Monday, November 9, 2015

Yankees Fall Ball 2015

Ethan LOVES baseball.  He has played consecutive seasons since he was 3 almost 4 years old.  Each season we ask him what sport or thing he wants to do next.  We always try to say a different sport, "do you want to try soccer this time, or maybe basketball?"  And his answer has always been, "no, I want to play baseball."  Don't get me wrong, I love that he loves baseball, but I would also like it if he tried a different sport as well.  I really want him to get some experience on a different playing field with different actions, etc.  Last season we made the switch over to our zoned Little League, which is Cheyenne Little League.  We have really enjoyed it so far.  They are very organized, on top of things, informative and we know nothing of the drama that happens, which makes it amazing!  His coach and team last season was good, but we weren't trying to get Ethan on the same team or coach.  Don't get me wrong, the coach was good, but he didn't do much instructing, which we feel is very important.  We signed Ethan and Ashlee up at the same time, a huge hunk of money spent, and then we waited for the team assignment.  During Fall ball they do not have try outs, they draw players.  

Ethan's name, fortunately, was drawn by a great coach.  The team was a little sketchy at first, but it ended up being a great season.  The coach was very dedicated to the boys, he was there for them.  He didn't argue with the umpires, he respectfully disagreed at times, but he was there to help the kids get better and teach them the game of baseball.  The Yankees played great, our pitching improved over the season, which really helps out when you are watching the game.  They won some games, they lost some games and they had fun doing it.  

I just wanted to document some pictures from the season, that the team mom took and then sent to all of us parents.....

This is the classic Ethan sliding form.  His hand is always up high and the other one is dragging on the ground...  It's a sweet looking slide.

Ethan was one of the pitchers that we had.  He is an alright pitcher, he gets the ball across the plate.  He doesn't throw hard, but he does make the kids hit the ball.  We have lots of work to do on his pitching, but for being 8, almost 9, he did good. 

Ethan is kind of a punk on the bases.  I don't know where he gets his cockyness from....  He takes huge lead offs and almost taunts the other team with his eyes...  Begging them to throw the ball.  A few times when they did, he took off and stole the base...  I do love watching him, for the most part, on the bases.  He doesn't need coaching on when to run, stay or play.  He takes risks and for the most part he is very successful.  Sometimes though, when he is being cocky, I would like to throw a ball at him myself, but another part of me just giggles.  
Ethan played first base a lot this season.  They actually threw someone out that was leading off and Ethan was very proud of himself for helping that happen.... 

I love these two pictures.  Since I was a first baseman, I think I mentally criticize him a little too much.  His form, his feet, etc, but he does a pretty darn good job, for not having played first base much last year.  I have kept most of my comments to myself, or only told them to Chris, but I do try to give him a few helpful hints at times...   
Here's a pretty good stretch at first.
I like this picture of Ethan and teammates in the dugout.  Just chatting it up with each other.  He really does enjoy his teammates and hanging out with them.  

The Yankees actually made it to the Championship game.  The only team the other team had lost to all season was us.  We took them on and ended up losing, but 2nd place got trophies as well.  Ethan was so excited for the trophy and being announced on the field after the game that he didn't even care that they lost. 
Here is the team doing a cheer after getting their trophies.  It was a fun season and taking 2nd place isn't bad either!!!! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Missing My Mother-in-Law

One day in 2012 I was sitting in the break room at work thumbing through the paper.  I came across a request for Mother-in-Law stories for the upcoming Mother's Day Issue.  The request was for stories about how your Mother-in-Law has helped make your life easier.  I took the paper back to my desk and immediately emailed the reporter with my story.  I didn't expect to hear back from them, honestly.  I figured they would have so many submissions they were quickly glaze over mine, but I was wrong.  The reported called me soon after and asked if she could use my story and get more information from me.  I spoke with her for quite a while and then one day they asked to come to her home to take pictures with us.  I was so excited I could hardly contain myself.  We took the pictures and then that Mother's Day the following article was published.

When I first met my husband, I loved his mother. She was so sweet and genuinely kind. I figured from all I ever heard about mothers-in-law, all that would change when we got married.
But I was wrong.
She continues to be one of our biggest fans and supporters. We have borrowed her car multiple times for out-of-town trips and left her with our old car, which is really hers. She has let us use it the whole time my husband has been in school. She has taken her job as grandmother very seriously, being there for all of the celebrations in our kids' lives, from birthday parties, T-ball games, tumbling classes and early morning Christmas present openings.
I have come home to flowers and a gift on my table many times from my mother-in-law for no reason at all. I can go to her for anything and know that she will always listen and she only gives advice when asked for it. Even if she doesn't agree with something we choose to do, she keeps her opinion to herself and lets us live our lives and learn from our own adventures.
I currently work a full-time job and my husband is a full-time student. My mother-in-law takes my son to preschool three days a week with no complaint at all. I hear friends talk about their mothers-in-law and I am so thankful all over again for the mother-in-law I have been blessed with!
- Sent by daughter-in-law Hilary Nelson

