Sunday, October 28, 2012

F O O T B A L L sunday

Update: Bummer... another HCC loss with the final score of 24-31 Independence.

I found a VIDEO link for Justin's game: http://www.ihigh.com/independencecc/broadcast_257689.html?silverlight=1
 
It's the Super Six finals for Ramstein with another win yesterday- they remain unbeaten and headed to play Patch {that team I really don't like} next Saturday. We had snow yesterday and even bundled up were freezing.

As much as The Water Boy is one of Ty's favorite movies, he didn't think he'd be the actual water boy. He's doing ok, taking his new role on the sidelines in stride.

A visit to ortho this week along with new x-rays confirmed that his collarbone looks like it is healing well. In three weeks, he might be able to move and even lift light weight.

That makes him happy. For now, he still has pain any time he moves his arm or shoulder wrong.

I don't think next weekend will be much warmer here in Germany.

It's the final game of the season for the Scotties. They didn't make it to the play-offs. Justin was pretty bummed about that. There is next year.

Highland (1-5, 2-6) is playing at Independence (1-5, 3-5), Kick-off is at 2:00 Kansas time. It's a team they should be able to beat with a similar record. Ending the season at 3-6 overall sounds a tad better than 2-7.

I'm really hopeful for no injuries- a football mom's biggest worry. In last week's game, the Benedictine guy taken off in the ambulance broke his leg. Highland's LT hurt his knee and was taken off in the gator.

Especially with Ty's fractured clavicle injury this last week, I'm reminded of how rough sports are.
I'm also a little more nervous.

I'm not sure if we are going to be able to watch or see Justin's Highland game tonight, or not. It is their last game and his last game as a freshman- he's more than a little excited about that.

The Scotties are playing Independence and have a good chance of winning.

I emailed the Independence coach several days ago, called the athletic office and have searched their Web site for a link with no response or results.

On the Jayhawk conference Web site, they have a link posted for KKOY radio. That link is not working for me now. Might be because it only works once the game starts.

If you follow the link below it will take you to the Jayhawk conference.

http://www.kjccc.org/football/fbindex.html

On the left-hand side of the page is a list of links for each team in the conference. I am hopeful that this link for Independence Radio will work once game time rolls around.

Independence Hot 105.5FM - KKOY Radio

Kick-off is at 2pm CST time. I'll keep looking for a better link and will update if I can find one.

Go Scotties!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

T R I C K on our 7-year old Caden

It was the best birthday, ever.

For me, at least.

We skipped the party and Caden didn't even seem to mind. Seriously, I'm about the worst birthday-party mom. They're just not enjoyable in the least for me.

I love making their favorite dinner. I love setting the table. I love seeing them a year older. I even love taking cupcakes to their classes. I don't love throwing parties with tons of screaming kids.
Maybe I'm just a bad party-planner and can't justify spending hundreds of dollars to take them somewhere cool.

Dinner for our little seven-year old was Hawaiian Haystacks (rice with chicken/gravy and toppings including cheese, mandarin oranges, chow mein noodles, celery, tomato) and artichokes. Fresh artichokes, not the kind out of a jar or in a dip.

Dessert: homemade cheesecake. He likes what he likes. I think that's been the same menu for him three years in a row.

He was happy. I was happy.
The only things he asked for were white football pants for away games, of course. He is a Highland Scottie, you know? And, he wanted a hill bike. Not a mountain bike, a hill bike.

We get these little Caden-isms every day. He's so funny, I just hope we don't forget them.

We had a couple friends over including Ty's girlfriend {aka Caden's girlfriend} for dinner, cake and gifts. After opening his birthday presents and cards and receiving money from grandparents and his aunt/uncle we joked with him that maybe now he would have enough for his hill bike.
Of course, we had already bought it and had it hidden in the laundry room. We told Caden to go feed Lady so he'd walk right into it.

He was surprised. Makes life fun.

It's huge, but he loves it. Crazy kid.

Justin's final football game of the season is Sunday this weekend, not Saturday, not Monday. They play Independence at Independence. I'll get the link up tomorrow.

Ty's Ramstein Royals start semi-final play today at home.
Super Six finals are next weekend for him. After they win today, of course.

Friday, October 26, 2012

F L O S S E N B U R G

Honest, it wasn't all seriousness during our week of travels in September.

As I look back at our pictures, I realized we did go from from the cemetery to a concentration camp.

We had to fit in some history along with the good food, castles and fests.

With Ty playing football at a base in Vilseck, Germany, we knew we were making the four-hour drive east.

It was the goal to find something close to the high school to make a side trip for sightseeing.

We had to find something, right?

We did. Of course, we did.
We found the Flossenburg Concentration Camp less than an hour from Ty's game.

It's right on the Czechoslovakia border.

We had intentions of crossing over into the Czech Republic and actually forgot as we left and went straight to Ty's game.

