Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another Fine Saturday for Lessons

Today's Lesson is a doozy. You could say that we learned about physics: What goes up must come down. You could say that we learned about patience. What we really learned was a lesson in consequences. Young Man was ready for today's game after a week of no games. He was so ready that he didn't want to let any plays get by him - even if the ball was many feet over his head! Young Man tried for the ball, but his stick slipped out of his grasp. Well, it didn't slip so much as soar. The end result of this lesson in lacrosse pole aerodynamics was a lesson in penalties for soaring sticks. A thrown stick can be as much as a one-minute penalty. In this case, the referee deemed it an accident and was also glad that the player stayed to catch the pole so that it obviously wasn't thrown at another player. This meant that Young Man only spent 30 seconds taking a knee in the penalty box.

Last week was a washout for lacrosse. The boys would have played because lacrosse goes on, rain or shine. The groundskeepers for the fields had other ideas and all games were cancelled. This week, the sun was shining brightly and the fields were ready for play.

Young Man's team was on the field bright and early for an 8:00 a.m. game. They were on their game today! They came out passing and running plays. It was a joy to behold! Photography was a little challenging because the parents' section faced directly into the sun. The players didn't seem to mind. Lacrosse is always an exciting game, but it is very difficult to describe how much fun it is to watch boys who enjoy themselves so much playing a game they love. Young Man did very well today. Yes, we are biased, but he did have some very good plays.

It is very hard to get by Young Man when he is determined to stop an oncoming player. All of the boys played very well, much to the distress of the opposing team. The final score was 11-0. Yes, it was a shut out, but the day was not over.

After a day of relaxation and catching up on costumes, we headed back to another field for a 5:30 p.m. game under the lights. Again, photography wasn't assisted by the game time, but it was another great game. This team was a much more physical team and they were, again, quite frustrated. Unlike in the first game where the referees were calling nearly all fouls, these referees let some go by. As the frustration level rose, the hits came harder. Young Man's team held up to the rigors of the game. It is hard for the parents to watch games that get physical, but the players know that they have earned their goals. Seven of them, we think, and the team has another win.

Young Man did get a second chance at one of those balls high above his head in the second game. This time, he kept his stick in his hand and he snatched the ball from the air and took possession away from the opposing team. Lesson learned.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Costume Central

It's that time again. The school play has performances 10 and 11 February. Dress rehearsals start on 4 February. Yes, that means that the sewing machine is busy. I didn't take a picture of the Willy Wonka costume that I finished over the weekend, but here are four of the seven Oompa Loompa costumes. The director is looking for striped socks and will add green wigs. Another costume mom did most of the shopping for pieces. I still have one costume to shop for (Mr. Bucket) and one to sew (Violet as she becomes a blueberry). I have the pattern planned and all the material, I just need to cut and sew.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

This is What a Geek House Looks Like

This is the note that was posted on my computer when I got back from a business trip last Friday. Mr. Engineer was calculating how long it takes to recharge a Wii remote using its USB charger. I love my family!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Sky

It was an interesting sky for a change. We had rain pouring down Friday morning and it rained again today. The only bad news is that Young Man's two lacrosse games were cancelled. Lacrosse is played in any kind of weather, but the groundskeepers sometimes close the fields and that puts a stop to it all. I can understand the desire to keep the fields in some semblance of good condition and I am not complaining about not having to stand in the rain through two back-to-back games. Young Man was the disappointed one. Still, even he didn't mind our alternative activity which included a trip to a local farmers' market and a kitchen full of healthy snacks!

He was less impressed by my alternative activity that resulted in a completed Willy Wonka costume. Performances are on 10 and 11 February, so the sewing machine is getting busy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009



Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's Lacrosse Season Again!

Today was the first game of the season, and it was a fabulous day. Young Man is now playing for a local middle school. It is still a club team, but now they wear the school colors. They have enough boys in each grade to field two teams so there are going to be many opportunities for lacrosse watching this season.

See this beautiful Saturday Sky? That is Saddleback Mountain in the background. The reason that everything is so bright and clear is that the wind was blowing a bazillion miles an hour and blowing all the crud that is usually in our air out to sea. Okay, I exagerate (a little). The wind was blowing far harder during practice Friday afternoon. Today, the wind just tossed hats and trash. Friday, the wind was able to pick up an entire lacrosse gear bag and toss it through the air. It was most impressive.

Oh, that scene above? No, young man has not grown a foot since last season. The boy in the front is one of his teammates who has just upended the opponent's stick and dropped the ball to the ground. Young Man is that sharp-eyed player in the background who is making a quick about face to pick up that ball. And how can I prove that? Well, I have the photographic evidence, of course.

Young Man's parents are completely biased, of course, but we think he played a very good game today. He was fast, tough, and unflinching in the face of much larger opponents. He had several good breaks and moved the ball back to the players on Attack.

