Monday, November 30, 2009

Pumpkin Creation

Ok, it’s catch-up blog time!

I work at Beal school in town. During the last week of October, we had a pumpkin carving contest as a team building activity. All of the teachers and aides were randomly placed into 6 different teams. There were fun rules written up and we had 4 days to create something with the pumpkin given to us. My team decided to turn the pumpkin into Rainbow Fish (from the book Rainbow Fish). I forgot to tell you, Beal School is a kindergarten and 1st grade school.
The pumpkin was painted blue and turned on its side. We had a bubble machine behind it to blow bubbles. There were plastic fish hanging from the ceiling above. We had fun.

The creation of the pumpkin was to be done after or before school hours. I spent a couple of hours Thurs. after school and between multiple taxi drives to help finish the product.

Here are the other pumpkins:

The pumpkins were judged by parents and the 1st graders on Friday, October 30th. My team won! We were given D and D gift cards. We all had fun doing this activity.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Win for Shrewsbury at Mid-Wach A Leagues Meet

The guys were pumped for Leagues. I hosted the pasta night for this race. Leagues was held on October 27, 2009 for Mid-Wach A. Shrewsbury wanted to keep their dynasty alive. They had won Leagues for 4 years in a row, this year would make 5!

It was impressive for me to see this race with the number of runners. I didn't go to last years race so this was all new to me.

John Murray set this course record too! He ran this 5K in 16:38.8. He is amazingly fast.

Tobin finished 7th in the race. He ran it in 17:21! By finishing in the top 10 he was awarded League All Star. He improved his running by 59 seconds from last years race. He is running very well.

The team stayed together as a pack again. There was only 9 seconds between our #3 guy and #12. Our top 6 guys finished within the first 12 runners. We were racing against 6 other teams, 47 guys total in this race.

There were 4 races that day: boys varsity, girls varsity, boys junior and girls junior. It is impressive to see that everyone, girls and guys, cheer each other on. They run throughout the course (even after their own races) to cheer the others on to win. The boys and girls xcountry team is a great group of teens.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Impressive Running at Shrewsbury XCountry

Tues, October 20th was the last home course race the seniors would run. Coach Smith read all their names outloud before the race. I believe there are 10 seniors.

They seemed a bit anxious to run. In the far right is the number one guy, John Murray. Number two is Chris Favuli and Tobin is number three on the team. The first 5 guys for each team are paired up together along the front line. The rest of the team members file in behind.

I love this picture. Notice John Murray and Chris Favuli setting their watches as the gun goes off for the start of the race. John had said that he was going to set the course record during this race.

Tobin ran well. He was a bit tired and finished 5 seconds slower than last home race. His time is still very good at 18:15.

This is at the first mile mark:

I wanted to get different pictures from the course. This post features the sand climb up to the grass field. Notice how steep this hill climb is. It is short, but your thighs burn once you do this part. (I ran the course one evening and have great respect for what the team does often.)

Tobin is pushing it at the finish of the race. The team finishes on the track. Behind him is CJ. CJ is running extremely well. He has been finishing right behind Tobin. He is a freshman.

John set the course record today. He ran the 3.1 course in 16:27! Wow! John did finish over a minute ahead of the reat of the runners. Shrewsbury did get places 1-5. They also finish as a solid team. #2-5 were all within 26 seconds of each other. They were hoping to run as a pack and finish as one. They did! This made the guys really happy and excited to look forward to the Leagues race a week later.

Back to Blog

I know that it has been almost a month since I last blogged. I promise many posts are coming. Keep reading and looking. I will try to have a new post every couple of days. Keep reading, I won't disappoint!

Thanksgiving 09

I know everyone just celebrated Christmas and I will get to that soon, but I wanted to put in some Thanksgiving photos.

Thanksgiving is a day we set aside to be thankful for the people in our lives that make it better and hopefully we get to spend time with them. This year I was blessed!

We spent Thanksgiving with many of Abram’s family. Chip, Marie and Marita were there. Mira and Max came. Jesse and Jacinta. Isaac, Jenna and Aidan came. And our six. Everyone helped me so much this year. I am so grateful for that. It made it very easy to host Thanksgiving.

Mira and Max made the salad. Max made a pumpkin cheesecake.

Marie made apple pies and butterhorns. Jesse brought the wine. Jenna made pumpkin bread. Jenna and Isaac also peeled and cut 10 pounds of potatoes for me! All I had to make was the turkey, stuffing, corn, cook the potatoes, orange cranberry bread and a pudding dessert for Sarai.

Isaac, Jenna and Aidan came over around noon with the potatoes. Isaac played a game of Quirkle with Tobin and Carmen. Isaac always pulls out games when we get together with him.

Sarai held Aidan while he played with Zori. He has been so good with the cats. He use to be afraid of how their fur felt and now he's getting love from Zori!

Abram always makes a great fire when we have company over. He knows that my favorite spot to sit at, once I need to rest, is on the bricks with my back to the heat!

The teen gals hangin' with Mira.
Leah and Steve came for dessert. Steve's family live in Marlboro, only 20 minutes from my house.

Aidan is always ready to smile for the camera.

Mira is reading Rachel's writing journal. Rachel's 3rd grade teacher requires the kids to write in their journals at least twice a week. I didn't see much of Jacinta and Rachel that night because they spent much of the time at Rachel's desk writing. Rachel found a journal for Jacinta to use.

