Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wayne State Volleyball Camp

 This week Cara spent two days attending a volleyball camp at Wayne State College.  The camp was for girls in 3rd-8th grade. We carpooled with other girls in Cara's class.
 I am not sure how many girls attended the camp, but the gym was always full along with a couple other gyms.  Unfortunately, the air conditioning was not working in the gym, so, the gym was very warm and muggy.
 Cara got to hang out with other girls that she has been volleyball against in summer league volleyball, which she thought was fun.
 We paid the extra money so that Cara could enjoy lunch on campus instead of taking a brown bag lunch.  From the conversations that I heard in the car and from Cara, it was money well spent.  The girls thought the food was so good and couldn't believe all of the food choices.  These girls had no idea that college food was like that!
 Cara made this comment to me after getting home the last day, "That was the hardest I have ever worked at a camp and it was also the most fun I have ever had a camp."  Guess this means she will probably want to go back next summer for volleyball camp.
 On the last day, awards were handed out by the Wayne State Volleyball Team to some of the camp participants.  Wayne State College has really been a successful volleyball team the last few years.  One of the team members is from Norfolk, Liz Gebhart, graduated from Lutheran High Northeast.
One last team huddle before camp was officially over!

Take care,

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Fun is Exhausting!

We attempted to go boating last weekend for the first time this summer.  After driving an hour up to the river and putting the boat in, the boat would not start.  We tried charging the battery longer and even tried a jump start, but the boat would not start.

Our kids were pretty bummed until the Johnson Family asked if they wanted to boat with them for awhile.  The kids went with the Johnson Family and had fun tubing.  Keith and I stayed behind and took the boat out of the water and covered.  Hopefully the boat will get fixed this week and we can try again.

After being in the sun and boating, we had one tired little boy on the way home.  Justin fell asleep in the truck and didn't even hardly blink when Keith carried him inside. 

Take care,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thanks Coach

Last night was Justin's last baseball game for the season.  Justin had the best coach and we wanted to thank him with a little gift for doing such an awesome job with these boys ages 4-6 years old.  Coach taught them many new things and had great patience throughout the season.
While out running errands, Justin and I stopped at The Dollar Tree and picked up a few snacks all related to baseball.  Justin gave his coach peanuts, cracker jacks, Baby Ruth candy bars, baseball gum balls and a Coke.

The idea for the gift bag and the tag attached came from the girls over at Eighteen 25.  They also had tags you could print for volleyball, which we are going to do later in the week because summer league volleyball also ends this week.

Take care,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

More Volleyball for Cara

 Cara is also playing summer league volleyball.  Each Wednesday during June Cara is on the court playing volleyball.  The 7th grade girls only have 6 players playing summer league.  They have started to be introduced to running an offense.
 This week Cara is also taking in a basketball camp at school and next week she will spend two days at a volleyball camp at Wayne State College.  She practices her volleyball in the driveway on a daily basis.
 These girls may not be winning, but Cara is having fun spending time with some of her friends while playing a sport that she loves.  Some day their hard work will start to pay off.
Yes, I spend a lot of time on a bench on Wednesdays watching our children play a sport.  Every Wednesday they each play in a sport activity.  We start off the morning with Ashlin playing softball at 8:30.  Then Cara and Erica play volleyball from about 10:00 until 3:00.  Then in the evening we all head out for Justin's baseball game.  It is a long day of sitting on a bench for this Mom, but I love to watch each of them participating in a physical activity.

Take care,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer League Volleyball

 Last summer Cara played summer league volleyball for the four Wednesdays in June.  The league was for girls going into 6th-8th grade.  This summer the league was expanded to include 5th graders; therefore, Erica gets to also play this summer.
 The Norfolk Catholic 5th graders have 12 girls playing summer league volleyball, so, they have a red team and a black team.  Erica is so excited about playing and improving her skills.
 It is total game experience for these girls and getting them touches while having fun playing.  The first week the girls lost both of their games, but last week Erica's team won a few sets and they were super excited.  Each week they play their skills are improving.
 Erica, Cara and Ashlin have been practicing in the driveway bumping the ball, setting the ball and serving the ball.  Erica's serve has really improved.
Take care,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Playing Softball

 Every Monday night at 5:30 and every Wednesday morning at 8:30, Ashlin can be found playing City Recreation softball.  This is her last year to play t-ball and she is having fun.
 Ashlin and her teammates have been improving each game.  Last Wednesday Ashlin and her friend, Josy, actually got three batters out in a row.  Ashlin was playing second base and Josy was playing first base.  Each batter hit the ball to Ashlin, she fielded the ball and then through the ball to Josy on first base for the out.  It was totally amazing!
Ashlin even got her hair cut to shoulder length for the summer.  She needed to be cooler in this hot weather. 

Take care,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nucor Giants Baseball

 On Monday and Wednesday nights, we can be found at the baseball fields by the Norfolk Public Library watching Justin play baseball on the Nucor Giants Baseball Team.
 Justin has an awesome coach this year.  The coach is very patient with these boys that are 4-6 years old.  He has taught them the name of each position and where each position stands in the field.  The coach reviews this with the kids each game and during practice.  The are working on knowing what a force out is.
 All lined up to bat.  I think the coach is touching Justin's batting helmet in the photo.

