Back to school time!

The last 2 weeks have been crazy!!  We have been to 8 doctors appointments (doctor, dentist, eye doctor and urologist), cleaned out our bedroom and put in a new bed set, had a great birthday party for Kayla, started soccer practice, met Garion’s teacher, had Kayla’s kindergarten assessment, School started for Garion, I ran a half marathon,I jammed 51 pints of plum jam from our tiny tree in the back yard (and we aren’t done yet!!), Jason paintballed in Idaho, and Garion had pack meeting for scouts, etc.  I am out of breath just remembering our schedule!!  It seems like the two weeks before school each year get really busy, but this year has been the busiest yet by far.  I am just hoping and praying that this isn’t a trend of increased busyness each year.  If it is, then next year will kill me for sure and I won’t even have Brynn in school yet. 🙂  I am really beginning to understand and appreciate the importance of calendaring.  Without it I would have been lost.  Because of this new appreciation, I have added a new phone to my Christmas list. 🙂  A smart phone so that I can have my calendar and address book with me at all times.  And, probably most importantly, a calendar that I can add to when I am out and about.  I do almost all of my phone calls while I am in the car and almost all of my appointments are made when I am NOT at home.  Anyway, I am very excited for life to settle down into the school routine and get back to normal.

Well, normal for this year anyway.  It will be quite different because Kayla is starting kindergarten!!  As I mentioned above, she turned 5 this last week and we had an awesome birthday party for her.  It was a princess Barbie themed party complete with a barbie cake that I made with a real barbie doll.  (I will post pictures later this afternoon.)  We started with a craft of making necklaces and bracelets and headbands.  This was really fun, but a little too advanced for 5 year olds.  All 9 of them needed help at the same time.  In spite of it all though, they came out with several very cute pieces of jewelry.  We then moved to the pinata which was a unicorn.   This didn’t turn out exactly how I had it planned either because it broke open on the second person to hit it.  Nice hit Allison!!  Luckily, the plethora of candy that then became available dispelled any complaints from the girls that didn’t get a chance to take a swing at it.  🙂  Next came Kayla’s favorite part.  The presents.  She got every thing from jewelry, to makeup , to a gumball machine, to stickers with her name on them and a personalized notepad.  She was very excited!  She is still trying to carry everything around with her that she can all the time.  I can understand, sometimes it is hard decide what to play with!  So why not play with it all at the same time. 🙂  Last, we did the cake.  This was hard for me.  I had a little bit of drama making the cake, so it was hard to cut into it.  But that is the point and to my delight, it tasted very good!  It was my first time making and decorating with homemade butter cream frosting.  It was excellent, if I do say so myself. One last note on Kayla.  She started soccer practice this week.  She has 2 more practices next week and then her first game on Saturday the 29th.  She is on a team with only 3 other kids, all girls.  She is the only one without previous experience, but I Think she is going to really enjoy it.  We are going to spend some time this week as a family playing so that she can get a little more practice before her next practice.

Garion started third grade on Thursday.  This is the first year that we have had to supply supplies for him for class.  Not much, just a binder a dry erase marker, and pencil box.  He was very excited to go to the store and pick out his stuff for class.  As I am sure you all know, there is a TON of stuff for the kids to choose from.  It gets hard to explain over and over again why he doesn’t need the $20 camo binder with fifty pockets, a ruler, pencil case and built in flashlight for third grade and only the $.97 one. 🙂  But in the end, we found some great stuff and off he went.  He is riding his bike this year again, only this year he is riding with his friend Tyler who has started 1st grade.  I am much relieved that he has a riding buddy for the year.  His teacher is Mrs. Jackson, who happens to be the wife of his football coach from last year.  It is a small world!  🙂  His first day of school went well.  He likes his teacher, his best school friend, Joshua Callahan, is in his class and he eats lunch before he plays this year instead of the other way around  (like it was last year, which I didn’t know.)  Garion is also starting soccer, but his practices start this week.  His first game is also on the 29th.  Luckily enough for me, both games are at the same time at the same place on boardering fields.  So I can stand in the middle and cheer both of them on.  Hopefully!  Garion has been working hard in scouts.  In the last 2 weeks he has passed off a wolf requirement and earned his compass and map beltloops.  Good job Garion!

Brynn has been doing a good job being happy as we drag her all over the place with us.  She is turning into the epitome of a 2 year old.  She tells everyone that she can that she is 2, she loves to giver her opinion and pretend that Kayla’s new things belong to her, and she loves to talk to me.  Beware to those who don’t answer her on her first calling of your name.  The second and third time calling turns into screaming and it is almost as cute as it is annoying.  Almost.  Brynn has had a growth spurt over the summer and is now wearing 2T and sometimes 3T.  She has also grown in her vocabulary.  She is talking in complete sentences most of the time and her articulation is becoming very good.  I was a little worried that she would be bored once Kayla starts school, but the more I Think about it, the more I am SURE she will be happy to have some solo mom time!

