Friday, October 28, 2016

Lesson 447: Roots and Wings

It's Halloween weekend, Readers!

Halloween falls on a dumb Monday, so Eloise is extending the festivities to the weekend prior.  There is a Halloween Fun Run or Walk, free of charge, in the Harborcreek Community Park, Firman Road entrance on Saturday, October 29th, at 2:00. Nothing formal or township promoted.  Just something a couple of friends and I organized for an excuse to run around in a Halloween costume.

 It's 3-ish miles through the spooky trails from Firman Road to the Harborcreek Municipal Building and back.  Wear a costume if you want.  Bring your kids.  It's fun.  Eloise is going on a bike this year to stay ahead of the crowd, and my costume goes with it.

Clue:  I'm always out on those park trails looking for something--geocaches, zombies, or most of the time, something I dropped.  I can't wait to show you what I found!

Sam had me take this photo one foggy night in October.
It's a snapshot of the park in my backyard.

Sam is convinced the shadowy figures are clowns.
Not a popular thing with kids this year.

Hubby and the girls see juvenille sasquatch.
Eloise says zoms for sure.
Your thoughts?

Fall sure is pretty around here.
The colors are still vibrant, 
despite the fast approaching November calendar page.

Some noteworthy items of the week:

Calling Huskie alums of 1989!
High School classmate Jim Beveridge wrote a book!
You can get your copy on Amazon.
If anyone knows how to get a hold of Jim,
please forward him this post.
Eloise wants my copy autographed!
How interesting that he, too, wrote his first book with a key theme.

For the newer readers,
Eloise's first book, 
a children's story written for my kids
is titled The Key, 
and can be found on this blog's archives, 
chapter by chapter.

For now, give this Key a turn.

I'll get to it right after I finish up The Wonder, loaned to me by friend Patti
I'm just a little bit into it, but just sayin'---
There ain't no way some chick can go four months existing only only water.
When a book stumps you that way,
guess an alien.
She has to be an alien.

Eloise is headed to see Handsome and his wife Faith Hill.
in the summer of 2017.
I bought tickets for the Cleveland show on August 17th.
If you'd like to join me,
grab your binoculars and purchase some nosebleed seats near mine
 in section 229 or 230.

I'm going with my Cleveland cousins,
even after the fact that Penn State surprised Ohio State last weekend!

Speaking of football,
Sam and his Little Gridders team

the Oregon Ducks head to the Super Bowl.
They get to play under the lights on the high school field.
It's the real deal for these little guys.
I hope you are all play flocking awesome, Ducks!

What's awesome besides football excitement
and not having a couch?

It's also notable to have no table.
Got rid of that sucker, too.

When they pouted over their hardship,
I told them that fleeing Syria on foot was a hardship.
Not having a kitchen table for a few weeks, 
was not.

Mother Eloise got to put something on the calendar for once.
No golf or football on a Saturday,
and Penn State played the late game.

My choice!
And I demanded they all go.
We went to see the Kinzua railroad bridge
that was destroyed by a tornado.
The area has turned the tragedy into a triumph,
and created a beautiful scenic area,
hiking trails,
and a top notch educational information center.

Hubby is a wobbly-kneed chicken when it comes to heights
therefore he didn't make the walk out to the end of the bridge to peek over.
Good thing,
because after I spied this,
I would have thrown him over the edge into the tornado aftermath.

I mean it is a Lou L!
And here I thought he was at school all day.

The biggest treat of the week was given to me daughter Ellen Louise.

Sometimes as a parent, you lay in bed at night, exhausted,
wondering if you did a good job.
Were the kids safe, cared for, and encouraged?
Did I model good behavior?
Did they know that they are loved?

The tenth graders at HC are required to write a pretty in depth autobiography.
Ellen's was nearly 20 pages long.
They also are required to put together a photo video representing their life
and theme of their overall piece.

Ellen chose a nature theme and titled hers, 
In My Nature.
I heard her complaining about the project from time to time,
and we made a few trips to Walmart to fetch the needed materials for the paper portion.
But I didn't realize the beauty of what she put together
until its completion.

The book is still at school, being shared with other classmates.
I'm proud to report she earned an A.

Below is the video Ellen made set to Miranda Lambert's song
Roots and Wings.
I gave you the roots, Ellen.
You got the wings, baby.

Have a great Halloween weekend, everyone.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lesson 446: Raise the Bar

Good rainy evening to you, Readers.

The typical Erie rain has started to fall.
God bless us all.
We'll have dampness through next May.
My arthritic joints are already starting to throb in anticipation.

We are starting to think of moving our outdoor games,

to indoors.
Clark School had a Family Game night on Thursday.

Mrs. Eloise recommends Qwirkle

Giant UNO

and Rush Hour.

Speaking of driving,
Ellen Louise is coming along nicely
 in her required 65 hours of road experience.

The parking part is giving her grief.

The rains came off of a very beautiful week at the Lamp Post.

Beauty is found in all kinds of weather.

Erieites really appreciate a nice day, though.

Natalie and I got in a couple of jogs through the park.
She ain't afraid of no clowns!

Sam finally read a decent book!
Which one, Readers?

Sam placed second in his age group in our region
for the NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick Competition.

We went out to my alma mater last Saturday to see him compete.
I think Sam looks quite natural in front of that sign.
His current desire is to be a coach and a teacher.
Currently my nine year old son is deciding between an MLB contract
and attending Edinboro University.
Sam says it all depends on what is offered.

It was a fun afternoon for everyone.

Lesson learned from the PPK Competition:
Raise the bar!

Sam knew that he had made the first round of competition way back in the summer.  He's been practicing on the Little Gridders football field behind the Lamp Post for many weeks, punting, passing, and kicking that pigskin.   The Punt, Pass, and Kick is determined by total feet of the three events combined.  As Sam's Momma, I can honestly say that my boy has been giving it his all, practicing with his Dad in the evenings and on weekends, but in relative isolation.

We went to the competition, and Sam placed second out of 28 kids in the region.  We were pleased that he did very well.  His hard work paid off!   Sam is waiting to hear if his total feet is enough to move on to the next round at Heinz Field in November.  It all depends on the other competitions on the western side of the state.  

The interesting thing is that the first place kid beat Sam by a good 30 feet--just an ordinary kid from Corry, at least a head smaller than Sam--no extraordinary size of this boy.  Just seeing that score of the boy ahead of him, raised the bar for Sam.  He came home that very weekend and started booting the ball 10 yards further than he had previously.  Sam had not grown. Sam had not changed his diet. Sam did not get a personal trainer.   He simply saw some other kid his own age do something better than he did.  That was all it took.  Just seeing the bar raised.

That is exactly why I occasionally post my workout group photos and fitness event photos on this blog.  It is not to boast about my own accomplishments.  It is to hopefully motivate others to stay healthy by getting outside and moving around.  Stepping into the energy of positive, healthy people benefits not only you, but the community at large.

When you scan these photos,

do you see someone the same age as you?
Someone who sits next to you at PTO meetings?
In class?
At church?

If you do, 
your first thought should be
if she/he can do it, then I can do it.

Don't just live an average life.
Live an excellent one.

Speaking of excellence--
here is my favorite example of creativity discovered this week.
It was passed along to me from coworker Amy.
We discussed Van Gogh's Starry Night in class,
and she was kind enough to find this link and share it with me and the students in her class.
The creativity of the human mind never ceases to amaze me.


Have a great weekend.
Make it excellent!