29 January 2010

Not Just Any Leaf

The kids and I were off on some errand the other day, when I saw this leaf blowing in the breeze. I had to stop and take a picture, even though the kids think I'm crazy for doing it. What are the odds that this leaf, hit with enough force in exactly the right spot for its stem to get stuck in the crack in the asphalt? I'm just so amazed at the this world around us.

27 January 2010

Kidbits - 26 January 10

Rachel was awarded a coupon for free bowling and a certificate from her teacher as the top writer on her team. She has a notebook full of song lyrics and she has three books in the works. Rachel is also our only daughter that keeps an up to date journal. She's a writer!

Samantha has been playing soccer for the last two seasons, but, wanted to go back to her first sports-love: gymnastics. She tried out for the River City Competitive team and won her spot back! She is at the gym nine hours a week and meet season will start in October. Way to go, Samantha! (That bar is four feet off of the ground!)

Charlotte is loving first grade and made honor roll again. She was one of only three kids in her class to move up to the Accelerated Reader program. You are getting so big, Charlotte!

Jay must have spent a full hour placing every ball we have in the house (and there are many) on top of this box and then kicking it as hard as he could, just to watch them all scatter. Then he did it again. And again. And again.

26 January 2010

Whooping Cough?

The Ball Team had a serious run in with germs - back off slowly. It seems that one of the ladies has contracted Pertussis, and shared with her family. I thought whooping cough was long dead, but, it turns out that it's still common and quite a nuisance if you are a teacher trying to teach a class of middle schoolers and one sweet lady just CAN'T stop coughing. So, off we went to the doctor to get the three oldest checked out. I brought along my support staff of babysitting kids, too.

With diagnosis in hand, we went home. And stayed there. For a week. A WEEK! James was even sent home with his coughing family, since his job brings him into face to face contact. You teach your kids to share, but, then, whooping cough comes along and we all have to get stingy.

So, at home, together, for a week...we tried to make the best of it. No friends, no playdates, no activities. Just the seven of us (plus my babysitting kids, who braved the germs). There was plenty of time to play on the computer, play board games in swimsuits, and play on the Wii; we did all our make up work from school and watched movies and took long naps...
Now we are all medicated, off of quarantine and back into the swing of things. No more sharing germs!

16 January 2010

Any Takers?

Form an orderly line to the right, everyone - they are giving kids away for FREE!

13 January 2010

Six Month Allergy Check Up

This boy is tough! He is still allergic to dogs, eggs and all nuts (peanuts, walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans...). He saw his Pediatric Allergist today --- can I just insert how much I LOVE Arkansas Children's Hospital; just fantastic --- and he is doing fine. He is just as allergic as he ever was, but, is managing all his open sores and itchy patches with steroid creams and antihistamines. He is not a candidate for the allergy shots, since his allergies are not environmentally based. We simply have to watch what he eats and keep dogs at a respectable distance. Back again in six months!

12 January 2010

My Own Snowman

My parents live in Maryland. While Maryland does get snow, it usually doesn't last too long. This winter, Maryland had plenty of snow - about three feet - and it came in a hurry, but, left in a hurry, too. As I talked to my folks, I asked if they were planning on playing in the snow. Ma answered that they did not think so. I said you and Dad should make snow angels. Send me a picture of them, and I'll put it on the blog. A few days later, I got a card in the mail and in it was this picture and a note from my Dad - No angels, but your Mom and I made this snowman for you.

Thanks, I love it. He was cold; I gave him a snowman hat....

09 January 2010

Great Odds

You never know what you might find in a WalMart parking lot, but look at this - Josephine's middle name on a license plate! Lisette is a French form of Elizabeth; it's just not a name you hear everyday. Plus, what are the odds that someone would have the name, put it on their license plate, live in Arkansas AND park in the same row we did on the same night? It's amazing to me that these "presents" are put in our path. Maybe just our Father in Heaven's way of saying - "I know you; I am with you."

Kidbits - 9 January 2010

I've decided to start a new "column" here at the Ball Team blog - it'll be Kidbits. The idea is to use those pictures that are cute and qualify as something the grandfolks might want to see, but, don't really have enough for a post just themselves. So, anyone looking for thought-provoking or deep philosophical commentary might want to breeze right over these. I'm just showing what we're up to and how great I think my ladies and little prince are....

It's been COLD lately. Our part of Arkansas doesn't see much snow, but, man, it's been COLD. This fountain is in the center of town, and ironically we were out paying the water bill when we found that the fountain had to pay an ice bill... Plus, I love the angle Rachel used in this shot of Samantha. Don't you?

Also on the cold note, the dogs have been staying inside at night, because while Cody (the Great Pyrenees) could handle weather down to -4, Sheila (the Catahoula) is much more delicate, so they both get to come in enjoy the warm house overnights. Since Jay is allergic to dogs, they go out at first light and they can only sleep on the tile. So far, they have been great houseguests - no accidents in the mornings, and no barking. Just lots of wags!

Since the ladies have been out of school on Christmas break, we've been able to spend some time doing the fun stuff - like staying up to the wee hours of the morning playing Monopoly! We put Jay to bed, let the little ladies join sides for as long as their interest or their eyelids will allow, and then the competition begins. We made hot chocolate, ate all our Christmas goodies and enjoyed nothing more than time together. Then we slept in the next day...gotta love Monopoly!

Don't you love Josephine and Jay's newest workout? Bunkbeds have been one of the best toys we have at home. I was getting their bed ready for the night, and they were more interested in playing. It's great to be a kid! Work those abs....

04 January 2010

Charlotte is Seven

Charlotte Lareine Ball was born on December 27, 2002 in Newport News, Virginia. She was the largest baby of the family, then or since, weighing in at 9 pounds, 14 ounces. When I was six months pregnant, the doctors told me that Charlotte had Downs Syndrome and asked if we wanted to terminate our pregnancy. Turns out they were mistaken; Charlotte was born perfect and healthy as a horse. She is the third of our five kids, which makes her the middle child. She is the only child in the family with blue eyes. She is the only child in the family that has broken a bone.

For Charlotte's birthday she wanted to go swimming. We waited for a day that I had no babysitting kids AND Daddy was off work to go with us, so, wouldn't you know that the day we were supposed to swim was New Year's Eve. The pool closed early and we were out of luck. No problem, says Charlotte, let's go bowling. And so we did.
I interviewed her for this post, because at seven she sure knows her own mind. Here's what I learned:
M: What's your favorite thing to do?
C: Swim.
M: What's your favorite class at school?
C: Gym
M: What's your favorite food?
C: That's a hard one - sticky macaroni (Ball speak for homemade mac & cheese) and watermelon. But not together, that would be disgusting.
M: Where would you go if you could go anywhere?
C: New York; I saw a picture of the city lights and I want to see that; it was beautiful.
M: What should people know about you?
C: I'm the snuggliest person in my family.
M: What do you want to be when you grow up?
C: A swimming teacher.
M: Tell me a secret.
C: Nobody knows that I have a boyfriend at school, Josh. When we get married we are going to have lots of kids and live on a farm with horses.
Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

01 January 2010

Are Those Bicycles?

We live in a rural town in central Arkansas. The people here are genuine, friendly and honest. This one, though is bizarre. Anyone want to guess why our town strung bicycles up on all the light poles? All the poles in the municipal area have two bikes a piece and some have lights in the wheels. What's this all about? I don't know the answer; I'm just wondering if anyone else does....