front of the same kid so he couldn't make a lay-up for just about anything.  Very satisfying.  The team played well.  They led most of the game, the other team led in the 3rd for a bit and then Cale's team came back for the win.  Winning by 8 points of so.  Good for them!

Getting his trophy from his coach.

The Wake Forest Winners! (8-2)

Marcus played next.  Now, he had just gotten back from playing in 2 travel games an 1 and a half south of here.  He had to leave at 7 a.m. for those games and get back in time for the 2:30 4th/5th grade final.  In fact, 5 of the travel players were playing in the rec league final game.  

Marcus's team led for the first half and the other team made a comeback.  The comeback was a little too much for the Heat, and Marcus's team lost 34-31.  It was a great season for them and in the games I have seen, you could tell the players, even the ones that hadn't played much, were improving.  Marcus's team ends the season 10-1.

Go Heat!

I should also mention that this was the last weekend for both boys' travel basketball teams.  Thank goodness.  Cale played in a tournament nearby and Marcus played in one and hour and a half away.  Andy volunteered his services as driver and drove the entire 5th grade travel team in our big van.  The boys watched some movies there and back and had fun just being together.  They liked it so much on Saturday that it was an unanimous decision to repeat the experience on Sunday.  

The travel team + 1 extra boy.  I think he was spending the weekend with one of the players.  Or he just wanted to come along for the ride.  We're not sure.

Cale's team went 1-1 in pool play on Saturday.  Cale played a fair bit of the first game and did well. He didn't play but a little bit of the second game. They lost the second game that day due, in part, to poor player management by the coach.  He wears down his starters and won't sub in the bench (which Cale is on, and he shouldn't be, in my opinion).  The kids can't keep up with the other team.  On Sunday, they lost their first game, which I was kind of surprised by.  But, I was also glad, because I am tired of Cale's coach and hope next year they find someone else.  I have the ear of a board member who has heard my complaints (my chiropractor). 

Marcus's team also went 1-1 on Saturday.  Then on Sunday, they won their first game and were in the final for the tournament.  To win would mean a trip to state playoff for the team.  \Unfortunately, there were a little too many reaching fouls in the  2nd half and the team lost by 4 points.  Marcus got to play a fair bit in most of the games except the last one, for which the coach apologized to Andy after the game.  Marcus's coach has done a great job with the kids this season.  Marcus has really improved under his coaching.

And, that's it.  I don't know what we will do with all our new spare time.  But, we already have things to do this week: karate, haircuts,  pinewood derby stuff.  Andy goes out of town this weekend, I have to work and Grammy Pammy will be over to manage the kiddos.  Should be interesting!  

We get about a month off before the start of soccer season.  All four boys are playing.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The lucky ones

You know, I think we're pretty lucky. Andy and I have schedules that allow us to be involved with the schools the kids attend. The kids are lucky, too. I think Andy has been on almost every field trip the boys have been on since preschool.  This week, he got to chaperone Ewan's class at the Children's  Museum. There always seems to be enough parents that each adult get 2-3 kids. I know Ewan loves having his dad go on the trips. I'm glad they can have this time together. Extra bonus: Andy sends me cool pictures like this one that he took of Ewan underneath a huge art installation.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Kinley is 9 months old!

Kinley turned 9 months old at the end of February. She's become a pretty good baby.  Here are Kinley's "fun facts":
Trying to get into a crawling position from siting
Takes a bottle of formula! 4ounces (or a little less) before bedtime
Cheerios, oyster crackers, puffs-all food she can and likes to feed herself 
Stage 2 foods-puréed
No sippy cup yet, not interested
Size 3 diapers
9-12 month/12 month clothes
Loves baths, pat-a-cake, siblings, likes to sit and play with toys, but can get bored easily
Speeds about in her walker, no problem
Likes watching Thomas the tank engine and baby einstein videos 
Still in infant car seat until weather warms up
Thumb sucker-not even offering her a pacifier anymore
Nicknames: sweet baby K, Kinners
Places we went this month-lots of basketball games-she does have three older brother who are playing

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

it's a Ewan post

Ewan's been a busy kid.

Friday was Dr. Seuss Day.  Although there was no parade, thanks to lots of snow days, the kids did get to dress up like Seuss characters.  Ewan chose Thing 2, not 1.  In fact, Andy said there were a fair amount of Thing 2s that day and not too many Thing 1s.  I don't know why that was.  Anyway, Ewan was pretty stoked about the wig, but he didn't wear it at school because he felt silly.  Good thing I got this picture.

Saturday was Ewan last game for basketball.  Kindergarten and 1st grade don't do a playoff bracket, they just play a last game.  I think they match up the teams somehow, but I'm not sure.  Ewan's team, Michigan, faced off against Butler in some tough play.  I don't think the first points were scored until the 2nd quarter.

Little bit of guarding actions.

Dribbling down the court.

Trophy time.  Michigan came away with the loss, ending their season at 2-5.  But, the kids had fun, and a trophy and snacks are always pretty awesome.

Team photo.

And, with their coach. He did a great job with the kids.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

regular season draws to a close

These photos were taken from the last two weeks of regular season play in the boys' rec league.  I can't believe it's almost done.  Our schedule has been so busy with basketball for the past couple months that I don't know what we'll do with the extra time not taken up by practices.  All the boys have shown improvement, which is pretty cool to see. 
These photos are from a tough loss for Cale's team.  They had previously beaten this team and I think they thought the rematch would also be a win.  The boys played tough and there were a couple players that showed real improvement from the beginning of the season.  

Their coach has done an awesome job with the boys.  I'm really glad Cale got to be coached by him.  

Ewan's game.  Photos courtesy of Andy.  

Ewan has enjoyed this season more than he wants us to think.  I catch him shooting around with the little basketball and hoop in our house.  And, he likes to get out on the court to shoot in between quarters of other games.  His games were always fun to watch.  Those kids a so little get so excited when they get a basket.

Couple pics from Marcus's last regular season game.  His team ended the season undefeated.  Part of me is not surprised.  I mean, there are 4 of the 8 5th grade travel team players on Marcus's team, Marcus included.  How that got past the draft people is beyond me.  And, the other players have shown some improvement as well.  Marcus has really improved under his coach's teaching.  He calls for the ball now, is not afraid to go in for the lay-up and does not have a deer-in-the-headlight look when out on the court.  Definitely knows what is going on now.

Rec league tourney play starts this week.  Marcus's team is the 1 seed.  They could potentially go to the finals, but some of their wins were pretty close, so we'll see.  Cale's team ended the season 6-2, tied with another team.  Pretty sure Cale's team will be the 2 seed since the team they tied with they also lost to.  They could go far as well, with solid shooting, good defense and good ball handling.  We shall see.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cale's best friend has gotten huge!

Mr. Orange has always had a special place in his heart for Cale.  
July 2008

Who knew this tiny kitten... sweet and cute....

...would grow up into this huge cat....

...who still loves Cale?