Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year - Now, go watch a soccer game.

So, Winter II is about to start, and we just got notification of the first games of the new year!  I'll continue to update as the calendar fills out, but if I recall from last year, we weren't really given a whole season's worth of games at a time.  They just dribbled in as they scheduled them.  So, here's the first two weeks' worth (sorry for the weird formatting - I just cut and pasted it out of our team manager's email.  I'm feeling lazier than usual.  Also, angry and bitter about being up at 6:30 am on a Saturday to go meet with a client.):

1/5/20132:00 PM Multiplex 212 Boys Division 1vs.Cleveland Select 12
18909 South Miles Road
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

(this place, if you don't remember from last year, is not in the nicest part of town.  Lock your doors :))
1/12/201312:30 PM  Lodi 212 Boys Division 1vs.NEO

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!  I'll post some cute pictures later, including my darling husband trying to open a bottle of wine with a vegetable skewer!  You know, just typical Bickis shenanigans.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bren's birthday cake

Created by a friend of mine - the awesomely-talented Becky Klein:

All of Brendan's friends pronounced it the Coolest Cake Ever.  I agree :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas lists

If anyone still needs ideas, right now both kids are really into Skylanders - a game for their wii.  They already have quite a few, and are getting some more for Christmas, but here is a reasonably-updated list of the ones they don't yet have:




Wrecking Ball
Slam Bam
Drill Sergeant
Hot Dog
Fright Rider
Stealth Elf
Lightning Rod

Also, yesterday we visited a new toy store in North Canton, by Goodwill.  Natey had his eye on a number of lego sets, some knights and dragons, and some individual lego guys.  He really really wanted some troll things that were on display in one of the rooms.  Apparently they've been discontinued, but the store proprietor said he thought he might have some in storage in the basement and would try to get them out over the next couple of days.  Call for more details and let me know if you buy any of the things on this list so I can mark them off.  Thanks!

I took a couple of pictures with my cell phone.  They're not great, but you can get the general gist:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Long-term planning

Three tournaments coming up in the next six months or so:

Boys Cleveland Indoor Classic - March 9-10
Boys Northern Ohio Cup - April 20-21 (I think this is at Lodi)
Memorial Day PSI tournament May 25-27 at Pacesetter Park (this is in Toledo, OH)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

This weekend (12/7)

the alarmingly early edition . . .

So much stuff to do.  I have no idea how we're going to cram it all in.


7pm - Brendan's birthday party with friends


8:30-11am - Brendan volunteer Breakfast with Santa for Scouts

2pm - Olivia's birthday party

3pm - Bren soccer game

7:30 pm - Nutcracker with grandparents

Reminder: Christmas concert

There's been some calendar confusion, so I wanted to clear it up and remind everyone that Brendan's Christmas concert will be Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 7:30 PMDo not be alarmed if you see people leaving just as you are getting there.  The sixth grade is divided into three communities, A, B, and C.  A's concert begins that same night at 6pm, so all of those children and parents will probably be leaving just as you are arriving for B& C's concert, which begins at 7:30.  Good luck with parking, and as always, if you're there first, please save as many seats as you can!  Brendan comes with an entourage :)

I expect it to last about an hour and a half. 

In other news, we just got his interim report card, and he has As and Bs in every class, so feel free to praise him excessively when you see him :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

So, I've been trying to figure out . . .

how to casually work into conversations that whole wheat flour, while healthy, makes a terrible roux, without alerting people to the 35th and 36th signs of the pending apocalypse:  I actually can cook, and have opinions about the proper consistency of a roux.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to you!

Today, one of the greatest things to ever happen to me turns 12 years old.  I honestly can't believe it.  When you bring home a squalling little bundle of joy from the hospital, everyone tells you to enjoy it, it goes so quickly.  That's very hard to believe when you're bogged down in the minutiae of every day existence.  All of the pediatrician appointments, music classes, weekend hikes, summer camping trips, boy scout meetings, and school Christmas concerts individually seem to crawl by.  But then, all of a sudden, you look back, and *poof*!  His childhood has flown by! 

He started midde school this year.  Next year he'll be a teenager.  By the next presidential election he's going to be old enough to have his temporary driving permit.  In 2019, six short years from now (and only half the time that's gone by already so quickly) he'll be walking across a stage, flipping a tassel on his mortarboard, and grinning out onto the crowd with those beautiful dimples, as he moves on to a totally different stage of his life.  A stage that involves parents as advisors and fundraisers, but not providers of the day-to-day supervision and care that we wrap him in, sometimes too tightly, right now.

People often say to us "I don't know how you do it."  Honestly, most days, I don't either.  But here's my secret:  I love it.  I sit at soccer practice and watch him run, with those long, loping strides across the field, and my chest tightens with raw pride.  I watch him laugh and be goofy with his friends at boy scouts and can't help but smile.  I see him cuddle under a blanket in the back seat of the car with his brother on yet along long ride to the middle of nowhere to play soccer in the rain and there's nowhere I'd rather be.

My kids have allowed me the privilege of watching two miracles unfold.  You simply can't put a price on that.

This makes me laugh.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mantra of the day:

Do not send the children to school on Wednesday.  Rinse, repeat. 

My kids would be the only ones, sitting on a lonely cold stoop in front of a dark, locked building, until we remembered to go back and get them :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

So productive!

Saturday morning we raked leaves at the church with the cub scouts.  Finished up around noon, grabbed lunch, went to Lowe's to buy new toilet for our bathroom.  Tempted by all the shiny new cabinets to completely start over in that bathroom; thwarted by practical husband. 

Saturday afternoon, we all bundled up in hundreds of layers to go down to scout camp for a Thanksgiving feast in the woods, hosted by Bren's boy scout troop.  When we got there, we discovered that it was an indoor dinner.  In a cabin, in the woods.  It was lovely and comfortable but all of our survival preparations turned out to be totally unnecessary :)  We had a fantastic time.   It took a little longer than planned for the turkeys to cook, so Mr. Wulff decreed that we have dessert first.  There were a bunch of very happy little boys!  Unfortunately, with so many people around, some of the kids were going largely unsupervised by their parents.  I stopped one child after his fifth piece of pie, each of them piled three inches high with whipped cream.  I asked him to please try not to throw up on anyone in his tent that night.  We ate, we visited, and we went home, leaving Brendan there.  Nathan was mightily disappointed that we weren't staying the night.  Next time we'll have to pack sleeping bags :)

Sunday morning I went and did the Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping.  Oy was that place a zoo.  Then, as soon as Bren got home, we packed on the layers again and headed up to Akron to see the NCAA soccer tournament game.  It was a nail-biter!  Akron dominated possession of the ball throughout most of the game, but Michigan's defense was really keeping them from being effective at scoring.  Finally, Eric (Brendan's coach from the summer soccer camp) scored a goal just before the end of the first half!  It was followed by a second just after the beginning of the second half.  Unfortunately, Michigan came back and scored a goal of their own, and for a little while, even though they were playing with a man down, it looked like they might be able to do it again.  Luckily, the Zips held them off and pulled out a win!  Glad we got to see it.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

He's so handy! (and handsome)

Thanks to the super fabulous Michael, we now have a brand new, fully functioning toilet in our bathroom!  He's the best!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This weekend (11/16)

Nothing for grandparents.  Brendan is camping with the scouts.  Saturday morning leaf raking at the church where the scouts meet as a service project for Natey's cub scout pack.  Anyone interested in helping out?