Jason has been crazy at work.  I guess this time of year just has stress written all over it whether it is at school or work.  To make matters worse, he has been battling a sinus infection.  He finally went to the doctor and got on an antibiotic so he is feeling much better.  He left almost as early as I did Saturday morning to drive up to Idaho for the day to paintball.  I was glad he was able to go since he hasn’t had a chance almost all summer.  He had a great time, despite the heat and came home with some nice welts on his back to show off. 🙂  Jason has been busy this summer getting some major yard work done.  We are expanding our BBQ pit so that it doesn’t block the gate to our neighbors house, and we are trying as always to grow a garden.  There is a definite learning curve here.  Jason is more knowledgeable than myself and because of this, he does the majority of the work out there.  He has also been busy helping me get the house organized.  As I mentioned above we got a new bedroom set that we inherited from his mom and so to get it in the room, we had to organize and clean out the old set.  We are also in the process of organizing the basement to move in a new desk and the garage as we clean out all the baby stuff.  For some reason (probably because we have been gone traveling for most of the last 2 months), most of this organization has had to happen in the last two weeks.  I have no idea what I would do without him.  Thanks for putting up with me and my craziness honey!

As for myself, I have been going crazy trying to keep up with everything.  I have discovered about myself that I do not do well under pressure.  When I get tired, I fall to pieces.  Hence the importance of calendering.  If I am organized in time, I am happy while I work.  Yesterday, I ran the Hobble creek half marathon with my best friend Michelle and it was totally fun!  There really isn’t a greater feeling than crossing the finish line 20 minutes faster then you thought you would and knowing that you gave it your all and the months and months of training have paid off beautifully!  It is quite an emotional experience.  My sister in law Heather ran it as well and did a great job coming in at 2hours 6 minutes.  Michelle and I came in at 2 hours and 32 minutes.  🙂  Now that the race is over and school is underway, I am on a quest to finish the processing of all our plums, and then move on to our apples.  I am pretty sure the rhubarb needs to be harvested as well as some peppers, garlic, and onions.  Another personal revelation that I have had this summer is that I really don’t like to garden.  It is hot and their are spiders and I usually am really behind on my house work, which goes even more to pot when I have to work in the yard.  Then all the produce becomes ripe right around the time school is starting and it is one more big and time consuming project to harvest it all and then preserve it.  So, I don’t like to garden.  But I would be lying if I didn’t say that I love to look at all the pretty jars of preserved food on our shelves and see the rewards of our labors.  It is satisfying!

SPPL 2008 UT

I didnt’ get a chance to blog about the early start to paintball this year.  The regional SPPL qualifiers was held in Utah on May 2nd and 3rd this year, which as those who know me will note was the last day at my previous job :).  What an exciting day.

What was really fun is this year DesertEdge fielded two squads (Yin and Yang), which gave me the chance to captain the Yang group.  This had several seasoned team members, as well as a complement of our Junior group, and a couple of team tryouts (talk about trial by fire).

Through two days on very challenging fields though, we proved ourselves. As the sun set on the championship game in the Masters division, it was DesertEdge vs. Desertedge for first and second places. (gee, who won?).

What a great way to start the tournament season, with a nice first and second place standing, and nationals qualifications.

Geek Paintball

A big thanks to our friends at Tier 4 for buying 15 cases of marballizer paint, and inviting all of us to play.  It was a great day for paintball with beautiful weather, lots of fun players (both first timers, and experienced people), and plenty of action.  It was fun to begin setting up teams by calling out for .RPM vs .DEB, and then watch as destruction happened in various game formats.

Make sure to thank the sponsors, and maybe they’ll buy for us again!  If you did enjoy it and would like to do it again, also let us at UTOS know, so we can plan more activities for the groups in Utah.  Also thanks to the non-geek Team DesertEdge members for helping out with team balance, and keeping the games moving 🙂

Battlefield Utah, Details

Some people have heard me talk about an upcoming game my team is putting on, with one of our sponsors.  Sadly I haven’t been keeping in touch with all the details.  But fear not, here they are.  Battlefield Utah is a game presented by Team DesertEdge, Paradox Games, and the Utah National Guard.  Yes this is the first public game ever hosted at Camp Williams, and will include a special pistol event at the MOUT training center.

