Monday, September 20, 2010

Soccer, Flying, Marley and Exercise

I have decided to make a weekly blog rather than smaller numerous ones.  I will warn you that with everything that goes on in this house, my blog entries will be long, but entertaining!

Soccer Saturday's have begun again!  Saturday, September 11th, the season began for Rachel and Carmen. 

Carmen's games are in the morning and Rachel's games are in the late afternoon.  This is means Abram and I get to see both games, but also our entire Saturday is filled with travel soccer.

Carmen was used as a forward at the beginning of the game. She is not used to this position, but I believe that she can be a great forward with her speed. It took me awhile to realize that the ball is in the air in this picture.

Towards the end of the game Carmen's coach put her in as a defender.  She was able to take on this player in green.  As she is trying to outrun her, the girl in green still is trying to push or hold onto Carmen!

Carmen used her left foot to kick the ball away.

The race for the ball was on!  Their team lost this game.  Hopefully next Saturday is better.

Carmen came to Rachel's game later in the day.  She is hanging out with Skye, an old teammate.  One of Skye's sisters is playing with Rachel this year.

Abram was taking pictures during Rachel's game because I am the assistant coach.  Carmen's last year's coach is Rachel's coach now.  I was an assistant for him last spring as well.  

 Rachel performed her signature move this year.  She loves to play in defense, gain control of the ball and move it up the field and score if none of her teammates are open. She did this move multiple times this game.

I believe she actually scored this time.  This was the second attempt on goal.  Rachel had at least two attempts and 1 goal within the first 5 minutes of the game.

Rachel is fearless when playing.  She takes shots and blocks them with her chest.  She takes on any charging player.  Her team won their first game. 

Sunday, September 12th, I went with Abram during his lesson.

 Here he is taking the tarp off the plane.  Abram has a badge that approves him to be out with planes, checking the engine and prepping the plane before his lesson.

You have to check the oil before a flight, gas, spark plugs, wiring, flaps, steering wheels, wheels, rudder and more.  I feel as if we should all be doing this before we get into our cars.  When was the last time you looked under the hood to see if the alternator belt was in good shape? You have to do this before every flight!

This is a good view of the plane we flew in.  It has four seats.  The plane is a Piper Warrior.  It is designed to be a forgiving plane for training.

It thought this truck was cool.  This is what comes to fill up the gas in planes.  He kept the truck running the whole time though.

There's a tank in each wing.  I learned that plane gas is blue, jet gas is clear and car gas is orange/red. 

Abram is flying around the airport in this photo.  He was doing "touch and goes," which means he lands and takes off right away.  He recently bought sound canceling headphones for flying.  They have a microphone for talking on the radio and intercom.  We all tried them on  at home.  Once the noise cancellation turns on you feel as if you are in an empty room.  Cool and freaky at the same time.  I had my own set of headphones from the flight school so I could listen to them talk and respond back.

This is the airport.  It looked like a lego model from the airplane.

Boston skyline from the plane. 

The center left ramp is where we had walked onto to get the plane.  From here it again looks like I took a picture of toys.  

It was amazing to fly with Abram!  The first time we took off I was a bit frightened, but that quickly wore off.  Abram is a great pilot.  He is working on making the landings more smooth.  The instructor asked if I was scared when we landed once with two bumps.  I replied, "he's scared me more on the tandem than he did ever during the 2 hours of flying!". 

Many people are afraid of me flying with Abram.  Yes, there are plane crashes, but how many more car accidents happen every day?  (Actually, there have only been two fatalities in MA aviation this year. One involved a helicopter and the other when the instructor walked out of the plane while the prop was still rotating.  So really, no plane crashes!)  We get in our cars without checking if all parts are working.  We "trust" that we won't get into an accident.   When you are learning to fly the instructor has all the same controls as you and will take over if things are not going correctly.  How many of you have gotten in the car, as a passenger, and not been able to aid your new driving teen?  I believe people feel comfortable with what they know, whether there are inherent dangers or not (i.e. driving every day).  But they fear the unknown, like flying.   OK, I'm done with my rant!

I left the lesson wanting to get my pilot license as well!  It will take me much longer to get my license than it will Abram, though.

Tues was the day Tobin had his great and fastest race yet.  Tobin's coach predicts that he has more time to take off.  His race time on our course is comparable to low 16s on a flatter course.  He races in another week at Wachusett against their fastest rivals.  We'll see how he does then.

Marley loves Abram!  Most nights he snuggles up against him while Abram is using the laptop or reading his flying books.  A few nights ago, there wasn't much room he liked so he lied across Abram's arms and used them as a bed!