Saturday night we're going to the place where B is camping, and the troop is cooking everyone a Thanksgiving feast in the woods.  He's super excited because he's been named patrol leader for the weekend.  Very official-like.  I expect him to make an excellent middle manager someday.   He'll be home sometime Sunday, and I think Sunday afternoon we're going to go see the Akron men's soccer team play in the NCAA tournament, weather depending. 

Also: laundry, chores, grocery shopping, etc. 

Feel enlightened?  Jealous?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Winning at motherhood!

Today I managed to leave work early, attend Natey's Thanksgiving play, pick up a prescription for Brendan at the pharmacy, and make it to two doctor appointments and soccer practice not only on time, but early!

Kicking butt, taking names, and going to bed at 8:30.  All this responsibility wears me the heck out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Expensive toys

are a waste of money.  Not just for my children, but also for my dogs. 

This weekend Nathan was delightedly walking around inside a paper leaf bag, giggling his head off. 

Duke and Abby were enthusiastically dismantling our entire woodpile as fast as we stacked up the freshly-cut logs from the oak trees we trimmed in the front yard.  Duke was actually stealing them and hoarding them under a pile of brush to chew on later.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Friendly Reminder!

Wednesday, November 14 at 2pm is Natey's class Thanksgiving play!!! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New stuff

So, remember when I said that we weren't going to have any soccer games until after Christmas?  Ignore that.  This past Saturday, I received a call from one of Brendan's friends' parents, saying that her son's other team was in need of some extra players to act as subs for a game.   We were free, so we went.  He had a great time!  He scored three goals, the play was fun, the other children were nice, and the coach was great and relaxed and encouraging. 

He liked it so much he decided to sign up for the team.  Annnnnnnnnnd, there go our Saturdays until after the first of the year :)  Oh well.  I haven't seen him have that much fun on a soccer field in months, so it's worth every single minute of our time and effort.  So, if you're interested in driving out to Alliance to see him play, here's the schedule:

Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 4:00 PM
Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 3:00 PM
Saturday, December 8, 2012 - 3:00 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 3:00 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 6:00 PM

All games at the indoor Sportzone facility in Alliance, behind Carnation Mall. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pinky and the Brain

Our animals generally fall into two categories:  either so astonishingly dumb you're surprised they continue to breathe, or so smart you start to become grateful they don't have opposable thumbs with which to strangle you in your sleep.

Abby would be the former.  She walks into walls, has, at one year old still not mastered "sit," and is generally the dumbest dog I've ever laid eyes on.  Duke, on the other hand . . .  We have met our match with that one!  Last night he was playing with his blue squeaky football.  He loves squeaky toys better than any other type, and he's had this particular football since he was a puppy.  We have to be careful with him, though, because he's a destructive toy chewer.  Those toys in the dog aisle at the pet store that say "indestructible?"  Those make me giggle.  Anyway, we let him play with the football, but keep a close eye on him to make sure he's not going to rip through the plastic with his jaws of doom.

Last night, after a rousing game of fetch (have I mentioned that my dogs only play fetch indoors?  Throw a ball for them outside and they just stand there staring at you; throw one indoors and they will climb over one another to race after it.  Weirdest thing.), Duke sat down with the football and started to gum it to death.  We were worried that the ripping would start soon thereafter, and so Mike took it away from him and put it up on the end table.  He was having none of that, so he jumped up on the end table, nearly knocking the lamp over.  Instead, Mike took it and hid it between his back and the couch cushions. 

Duke sniffed it out, then wandered over toward the back door and started barking at us.  Mike stood up to open the door for him, and Duke jumped on the couch, grabbed the football, and ran off.  Yep.  My husband, with years and years of higher education, was tricked by the dog.

This weekend

No scheduled sporting events.  Taking Brendan to see H.S. production of Phanton of the Opera saturday night.  Natey's sick, so lots of snuggling and rest.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Seems to me

that it's a lot easier to say that we should all come together and heal when you're on the side celebrating a win than on the side smarting from a recent loss.

Be kind to one another.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My sense of competition knows no bounds

All my adult life, I've been a dedicated voter.  You don't vote, you don't get to complain.  I spent much of my adolescence totally aghast at my parents' lackadaisical voting habits.  Especially my Dad (Hi, Dad!), who, depsite having many and vocal opinions, hasn't even registered since sometime in the Nixon administration, I think.  I have voted in every single election since I turned 18.  In fact, I voted even before I turned 18!!  How did I swing that, you ask?  An accident of birth date.  I turned 18 in 1996, which as you may recall, was a presidential election year.  If you will turn 18 before the general election in November, then you're allowed to register early and vote in the spring primary.  I jumped at the chance, and have been a dedicated voter ever since.  Every time voting day rolls around, I pack up my children and take them with me to the polls.  They charm the little old ladies working there and proudly leave covered in "I voted today!" stickers.  One year, when Bren was about two, he was bitterly disappointed when he realized we were going to vote, instead of to boat.  He got over it.  Eventually.

So, last week I read a story about a new project by  They sent out mailers to your home, list the number of times you've voted in the past four elections, and assign your level of participation a grade, based on a comparison to your neighors' voting habits.  This weekend, I was tossing out the 347 political mailers that I had to get out of my mailbox to make room for the latest Oriental Trading catalog, and my eyes lit up with glee when I saw their logo!  Finally!  All my years of relentless voting would earn me a completely arbitrary distinction.  I would find some way to laminate it and stick it on my bumper, like those obnoxious Honor Student bumper stickers! 

But then, I realized it wasn't even addressed to me.  It was addressed to the lady who lived here before us, who hasn't lived here in nearly five years,* and who apparently hasn't voted in at least that long!  She gets a report card, and I don't?  Where is the justice in this world? 

So, tomorrow I will go exercise my right to make absolutely no discernible difference whatsoever in the election.  I'll steal a quick kiss from my sweet husband, who takes civic responsibility up a notch and actually works at the polls every election, and loudly accuse him of trying to disinfranchise me when he insists on seeing my driver's license.  And then, about 24 hours from now, the political ads will stop, and we can start enjoying commercials that get to the real issues - Black Friday sales.