This is a very limited offer, and very few spots are still available (If you really want, I can get you in if it get’s blocked), but try signing up if you can.  Urban training on camp Williams, BYOP (Bring your own paint), or cheap purchase price onsite.  It doesn’t get better than that.

Game is this Saturday, so get ready.

Fully Qualified

After a seriously hard fight, Team DesertEdge has earned it’s way to the Scenario Paintball Players League National Finals.  Last weekend we had to fight through the brackets with the best scenario paintball teams in the local states to earn our way to this honor.

DesertEdge fielded two squads at this event, and wound up taking 3 qualifying spots (4th, 5th, and Sportsmanship).  Getting two teams to this point is amazing, especially considering the quality of the opponents.  Even better when we lost out of the game for first/second place by 1 point! (out of several hundred available per game).  I also can’t complain when that game was one of the best paintball games ever played.  The opponents (Team Forest Fire) were excellent, Refs were great, and the sportsmanship between the two teams was outstanding.

After them we fought the Paraplegic turtles in an intense game in which we lost through a few details that hurt us, but still with a close score.  And you can’t fault the work on the turtles, their gun-skills were top-notch throughout the day.

The top team was Team Run again this year, who has always been our toughest competition.  We were glad when we were able to provided players they needed one morning to field the team needed to complete their bracket, basically knocking ourselves out of contention for first place.

Now, I have to figure out a way to Oklahoma next month to compete in the national competition with the other qualifying teams.

And now a word from our sponsors

The following message just came in from one of my teams’ sponsors, Special Ops Paintball (Spec Ops).  This company has done a lot for paintball in general, and huge amounts for the sport in Utah.

Several months ago, Spec Ops bought land in Tooele County that it
planned to use as a commercial paintball field. The Spec Ops property
is over seven hundred (700) acres, and Spec Ops is exploring the
possibility of developing a destination paintball field that would be
the finest scenario paintball field west of the Mississippi.
Unfortunately, the neighbors have petitioned Tooele County to ban ALL
paintball fields unless they are located in commercially zoned areas.
If the proposed amendment passes, not only will it scuttle Spec Ops
plans for the existing land, but it might just keep all paintball
fields out of Tooele County.

The Tooele County Commission is holding a public hearing on the
proposed amendment to limit paintball in Tooele County. The public
hearing will be held on August 21, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. in the City of
Tooele at 47 South Main Street. This is your chance to be heard by the
Tooele County Commissioners, the very people that will vote on whether
or not to limit your access to paintball. Since it is a public hearing,
anyone can attend the meeting and tell the Tooele County Commission
just what they think about limited access to paintball fields. So if
you’d like to keep paintball thriving here in Utah, we suggest that
you turn up at the public hearing and voice your support.

We hope to see you there!

Special Ops Paintball

This news is just scary.  A similar thing happened a couple of years ago in Saratoga Springs, when city commissioners rezoned the land just to shut down Showdown, Pegleg paintball’s field.  With that action they forced a up-and-coming business to give up major assets, and they also shut down Utah Valley’s only paintball field.   Will Tooele join with other cities such as Draper to shut down paintball, either simply as recreation, or as a business?  Face it people, paintball is now the second largest “extreme” sport in the nation, it’s big business.  The only reason I’ve ever been to Tooele is for paintball. I’ve seen mock-ups of some of the plans for the Tooele field, and believe me, they are telling the truth about it being the finest scenario field around.  Given the chance to build this field, people truly will come not only from across the state, but absolutely the country, just to play this field.  Don’t be idiots Tooele, this would be a huge boon to your city and county.  Don’t mess this up.

Rolling it Old School II

old school thumb.jpgI can’t believe I’ve forgotten so repeatedly to post about this game.  This Saturday Team DesertEdge is presenting our second annual “Rolling it Old School” game.  Basically, while many people on our team while we love the high intensity tournaments, and massive scenario games, we often long for the good old days when everybody had low end pump guns.  A few people crawling in the brush with tubes of paint.

Well, this is the game where we bring out the pump lovers from across the state.  This is a two-team scenario game for pump and pistol class markers only.  Test your “paintball skills” against some of the friendliest good players, without all the fear of repeated hits, or whiny kids with big guns.  This is a great game if you are just getting into things, or if you want a more relaxed atmosphere.

If you do not have equipment, there will be pumps available for rental for $5, and you can also use any other weapon in ‘single-ball’ mode. (eg you put in one paintball, by hand, each time).

This is a great way to play, and you can really stick it to a lot of folks if you are smart.  Come play for your best chance to hit me 🙂

Information available at: DesertEdge Rolling it Old School II