Sunday, August 23, 2009

Opening Day!

Baseball Season has started . . . AGAIN! Yippeee! For those of you who didn't read all of my previous posts on summer baseball, or didn't get a chance to follow the Lafayette Life team blog, you should know that I am a baseball lover! In case you aren't, all it takes is for a child that holds high importance in your life to take a liking to it - and "POOF" you can become a baseball lover, too!

Pre-game Warm Up

This Saturday was opening day for Hayden's fall season. They handed out uniforms before the game - check out that orange! Go Mets! They let the boys pick their own numbers this time - anything between 1 and 99. Of course, 1 and 99 were both taken by the time it got around to Hayden. Not sure why he picked #36, but that was his choice! He had a lot of fun at his first Mustang game. After the summer league finished up, he was able to move up a bracket and now plays with the nine and ten year olds. While he is no longer the best player on the team, he's still enjoying himself. The coach has been putting him in left field, but we have noticed that Hayden doesn't seem to mind playing the outfield. No, he doesn't see as much action as some of the other positions, but he's learning which positions he backs up and also how to get the ball in to make a play. Now, we just need to work on catching those fly balls!

Ready to Play

Best Left Fielder I know!

They lost their first game - the score was 9 -6 or 7, I think. Not too bad. Hayden was up to bat twice - and hit the ball twice. The first time it was a single, and the second time he got out at first. I was certainly proud of him for hitting it! His team is definitely capable of winning, which isn't something we've enjoyed for the past two years. We are all looking forward to the season.

"It's a Base Hit for #36, Kincaid!"

Post-Game Sportsmanship

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Day of School 2009

Today was the first day of school. Seems early, but, then again, I always think it does! The kids were ready. For me, getting ready to go back to school doesn't seem as exciting as a parent as it did when I was a kid. I'm not sure why, and I really hope that my lack of excitement doesn't affect their excitement. (That's spaghetti talking - you hear it?)

Anyway, we dropped off supplies last Friday - A big "THANK YOU" to the Lafayette School Corporation. It was so nice not to have the hassle of getting all that stuff to school this morning. And I bet it was good for the teachers, too. Last night it was early to bed, and early to rise this morning. The kids were in a good mood, we made it to the bus stop on time, and off they went.

Last year, Mallory was Little Miss Drama almost every morning, with the kisses and the hugs and the frown face and fake tears about leaving mama's side. Today - she climbed right on the bus and never turned around! Do you think she's outgrowing me? Doesn't she still need her mama? (Uh-oh, here comes spaghetti again . . .) When I picked them up this afternoon, it was more of the same! She didn't run to greet me when I walked into the after-care program. I practically had to DRAG her away from her friends! Oh dear, it's all downhill from here.

Hayden, on the other hand, was ready to see me and also ready to go home when I got there. But, he barely kissed me this morning at the bus stop. Maybe we should start doing that before we leave the house . . . Hmmmm, something to consider, mom. I think this is going to be a good year with his new teacher. He has set the ground rules, offered incentives, and asked for their input about the school year. Three for three, Mr. Cole. Good job!

Don't they look awesome in their "1st Day of School" outfits?
(No, Mallory's hair is not permed - she slept in braids to get that look!)

I, for one, am really looking forward to it. There is just something about learning that satifies the soul. And watching my kids learn new concepts, conquer new skills and gain new accomplishments is very satisfying and rewarding. It's going to be an awesome year!

She F-I-N-A-L-L-Y did it!

What?! What did she do?! And who is SHE?!

Mallory FINALLY got her ears pierced! She has officially had permission to have her ears pierced since she was 5 years old. The Waffle wasn't too sure about his little girl having earrings before that, but at 5, he agreed. Well, at 5, she wasn't interested. (Even though she had been asking for quite some time.) When we were ready, she wasn't. Figures, huh?

Well, off and on it has been a topic of conversation. She has looked at earrings in the stores, she has been given earrings as gifts, and still, her decision has been "no."

Imagine my surprise when we were walking through the mall yesterday, and here comes the jewelry store.

Waffle: "Hey Mallory."
Mallory: "What?"
Waffle (Gesturing toward the jewelry store): "How about today?"
Mallory: "Ok, sure!"
Mom: "What?!?! Really???"
Mallory (sporting a huge grin): "Yes, today I want to get my ears pierced."

About twenty minutes and three tears later, we walked out with ears that look like this:

What I didn't know is that she and the Waffle have been secretly discussing this for quite some time now. He's been working on her, slowly, building up her confidence that she can do it! Good job, Dad!

I still can't believe that she didn't scream her head off. Mind over matter, I guess.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

You're not going to believe this . . .

OK, so I've gotten a little behind. In my defense, you're about to see how busy I've been. While I was sitting in traffic on the highway Friday evening, I completely updated the blog. So, I hope you've got some time on your hands, because there's quite a bit of reading to do. Sit down, fasten your seat belt, and blog on!!!

