Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Game the Wasn't!

Gammie and Poppy came to visit. They wanted to see Andrew in action on the basketball court. They arrived on a Sunday, the game wasn't until Tuesday, so we had some time to play.

Monday we ran some errands. Gammie has 2 weddings she is planning, so we helped with some wedding shopping! After errands, we decided to play Putt-Putt (I bet you can guess whose idea that was...Mr. Andrew). College Station has an indoor, black-lighted, western-themed course that Andrew just LOVES. Well, who knew the dark horse of the group would be Gammie. She gave Little Man a run for his money, with Poppy close on their heals. Ainsley was purely along for cheating purposes. She was kind enough to help your ball in if she deemed it close enough to the hole!

While on our wedding errands, we went by Hobby Lobby. Andrew does not care for Hobby Lobby...he says they have "borrrring" stuff. Poppy told Andrew they would go look for the young men's aisle. Look for and found! Poppy treated Andrew to his first model care kit. A Lamborghini...Poppy informed us Andrew has expensive taste! Here is the final product:
On Tuesday, Josh took off work and we all took the trip 45 miles south of here to Brenham...the home of Blue Bell ice cream!!!! No one had ever been, so we decided to take a tour of the factory. What a neat experience. We would recommend it. You get a cool hat like Andrew has on in the snowy picture, plus you get a huge scoop of your choice at the end. On the way home from Blue Bell, it started to snow. Let me say that again...It started to snow. It is February, in College Station, and it is snowing big cotton ball flakes. Well, it didn't take long and everything in College Station was canceled for Tuesday evening...including the ball game Gammie and Poppy had come to see! BITTER, but we did get some good snowy pictures out of the deal!

You can't be in the Shield's house long without one or both children bringing you a book to read. Andrew has started reading some on his own! There is a series called Bob Books. They are great for beginning readers. Here Andrew is reading TO Poppy! And little Miss Ainsley has stacked her spot at Gammie's feet, looking at an I Spy book!

Game or no game, we sure had a good visit! Being 8 hours away, we do not get to see them that often, so we treasure the time we do get! Thanks for coming Gammie and Poppy!

Beg, Steal, and Borrow!

I am, by definition, a teacher...through and through. There is no mistaking it, despite the fact I am on sabbatical from the classroom! Now, teacher friends, please call me on this if I am mistaken, but a true teacher is one who can beg, steal, and borrow from the best of them. Of course after the begging, stealing, or borrowing has taken place, you always have to tweak it a little to officially call it your own.

I know feel it is time to pay it pass on what treasures have been shared with me:

Here are 2 fabulous blogs that are AWESOME for finding coupons and great deals. They both have multiple posts a day, so you want to check them frequently...sometimes the deals are time or quantity sensitive and you don't know what you might be missing! One is called Steals and Deals and the other is called Freebies 4 Moms.

In addition to Pioneer Woman that my wonderful, intelligent, beautiful, glamorous, fabulous sister-on-law showed me, another fellow blogger posted about Annie's Eats. It seems very good and comes highly recommended!

Do you have anything I could beg, steal, or borrow to make my sweet families life better? Please share!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Right of Passage!

There was just some sort of nostalgia that came over me when I saw Andrew ride his "big boy bike" for the first time. A new found freedom for him. Such a right of passage. This is a skill he worked so hard to that he will have for the rest of his life. As the cliche says, "Its just like riding a bike..." The grin on his face says it all. He is so proud of himself!

He has been able to do this for a while you can see the Santa Clause in the neighbors yard. I forgot I had not blogged about it. So, once again...for the grandparents to whom I promised the video. With no further ado:

The Run!

The Armadillo Dash's Half-Marathon! In the beginning, I referred to this event as a race. Andrew eventually asked me who I was racing. That got me to thinking. I told him I wasn't racing anyone, I just wanted to finish. From that moment on, I referred to this event as a run. March 7, 2010 has loomed in my mind since before Christmas. It was there in the same way a due date is there...exciting, but with a bit of dread because you know its going to hurt. :)

God so blessed me through this process! While training for my run, I followed a schedule I found on the internet. It had you do one long run a week...I choose Sundays. Each long run went up a mile from week to week. On my 8 mile day, there was a 26 mile an hour wind. To put it nicely, that run stunk and I had to walk part of it. In theory, walking is not a bad thing, but personally, I was way disappointed. I prayed and prayed that God would calm the winds on Run Day...and He did. We had perfect, overcast, and just a slight cool breeze!

