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AUGUST 2008
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)


Alex started the official Pop Warner practices at the beginning of this month.  The first week is "conditioning."  They don't wear pads, but do wear their helmets, and there is no contact - just working their poor little asses off.  We've always figured Alex was in pretty good shape, but nothing prepared him for this.  When he came home from the first practice, he was whooped.  I felt so bad for him!  I put him in the big bath, and when I went to check on him, I noticed his forehead was raw.  I don't mean a little red - it was RAW.  Apparently his helmet wasn't fitting correctly and it rubbed his forehead until he had a friction burn about 2 inches square.  He didn't think he could go back the next day, either, he was so exhausted.  But he did, and the equipment folks were able to fix his helmet, although it still sat right on the big scab.  He made it through the first week, and the second week they finally got to hit each other.  He was ecstatic! 

He has practices three nights a week for 2 1/2 hours, and then games on Saturdays, which take several hours in themselves.  The schedule is brutal, especially on weeks when Mark's out of town.  His first game was on August 30, and it poured throughout the whole thing.  The game was called several times due to lightening, when everyone had to leave the field AND the stands until there was no lightening for 20 minutes.  It made for a VERY long afternoon. 

Patrick has been progressing so well with his guitar lessons that Mark and I realized it was time to get him a "real" guitar instead of the smaller children's guitar he has.  Patrick and I had already gone to the guitar store and scoped out what he liked.  He had been asking to just go to the store and "visit" the one he wanted, so Mark and I took him and bought it for him.  His face was priceless!  (Too bad the picture didn't come out.)  He's still thriving in gymnastics, and I put a little video below, although it's filmed from across the gym.

School started on August 18, which involved about a million open houses and meet-the-teachers and curriculum nights.  Try juggling all of that with 3 football practices, 3 nights at the gym, and a guitar lesson each week!  So far so good with the teachers, although Alex's language arts teacher has already gone out on maternity leave. 

Mark and I celebrated our 20th anniversary with a weekend at a bed and breakfast at Amelia Island.  It was a fabulous getaway, and that's about all I'm gonna share about that.  ;-)

Trying out the guitar at the store And showing it off at home!

Click to see the video

The only good stills I can get of him are handstands But they're really good handstands!

Finally got his uniform!

A very wet game Taking cover

Here are some of the highlights:

August 18, 2008

School started today!  Patch was all ready and doing great until we got to the bus stop.  He's never ridden the bus without either Alex or Justin with him, and we realized that he really doesn't have any friends his age - they are all in 6th grade and have moved on to middle school.  And believe it or not, all of the 4th and 5th graders at our bus stop are girls, who he wasn't the least bit interested in hanging out with!

Poor Alex was so anxious and overwhelmed.  We were at the bus stop early so it was just the 2 of us and all he said was, "I don't want to go."  Not whiny or pleading, just resigned.  When other kids started to gather, I noticed I was the only parent there, so I pointed it out to him and asked him if he wanted me to go home.  He definitely had to think about it, but finally asked me to go.  It was like I was sending him off to kindergarten again - broke my heart to see him so unsure of himself!

Once they were off to school and I was at work, talk of Tropical Storm Fay dominated everything.  The office shut down the computers at 12:30 to run a 4-hour backup so the office manager could take the backup tapes home, and after about 30 minutes of work, we were pretty much all out of things that could be done without the computer.  The attorneys were all at a convention for three days.  Ho hum.  News of school closures started to spread, and word came down from above that if Orange county (where the office is) schools close, then the office will be closed, which happened this afternoon.  Woohoo - a paid day off!

Both kids had good days at school, right up until time to ride the bus home.  Patrick's bus ended up back at the school, supposedly with mechanical problems, and an hour and a half after school let out, we finally picked our kids up from school.  Sarah, the little girl across the street, started kindergarten today (!), and her parents were fit to be tied when the bus never showed up this afternoon.  Alex's bus was simply running late due to normal first-day stuff, and he got home an hour after school let out.  Fortunately, they were undaunted, with the news that schools are closed tomorrow.  LOL  After all of his nerves, Alex ended up having a good day.  He said he only got lost once and his friends helped him out.  :-)


August 19, 2008

Ahhhhh.  It was so nice to sleep in this morning!  We really haven't seen much in the way of the storm - just a rainy, blustery day.  Mark continued to work from the house making phone calls, which is always tough when the rest of us are home goofing off, poor guy.  All of the kids' activities have been canceled, of course.  It's so strange to have a full day with absolutely nothing on the calendar!  Thanks Fay!


August 20, 2008

Since our schools were closed today, but Orange County's were open, my office was open even though my kids were home.  Mark had to leave for a meeting at lunch time, so I put in a half day at work and came home for the afternoon.  I must say, the time off has been nice!

We finally got a good "tropical" pounding tonight.  Believe it or not, it was nice to finally see something to justify all the fuss.  It certainly wasn't anything to worry about - some nice wind gusts and tons and tons of rain, although it's been pretty much raining non-stop all day anyway.  We had a moment of flashback/panic when the lights flickered, but it was just that - a flicker.  I wish I'd had my camera with me when I was driving home today - the sod farm near us looks like a lake!  The kids had a very good question.  Schools are re-opening tomorrow.  Why would schools be closed for two days, and then when the wind and rain finally pick up to something impressive, the schools are open again.  Ah well - some things will never make sense!