Friday, July 12, 2013

Evan's Phillies Room (from 2011)

This post is two years past due, but that's okay, because I still think it's worth sharing. All three boys shared a room [their choice] until three years ago when Evan decided he was old enough - at 8 - for his own room.  We agreed and decided that the old nursery would be perfect.  It was being used as an extra playroom for the boys [because they needed two??] and it was time.  

Evan decided he wanted a Phillies room, so that's what we did...

We had to work with the white wainscoting around 3 of the 4 walls because we CERTAINLY weren't ripping that down after Mark installed it for the nursery decor.  I hated painting over the alphabet and star border that I had so lovingly painted along the top of the ledge, but if you look ever so closely, you can still make out a letter or two under the fresh coat of Phillies blue paint [and I sanded them, too!]  

I knew I wanted to incorporate an interactive scoreboard in the room.  I searched high and low for something to purchase online.  Everything I found was too small, too large, too expensive, not right, so I decided to create my own.  Mark helped put together the templates and then brought home a projector so that I could tape it out on the wall.  First I painted a large white square.  Then, I projected the outline of the scoreboard and taped it off with painter's tape before giving it two coats of green.  

The kids had fun helping pull off the painters tape to reveal the white lines underneath.

Then, I cut out numbers and words on my Cricut and used the negative space as stencils to fill in the numbers and words.  I also purchased cheap plastic green pocket folders and white number stickers.  I  cut the folders into green rectangles to fit the scoreboard squares and assigned the numbers.  I plan on adhering velcro dots to the wall and to the back of each number so that Evan can change the score as he  watches or listens to the games. [I don't have a pic of the number cards so I'll have to update once I get this part done - hey, it's only been two years!!!!]

I projected the Phillies logo and Phillies 'P 'onto the wall to trace them out and then painted them.

I had these 12 x 12 canvases [doesn't everyone have them laying around? Oh, wait - that's just me...].  I decided to make some quick personalized art accents using paint and some scrapbooking supplies I had around.  I really love how these turned out!

This desk has a story behind it.  It was passed down from my parents' house so it had a few coats of paint on it and it was pretty banged up.  I wish I had a BEFORE pic of it, because it was bad.  I sanded it and painted it dark blue.  The top had some weird thing on it that showed through the paint, so Mark decided to sand it down again and repaint it.  Except when he sanded it down, we saw this beautiful wood top and I had the brilliant idea to make it look like a wooden bat on the top and leave the rest painted.  Mark remembers this story VERY differently and claims that it was his brilliant idea to do that.  I'm just setting the record straight, people!!!!!

I will give Mark all the credit for working up the Louisville Slugger stencil on the computer and finishing off the top to look AMAZING!  I really think that's what makes the room complete.  He even put Evan's birth year on the "bat" - 2003.  Love it!!

This was Evan's very first night in his new bedroom.  I think he loves it, too! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ballgame (but only if it's above freezing...)

The 2013 baseball season has come and gone in our house.  And it was an interesting one...
To be honest, I was a little nervous because this was the first year that ALL 3 boys were playing and, of course, they were in three different divisions: T-ball, machine pitch, and kids pitch.  I wasn't sure how we would juggle games on different fields at the same time, but it all worked out just fine.
Nathan's games were always on the same field and always at 6 p.m.  Evan's games were always on the same field and always either at 6 or 8 p.m.  Ryan's games were on different fields, but his games were always at 6 p.m.  And we only had an occasional Saturday game thrown in here and there, which was awesome!
The season opened with the parade down Main Street and as usual, there were WAY more people in the parade walking than there were people spectating!  As you can see, this pic was "pre-summer" haircuts...
Doesn't Ryan make the cutest catcher EVER??!?  The jury's still out on whether he liked this position because he actually liked playing catcher or because he didn't have to make much effort to actually get the ball...
Nathan's first stinking cute!

One of the strangest things about this baseball season was the ridiculously cold FREEZING temperatures we had to endure for all of Evan's night games.  I'm talking winter hats, gloves, scarves, coats, long underwear, extra socks and blankets kind of cold!   Some of those 8 p.m. games, we were on the field until 10:30 (thank goodness they were weekend games!) and the temperature would drop into the mid 30s/low 40s.  It was crazy cold, but it was fun.

Ryan is under there somewhere....

Can you see the "Feels Like" temp on this Weather Channel app screenshot??????

Nathan and Ryan both had decent seasons.  They both improved a lot and became decent hitters towards the end.  Evan, on the other hand, had a disappointing season.  His division changed this year, so he was one of the youngest kids on his team in a much more competitive game.  There were many games in which he sat on the bench for 2+ innings.  Mark and I struggled, too.  It was really hard to watch him be disappointed and discouraged every game.

More than anything, I think I was frustrated and disappointed in the coaches.  Yeah, I know they're volunteers and they are doing their best, but we're talking about 10, 11, and 12 year old kids.  Let everyone take a turn sitting out an inning.  Let everyone have as many opportunities to hit as possible.  Let everyone rotate and play infield and outfield.  These kids are not being drafted into the Major Leagues any time soon.  Let this Little League experience be a learning experience and let it be FUN!  I'm sorry, but there's no reason for anything different at this stage.  I am hoping and praying that Evan is put on a team next year with coaches who believe that!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cousins and Friends

Our kids are so blessed to have cousins their own ages.  When I was growing up, my cousins were all much younger than me and they lived far away so we didn't get to see them very often.  Needless to say, my sisters and brother and I didn't have much of a relationship with them.

All of our kids have a cousin who is close in age, some by as little as 6 weeks!  And what makes it so much fun is that they all get along with one another.  My kids WANT to hang out and play with their cousins.  They WANT to have sleepovers and bonfires and pool parties.  They just love being around each other.  

My sister has a great pool in her backyard and we had our first weekly cousin pool party this past a three weeks ago.  Yes, you read that correctly...a WEEKLY pool party.  It is planned as a standing date.  The weather better not stand in our way!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

SWAT and More Mustaches

I know I always say I work with the best people e-vah, but here is further proof...

On one of the last days of school we have a fun lunch where we order out and have fun.  My peeps took it to a whole 'nother level this year with the addition of mustache straws in my honor.  We were all laughing so hard that I almost peed my pants trying to get this picture taken.  

And I know I promised this wouldn't end up on Facebook, well...this isn't Facebook, now is it? [Joe!]

We are known as the SWAT team when it comes to reading assessments [School Wide Assessment Team].  Three times a year, the six of us, plus some occasional helpers, administer an oral reading and retell assessment on E-V-E-R-Y student in the building.  That's about 400 kids.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all they do to help me do my job and help struggling readers.  

Anyway, I bought them all special fly swatters and labeled them 'Greatest SWAT Team Ever' as a gag gift.  I think they liked them...