*Also, we got an invitation for her son's high school reunion.  Didn't these people fill out a change of address form?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Or not.

No soccer games for Winter I.  Basically, they screwed around too long and got shut out of registration, although the official story is somewhat different.  Oh well.  We'll have 8 saturdays in a row with no soccer games!  What ever will we do with ourselves?

Friday, November 2, 2012

This weekend (11/2)

Nothing.  Sweet, sweet, nothing.  No soccer, no scouts, no family obligations.  Just lazing about in an undisclosed location dodging calls from political pollsters.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)

Some person out there with too much time on her hands has issued a challenge for people to blog daily for a month.  So, because I'm a competitive sort, expect more than usual nonsense and drivel from me over the next month or so.

Or, you know, the usual amount of drivel, because I'm also really bad at follow-through.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Halloween weekend was wet.  And cold.  I left it up to the kids to decide if they wanted to go.  They did, of course.  I mentioned that we probably didn't need to buy a lot of candy this year for the trick-or-treaters because most people wouldn't be brave enough to venture out in the nastiness.  Nate's response?  "How will they get their candy for the year?!"  lolol!  As it turns out, in some families, they don't make their halloween stash last the entire year.  Did you know you can actually buy candy at the store?  Crazy!

We were so busy this year that we didn't get a chance to get the boys' costumes until Saturday night, for Sunday trick-or-treat.  Brendan decided to go as . . . well, you figure it out.

He told people the following:  a) yellow man; b) a stick of butter (was going to hold butterfinger candies in his hands and call himself a butterfinger - har har); and c) Mr. Invisible.  I think he mostly just wanted us to buy him a morph suit.  You can actually see (and, get this, drink!) through the part of the suit that covers your face.  However, between the suit and the sunglasses, he wasn't able to see the puddles in the road, and needed a Seeing Eye Mom to help stay out of danger. 

Nathan was Boba Fett, who, as I understand it, is a Star Wars Bad Guy.  Apparently, impersonating this particular character requires a great deal of posing and gesturing:

So much cuteness I can barely stand it.  In other news?  You have GOT to see this one's recently-acquired skipping skills.  It's quite possibly the most adorable thing I've ever seen in my entire life.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CASA Fall Tournament results: muddy

They didn't win.  Meh.  Who cares?  But this one seems to have had quite a lot of fun trying to see just how much of the soccer field he could bring home with him:

Can you believe those dimples?  Are they not adorable?

Not pictured:  the fact that it was 40 degrees, raining sideways, and half the team was suffering from low-grade hypothermia. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Brendan's Christmas Concert

Brendan's Christmas choir concert will be Thursday, December 20, 2012, at 7:30 pm, at the high school.  Mark your calendars!  Parking will likely be tricky, because one of the other sixth grade communities is having their concert immediately before, at around 6pm.  If you get there early, reserve an entire row, because this kid comes with an entourage :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

This weekend (10/27)

(aka Soccerpalooza).  Brendan has a soccer tournament in Lodi, so, busy, busy, as always!


10: 30 am - Canton United vs. Ohio Premier - Field 7 - White uniforms

11:30-2pm - Rest, lunch, etc.

2:30 pm - Canton United vs. Arsenal - Field 23 - Striped uniforms


9:00 am - Breakfast with Dad for his birthday.  (It's on the blog, so you can't back out :))

11:30 am Canton United vs. Admirals - Field 7 - White uniforms

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm - Trick or treat!  I don't know if Brendan is going to go this year.  He says he's not dressing up.  But we'll see how that works out when his little brother is at the costume store picking one out. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stupid nature.

So, last night we arrived home to find the drain in the basement backed up.  You can imagine about how nice that smelled.  Mike tried to snake it, and only succeeded in breaking the drain snake about 40 feet down into the pipe.  We finally gave up, and intruded on my Dad's privacy in the middle of the night so we could wash off the funkiness.

A service came out this morning with a rooter-thing (yes, that's the technical term), and they fixed it rather quickly.  Turns out it was a tree root.  Excellent.  The bad news?  Those come back over and over again.  The good news?  The company offers a reminder service to come back out in two years for preventative maintenance.  After last night's debacle, I'm thinking yes. Although, I noticed last night that one of our neighbors had recently cut down a large tree in her front yard.  Maybe that's the better solution.  Also?  Fewer leaves to rake in the fall!

And, I was talking with Mike on the phone as the guy was packing up and in the background I hear Kiwi in the background, squawking the "we did it!" theme song from Dora.  I threatened to send her down the pipe next time there's a clog to dislodge it.  We should have offered the drain guy payment in green parrot. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A little sunday sweetness

So, this weekend has been fun.  Both Mike and I have been stricken down with nasty (and yet different) illnesses.  Today, poor Natey started complaining that he wasn't feeling well, and Brendan came home from scout camp with a cough and a hoarse voice.  Lovely.  Oh well.  Illness=lots of adorable snuggling at home.  And for once, I'll actually share it with you.  Of course, the battery charger for my camera is missing, and Mike's camera is just too much of a pain to get out and set up for a quick shot, so you're stuck with a blurry cell phone pic.  But the adorableness makes up for the fuzziness, I think.  Double bonus?  My house looks cleaner in out-of-focus pictures.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

This weekend (10/19)

As usual, this one promises to be fun and action-packed.  Short answer:  No soccer.  Long answer:

Brendan is going on a zombie-themed weekend campout with the Boy Scouts.  Let's hope he comes home with his brains intact, eh?  I think he'll be gone all weekend, but I'm not honestly sure.  Should probably look into that.

Saturday morning is the Unity in our Community school pancake breakfast.  It's at the high school from 8-12.  Nate has been begging us for weeks to go.  Going to see if we can squeeze it in.  From 11am to 1pm, his den is going on a tour of the MAPS museum.  Feel free to come along!  I will probably be missing both of those events because I have a girl scout meeting that morning, and these things have recently gotten so contentious that they run for hours and hours. 

Saturday afternoon I'm hoping to make a trek out to Sunny Slope for pumpkins and apples (and maybe some Heini's cheese, mmmmmmmmmmmm).  October has really gotten away from me, but I look forward to that trip all year.  I've been battling a nasty bout of insomnia lately, so I'll probably be toasting pumpkin seeds at 2am, if you get hungry.

Sunday I'm not really sure what's going on just yet.  Hopefully we'll get to spend some time with Aunt Cindi and Jeff, who I believe will be in town this weekend.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

An early Christmas gift!

Traditionally, Brendan's soccer club doesn't play games during the first winter indoor session, and just has practices.  This year they decided to do something a little different, and will be playing games during November and probably December.  The good news?  They're going to be local, at the SportDome, in Jackson Twp! 

So, for everyone who hasn't seen him play in awhile, you can, without having to schlep all the way to Lodi!  Wooohoooooo!