Birthdays x 4

This year the Asaro family tried something a little different. The grandkids' birthdays fall at the beginning of each month, August through November. That's a lot of road time between here and Michigan - which is challenging for all of us. Additionally, the time we 'spend' together is also spent with all the other birthday guests, thus not allowing for much bonding and visiting for just us. So, we planned a birthday celebration for all the kids together!

So, this weekend, the last hooray for the summer, we drove up to Michigan for our Asaro Birthday Celebration. Unfortunately, for all good intentions to arrive at a decent hour on Friday, we got stuck on 65 due to a semi wreck. So, a 3 hour trip turned into almost 5. UGH!

Anyway, after arrival, we relaxed at Gramma and Grampa Asaro's house. The kids slept on cots, which they thought was awesome. Brett and I slept in the spare room on a king size bed. Equally awesome. The next day, the cousins arrived and it was fun for all.

Beautiful Cousins - Mallory and Chloe
(And, yes, they will both be locked up until at least age 25 . . . )

The kids enjoyed getting wet in the swimming pool and slip n slide.

Mallory and Hayden each got new games for their Nintendo DS.
Mallory has hardly put hers down since!

Heading to the playground down the street.

Hayden and Alayna checking the mail for Gramma.

Playing Ladder Ball in the backyard.

Good idea. Good company. Good times.

And we're planning an Asaro Family Camping Adventure for next summer. Stay Tuned . . . .

Back to School Time

School supplies, after school care, school clothes, book rental fees. Whew! I sure have spent a lot of money the past few weeks getting the kids ready to go back to school. Hayden will be in Mr. Cole’s 3rd grade class this year. I believe he is very excited. Mallory will have Mrs. Preston for 2nd grade this year. She, on the other hand, is not so excited. Regardless, they start tomorrow!

And the Monday after that, I will start, too. Yep, you read right, I’m starting school. Just one class, and not toward a degree, but I’m taking a class. Purdue is actually paying for it, which is nice. It’s called “Leadership through Teams” and it’s in the school of Organizational Leadership and Supervision. If I had college to do all over again, I’d probably choose this as my major. But, since I currently have no interest in going back to school (and also no time to take on such an adventure), expanding my horizons by taking just this one class is enough for me!

Early mornings, busy evenings, homework, projects, etc. While I know it is necessary, can I just say, I don't think I'm looking forward to it. Is that bad????

Pasta on Parenting #2

Growing, growing, growing. Do they ever stop growing? I’m not talking about buying new shoes every few months, or wearing high waters. What I mean is maturing – emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It’s a beautiful experience.

I recently had a wonderful time shopping with my little girl. Yes, she is picky (no relation to her mother!), but she’s also discerning. Yes, I said discerning. She knows how to look for clothing that is appropriate for a 7 year old little girl to wear. When she sees something that’s too short or too low cut, she just skips that rack. She looks for clothes that are comfortable and cute, but her style. I feel lucky. We’ll see if it lasts until she’s 16 – I’m sure hoping so!

A few weeks ago, the Waffle took Hayden to work with him one day. He was tearing a chimney down and knew that there would be bricks to haul. The perfect job for an eager eight year old. We feel that teaching a good work ethic is so important. Hayden didn’t disappoint. He worked hard all day alongside his dad. At the end of the day, he’d earned some money, but more importantly, he earned the privilege of working hard with his hands. He knows what it feels like to be hot, sweaty and tired – not because you played, but because you worked!

Considering others before yourself is also something we’re trying to instill. My favorite recent example happened just a few days ago. Hayden has started fall baseball and we took him to his first practice. Mallory met some new friends (other little sisters of the players on the team). One little girl wanted to go play somewhere else – a bit away from the ball field. Mallory asked if she could go along, and I told her that she could. However, there were two other little girls who were not allowed by their parents to go. The first little girl said to Mallory, “I guess it’s just you and me then!” And Mallory, out of consideration for others, said, “No, we can’t leave our new friends. Let’s stay and play together.” What pride, what joy, what love I had for her in that moment. She’s learning to be a good friend to others – thinking about how they would feel if the two of them were left behind. Way to go, sis!

I guess this all boils down to what a great experience I’m having right now. The kids are at a great age to really see the progress we’re making with them. Progress doesn’t come easily, and I’m still aggravated by some of their habits I haven’t been able to correct yet, but we’re getting there. I know it will come sooner or later, because I know they are listening.
Parenting is awesome!

Space Academy (Cub Scout style, that is!)

Cub Scout Day Camp 2009 was held from August 3 – 7 at Cary Camp in Lafayette. This was Hayden’s 2nd year to go to day camp. Our pack’s attendance really grew – last year there were 5 from our pack, and this year there were over 20! That’s awesome!

Monday morning flag raising.

HK starts the week.

The boys enjoyed 5 days full of space themed activities including rocket launching, Yoda’s friends, galaxy exploring, space grub, zero gravity training, space mining, alien egg blasting, missile launching and lots of other stuff! The Waffle went with Hayden on Monday to enjoy the fun. Then on Friday, all the parents are invited to see all the skits prepared by the different dens.

