Wednesday, April 25, 2007

For the last month, the morning car rides' conversations centered around Josh's loose "toothes" (as he would say) "When are they going to come out, Dad?" "Will it hurt?" "How much is the Tooth Fairy gonna leave me?" "Does she leave gift cards ?"

Well, the big day came today...the only problem is that it's now close to bedtime for the little guy, and he has nothing to put under his bed. Major Crisis. After dropping Josh off at the house this afternoon-w/ Marie watching him while I went to go pick up Sarah- he proceeded to munch on his afternoon snack...and out came the teeth and straight down into his stomach. I get this call on my cell from Marie that Josh is in an utter state of panic because he just swallowed his two teeth that have been literally hanging from his gums for the past 10 days...what to do?

Well leave it to my sagacious 12 year old to compose this explanatory letter to the queen of bicuspids explaining the predicament that her younger brother was in...Hopefully Ms. Tooth Fairy will cut him a break tonight and leave some change under his pillow. (or maybe a gift card)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Dirty Blog

Ouch, ouch, ouch...I don't think I've ever been this sore. Have any idea how much 8 yards of dirt is? Well, I didn't. What started out as just a few little jobs around the house ended up- just about 1/2 hour ago- as some major landscaping adjustments to my yard...all because I ordered enough top soil to re-sod the Indian's infield.
We had a couple of trees taken down in our front yard (one was dead, and the other one was a gum tree that covered our cars and house with tons of sap. Not to mention, it dropped these annoying little gum-nut seeds that were a royal pain to pick up each week. That said, they're both gone. So, we needed some soil to fill in the holes, which made only a minor dent in the mound of dirt that was deposited in my driveway on Friday. On to project #2...
We have a small patch of land- also out front- that has never been level, and the roots of the tree were pretty much exposed. So, I figured that we could use some of the dirt to level that area out. At this point, I'm guessing I've used about 25% of my dirt. On to project #3...
We have an awesome maple tree in the backyard that provides us with tons of shade. I built Josh's swing set underneath it a couple of years ago, but here again...the grass had never really grown that well. So, I threw a good couple of inches of dirt in an area around 10' x 10'. "The pile" is about 1/2 the size at this time. On to project #4....
I never liked the location where I planted a vegetable garden when we moved into the house back in 2000 primarily because it's at the very back of our lot and it's a royal pain to water it during the dry summer days. So, I thought this would be an opportune time to build a new one that was much closer to the water spicket. I think tearing up sod is about my least favorite activity in life. I'm guessing that there's an easier way to do it than hacking away with a garden hoe, but that seemed to be the most efficient tool that I had in the garage to use.
I quit around 7:30 tonight, and I don't think that there's a single part of my body that isn't aching...I got sunburn to boot! Josh actually was a big help. I offered to give him a little bit of allowance, but he told me that he'd rather have a gift card! Go figure. But, no serious griping because the weather we had this weekend was simply outstanding...Wasn't it just snowing less than two weeks ago for the home opener? Oh, by the way...there's still dirt in my driveway. UGH!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I'm Hooked

Well, the little guy made his debut this afternoon in soccer. Each team fields only three kids at a time, which actually works pretty well. Everyone gets in on the action this way. The field- along with the goal- is considerably smaller than regulation ones, but I think all the kids would contend that they did plenty of running today. The other interesting thing about the league is that they don't play a goalie...instead, there's a boundary circle around the goal that the kids are not allowed to enter. They all must kick from outside the circle. I'm guessing this might be an effort to not humiliate a little one by sticking him as goalie and letting the rest of the kids pummel him all day long with goal kicks. Josh's buddy Logan plays in the same league, and the two of them got to go head to head in their first game of the season today.

Considering that he hasn't stopped talking about it all day, I'd say Josh really enjoyed himself. He even scored a few goals too! His enthusiasm has convinced me that the game is pretty cool...although, there was a t-ball game going on at the same time on one of the other athletic fields, but I was pretty engrossed in my son's game that I rarely even glanced over there. Practice is this Monday, and I'm already looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee...students started opening windows and jumping out."- Joe Librescu, son of Virginia Tech's Professor Liviu Librescu

We too have lock-down procedures here at school in the event of an intruder. At the beginning of each year, we all discuss the course of action that we would take in attempting to diffuse a tragedy from unfolding before us...but honestly, I can't fathom having to live through such an ordeal. Nobody expects it to ever actually happen in "our school." I would imagine that the entire academic community at Virginia Tech felt the same way.

Is it me or does it always seem like each time a senseless incident like this takes place, God gives us someone to show the world that Yes, mankind is inherently good and even willing to lay down his/her own life in an effort to save others...evidenced by Liviu Librescu's heroic actions.

The Associated Press reported that Librescu saved the lives of several students by using his body to barricade a classroom door before he was gunned down in Monday's massacre. As a child, he was interned at a labor camp in Transnistria and then deported along with his family and thousands of other Jewish people to a ghetto in the Romanian city of Focsani. Between 280,000-380,000 were killed by Romania's Nazi-allied regime during the war, yet Librescu survived.

...Survived until the age of 76 only to serve as a human shield for college students who were fleeing for their lives from a demented gunman. What a remarkable, courageous man. May God bless him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bring It On!

So when I asked Josh today if he was ready for kindergarten next year, his response was, "Bring It On!"

Evidently in today's world of Pre-K kids, one school photo isn't enough. Josh had his school portrait taken back in the fall, but now more and more schools are providing "end of the year" photos for the kids...I figure we're good for Josh's senior high school much can he possibly change in 12 years?