Young Man wasn't the only one playing well. The entire team looked so good! They passed, they moved, they worked together! It is so fun to see the boys mature and learn from their coaches. It was quite impressive. Oh, and the score reflected all that hard work. Young Man's team won, 6-3. It was a great way to begin the season.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Booking Through Thursday - The Best?

It's a week or two later than you'd expect, and it may be almost a trite question, but ... what were your favorite books from 2008?

This is a good question and one that had me pondering for a while. I read a few books that I very much enjoyed and several that were good enough, but not on my best of the year list. Let's look back and some fun reads from 2008.

History - By far the best book I read in 2008 in this category was Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. This book took more than a little time to go through, but it was worth every minute. Abraham Lincoln really was a genius and it was wonderful getting to know his contemporaries that don't always make it into the mainstream books. I do enjoy learning about all the history that I never saw in school.

Young Adult - Well, the favorite author of the year was definitely Frances Hardinge. I read both of her books this year and was delighted with both. I will say that Fly by Night was my favorite (slightly edging out Well Witched), but both books were wonderful. Fly by Night took readers to a fully-resolved fantasy world that was almost too scary. You see, books and reading were banned to most people in this world! One little, determined girl was out to change the world. She was an unlikely hero, but that is really the best kind.

Sci Fi - It wasn't the best book, but I got myself hooked on the Dresden Files series with Storm Front, by Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden is an intriguing character and I have been given promises from a friend that the series improves from the first book.

Autobiography - Okay, this was a tie and it is a tie between two totally different books. The first was Take Big Bites, by Linda Ellerbee. I just adore Linda and had a blast seeing her and Nora Ephron at the California Governor and First Lady's Conference in 2007. I had Linda autograph my copy of her latest book and enjoyed every last bite. The other favorite in this category was Time Bandit: Two Brothers, the Bering Sea, and One of the World's Deadliest Jobs, by Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand (and Malcolm MacPherson). Okay, the book is profane and Johnathan is probably not someone I would like to spend much time with (other than a beer, perhaps), but the book was still an interesting look at a lifestyle that I could never share.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Curl Up With a Book Sunday

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
As usual, the book is far better than the movie. I was pleasantly surprised to see how closely to the book the movie was kept. Given the details in the book, that wasn't easy. As I had been told, the author's true feelings about the Church didn't really come out in this first book of the trilogy. I had no problem with he views, but I know of others who have been troubled. I think that Philip Pullman is a very talented author. He drew me into a world that was so different from my own and yet, I never questioned it. Lyra is such a strong child. She made me wish that I had been stronger in my youth. On to the second book!

View all my reviews.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

First Saturday Sky of 2009

It's a bit dreary here. Frankly, that is a nice change from all the happy, blue sky that we normally see.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Another Day, Another Finished Project!
Don't get used to this, but it looks like I finished something else.

Project: Noro Striped Scarf
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, Color 211 and some other colorway (I lost the bands)
Needles: US 7

Notes: What can I say that hasn't already been said about this pattern? You never know how it will look until it is finished! I had my doubts halfway in, but the end is fine. I used a tubular cast on and castoff so the ends look very nice. This one is a gift and I think it is even prettier than the one I made for myself.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Booking Through Thursday - New Year's Resolutions

So ... any Reading Resolutions? Say, specific books you plan to read? A plan to read more ____? Anything at all?

Name me at least ONE thing you're looking forward to reading this year!

Yes, it is a new year and I'm back to Booking Through Thursday! My first reading resolution is to do again what I did last year and read every one of the 11 books for my book club. I've already finished the first one, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë. The next book is Murder with Peacocks, by Donna Andrews.

My next reading resolution is to finish the trilogy of conversations books that are sitting on my shelves. I really need to read Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, and Difficult Conversations. As you might gather from this list, there are some things that need to be said and I am having trouble figuring out how to say them or if I should even be in the middle of the mess.

I am also really looking forward to reading Memo to the President Elect, by Madeleine Albright. She is such an amazing person and I am curious as to what she has to offer. Young Man is eager for me to catch up to him in the Inheritance series, by Christopher Paolini. I have only read Eragon. He has finished Eragon and Eldest and is 400+ pages into Brisingr (since Christmas Day). I have a significant stash of young adult books waiting for me thanks to the wonderful reviews from Elizabeth Bird. Finally, I am enjoying the book lover site, Goodreads. Between that and Ravelry, it's a wonder I have any time for reading (or knitting or quilting)!

There is photographic proof that I have made time for some other projects. I give you a so-so picture of the first finished item of 2009!

Project: NFL Team Quilt

Size: Twin

Materials: NFL team fabrics with Kona white and black in snowball blocks.

Notes: These are blocks from a block swap that I was in years ago in the Quilting forum. It was after this one that I gave up on block swaps. I thought that the instructions were very clear, but it was surprising to me how many ways people could interpret them! I had to rework nearly half of the blocks before I could put the quilt top together. The final result was worth the trouble. Young Man grew out of his I-Spy quilt (I had cleverly made it reversible so we did get a little more time with it) and really wanted something more grown up. He loves football and was excited to learn that this set of blocks was for him.