Monday, April 26, 2010

Crazy weekend ... well, Crazylegs weekend, anyway :)

We went back to Madison this past weekend so that I could run in an 8k run called the Crazylegs Classic. Every year the proceeds from this event go to support UW athletics, underwriting scholarships for men and women student-athletes in all sports. It is named after Elroy "Crazlegs" Hirsch, an all-american and NFL hall of fame member who not only played football at UW, but also athletic directer at Wisconsin for a number of years.

I ran with a couple neighbors and their family and friends. Finished the 8k event in 40:59. Last year the event was completely sopped with rain. This year, even though it rained (or misted) much of the morning, during our running we didn't even catch a drop. We started at the capitol building on the square, ran past the Concourse Hotel, the Edgewater Hotel, down Langdon Street, up and down Observatory Drive, out to Picnic Point, back to University Avenue, toward and past Camp Randall on Breese Terrace, and into the stadium, finishing at (or near) the 50-yard line.

The weekend ended up being a get-together of sorts thereafter, as we got to see my grandma and Jerry, and then several high school friends and their families. It was the first time my kids had gotten a chance to play with all my high school buddies' kids - and it was a blast. The big kids (aka, my pals and I) played euchre. The women sat and talked and fussed with one of my buddies' new baby girl. And all the 3+ age kids (8 of them in all) played with toys, balls, and anything else they could find around the house. Hope there wasn't too big a mess when we left :)

Sunday brought a nice trip to early church, breakfast out at a diner with my mom and dad, and a fairly quiet drive back home. All in all, a pretty enjoyable weekend.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Piano is here! Yeah!

So, it's here, the kids already were on it (me, too). Now, we just have to learn to play :)

Bought a new Kawai piano a couple weeks ago and they delivered it this morning. It definitely looks good in the front room. It sounds so nice throughout the house - and will definitely sound even better when real music is played. Lovin' it!

Footnote: the kids already fought over who got to play it - which is, of course, much better than fighting over who HAS to play it. That'll come later ... :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You take your moments where you can get them ...

Over the course of the 6 weeks of baseball games, I don't always get a chance to spend as much "quality time" with my family as I would like, so I thank God that I get the chance to be home with my kids during the day. Sometimes it makes me wonder, but I take what I can get. It's not always peaches and cream, of course. My daughter cries when Mommy leaves in the morning, asking her to stay home. My son complains about my directions all day, claiming he has the best way to do things. Then my daughter yells that she doesn't want the babysitter (even though, my daughter loves the projects they do and has a great time each day). My son argues about when to come in for dinner, then eats everything on his plate. At bed time, though - who do they want to read books? Me, of course. So, I do what I can, getting home almost exactly at bedtime after my high school games. And even listening to my daughter complain about me taking a run after she is already in bed. You know, it makes a guy go crazy a bit. But I love it. Just need the patience God gave me ... everyday :)

"... for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." - Philippians 4:11 (ESV)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good weekend :)

So, the weekend started out on Friday with me receiving news that my starting second-baseman and relief pitcher has mono. Yeah! (That totally blows.) My starting third-baseman already has a hip flexor problem, so I had to play an outfielder in the infield on Thursday already.
But then the weekend took off! Got an email that told me what team my son was on, where he practices and plays, and that he made the same team as a friend from the neighborhood. Yeah! (Good thing this time!) Did I mention that I received the email while my wife and I were on our way to the Twins' first night game at Target Field?

We parked at a transit center and took the "Twins Express" round trip to the stadium and back. Yeah! (How easy! and affordable!) We enjoyed everything (except trying to get to our seats through the mass of humanity once we got on the concourse an hour before game time). Greinke couldn't find the strike zone for the Royals, and of course the Twins took full advantage. Final was 10-3. I believe that's the second time in my life that I've helped a team out by getting them a win at their first night game in their stadium. The last one was about 22 years ago, though, so I haven't had too much practice at this :)
Saturday was a good time, too, of course. Sprinkler guy came out to give us a quote. Baseball practice at PC was good. Weather was nice. My assistant coach came over and spent the day with us. I grilled lunch and dinner. The kids had a blast outside all day.
Sunday brought church, coffee, the paper. My wife cleaned out the cars. I got the hoses going on our outside spigots. I ended up golfing nine holes with a couple neighbors. Kids played outside all day again. Made it to my booster club meeting. And still got home to read books to the kids before they went to sleep.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A bike, a bat, a net and a nice place to hit :)