In other news:  is this election over yet?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Box tops

I forgot!  Natey's school is collecting box tops. 

(these little doodads)

If you have any, could you save them and give them to me to send to school?  His class is in intense competition with one of the other first grade classes, and you know how competitive my children are!  The school is hoping to put the money toward a renovation of their gym floor and maybe some new playground equipment.

Mark your calendars!

Upcoming events:

Saturday, October 20, 2012 - Time TBA - Nathan's cub scout pack is going to the MAPS museum.  This ought to be a good time, and I know we have one or two airplane buffs out there!

Nathan's class Halloween party - Thursday, October 25th from 1:45-3:00 pm.  I don't think I can make it, so substitute room grandparents would be awesome :)

Nathan's class Thanksgiving play - Wednesday, November 14 at 2pm.  Please plan to attend!

Okay, so maybe I should've titled it "Nathan's upcoming events" lol!  He's a busy boy, that one!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This Weekend (10/13)

Sorry for the hiatus.  Things have been awful.  After a long and brave fight, my beloved grandfather passed away last week.  We all miss him terribly.  Mike's grandmother has also been struggling with some health issues, so if you're the praying type, the whole family could probably use some.

But, life, and soccer, apparently go on.  This weekend Brendan has one game at lodi:

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 12:45 pm - Field 22 - vs. NEO.

For people looking for us by striped shirts, I think this weekend they're actually wearing their brand new all-white uniforms because they're the away team!  Mike hates them.  I think they look pretty cool.  I'm open to suggestions for getting mud and grass stains out of white shorts, though.

Friday, September 28, 2012

This weekend (9/29)

Saturday :

8:00 AM - Cross country meet at Glenoak H.S.  Parking is $2, otherwise I believe the event is free. 

2:00 PM - Brendan Soccer game vs. CSA Impact, Lodi field 6

4pm-5pm - Nathan working the popcorn booth at Giant Eagle at the Strip for cub scouts.  Come soak up the adorableness :)

6 PM - Jackson Boys' Varsity game.  I'm going to a concert with a friend, but Mike and the kids might be going. 


I don't know?  I don't think there's anything planned.  I'm sure something will come up.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Red Solo Cup

God, that song is catchy-yet-annoying.

The Walsh thing was tons of fun!  According to Damien, there were 300 Canton United folks there.  I wonder if he uses the same crowd estimation tools as the National Park Services for protests on the Mall in DC?  It didn't really look like that many people to me, but who am I to argue? :)  A couple of the poor dads were stuck on grill duty the entire four/five hours, turning out enough burgers and hot dogs to feed a gazillion hungry adolescents and their parents.  Feel bad for them.  Some of the parents took the tailgate part really seriously and actually brought cups and alcohol.  I guess it's not a tailgate without booze?  Oh well, at least it was WAY more orderly than the nonsense at the Muni lot before Browns games.

Brendan's friend Tyler showed up with shockingly orange hair.  He played a game earlier that morning against Copley and wanted to show his team spirit.  His mom wasn't amused :)

Anyway, we ate, we drank, we overfilled trash cans.  The women won 1-0 and then came and hung out and ate with us.  The men were down 0-1 at the half against Ohio Dominican.  It was cold and starting to rain, so we scooted and I never found out if they won or not.

Friday, September 21, 2012

This weekend (9/22)

I have no idea.  Brendan just got back from 6th grade camp and he says he's too tired to run the Malone race tomorrow.  We'll likely be spending a lot of time at the hospital visiting with my grandfather, who is still there, along with Mike's grandmother, who just had surgery today (and is doing well, from what I hear). 

I can tell you for sure that there is no soccer for either child.  So, no trip to Lodi for us this weekend!  Thank goodness, because otherwise I might lose my mind.

Saturday afternoon we're getting together for George's birthday, and Sunday there's a Canton United event at the Walsh University soccer games (women at 12, men at 3-ish).  The boys are wearing their uniforms and being introduced on the field, and the parents are tailgating.  What's not to love? :)

So, whatever.  If you need us, call.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Malone Invitational/ Upcoming Running Club Race

Brendan is hoping to run in the kids race during the Malone Invitational this weekend.  That, of course, is entirely dependent upon how well he does on his Math test on Tuesday, so we shall see.  Pencil it in.

It's Saturday, September 22, 2012, and his race starts at 8:30 am.  There's a $3 charge for spectators.  I have absolutely no idea what part of campus the race is on, or where we're all supposed to meet, but I'm hoping there will be signs.  It's only a 1k, so it should be over in under ten minutes or so, so don't be late if you're hoping to catch it :)  If he does well, award ceremonies begin 45 minutes after the start of each race.

Also, next week, on September 25, they are planning a race with the Viking Running Club, and possibly Perry and one other school as well, 4:30, near the tennis courts behind his school.  I can't make it, but hopefully someone can attend and cheer him on if they're free!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Soccer results

Liberty:  A hard-fought tie!  3-3.  It was a very exciting game and Brendan played well.

Ambassadors:  Well, that one didn't go quite as well.  They lost, by quite a lot.  Oh well.  Learning opportunity :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This weekend (9/15)

Saturday, Brendan has two games:

Canton United vs. Liberty Red - 3:15 pm - Field 20


Canton United vs. Ambassadors - 4:30 pm - Field 1

We'll probably grab dinner afterward, if anyone's interested in joining us. 

Also on the agenda:

- Destinkify my dog Abbabella Louise.
- Maybe a re-do of my birthday party, but I'm inclined to reschedule for a time when Granddad's feeling better.
- Oil change.  Way overdue.  Way.
- Pack for Brendan's 6th grade camping trip next week with his class.  Natey will be an only child for a couple of days!
- Pack for Brendan's other camping trip next weekend with boy scouts.  Such a little social butterfly, that one.
- 8 gajillion other things I'm probably forgetting . . .  Being 34 is tough on the brain.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Perry Cross Country Results (edite!)

I'm not really 100% sure this is accurate, because I asked him this morning while I was still waking up and more than a little groggy.  But I think he told me he finished in 29th place, out of 47 boys.  Pretty awesome, I think!

Edited to add:

Turns out he was actually in 27th place!  Even better! :)  Not surprisingly, all of his soccer teammates did really well.  Lots of practice running, lol!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good luck!

Good luck to Brendan at his first cross country race today against Perry!  I know he'll be awesome.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My grandfather (updated)

is having fairly serious surgery today.  All thoughts and prayers welcome and appreciated.


Last I heard, the surgery went well and they're cautiously optimistic about his chance for recovery.  Will keep everyone posted.

Friday, September 7, 2012

UPDATED: This weekend (9/7)

Brendan's first games of the fall season.

