Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jack's on Track

OK I was trying to come up with a witty title for this seeing as Jack and track rhyme, but now I'm thinking of other things like "Jack's on Crack" or "Jack Running Track - that's so Whack!" (It's way past my bedtime, can you tell?)'s true, Jack has joined the track team at school, for about a month now he has been staying after school until 5pm every day to practice. He was incredibly sore at first, but seems to have adjusted well. It's funny though, I always thought of track as "that running sport" which held absolutely no interest to me...but lo and behold, my son loves it. Little did I know, he doesn't have to like running. His 3 events that he participated in for his first meet today were shotput, long jump, and discus.

We met up at the high school after school at 4pm for this meet and didn't get to leave until around 6:30pm. The 3 district middle schools were all there, and though it seemed a little unorganized and very different from any sporting event I had ever been to, it was fun just the same. I was able to follow Jack around to his events with my camera around my neck. I'm not sure if that made me look official enough, or if they really don't care that a parent was on the field! Regardless, I got some nice pictures of my boy doing his thing.

They didn't have any medal ceremonies after the meet like the olympics, so I really have no idea who won...or how they even decide who wins something like this. But Cowherd seemed to do well winning several of the races we watched, and they specifically had some superstars in the long jump and discus throwing competitions. As far as I know, Jack did a great job for his first time. Regardless, I am really proud of him!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cougars game - take 2

Well what a week! Not only did I get to see the Cougars with Jack on Monday...but I got to have a deja-vu day on Tuesday as I met Gina and several hundred of HER classmates at the game for another Ozzie Reading Program celebration! And Gina, not being a moody middle schooler, actually walked onto the field for the pre-game parade with Ozzie! She was a little embarrassed when her friends pointed out that I was yelling her name and waving wildly while trying to take her picture! (That's by far one of my FAVORITE parts of being a mom - embarrassing the kids!)

Gina's school had much better seats, right behind the Cougars dugout...but the more I think about it, they are probably smart to put those middle schoolers out by left field! I got to visit with my old co-workers and friends from Allen School, and then when they had to leave to get back, Gina got to stay with me at the game and we had some quality one-on-one time before we had to leave to get the other kids from their schools.

As you can see here, Gina had a runin with a blue slushie that might still be stained on her face. Eww!

As for the other girls, Carmella thinks that her school will also be going to a Cougars game...but we don't know when just yet. I will look forward to another day at the ballpark whenever that happens though! Nora asked her teachers and they apparently did not sign up for this particular program. They told her she could go with her home school, but OOPS, that was Monday, so I guess she missed her chance.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cougars game - take 1

I got a chance to see the Kane County Cougars game with Jack today...and several hundred of his middle school classmates. This is the annual "Ozzie" reading program that several of the district schools participate in. The kids have certain tasks to complete throughout the school year and their reward is a field trip to the game along with a t-shirt, hotdog and drink - all free! Yay!

The last 2 years I attended as a school employee, and that was certainly not as much fun as just showing up at the game as a mom with camera in hand. No responsibilities of counting heads or escorting students to bathrooms or concessino stands...just a nice relaxing day at the ballpark! And a huge bonus was the incredibly awesome weather - I even got my first sunburn of the year. Enough about me though, the true excitement of the day was Jack getting to play the national anthem with the band before the game. They did a wonderful job, and I was so glad to get to see my boy perform. It was well worth the red nose and farmer's tan/burn!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Eggs!

Well, with the kids trip to Mississippi impending, I thought we should get a head start on our Easter traditions. Even though they should be home in time to celebrate Easter with me, it will probably be late on Saturday before they get here. So....we dyed eggs today after school. I'll be living on egg salad and deviled eggs while they are gone, I suppose. For some reason, I boiled 33 eggs (eek!) And apparently, I also bought the worst possible egg-dying kit on the market, and it was even missing one of the color tablets. So 33 eggs with only 5 different colors to choose from. Grrr. Anyway...they are still beautiful, and we had fun. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Another band concert...

With 3 kids now in their respective schools' bands, we have a band concert to go to ALL the time. OK that's a slight exaggeration. But it seems like it anyway. It was Jack's turn, the Cowherd spring concert is a combination of the choir and band performing, so it was extra excruciating, I mean exciting. Jack had a special honor though, since he is learning to play the bass guitar, he was asked to accompany the choir for one of their songs.

Jack has been blessed with a gift for music, he's an extremely talented musician at just 13, I can't wait to see what the future holds for him!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Falling Leaves

I never imagined I would use pink and brown for a fall layout, but here it is! The non-Russell child is our neighbor Gabriella. Jack was there that day too, he's camoflaged in the focal picture behind the girls, he's wearing dark/olive green and other than his arms and orange wristband, I almost didn't see him myself! Here's a close-up for you:

Still catching up...

