Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moonlight Marching Madness.

Back to back-blogging! Here's another highlight from the first week of school.

As a freshman in band, Ryan will be marching in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade! How's that for good timing?

Because of the big trip, Ryan's band along with the other two district bands have held various events to raise money. One of those events was Moonlight Marching Madness in the stadium parking lot.

The hot air balloon got lots of attention,

and there were obstacle courses, bounce houses and vendors set up all around. Katie spent the evening hanging out with her friends. (Notice how I kept a respectable distance from her when I took this picture? Yeah, I'm cool like that.)

The real highlight, though, was seeing band members circle the stadium, playing "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and "March Grandioso." Each time they'd return to the parking lot, everyone would stop to watch and listen.

It was so exciting to imagine that in a little more than four months, these kids will be representing us in Pasadena, California!

(Actual post date: 11/23/10)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hello, Friday night lights!

Once school started, we didn't have to wait long before the first high school football game! That first Friday of the school year found Ryan's school, RHS, playing BHS at Pioneer Stadium.

It was so exciting to be part of that great high school football tradition! We love the game, the cheerleaders, drill teams, and of course, the bands!

Since we were the visitors, we got to see the halftime show from the backside.

The band performed the first part of Distant Shores, its 2010 show.

Then they did their "spirit show," spelling RHS.

Can you spot our boy?


It was a convincing victory for RHS!

And what a fun night for us fans. It was too cool to see Ryan playing in the stands.

Brett didn't make it to this game, but Aunt Kelly joined us for the evening. It was so much fun to have her with us!
Back at school after the game, waiting for Ryan to change, Katie and I checked out the new victory light at RHS. How nice that our first football game at RHS resulted in a win!

(Actual post date: 11/19/10)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two train day.

Every now and then, we get stuck waiting for a train along the main thoroughfare near our house. On a bad day, we get stuck on two different occasions. On a really bad day, we get stuck two outings in a row.

This has been a really bad day.

No, not just because of the trains. And no, not because of my classes. (I'm blessed to have great kids.) It's just that every time I chose Option A, I should've taken B.

It's just been one of those two train days.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 23, 2010

First day of school.

Here we go again! First day of school for Katie (7th grade) and Ryan (high school freshman).

Both Katie's middle and Ryan's high schools have later start times, so we were able to be a bit more leisurely taking our annual first-day photos. But even nicer than that was being able to take our front door shot outside our very own front door this year!

Last year the Great Closet Fire of 2009 had landed us in the Holiday Inn Express, so our traditional picture was taken just outside the hotel lobby:

Can't you just feel the "Mom, hurry up and TAKE THE PICTURE before someone SEES US" that both kids are trying to convey? By the way, we were back at the HI Express at the end of the school year, too.

So HOORAY for having a home! But can you believe how much both kids have grown since last fall? If I really wanted to get all maudlin, I'd look at the 2008 "front door pose retrospective" post, but that may just do me in, considering my current state of fatigue. Instead, I'll go back to this classic from Ryan's first day of kindergarten, previously un-blogged:

Is that not precious? Ryan was so proud of his Scooby backpack, and Katie had this distinct feeling that she was missing out on the fun.

Well, she's left out no more. Even though the first day means we're back to the grind, it's nice to know we have two veterans of this whole school thing who can strap on their backpacks and knock 'em dead!

(Actual post date: 11/12/10)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Glimpse of greatness.

We try to catch a Rangers game at least once each summer, and this year, our trip to the Ballpark didn't happen until August, the day after I returned to work.

It was a warm evening, but we kept cool under the Home Run Porch.

This was one of the first games after Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg bought the Rangers, so Chuck threw out the first pitch. (Nolan played catcher.)

A big crowd was on hand because the Red Sox were in town. It was crazy to see how many Boston fans were there.

It was a great night for baseball, but it wasn't the Rangers' best night! They lost 3-1, but that one run (a J. Ham homer) came in the bottom of the 9th, which made for some late excitement.

