Friday, July 27, 2007

I love free stuff...

I also love good music... especially good Christian music. A few days ago I received an advance copy of Monk & Neagle's new CD- The Twenty-First Time in the mail. It is soooo good!!!

It officially comes out September 18th, but if you head over to their webpage or their myspace page you can listen to a few songs now! Or you can click on the image below to watch their video on youtube :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Done with the Deathly Hallows!

My head is spinning... my back aches... my eyes hurt... but it was worth it! At approximately 11:30am I finished the very last Harry Potter book. I can now change my homepage back to Yahoo and watch the news without fear of being spoiled. I now know what happens.

Don't worry, I won't say anything. I hate hearing spoilers and would hate to give away anything if you plan on reading it. I won't even say if I loved it or hated it... although if you have read it, email me and I'll let you know what I thought :)

Yesterday one of my favorite bloggers finished the book and put up a post about it. I only read the title and quickly closed the page, fearful of finding out the ending. Today after I finished the book, I clicked back to her page and the first paragraph of her post cracked me up...

"J. K. Rowling is trying to take over the world through social isolation, lack of personal hygiene and sleep deprivation. With half the world’s population starved for quality sleep, unshowered and refusing to talk to even their closest friends, Ms. Rowling is poised to take over the muggle world."

How true... although, thankfully, I was in the showered minority.

I spent the last 3 days reading at work... getting aggravated when the phone rang or someone asked for my help... Hello?!? Don't they know that I am trying to find out what happened to The-Boy-Who-Lived?!?

Well, now that the Harry Potter series has ended, I guess I better find something else to read. Any suggestions?

A boy and his dog

Jeffrey & Pilot had a great time this weekend playing together. Jeffrey is crawling, so he is now on the same level as poor Pilot!

Last time we were up at Mom & Dad's, we bought a tree swing for Jeffrey. Since everyone was at the house this weekend, we decided to put it up and see if Jeffrey liked it. Well, Jeffrey AND Pilot LOVED it!

I think they are Best Friends Forever now!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Happy 70th!

This weekend I drove up to celebrate Mema's 70th birthday with the family. We had a great time hanging out, eating, playing the Crazy Turtle Game, and just admiring this amazing woman who we could not believe was turning 70!

I get my unique middle name, Daylene, from her. I must also get some of my sense of adventure from her. At 70, she is an active member of Camping Women and has had many adventures hiking, kayaking, and camping. In fact, her gifts for her birthday included a CamelBak backpack for hiking and a kayaking life jacket!

I only hope that when I am 70, I am just as young and fun as she is.

Happy Birthday Mema!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kenny's Home!

Kenny was home all weekend and we made the most of it.

The night he got back in town we watched... you guessed it.... Field of Dreams! The wife in that movie gets the award for the most supportive wife in history. I told Kenny that if he ever started to hear voices, I'd probably tell him to go see the doctor, not encourage him to do what the voices say. His reply..."If I start to hear voices?!?"

On Saturday morning we woke up early, gave Pilot a haircut and a bath (despite what he might tell you, he really likes it). We then headed over to the mall to catch an early showing of Harry Potter (in our house pronounced: A-rry Pott-ah).

Next we grabbed a Slurpee and a bite to eat at Emmas because poor Kenny had been Mexican food deprived in Iowa, then off we went to the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at Del Mar. Now, last year we attended the gun show and were so utterly disappointed that we wrote a letter to the Crossroads people. Because of that letter, they sent us some VIP tickets to another gun show. Having forgotten our past experience and having free tickets in our hands, we figured we would have a great time and possibly find the deal of a lifetime on some rare gun. Alas! It was not meant to be. We spent about half an hour at the show wandering by booths that had absolutely nothing to do with guns. Although the next time you are in the market for crystal, candles, army surplus or kids toys, just head over to the gun show and you will have a great selection!