Next month will be 2 years that Karolyn has not been with us here on earth....  2 LONG LONG years!  So much has happened and it's sad that she wasn't here in person to see it all and be apart of it all!  There are some days, like today, where I just miss her!  I sit at work and my mind keeps wandering back to her, my thoughts trail back to something she use to say or do.  I can't tell you why today, of all days, I miss her more than normal, I just do.  Perhaps it's because Ashlee has her very first t-ball practice and I'm sad that Karolyn wont get to see her play.  (I'm pretty sure she will make it a very entertaining season)  Perhaps it's because Ethan has been missing her a bit lately, or maybe it's because I know how much Chris misses her and today it's just all caught up to me.  I don't know why, but today I just really really miss my mother-in-law. 

There are tender times when I hold my sweet Brynlee, the granddaughter that never knew her in person, and I feel so close to her.  I can almost hear her talking and feel her sweet spirit.  Sometimes it's just the feeling I need to feel better that night.  Sometimes my sweet baby will gaze off in the distance and smile and seem to be somewhere else, even just for a moment.  Sometimes the kids will say something so sweet and innocent like, "Grandma's favorite color was brown because that is what color the couch was and she was always sitting and laying on the couch." and my heart desires nothing more than to see her laying on the couch once more, with her glasses off and her hair a bit messed up.  Today I wish I could call her and just tell her I love her, just so I'm positive she knows.  Sure, I know she knew I loved her, but I'd love to tell her that again in person.  

So today I will miss my Mother-in-Law, I will relive a few of our memories and laugh to myself at the silly things she would say.  I will shed a tear or two, or three and feel bad for myself for a little bit and then I will rejoice in the Plan of Salvation that allows me and my family to see her and love her and hug her again one day........    

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Big Sisters

Big Sisters are the best!!!  Here are just a few pictures to prove it!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

California Family Vacation 2015

So our little family hasn't taken a family vacation since before Chris started PT school.  That vacation was about 5 days up in SLC, staying with Chris' sister and my Grandparents.  We went to the Zoo the aquarium and did some other fun things.  Some would argue that isn't a "real" vacation because we stayed with family, but we had fun, so we count it as one. 

Well Last October I had a compliance conference in Carlsbad, Ca.  For these Compliance Conferences I always get to stay in a real nice hotel, paid for by my Employer.  Chris is always jealous because the rooms are always so nice, and if we do stay in a hotel room, it's a $39.99 a night dive.  Well when I checked out of the Sheraton in Carlsbad they were offering a 4 day 3 night stay for $250 and 2 free Legoland tickets.  (Did I mention that this hotel was within walking distance of Legoland and even had it's own entrance???)  I was so excited to hear this that I immediately called Chris and asked if I could purchase it.  We had a year to schedule the stay so there was no need to schedule the time right then.  Chris said we could do it, so I went to sign up.  Well toward the end of gathering all my info, the lady mentioned that it was a timeshare offer and we would have to sit through a presentation for 2 hours.  I gave the lady the look of, "oh heck, I didn't realize," and she quickly said that they were not pushy and that the kids would get to go to a kids camp and enjoy themselves while we were there.  I hesitated, but decided I was pretty good at saying no, so I went through with it anyways.  

After checking quite a few dates we finally settled on going Wednesday through Saturday.  We left our house Wednesday Morning and we got to the hotel at 3pm.  Check in time was 4pm, but I went in to try checking in early.  It was actually great because they had our room ready and we were able to unpack and get right to our vacation fun!!!

The first thing we did was get in our suits and head out to the great pools.  The kids were ready to swim and I have to be honest so was I.    
The pool was great.  The deepest it got was 4ft so that made it fun for the kids and pretty fun for the adults too.  We swam for quite a while and then got in the spa for a bit and then back to the room.  We all rinsed off and headed out for some dinner.  When I was in Carlsbad for my Compliance Conference I went to a really good Mexican restaurant, so we found that and went there for everyone else to try it out.  Everyone loved it and ate all the chips and queso did we could.  We headed over to Target after dinner to get some milk for Brynlee, ice cream for us and some other items for the hotel room.  When we got home we got in our pjs and ate our dessert and watched some TV for a while.     

 We snuggled for a bit, but then we headed to bed, because the next day was a full day of Legoland!!  We got up and ready for our adventure and were down to the private entry of Legoland right at 9am.  Only to find out that this gate didn't open until 10am.  So we trekked all the way around to the front gates, so we could get in a little earlier and maybe do more.