Hayden is a good shot with both archery and BB guns, and passed the swimmers test, too!
All those lessons last year really paid off!

Honoring the 5 Day Walkers

Cary Camp has the largest attendance of any camp in the whole Council this year!

The "Two suckers on a stick" skit!

Dirty and tired every evening, learning and growing every day, that’s what Scout camp is all about.

Turkey in July? Yes - Turkey Run, that is!

I’ve heard people say that camping is either/or. You either love it or you hate it. Well, the Kincaids definitely love it. We try to go every summer. In years past, we have been camping at Brown County, Indiana Beach, and Lake Rudolph to name a few. This year we decided to camp at Turkey Run. I am usually the planner of the vacation agenda, and I was all prepared this year, too. We could go hiking, swimming, horseback riding and canoeing. A total outdoor adventure! When we arrived, we weren’t totally crazy about our campsite, so we checked to see if we could switch – and we did. It worked out well. We ended up with a bigger campsite with more shade and a boy on the campsite right behind us. For those of you that don’t camp, one of the best things about camping is that the kids make new friends. Everyone’s out playing, riding their bikes, making s’mores and stuff, and it’s just a real friendly, fun atmosphere. We went hiking and swimming the first day and canoeing the second, then hiking again the third day. We also visited the nature center and went to a show in the planetarium.

The kids absolutely LOVED Turkey Run. The hiking was awesome – the sights and sounds of the beauty around us just had a way of ‘connecting’ you to the world around you. Hayden wanted to go on the longest, most strenuous trail, so, we did. Everyone loved it, but we sure did sleep well that night! And the day we went canoeing was certainly an adventure. We took 2 canoes, Hayden and mom in one and Mallory and the Waffle in the other. We packed a picnic lunch, and off we went on our nautical adventure. It was a good day, mostly. Except for the part where I freaked out because our canoe was turned backwards, moving toward rapid waters and a fallen tree in the middle of Sugar Creek! After I was done speaking louder than I should (read “screaming”) and we got our canoe turned back around facing the correct way, I was calm again. I don’t think Hayden appreciated getting smacked in the face with tree branches very much, though. Sorry, ‘bout that, bud!

Our last night, there were storms predicted to move through the area. Having camped in the rain before, we prepared ourselves. We took some of our stuff down and put all of our stuff under tarps. It never did rain through the night, but the next morning, it started about 5 am. And rained for 2 – 3 hours. Because we’d prepared ourselves, we just lay in the tent and listened to the rain, drifting in and out of sleep. It was wonderful. Yes, I said wonderful. After the rain stopped, we emerged from our cover, had breakfast, and packed up. We were hot, dirty, and exhausted, but there’s just something about cooking over a campfire and sleeping outside that relaxes us.

Scouts Visit the Ropkey Armory Museum

Pack 3310 held their July Pack meeting at the Ropkey Armory Museum just outside of Crawfordsville, IN. This place was packed full of tanks, jeeps, motorcycle, boats, helicopters, a bi-plane, a large variety of firearms and other weapons. It was total guy-heaven, ‘cuz you know, guys like to blow things up. Here's a slideshow of photos from the day.

Monkey Joe’s Party

Mallory’s softball team (sponsored by Monkey Joe's) had their end of season party at Monkey Joe’s. It’s a new indoor play place in town. It’s full of inflatable slides and ‘moonwalks.’ So much fun! The kids had a total blast. Here are a few pictures to enjoy!

End of Season Baseball Party

On June 28th, the Lafayette Life baseball team gathered at Prophetstown State Park to celebrate the end of the season. As the Team Mom, I organized and planned the events for the day. It was a super fun time! I made this VERY cool (if I do say so myself) cupcake cake in the shape of a baseball. In case you don’t know, this is a cake that is made up of several cupcakes arranged together and then iced together, rather than individually. Each of the boys also had their own “mini me” cupcake. It was a big hit! (Pun intended!)

After lunch, we played games – first was the water relay. We gathered all the players, all the siblings, and the coaches together, divided up into 2 teams and spread out along the length of the sidewalk. Each person had a cup. The object was for the person at the beginning to fill their cup with water, then pass that water from cup to cup all the way to the end. The first team to fill their milk jug to the line was the winner. It was such fun that we played it several times. Of course, kids just love water.

Tanner and Hayden work together.

The little sisters played, too.

After the relay, there was the water balloon toss. The last 2 person team to have a water balloon that didn’t pop was the winner. And then, the big fun was the water rockets. The Waffle was in charge of this one. You take an empty 2 liter, fill it half way with water, then place it on the launcher. Add a little air pressure, thanks to the air compressor, and BLAST OFF! This proved to be quite entertaining. After launching their ‘rockets,’ the kids got to go into the prairie grass to hunt for them!

Before blast off.

And after!

Mallory's turn!

All in all, it was a fun day for all. We gave the coaches their thank you gifts – a baseball signed by each of the players. And they parents gave me one – a $20 gift card from Bath & Body Works! Sweet! I enjoyed this summer’s baseball season more than any other. I believe it was a combination of good kids, good coaches, and good company!