Oh, well- we'll be back.

With kick-off at 1pm and a four-hour drive ahead of us, we woke up at 4:30am and were on the road somewhere around 5am.

It was early, but so worth it. It was cold too. I had no business wearing flip-flops today.

I was never a good student when it came to history. I got a D in US history my sophomore year and had to repeat it.

I have never been good at memorization and dates do not stay in my head. I also get bored quite easily.

If I'm not interested in a book within the first few pages, I'm lost and my mind wanders- hence the D.

Real history is another story. Historical fiction is my favorite genre by far.

Especially since living in Germany, I love reading about WWII. Still can't tell you the dates of anything, but the stories are fascinating to me.

What a horrible time in history. Leaving these sites always creates the desire within to read and learn more about what happened back then.

I want to know the stories and the history. Give me real-live history and I can focus.

What better place to soak up some history lessons than living in Europe?

Hands-on is so much better. To see the striped clothing they wore, their name tags, worn-out shoes, passports and pictures is something you can never forget.

We wanted to make the stop at Dachau, but realized it was too far south for this day trip.
I was completely unaware of how many concentration camps there were spread all over Europe until we started looking them up and found Flossenburg.
It is huge.

Again, the feeling on the grounds is peaceful and reverent. The museums are filled with more information than we could take in during our short two-hour visit.
I wouldn't mind going to our next one sans kids- to read and soak in more.

They have headsets with audio of actual prisoner interviews. Coleman and Caden did listen to some of them. I wish I could have listened to more.

They also have video footage.
I took this straight from their Web site:
The first granite quarry was established there in 1875 and soon became the center of the village economy.

In the late 1930's the owner of the quarry -- also mayor of the village and a loyal Nazi -- persuaded Heinrich Himmler to establish a major camp at the site.

KL Flossenb├╝rg was established in May 1938, and began as a relatively small facility originally intended for criminals, "asocial" persons, and Jews, but it grew to include political prisoners and foreign prisoners of war.

Between 1938, when the camp was established, and April 1945, more than 96,000 prisoners passed through Flossenb├╝rg. About 30,000 eventually died there.

The torture and pain they endured is unbelievable.

Standing on the grounds where they lined up, seeing where they were cremated, and walking where they walked makes it a little more real.

I hope my boys remember some of these places we've been able to take them to.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lorraine A M E R I C A N cemetery

It was another memorable day trip. Perfect weather, crisp fall colors starting to show and clear skies above.
With family visiting last month, I had my huge list of places to see. Some that we've seen that we don't mind visiting again.

There are others that we haven't seen that we want to check off our list. St. Avold and the US cemetery is one of those places I've really wanted to visit.

About an hour from our house across the border into France is the Lorraine American Cemetery and Monument.

It contains the largest number of graves of our military dead of World War II in Europe, a total of 10,489.

The grounds are immaculate. We had a chance to see some workers meticulously hand-trimming the graves. It is a reverent, peaceful place.

We talked to the woman in the visitor's center for a while. She showed us online how to look up names on their site to search all Americans from war buried in Europe.

We couldn't help wondering if there were any relatives.

We could't help reflecting on what times were like back then.

Monday, October 22, 2012

MONDAY night football

Highland with the win- yeah! Final score: Highland 34, Benedictine JV 17. They'll take a win.

Update: Kick-off was changed to 6:30pm CST time.

It's a rare Monday-night football game for Justin v. Benedictine JV. He's not too excited- ready for the season to be over so they can move on to training and achieving goals set for next season.

Hopefully, tonight's game can put another W in their win column.

Kick-off is at 6:30 pm Kansas (CST) time. It's a home game, so the Scottie's link should work. Justin told us we didn't have to stay up to watch- we could catch the video later. I let him know we wouldn't miss it for the world. We'll be up!

http://highlandcc.edu/pages/sports-live-stream

Saturday, October 20, 2012

my broken T Y

It was Ty's weekend. It just didn't go as planned.

Friday night was yet another trip to the ER.... this time it's a fractured clavicle (2 breaks) for my Ty.

It happened during Friday's practice. It was their walk through in preparation for Homecoming today.

He dove for a ball, landing on his shoulder the wrong way.

He  wasn't sure what was wrong, but the pain hit instantly.
He thought it was a separated shoulder and called me to pick him up after just a few minutes.

Jim grabbed him, ran him home and we headed up to the ER at Landstuhl. All four boys have now fractured a bone. Justin's wrist, Coleman's arm, Caden's jaw and now Ty.