...with photos from Fall 2007. Here are my 2 latest layouts. I'm in love with all the bling on the Halloween Magic pages. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jungle Gym Jack

For a couple years now, I've been *that* know the one, she brings her kids to activities and doesn't ever offer her own time to keep the program running. The non-volunteer, if you will. Especially at church. I have my reasons, and though I'm justified to them, I still have that good ol' Cathloic guilt built in to my psyche. So in an effort to better myself, I've decided that I should volunteer some of my time on Wednesday nights when the kids are at Awana. They were looking for a photographer to help capture pictures of the 400-500 children who attend this weekly activity. It really is the perfect way for me to contribute - my interest in photography and all. Of course for the past 3 weeks now, I have not been able to make it 2 of those 3 weeks for some emergency or another. (Hello there, my old friend Guilt!) Anyway, here are a couple of the photos that I was able to take last week of my Jack who is also a volunteer at Awana this year since the program ends at 6th grade. He works with the Cubbies, they are 3-5 years old.

He tells me that he feels like a jungle gym, the little kids love him to death. I saw it first hand and it made me really proud. For this one moment I got to see Jack as not my surly teenager, but as a role model for these little kids, and truth be told, I think he enjoys it as much as the little ones do!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Culver's Night layout

These pictures were on my desk for a while. I remember when I got them printed, I was still working at Allen School, so early 2008. I actually brought my pictures to school and was drawing sketches planning this page. Well...2 years later, here it is! :) It's not exactly how I had sketched it, but I guess that's the nature of a sketch anyway. I love seeing the kids with their old teachers, and they do too, though Gina said - who is that with me? (Sorry Catrina, even though you're the one teacher that I became good friends with and still keep in touch with, I think we need to get together more often!!!) Now I think I'm up to pumkpin patch pictures, then Thanksgiving, and of course a bunch of Christmas and then the second half of 2007 will be done. The first half was a little tumultuous with the freshness of my separation, so I don't think I have very many pictures from that time. I could be wrong, but I have plenty of pictures already printed to scrap before I start to go back and see what might be missing!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Scrapping mojo, is that you?

I think I've just about found my missing mojo. After a busy week or so spent preparing for my stamp camp (which was a success - yay!) I am happy to report that I've gotten back into the swing of things with my scrapbooking. Here are a few more layouts, pictures are all from 2007.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Old friends are the best!

I had a dinner date with some of my oldest and dearest friends. Not old people, you know what I mean! Sharonda, Katie, Kathy, and I were all in the same class in elementary school...was it 2nd or 3rd grade we were all first together at North View Elementary School? Sharonda and I were also neighbors. Middle school boundaries split us apart, and then Kathy and Sharonda actually moved away before high school, but Katie and I were best buds the longest I guess. She was the only one that I had stayed in touch with over the years...but with the aid of the internet, we all were able to reconnect and made plans to get together Friday night. We had a 7pm reservation in Elmhurst at Francesca's and closed the place down. They were smart to seat us in a corner because we were laughing and carrying on the whole time. It was really fun to sit and look around the table at familiar faces and remember old times and just learn all about each others families and our lives over the past 25 years since we were all playing Oregon Trail and being grossed out by our 5th grade teacher who cleaned her overhead projector with coffee. I'm making a mental note now to make plans more often. I am happy to report that the house was not burned to the ground and the children had not killed one another while I was gone! Thanks girls for a great night!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Worst Mom Ever

I win the award today. Jack was not feeling himself this morning. He had asked me to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast, but then didn't eat I had a feeling something wasn't quite right. But we went off to school anyway. I told him that if he got sick to go to the nurse, but that I would be at the gym in the morning, so try to plan it for later in the day. Haha. He tried calling at 9am but I was already at the gym with my phone in the locker room. When I was on my way home from the gym I happened to notice I had 2 voicemails from the nurse and a text message from Jack, that was 10:20am. Ugh! So I raced to the school and got there by 10:45 all sweaty and gross, they had sent Jack back to class even though he was still not feeling well. Supposedly his fever wasn't over 100, but he sure felt hot to me. Poor kid. Anyway, we came home and he promptly fell asleep on the couch after asking me to turn off Food Network because he thought he might hurl looking at the food! Hopefully he will be better tomorrow. Why do I doubt my instincts? I know these kids, and I can tell when they aren't quite right...ah well, maybe next time I'll get it right!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Starting over!

Wow. I didn't really forget that I had a blog, I just kind of let it slide. For over a year, apparently! Yikes! Well, today, I was reminded why I ever started blogging in the first place. I was scrapbooking (that in itself is a miracle for me lately!) and I remembered that I had blogged about the spelling bee that happened to be the subject of the scrapbook page I was working on. So I logged in here and went back to read what I had written. It literally brought tears to my eyes...I was so swelled up with pride for my Jack when I posted this, and I included details about the spelling bee like the words that he spelled correctly, for example, that I never would have remembered otherwise. So...I'm recommitting to being a better blogger (and mom!) from now on. Hope you will share your comments with me, and keep me motivated! Thanks in advance.