Tuesday, September 30, 2014


 Every year the City of Norfolk hosts a fall festival.  It used to be called "Lavitsef",which is Festival spelled backwards.  But about 3 years ago, the name was changed to Oktoberfest because the city has a large German background.  There are many activities going on in the city for the fall weekend. 
 We love attending the parade on Saturday morning.  It is filled with area marching bands.  The parade lasted for two hours and the kids hauled in a big bag of candy.  Uncle Randy joined us this year to watch the parade.
 This is the Norfolk Catholic Junior High marching band.  The kids can be seen daily at school marching up and down the street and in the parking lot practicing.

 The Creighton High School Marching Band was also in the parade.  Eli was on our side with his baritone.

 Later in the parade was the Norfolk Catholic High School Marching Band.
 Towards the end of the parade was Kelly's softball.  Ashlin and Cara walked with the teams and threw out candy.  Cara is pretty much an honorary member.  She doesn't play, but she goes to almost all the games and hangs out with the players.

 Later in the afternoon, Justin, Ashlin and I went down to the Chamber of Commerce corner where the bands were playing.  The street was blocked off and the kids enjoyed the bouncy houses.  Inside the tent, Cole's band, the North Fork, were playing two sets.  Cole is one of the neighbor boys.  He grew up on the block over from us.  He is now a senior at Kansas University and this is his band.  The band has an Irish folk sound.
That evening Keith and I went back downtown to meet up with friends to watch the Nebraska football game, watch the Mr. Oktoberfest competition, and listen to the Rude Band play in the beer tent.  The Mr. Oktoberfest was won by a friend, Steve Burroughs.  It was a fun day!

Take care,

Friday, September 26, 2014

8th Grade Beats Christ Lutheran

 We were back in the gym last night for two games against Christ Lutheran.  The 7th Grade lost in straight sets, but the 8th Grade won in straight sets.
 The girls had their new warm-up shirts.  The 8th Grade each year gets to pick the design for that season's shirt.  There has been many problems with getting these shirts printed correctly.  The first time the order came in the shirts said "Lady Vikings" instead of "Lady Knights" and some of the names were wrong on the back.  The next order of shirts came in yesterday and the coaches shirts and my shirt were incorrect and they forgot to print one for one girl.  Oh well, the printing company is going to try again.
This was not a great win, but it was a win.  As a whole they did not play as well as they did on Tuesday, but they will take the win.

Take care,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

8th Grade "A" Team Earns a BIG Win!

Tuesday after school we headed to the Norfolk Junior High School for 4 games of volleyball against the Norfolk Public Junior High.  There were A & B games for both 7th Grade and 8th Grade.
 All of the games were very exciting!  Three out of the four games went to three sets.  The games were very close and both teams fought hard for the win.
 Our girls have never played anywhere that the junior high players are announced before the game.  They weren't sure what to do, but they enjoyed hearing the announcer say each of their names.
These girls both 7th & 8th graders won the 8th Grade A game!
The 7th Grade B Team lost in three sets, the 7th Grade A Team lost in two sets, and the 8th Grade B Team lost in three sets.  Then in the finale' of the night, the 8th Grade A Team won in three sets.  They never gave up all night and we were so proud of them on a great victory.  There were a few 7th graders that played up to help (and they played awesome) and give the 8th graders some subs.  They truly played as a team!
Emma, Bailey and Cara after the game. 
 A few Norfolk Public fans cheered for both teams.  Bailey cheered for both teams.  Emma and Cara watched Bailey run Cross Country last week, so, she returned the favor.  Another Norfolk Public student, Ryley, who was a student last year at Norfolk Catholic and played volleyball with these girls, came over after the game and gave the girls hugs also.
There were tears of joy shed by these six girls after the win!  There were hugs, high-fives, pats on the back, and congrats all around. One Mom rushed the floor after the last point and was in the huddle with the girls.  She also pulled Justin onto the floor with her.  Justin was a big cheerleader in the stands with the fans.  Coach Freese told the girls that Norfolk Catholic hasn't had a win over Norfolk Public's 8th Grade A team in years. 
The girls had a few other 8th Grade students show up to cheer on the girls also.  These kids are cross country runners.  The junior high football teams were playing in Pierce.  The 7th Grade football team lost, but the 8th Grade football team won 40-0.

