Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Where to start? We've been pretty busy this month and have actually had a day or two of mostly clear skies. Not that we're complaining, mind you. We still enjoy the rain and the cool temperatures. Yesterday it was clear in the afternoon and the temperature was in the low 80's and strangely enough, it felt warmer than that. I'm sure it was just me though.

I have to include a comment made by Kevin recently. He was complaining about all the trees around here and claimed "it's just not natural!" Poor kid. We should have taken him out of the desert a long time ago.

A couple of weeks ago Jacobs had an employee appreciation event at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. We spent the morning there and then I took the family out to Marshall to show them where I work. Here are the pictures:

The boys sitting in a Space Shuttle Main Engine.

And standing in front of a Saturn V F-1 engine. There were 5 of these at the bottom of the rocket. Huge!

If you look really close you can see Dana and the boys at the bottom of this Saturn I. I got a nice closeup picture of them but Dana doesn't like it and banned me from ever letting it see the light of day under punishment of something really bad and painful I'm sure. Anyway, this rocket (and a few others just out of the picture) are right across from my building so I enjoy seeing them everyday.

Now we're in the Butterfly House at the Botanical Gardens. Here's my attempt at being one with nature and all that jazz.

Cade was walking just like he looks in this picture. We smeared some "butterfly food" (sugar water) on his arm in hopes of catching a butterfly - well, not catch but have one land on him. He held his arm out nice and level for the whole time we were there. Unfortunately, no luck with the butterflies.

He even tried enticing them by offering a nice place to land near the greenery.

Watching the model train make its rounds.

A former coworker of mine warned me the bugs were much bigger in Alabama. She wasn't kidding! Here we are valiantly fighting off this man-eating ant! You'll notice only the boys took on this beast. Dana, the girly girl, stayed a safe distance away.

And now soccer is over! Good thing too because I stink as a coach. Cameron's team lead 2-0 going into the last 8 minute quarter of his last game and ended up in a tie! I couldn't believe it! Kevin's last game looked like it would be a blow out as we were down 3-0 after the first quarter. Going into the last quarter, down 4-1, I switched them around and put a new goalie in. With just over a minute left we tied it up at 4-4. Kevin scored two of those goals, thank you very much!Everyone was really getting into the game and the intensity level of the kids just kept ratcheting up. The other team finally scored on our rookie goalie to win but it was so much fun to watch. The kids weren't even disappointed because they had so much fun. It was a great way to end the season.

Here's my star 10 yr. old soccer player. Seeing this picture reminds me of the t-ball picture I have of him where I'm down on one knee and still taller than he is. Can't do that anymore.

Kevin's team. Sort of. 3 kids are missing.

And here's part of Cameron's team. 4 kids mising. Don't these Bears look intimidating? Too bad looks don't count for much on the field.
This picture makes me think of one I posted a year or two ago of Cade at the soccer field when he was still little. He looks so big here!

I taught the kids how to throw a frisbee up in the air so that it comes back to you. Kevin and Cameron got it. Cade just chucks it - but look at his windup!

Cameron's school had a fun day last week and they brought in several inflatable slides. Cameron claimed it was the best day of his life.

Cade had fun too and he looks like a pro at the net.

During Memorial Day weekend, Decatur has the Alabama Jubilee. It's like a mini balloon fiesta. The balloon glow and balloon rides were rained out this day but it was fun, and free, to visit. The vendor's row and rides, however, were very not free.

We drove all the way down there so Cameron could get eaten by a fish!

Hmm. It's usually Cameron making the faces and Kevin smiling. I wonder what happened here?

Cade loved the bubble blower.

I'll leave you with this scary face. And don't worry. His head isn't as bald as it looks here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Step AWAY From the Clippers!

The title has nothing to do with this post. I just thought it would be a good title based on all the shenanigans with the clippers lately.

Dana suggested "Rain, Rain and More Rain" for the title and she slugged me when she saw this one. We've already had a little over 9" of rain in May. I looked at the Las Cruces totals and saw they've had 0.01" since April 1 and apparently that's about all they've had so far this year.

Everyone keeps telling us it's unusual to get this much rain in May and we've heard that this winter was colder and wetter than normal and this has been one of the worst spring seasons on record for bad weather. That means this summer will be the hottest anyone can remember. I'm not sure what the fall will bring.

The soccer games were cancelled again today for the second weekend in a row due to rain. Darn it.

Here's what our backyard looks like nowadays.

Everything is pretty and green around here. It hasn't been very hot yet so we've been enjoying the weather when we get the chance - and when the rain stops. A couple of weeks ago we took the boys to the walking path along the river again and took some pictures. Here they are:

I had Cade framed just right between the branches but Kevin rode halfway into the picture just as I took it. Oh well.

Taking a break by the river.

During our ride/walk, Cade and Cameron stopped to wait for Dana and me to catch up. For whatever reason, Cameron decided to sit on his rear tire while he waited. With a little persuasion, we got the other two to join in. To me, it looks like they're sitting on custom choppers with ape hangers. I like this shot.

Dana had some help pulling weeds in the front yard recently.

Today Cade made this planter for Dana at Lowe's and they even gave us a plant to put in it. I thought it was pretty cool. I helped get the nails started but he hammered them in. The wood has the dings and divots all over it as proof of his handiwork.

Speaking of handiwork, or not, I finally got around to making a clock for the garage. I think it's pretty cool and I've been wanting to make one like this for years. Not that anyone cares but this is the sprocket off my fo-fiddy - probably the last new dirt bike I'll ever have. sniff sniff. (I'll pause here while everyone gives a sympathetic sigh) It's hard to tell in this picture, but I used plexiglass behind the sprocket to mount the clock. I have another, smaller sprocket I want to use in the middle to cover the box but it's too thick so I have some thinkin' to do there. I'm also debating painting the plexiglass to make it easier to see the hands. It'll do for now.