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