Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chess Tournament Time Again

FYI... I started posting this yesterday, but was pulled away. So anything that says "yesterday" was the day before, and anything that talks about "today" was yesterday. Is that imperfectly clear enough??

Spring brings baseball, birds, flowers, and other wonderful things, and amongst all those fresh new beginnings it brings chess around here. We love "chess season." Yesterday Faith played in her grade's tournament and took 3rd place. Sadly, I did not have my camera and wasn't able to attend. I am very proud of her anyway.

Today was Chet's turn. I remembered the camera and got there near the end of the first round. Chet had already put this young lady into checkmate, and they were just playing some practice games until the other teams finished up.

Tyler was there competing too. He gave it a valiant effort, but was eliminated in the next round. It is time for some "tough love" chess lessons for Tyler to encourage him to not leave all his pieces tucked into the corners. I was proud of him for competing!

The next round started, and Chet very quickly brought his next opponent face to face with checkmate.

They played some practice games while they waited for the other teams to finish their first games. Officer Riggs removed these pieces from Chet's board to give the other player a slight chance.

Playing with two knights and his pawns didn't really bother Chet, though.

He soon had two queens and put the girl into checkmate.

So for the next game, Officer Riggs removed ALL of Chet's pieces except for his king and pawns. Chess can be won with pawns, though. Let Chet demonstrate.

See... you just maintain your offense, and get a pawn or two across the board to recover a queen. Checkmate was in the near future.
That round ended, and Chet was paired with another boy who didn't really want to compete against Chet. I think he actually could have done okay if he didn't talk himself into losing before the match began. A lot of these kids don't give themselves enough credit for how well they can play if they slow down and doublecheck their boards.

Chet won that round and moved onto the final four. This is where HIS nerves began to kick in, and he let his opponent give him a run for his money. He ended up winning, and the final game was set for tomorrow morning, where he will play the boy sitting kitty corner to him. This is the boy he lost to last year, so he plans on getting lots of practice in tonight. Personally, I think he needs to worry more about not being nervous and letting it cloud his focus. Go Chet! I am so proud of you, you checkmating, can win with nothing but pawns, and be polite about it the whole way chess guru you!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Another funny site

This one is great!

To Every Man a Manswer

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Snippets of my day

Kyle and Todd decided to wash the truck, which really was in need of a bath.

But really, I should say....

that Kyle and Todd washed the parts of the truck they felt needed it the most.

Then after dinner it was time to head to Kyle's scrimmage game in our selectively bathed truck when Kyle and Todd began to giggle hysterically in the back cab. This is what they were laughing at.

Seriously Patchy, I know the ice storm did a ton of damage to our trees that you so love to climb, but still, we do have some branches you could perch on instead of a stub! That just doesn't look comfy at all!

You can see why some days I get a whole lot more accomplished than others.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Daddy Day Fieldtrip

One of the sets of pictures I haven't had time to share yet were of a field trip Jack took with Beth and her class. I sent him with my camera with strict orders to make sure somebody took a picture of them together, and although he took very few pictures overall he did great making the one that really mattered was taken!

The kids and their dads walked over to the sale barn where they got to see the animals and see what happens in a livestock auction. Afterwards, they all walked back to her school and Jack stayed to have lunch with her.

Even though Beth still talks about the cows she saw, what really meant the most to her was Jack staying for lunch. She mentions it all the time. I am glad they enjoyed their field trip together!

Monday, April 20, 2009


It only took me a week and a half to get this layout done. (eyeroll) Good thing I had the journaling already blogged, or who knows when it would have been done!

2009 School Pictures

I have to take one of Beth that "matches" these a bit. Surely it isn't completely biased of me to think these are some of the best looking kids on the planet, right?

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I look through my camera lens, and I see the unexpected. I was trying to catch photos of Matt playing ball on Friday, and when I was checking my settings I saw Faith strolling to me. She was lost in thought, playing with a dandelion she had found on the field, and just taking a leisurely stroll to come say hi to me. She looked up and saw the camera and just started smiling, never haltering her journey.

She is transforming before my very eyes. She hasn't grown very much in height, but she is springing into her teens in leaps and bounds. As much as I hate to see those childhood years slip away, I do enjoy this stage just as much. Most of the time.

The story can't end there, though. In some peoples' worlds, looking through their lens and seeing their young daughter calm and happy is normal, but I have a Todd. In fact, I have the Todd, the one who never passes an opportunity to earn a quick laugh. So when he called to me and I turned my lens his way, I found my young imp performing a half-time show for anybody who wanted to watch. Even on the sidelines at a ballgame, life is never dull around here.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


That's how many photos I am uploading from my camera's card right now. I am hoping to get some edited and posted tonight. First I have to go fill my card up again at the tea party.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party

Tomorrow evening I will be bundling up my kids and heading to our local Tax Day Tea Party. Check here if you need to know where one in your area will be held.

If you haven't already heard of the 912 Project, I encourage you to check it out. Here is an excerpt from the site.

9 Principles

America Is Good.

I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.
God “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” from George Washington’s first Inaugural address.