Two games, one recently added:

September 8, 2012 -

vs. ????????           - 9:00 am - Lodi Field 4
vs. Whitecaps Teal - 10:15 am - Lodi Field 16

Also, I may or may not have to go to the doctor at some point, since it appears that I've been infected with the Bubonic Plague.  If you see me for the next few days, just wave from a safe distance.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

You've got to be kidding me.

Now he wants to join the chess club.  You know who I'm talking about.  Captain Involvement. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day 2012- Letchworth State Park, NY

We decided to spent the labor day weekend at Letchworth State Park, in New York this year.  A friend of Mike's from work recommended it.  It's known as the "Grand Canyon of the East," and it's super cool.  We had the best time.  We're so very lucky to have two kids who are so adventure-ready.

I'm going to upload some photos, mostly of the kids.  I'll try to add some of the cool scenery later.

Best family photo ever! 

We also had a chance to take a tour of the Mt. Morris Dam.  A very funny and enthusiastic member of the Army Corps of Engineers took us on the tour, which included going down inside the dam, 20 stories underground.  It was very dark and damp and chilly and echo-y, but pretty cool.  The kids spent the rest of the day gleefully making up sentences using the word "dam" to sound like they were cursing, without getting into trouble.  It was pretty much just like vacationing with the Griswolds.

You can still make either one giggle maniacally just by mentioning going on a "dam tour."  Try it!  It's pretty funny.

Halfway down the 127 steps to the lower falls.  Taking a break to be adorable.

The boys, with the Middle Falls in the distance.

All four of us, plus the Middle Falls, and a telescope :)

Monkeys.  In a tree.  They spent about 25%* of this trip up in trees.

My boys, at Wolf Creek.  Aren't they the sweetest?

I love this one.  It's the background on my computer at work right now.  It's going to come in handy on those cold, dreary winter days to bring a smile to my face!

Other highlights:  really nice campground, clean bathrooms, most sights easily accessible by car, hot air balloons lifting up over the valley (!!), and no problems with raccoons or other wildlife, but we're pretty good about keeping food put away properly.

This one's super sweet, too.  The boys wading in the Genessee River.  As always, I sort of got us into a spot.  It was really hot and I was desperate to get in the water.  Any time you were closer than 345 feet above the river, there was a sign saying you couldn't go in.  Finally, we managed to get the scoop from an insider about a place where you could go wading.  Well, maybe not state-endorsed, but at least without much interference :)  So, we set off for that place, on a trail that was supposedly only .5 miles long and "easy."  Har har har.  45 miles and 9000 feet of elevation* later, we finally found it!  The kids loved it.  I told them they weren't allowed in above their knees.  If you look very, very closely, you can see one little dry spot on Natey's shoulder in this photo, so you can see about how well that worked out.  They listen like rabbits.  Also, Nate managed to kick Mike's lens cap into the river, and they went looking for it but were predictably unsuccessful.

Anyway, in this photo, Brendan is building a dam to try to trap water in a pool, and Nate is making a mud painting on that rock.  I sat behind Mike as he took this picture, with the fading light making them glow like little angels and thought "I am going to remember this moment forever." 

*This may be a slight exaggeration.  Slight.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Okay, so he was serious about running club.  They ordinarily meet after school, but it looks like they're going to do some weekend events here and there.  His participation will be very TBD, depending on his soccer game schedule.  With him playing soccer four or five days a week, and running two, I'm a little concerned about the toll it's going to start taking on his little body (paranoid soccer mom <-----------).  Really don't want him injured or burned out three years before he ever even makes it to high school :)

Anyway, these are the events currently scheduled:

Saturday, September 22 8:40 am - Malone Invitational (1,000 meters)

Saturday, September 29 8:00 am - Stark County Meet - GlenOak High School

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Strategery . . .

Brendan was entertaining me last night with his tale of how he's managing the limited time between classes in Middle School.  He has a locker with a combination, and it's taken him a little while to get the hang of it.  After he gets his morning books out of his locker, apparently he does the first two numbers of the combination and stops the dial just a few numbers past the second digit.  So, when he comes back to switch books before he heads downstairs for the afternoon, all he has to do is flip it to the third number in the combination and open the door.  Clever little thing.

Also, he wants us to let him do running club.  Because he was too light on the extracurricular activities :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall Soccer Schedule

So, this year our soccer organization (Canton United Soccer Club) has created a Junior Academy for little guys like Nate.  It's an instructional team, so they won't be playing any competitive games, but I imagine they'll do something similar to the Y-league where they spent half of their weekly practices learning skills and the other half doing scrimmages against one another.  So, if you're interested in attending, that will take place on Wednesdays from 6-7:15 at the Macedonian Orthodox Church on Massillon Rd., just north of the airport.  This club is a little particular about parents not being close to the practice fields during practice, but it might be different for the Junior Academy.

In other news, we have a game schedule for Brendan!  All games at Lodi outdoor fields, unless I tell you otherwise.

September 8, 2012 - vs. Whitecaps Teal - 10:15 am - Field 16

September 15, 2012 - Double header.  First game vs. Liberty FC Red - 3:15 pm - Field 20.  Second game vs. Ambassadors - 4:30 pm - Field 1.

September 29, 2012 - vs. CSA Impact Red - 2:00 pm - Field 6.

October 6, 2012 - vs. Everest - 2:00 pm - Field 16 (Note:  I don't think we'll be at this game, since it's the same day that my wonderful brother-in-law Robb will finally make the lovely Megan a new Mrs. Bickis :))

October 13, 2012 - vs. NEO - 12:45 pm - Field 22

October 20, 2012 - CASA Playoffs.  We'll pretty much be there all day.  Don't know the specific game schedule yet, and probably won't for a long time.

Monday, August 13, 2012


So, uh, to anyone who didn't believe me when I said I wouldn't be posting much this summer, told ya so?  :)

This week I am grateful for:

- Watermelon
- My children being home from North Carolina; and
- The Columbus tournament being cancelled.

Not necessarily in that order.

This week is pretty much back to reality.  Tonight Mike has some meeting in Louisville to rush off to, tomorrow is Brendan's orientation for Middle School (yeah, I said that.  MIDDLE SCHOOL), and Thursday is the open house at Nathan's school.  Next week both boys go back to school and soccer practice resumes.  Oy.

For anyone who thinks that raising boys is easier than girls?  Yesterday we spent four hours shopping for shoes and came home with exactly one pair per child. Then we had to go to two stores to find a pencil box in the exact dimensions dictated by Nate's first grade teacher.  He's thrilled beyond words to find out that he'll be  in a class with his friend Holden, who was with him in both preschool and Kindergarten, plus not one, but both Jaydens, at least one of whom is in his cub scout pack.

This weekend we'll be doing an outing with scouts where we ride our bikes on the towpath up in summit county, and a lovely train meets us and brings us and our bikes back to the Winking Lizard to eat wings and drink beer.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

And so it begins . . .

