Sunday, December 15, 2013

No slowing of his stride

In case anyone was wondering, it'll take far more than a broken tooth to keep AJ from playing hockey.
But I wonder if I can use that as my excuse for why it's taken me nearly two weeks to post this video and photos?

The day after chipping his tooth and our emergency trip to the dentist (which I'm delightfully amazed is only going to end up costing us about $20 bucks after insurance) AJ played in a tournament in Proctor. Here's one of his many goals.

But aside from scoring, his favorite part of the tournament was the two extra fans he had in the audience. Grandpa David and Grandma Elouise, who are in Florida for most of the hockey season, traveled to our neck of the tundra to cheer him on.

The following day, AJ played in two more games. He was goalie for one of those games, which happened to be against a Mite 2 team from Hermantown. For some reason, AJ has it in his head that that's one of the 10 best teams in the state. He's not quite sure who told him that, but he's sure it's true.

During the first half of the game, Hermantown was clearly the better team. But as the game progressed, our kids (especially AJ in the net) got stronger, and their kids seemed to tire.

No one keeps score, but usually it's pretty easy to see which team is the dominant one. Not this game. As the cock ticked down, I heard one dad jokingly yell, "Next goal wins!"

Those are the best kind of games. All the kids come off the ice feeling good and victorious. Not bad for the first tournament of the year.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gingerbread construction

I'm curious if anyone makes gingerbread houses out of gingerbread anymore. Both of my kids had gingerbread house making events this week, and in both cases, the construction material of choice was graham crackers.

It's a third grade holiday tradition at our school for the students and parents to gather in the "cafetorium" (clever naming. In my day, it was called a lunchroom, and there happened to be a stage on one side of the room) and spend time together crafting these sugar rush sensations.

Alex seemed to get as much frosting on himself as he did on his house. Luckily, his friend Lucas didn't think there was anything wrong with that. Even more lucky, Lucas brought licorice, and enough to share. Definitely a good friend to have!

Take note of the small graham cracker rectangle next to AJ's house. That's a hockey rink. Where the Wild and Red Wings were facing off. (If you enlarge the picture below, you'll be able to see the respective green and red gumdrops, which represent the players.) As AJ had been finishing up his house, the principal happened to walk by and, knowing AJ's obsession with hockey, asked him if we was going to include a rink. Great suggestion!

When all was done, what to do with the extra frosting?

And then, because that wasn't enough fun, I got to do it again last night. Same place. Mostly same building supplies.But this time with Sydney and her Girl Scout troop.

It was a very different experience. Whereas AJ was only mildly interested in the project, but pretty meticulous with what little he did; Sydney was absolutely enthralled, gobbing on the frosting and sticking random pieces of candy and fruit loops anywhere she could.

Less is more is not a concept she understands. And that's perfectly okay. As we drove home she announced it had been even more fun than she'd thought it would be.

It was a lot of fun. So much so, that now I really want to make one of my own. I have plenty of leftover candy. I just might have to pick up some more graham crackers and frosting during this weekend's grocery shopping event. If my family can have annual competitions for best jack-o-lantern, I think it would be just as fun to start a competition for gingerbread houses.

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's always fun until...

... someone breaks a tooth and the dog poops on the ice. (Though not in that order.)

This year's Thanksgiving celebration will be remembered not so much for the turkey as for the events that distracted us from it. It started with a simple text from my brother "Tell AJ to throw his skates in the car. I bet Diamond Lake will be plenty thick with no snow."

What a fantastic idea! Growing up, I can only remember one Thanksgiving when we were able to skate. I mentioned it to AJ and he pointed out he'd never skated on a lake before. And so we set out. It was like a scene created by Norman Rockwell.

Smiling kids in bright colored jackets, making the most of this winter day. Out on the ice, there were plenty of bumps near shore, but the kids easily skated around them.

And farther out, the ice was fairly smooth. Even the dog joined in the fun.

And amazingly, Gus behaved himself. He stayed near us and didn't try to steal anyone's gloves.

Everything was perfect until...

Oh, yes. He did. A steaming, stinky pile right there on the ice. 

But even that wasn't enough to take away from our perfect day. We managed to get a family photo that will work for Christmas cards this year. (So if you're on our list, act surprised when you see this picture.)

Eventually, I got cold and headed into the house with my camera. I uploaded photos from our idyllic morning onto Facebook, but before I could even finish posting them, our idyllic morning reached an abrupt end. AJ came into the house crying. AJ very rarely cries, so I knew it was something, but at first couldn't figure out what was wrong. There was no blood. His glasses weren't broken. Then he lifted up his slightly swollen lip. 

He'd been skating backwards when he hit an ice ridge and tripped, face planting himself on the ice and cracking off his front tooth. 

Just try and find a dentist on the Friday after Thanksgiving when you're 100+ miles from home. Even with the wonderful help and recommendations of my orthodontist sister-in-law, we couldn't find a dentist that was open who could squeeze him in. Finally I called our dentist, which was also closed, but through them I was able to make arrangements for a dentist to meet us Friday night to seal and protect what was left of his tooth.

Once AJ learned that this wouldn't interfere with his weekend hockey tournament, plus would likely mean he'd get out of at last part of a day of school on Monday, he calmed down remarkably. Ibuprofen was enough to ease any pain.

Three days later, he again has a "tooth". It's a temporary solution - a filling that that will likely crack off any time he bites wrong anytime during the next eight or nine years. But that's how long we need to wait for his teeth and mouth to stop growing so we can have a permanent crown put on his tooth.

AJ wasn't a fan of the Novacaine or drilling process. But he sure enjoyed going back to class afterward. Everyone wanted to check out his new tooth and AJ was more than happy to show it off. I'm just wondering how often we'll be repeating this process, and how expensive of a face plant this is going to turn out to be.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My little angel

After last year's less than successful Sunday School Christmas program experience, my kids are ready for it this year. Alex, making sure he won't have to wear angel wings and a halo, volunteered to be one of the narrators. Sydney, meanwhile, loving the costume from last year, signed up again to be an angel. But this year, that means she has to memorize a line.

It took us a few hundred times of repeating it, but she's got it down pat. (I can type it without looking, too)
Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to all men on whom his favor rests.
After Sunday School this morning, I asked her how the rehearsal went.

"Good! I remembered my line!"

"Do you know when to say it?" I asked.

"In 14 days."

"Right. That's when the Christmas program is. But do you know when during the show to say your line?"

"I think I say it right after the big angel."

I checked the script. Actually her line comes after a narrator. Good thing there's still two more weeks to work on it.