I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.
Honesty “I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington

The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.
Marriage/Family “It is in the love of one’s family only that heartfelt happiness is known. By a law of our nature, we cannot be happy without the endearing connections of a family.” Thomas Jefferson

If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Justice “I deem one of the essential principles of our government… equal and exact justice to all men of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political.” Thomas Jefferson

I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
Life, Liberty, & The Pursuit of Happiness “Everyone has a natural right to choose that vocation in life which he thinks most likely to give him comfortable subsistence.” Thomas Jefferson

I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.
Charity “It is not everyone who asketh that deserveth charity; all however, are worth of the inquiry or the deserving may suffer.” George Washington

It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.
On your right to disagree “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude; every man will speak as he thinks, or more properly without thinking.” George Washington

The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Who works for whom? “I consider the people who constitute a society or a nation as the source of all authority in that nation.” Thomas Jefferson

Monday, April 13, 2009

Still here

I honestly haven't meant to go so long without posting. It has just been a busy period with highs and lows. We have something going on every single night again, (baseball, baseball, oh, and baseball) I am working at a second day job, we had a busy Easter, and the school year is winding down so there are lots of final events coming up. I will try to get some pictures up tomorrow. I have pictures of a newborn colt, the kids singing, a fence, and oh.. baseball to share with you. I did get a layout made last night, though, so I will share that now. Todd received the Kid with Character for sportsmanship award last week. I'll see ya tomorrow!

Thursday, April 09, 2009


I jumped in the car and was headed down the road to work this morning, when one of my cats jumped up in the seat next to me. He never made a sound, just looked at me a bit frantically. I stopped the car and opened the door for him to get out. He fled the scene.

I continued on down the road and happened to glance back and found the rest of my cats staring at me with big huge eyes, obviously wondering why the warm snug bed they had discovered when I left my window down last night was moving. Sighing, I turned around and headed back home.

As we drove back home, Midnight jumped up on the back of my seat and laid his head on my shoulder. Rosie jumped into shotgun and batted at the door, as if she could open it herself. Patchy continued riding in the back.

I arrived home, opened the door, and Midnight and Rosie quickly evacuated while Patchy had to be physically removed from the car. As I sat back down to try to go to work again, Patchy jumped back in. Apparently, he likes the idea of having a taxi-cab mom.

Since it isn't "Bring Your Cat to Work Day," I unceremoniously dumped him back out onto the ground, bid him good day, and made my way to work.

Tonight I will make sure to roll up the windows in the car.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Todd's Sunday Art

Friday, April 03, 2009

Movie Night

The kids and I got the majority of the house cleaned after baseball practice tonight, and the last two loads of laundry are humming away in the machines. Knowing we can sleep in late tomorrow, we ran to the store and grabbed some Mountain Dew for them, Diet Pepsi for me, a bag of miniature candy bars, and some buttery popcorn. Now that we are fortified with the unhealthiest of snacks, we are settling in on the couches and watching Bedtime Stories. I love snuggling with my kidlets in a fresh-smelling clean house watching what is supposed to be a good flick. Hope you're having a great Friday night too!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Funny Birthday to Me!

Yes, I am a year older today. The wiser part should be setting in anytime soon.

It was an unusual day, though it started out mild enough. After work, my friend Roberta took me out to lunch. During our lunch Matt called to ask me to race home to get his track shoes.(Matt calling to ask me to bring him misc parts of his sports uniforms isn't unusual at all.) I did, and got them to him just in time for the meet to be cancelled. Which was really good, because as soon as Jack left for work today I realized that McClacken was nowhere to be found. Our neighbor's hand let me know he was in one of their pastures agitating their geldings. Oh my.

I went to town to get Matt and a new halter, and then he and I had to chase the horse down. As I was wondering how in the world I was supposed to get McClacken to agree to let me get the halter on him, I realized I didn't even know HOW to get it on. Then Jack called to tell me he had heard I was having horse issues. One of the neighbors (or 2 or 3) who were driving by found him at work to let him know the horse had made a break for it. He let me know that the roping rope was in the back of the truck if I wanted to try to lasso McClacken. I have lots of skills, but roping doesn't even come close to being in the range of "things I know how to do." Jack just laughed and told me he was on his way to help bring McClacken home.

Matt actually got the rope around McClacken, so when Jack got there I let the two of them work out getting the horse home and making sure he stayed put. Matt went and asked Ron how to get the halter on, and he came over to show us how. I finally took my drenched and muddy self into the house and desperately tried to get warm. When I woke up this morning, I really wasn't planning on chasing a horse through the mud and rain. Some people just go out to dinner for their birthday.

Jesse and Sam sent me a funny birthday card which arrived today.

When you open it up the musical chip plays the sound of somebody calling for security over the intercom. I "think" I was only giggling hysterically because the card was funny, and because I have been in "that" line before. I don't "think" I was giggling that hard because of leftover runaway-horse-induced exhaustion. Who knows, though!

There were some really sweet greetings in my card. Mom signed it too. I miss and love you guys also!

This was my favorite part of the card, though. This is the "postage due" notice that was delivered with it. I am still giggling over it. (Sam did put postage on the envelope... those little sound cards apparently require some extra change, though.)

Thanks Sam and Jesse! And thank you to everyone who called, emailed, and sent messages on my facebook and myspace. Yes, it was an unusual day, but in my world that isn't necessarily bad. I do like things to be kept interesting!

All That Glitters

A 5 year old girly-girl lives in my house. Just ask our mailman. Beth didn't think it was right that our mail was delivered to a plain old drab white box, so she blinged it up a bit.

Puffy pink glitter heart stickers make everything look better, right?

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