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Friday, August 30, 2013

Fun Stuff at Polo Practice

Last night was the night we were set to host dinner for Stephen's water polo team up in Santa Clara.  When I got a text from him around 5:30, I thought it was going to be a question about the dinner.  Turns out he was texting to let me know his front tooth had been knocked out at practice.  No it's not the first time and no it probably won't be the last time.  My initial reaction was frustration that he probably wasn't wearing his mouthguard.  I finally got him to call me and he said he was wearing his mouthguard, but that his teammate had elbowed him just right.  He said his reaction was to spit his mouthguard out when it happened.  Which then caused his tooth to sink to the bottom of the pool.  I asked him what his coach said.  He said he told him to put some goggles on and find the tooth.  Here's an old photo of Stephen without his tooth when he was still wearing a flipper retainer instead of the bridge.

He said the real bummer is that the dentist up there can't see him until Tuesday.  So he gets to go the whole weekend looking like the photo above.  I told him to get a flipper retainer made for these kind of emergencies but he hated the flipper so much that he says he'd rather deal with the toothless smile.  My only concern is that his teeth will shift.  But what am I to do at this point, he's a man now and has to make these decisions.  Oh the joys.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

1st day of school

It was another year of staggered starts for the kids.  I actually like it because it gives me some individual time with all three.  But it cuts the summer short 3 weeks on each end because we can't take a vacation with one still in school.  It's also a bit of a bummer for the first one to start school because we usually stay on vacation until the day before the first one starts.

This year Nikki was the lucky first one.  Luckily she wears a uniform to school so there wasn't any back to school shopping to be done.  The other plus was that she's driving now so when they got the school supply lists she was able to meet her friends at Target and all get their shopping done without me.  Yay for that because I hate school supply shopping.  Her friends drove over on the first morning of school and carpooled.  They were so adorable.  It's hard to believe they're already juniors in high school!

Nikki, Cassie and Jenny

The next one to start school was Stephen.  Well I take that back, he left for school but did not start.  He had to report in to Santa Clara for water polo on 8/21 even though school didn't start until 9/23.  So we jumped on a plane, stopped by Bed, Bath & Beyond and picked up all of his dorm gear and moved him into his temporary dorm.  He'll be there until 9/12 and then he'll move into his permanent dorm.  He'll have a few weeks alone and then his permanent roommate will move in on 9/21.  We will go up on move in weekend and visit, but luckily won't have any moving to do and can just enjoy our visit.  Here's a photo of Stephen and his temporary roommate Nick.  Nick is one of his water polo teammates.  So far they're having a great time together!  Maybe at move in weekend I'll get his day before 1st day of college photo.

And last but not least was Ali.  She just started 8th grade on Monday.  So we had the most time to hang out and get her "stuff" done.  As it turned out we did a lot of it after school started.  She did get some back to school clothes, but she didn't get her haircut or pedicure until after the first day.  She had two summer projects that she swore she wouldn't be working on at the last minute.  And lo and behold that last weekend, they weren't complete.  So she didn't get to get her other stuff in.  And then I made her wait for the school supplies until after the teachers gave her their lists because it always changes.  And did I mention, I hate school supply shopping.  But I think that's a whole other post.  

Ali and her gang always walk to the corner after school and sit and visit for about 10 minutes before getting in the car to go home.  This year, they'd decided to meet there before school to so that they could visit as they walk.  It worked out great for her 1st day of school photos.

Paige, Ali, McKenna, Lauren & Isiah

All in all it was a successful start to another school year.  Even if it makes me sad how quickly they're growing.  But I do love having teenagers!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nikki's Soccer Summer

Nikki has had a summer FULL of soccer.  Thankfully her coach allowed us to still enjoy our trips we had planned and let us work around tournaments.  Her team has picked up a few girls and is coming along nicely.  We played in some higher level tournaments at the top levels and did very well.  Unfortunately I've really stopped taking my camera to games. Being the manager of the team, I have enough stuff I have to tote to each game.  Between my binder to check the girls in before games, the canopy and water bottles, the last thing I want to carry is my heavy camera.  Plus we have another dad on the team that takes great photos of the girls.

It was so great to see the girls come together a little bit more at each tournament. They made it to quarter finals, then semi finals, then lost in the final game at the last tournament.  They have another one this weekend.  Hopefully they will take it!  But either way, I'm proud of the hard work they are putting in and glad to see it's paying off.

Lake Powell

I'm finally finishing up our summer posts.  Lake Powell was to be our big family vacation.  We usually leave the day after JO's ends and stay until someone starts school.  This year, Nikki needed one extra day because she'd gone to CS Long Beach for their 4 day soccer camp.  She ended up not really liking the campus, (mainly stemming from the several cockroaches they found in their dorms) but liked the coach and the program.

So after she got home, we headed off for our vacation.  Nikki was bringing Sydney, and the other two decided not to bring anyone.  Most of Stephen's friends were heading off to college and Ali likes the time alone.

Of the nine days we were there, we had a few good ones.  We just kept calling it an adventure.  We had a flash flood that made it impossible to get back to our hotel for several hours after coming off the lake.  We had our boat break down, which thankfully it did so right in front of our friend that services the boat back home.  And then we had another almost full day of heavy rain that kept us off of the lake.  But on the bright side, we met up with our friends that service our boat and on another day met up with our other friends.  They had room to entertain us on their boat the one day Bill had to pull our boat out of the water to try to fix it.  And on the rainy day we played tourists and did the dam tour.  Of course we made dam jokes the whole time!