The good news:  We got an even bigger reprieve than we expected!  Soccer practice doesn't begin until August 20.

The bad news:  They're not messing around.  Their first tournament is the Donatos Soccer Classic, in Columbus, August 25-26.  It's a stay-and-play tournament, so we're basically required to get a hotel room at one of their approved hotels, which is stupid, so I don't know exactly where we're staying yet.  If you have nothing better to do that weekend, feel free to drive on down to see Bren play.  Hopefully we'll get a better idea of the actual play schedule before then and I can tell you when his games are scheduled.

For more info:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Okay, I lied.

Scheduled activities!  Oh well.  At least this is a fun one.  Fishing derby, next saturday the 14th.  Brendan needs to be there at 7:30 to volunteer.  I bet I know a certain Papa who would love to be there and help out :)


Some new photos of my cuties for everyone:

Brendan, having a blast at boy scout camp.

Look!  an orb!  Is Seven Ranges haunted?!?!?!

Getting a merit badge at the scout picnic:

And natey, being a wizard:

That's all.  Also, check out facebook for awesome photos that the camp has been posting of Nate!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Going to the gym

So, last night we were going to go to the gym after work.  I know, right?  Go ahead and laugh yourself silly.  By the time we got home and made dinner, it was ten minutes until Nate's bedtime, so we couldn't make it happen.  I'm not really too disappointed, because it would have ended our streak of approximately 967 days of not going to the gym.

We're trying again tonight.  The stars are aligned in our favor.  Clothes are packed!  Water bottles bought!  No work or school tomorrow because of the holiday!  Membership cards . . . well, still lost.  That alone is enough to make me throw up my hands in defeat most of the time and sit on the couch eating cookies.  Before we got married, I had a single membership in my maiden name.  After we got married, Mike registered a family membership and mine merged with it and something awful happened to my name.  They have it in their records as hyphenated, and their system is so antiquated that they have to type it in exactly as it's saved (including the hyphen), or there's no chance of ever finding it.  It's the most frustrating process ever. 

Me:  My last name is Bickis, but you have it in the system as Anderson-Bickis.
Her:  Sorry, that account is inactive.
Me:  No, that's my maiden name.  Look under Anderson-Bickis.
Her:  Vickis?
Me:  No, B, as in boy.
Her:  Sorry, no Anderson Bickis.
Me:  No, Anderson-hyphen-Bickis.  You have to actually type in the hyphen.  No, I don't know why.  Yes, I've tried to change it.

All of this, of course, takes place with 40 angry people behind me in line who just want to go fling sweat on people.  But today, I'll brave that.  Who knows - maybe it'll go smoothly? 

Monday, July 2, 2012


So, we're about to embark on the best part of year, where there is no homework, sports, boy scouts, or cub scouts.  Or, as I like to call it, July. 

Seriously.  This is the only month all year long with no scheduled activities, requirements, dates planned months in advance, or obligations.  We're trying to soak it up and not get too used to it, because come August, it's right back to the usual grind.  This weekend we spent Saturday doing chores around the house, and I even got to take a much-needed nap while the kids watched far too much tv.  Sunday we spent the entire day at the lake.  We got too much sun, ate too much junk food, and drank too much lake water.  But you know what?  It was perfect.  I looked back at the kids laughing every time the tube hit a bump and couldn't help but think what a charmed life we live.  I could never ask for anything more.

So, while we're off living the dream, you'll probably not see much here.  I'll try to post some photos of the awesome times we're having, but everyone knows I really stink at that, so no promises.  Don't worry.  In a couple of weeks it'll be back to the usual hubbub of school and sports schedules.  In the meantime, there's always the telephone if you miss us :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

This weekend (6/22)

Tomorrow morning I'm going to pick up two of my three favorite boys from camp!  So so so excited to see them again.  We're heading straight from there to Lodi, because Brendan has a soccer game at 2pm. 

It's his last game until the fall, so get your soccer fix now, while you still can.  Also, we're playing the Jackson Fury boys team, which is comprised mostly of his old teammates from Jackson Select (which doesn't exist anymore - long story), so it'll be a reunion of sorts :) 

It's going to be their last game with their current goalkeeper, Andrew, who is moving to another state with his family before the next school year.  Field six, hope to see you there!  Bring chairs.  And sunscreen.  And water. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Scout camp

Here's our very favorite Tiger Cub, enjoying cub scout day camp, the same week his brother is off at Boy Scout camp with Daddy:

This picture makes me laugh.  He's so awesome.  Thanks so much to everyone for helping out this week to make it happen for him!! Grandpa George volunteered to chaperone for two days, Grandma JP did one, and Papa took one, too.  Many fish were caught, crafts made, arrows shot, and slingshots slung.  We're outrageously grateful for all of the wonderful family support we have. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This weekend (6/16)

Nothing.  That's all.  Not a single sporting event for either child.  You'll have to find some other way to entertain yourselves with all the free time :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012


This post is long-overdue,  but everyone who reads this blog knows I barely have time to shower these days.  I swear the phrase "Better late than never!" was tattooed on my behind the day I entered this world. 

This is what six looks like:

So, we celebrated.  And celebrated some more!  We started off with a carnival themed birthday party for all of Nate's friends from Kindergarten.  It was even better than I could have ever imagined!!  Some of Brendan's friends came and helped out with the games, and I'm pretty sure they had just as much fun as the little kids. 

They played soccer

Throw the ball at a pyramid of cans

Balloon darts (heavily supervised by Papa, thank goodness!)

Ring toss:

Bowling and duck pond

Tickets for prizes


There were popcorn and cotton candy, and of course, cupcakes!

And everyone had a blast and went home with a bag of random prizes and a belly full of junk food.  The end. 

But wait!  There's more!!

Right after his kid party the family came and celebrated with him, too!  There was even more junk food, even more cake (thanks Miss Charlene!), and even some presents!  What a lucky little boy.

We celebrated on his actual birthday at the QQ Buffet, one of his favorite places on the planet.  We were supposed to go to Rude Dawgs, but it turns out they're not open on Sundays.  So, we had a grand time at QQ, and promised a raincheck on Rude Dawgs.

He got to cash in his rain check the very next day, just to make sure that Birthdaypalooza continued with flair.

Rude Dawgs is a local restaurant that serves mostly hot dogs.  They're also supposed to be rude to the customers, but the girl waiting on us was a sweet teenager whose attempts to be rude fell totally flat.  Here's the birthday boy, playing Vanna White:

Their schtick is that they have a hot dog called the Porter Pounder.  It's a one-pound hot dog, on a loaf of french bread, covered in chili, nacho cheese, french fries, pickles, and god knows what else.  If you can eat it in ten minutes or fewer, then you get a t-shirt or something.  Nate has been coveting one of these things for months, ever since he saw a group of guys order them one night when he was there with Mike.  We promised him he could have one for his birthday, and he's been gleefully looking forward to this day ever since.  His brother decided to make the ultimate sacrifice and pitch in to help eat it.

