Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lovin' every minute of it!

It is currently 72.7 degrees as I type. Unreal for the last day in March! We've been outside every day over the past two weeks for baseball - even during tryouts we got outside for some fly balls or conditioning every day. I don't believe that has ever happened for me before. Thank You!

This past weekend was a blast. My grandmother came up this weekend to celebrate her 85th birthday. My parents brought her and her friend, Jerry. My aunt, uncle and cousin from Onalaska came up for the weekend as well. And my aunt, uncle and cousins from Shakopee also spent much of the weekend together with us.

It was really nice to be able to go out to eat all together and enjoy and nice meal. We had a beautiful evening at Redstone - Eden Prairie, sharing drinks, dinner and opening presents. Then many of us met at church on Sunday morning and enjoyed a Knight's of Columbus pancake breakfast afterwards. The kids swam at the hotel where my Gramma, Jerry, Aunt, Uncle and cousin stayed. We had some light lunch, then more fun. My Minnesota cousins had soccer on Sunday and the Onalaska relatives had to head back home, but everyone else but my wife, my daugter and I, went to watch my cousins play indoors. (My wife then left on her business trip, and my daughter and I joined the family at my Uncle's house in Shakopee for dinner.)

Monday was enjoyable again, as my parents stayed at our house and my Gramma and Jerry enjoyed their time both at the hotel and with us. It was nice to have my parents help out, since it's spring break and I still had practice everyday. My mom helped fix some baseball pants and helped out SO MUCH with the housework. Thank you, Mom! The kids always love spending time with Mom and Dad, and the past four days were no exception - my daughter cried when they left :( Monday, my dad, my son and I got to see Sun Prairie play DeForest at the Metrodome. Pretty cool. I told everyone that I was scouting, since Park Center will be playing in Sun Prairie later this season :)

The gorgeous days have continued, even though all the family had to head home Tuesday. I feel good about what we've gotten accomplished on the baseball field throughout practice this week. I'm just enjoying it and continuing to work hard ... and lovin' every minute of baseball season - It is here!

Friday, March 26, 2010

85 years ago today ...

My maternal grandmother was 2 days old :)

In the year 1925 ...

Politically ...
Benito Mussolini announced he would be taking dictatorial powers over Italy.
Adolf Hitler published Mein Kempf.
And Nellie Taylor Rose became the first female governor in the United States. (She would be Wyoming's governor from 1925-1927)
... I'm sure glad Gramma was born in the US, not in Italy or other parts of Europe.

Educationally ...
The Great Gatsby was published in Scribner's.
George Bernard Shaw was recognized with the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega was founded at Lafayette College.
And John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.
... In today's system, some people are now being "publicly indicted" for the opposite.

Nationally ...
New York became the largest city in the world - overtaking London.
The Green Bay Packers played their first season at City Stadium (now on the grounds of Green Bay East HS)
And Lou Gehrig began his streak.
... Of course, the Chicago Cubs' streak of years without a world series title would reach 16.

Globally ...
Ho Chi Minh founded the Vietnamese Nationalist Party.
Ghandi started writing his autobiography.
And the Chrysler Corporation was founded.
... Making talking cars already? Not sure.

Best of all, though,
in 1925, my grandma was born.
Happy Belated Birthday, Gramma!
We all can't wait to celebrate with you this weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

1 Thessalonians 5:14; Prayer of St. Francis

"And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone." (NIV)

But in patience, we need release. And today, I release ...

So .... let me begin by definining irritating. Irritating is not being taken seriously ... or seriously ENOUGH. Irritating is being held accountable not only for your own job ... but for others' jobs as well ... even when THAT isn't your job. Irritating is being asked a question to which the other person already KNOWS the answer ... or at least, they know what THEY THINK is the answer (and proceed to not listen or believe yours). Irritating is loving what you are SUPPOSED to do ... but not being allowed to do it. Irritating is having to let good PEOPLE go because they don't have the skills ... even though those that do have the skills really could use some lessons in being better PEOPLE.

Not taking responsibility is irritating.
Not taking precaution is irritating.
Not being open-minded is irritating.
Not letting me be me is irritating.

Okay, it's my fault. I'll take the blame. Lay it on me. I've got broad shoulders. And a loving family. I'm honest. I try to be unselfish. I hope that I'm modest and humble. And I'll try to work hard to improve whatever I can. For, I'm nowhere near perfect, but I strive for perfection ... for a better day tomorrow ... for everyone in my life, and many that are not.

I'm done venting now. God bless all of you who have read this far.

Spread the love :)

... and say a prayer? (The Prayer of St. Francis follows)

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pretty cool blog about baseball :) ... just follow below

I didn't really ask the blogger if I could use the link, so instead, I'll tell you how to find it ...

type "nine principles of baseball and life heels" into your search engine and by clicking on what should be the first link, you will find a nice little blog entry from a few years ago :)


Monday, March 22, 2010

Opening Day

Okay, so this is the day that I anxiously await each year once summer ends and school begins. It's opening day (first practice) for Minnesota high school baseball. Butterflies in the stomach and a million different scenarios in my mind for what will happen today at tryouts.

At least when I look out this year there are no snowbanks or frozen ball fields in the back yard. Now, let's hope it stays that way. We have a nice new turf football field at school that we can practice on (not big enough for a baseball field, but at least we can do fly balls and ground balls). And soon our own field will be ready to go (I'm hoping here!).

The equipment is ready. I've got the names and numbers. I've even got the plan of attack. Now, let's hope baseball season starts with a smile and a "crack" of the bat rather than a grumpy growl and the "thud" of baseballs hitting walls.