It is definitely fractured with two separate breaks. They're clean, but my guy is broken. His spirit is broken well. It makes me sad to not only see my kids in pain, but to be so sad.
They sent him home with a shoulder sling, Motrin and heavy-duty pain killers. We will make a trip to ortho this week to make sure it's ok and they don't want to do anything else. It hurts to move. It hurts to use his arm at all.
Instead of playing today, he got to watch from the sidelines. It was senior recognition. It was homecoming. They won 48-7, but it was really hard to watch. It just wasn't the same without him playing.
His football season is over. He was planning to wrestle. He's not doing that either. We'll have to search to find the silver lining. I'm sure there is one.
Tonight was their Homecoming dance. Chantelle and Ty looked really, really nice.
We met as a group of friends and my friend, Mary had finger foods ready for the kids.
 
We dropped them off at the dance and plan to have movies and more food at our house afterwards for their small group. I love having kids over.
 It should be fun. 
Ty might be out of it, it's been a long, long twenty-four hours for us both.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

another T O U G H loss

 oTy won his game yesterday and is back from England after an all-night ride on their double-decker tour bus.

He was happy to play about half the game on both sides- offense and defense which is a little more fun than being a receiver who rarely gets thrown the ball.

Final score was 44-7 RHS remains undefeated.

It was another close game for Justin. Another tough fight that almost ended in Highland's favor.

In the end, they lost to Garden City {ranked #19 last week} 28-17.

Tied in the third quarter, Highland played great defense and even pulled ahead. Two Garden City touchdowns in the final quarter pulled them ahead for good. In my opinion, the final score doesn't reflect how close it was.

What an improvement they have made already this season.

Up next on Highland's schedule is a Monday afternoon game at 4pm against the Benedictine JV.

I was most excited {and grateful} for my sister Starr,bro-in-law Mac along with their cute kids {Connor & Abby} who made the trek from Colorado to Kansas this weekend for Justin's game.

I know how difficult long drives are with little people and can't thank them enough for taking the time and making the effort to spend some time with our big kid.

Love you guys!

I know Justin was happy as well for some good food and fun family to hang with.

They picked a good game to watch- thank you! xo

Friday, October 12, 2012

ty is on a bus to E N G L A N D

It's been a busy week- I am so happy for Friday. Guess I am always happy for Friday.
Ty left last night for a 16-hour {+} bus ride to England for a football game.

That is one long bus ride.

At least it's a nice tour bus.

Both J & T assure me that doesn't help too much. It's still really, really long.

It is cool being his third trip to England. He's only seventeen.

I have yet to go. Jim's not quite ready to take me yet. He spent too long {most of July} there.

Justin plays tomorrow at home v. Garden City. Kick-off is at 1:00 CST.
The HCC link to watch it is:
http://highlandcc.edu/pages/sports-live-stream

The Garden City link is:
http://www.westernkansasnews.com/gccc-sports-streaming/

They had a new radio cast on the last home game. They were horrible. Caden was learning how to make tally marks in school that week, so we decided to count {by tally mark} how many times the guy cleared his throat on air.

We counted 84 times.
Eighty-four.
We did switch to the other school's site, but the video was even worse, so we ended up hanging with the Highland crew.

Hopefully, this weekend is better.

Can't really be any worse. We might be watching from the Garden City perspective if it is.

We got a frost here this week. Today it is a cold rain and super grey skies. The fall colors are are really a sight to see here. Lots of orange and red.

I like that the geraniums are still beautiful. I'm hanging on a every bit of summer in spite of knowing that it's gone.

Mine are about ready to clean out of the window boxes.

I think it's about time for winter- fires in the fireplace, hot soups, mittens, scarfs, socks, and hot chocolate.

Not sure I'm ready.

Guess I have no choice.

Monday, October 8, 2012

T O U G H loss

It was just brought to my attention that I have neglected to add football scores from Justin's games. I think I'm so focused on getting the link on for anyone who might want to watch him play, I forget to go back and update.

Saturday night's game was a tough one. Highland lost 3-7 in a battle well fought. It was much more disciplined football and overall looked like a much cleaner game.

Towards the end of the game, the Highland QB took the ball in for a TD which would have put them in the lead with a 9-7 advantage.

Unfortunately, the ref called the TD off saying there was an inadvertent whistle. The lost another chance to score with a fumble shortly after at the one or two-yard line.

Tough break.

Most disappointing, this loss now has Highland out of the play-offs.

With so much improvement this season, they've got a lot to look forward to in their last few games and more importantly- next season.

Next week, Garden City is headed to Highland for a home game. The talk around the league is about the Garden City QB- a talented player recruited by Georgia (nationally-ranked D1 team) straight out of high school last year.

Bad choices on his part led to him being dropped from Georgia and signing at Garden City. Justin's definitely in a league of high-caliber players. Not all can make grades, but they can play some football.

It's exciting thinking of where he will end up in two years. He's working so hard.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

the beautiful R H I N E river

I was a packed ten days of sightseeing with Uncle Neal and Aunt Cheryl. I think we gave them a good tour of Germany while we were able to see a few new spots at the same time.
There is so much to do and see here within just a short distance. It's never a question of if we can find something, but more of a question of what to do first.
Even after nearly two years here, our list of things to see remains very, very long.

