Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Baseball Heroes!

Last spring I coached Parker's baseball team.  We won first place:)  Parker's best friend Cole's dad and I have coached their teams for four straight years.  We've finished 1st, 3rd, 3rd and 1st.  Loads of fun:)  Our season last year ended with a tournament.  We won two games and lost two games in the round robin portion.  That put us facing a very tough team in the single-elimination portion.  We were down 5 or 6 runs in the last inning...and pulled out the win!  Our whole team (including a very passionate yours truly) went crazy.  It was of the two best experiences I've ever had as a coach.  (The other being when Taylor hit a game-tying shot with less than 1 second on the board in a 3rd or 4th grade basketball game.)  I'm a fortunate dad!  Here's a picture of Parker with his 1st place trophy.

We have a lot of stuff to catch up on!


Just because you needed this in your life:)...

Merry Christmas!

Wow!  We had an amazing Christmas!  We started out our Christmas Eve with our usual traditions.  We loaded up the van, went through the drive-through at Arby's (2 Reuben sandwiches, some fries, and about 20 jr. roast beef sandwiches:).  While we ate our dinner, we drove through the annual Christmas Light Festival at Thanksgiving Point.  On our way back, we listened to a version of the Christmas Carol that the Green family has been listening to for over 60 years.  It is a 1930's version with Basil Rathbone as Ebeneezer Scrooge.  I listened to it every Christmas Eve as a kid, and we have continued with the tradition in our family.  The older kids really enjoy it, and this year was even better because we saw a stage play version earlier in December.  (Graci and Jess probably prefer the "Barbie Christmas Carol Movie" but hey, at least they'll listen with us.)  Once we got home, we acted out the nativity.
Graci was Mary, Xander was Joseph, and Lex was baby Jesus
Taylor was the donkey?!?
Jessica was the angel
Dad was the narrator

Parker was a wise man (giving a gift to baby Jesus)

And Sophi was just cute!
After acting out the nativity and singing several Christmas Carols along with it, we moved along to "grand bags."  Originally, these were "grab bags" started by my dad.  He got a few presents for each of us one Christmas many years ago, but didn't have time to wrap them.  He got a paper grocery bag for each child, and put the gifts in these.  Then we went around, with each person pulling out one thing from their grab bag each time it was their turn.  This became a tradition that has lasted well over 20 years.  The first few years we had kids, we went to my parents house for Christmas, and my dad put together one his grab bags for each of his grandkids.  But Taylor and Parker, knowing they were from GRANDpa, thought they were called GRAND bags.  And so they have been "grand bags" ever since:)  Grand bags contain mostly food items that you wouldn't normally get throughout the year.  Favorite cereals, different types of cookies, crackers, chips, and juice.  Nuts, pudding, whatever.  The kids love them.  I went a little overboard this year-four of the kids had to have and extra bag to hold all of the loot I got them!  Fun stuff:)

Jesi gets her very own Pumpkin Hot Cocoa!
Then, just as we were getting the kids tucked in altogether downstairs...

...we heard a knock at our front door!  Christi and I had an idea what might be waiting for us on our front porch.  A couple of weeks beforehand, we received a phone call from Santa Claus!  He told us he would be calling back in 24 hours and wanted us to put together a Christmas Wish List for our eight children!  True to his word he called back, and we listed a few things that each child had asked for.  We figured he would be able to have some flexibility that way.  Instead, Santa brought everything the kids had asked for, plus stockings full of treats, plus a Christmas Dinner complete with a delicious ham, plus several presents for mom and dad!!!  Wow, were we spoiled.  Thanks, Santa Claus:)!
We each opened a present from Santa on Christmas Eve.  Boy did our kids feel special that Santa made a special, early visit to our family:)  The next morning, we opened another Santa present, then we got our sweet, beautiful kids all ready for church.  When we got home, we finished Santa presents and presents from each other:
What a great way to celebrate the birth of our Savior.  Thanks to the many, many, many people who have done so many, many, many wonderful things for our family.  Merry Christmas.