Marley snuggled between Abram's arms at first.  he was at times watching the mouse move around the screen.  

Marley soon fell asleep on Abram's arms.  It is good Abram is good with his left hand.  It was more free than the right one!

I honestly cannot remember how long Marley slept on Abram's arms, but I do know it was at least a half of an hour. Tonight as I write this blog, Marley had lots of room near me to sleep, but he chose space next to Abram, squeezing between books and Abram's side! I guess we may chose to bring home animals into our house, but they then choose the people they connect with most.

Friday afternoon Abram and I biked 30 miles around the Wachusett Reservoir.  When we take that route we pass these statues.  I love that the owners dress them up seasonally.  I believe I posted during the summer that they were wearing bathing suits.  Now they have rakes and shovels.  That night, we also played in our co-ed soccer league.  Abram sent a text saying "You know it is an over 40 soccer league when everyone plays hard but hobbles off the turf when the game's done!"  We aren't over 40 yet, but we did hobble off with bruises, bumps and a torn quad.  Time to celebrate Freedom of Movement/Hobbling!

Every day at our house is filled with excitement and events.  I forgot to mention that Rachel is taking up the cello!  We rented a 1/4 cello on Thursday evening.  Her first lesson is this Wednesday night.  I will take a picture of her with it and post it with next weeks' blog. 

Thanks for taking time to read what's happening at the Dancy clan's house.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New PR in Cross Country for Tobin

I just posted a blog about Tobin's race last Tues. I said he set a PR of 18:04. I couldn't wait until the weekend to say he blew that PR out of the water today! He finished the home course (same as last week) in 17:21! I cannot believe how fast he has become.

I missed most of the hand shakes today, but I like this photo. Tobin is shaking hands with Curtis; someone he is competitive with on the team and John is jumping before the race begins.

I had to include this photo of Tobin jumping right before the race begins.

As everyone sets up for the race, they also set their watches.  You can see four lead guys setting their watches to pace off of.

They are off.  Tobin said there were elbows pushing from everywhere in this race.

At the first mile Tobin CJ were neck and neck.  John led the race the whole time, giving Tobin someone to race after.

Here is Tobin at the end of the race.  He is a distant behind John, but no one is near him today!

John won the race with 17:04 (I believe).

Coach Smith was so excited while Tobin and many of the other runners were running to the finish.  Coach is a calm easy going guy.  But when his runners are finishing he is yelling times and encouragement to keep them pushing it.  Coach was extremely impressed with Tobin's running today.  Also, he was impressed the top four guys all finished under 18 minutes on our course.  This is very fast and strong for the team. 

Tob finished the course in 17:24!  He took 40 seconds off of last weeks PR.  Wow! Impressive!
I hope that I can continue to post great things about the cross country team each week.  All the guys put in many miles this summer.  It is paying off.  Let's hope they continue to stay strong over the season.  Their goal is winning states.  Time will tell.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Swimming, Winning, Enjoying Freedom of Movement

Last week was full (as usual).  We traveled to NH, Tobin had his first cross country race and won! Abram and I went hiking without children.  I only covered Sunday through Friday in this blog. 

On Sunday of Labor Day weekend, Rachel braved the pool at my mom's house again.  Sarai, Carmen and myself went up too, but we like to the pool water to be warmer to go in.  Abram was flying and Tobin was running in Lexington, Ma with Brookline kids he went to CO with

Here she is joined by Lawrence.  They certainly have fun in the pool.

Rachel wanted Lawrence to pull her around the pool.
Next, it was his turn.  I think he was helping her a bit by kicking!
Even fish get cold after being in the pool awhile.  She needed hot cocoa and two towels to warm up.

Tues, September 7th Tobin had his first cross country meet.  I am always impressed that the top guys are shaking hands before every race saying "good luck".

The race begins on the road.  It is a bit deceiving since Shrewsbury's course is woody, windy, rocky and has multiple steep hills to run down and up.

I thought this picture was cool when I looked through the photos.  Three of the top four runners here have their strides matched up.  Tobin has the neon yellow shoes.  I have a hard time finding him on the course while he is running.  With the new flats, I can easily spot him!

Coach Smith is at the 1st mile marker encouraging and calling out times.  I believe Tobin was leading with a 5:02 first mile!

Tobin won the first race of the year!  He won with a PR of 18:07.  Tobin says this is very impressive to set a PR the first race of the season.  This is the fastest he has ever run the Shrewsbury course in 2+years.

