Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jumping Back In

I could write a book about what all we've been up to.  Instead I'll summarize and try to do better about updating!  But I think we all know better than that...

Claire is deep into 2nd grade and has a fabulous teacher this year.  I am amazed at the stuff that they already cover and I find myself getting the calculator out to check her math homework.  She's doing really well - straight A's last nine weeks and qualified for the gifted program which will start next year.

Chloe is wrapping up her pre-school days and is starting to read.  She loves working in her pre-school workbooks and I am here to admit that her handwriting is practically better than mine! (Actually, that isn't too hard...)  The countdown is on to I have a kindergartener and 2 kids at Bells Crossing Elementary!  :)

If we are not at home, you can bet we are at the soccer fields.  Claire tried out and made the CESA Jr. Academy Girl's U7 team and I am coaching Chloe's U6 recreation team.  Unfortunately we didn't get the practice nights coordinated with each other, so that means we have someone with practice 4 nights per week and games on Saturday.  Good thing the soccer field is only a mile from our house!

Here are some hi-lights from the last 7 months that I haven't blogged...

Jeff and his kids came up to the lake for the 4th of July

Claire learned to water ski!

Claire's 7th birthday

First day of School

Fall Soccer


Thanksgiving at the Lake with Uncle Jeff and our cousins!

Hiking in the mountains

Eating breakfast with Santa (Chloe's not a fan...)

Chloe's Christmas program at school.  She split her eye open after falling into a cubby divider and getting glued shut.  (I thought I'd spare you those graphic pictures!)

Christmas at home and then a trip to Florida

Chloe ditched her training wheels

Spring soccer got started (brrrrr)

Chloe ran the fun run and Claire ran the Youth Mile at the Reedy River Run

Whew!  Hopefully I'll stay more on top of updates and not cram 10 months into one post!  :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Batter Up - Part II

Tuesdays seem to be rainy so far this summer, and Chloe's first practice and now first game have been rained out.  Finally we had a sunny (and hot!) Tuesday afternoon this week and her T-ball game when on as scheduled.

Because this was supposed to be the fourth practice of the year (Chloe's age group does a 30 minute practice immediately followed by a game) it shouldn't have matter that this week's practice time was turned into picture day.  Chloe and all her fellow Purple Panthers huddled up and took their individual photos before posing for their group/team shot.

 The photographers were roasting in the 90* afternoon sun, but they managed to keep their composure as they herded 10 four year olds into formation and snapped a quick shot.

The team gathered at the field to size up the opposition, where we learned that the Panthers were first up to bat.  And who is at the top of the batting order?  Chloe jumps up front with her bright pink bat in hand, ready to take a whack at the tee and hopefully make contact with the ball.

At the plate, coach got her positioned in her lefty stance and she whacked the tee over a time or two.  In our world, we call that a "foul ball."

Eventually bat and ball did make contact, and she ran off to first base, practically skipping with excitement.

Exactly two batters later, she was rounding to third base, where she performed her 'I got on base' jig out of pure joy.
Charging towards 3rd

Oh Yeah!
I made it!!

After all the Panthers took their turn at bat, they switched up and took the field for the bottom of the inning.

Lining up in the infield

Soon the team separated into two distinct groups:  1) Kids who charge like crazy to get the ball, fight with each other to be the one who surfaces with the ball, and cry when they don't come up with the ball and 2) Kids who watch the other kids run, fight and cry.

Chloe fell into Group # 2.

"Hey... you guys got that one?  OK, cool..."

But she had a ball, got another hit and turn around the bases in the second inning.  Best of all, juice boxes and chips were provided as the after game snack. 

Want to know how well Chloe did in her first t-ball experience?  Just ask her... she'll tell you all about it, especially her two runs she scored.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Batter Up - Part I

Claire and Chloe really love their gymnastics, but I really wanted them to try out some other things before they drift toward a single activity.  We are giving soccer another shot this fall, but I saw there was a summer baseball league through the Y that both girls could play for.  Claire's 6-7 year old age group is called "Super Tee Ball" where the kids get three strikes at the plate from their coach's pitch and then they get to hit off a tee.  My kids have never touched a baseball or a bat, but they were excited about all the accessories that come with playing baseball.  After a trip to the store, we were heading home with balls, a bat, a tee, shoes, pants and gloves.

We did manage a few short sessions in the yard practicing with our new gear before the drama set in.  A few times even attracted several other neighborhood friends - and we had a good game of Under 7 baseball going for a bit.

Game day arrived after a couple practices, and Claire was nervous the entire week leading up to that Saturday.  Her biggest fear was the three strikes and being left to hit off the tee.  Hindsight now says that the fear for every kid on the team should have been fielding ground balls.  I'm just sayin'.

Claire's team, the black and yellow Pirates, took the outfield first at the start of the game.  Kid after kid on the other team blew through their three strikes and had to move to the tee.  Hopefully that relaxed Claire some.  Most of the hits went right through the holes in their gloves, and one kid even tried to tag out a runner kickball style - throwing the baseball at the runner.  Mental note: need to have a discussion on that one later.

Playing Third Base
Daddy, "Coach"
Finally the inning changed, and Claire was second up to bat.  Strike 1..2..3 and the tee was out.  She whacked it off the tee right up the first base line where a kid picked it up and stomped on first base.  She was out, but didn't look too crushed.  A pleasant change from some of the tears in our neighborhood games.

In the 2nd inning, Claire again hit it off the tee but this time dashed to first base in plenty of time.  She was pretty pumped to advance bases and score a run for her team.

Running hard to 3rd
The high light came during the third and final inning when she came up to bat.  As I was getting the video camera in place the pitch came in and she drilled in towards 2nd base.  Away she went to first base with a huge grin on her face.