Not to let our day be spoiled, we drove over to Torrey Pines/ La Jolla and spent some time at the gilder port watching paragliders soar around the cliffs. It looked relaxing, but we decided that we would rather have an airplane and a motor any day!

Later that night we went over to Boomers and played miniature golf, road go-karts (Kenny sideswiped some little kid and spun out! Totally the kid’s fault if you ask Kenny!), went to the batting cages (Thank you, Field of Dreams) and then played a few video games. We were like regular junior highers :)

Nothing like a gun show and mini golf to help you reconnect! :)

Flowers ♥

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Simpler Times...

Simpler Times…

Don’t we all wish times were simpler? In the hustle and bustle and buzz of life, we some times miss the simple things in life that make “life” worth living.

Iowa. A hot summer afternoon like one would see in a movie. An empty ball field with a summer wind blowing in from third base, a wind just strong enough to pick up the dry top soil and gently dust the pitcher’s mound and first base. Partly cloudy, but still plenty of blue sky to let you know it was summer.

Let’s back up a few steps…

I am in Iowa. And I am stuck here for four days. I thought nothing could be worse. Stuck in some one horse town in the middle of Iowa. I think I saw three cars, two possums and a John Deer when driving from the airport to my hotel.

James, the other pilot on the trip with me, loves baseball movies, For Love of the Game, The Natural and of course Field of Dreams. As luck would have it, Field of Dreams was filmed right here in Iowa, about 30 minutes from where we were staying. With nothing else to do, we cruised out there to check it out.

It was very cool. They charge absolutely nothing to visit. No entry fees, no make you feel guilty “donations appreciated” signs, NOTHING. And they let you run around the actual field and play ball on it. You can run through the corn field which marks the homerun boundary. All for free. Of course one dumb person and his lawyer ruin the full fun for everyone. The owners of the property used to provide free bats, balls and gloves people could borrow and take onto the field. Now, one must bring his own equipment.

Fortunately, we were able to throw ourselves on the kindness of a family that was prepared and brought a bat, ball and glove. They patiently waited while James and I threw some sloppy pitches to each other. It was fun. Of course, you know how easily influenced I am. Fortunately, James is easily influenced as well, so off we went to go buy some gloves and baseballs so we could play catch. (Hey don’t mock us, we are stuck in a one horse town whose big attraction is the National Cattle Congress.)

Now, how difficult do you think it is to find a baseball mitt in a small Iowa town? Well, it is tough in Waterloo. We hit Walmart, Target, Toys’R’us, Sears and even a pawn shop to no avail. After an hour of driving back and forth, we finally found a sporting goods store in their local “mall” called Scheeles that had some baseball gear. Does anyone know what a new baseball glove costs these days? Wow! They ranged from $49.99 to $219.99 for adult gloves. And don’t even get me started on the prices of bats.

In desperation, I am looking through the pee-wee size gloves hoping to find something in my price range. Finally, I pull out an adult sized glove that was marked $29.99. It fit my hand, it fit my wallet. As I grab a ball and start slapping the ball into the mitt to make sure this baby is the right one for me (like I really had a choice $$), the sales clerk kindly notifies me that the glove I am proudly claiming as “the one for me” is a junior size. I look at this seventeen year old summer staff sales clerk indignantly, like yeah, duh, I know that. I make the fake-you-out move to put the glove back on the rack, and then once he turns around, I grab the glove and claim it as mine once again. $29.99 baby, that’s all I need. James goes a little higher class than I and springs for the $49.99 glove, still well under the average price for the “good” gloves.

We pick out three baseballs. Again, we find the cheapest ones that still allow us to retain some dignity.

Now we are about to leave and James poses the question, “Do we want a bat?” Well, that is question of the day. We are dropping some unplanned spending on an impulse that we got from visiting a “free” attraction. How badly do we want to put ourselves? I look at him, looking for some sign of whether he really wants one or not. He looks at me, questioning whether I want one or not. “Well, we can look,” I respond.

