Sunday, January 25, 2015

White Boys Can Jump!

A year ago Preston received a basketball hoop for his birthday.  Initially he didn't play with it very much, but this fall he really started to enjoy it.  He goes out and throws baskets by himself, and loves to play "horse" with friends.  This winter we signed him up for basketball.  He loves it, and has really liked playing it the past couple of months.

We signed him up for the Upward league, which is a Christian run program.  They play every Saturday morning for one hour, practicing for 20 minutes, then getting introduced and playing four six minute periods with a short Bible message in the middle by the minister at the church they play at each week.  It is a well run program.  Following each game, we go into a little room where the boys all receive a snack, and then an iron-on star for whatever they excelled at that game (offense, defense, sportsmanship, Christ-like behavior, etc.) decided upon by his coach.

Initially he didn't get many baskets on their 8 feet high hoop, but the last few weeks he has consistently gotten at least one goal, if not two.  He is even learning to pass the ball.  Though he still travels some, he is getting better at his running and dribbling, and even getting assists.  For this age, they make the boys all wear a specific colored wristband that signifies their position, and matches a boy on the other team that they should be blocking.  Another great tool to help them learn the game, rather than having all 8 boys just chasing the ball.

Sadly it is coming to an end in a couple of weeks, but just in time for Spring baseball to begin.  These are pictures of Preston at his most recent game.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy 80th Birthday Mimi!

Last night we celebrated Myra's 80th birthday!!  We got the immediate family together (sans our children) and went to Gian Marco's to celebrate together.  As always, we had a phenomenal dinner....over talked, over ate and over drank! 

I know we all agree that she would do anything for any one of us, and for that we LOVE her.  After speaking with many friends, I also know that Michelle and I are quite fortunate to have a mother-in-law that we love.  Of course, her boys and six grandchildren love her too.

Happy 80th Birthday!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Don't Shoot Your Eye Out!

xmas morning
Ever since Preston's visit to Peoria and Poppy's hunting camp, Pres has been infatuated with guns.  He has a whole arsenal of nerf guns, but he has been dying for a real gun.  Thankfully, Santa heard his wish and brought him a red rider bb gun.  He was over the moon when he saw it, and asked to shoot it every day over Christmas break.
Since Steve really wants to instill gun safety with him, he wanted to take him out to some land where he could shoot at targets and just have fun.  One of our friends, Ken Johnson, sells Benelli guns and has some property at his family lake house.  Since his son, Reid, is a good friend of Preston's and also has a bb gun, we took both of the boys out there to let them practice.  We threw a bunch of cans in the yard, and they aimed at them (they knew they hit one if they heard the ping).

Steve and Ken went over the rules (1. never point a gun at anyone, 2. wear safety goggles, 3. use the safety, 4. don't leave a gun cocked, etc.) and then showed them how to do it.  Reid has shot many times before, but Preston was just learning.  Over time, he did manage to hit some of the cans.  He loved hearing the "ping" and was pretty proud of himself when he connected.

They had a great time together, and I know Pres is eager to go hunting.  He really wants to learn more about guns, and maybe even shoot an animal sometime in the future.  Since we don't belong to a hunting camp, we will have to wait for an opportunity, but I am optimistic that Preston will like it whenever he gets to go.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Closing Out 2014!

2014 started off wonderfully with the birth of Walker!  It continued to go well, but FLEW by!  We took several vacations: 4 week long trips to the beach, an Oregon/Wine Tasting trip with just Steve and me, a hunting trip for Steve and some guys, and two girls trips for me....WHAT A YEAR!!  All of our children continue to thrive and do well in school.  And we all have our health, a blessing in itself! 

Though we had a heck of a year, we know there are some challenges ahead of us....with Steve more than likely changing jobs.  Since we don't know where that could take us, we are milking our time with family and friends and cautiously moving into 2015.

To celebrate the close of this past year, we dined with three other couples.  Alisha and Ken Johnson hosted us, and cooked everything...and it was divine!  We showed up at 6:30, and were promptly served prosecco.  We snacked on a few appetizers, and then sat down for our first course: scallops in a burre blanc!  In the past, I haven't really cared for scallops, but these were incredible and had awesome flavor.

me, Alisha, Kadie and Jennifer

The second course didn't disappoint either, with beef tenderloin and potatoes.  Complimented with some delicious wines along the way, we did not leave a bite on our plates.  We finished off our meal with biscotti and port.  All I can say is WOW!  We had a blast telling stories and making fun of each other, and was a perfect way to spend the night.  So bring on 2015, we are ready!!

Michael, Steve, Dan and Ken