Friday, July 23, 2010

Soccer Camp

Grant participated in the VT Hokies Soccer camp. We were blessed with great weather and it's always fun to play on that huge AstroTurf field!

4-H Camp

I was hoping Spencer would give me a write-up of his time at 4-H camp at Smith Mountain Lake in June but despite my prodding, it didn't happen. This was his second year at the 5-day, 4-night camp where he enjoyed traditional camping experiences and a number of classes like canoeing, cake decorating, and outdoor adventures. He had a great time and made a good friend, Nate, who lives pretty close to our house!

Youth Track League

This summer the kids joined a new summer youth track league for kids 8-15. They are arranged into 4 teams, each with "coaches" from the Blacksburg High School team. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence, but all the coaches are guys, which is a good thing since I think the kids need more male role models in their lives. They spend a good bit of their time being taught and coaxed along by women.

Spencer enjoys the shot put and seems to have a knack for it, just like his daddy. Grant of course is a heck of a sprinter and long-jumper. There are a lot of really talented kids so it's a tough lot to go up against, but the kids are hanging tough.

Summer Garden

Well, once again we began the year with great hopes (OK, modest hopes) of an improved garden this year. We had near drought conditions for weeks on end, and since I subscribe to the "survival of the fittest" philosophy out there, well, we ended up with a bunch of zucchini, squash, and so far one cantelope. The rest either got nibbled by the critters or is severely stunted or at the least, depressed! So here is the star of the show...the perfectly round, perfectly healthy and happy CANTELOPE!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cleveland Trip

This morning we are packing up to leave Cleveland and head back to Blacksburg after a fun-filled whirlwind 2-1/2 day visit to the Walter household in Avon Lake to see my sister Kristen and Kendall (18), Olivia (nearly 14) and Ana (11). Evan was in DC finishing up a summer job. Here are all the pictures from the trip:

We arrived Thursday and Grant spent much of his time switching between trampoline time and riding his bike around and around the block, enjoying the freedom of pedaling without hills. Spencer did the same, plus spent time exploring who had what in terms of electronics. We played with the cats Fluffy and Oreo and held the chinchilla, Sushi.

Friday morning, Cortney was up at the usual early time and set out on a 10-mile run up near the lake on a course recommended by Evan. Unfortunately we missed Evan by just a week and he'll be back in Ohio next Sunday. Later that morning, we headed to Crocker Park and the Apple Store to let the kids drool over all the options there.

They had a giant outdoor chess set and lots of fun little things to check out in this "lifestyle center". The kids got pretzels and each got a book at Barnes and Noble. We returned to the car to realize someone left the back door wide open, but fortunately it's not a high-crime area!

Later we went to the new Avon Lake pool/water park where Spencer and Grant wore themselves out sliding, climbing, jumping and swimming. I can tell they have been spoiled at our pool though as they complained about the "crowds" which were not so bad.

Grant crossing the lilly pad

Spencer the fearless leaper!Grant coming down the slide
my turn for fun!

After a nice dinner together, we headed out to the Lake Erie Crusher's baseball game. This is a regional league and they had a beautiful stadium. I really enjoyed it but the kid's attention span could only be stretched to about 90 minutes.

Saturday morning started with another run for Cortney who returned to the house to find only Grant awake. He was anxious to get his bike out and get to work, but he said that the sticker next to the garage door opener said "Children should not operate" so he felt he could not open the door! So I opened the door and he was on his way, around and around the block again.

Olivia and Ana had the idea to soap down the trampoline which makes it super slippery and that occupied everyone for some time. That kept folks happy for a long time until Grant reached stimulation overload and whacked his face with his knee.

Spencer and I headed off on bikes toward the lake and discovered a tiny public beach and swim area. Fortunately, Spencer still had his swim trunks on and he was SOO happy to frolic in the lake. I walked out on the jetty, and not being one to waste time, figured it was a good time to stretch out the legs from the runs. In one inverted stretch, the $7 I had shoved down my top (I had no pockets) fell out into the lake, with Spencer only able to retrieve $2 of it. We told the lifeguard we left him a tip! We ended up logging 10 miles on the bike and Spencer had his first "brick" workout (swim/bike)!

We finished up our night with dinner at the local Japanese restaurant, heading out on tandem bike rides, and watching some of our favorite comedians on Netflix.

This morning we'll enjoy a nice breakfast together then head out of the flatlands for our mountain home in Blacksburg, looking forward to the next visit!!