This was a guy we ran into on our trek around to the front.  There were more lego things on our way, but I didn't want to take a picture next to every single one.  We got into the park after getting our "First Time" badges and started the fun.  We rode lots of rides and had a blast!!!

Here is Katelee driving her very own car.  Ethan and Katelee loved this ride so much.  There was never really a line for it, so they did this like 7 times. 
I'm pretty sure this was Ethan's favorite ride.  When we asked what they wanted to do again, Ethan always said drive the cars!

Ethan and Katelee on another ride.  Ashlee was sitting next to me in this one. 

The only problem with Legoland was that Brynlee couldn't ride very many rides.  So she got to hang out in her very own "stroller" ride.  This is her smiling for me! 

When I did put her down, she would try to escape.  It was the cutest thing watching her try to walk as fast as she could.  And if she heard you coming she would try harder.  She loved this shark and tried to be in everyone else's photos too!

Ashlee got to pick a ride and she wanted to ride the horses.  It's a ride for littler kids, but all of the kids did it.  I think this picture of Ethan is so funny.  Here he is an 8 year old boy trying to act like he is too cool for this ride, but trust me my friends, he was enjoying it!!!

For lunch we went back to the hotel room and Chris went to Subway while the rest of us napped.  The older kids didn't want to, but I made them.  They all fell asleep so fast, it was almost comical.  When Chris got back I woke them up.  We ate and then I headed back with the 3 oldest, while Chris stayed with Brynlee so she could nap longer.

We found some good rides when we came back.  We found a roller coaster that was WAY fun.  It wasn't too crazy, but still tons of fun.  We also found the buildings/cities made out of legos on our way to ride the cars again.  Of course Mom made them take pictures in front of some of the buildings. 

Washington DC

The kids were so excited to see their home city.  The Stratosphere even had the big shot that moved and people screaming. 

Ashlee was just not old enough to ride the big kid cars, so we waited in line for her cars.  While we waited for her car, the older two went on their car ride like 4 times in a row.  Ashlee was the best driver out there, which, if you know Ashlee, is crazy!

We also found this guy sleeping on a bench.  He reminded me of my Grandpa.  Sitting on a bench waiting for my grandma was what he did best.  He had a belly and black socks on.  The kids loved him, Ashlee even gave him a hug!

This ride soon became the kids' favorite ride.  They rode it so many times I can't count.  It is kind of like the Big Shot, but much much milder.  There was also no line for this ride, so they went over and over and over again.  There was shade close by, so I didn't mind it so much! 

We ate dinner and went on a few more rides before we finally headed back to the room 15 minutes after park closing.  When we got back, Brynlee went to bed and me and the older three headed out to the pool for a little while.  

The next day we did our Time Share presentation while the kids hung out with other kids and played.  We are not owners of a Timeshare, so I guess we did pretty good at saying no.  They did not "get" us....  After that we ate lunch took naps and then headed to the beach!

This was the first time at the beach for all of our kids and it made it so much fun!  We just went down the road to Carlsbad State beach and laid our stuff down and headed into the water.  It was cold, but not nearly as cold as I was expecting.

Brynlee was very unsure of the waves and the beach in general.  She loved playing in the sand but if the water reached her she didn't know what to do.  I think she wanted to like it, but just couldn't.  There were a few waves that got her pretty good, but I think overall she did like it.  If Chris held her she LOVED the waves as long as she was high enough not to get them.  She loved watching her siblings in them, just not her in them.  Chris Hates the beach, he hates the sand everywhere, but even he had a good time.

This is where Ethan hung out the whole time.  He was in the water the entire time.  He didn't really play in the sand he just jumped in the waves and rode them.  He loved when I would stand there with him and get in the waves and I must admit I enjoyed it too!  On the way back Ethan said, "I found a new friend while we were there."  Chris and I were both surprised because he didn't really talk to anyone else, so we asked him who and he replied, "The ocean!!"  

Katelee liked the beach as well.  She wasn't a fan at all of the salt water, no bodies was.  But she really didn't like it.  She was also not feeling all that well, but she still had a blast.  She liked playing in the sand and being in the water, as long as the waves didn't go above her ankles. 


Ashlee liked the beach also, but she would rather play in the sand or have Mommy hold her hand in the waves.  At one point I looked back and she was eating a sand ice cream cone.  She has quite the imagination so playing in the sand was way fun for her.  We also dug a little hole for her that filled up with water with the waves came up.  She loved that!

Another picture of Brynlee playing in the sand. 

The next day we checked out of the hotel and headed home after we did some shopping.  It was so much fun to get away with just our little family to a new place we haven't ever been together.  Things are just so much better on vacation, we can be so relaxed and have tons of fun!!!  Hopefully with Chris working and out of school now we can do more vacations now instead of just trips!