I was at the back of the back. Like I told Andrew, I was not racing, I just wanted to finish and not be in anyone else's way! Once the air gun sounded signifying the start of my run, it took me a minute to actually cross the starting line. (or as seen in this picture...the finish line)!

My legs really only have one speed...slow. I took off at a comfortable pace, not really looking at my watch. My goal was to run somewhere in the 10 minute mile range...not any kind of land speed record, but I could live with it. This has taken some adjustment for me. I used to run in high school. Back in the day, I ran somewhere in the 6 minute mile range. I have had some issues of aging to overcome and accept I am not a spring chicken anymore.

Once past all that and I started doing longer runs, 10 minute miles sounded good. I got to the 1st mile marker and saw that I was at 10:44. Whoops, too slow. From that moment on, I picked up the pace. By starting slow, I was at the back with lots of people in front of me. Many of them started faster and lost speed as they went. I, by accident, did the opposite. I picked up speed and got to pass people the rest of the race. Instead of slowing down and getting passed, I was speeding up and doing the passing...which proved to be a huge confidence boost for me! Another key to the race was a good play list on my ipod!

Up to this day, the longest run I had done was 10 miles. When the 10 mile marker came and went, I was surprised at how good I felt. I had no aches or pains during the race, well a few here and there, but nothing substantial! I rounded the last corner and had less than a mile to go. Two boys passed me...that irritated me, so I sped up and continued to speed up until the finish line! The last mile was actually my fastest! Here I am at the finish. I ran the 13.1 miles in 2 hrs and 12 average of 10:06 per mile!

I crossed to find my sweet little family waiting for me with my chocolate milk. A professor of kinesiology at Texas A&M said they had found drinking chocolate milk after physical activity has the same benefits of any sports drink...and no one can argue that Promised Land chocolate milk tastes much better than any ole Gatorade!

With it all said and was an awesome experience, one that truly blessed me. God showed me that through Him, I can do anything...even run 13.1 miles!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Another Home Season Comes to Close!

Gotta love you some Aggie Women's basketball...well, the Shields family does anyway. We were devoted season ticket holders, yet again this year, to see our Ags in action. This year our tickets were right in front of a section (in the cheap seats of course), so we had lots of room between our seats and the railing in front of us. Also, our seats were right by the band, which the kiddos enjoyed dancing to, and dance they much so that we only missed being on the big screen 3 of the games.

Each February, the Aggies do a pink out where the proceeds of the t-shirts sales are donated to breast cancer. Here we are in our pink...well, all except Andrew. He doesn't own much pink and the t-shirts the Aggies sold were only adult sizes.

The kids got more into the games this season. I think it helped that our seats were closer to the action this year. When one of the Aggies is shooting free-throws, the students all quietly hold there arms up. Well, our two wanted in on the action and would hold there arms up as well. Ainsley would even turn to me with her finger up to her mouth and shhhh me before holding up her arms. It was pretty cute!

When the Aggies get the ball back after a turnover or an out-of-bounds, the announcer always yells "Aggie's Ball!" very enthusiastically and then the crowd echos it back. Here is Ainsley, up on the railing, yelling "Aggie's Ball" along with the rest of the 12th Man.

Here we are down on the floor after the last home game! Such fun times...always a bit sad to see the home season come to an end. We just love those girls!

The Lakers in Action!

To all the grandparents out there to whom I promised this video.
So sorry for the delay, but your wait is over.

Here is our Little Man and his teammates in action. Please notice a couple of things as you watch: (Andrew is #5!)
1. After one of Andrew's teammates gets his own rebound, Andrew steals the ball from him! We have discussed this with him and SHOWN him the video of it...he will work on being more of a team player!

2. Our one and only girl, who makes a shot in the video, was our team MVP at the end of the season! She carried the team. :)

3. One of my favorite moments is #4's celebratory cartwheel. Every team needs a cheerleader/player like him!

4. I love how proud Andrew is of himself after making his shot...even though his Daddy snubbed his effort to get a high five afterwards. Poor Josh, he was busy getting them back to play defense. After seeing the video, he feels pretty bad!

(So sorry for the grainy video...I had to edit it a bit to make it small enough in memory size to upload!!)
Now that the season is over, we sure had a good time! Andrew really enjoyed playing and his team seemed to improved greatly as the season went on. The Lakers ended up 2-4-1, with our 2 wins coming at the last two games. We just ran out of games to win...