And so we look. Hmmmm. $329.99, $289.99, $119.99, do bats really cost this much? Finally we find some $29.99 wooden Louisville Slugger bats. No grips, no frills, just a plain ol’ wooden bat. Arg. Another 30 bucks really raises the commitment level to our whimsy. Now we are in for $100 between the two of us. It is getting pretty steep.

Again, long live the pee-wee leagues. We find a Little League aluminum bat for $19.99. A little short for two grown men, but it will work. Okay, so it is purple, but we can deal with it. Wait, we find one with red flames…perfect…$20 and not gay. Done!

Recap –
Visit “free” attraction.
Sudden uncontrollable desire to play catch.
Driving around for an hour to find the gear.
Find the gear, very expensive.
Find the cheap gear, buy it and sneak out of store making comments like “my son will really like these.”

Now all we have to do is find somewhere to play.

Let’s return to the first paragraphs.

Don’t we all wish times were simpler? In the hustle and bustle and buzz of life, we some times miss the simple things in life that make “life” worth living.

Iowa. A hot summer afternoon like one would see in a movie. An empty ball field with a summer wind blowing in from third base, a wind just strong enough to pick up the dry top soil and gently dust the pitcher’s mound and first base. Partly cloudy, but still plenty of blue sky to let you know it was summer.

James and I pull up in the rental car. We are both a little giddy inside, although neither of us would admit. It has been ages since I have played catch. Of course, I am already thinking, “I am almost 30…how bad is my shoulder going to hurt tomorrow?”

Like all diligent ball players, we warm up by tossing the ball back and forth. Loosen up, stretch out, you know drill. We don’t want to go directly into pitching and hitting, we could pull something.

James volunteers to pitch first, so I grab the shiny new bat and take the plate. Crack, the ring of the ball against the bat. Magical really. Here we are living any boy’s summer dream.

After a couple a dozen pitches, we trade positions and carry on.

About 15 minutes later, a local kid shows up and stands in the dugout.

“Can I play?” “Sure.” And he jogs out into left field.

Five minutes later, another kid shows up.

“Can I play?” “Sure.” And he jogs out into center field.

Within a half hour, we have four local teenagers, two out-of-towners, a bat, some baseballs, gloves, and a GAME!

Three on three. One outfielder, a short-stop and a first basemen. Pitch to your own team. Two out innings with a five run limit. Five innings or when mom calls.

I am not sure if it was out of respect for us as out-of-towners, old guys, or that we were there first, but James and I were selected as Captains and the picking of teams began.

I got Brian and Garrett. James got Tyler and Ty. My teams bats first.

Wild pitches, long fly balls to a single outfielder, in-the-park homers, double plays, grass stains, sweat, strike outs, runs, high fives, low fives, line drives, foul balls hitting cars parked too close…baseball in the summer!

An hour and half later, my team wins 16 to 9. A hard fought battle not soon forgotten by some...especially the two out-of-towners who will surely feel in the morning.

Some times life gets you wrapped around the head. When it does, go to a simpler time, go find your baseball and glove.

If you build it... he will come

...Or at least Kenny will come :)

Today, Kenny visited the one attraction in Iowa... The Field of Dreams!

You all remember the movie don't you? Honestly, I don't remember much, just me & my Dad repeating over and over "If you build it... he will come" :)

According to their website, "Baseball fans of all ages will agree that a visit to the Field of Dreams is about as close to heaven as you can get."

Not sure if Kenny felt close to heaven... he is in Iowa after all!

He was able to play some ball on the field and even went out and purchased a glove at the local sporting goods store today! Guess who is going to have to play catch when he gets back home! :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

This is your Captain

Today Kenny passed his Citation Jet check ride to earn his CJ Type Rating and the title of "Captain" :)

Be sure to leave him a comment telling him how cool he is :)

Congratulations Kenny!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

At the Fire Station

A fun visit with Captain Aceves at his station on Sunday! Love you :)