The evening wouldn't be finished until we had the traditional pulling of names for Christmas exchanges. We used Tobin's cross country hat to pool all of the names.

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you to everyone who helped make this day wonderful and smooth. I am truely blessed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sports Saturday

Warning, this will be a long blog! But I promise it will be a good one.

Saturday, November 21,2009 was a day to put the miles on the car. We drove over 200 miles to see sporting events. The amazing part was that we only had 1 child for 35 miles of driving. Sarai had a tournament that weekend. Two games Saturday morning and 1 game on Sunday. Tobin was racing in Northfield, MA at noon for the State’s meet and Carmen had a 2pm indoor soccer game. We took Sarai to her first game. Isaac and Jenna offered to have Rachel stay with them and they’d meet us up at Tobin’s race. Carmen slept over a friend’s house who would take her to the soccer game on time for us. I am so thankful for all the people who help us out!

I will begin with pictures of Sarai's game. The games always happen in poorly lit gyms. Many of her pictures some kind of blurr to them. It is very hard to capture movement with such low light.

I loved this picture. Everyone's movement is captured, but yet Sarai's lefty lay-up is in focus (a bit!).

Sarai was fouled 3 or 4 times in this game.

Sarai always drives the ball to the basket and is so good at the lefty shots. She's a righty!

Her hoops team lost both games. They recently won, by a lot, their latest game. The team is finally working together.
She wears different uniforms for each team she's part of . This gold uniform is for the travel Hoops team. She plays for Worcester Girls Inc. She has a green t-shirt for that one. School is navy blue and white. I hope this helps you keep track of her teams. Good luck!

After the first game of the weekend, Abram and left in the car to travel an hour and a half north to see Tobin race in a state's meet. There are many pictures from this event.
Here is the team with Coach Smith. tobin is on the far left.

This is the beginning of the race. This is a very hard course. The first mile is up a steep hill. It was at the Northfield Mountain.

Tobin after the 2 mile mark. The path is crowded with people. It was hard to get his face because everyone was in front of me.

Rachel and I watched as the boys crossed the finish line. That was a very scary sight for me. I saw too many kids collapse on the field. One has just happened in front of Tobin. The guys are trying to run as fast as they can across the finish line to get a good time, but then someone in front of them drops to the ground. How do you finish and watch out for others in front of you? I also saw so many finish foaming at the mouth. I've never seen such exhaustion in my life. It was scary. Rachel and I watched until Tobin finished and then we had to leave.

Tobin giving us his running pose. He didn't run his best, yet it was still great. He was running with all the best from the state. It is amazing how much faster the race is when everyone running the race is great.

Here is the posed finished face.

Tobin is talking with his winter coach, Coach Murray. Coach Murray's son, John, is the very fast kid on the team.
Remember the split shin. Here is the scar from it. Oh yeah, Tobin and his teammates all shaved their legs for States. It made is easier to see his scar.

A few Shrewsbury parents set up pop-up tents with food underneath for families and the runners. I was looking for Tobin. Here I notice that most of the guys are sitting and eating, but I cannot find Tobin.

I turn my head and notice through the thick of the girl's team is Tobin! This is a common occurrence.

We were only at his meet for an hour, just enough time to see him run, congratulate him and then off we were to the next sport event - Carmen's indoor soccer game.
Indoor soccer is very different from outdoor. You'll notice the nets in the every photo. Indoor soccer has walls that you can play the ball off of. The only time the ball is called out-of-bounds is when it hits the net instead of the parents! Carmen loves this game. It is much faster and she gets to push/slam other players into the walls. She plays her heart out. She is their key defender. Unfortunately, the one game they tied was the this day and we missed all but 5 minutes of it.
Carmen has finished playing one season of indoor soccer, has begun her second and hopes to play a third bringing her right to spring soccer.
Aside from the long miles, this is a typical Saturday at our house. As I write this blog we are into our winter sporting events. Rachel is playing basketball, Carmen plays basketball and indoor soccer, Sarai has her 3 basketball teams and Tobin is running winter track. Squeeze in music lessons, winter concerts, coaching and CCD and I've given you a small taste of our weekly life.
I will try to keep catching up with the blog. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tandem ride with Rachel

Abram, Rachel and I took a bike ride on November 15th. Abram and I have a 18+mile route we do near the house. We took Rachel out on the tandem, but shortened the route a bit. I suggested that we ride by Isaac and Jenna’s house to see if they could take a picture of us. Isaac was home, so we got lucky. Rachel had fun and does help to pedal much of the time. She says she likes the tandem because she can get a drink from the water bottles we have in the cages on the bike when ever she needs one! That was a huge priority for her. I believe that we biked 12 miles. Rachel says "it was 12.8 miles!" It was her first real experience pedaling on the hills.

Rachel had a scary experience after we left Isaac’s house. A small dog ran out her yard and chased the tandem. I know it was a female because the owner was yelling “Come back Tinker Bell”. The dog was too little to bite Rachel, but Rachel was very scared to have dog chasing her like that. I stayed far behind them because I was afraid of running into or over it. Many riders have been terribly hurt from dogs running into their bikes. Once Tinker Bell was too tired to chase Abram I was close behind and she began chasing me. It is not fun to pedal quickly in order to out run a dog and also be concerned that they are going to be hit by cars. We were on a main road and the dog had no sense to look for cars.

Aside from the dog experience, Rachel had a great time. She loves to ride with us. It is great to have a child who likes to ride. Carmen enjoys riding the tandem as well because she can go really fast!