Shrewsbury's course is the second hardest one in the league.  Aside from the win, what impressed me was how he pulled away from the other two guys running behind him.  The course finishes on the track.  Tobin entered the track with CJ and Curtis 1 second behind him.  As he rounded the track he put a good amount of distance between them.  I believe he finished 4 seconds in front of Curtis.  Last year all three (Tobin, CJ and Curtis) always ran together, but some how Curtis kicked ahead and often beat Tobin.  This year even Curtis was impressed with Tobin's new found kick.

The winner of the race gets to keep the 1st place stick.  Tomorrow he races again.  Maybe he will make a new PR!

On Friday, Abram and I went hiking up Mt. Wachusetts.  I don't work on Fridays.  I asked Abram to take the morning off to go on a bike ride. We weren't motivated to bike, but hiking sounded good. We decided to do 7 mile hike.  The weather was beautiful!

Wachusett Mountain is a ski area in the winter.  We walked around the top to find the ski lift.  It was a beautiful site.  I have to admit that there is nothing about being on the top of this mountain that makes me want to strap skis to my feet and slide down.  Nothing!  I do many things, but not skiing!

I did find this snowboard bench pleasing to look at!

Abram is always telling me that I need to enjoy freedom of movement.  I think it is his way of telling me to slow down when we exercise together!  We do enjoy doing things together, such as hike.  We also began playing soccer in an adult co-ed league on  Friday nights.  Now I do coach soccer, understand the rules and how to play it, but have never played in a real game until last Friday!  I loved it!  There is one catch to co-ed soccer:  there needs to be 2 women on the turf at all times.  Well, we only had 3 women on the team.  Which meant that we had only 1 sub for a lady.  I loved sprinting after players and surprising them.  I hope to get better over time.  We did feel stiff the next two days from hiking and sprinting on astro turf from soccer.  I don't know if I will get pictures from these games since Abram or I are taking the pictures and both of us are on the field now.  We will have to drag a kid or two to see us play.

Enjoy the freedom of movement!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Update on the Cats

Our cat family is good and happy.  I wanted to show you some recent pictures of Marley and Friday as well as an updated picture of Zori and Cappi.

Marley is extremely social.  He needs to be with us all the time.  During August, I had Sierra and Aidan for several days. Jenna brought over Sierra's baby bed incase I needed a place to lay her down.  I never used it for Sierra, but Marley thought it was the perfect place for him to take a nap.

A few times I have let Marley out with Cappi and Zori.  Here is a nice picture of him.  It is hard to photograph these black cats.  The camera doesn't adjust for their black fur very well.

This isn't the most flatering picture of Marley.  I was hanging out on the stairs while all three black cats were around me.  Marley does not like the flash which I was using because it seemed to capture their fur the best.  He is often sitting up like this next to me. 

This is Edgar, Mira's cat.  He is the father of Cappi and Zori.  I find it amazing how closely he resembles Marley.  All of my cats have white whiskers though.  Edgar does not have white whiskers nor any white on his paws.  I was putting this picture onto the blog and both Sarai and Tobin asked who this was, seeing the strong resemblence with Marley.

I find Friday is usually laying on the floor like this somewhere when I am around.  She does like to hide.  She was hanging out in the hallway while Marley was sitting upright with me.  I just love her long white whiskers.  I still cannot imagine why her whiskers are so long.  I thought the whisker length corrilated to the width of the cat.  She is a small cat, but her whiskers are long and wide.

Friday loves to lay in tents.  This is a Groovy Girl doll tent.  Cappi used to love to climb in this tent when he was little.
I searched and found a picture of Cappi from 2007.  This was when Cappi was a kitten .  He too loved the Groovy Girl tent. 

Here Friday is laying again on the floor while I was working on the couch . She is laying next to a tie that is one of her favorites to play with.  She is possive of "her" toys. 

I was able to get a great shot of all three black cats laying near each other.  Going clockwise, Marley is at 12, Zori is at 4 and Friday is at 7.  Marley is very cool in nature.  He seems to get along with everyone. He will chase Friday around the house, which is good since she needs to play more than the others.  Marley and Zori usually just hang near each other. 

Cappi is alone in his coloring. He is still the largest cat in the house.  I think he is still adjusting to having two new cats to share his domain with.  He isn't too happy that Marley insists on sleeping in my bed each night.  For the most part, all the cats get along fine. Cappi is not thrilled with Friday's need to play all the time. Friday still acts like a kitten.  Cappi might just be an old guy now!  I say that with everybit of affection. 

Here is Zori, beautiful as ever. 

As Abram says, "we are surrounded by cats", but it is fun!