Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday night fans.

With Ryan on his way to Houston with the church youth group, we were one Dub short for this week's Friday fun night. That didn't stop us from heading to my school's area playoff game!

It was an exciting game even though our team was losing most of the way. Our star player is really phenomenal, and we enjoyed getting to see him play before he heads to a Division 1 college next year.

In spite of the other team's substantial height advantage, our guys made a run in the third that really gave us hope. At one point, we were within 7 points, thanks partly to some nifty free throw shooting.

What's funny is that because of our star player, Brett's brother and father have really followed our team this season. In fact, they went to more of my school's games than I did! And yes, they were with us Friday to see this great season come to an end.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Samedi gras.

Our family celebrates Mardi Gras each year with a king cake. This year, we happened upon a king cake almost two weeks before the big day and figured, why wait? Laissez les bontemps rouler!

I'm notorious for being terrible at my one Mardi Gras job (besides buying the cake). I'm supposed to hide the "baby" so one lucky Dub can find it in his/her cake. This year, I cut the slices, hid the baby and then let each kid choose a slice.

Katie found it this time!
As it turned out, we bought two more king cakes between our "Fat Saturday" on the 14th and the real "Fat Tuesday" on Feb. 24. Our small group planned to have New Orleans food on Sunday the 22nd, so we picked up a couple of cakes to contribute to the feast. Then we had a change of plans and couldn't attend, so there we were with TWO king cakes for FOUR Dubs!

We really put the "gras" in "Mardi Gras"!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grand finale.

Ryan's team played in the league championships. After leading for most of the first half, they lost steam later in the game. Still, we had a great time seeing Ryan and his teammates give it their best—ahem—shot.

Ryan came off the bench in the fourth quarter to provide some fresh legs, good D and 2 points!

Way to go, Ryan!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Double Dubs yet again.

With the regular basketball season behind us, we were ready for the playoffs to begin. We WEREN'T ready to see Ryan or Katie's team play its last game!

But there we were, for the third time this season, forced to watch our kids play against each other for the chance to advance to the league finals. A couple of times they were even guarding each other! Torture!

We couldn't root for one team over the other, so we just went nuts when one Dub or the other had the ball.

All good things must come to an end, and on this Friday night, it was Katie's season that came to a close.
The team received medals for a stellar season.

And Ryan's team? They advanced to the finals!

Having the grandparents and even Katie's PowerZone teacher at the game made it all that much more fun. It was an exciting night, and once again we were reminded how blessed we are to have such strong, healthy kids.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Work, work, work...

It's yearbook season, and yearbook has consumed a massive chunk of my life! With our final deadline approaching, I've been working late and going to school on Saturdays. Add headaches and stomach ulcers and one stalled Project GOOD, and it all adds up to stressful times at Chez Dub.

Good thing we have ChaCha around to stay on top of our workload!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy hearts day.

This wasn't our typical way to spend Valentine's Day, but we made the most of it! Katie accompanied me to the yearbook work session at school, and then she and I were off to her Player Appreciation Day. All the Junior NBA players in our league were introduced, the Mavs Drum Line performed, and then here came Mavs Man.

After the program, Katie got autographs from the marvy Mavs guests.
Then we admired the Mavs Van (with the "1MAVS" license plate).

Fun, fun! After a quick lunch break, we were back at the rec center for Katie and Ryan's games. Then we sped from basketball to volleyball.

A friend's daughter was playing in a volleyball tournament across town. Since these friends live in Amarillo, it was great to be able to drive 20 minutes to see them! Brett and Ryan were tired from their morning outing, but they went with us to say hello to our friends.

We saw some really talented volleyball players there!

It was good to see Cole and his mom and dad, too. They also live SO FAR AWAY—in Mansfield! It was funny to realize that I had seen my Amarillo friend more recently than I'd spent time with my friend who's here in the Metroplex.

Ryan and Katie had a blast playing with Cole.

It was good to get this off-season chance to see my bestest football buddies, but man, did it feel weird for none of us to be wearing burnt orange!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The big send-off.

Katie. K-A-T-I-E. Katie.

Katie represented her elementary school at the district spelling bee today. I was fortunate enough to take a personal day, so I got to see her classmates greet her with "good luck" signs and cards. When it was time to leave campus,

half the school cheered on Katie as she walked down the hall!
How awesome is that? She was so honored and excited to get that attention, and I was impressed that the teachers took the time to recognize her!

Katie was one of 28 spellers from the district's elementary and middle schools.

She didn't win, but she will never misspell nightingale again! (I know I'll never misspell ravine ever since that word cost me the Smith County spelling bee title several decades ago!)

We're so proud of our Super Speller! I know many adults who consider spelling beyond their ken, but both Katie and Ryan have a knack for words. We think they're B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good dog.

WHAT?! Our crazy dog? GOOD? Frisco had surgery Wednesday, and yes, she has been a good little patient.

The sweet girl has freed herself from her cone just once (so far), and she has been so good to wait until Brett takes her outside to potty (instead of mistaking OUR bathroom for her own). We're hoping her recovery is speedy, and even though we love our Frisco, we're thankful she won't be adding any little Friscos to our lives!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seeing Stars.

With our final yearbook deadline fast approaching, it was tempting to skip this newspaper field trip. But since our editor has a penchant for sports journalism, I couldn't pass up the chance to attend Dallas Stars High School Media Day. I was able to take two students to Frisco to watch the Stars practice and to attend a mock press conference with some media professionals.

We heard from Ralph Strangis, Gina Miller, John Rhadigan, Mike Heika and Barry Horn. Each took a turn describing his/her career path and giving the students advice for a life in sports reporting. Then three Stars players joined us: Stephane Robidas, Steve Ott and Trevor Daley. Actually, sitting in the back of the room was a "special guest journalist," some kid named Marty. (When Strangis convinced Marty to ask a question, it took a minute for some of the students to recognize Turco!) The students were able to ask questions, take notes and (I hope) learn a lot.

Since I'm more of a journalism geek than a hockey fan, I just loved hearing from the reporters. They all had good advice for the students, but I really liked what Barry Horn told them: Never let anybody tell you something's not a story. If you have a hunch about something, follow it up! Horn is the guy who noticed the 100-0 box score for a girls basketball game. His story (and the many follow-ups) about the Dallas Academy loss to Covenant School has brought a record number of readers to the Dallas News website.

Even though I had to stay late after school to try to make up yearbook ground, it was an outing definitely worth the drive and the time.