Hey. Let's play ball!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My son :)

Not much else to say, but, "That's my son!" :)
He's a little thinker, a hard worker, a rough and tough player. My son loves sports and math and reading. He will play baseball at any time ... and anywhere, including IN the house (usually imaginary, without a ball, thankfully). His teeth are missing - three spaces right now, with 5 total baby-teeth lost already. And he's my light. I don't know what I would do without him. A blessing. Thank God.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My daughter ... :)

My daughter is one of the many blessings in my life. She is full of life and happy most of the time :) And she LOVES to dance to music. Her stubborn streak comes from somewhere, but I'm just not sure exactly where :) ... maybe her mom and dad? But, even that brings a smile to my face - knowing that she will be her own person, always. Joy is in her face, even as she wears the orange, green, pink stripe (socks) combo. Gotta love her! :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

My crime: nothing but a bad bite. My sentence: 18-24months.

For those of you who didn't know, I got my braces placed on my teeth on Thursday. Both top and bottom. It felt eerily familiar ... as if ... I'd done it before :) Which I had - 25 years ago. Anyway, my teeth are really crowded and tend to shift, creating an uncomfortable bite. My jaw then juts out and I end up with an underbite ... with a slight crossbite. Anyway, it was uncomfortable enough that I decided to get the braces put on to help take care of it. Hopefully I will at least get my front teeth to get back to my normal bite. I get the braces for 18 months and then removable retainers for another 6 months? or a 1 year? Then I have permanent bars behind my front top and bottom teeth for the rest of my life to keep my teeth from drifting. Hey, if I get my teeth back to normal and get rid of that annoying underbite/crossbite, then it'll ALL be worth it. :)

Here's some fun pics the kids took of my mouth today. So far, no sores on my lips and gums (knock on wood). It's anyone's guess how much weight I'll lose now that eating isn't so fun :) ... and this time, unlike 25 years ago, I don't get to stop at Babcock for ice cream after every trip to the orthodontist :(

Thursday, March 11, 2010


After a carefully thought out hour-long trip to the community center pool this Sunday, my daughter was more ready to take on her swimming lessons this week. They were here last lessons for this session ... but thankfully we start spring session next Wednesday again. She put here face in the water (with goggles) to do her tiger paddle and even refrained from crying when she did her dreaded "humpty dumpty" with her teacher at the end of the lesson. Not bad. We'll see where this goes now.

On the other hand, there's my son. Granted, he's had much more experience and is three years older. I'm proud of the way he's been hopping in the pool to help with his sister's lessons, then scurrying over to his own 15 minutes into hers. (Hers start 15 minutes before his. His end 15 minutes after hers.) So far, my son has been doing wonderfully with the front crawl, the breast stroke, the backstroke, the elementary back (I think. I haven't actually seen that one in a while.), and even has started the butterfly. You can see in these short clips how quickly he does the backstroke and how much his body language tells you that he loves being in the water and swimming :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Found a Nanny!

Yeah! And that's pretty much all I need to say .... but I'll explain more:

I coach in the spring and we need someone to help take care of the kids while I coach. It's a kind of goofy schedule for any babysitter, because I need to get to school before the high schoolers are let out - which is also WAY before our elementary schools get out. Plus, the hours are nowhere near full time, and the job only lasts for 10 or 11 weeks each year. So, it wasn't easy this year to find someone. I think we have someone good coming now, so I'm happy ... and less stressed out. Everyone should thank me for this :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My daughter has had some real fun at school this winter - even with the snow and cold. One of her friend's moms posted these pictures and I thought I would "borrow" them for my blog.

Their class got to go to a gymnasium/workout facility called Velocity earlier this winter. I took her there and watched as they played "Find the Ball" under cones, climbed over small hurdles (and under big ones), played "Cross the River" with balance boards and foam equipment, and played "Clean out the Backyard" and "Builders and Bulldozers" with soft cones.

Then, they had a "Day at the Beach" in the middle of winter - right at their school. They turned the heat up, and everyone dressed up in beach gear - right down to the swimming suits and sunglasses. Beach balls and a small swimming pool were included. Fun!

Most recently, they had PJ day. Everyone dressed up in PJ's, brought a pillow and/or sleeping bag and whatever else helps them go to sleep - stuffed animals mostly. I think they relaxed, but I'm not sure my little girl ever slept. She's "anti-nap" right now, but thankfully she does do "quiet time" - so sleep is inevitable if she's home :)

You'll notice how happy she is with her friend(s) at school. I think she might choose them/him over me right now. I just am glad she's having fun and learning, too.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Almost more teeth missing that in place?

Well, we had a great weekend with a lot of our family. My brother, sister-in-law and nephew came up to help out with my youth baseball clinic and to spend some time with us. In a little irony of scheduling, my aunt, uncle and cousins also came up to the cities this weekend for a show choir performance and softball in a "bubble" down in Rosemount. So, we all joined together for most of Saturday and enjoyed each other's company, so fun times, and a nice dinner.

It was great to have my brother and his family stay with us, and it was also nice that my wife cooked all weekend. The food was delicious! On Sunday morning, we gave her a break (kind of) and left her at home while the rest of us headed down to Rosemount without her to watch my cousin play a little ball (she pitched well!) and then share a bit of lunch before everyone headed home - Aunt, Uncle and Cousins to Wisconsin, and Brother, Sister, Nephew to Iowa

Fun! Then my son decided that it was time to get rid of that one loose tooth. So, it got some help. By rough-housing a bit on Saturday, he had loosened it quite a bit more, and Sunday evening was the time to get the thing out. So, now we have a legitimate hockey mouth - even if he isn't going to be a hockey player :) The tooth fairy brought him another "brownish, dusty, coin" according to him. "You mean a gold dollar?" I asked. "Yah." :) (with a few gaps in the smile)