My son's new bike, which he uses ALL the time now. And our handy-dandy set up for hitting in the garage. My son likes a little different stance from the left side versus the right side. But each of them can "feed" the tee for the other (as long as they get out of the way, behind the step-stool before a swing is taken). By the way, my daughter was a lot happier to take a few cuts than she might look in the picture - she just didn't want her picture taken :*(
Rainy day here today, so we'll see if we get any high school baseball in or not. No matter. It's always a great day to play ball (or practice, if nothing else).

Monday, April 12, 2010

New bike, new piano, first game of the year

I'm a bit behind in my blogging, I know :)

Over the past week, we have traded in my son's old 16" bike for a new 20" Trek bike (I love Wisconsin companies); we purchased a Kawai Piano (basically new - floor model, I think), which should be delivered in about a week or so. I, personally, have also been trying to prepare our baseball team for our first game, today. Needless to say, we've taken care of a few things around here.

In addition, there's always the daily grind, right? Plus, it's been beautiful outside, so who wants to be in on a computer. Pictures soon. I promise.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter Sunday was a blessing. The kids got up and found the baskets that the Easter Bunny had left for them. Each basket had a movie, a chocolate easter bunny, and some other candy. Mr. Bunny even brought us parents some candy in a basket, too :) Then, the kids went off to find the plastic eggs that the bunny always seems to hide. This year, my son's eggs had Matchbox cars inside them and my daughter's eggs had Little People inside.

The kids and my wife had hard-boiled eggs and dyed them earlier in the week, so they also got to hide them and try to find them yesterday, as well. Then, my wife made deviled eggs for appetizers/dinner and left a number of hard-boiled eggs for egg salad, which we'll make later today or tomorrow.

Actually, the Easter week started with our celebration of my Gramma's birthday last weekend. My parents and my Gramma and Jerry stuck around until Tuesday, so we got to go to Palm Sunday service last week with everyone (and Knights of Columbus breakfast). Easter service this week was nice because the "happy" music filled the service - and everyone seemed glad to know that Easter was here!

I made leg of lamb, italian seasoned cornish hens, potatoes, rice, beans and broccoli for dinner - I made one big mess in the kitchen. We had a great dinner (which may or may not have been eaten enough by the kids). And then I packed away left-overs and cleaned up the kitchen while Mommy and my daughter went for a walk, and my son went outside to play with friends.

All, in all, a pretty nice few days. Since last week was spring break as well, it'll be a bit different having the kids go back to school this week. But we'll manage :)

Happy Easter Everyone!

"I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord." - Psalm 118:17 (ESV)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Minnesota Zoo

We decided to use Friday to go to the Zoo. Well, actually, it was more than that, but that's basically what we did. See, it's Farm Babies month at the Zoo. They have a children's farm/zoo area at the Minnesota Zoo. We not only petted goats, but got to see cows, calves, pigs and piglets, chicks, ducklings. And most of them, the kids got to pet. We took a short ride on a wagon pulled by a tractor ... and later, a longer ride on the monorail.

The day started with a new family membership to the Zoo. Then we started our journey through the zoo itself by watching the snow monkeys clean each other :) We started on the path and found the Tiger first. My daughter posed on top of the sculptures and we continued on to see the Caribou and the Moose. We stopped out at the Farm and spent some time with the babies and other animals out there. Then we ventured further back toward the entrance by way of prairie dogs, camels, wild horses, gazelles, pronghorns and eventually the Grizzly Coast :) The kids liked the bears, the boars and the otters, too.

My daughter was a bit disappointed in not seeing any elephants (especially since she brought her stuffed one with us). But her disappointment quickly disappeared as we watched the dolphins and waited for the monorail to return to station for our trip around the skyline of the zoo. Perfect timing allowed us to be inside as the rain came two hours into our day at the zoo. Lunch called as we exited the monorail for our van and the trip home.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Patience ... is the way :)

"Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land." - Psalm 37:7-9

"But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." - Psalm 86:15

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." - Romans 12:12

"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." - James 1:19-20