Whoa, you weren't kidding!

I can take this thing!  Watch me eat this pickle!

No, seriously, this thing was ginormous.  You truly have no way to picture what a one pound hot dog looks like without a visual aid.

It's really pretty hard to say whether more ended up on his face, or in his belly.

Defeated!  But honestly, aren't you surprised at how much they ate?

Nathan even decided to challenge the Man vs. Food guy to a challenge.  Enjoy the hilarity (you probably have to turn your head to the right.  I might fix it later if I have the time or inclination):

It's just outrageous how awesome this kid is.  He's sweet, thoughtful, smart, and hilarious.  We wouldn't trade him for anything.  Keep rocking six, buddy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

This weekend (6/9)

Sorry I haven't posted in forever.  Life has . . . gotten in the way.  I'm working an insane amount of hours, and things are just crazy.

At any rate, this weekend should be an exciting one!   I'll throw out a plug for the Canton Blues Festival (  We go every year.  Usually it falls closer to our anniversary and we go make a fun date of it.  This year we're just going to have to try to cram it in on our usual Friday night date night.  I'm also crossing my fingers and hoping that our favorite restaurant, the Canton Club, is open.

So, Saturday, we have a time conflict with the boys' soccer games.  Nathan's last game of the season is going to be Saturday morning at 9:30, field 2.  Afterward, they're going to give out participation certificates and I think have a little celebration with a bounce house in the Middle School gym.

Unfortunately, Brendan has a game in Lodi at 9:00, too.  He has to be there by 8:30 for warmup, and the game will last until 10-ish, so there's really no hope of catching any portion of Nate's game.  Boo!  It may or may not be his last game of the spring season.  He has another one scheduled for 6/23, which I think is the day they're coming back from scout camp, so I don't know if he's going to make it.  Mike is hopeful.  I'm dubious.

In other news, we now have a Middle Schooler and a First Grader!  Can you believe it?  Neither can we!  The boys' last day of school was yesterday.  The cub scout pack planned a super fun celebration at Sluggers and Putters in Canal Fulton.  It was such a blast!  The boys rode the bumper boats and got soaked.  Nate rode the bumper cars three times in a row and didn't throw up!  He also cheated ridiculously at mini golf, and accidentally lost his ball in a decorative fire hydrant.  Ooops!  We capped the night off with a trip to Menchie's for Last Day of School ice cream, per our family tradition.  The kids were soaking wet, the night was chilly, and the ice cream didn't help.  Here's a very dark and blurry camera phone picture of Nathan enjoying his ridiculous concoction:

This summer they both have an action-packed schedule.  Nate is spending most of the summer at a YMCA camp that's not far from our house.  One week he's going to bible school at St. Stephen's, one week he's going to cub scout day camp, and one week they're both going to the beach with Papa.   Brendan's schedule is a little more complicated.  He's spending one week at boy scout camp, one week at the University of Akron's soccer camp, three weeks at Stark State's Kids College, one week at the beach, and the rest of the summer at Y-camp like Natey.  Am I forgetting anything?  Probably.  Remember that old PSA, "It's five o'clock, do you know where your child is?"  Well, around here, the answer is sometimes "No, not really."

Friday, May 25, 2012

This weekend (5/26)

Nathan has a game at 10:30, on Field 2.  Bren doesn't have one at all!  What will we ever do with ourselves?  He'll be busy with Papa and the boy scouts putting flags on Veterans' graves, though, so don't think he'll be sitting around with his feet up all weekend.

Today the boys are having Field Day at school.  They're going to be sweaty, grubby messes by the time they come home!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Don't forget!

Kindergarten spring play, tomorrow!!

Tuesday, May 22 at 9:45 AM and 2:15 PM.

Also, I added a search box over on the right hand side (---------------->), so you can find old posts more easily.  Brought to you because I couldn't exactly remember what time the play was, and the search box is easier than going through all of the archives!  You're welcome :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Time change!

No, not the thing that happens in the spring and fall and makes me grouchy and nasty for weeks.  Brendan's game this Wednesday, which was scheduled for 7:15 p.m., has been moved up to 6:15 p.m.  Since it's a weekday, I don't know if anyone was even planning to go, but if you are, now you know.

Also, it'll be in a different place than usual.  It'll be at the NC Hudson fields, located at 5661 Stow Rd, Hudson OH 44236.  The only other time I've been there was last year during spring soccer and it was a disgusting, filthy mess.  The parking lot is gravel/mud.  It's been pretty dry so far this spring, so maybe it won't be too bad, but be prepared.  I also seem to remember that it was a little hard to see from the road, so be careful.  Not sure exactly who is getting Brendan there and how, but if you are planning on coming and need help, call our cells.

Friday, May 11, 2012

This weekend (5/12)

No soccer for Brendan!  It feels like a Mother's Day miracle!  Natey has a game at 9:30, field two.  Orange shirts.  I probably won't be there because I have a physical therapy appointment.

Then, it's PARTY TIME!  Nate's carnival is saturday afternoon.   Hope to see everyone there!  Mike's trying to ruin everyone's fun and won't let me give out goldfish as prizes.  In the interests of authenticity, I'm hoping he can at least provide some carnies.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

He must really think we're idiots

So, another chapter of our lives is getting ready to close.  At the beginning of next month, Brendan will be graduating from elementary school and moving on to middle school.  I know!  I can't believe it either. 

Last night, we were talking about a class field trip they're planning to make to the middle school to take a tour and have a sort of orientation session.  Brendan was doing his level best (with a completely straight face) to convince Mike and I that they only sell slushies in the cafeteria as a lunchtime beverage choice.  Mmmhmmm, sure. 

He's growing up, that's for sure.  He was in the 75th percentile for his height at a recent doctor's appointment.  Another year and he's going to be towering over me.  Next year he'll be getting up to get on a bus at a totally ridiculous hour, and will be totally responsible for remembering to do and turn in his homework, without constant reminders from his teachers.  He'll also probably discover that girls exist (lord help us all), and have to find his place to fit in with a couple hundred other kids his age.

Overall, he's such a great kid, though.  He holds open doors, carried my stuff for me while I was on crutches, still likes to curl up next to me on the couch to watch tv, and begs for 'one more minute!' at night to read when we tell him to put down the book and go to bed.  He loves spending time with his friends from Scouts, and is turning into a first rate soccer player.  Let's just say he could kick my butt!  And probably Mike's, too.  He's turning into a little gentleman* right before our eyes.