Nikki and Ali cliff jumping

Me and the kids after swimming to this big rock

We all learned how to surf behind the Inkrott's boat.  So fun!

Stephen getting some great air.

Ali learned how to wakeboard!

Double boarding?! Oh yeah!

One of my favorite photos :)

Bill and I 

Even though the running joke was that next year we are going to Hawaii, we had a great time.  Still haven't decided if we're going to sell the boat or not, but either way we made some great memories!

Junior Olympics 2013

This was Stephen's last year to play in JO's.  Their club always has a hard time retaining an 18's team.  I think mainly because some quit playing after their last high school season, especially if they aren't going to play in college.  This year we had a good group of boys.  We had several that committed to play division 1 in college, so they all wanted to finish out their last year.  The training was tough because some had college practices to go to, others had jobs.  In our case, it was the first summer we were able to take family vacations because Stephen didn't have the high school practices.  So he didn't miss too much, but  he did get to go fishing in Mammoth with Bill and to Havasu for Nikki's birthday.

I think when JO's rolled around at the end of July, none of us were too sure how the team would come together.  They'd not done very well in the earlier tournaments.  But just like last year, they stepped it up and came together right when they needed to.  We've had such a great run with Foothill Club, meeting some great families, great boys and great coaches.  I hope Stephen has as good of a time in college as he's had in high school.

Fifth place overall finish!  Last year they took 4th and this year 5th, that's higher than any other 18's team has ever gotten.  And they did it two years in a row.  Great job boys!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

More July Fun!

So we had 4th of July festivities here on Thursday.  Sunday we were packed up and left for Nikki's Lake Havasu celebration.  For her 16th birthday, she wanted to invite a group of friends and head out to the river.  Bill and I ended up entertaining 12 kids for five days!  We had a great time and I think they did too.  And the best part is that we really got it all in:

Group photo
I just liked this shot of Stephen
Ali & Grace cliff jumping
Birthday girl, Cassie & Jenny
Nikki playing Charlie's Angels before rope swinging
Stephen on the rope swing
Bill getting some knee boarding in
Dinner at Golden Horseshoe
Got her!
Final day

Yes most of the last day was spent with the kids flying through the air and the raft flipping over.  They wanted to be sure they didn't miss out on anything.  So Bill obliged them and made sure they all got the ride they desired.  It made for some great pictures!  In the five days we were here, I took just over 1000 photos!  I guess we can't say her birthday wasn't well documented.  So we got home late Wednesday. Thursday morning, Nikki went and took her driver's license test:

She got the scary redhead that has failed several of her friends.  But thankfully, she charmed her and drove safely and got licensed!!  That afternoon, we hoped on a plane and headed up to Davis, CA for a soccer tournament. Yep that how our summer has gone.  

We caught a flight out Sunday evening after they didn't move on to the finals since I had another flight right back up there on Wednesday for Stephen's orientation.  He and I were up there until Friday.  It was a ton of information for parents and a chance to socialize for students.  He had a great time, stayed up late, and met lots of  new people.  I didn't see him much, but I enjoyed myself and met a lot of parents.  Friday evening, he flew home while I flew to San Diego for another soccer tournament for Nikki.  Bill had driven down that afternoon to check the team in for me, and picked me up at the airport.  I was especially thankful since my flight was delayed an hour.  And with that being the second flight that was delayed an hour, I was kind of done with flying.  Thankfully I don't have to fly again until August  20th when Stephen will move up to Santa Clara.  Plus that about winds down the part of our summer that had my head spinning.

July's Fun! 4th of July

Still catching up on our summer fun, I'll move into July.  It was a busy month too.  It started off with the 4th of July celebration at our house.  It's been a tradition to celebrate here with a BBQ and "safe and sane" fireworks show. This year we really debated staying down at the beach and enjoying a big show.  But in the end, we didn't want to add any more hotel stays to our packed summer.  So we invited some friends and family over and proceeded to have a great day!

It was great for Millie this year that The Katona's came too.  Millie and Mylie had a great time playing together all evening.  The food was great, and the company even better.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Catching Up

Summer has been a whirlwind.  I've been gone for most of it.  Luckily the kids events all alternated so I was able to get to everything even if it meant not being home much of the summer.  In fact, I just realized I haven't gone in our pool once all summer.  That will have to be remedied soon.

But I should go back to the beginning of the summer...

Our summer started off with a trip to Scottsdale.  It was two days after Ali got out of school.  Just the girls and I went.  Bill and Stephen were going to use that week to go to Alaska, but it didn't work out for them to go.  It was a trip we'd won at St. Lucy's BASH with the intention of it being a "girls" trip.  I had told the girls they could bring friends and we'd hang at the pool.  Or we could go alone and have a spa day and shopping.  They both opted to go with just us.  We had a great time!

Two weeks later,  Ali had her last volleyball tournament in Phoenix.  It's called the Festival and it's meant to celebrate girls in sports.  So they had a big opening ceremony and all of the girls stayed in rooms together.  I took Ali by myself so I had a room by myself all week.  Kinda weird, but it was a fun week.  I got to know a lot of the parents better and Ali had a great time.

That was June.  I'll start on July soon.  First I've got to run outside and check on our puppies that we're fostering.  They are adorable and love running in the grass.