I'm in the process of moving this blog, so please excuse any mess. The new address is:
There are two slideshows of our Paris trip on the new blog.
We took Jack and Owen to Gettysburg over the weekend (Fiona got to party with G'mom and Jippy). The boys (and we) LOVED Gettysburg.
We had reserved a licensed guide from the visitors center and it worth so much more than the $60 fee....he spent over 2 1/2 hours with us. He drove our car for us (he knows all the shortcuts) and gave a running commentary the whole time. We stopped at various points to get out and walk the battlefield and see some landmarks.
Jack and Owen listened to every word he said, asked -- and ANSWERED -- questions, and contributed their own opinions and theories about the battle. Our guide was a retired high school history teacher and about halfway through he said that Jack and Owen could have easily passed his 11th grade history exam. He asked if we had early dinner reservations--he said he was having so much fun guiding us and was it OK if he ran overtime.
We got a good overview of the battle and it really makes a difference in understanding the battle to be able to see the landscape.
(above: Jack and Owen learning about Napoleon cannons and Parrot cannons, rifling and ammunition.)
(above: Jack and Owen both got Union army forage caps and weapons. They spent a lot of time running around the woods fighting battles. Owen built Fort Sumter in our hotel room out of pillows and was STILL fighting a battle after Jack, Kevin and I were alseep.) (above: Soldiers from a confederate Maryland unit demonstrate how to load and operate cannons.)
(above: Jack and Owen both got Union army forage caps and weapons. They spent a lot of time running around the woods fighting battles. Owen built Fort Sumter in our hotel room out of pillows and was STILL fighting a battle after Jack, Kevin and I were alseep.)
(above: Soldiers from a confederate Maryland unit demonstrate how to load and operate cannons.)
Jack's on one of the township's post-season baseball all-star teams. They've been competing the past few weeks in a big tournament. The tournament is down to four teams and the playoffs start Monday night. The good news is that Jack's team made the semi-finals. The bad news is that they have to play the OTHER Solebury team.
Jack has been playing first base and made some amazing catches during the tournament (although if you look at the photos carefully, you'll see that he often plays with his eyes closed. We're not quite sure how he does that.)
Unfortunately, after leading his team with triples and doubles during the season, he's been in a bit of a hitting slump. He's had some RBIs and singles, but has yet to really blast one out there. Maybe tomorrow is his night? ... It would be very "Jack-like" to save his best for the big show ...
I pulled out a few photos of him at his position. You can see them here.
Kevin and the boys planned a trip to the secret fishing spot this morning, so last night Kevin and Fiona had to go out to get worms. Of course they ended up with unplanned purchases, and Fiona came home with her first, very own fishing pole (Barbie pink, UGH).
She spent about 45 minutes last night with the weight on the line, very seriously practicing her casting and reeling in. I think she's ready.
By the way, the fishing trip this morning lasted about 15 minutes due to the 40 degree weather, mushy worms and windy conditions.
Here's Fiona catching a "weally big one" (she's got a bit of a Daffy Duck accent lately, to go with her Brooklynese).
I know this really isn't a newsy "post" but at least, here's a new scrapbook page.
After renovating the LES last year, NHS decided the hallways needed some decoration. Two local artists were commissioned to work on the murals. The 2nd grade hall features a map of the world. Each class had a continent and the students contributed their drawings, which the artists duplicated for the mural. Jack's version of an Egyptian bird was selected!!
Move over Ciasulli brothers! Move over Peppelmans, Kemmerers, Haegeles, & Jastrzebskis! There is a new wrestling brother powerhouse in Pennsylvania!
Jack and Owen has their first VARSITY matches as brothers this weekend (Jack wrestled varsity last year.) Both of them won a match! (Owen won his JV match, but lost his varsity match.) They both wrestled great.
Maybe Kevin could write short match summaries and I"ll post them (hint hint hint). One of the highlights was when Owen threw his sprawl-mixer combo (a move he only learned Thursday night!). Jack had to fight back from a couple points down to win in the third period. The rest of the photos are here.
Fiona had her first "real" visit with Santa (Jack & Owen are experts). She was very chatty and wasn't afraid at all. She told Santa that she was a "good ga-wurl" and she wanted a "tiny baby" for her present. We usually go visit Santa at Howell Farm in New Jersey, one of our favorite places anywhere. If there's snow, Santa comes up the lane in a sleigh, otherwise two of the horses, Barney & Mac, pull Santa in the carriage and then he sits in the sleigh to visit with the kids. A few more photos of our visit are here.
THIS is the outfit Fiona picked out HERSELF to wear to school. She originally had on the pants and shirt. However, she's very very fond of her new nightgown and threw a temper tantrum when we took it off. So, I offered to let her wear a dress. She seemed to think that was a good idea, but insisted on keeping her other clothes on as well. Instead of her regular school shoes, she wanted to wear "Pink Crockies" (on the wrong feet) and to top it off, added her Christmas hat and her doll, Lulu, clipped onto her dress. Vogue magazine, here she comes.
Fiona warmed up her scary face before trick or treating.
Owen was Dracula, Jack was Lord Darkskull (a zombie) and Fiona was Princess Nemo (after wanting to be Nemo, she changed her mind at the last minute and kept telling us she was going to be a princess, so we told her she was Princess Nemo).