* We shall not discuss the incident this weekend where I held out my hand to catch a drip of grease from his bacon, and he wiped the bacon on my hand like a paper towel.  *sigh*

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

UPDATE: Date change for May play

Apparently there was a scheduling conflict for the Kindergarten play.  It's going to be rescheduled to Tuesday, May 22 at 9:45 AM and 2:15 PM

(now do you see why we need a blog?  the paper calendar is worthless around here).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This weekend (5/5)

One of Brendan's two soccer games has been cancelled.  Luckily for us it was the early one!  That eliminates a scheduling conflict for us, so yay!

That leaves:

10:30 AM - Nathan, North Canton, Field 2.

3:15 PM - Brendan, Lodi, field 30.  (If I remember correctly, that one is in the farthest corner of the complex).

If the weather's nice, hope to see everyone there!  If the weather's not nice, well, we have thermoses for hot chocolate!  Nate can show off some of his fancy footskills, and hopefully Brendan can get another goal!  And you might get to see me sans crutches.

Maybe we'll celebrate cinco de mayo.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Nathan's turning six!!!

How is that even possible!

It just flies by so quickly.  We're busy planning his kid party right now.  He's going to have a carnival at the church.  We're going to have popcorn and cotton candy, and I'm lobbying Mike to rent a snow cone machine :)  Brendan and his friends are going to help run the game stations (bean bag bottles, cornhole, bowling, duck pond, ring-toss, etc.), and I just bought a bunch of awful penny prizes yesterday.  Hopefully they'll all go home with tummy aches and a bag full of junk.  Think ping pong goldfish bowls would be too far?  To be authentic they'd have to die within 48 hours.

They're going to have a ball.  I can't wait!

Now if I could just find someone to make me some funnel cakes . . .

They won!

Brendan's team won Saturday's game, 4-3.  Brendan had a couple of amazing kicks, and nearly got a couple of really close goals!  I would have pictures, but my husband is a camera hoarder.  Nate and I sat in the car, because Mother Nature decided to bless us with a lovely downpour of a rain/snow/sleet mixture, and it was 35 degrees.  Mike is obviously the more dedicated parent.  He watched from the sidelines.  With the camera. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

This weekend

will be a busy one, as usual.

Friday night Brendan is going over to a friend's house for an overnight birthday party.  On Saturday, Natey has soccer pictures at 8:45, and a game at 9:30.  We have to leave straight from there and take Brendan up to Lodi for a double-header at 12:00 and 2:00 p.m.  We will probably eat unhealthy fast food somewhere in there.

Maybe we'll take Abby Lou with us to the games.  Duke makes people nervous, with all of the jumping and squirming and trying to make friends with everybody, whether they want to get to know him well enough to have his paws all over them or not.

Oh, and Abby has her first trip to the groomer this weekend.  I should take before and after photos.  I'm guessing hilarity will ensue.  I was looking at her puppy photos the other day and I can't believe how big she's gotten!  She's such a sweet girl.  Really dumb, but sweet.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Soccer schedule

Here's an integrated soccer schedule for the next few weeks for both boys:*
(all of Brendan's games will be played at Lodi soccer complex)
Sat Apr 28
9:30 Nate North Canton
12:00 Brendan vs. Cleveland United
2:00 Brendan vs. Spectrum

Sat May 5
10:30 Nate North Canton
11:30 Brendan vs Cleve Select
3:15 Brendan vs Liberty

Sat May 12
9:30 Nate North Canton

Wednesday May 16
7:15 Brendan vs. Everest

Sat May 19
10:30 Nate North Canton
3:15 Brendan vs. NEO
4:30 Brendan vs. TCSC

Sat June 2
10:30 Nate North Canton (last game of the season!)

Sat June 9
9:00 Brendan vs Whitecaps

Sat June 23
2:00 Brendan vs Jackson Fury
*Schedule compiled by Michael, so if there are errors, yell at him.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

UPDATE Northern Ohio Cup Tournament

We found out late last night that therre are 158 teams expected in this tournament this weekend.  That means traffic/parking are going to be awful.  They recommended planning to be there an hour before the game starts to find a spot and hike over to the correct field.

Here's a link to the field map:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Soccer tourney this weekend

I just heard there's a 60% chance of rain, and the weather is expected to be in the 40s this weekend.  Oy.  Dress warm, wear boots, bring a thermos!

We will likely be late to the first game.  I have a meeting in Macedonia for girl scouts, and Mike is going to take Nate to his soccer game in North Canton.  We're hoping that Bren can hitch a ride with one of his teammates up to Lodi, and Mike and Nate should be there right around the time that first game starts.  There's a three-hour wait until the next game, so we'll likely go grab a bite to eat and let B rest and warm up.  Feel free to join us!

Monday, April 16, 2012

More Kindergarten News!

Nathan's Kindergarten class is having an end of the year school play.  It will be on Thursday, May 24th, 2012.  There will be two showtimes:  9:45 AM and 2:15 PM.  Please come and cheer on our Natey!  He loves an audience! If the Christmas play is any indication, it shouldn't be longer than fifteen minutes or so.

Come visit the KinderZoo!!

Nathan's Kindergarten class is studying animals.  They had to choose an animal, research where it lives and what it eats and what it looks like, write a short report about it, and then create a zoo habitat for their stuffed animal to live in.  The habitats will all be on display on Thursday, April 19, 2012.  The times are between 9:15-9:45 and 2:45-3:15

Nathan's is quite adorable and he worked very hard on it.  If you need directions to the school, call me.  Hopefully I'll have pictures later.  I wanted to take a picture before we delivered it to school, in case some awful tragedy befell it, but by the time I thought of it Mike already had it packed up and in the car.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

More soccer!

As I mentioned a week or so ago, Natey will be starting Y-League soccer this weekend!  He'll be on Team 5.  They won't have their t-shirts for a couple of weeks, so  just look for Mike.

Here's his game schedule (these games are all at the fields behind the old North Canton Middle School, where Brenny's used to be):

April 14 April 21 April 28
9:30 Field #1 1 & 6 1 & 4 5 & 8
10:30 Field #1 7 & 5 5 & 3 4 & 2
9:30 Field #2 8 & 4 6 & 2 1 & 3
10:30 Field #2 2 & 3 7 & 8 6 & 7
May 5 May 12 May 19
9:30 Field #1 2 & 7 1& 7 8 & 2
10:30 Field #1 1 & 8 8 & 6 6 & 4
9:30 Field #2 3 & 6 2 & 5 7 & 3
10:30 Field #2 4 & 5 3 & 4 1 & 5
May 26 June 2
9:30 Field #1 1 & 2 2 & 3
10:30 Field #1 3 & 8 7 & 5
9:30 Field #2 4 & 7 8 & 4
10:30 Field #25 & 6 1 & 6
Picture Day: April 28(Arrive 45 minutes before scheduled game on Pic Day)
The picture day blurb is just a reminder to myself.  Ignore it.