She scored a run a few batters later and the game ended.

Ten minutes after we arrived home and she changed clothes, she had her bat, balls and tee set up in the back yard - ready for some more practice.  I think she's hooked.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

How to Harvest Carrots

Step 1: Have carrots growing in your garden already.

Step 2: Wait until the daily temperatures are nearly 90* each day, and the soil is getting nice and warm.  At this point the carrots will start splitting and getting woody, so it's time to get them all out.

Step 3: Extract all carrots from the ground giving a firm tug to the green stems, being careful not to snap the stem off, leaving the carrot buried in the dirt.  Toss the carrots into a pile on the ground.

Step 4: Take each carrot and snap off the top stem right at the top of the carrot.  Toss the carrot into a bucket.

Step 5: Rinse and swish the carrots in a water bath to loosen the dirt.  Drain the water.

Step 6: Transfer carrots into a colander for further rinsing.

Step 7: Rinse carrots and drain.

Step 8: Trim tops and root end from carrots and store in plastic bags.

Step 9: Eat carrots twice per day for the next 10 days so your home grown carrots don't go bad.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Modern Day Pen Pals

Remember having a far-away pen pal and anxiously checking the mail box for an envelope with your name on it?  These days that has moved into cyberspace, and those letters are coming electronically - but still create the same joy when one arrives.

Claire and her cousin Hailey have been emailing back and forth to each other since we left Florida after our spring break trip.  It always amazes me how young kids are so comfortable around computers (gosh… I am dating myself), so Claire has no problem replying to the message, typing up her thoughts and sending them away for Hailey to receive.  And she asks almost every day if one has been received back in return.

I get a kick out of their messages to each other:


On Apr 10, 2012, at 7:16 PM, "Verrett, Chandra" wrote:
Hi  Hailey   
This  is  Claire
Gust  got  home  from  Gymnastics.  I wanted to talk to you.  I had a good day at school.  Did you?


From: Jeff Bolduc
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:36 PM
To: Verrett, Chandra
Subject: Re:

I had a good day. Did you have fun at gymnastics? Claire, did you have a good at kindergarten?

I love Claire


On Apr 12, 2012, at 7:43 PM, "Verrett, Chandra" wrote:
I am  in  First  grade.  I  did have a fun  at  gymnastics!  I went to swim  lessons  yesterday.

I love  you  Hailey!  Did you like our blog!



From: Jeff Bolduc
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2012 3:48 PM
To: Verrett, Chandra
Subject: Re: am

Yes I did like your blog. What did you do today? I went to a party.



And most recently, the girls exchanged videos of their latest accomplishments…. Hailey riding her two wheeler, and Claire with her skiing adventures.

From: Jeff Bolduc
Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2012 2:16 PM
To: Verrett, Chandra
Subject: Bike riding


I rode my big girl bike all by myself because I am 5 and Hannah rode her scooter all by herself because she is 2. Please watch my video. 

From: Verrett, Chandra
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2012 2:17 PM
To: 'Jeff Bolduc'
Subject: RE: Bike riding


Good job on ridding your bike!
I water skied all by myself because I am 6 and I knee boarded too all by myself! Chloe rode a tube and I did too.  Please watch my video!

I miss you  

Maybe next we’ll hook them up with some video chat…

Monday, May 28, 2012

Holiday Weekend Love

There's nothing better than a 3 day weekend, except for a 3 day weekend spent soaking up some sun and splashing in some water.  We took full advantage of Memorial Weekend's scorching hot temperatures by heading down to the lake.  For the past few weeks I've been thinking that this is the year that we need to try Claire out on some water sports.  She's comfortable in the water and is pretty willing to try out new things that she isn't familiar with.  After showing her a few rounds of kiddos knee boarding on you tube videos, she was game and ready to sign up.  But we don't have a knee board, and Jennifer and Chris weren't going to bring theirs over until Sunday - that's a whole half day longer than I was willing to wait, so I suggested we hunt down a set of kid skis to double the  drama  fun this weekend.  An hour later, we were pulling into the lake house with a new set of O'Brien Jr. Vortex skis and a 72" towable tube.  Claire couldn't wait to get started.

So get started we did, and we convinced her to go ahead and try out the skis - interesting because she's never actually seen anyone water ski.  Claire was excited - and asked that someone please video her while she skied so we could post it on You Tube with a title of "How to Ski."

I went over the key points several times with her:

What do you do when you fall?  LET GO OF THE ROPE
What do you do when you fall?  LET GO OF THE ROPE
What do you do when you fall?  LET GO OF THE ROPE

And... what did she do when she fell after that first attempt?  SHE DIDN'T LET GO OF THE ROPE. She sniffled a little after coughing up half of Lake Hartwell, but agreed to a few other attempts.  Overall, it was a good effort, but she was more interested in the tube and going for a ride on that thing - with me.  Ugh.  So tube riding we did, and vowed to return the next morning before the lake got crowded for more ski lessons on hopefully glassy water.
Yep, that's me... doing a knee board demo

Claire giving the knee board a try

So Sunday came, and it turned into a usual lazy day on the lake.  We had lots of friends and kids over, and we convinced all 4 of the little kids, ages 3 to 6, to take a spin in the tube during a boat infested Holiday weekend which created a whirlpool of waves in our little cove.

Only a few kids cried (ok... almost all the kids cried) and then we convinced Claire to give the skis another try, only now while everyone was here watching.  Like a good sport, she did.  And shocked us all when she popped up on those skis - shocking herself even, and promptly LET GO OF THE ROPE.

The summer has just begun, and she'll get skiing down before it ends.... 

Meanwhile, we'll zip around on the Rhino

And soak up some sun in the pool.