 Last game the first time through the batting order each player hit the ball off the tee. 
 But the next time through the batting order, each one got to have the coach pitch to them.  They were each given four chances to hit.  If they weren't successful, then the tee was brought out to hit off of. 
Justin had a hard hit to third base when the coach was pitching.  He was so excited that he hit the ball!  Only a few more weeks of baseball left.  The summer is moving fast!

Take care,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vegetable Gardening

Spinach (in the corner at top left), then lettuce, and two rows of radishes
 The vegetable gardens have been planted for awhile and last week I took a few photos while we were weeding and picking some produce.  Yes, we did get to harvest some lettuce and spinach last week and more this week already. We have been enjoying fresh lettuce and spinach salads.  I have been drinking a green smoothie that has spinach and fruit in it.  The smoothie looks pretty gross, but it doesn't taste bad.  It pretty much tastes like whatever fruit I add to it.  We expanded the garden this year and we added some more vegetables this year.
 Like I said, we added a couple cabbage plants this year to the garden.  I cannot believe how much the plants grew from last week to this week.  Last week the girls fertilized all of the vegetables and God supplied us with some rain last week to also help.
 These three rhubarb plants were out of control.  I took some home and cut it up for freezing.  I also baked two batches of rhubarb muffins which our kids and the neighbor kids enjoyed.  Some other friends came and also picked rhubarb for freezing and for jelly.
 The strawberries are blooming, but no berries yet.  Ashlin is waiting patiently for the berries to appear.  For Mother's Day, I gave my mom three blueberry bushes so that we can start growing more berries.  Produce is so expensive in the store, that we might as well start growing more produce.  Too bad that blueberry bushes take three years until they start bearing fruit.
 Justin planted the two rows of peas to the left and Ashlin planted the two rows of green beans to the right.  We are trying regular green beans this year, but the girls are trying the special garden 4-H project of amethyst beans also.  The beans will have purple pods that will turn green when they are cooked.  We'll see what happens!
 These are our 10 tomato plants.  We planted 4 traditional tomato plants and 6 roma tomato plants.  I can't make salsa without lots and lots of tomatoes.  We also planted jalapeno peppers, green peppers and onions to also go in the canned salsa.
So far the sweet corn and potatoes are not doing the best.  The potatoes had to be replanted and are just very small yet.  We also planted cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, dill, and I'm not sure what else. 

The vegetable garden is again a joint adventure with my parents at their farm.  The farm is not very far away, so, we can go out and pick produce and help weed and water the garden.  Grandpa and Grandma got the fence put back up around the big garden to keep out animals.  Some critter has been munching on the peas and beans, so, I put down some urine granules around the perimeter to keep the critters away!  Hopefully, it works or else we won't have peas or beans!

Take care,

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Sternberg

 Saturday afternoon, Andrew got married to Makayla and made her part of the Leader family.  The wedding and reception were held at Makayla's parents' home by Wayne.  It was a lovely reception!
Conner was the ring bearer for his big brother's wedding.  We loved Conner's shirt that said "ring security" on it.  We heard from Grandpa and Grandma Leader that Conner did an awesome job being the ring bearer.  We didn't get to talk to Conner much because he was having so much fun playing outside on the farm with his cousins.
 The decorations and flowers added just the right touch.  The supper and wedding cake were very delicious and the punch was very tasty.  We enjoyed the evening and wish the couple well wishes.
We wish Andrew and Makayla many years of wedded bliss together!

Take care,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2013 Knox County Relay for Life

 Friday night was the Knox County Relay for Life in Creighton.  This year was the 12th year for our Leader/Guenther "Wanna-B-Lifesavers" team.  Not very members of our team were there for the walk this year, but we still raised some money.  The walk this year was moved from mid-July to May 31st to beat the hot weather.  The weather this year was very windy and cold.  When the event started it was about 65 degrees without the wind factored in.
There were 15 teams this year, but I don't think very many people stayed the whole night due to the weather.  The oral auction that is usually held outdoors on the infield of the track was moved indoors due to the weather.  Merina's "Team Jack" t-shirt and concrete grey cancer ribbon did sell for $400, which was awesome.  Hopefully some day a cure will be found for all forms of cancer!

Take care,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Kingdom Rock Vacation Bible School

Justin and I spent every morning last week at Kingdom Rock Vacation Bible School.  Justin was in the Kindergarten room and I was an adult helper I that room.  Every morning we learned a way that God would help us "Stand Strong".  Some ways to "Stand Strong" were through prayer, through the Bible, through our family and friends, etc.
 Every day we also had a new Bible buddy to help us learn a new way to "Stand Strong".  We learned about Truman the bulldog, Duke the horse, Swift the eagle, and Sir Valiant the lion.  We also got to listen and watch a video about Chaddar the chipmunk and his adventure.
 The kids loved music time.  A group of older students came into the room each day and taught the students some religious songs with actions.  By the end of the week, they knew many new songs.
 The students also did a craft each day.  They made pillows, decorated knight shields, made crowns, etc.  Every day after craft time it was snack time which is always a hit! 
The students also listened to a new Bible story each day.  The focus this year was on the Old Testament so the Bible stories were new to the kids.  It was a great week at Kingdom Rock!

Take care