21 July 2011

Same bat-time, same bat-channel....

When I was growing up in Maryland, we lived "in town". Just down the street from where we lived was a Tasty-Freeze. For years, I had no idea it was there, because it was at the end of the street that was close to the busy road. I wasn't allowed to go that way; I rode my bike and played in the vacant lot that were in the other direction - away from the road and closer to the houses and school and ball fields.

When I discovered that there was a Tasty Freeze at the end of the street, I immediately wanted ice cream. My brother and I would occasionally convince our folks to walk down there with us and get a cone. I remember it as a great treat and a fun tradtion with my folks.

Hence the name of this post - same bat time, same bat channel. Now my kids are all about the evening ritual - Mom (and usually a more successful attempt, Dad....), can we get a Brain Freeze? Of course, we say yes occasionally. Frozen flavored shaved ice sure does hit the spot when it's still 90 degrees at 9 pm. I bet my folks thought the same thing!

Ball Team+Laura (Samantha's bud and our sixth child) enjoying an evening treat!

Mid day brain freeze - Jay Michael drove his sister's Barbie Jeep, while the big ladies+Laura walked. He's a smart boy, huh? The ladies look like they might melt into the parking lot....

16 July 2011

Those responsible....

I don't put too many pictures of James or me on here. Let's face it, the kids are cuter. This photo was taken at a pool party we attended recently and I thought it was a pretty good picture. (Thanks, Krista...) Plus, since James can't get out to do much, this was his opportunity to be out with his family and a lot of our friends - in a hot tub. All those bubbles you see are from the jets. Maybe one day our great-great grandchildren will be reading the blog and this image will be their memory of their great grandparents. (My memory of pictures of my great grandparent's were older people who didn't smile. I'm sure they were wonderful people, but, photography has come so far since then, right? I'd much be rather be remembered as the great grandparents in the hot tub!)

13 July 2011

Swimmers, take your mark...

Charlotte is the swimmer in our family. The other kids can all swim - Jay Michael does everything his big sisters do, just with floaties on - and they all love being in the water. But Charlotte, well, she is just a natural. She swims for the town's recreational team and has done really well. In her age group, she swims each stroke at 25 yards - which is one length of the Olympic size pool. Next year she will be in the 9/10 year old division, which is 50 yards, with flip turns. Her best times so far (one meet left) for this season are: freestyle 19.37, backstroke 23.95, breaststroke 27.88, butterfly 23.97.
A sidebar: in the sport of swimming, each swimmer is mostly encouraged to compete against her own best time. One way of encouraging this is the gold, silver, bronze system. Each stroke has three times to beat - a gold time (fastest), a silver time (faster), and a bronze time (fast). Last year, during Charlie's first season, she made a silver time in one stroke and didn't even make a bronze time in three strokes. This year, she has a gold time in freestyle and butterfly and a silver time in backstroke and breaststroke.
Next week is the Meet Of Champs. This is the State meet, held at the University of Arkansas, and only swimmers who qualify with gold and silver time can compete, and then only in the strokes that qualify the swimmer as gold or silver. Charlotte, at 8, will compete in all four strokes! Way to swim, Charlotte!

Still wet; and the inspirational (meet-only) artwork by Rachel (the team mascot is a Piranha; pretty fierce, huh?)

In this video, Charlotte is the middle swimmer. Go ahead and cheer. You know you want to....

10 July 2011

Get Away, July 2011

We took a weekend off! Charlotte has had a swim meet every Saturday since school let out, but, since this weekend had Monday as the Fourth of July, she had a Saturday off. I also had Monday off, so we decided it was high time to get out of town. We headed to Conway, about an hour away, to do nothing but ride go carts! The ladies and Jay Michael love them. LOVE THEM. James and I are happy to oblige with driving the little ones, and Charlotte reached the solo rider line - YAY!

We piled into the car Saturday morning, and didn't tell the kids what we were up to. I had made a reservation at a cheap motel - passable, but, nothing I want to do again - and we had a blast. We swam in the motel pool, found a $1 jewelry store (notice the bling on each of the ladies in the picture below {Charlotte is the sunglasses}) and we watched cartoons on tv - a little luxury we don't have at home. We rode go carts first thing, then the ladies and Jay talked us into going again in the late afternoon.

We had the track to ourselves! It was fun just laughing together. I want to go do it again already and I know as soon as I say go carts everyone here will run for the van.

James had to load up on some pain killers and break up the party by taking an afternoon nap - not that he wanted to go to the $1 jewelry store, anyway - just to partake in the fun. He's hurting, always, but, laughing with his kids and seeing their faces whizzing by in a go cart makes his pains a bit easier temporarily. The motel bed and being squished by kiddos all night, no. Not too helpful... But I guarantee he enjoyed it all.

07 July 2011

What's missing?

Josephine had a big weekend. Can anyone see from this picture what happened to her? Hint: there are two correct answers.

04 July 2011

Independence Day

Is this Fourth of July a great holiday? There's watermelon and grilling our favoirte foods. There's fireworks and flip flops. There's a swell of national pride and family togetherness. Plus, no traditions that revolve around candy. Yay. Plus, it's America's birthday. I have a platform for the occasional impromptu history lesson. I do love that.

This year we enjoyed fireworks on the third AND the fourth! On the third, a local church put on the town's display and we had front row seats, thanks to our friends who literally live across the street from the church. Nice. On the fourth, we went to another friend's house for grilling and eating and fun, with fireworks at dusk. When I was growing up in Maryland, it was illegal to set off fireworks, and it feels a little weird to buy and light fireworks. But, it's legal here in Arkansas, so our kids can grow up enjoying this fun and slightly dangerous celebration. We even get plenty of extra when they go on sale for 75% off on the fifth of July, just so we can set them off for all our birthdays and New Year's.....with Daddy in charge of the lighter, naturally.