In spite of the loss, the Ballpark was electric. Thanks to the new and very popular ownership, along with the Rangers' lead in the AL West, Metroplex baseball fans could tell this was a special season. After years of waiting for a pennant, could this be the year? As the ads said, "It's time."

Back in August we wouldn't have let ourselves dream it could happen, but the Rangers won that AL pennant and played in their first World Series this fall. So take that, Red Sox!

(Actual post date: 11/10/10)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Turn around.

I struggle with this time of year. The kids and I spend most of July averting our eyes when we pass the back-to-school aisles at Target, but now that I'm down to my last four days of vacation, I have to face it. Summer's over.

As I do every "new year," I'm trying to get excited about the students I'll get to know soon. I think about all the fresh starts, the many opportunities that await us. I remember my favorite lessons to teach, and I work on those lessons that need improving. It's exciting, truly. But I can't help but mourn the end of this family time we've shared over these 10 blessed weeks.

My fellow teacher-moms and I have discussed how we love getting to be SAHMs, even for a little bit, and how hard it is to give that up every fall. Because of our time with our school kids (important, to be sure), we miss out on opportunities with our own. I know better than to deny myself a little whining, a few tears. But I can't for a minute let that longing to enjoy eternal summers cloud my appreciation for our everyday, school-filled lives.

Several years ago I realized that if I'm living for the summer, I'm shorting myself out of a HUGE chunk of our lives! (Well, duh, right?) In my haste to rush through each school term to arrive at the summer months with my kids, I'd been barreling right through Ryan and Katie's school years. They grow up fast enough; why be in such a hurry to get from September to May?

That's a big part of why I blog. Posting vacation pictures is fun, and yes, if it's my blog, it's going to have an obnoxious number of football references in it. But really, my favorite posts are the ones that document those little achievements, those random moments, the laugh-out-loud incidents, even the bitter disappointments our family experiences. I guess blogging is my way of trying to slow the old carousel down a bit. If nothing else, it helps me remember the events that came on us in such a rush.

Which is why I pulled out my phone when Ryan sat down for his ID picture today.

Yes, my baby boy registered for high school this afternoon. Meanwhile, Katie's gearing up for seventh grade. I can see that they're getting taller, acting like teenagers, using deodorant, all that. Yet I struggle to believe that they're in middle and high school. In my mind, they should still be sorting the crayons and construction paper:

As the song says, "Turn around and you're tiny, turn around and you're grown..." I have precious few years left before Ryan and Katie are on their own, so I blog to hold on to the everyday, to appreciate the minutiae.

One thousand posts. Filter out the football, the funny links and the random nonsense, and you've got a pretty good idea of who we are—and how we were.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Man of a thousand faces.

Forty-three years ago this August, someone who would change our lives forever was born.

To mark the anniversary of Brett's birth, we had a mini-party at our kitchen table. Katie was in Arkansas for the middle school mission trip, so it was just the three of us this time.

Only a seasoned veteran of this birthday thing could blow out his candles without leaning forward!

Brett's Mini-Me picked out a special card for him.

It really cracked him up. (And can I just say how much I love Ryan's little smirk?)

Only Ryan would give his dad a pink, unicorn-adorned card addressed "to the birthday girl"!

Brett was excited to find a package from Sun Studio on the table. (Note the fancy wrapping paper. I spare no expense or extravagance when it comes to birthdays!)

Soon after returning from our vacation, he had mentioned that he wished he'd bought a T-shirt when we were at Sun. The internet to the rescue! And lucky me, the package from Memphis arrived while Brett, who usually checks our mail, was in Las Vegas for a convention.

Ryan gave him The Lost Boys on DVD.


The Frank Drummond (Leslie Nielsen) talking card was a hit, too.

But apparently my picture-taking got a little old...

I know, I know: I took a bunch of photos. But I love all of these different expressions, and I LOVE MY MAN!

(Actual post date: 11/8/10)