Since the big boys Rhine River Prom cruise in May, I've wanted to check out this region of Germany. Less than an hour's drive to Bingen, this week was the perfect excuse to make the trip.
We lucked out with beautiful September weather. A little windy, but no rain and clear skies. The colors were just starting to change, the air a little crisp.

A four-hour cruise along the most beautiful part of the Rhine made for a perfect afternoon. The pictures describe it best. This above collage is just a sampling of the castles and ruins were were able to see.
With more castles than we could count, the river is lined with vineyards, quaint villages and beautiful churches. I love the old shutters and spots of color.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

weekend = F O O T B A L L

It's the weekend which  =  Football in our house.

Ramstein got a chance to play last night under the Friday night lights. What is normal in the states, is a cool thing here in Germany as all high-school games are normally played on Saturday afternoons.

They pulled out a win, 14-0 against Wiesbaden in spite of it being an ugly, sloppy game. They'll take the win. It's Lakenheath, England next week for Ty and the Royals. A long road trip, but how cool is that?

Justin and the Scotties are on a bus this morning headed south to Coffeyville, Kansas. Highland is 1-4 and Coffeyville is 3-2.

On the message board picks of the week- Coffeyville is picked to win by all eight who weighed in. One member guessed they'd win by 28, another by 21.

Whatever the outcome, the odds are not in Highland's favor especially with a few key offensive-line players out of the match-up due to injury and one suspension (from the Hutch game last week).

It will be another battle. A clean battle would be nice. I'm sure the Scotties would agree.

Kick-off is at 7pm CST.
Highland (1-4) at Coffeyville (3-2), 7 pm

The audio/video link for the Scotties is:
http://www.coffeyville.edu/athletics/Live-Video-Streaming.cfm

If you have troubles with that site streaming, they also have a radio link with audio only:
http://www.radioresultsgroup.com/


Thursday, October 4, 2012

C A R C A S S O N E

I have my baby home sick from school today. I feel pretty fortunate to be able to swipe my schedule and stay home when my littles need me.
I might be super productive.

Then again, I might just have to snuggle and pamper him all day.

We might just have to stay in pajamas, too.

I now know first hand how fast college comes.

Just around the corner.
I copied this picture straight from Wikipedia. It's so huge, it's really hard to get a picture of the entire structure.
This might be the last post {finally} on what we saw in Southern France this summer.

Listed as the second most popular destination in France after the Eiffel Tower is Carcassone.

We planned the day to hit Carcassone in the morning with a stop at a lake on the way home for some swimming.
What an amazing place. Every time we visit a castle or cathedral or any other place built so long ago, we can't help but wonder how they did it.

Every stone in place- it's really breathtaking.

I didn't read much about it before going but did know that portions of the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves were shot in and around Carcassonne.
I also discovered that concerts are still held there today. The week we were there Duran Duran was performing.

Duran Duran?
Tickets were over 40 Euro each. I found that crazy expensive especially considering they were popular when I was in sixth grade. We passed on the concert, but loved walking around the fortress.

Founded in the fifth century, though the Romans had fortified the settlement earlier.

It's a huge walled city with thoroughly restored in 1853. Walking around the insides is just like walking through an old village with shops, restaurants, museums and a beautiful cathedral.

It was amazing. The view was just as amazing from inside the walls.
It took a little bit, but we did find the lake we set out to see.

The boys all jumped in.

Jim was the good dad and got in as well.

It was a little too chilly for me- I got my toes wet then enjoyed some sun on the shore.

Monday, October 1, 2012

P O R T I R A G N E S

Happy October! I'm choosing to think sunny, happy thoughts today as the grey and darkness of winter are kicking in here in over here.
 
Portiragnes was definitely my favorite Southern-France beach.

Picture-perfect beautiful. The weather wasn't the most cooperative as a fog came across the beach marring the view of the lifeguards.

The water was warm, sand was super white and soft. If it would have been a little hotter- perfect.

I'm not a collector of much.

I like paper and pens. I don't do spoons. I don't do fabric since I don't know how to sew. I have forever loved shells even though I don't even have a collection of them. I remember numerous trips to Seward and all I wanted to look at and buy were the shells in the shops.

Love them.

I also loved collecting agates along Kenai beach in Alaska as a little girl.

It was my absolute favorite thing to do on the peninsula. I could spend hours searching for the clear rocks.

Sitting in the Mediterranean Sea collecting shells is pretty great, too. I have also fallen in love with searching for tumbled glass pieces.


I love not only how beautiful it is, but how relaxing the search is while watching what each new wave is going to bring ashore.

I've started my small collection in a mason jar.
I told Jim the bucket-list goal is to fill it up from beaches everywhere.
Simple pleasures.