Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Celebrating Norfolk's 150th

Over the long 4th of July weekend, the City of Norfolk celebrated its 150th birthday!
 There is always a parade on the 4th of July.  Usually, the parade lasts about an hour and is short and sweet.  But, this year it lasted two hours!
 Our church had a float and the school also had a float with the high school band playing.

 Long parade means more candy for Justin!!!
 Cara asked me why I took a photo of this man.  This is Larry.  He loves tractors, collects them and goes on tractor drives.  When I was a teenager, I walked beans for Larry.  His two daughters, Lynette and Jennifer, are like sisters to me because we all grew up together. 
 We had to wait until almost the very end of the parade before the three NPPD trucks rolled by.  Keith, Ashlin, Erica and Charli (one of Erica's friends) walked in the parade and passed out candy and other NPPD items.


Take care,
Michelle

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Farm League Champions

Due to his age, Justin had to move up a level in baseball this year.  He moved from coach-pitch league to Farm League kid pitch.  Justin was a member of the Pyro Shock Fireworks Royals Team.
 Justin loves the major league Royals, so therefore, he was very excited to be on the Royals team for little league baseball this summer.
 With moving up a division also came a few new rules.  The kids had to face a kid pitcher when batting.  There are no walks, but there are strike outs.  If a batter gets four balls, then a coach comes in and pitches to them. If you are hit by a pitch, a coach comes in and pitches to you.  You must hit the ball to get on base.  Justin had his share of good hits, but he also struck out his share of times.
 Every kid on the team, if he wanted to, got the chance to pitch in at least one game.  Some games a different player would pitch each inning.  The game at this level of play is very slow.  Each player is just learning to pitch.  Many balls are thrown all over the place.
 The players are moved to different positions every couple of innings.  Games were 90 minutes long which was usually about 3 innings.  The boys started playing at the beginning of May and ended last week with a tournament.  We do not travel and they only play teams in their league.  The Farm League consisted this season of 5 teams - Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Orioles, Braves and the Royals.
 Going into the tournament, the Royals, Justin's team, were the #3 seed.  First, they played the #2 seed, the Diamondbacks.  Also going into the tournament, the head coach decided to have a new strategy of having batting practice before the game.  The boys had not been hitting the ball well the last few games so Coach wanted to try something new.  The Royals won the game 11-1 which put them in the championship game!
 In the championship game, the Royals played the #1 seeded Braves.  The Braves were undefeated during regular season play. 
 At the end of four innings, the Royals had pulled the upset and won 6-0.  During the regular season, the Royals had only scored 16 runs.  But, during the two tournament games, the boys scored 17 runs.  I guess the batting practice before the games definitely helped.  Each boy stepped up to the plate fearless and with confidence.  Everyone was hitting the ball and the defense was stingy.
 After receiving their gold medals, they took a victory lap around the bases and then dumped ice water on the coaches! 
 Then the coaches had one last team huddle before the whole team went out for pizza to celebrate.  Justin told me, "Coach said we could win the whole thing from the start.  He knew we could do it!". 
Take care,
Michelle

Monday, July 4, 2016

Walking to Work

Erica has a full-time job this summer.  She is babysitting for a family that lives about four houses down the street.  Erica is at work Monday thru Friday from 7:45-4:00 watching Cooper (7) and Tucker (5).  Once in awhile, she has a day off, it their dad has to work a weekend.  It was either babysit or go to the fields to detassel.  She has had some rough days, but also some fun days!  They hang out, walk to the park, go to the movies, attend kid presentations at the public library, play Legos, play Pok√©mon, run through the sprinkler, etc. 

The highlight may have been last week when they saw a snake in the yard!  Tucker came running to our house to tell me all about it.  It was a great story to hear from a 5-year old point of view!

This has been a great learning experience for Erica!  She is earning money and gaining some life skills.

Take care,
Michelle 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Youth Optimist Track

This year we only had one kid sign up for Youth Optimist Track.  Justin was the only one.  Cara is too old, Erica was in junior high track and Ashlin didn't want to do it, that just left Justin.
For his running events, Justin chose the 55M hurdles and the 400M dash.  I held my breath through the hurdles race because last year he tripped on a hurdle and fell getting scraped up pretty good.  But, this year Justin cleared every hurdle and won his heat earning him a first place ribbon.  Then in the 400M dash, Justin and Callen (one of his best friends) ran the race side by side talking until the final curve.  Justin was fine getting 2nd place to Callen.  He said after the race that he just ran out of gas toward the end!

Take care,
Michelle

Thursday, June 30, 2016

First Communion-Part II

 After First Communion, Justin got a photo with Fr. Andrews.
 Justin and Gage
 Nathen, Justin, Corbyn and Zach
 Justin and Mason.  We always take a neighborhood photo.  Mason lives just around the corner from us and is a frequent playmate of Justin.
 Justin chose to have a marble cross cake made by Jana.
 The required family photos - siblings


 Justin with his godparents - Uncle David, Uncle Ron and Aunt Holly
 Grandpa and Grandma Leader
Grandpa and Grandma Korth

Take care,
Michelle

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

First Communion-Part I

Justin received the sacrament of First Holy Communion on April 10th.
 
 On Saturday morning, the class had practice and pictures.  This was so much easier this time around since if was a boy instead of a girl.  With the girls, we would be up before the sun doing hair and getting them ready.  Justin was a piece of cake! 
Justin was very proud of his suit for the occasion.  Justin wore a neighborhood suit.  One of our neighbors, Deb, has five boys and this suit has been passed around to friends, family and neighbors over the years and it fit Justin perfect.  I bought him a shirt, tie and shoes, but Deb loaned him the pants and jacket.  When he tried it on the first time, I took his photo and sent it to Deb.  She was so happy it fit him.
 This is one of Justin's best friends, Callen.  These two always find a way to sit together, laugh together, and just be goofballs.  They both have blonde hair and are about the same height.  Plus, they both spend quite a bit of time in the gym watching sisters play sports.


 The class was very large this year!  The lady in charge said that it was one of the largest classes ever for the parish.
 Justin walked down the aisle with Kolby.
 Carly, Justin and Hayden
 Justin and Ty
 Justin with Mrs. Pfeifer, his 2nd Grade teacher.  She used to be our neighbor and Justin loved having her as a teacher.
 Leighton, Brecken and Justin - this may be one of my favorite photos.
Justin with a group of classmates.  What a group of boys!

Take care,
Michelle

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Driver's Education

You know how you see these student driver cars around town and each time you just cringe and try to stay out of their way.  Well, Cara took driver's education this spring because she is getting close to turning 16 and getting her license.

This is not the vehicle that Cara drove.  She got to drive a Norfolk Catholic school van.  Cara started by taking classroom sessions before getting behind the wheel of a car.  While driving, she had to have drive time in the country, on a highway, city street driving, parking (angle, straight, parallel), round-abouts, etc.  She passed with flying colors. 

Cara has had her learner's permit since November and has actually driven quite a bit.  She would drive us home from school almost every day.  She has driven our family to Omaha to the Century Link and parked in the lot (I was petrified for part of the trip, but Keith wasn't). 

Since Cara took driver's education, she just has to show the DMV her certificate of completion.  She will not have to take a written test or a driving test.  Just pay the fee and take an eye exam.  Plus, we get a discount on our insurance since she passed the class.

Take care,
Michelle