Monday, April 16, 2007

A New Era in Sport's Passion
Truthfully, I have the same affinity for this sport as I do for the TV shows, Trading Spaces, American Idol, and What Not to Wear...all favorites of my wife and oldest daughter, I might add. I don't's probably my own ignorance for not knowing anything at all about the game, but it's just that whole notion of having kids run around for an hour and having a 1-0 score at the end- not exactly the "edge of your seat" entertainment that I have become so accustomed to watching in baseball and football over the years. But, I should have seen this coming the day I traded my Mustang in for a red mini-van....every man's worst mom territory...ugh!
That said, I'm willing to give this whole thing a fair shake and make a concerted effort to not only learn the game, but root on the little guy to victory- only in preparation, of course, for when the day comes that he plays real "football" for my beloved Buckeyes!
This Saturday is Josh's first game of the season, which should prove to be very entertaining considering the fact that tonight's one and only practice prior to game #1 was cancelled due to cruddy weather. Seeing that Josh has never played the sport before, and I know absolutely nothing about it as well...other than the fact that the only Cleveland championship in my lifetime came from none other than the Cleveland Crunch indoor soccer league...(whoo, hoo) , I won't be surprised in the least if Josh attempts to spike the ball in the end zone or slide head first into first base after he makes his first goal. Stay tuned for an update.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pretty in Pink

Friday, April 13, 2007

Strike, spare,
and some turkeys

Well, we hit the lanes today...actually, I watched as Marie and Josh went head to head in a vicious bowling match. Marie edged him out by a few pins each game, but Josh provided the entertainment for all as he proceeded to break dance each time he knocked some pins down.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Great Wolf Lodge

When it snows and rains in April, this is the perfect get-a-way for the kids. Josh was tall enough this year to do most of the water rides with Marie. The little guy wasn't quite up to tackling the rock climbing wall this year, but Marie had no trouble at all with it. She wanted me to take a shot at it as well, but I was in charge of chillin' with Sarah on the lazy river... Very hard work, I might add!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Game for the Ages...

My very first home-opener...was one that I'll definitely remember for a long, long time.

Let's see. the game time temperature was 31; wind chill knocked it down to 20. No problem- Kenton and I were dressed for the elements. At times, I felt like the little kid sporting his red snowsuit from the movie, A Christmas Story. I think I had four shirts, a sweatshirt, a parka, two hats, and a pair of gloves on. Kenton went a step further and wore his Indians P.J.'s beneath his clothing. (Not sure if he'd appreciate me telling everyone that...oh, well.)

The festivities prior to the start of the game were awesome. Clydesdale horses circled the field to deliver Marine Lance Cpl. Richard Paul Turner for the opening pitch. (Right behind the horses were the pooper-scooper parade which struck me as funny because you certainly wouldn't want to dirty up the snow that was quickly covering the field!) As the ABJ reported, Turner- 23 years old- lost his right eye, shattered a wrist and nearly died while trying to rescue a fellow Marine who had gone missing. God bless him!

Then came the anthem. Again, the Tribe chose to honor another Marine. They broadcasted over the scoreboard live satellite from Iraq a young female soldier to sing. She actually had a decent voice, but 1/3 of the way through the song, she decided to change keys...and then yet once again towards the end. Considering her service to our country, the crowd cut her a break...even Kenton behaved himself through it all.

And then after a whopping 1 1/2 innings, the snow really started piling up. Snow delay #1. Good time for nachos, right? We headed down to the concession stand and stood for 35 minutes while these truly clueless workers tried to handle the crowd's orders. There's this thing called "Tribe Fun-Money" which is definitely a misnomer, because each time that I've gone to the park with Kenton and he's attempted to use this to buy food, it really hasn't been a fun experience. In fact, I leaned over to him and said, "Five bucks says they have no idea how to use this!" Sure enough, it took some creative verbalization to convince these fine ladies that no, it really wasn't Monopoly money and that it could be used to buy some super nachos. Kenton eventually won the battle, but I won the bet! The thing I was most upset about was while we were duking it out with these Nacho Nazis, we missed some dude getting arrested after he jumped the fence and started making snow angels in right field...ugh! Later, I tried to convince Kenton to follow suit, but to no avail...I guess he didn't want to get his jammies all wet.

After three snow delays, the Mariners were batting in the 5th inning with two outs, the bases loaded and a 1-2 count on Jose Lopez when play was stopped- this time for almost 1 1/2 hours. We were denied the win-one out- make it one strike- shy of the game becoming official. Not to mention, Paul Byrd had a no-hitter going as well! UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

The main entertainment during these snow delays actually was watching the ground crew attempt to clear the field with a bunch of leaf blowers. Just when they would get a small section cleared away- 20 minutes later the grass was white about an effort in futility.

So this game- in the history books- never existed...but I'm telling you, I was there-in the snow- for a long, long cold afternoon/ evening....and enjoyed every minute of it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Perfect Gift

  • So my wedding anniversary is this Sunday, and I've been racking my brain of what to get Cindy. Finally at wits end, I figured this would be something that she probably would never have the audacity to come right out and ask for, but deep down, I truly think it's a gift that she's wanted for some time now.

Really, who wouldn't want a Fender G-DEC 30 Guitar Digital Entertainment Center Amp that features:

30W power
10" Special Design speaker
Teacher input on rear panel
Easy recall of guitar tones
Special effects
76 Presets, (38 performance and 38 teacher)
Special Composition Mode
Internal synthesizer with MIDI
MIDI song file storage
Guitar tuner
CD or MP3 device input
28-second Phrase Sampler with overdubs
Future software upgrades loaded via MIDI
Optional footswitch allows remote access to select features
Left and Right line outputs with speaker-emulation
External speaker output

Anyway, I sure hope she likes it...if not, I guess I'll just bite the bullet and keep it for myself.