Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bulldog Baseball season starts

East Valley Baseball League
Bulldogs vs. Yankees April 6, 2009

This new season, Nevan's team is playing with East Valley Baseball League. It is a tournament league...so much more competitive than the National Youth Sports league he has been playing with the last few years. The rules are notched up...leading, stealing, and the whole enchilada. : ) Their team sponsor is a local podiatrist in Gilbert...he pitched in for all the team uniforms. They are slick! And all the parents have team t-shirts. The coach is in the process of creating a non profit org. for the team called Bulldog Bark. This will enable the kids to begin fundraising for team trips, equipment and such.

Nevan warms up in the batter's circle...

He takes a crack at the ball....and it was a pop fly...out. Bummer! It was a nice hit, though!

Nevan pitched a couple of innings...there is a pitch limit in this league....he can only pitch 60 throws per game...to ensure that the pitchers do not overuse their arms. I am grateful for that!
Justin is one of the assistant coaches....here he is keeping stats.

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Science Club Fridays: Seeing DNA and Making Butter

The boys belong to the Summitview Science Club, which meets once a month on Fridays. Science Club families rotate hosting science experiments/activities and this month was our turn. : ) We hosted a Seeing DNA Science Day...with a Making Butter activity as a back up for younger siblings. Nevan here is shaking heavy cream with salt, to separate the buttermilk from the fatty cream that will clump to form butter globs. Very delicious...homemade butter!

The Seeing DNA experiment consisted of extracting DNA strands from an onion. This was a longer experiment that required chopping onions, mixing in dish detergent, straining and removing solids from liquids, removing foam, adding denatured alcohol, and waiting for the DNA to magically appear. : ) The kids were patient, as the whole process was long, with waiting periods in between. The end result was that we were able to see the DNA strands under a microscope and by golly they really do look spirally and twisted. : ) In this photo, Nevan and Silvio and a friend are straining the liquid from the onion solids into a bowl, and it is in this liquid that the DNA can be found. We all look forward to the next Science Day!

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Family Weddings...

Cousin Cory Jr. and Emma got married!

Corrinn, Ariana were Flower Girls. Silvio was able to break out his new suit that he picked out while we were in NJ. He decided one day that he needed to have one for weddings....so how perfect for him that we had a wedding to go to? : )

Grandparents of the Groom, Zia Marianinna and Zio Pepe dancing the night away.

Justin and Whitney in their wedding fancies.

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Grandma Johnson makes a trek to Phoenix

Justin's mom flew into Phoenix for a visit while the kids were all on Spring Break. She had never been to the Queen Creek Olive Mill so we thought that might be a nice place to spend St. Patrick's Day. Surprisingly we found out that they were having a wine tasting to celebrate the day. Queen Creek Olive Mill is the only olive oil producing mill in AZ. They produce pure extra virgin olive oil and some of the best infused oils I have ever tasted. Olive oil infused with Mexican Lime. Blood Orange. Truffles. The list goes on. The mill gives tours and has tasting stations for olives, olive oils, and tapenades. It also has a deliciously wonderful cafe serving only locally harvested foods.

Here is Grandma Johnson tasting garlic stuffed olives. One can fill their bellies just grazing on tasting stations. But we decided that we would do the tour, stay for lunch and sample the wine selections.

Glad we did. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed lunch among the olive trees.

Justin, Nathan, Silvio, Whitney and Nevan in their Irish *greens*.
The boys here are enjoying the outside spaces and one too many Sopranos Fizzy Lifting Drinks.
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Canine Cousins

From left to right...
Luna Bella (Spaniel mix), Thyme (Dalmation mix), Dodger (German Shepard/Sharpe mix), and Toby (Black Lab/Chow mix).

Dodger was visiting with us for a few days while Nick was working in LA. : ) Save for a few minor territorial issues over food, they all had a great time! Our canine clan loves company!

Funny story:

Nick's pup Dodger would not eat the first day he was with us. We tried everything. Recreating how Nick does meal time...we talked to him, gave him the go ahead verbally, rang a bell, clicked the clicker...he just sat there and stared at his bowl full of food. What were we doing wrong? Was he sad? Did he miss Nick? I called Nick to figure out if there was some magic trick to getting Dodger to eat...was I missing something? I surely didn't want him to starve on my watch. He wasn't accepting my command to eat. Our pups certainly don't wait for anyone to give the command to eat. They are half way done with the bowl by the time we're done pouring. So this was new to me. Then the lightbulb went on while Nick was talking. He didn't know my voice. So I put the phone to Dodger's ear while Nick told him to go ahead and eat. His ears perked up and voila! He sat up and started chowing down. After that he was fine. : ) He DID miss Nick!
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The Family's New Ride...

We have finally bought another car to replace the one that I seemed to have scrunched last June. We went back and forth a few times between a Stow and Go Town and Country and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Jeep won, much to the excitement of the kids. Silvio is thrilled to have *butt warmers* ...like we need them in AZ. If we ever drive to Alaska, we're golden. Nevan's favorite feature is the Moon Roof. The kids participated in many test drives, bless their hearts. They were troopers, driving from dealer to dealer, one car after the other. But they now know how to load and unload all the stow and go seats better than most car salesmen and even had to show one salesman how to do it. : ) They also learned how to start a car that won't turn over from battery issues. Start 'em young. Now if we can teach them how to fix brakes and change the oil, I'm set!