Sunday, November 22, 2015

OKC Thunder vs Washington Wizards

We bought tickets for Neil, Matthew, David and Dallin to go to the OKC/Washington game in Washington D.C on the 10th of November.  The boys got out of school early to make the drive.  By the time they found parking and walked to the game they were a little late.  I felt bad about that.  They enjoyed watching  OKC beat the Wizards. Last year when they went to the Jazz/OKC game Kevin Durant was injured and didn't play.  This year he played a  great first half, but then sat out the second half with an injury.  OKC won pretty easily and the boys enjoyed watching the game.  They went to Wendy's after the game because they didn't have time before.  I am sure they were starving and were very grateful for the Baconators and fries.  They didn't get home until about 1:30 in the morning, but Neil, Matthew and David went to school the next day.  I am sure they were very tired.  Dallin stayed home because Grandma and Grandpa were here visiting.

Broadway Newsies

We decided this year to give the children experiences for Christmas instead of just things.  We thought the girls might enjoy seeing a Broadway show.  I was taking something to Neil at his office one day and saw that SVU had reasonably priced tickets for Newsies in Richmond.  We talked about it and decided to get tickets for Bethany, Julia, Emma, and MaryAnne to go with us.  It was the first time Neil or I had been to a Broadway show.  We loved it!! It was so fun to watch all the dancing the young men did.  I can't even begin to guess how tired they would have been at the end of a rehearsal.  It was a late night getting home after the show, but so worth the effort it took to get there.

Fall leaves

We have loved experiencing the fall here in Virginia.  The weather has been beautiful! We have been able to be outside and enjoy the nice temperatures.  It has cooled off and it is a beautiful time of year.  The colors of the leaves have been absolutely amazing.  The kids think I have become a leaf photographer.  I have taken a lot of pictures to remember what it was like.  The kids have loved having leaves to play in.  There are an abundance of leaves to play in.  We are blessed to have the college do the yard work here.  They blew the leaves from our yard and President Wilcox's house into a huge pile. It was almost as tall as Joshua and Lydia.  It got left there for a few days and the kids had a great time playing in the leaves. I think the guys from the college probably had to start over again when they came to take the leaves away because the kids had scattered the leaves around again.  We also raked up the leaves in our backyard and played in them together.  Neil was a good sport and raked up leaves and dumped them on the kids heads.

Part of my heart is headed to Houston, Texas

Well the day that we have been waiting for has finally come and gone.  Bethany flew out of Roanoke early Tuesday morning to go the MTC on Wednesday.  It wasn't easy to say goodbye to her for 18 months.  In fact it was very hard.  I don't know which was harder, saying goodbye myself or watching her dad and siblings say goodbye.  It was an emotional goodbye at the airport.  The pictures aren't that great, it is hard to take good pictures while crying at the airport.  She will be a great missionary and there is no where else I would rather have her be right now.  I just know I am going to miss her like crazy.  She will be blessed and helped as she serves the Lord.

A few weeks before she left we heard that Sam Houston was born right here near Lexington.  We took Bethany to go see the monument there and took a few pictures.

Part of my heart will be walking around Texas for the next 18 months and there is no where else I would rather have it be.

Just before she went through security to board the plane

Halloween 2015

Halloween was a different sort of experience this year.  In Wyoming the younger kids would spend months planning with the Andreasen kids what to be together.  They would have all the dress ups downstairs to use and make their costumes.  This got started with Emma and Emma wanting to dress up together and just carried on down through the kids.  This year I told them to look through the dress ups before we left and bring what they wanted to use.  David brought a costume, but ended up being at the Chesapeake Bay for a field trip over Halloween.  Joshua forgot to get his penguin costume packed so we had to figure something out. He wanted to be a ghost so we made him a cute white hat and a cloak to cover him.  He wore that for awhile, but wasn't thrilled with it.  He ended up being a fireman. MaryAnne brought a Hermoine costume.  Dallin decided to be a red lego and made his own costume the day before with help from Neil.  They used a box and two cool whip bowls spray painted red. Lydia wore a different costume to each activity we went to.  She was Belle for the school carnival and the downtown trick or treat, Elsa for the trunk or treat at the church, and Minnie Mouse for trick or treating.  She helped me make her Elsa dress and her Belle dress.  Emma was playing in the band at the football game.  Neil and I went to listen to her so Bethany and Julia took the kids to the ward party.  At the last minute Bethany decided she could come up with a penguin costume.  It was easy and turned out really cute.  We actually let the younger children go trick or treating with the neighbor kids this year.  They had a great time.  We also had some children come trick or treating to our house for the first time in years since we live in town here.  It was a fun Halloween with lots of activities.  I enjoyed the downtown trick or treating.

Joshua had a hard time deciding if he wanted to eat healthy or just enjoy the candy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Another Cross Country Season is in the books

Well, another cross country season is in the books around here.  The season in Virginia started earlier and went longer than it ever did in Wyoming. Practice started on August 3 and the state meet was on November 14th.  They ran long and hard practices.  Matthew spent a lot of time trying to catch his breath. Matthew wasn't thrilled with how his season went.  He worked hard, but never saw his times drop down to where he wanted them to be.  He finished each race a little frustrated with how he had run. The courses here were a lot hillier than anything he had run before.  He said he didn't really know what it was to run a hill before coming here.  I am grateful he had the opportunity to make some friends on the team.  Matthew says there is never a dull moment while running with Will.  No matter how hard the run Will can keep talking.  Will would keep the conversation going all through practice.  I am glad there are people like Will who aren't afraid to talk and can even keep talking while others are just trying to breathe.

The meet at Wilson was interesting.  It was hosted by the Wilson High School and their mascot is the Hornets.  The street that lead to the course was even Hornet Road.  While our team was out jogging for warm ups they came across a stirred up hornets next.  The angry hornets chased the screaming boys for quite a way.  Matthew got stung five times.  He didn't run his best race, but I am sure it is hard to run well right after being stung by hornets.  Most of the boys on our team got a few stings.  One boy got stung eleven times.  It is a cross country race that Matthew will always remember.

We watched the race over in Lexington on a beautiful misty morning at the Lexington Horse Center.  Bethany and Julia decided that the mascot for the cross country team should be a gingerbread man.  They could print out shirts that said, "Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me."  I thought it was a cute idea, but I don't think most high school boys would appreciate it.
The view waiting for the race to start

The fan club

The team

Warming up

The start

I went with Jenn Peterson to watch the boys run in Radford for district.  Our boys took third so they were able to go on to Conference.  It was  a tough course with a really big hill that you had to run twice.  I guess the only fair thing about a hill is that everyone has to run the same hill.  Conference was held in Bristol, Virginia.  It is right on the Virginia/Kentucky border.  I think they should have had the race cross the state line so the boys could say they ran in two states.  They took third in Conference so they also got to go to the state meet.  The state meet was held at The Plains, Virginia.  It is not too far from Washington D.C.  We went and watched the race.  I was disappointed with not being able to cheer the boys on.  You really couldn't get close enough to cheer for them.  You couldn't see very well.  I liked the other courses better.  Matthew wasn't happy with his time, but I was proud of him for running hard.

Coach Poluikis praying with the boys before the race.  I really appreciated that he did this before every race.

The four wheeler and skeleton that lead the race

Finishing the big hill

Well, another season is in the books.  Matthew is looking forward to running for Coach Boos and Hildy again next year.  I think he really missed them this year.  I know I did.