Sunday, September 29, 2013

Meet the Basketball Team

Today is also known as "The Day Evan and Evan became best friends."

We went down to Meet the Team day to see the UVA Men's Basketball team and get signatures. The boys were in absolute heaven, especially when they got to play in the practice gym, tour the weight room and locker room, play ping pong in the team lounge, and see the Coaches offices.

But Evan realized he was in for a REAL treat when we went on the court to get signatures from our favorite players. the only one Evan would stand in line for is his absolute favorite: Evan Nolte. EN is tall, and a good player, and from Wisconsin, and "ohmygoshwehavethesamename!" We got his signature, and asked for a photo, to which he happily obliged. Staging the photo was a bit problematic though, seeing as we have a 3' tall child and a nearly 7'tall player, plus Drew would NOT let it happen with out him. EP stood on a chair, and EN was kind enough to pick Drew up (though he clearly hasn't been around lots of little ones from the way he held him).

About 10 minutes later, while we were in line for another set of signatures, EP turns to daddy with curiosity in his eyes - he's clearly been pondering this question for a while - and asks, "Daddy, do you think Evan would babysit me some time?" (Melt) We told him to go ask! So EP ran back to EN and asked. EN was great - he said Sure--though maybe the summer would be a good time instead of during the season, and EP was thrilled.

Another 10 minutes later, EP grabs Daddy's pant leg and asks with urgency and semi-panic, "Daddy WAIT! We don't have Evan Nolte's phone number!!" (Aww!) He ran back again to an amused EN gave him his number that went something like this: 555-111-2323. EP tried so hard to remember it! He was thrilled to make the connection with his basketball hero.

"Player, did you get hurt? I'll fix you."

"I'm a doctor!"

Let's see if I can lift this one... 

Go Hoos!

It's Evan and Evan! And Drew too!
And yep, EP is standing on a chair.

 Will you babysit for me?

Can you give me your phone number 
so my mommy can call you to babysit?

"You guys keep standing in line for signatures.
I'm going to wait here."

Drew's planning a take-over of Ms. Katharine's desk. 
She has pretty markers. I don't think we messed it up too much!

Coaches meeting

We got to chat with Mr. Coach Tony Bennett himself!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Balloon Morning

We see hot air balloons all the time in the spring and fall here in Charlottesville, and the boys are enthralled. What a treat to walk out this morning and hear the unmistakeable hiss of one coming right over our house! We stood and watched for a while as the balloon lazily floated nearer and nearer, then up and up and up.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall Evenings

Just hanging out outside this evening, enjoying the great early Fall weather. Practicing some bike riding (or just modeling the uber stylish helmet) and watering the now fully grown zinnia seeds we planted on Mother's Day!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

ELCA Day of Service

Our church joined congregations across the nation in today's celebration of the 25th anniversary as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for "God's work. Our hands." Sunday. It coincided perfectly with Rally Day and the first day of Sunday School. The younger kids stayed after morning service to meet their new teachers, then packed Blessing Bags which were distributed by the older high school youth to our community's homeless population. Over 30 bags were packed and delivered! While the littles were doing that and learning about serving others and sharing, the teens and adults (and Drew-aged littles) spread across the community for service projects. Congregation members packed meals at the Loaves and Fishes food bank, helped the Rivanna River Authority clean trash from the river's banks and trails, held a "donuts and games" event at a local mobile home community, visited and sang with residents at an assisted living center, packed food boxes for an upcoming mission trip to Southwest Virginia, organized collected school supplies for kids in need at the neighborhood elementary and middle school, and cleaned the gardens in front of the neighborhood's middle school.

Our family joined the gardening group down the street. (Evan initially wanted to do the donuts event, but was good with digging in the dirt once he realized it wouldn't be him getting the donuts!) Mike, Drew, and mommy joined several middle school youth and several adults to clean out the planting beds at Sutherland Middle School while Evan was in Sunday School. We spent about two hours weeding, raking, trimming bushes, and cleaning the beds, oftentimes fighting against the rock-hard dirt. Thank goodness Mike was there; his muscles were sorely appreciated by all us women and youth! His years of practice digging in our flower beds at home really showed. Evan was able to help for the last portion too, and both boys were amazing helpers carrying sticks, planting new flowers and plants, and carrying much-needed water to both plants and workers. We thought the project really made a difference, creating a more welcoming and clean entrance to the school, and we all left sore, sweaty, tired, and happy to have contributed to the community.

 Evan and Caden write messages to pack in the Blessing Bags for the homeless. 
Evan's look translates to: "More art? Seriously? When do we play?"

The planting bed around the Sutherland Middle School sign: before.

 After: much better! 

That evening church held a Rally Day dinner in the parking lot. It was hot, but the friends and food made it much easier to bear. Lots of "regulars" showed up and a good number of neighbors attended as well. The kids played basketball, swung on the swings, played in the sand, climbed on the ark, and generally ran around trying to sneak brownies from the dessert table; the adults laughed together and snuck a few brownies of our own; and we all enjoyed great music from the PLC Praise Band. Thank  you Greg for tirelessly chasing the boys long after the rest of us stopped being able to keep up! :)


A beautiful sight to walk home with: 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Shark Class

Evan's class started journaling today! This is going to be a fascinating project by the end of the year to see how their thoughts have grown and their writings and drawings change over time.

They also started "using the library" - each Friday they get to pick their own book to take home and return the next week. It's great to see them so excited about reading, and starting to learn the responsibility of returning things on a deadline.