I struggled all night sitting at the scorer's table keeping book.  When you keep book, you are not allowed to cheer for either team.  You must be impartial.  During one timeout, I was praying a few "Hail Mary's" for the team to pull out a win. 

Today after school we are back in the gym at Norfolk Catholic with junior high games against Christ Lutheran.  Hopefully we get a another win!

Take care,
Michelle Leader

Monday, September 22, 2014

Midland University Volleyball Clinic

On Saturday morning, the kids and I headed to Fremont to Midland University for a FREE volleyball clinic.  Midland is also my college alma mater.  I found out about the clinic just a few days before hand.  Keith's secretary's daughter, Krystina, starts varsity for Midland.  She is a 6'3" sophomore middle hitter.
 The clinic was open to girls in 5th-8th Grade.  The assistant coach allowed Ashlin to also attend the clinic with her sisters.  The group of girls were welcomed to Midland by Assistant Coach Nicole.
 The girls practiced skills with the Midland volleyball players for an hour and a half.  Then they were treated to lunch by the college of pizza and gatorades.
 Then they got to attend a junior varsity and varsity match.  Midland was playing Briar Cliff that day.  Both the JV and Varsity teams won in straight sets.  Plus the day was FREE for the girls.
 Ashlin had a smile on her face the whole time because this was her first big volleyball clinic.  Usually she is too young to attend, but this time she could go with her sisters.

Justin and I watched the clinic a little bit, went to Gordman's shopping, ate lunch at Dairy Queen and then headed back to the college to watch some volleyball with the girls. 

Take care,

Monday, September 15, 2014

Volleyball Season Begins

It was a divide and conquer weekend of volleyball.  Cara and Erica both started their volleyball seasons on Saturday.  Cara was in Hartington at the Cedar Catholic Junior High Tournament and Erica was in Pender for a club ball 6th Grade Tournament.
Ashlin and I went to Hartington to watch Cara and the junior high girls play.  I am keeping scorebook again for the junior high girls.  Ashlin was the photographer for the day.
 The 8th Grade only has six girls out for volleyball this fall.  With only 10 girls in the whole grade, six was a good number to come up with.  Six girls are playing volleyball and four girls are running cross country.
 The tournament was two pools with three teams in each pool.  First, the girls played the two teams in their pool, Crofton and Allen.  Then they played a game against the #2 team coming out of the other pool, Ponca.
The girls lost to Crofton in two, but then bounced back and beat Allen in three sets.  Then lost in two to Ponca. 
These six girls have come so far together.  They played hard today without any subs.  It was just these six.  Going forward, a few 7th Grade girls will sit on the bench just in case of sickness or injury.  But, for this tournament it was just these six.
 They had some success today!  They never gave up when they got down and fought to get back in the game.  They ran the offense with bump, set and spike.  They ran their butts off to go after balls.  They had some success blocking at the net!  The parents and coach were so PROUD of them!  You could tell the parents were proud of them when after a game there were high-fives, hugs and pats on the back all around!
Justin, Keith and Erica had to leave Norfolk with Tom and Anna at 6:30 a.m. to be in Pender by 8:00a.m.  I am sorry that I have no photos from Pender.  Hopefully another parent will pass some on to me. Justin was one tired little boy when they got home.  I found him like this when I walked in from Hartington.  I was told that he cheered his heart out for those girls!  Erica and the 6th Grade team won the silver bracket at the Pender Tournament!  They went 3-1 in pool play.  Keith told me that they played very well and they played as a team! 

We may have had to divide and conquer to watch both the girls, but we were in both gyms via text messages flying back and forth with game updates.  Now, we have a couple weeks off before the next regular season game and tournament.  The girls head back to the gym to practice this week and work on improving their skills.

Take care,

Monday, September 8, 2014

Parish Festival Color Run

On Saturday morning, Keith and Cara participated in the NC Fund Color Run.  They each ran the 5K course at Skyview Lake.  This time Keith finished ahead of Cara.  She didn't mind at all.  Cara had told Tom, Emma's Dad, that she would run with him the whole way.  Tom hasn't been running very long and isn't very fast.  She would run beside him, get ahead, walk and let him catch up, and so on.  Very proud of them for running a good race!

Take care,