They all really enjoyed trick or treating this year and you can see more photos of the evening here.
Owen's class held their Halloween party on Friday, including a parade around the parking lot with the rest of the classes as well as lots of treats in their classroom. Owen is the scary Dracula toward the left.
Jack's last football game was today. They won, to finish 5-3 in their inaugural season. Jack played better every game, had a couple of nice tackles today and FINALLY got a chance to play some offense and got to run with the ball .... wrestling practice starts Friday. Stay tuned.
For the photos below:
#1 -- Jack actually took down the guy who's carrying the ball. See the little legs with gold socks back there? That's Jack. He tackled the guy, held on, and slowed him down enough for another Solebury player to come help finish bringing him down. Post tackle, Jack had to lay on the ground for a minute and then limped off to the sidelines.
#2 -- This is proof that Jack actually had his hands on the ball this season! The photo's so blurry 'cause I think I was so surprised. The Solebury kickoff returner bobbled the ball and dropped it and Jack had the presence of mind to grab it and run. He only made it two or three yards this time, but, believe it or not, the same thing happened on another kickoff and Jack gained almost 10 yards, giving them position for a touchdown run on the next play.
#3 -- Another don't-forget-how-tiny-Jack-is photograph. Most of those boys are fifth graders who weight 15-20 pounds more than Jack. In physics, momentum equals mass times velocity. Jack is quick, but I don't think he'll ever be able to generate enough velocity to make up for a guy whose mass is 25-30% more than his. But, Jack just grabs hold and hangs on, and eventually the guy comes down or one of Jack's teammates comes over to help. The guy Jack's about to slap hands with is the one he tackled in photo #1.
#4 -- Fiona spent a lot of time during Jack's game sampling, and guarding, the team's snacks. She also plays with all the big kids like she's one of them. Last week, she "worked out" with the U14 boys soccer team that practices after Jack's practice. While we were waiting for Jack to finish up, I looked over, and Fiona was kicking the ball around as part of a group of five or six teenagers ... wait 'til she starts playing football!
#5-- After football, we had to rush Jack over for his travel team's soccer tournament. They won the game and Jack is starting to play more aggressively, although why he needs that tongue out all the time, I don't know. As I've said before, I guess if "tongue out" worked for Michael Jordan, it's OK for Jack. He also logged some sideline minutes this game after taking a kick to the "personal area."
Last photo is from Owen's flag game this week. Over the season, I've noticed that when Owen is standing on the line before the play, he keeps taking his mouthpiece out. It's become apparent that what he is doing is "trash talking" before the play. With the number of tackles he's made, I guess it's working, although I question whether it's sportsmanship-like.
Seems like the only time I have time to post is after the Saturday sports marathon. Owen had two games this week, Jack one. Owen played great. Although he really loves being on the line and blocking, the coaches make them rotate positions, so he got to be fullback and scored his first touchdown.
Jack had a great game as well ... he gets credit for two important tackles and one "assist". His team is undefeated! I got photos of two of his tackles and put the last one in there to remind you how tiny he is compared to the others who are playing with and against him (he's number 16, the littly bitty boy on the left).
And Fiona, was ....mostly silly.
Two soccer games and one football game today, but I only have photos of the football (I had a faculty meeting and missed both games.) Jack's travel team won again, so they're tied for the best record in their league (2-1).
The report is that Owen had to play double shifts on soccer (again) and excelled on defense. He also had a football game on Thursday. He got doubled teamed when he was playing tackle, but he was able to take on both blockers (along with some trash talking on the line) and when he was playing
linebacker and defensive end he made three tackles in the backfield. He said he
had a good time and he likes tackling better than carrying the ball, although he's pretty good at kicking the ball off.
The NHS Lightweight Football Lions are 2-0 and were in great form today. Jack's under a lot of pressure as cornerback, and it seems like he's covering an awful lot of real estate for such a tiny guy, but he does his best and stays aggressive. However, he's dying to get his hands on the ball on offense...maybe in another game. Here are a couple of photos from today (Jack is #16, doing his best to make the tackle):
OK. Here's the schedule for tomorrow:
8:00 Jack: Travel Soccer Game
9:00 Owen: Intramural Soccer Game
10:30 Owen: Flag Football Game
4:00 Jack: Tackle Football Game
What that schedule doesn't show is the early hour we must get up to force food into Jack before all his games, the tugging and pulling of various shin guards, hip pads, butt protectors, helmets and mouthguards, and the vigilance required to keep Fiona off the various fields during the games.
Jack's team held a rally bonfire tonight, complete with the team running through a banner. He was thrilled! Stay tuned for the full report tomorrow night, if I'm still coherent.
Jack had his first U9 travel team soccer tournament this weekend. Six games in two days; his team finished second in their bracket. Jack hasn't played much with his team yet. A few of them were in soccer camp with him, but he couldn't go to the team soccer camp. In addition, Jack and one other boy are the only new team members and second graders. The team played great; they really show some excellent soccer skills and will only improve as they work together.
My soccer photo skills still need some work...it moves a lot faster and over much more ground than wrestling!!! So, out of all there photos I took, only a few are suitable for sharing. You can check them out here.