Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Our Trip to the Farm to see Graham

Luke and Liam in the airport getting ready to board our plane

Finn and Aiden took advantage of the opportunity to sleep in Luke and Liam's bed!

Back at home, John kept the boys busy and enjoyed the weekend

Church with Aiden and Finn

Aiden and Finn built a "ManCave" in Finn's room

Liam picked out some candy in the airport

Arrival at the Farm!

Mimi holding Graham

Me and Graham

Luke loved holding Graham

Grandpa and Graham

Luke and his favorite buddy, Emma.  Sadly, I missed getting a picture of Liam with his buddy, Maggie.

Going for a walk on the property

Wide open space

Graham and Aunt Sarah

Hanging out in the Fort

Ozark Family Farm

Checking out Mammoth Springs

Liam, Calvin, and Luke

Checking out the waterfall at Mammoth Springs with Mimi

Grandpa, myself, and the boys 

Sweet Graham

Liam and a chicken named Fatty

We enjoyed a very fun Memorial Day Weekend.  Luke, Liam, and I made the trip to Little Rock on Thursday afternoon.  We arrived at Mimi's house late Thursday evening and left with Mimi and Grandpa for the Ozark Family Farm (Jason and Sarah's farm) on Friday around noon.  The original reason for the trip was to not only see everyone, but also to meet our newest nephew/cousin, Ezra Graham.

We arrived at the farm by late afternoon on Friday and spent the rest of the evening exploring the farm and holding Graham.  Sarah and Jason had a wonderful dinner for us with some of the beef from the cattle on their farm.  Calvin showed the boys around the farm and they had a wonderful time exploring.  On Saturday, we met Jason and Sarah and family in Mammoth Springs and explored the waterfall and park area.  That night, we went back to Jason and Sarah's for dinner and enjoyed another delicious meal.  Calvin stayed with us at the hotel each night and the boys had a fabulous time swimming, eating breakfast with Mimi and Grandpa, and hanging out with each other.

Luke and Liam both said their favorite part of the trip was getting to see Calvin and play with his dogs.  Graham was also on the list, but since he mostly sleeps and eats...the dogs stole the show.

Back at home...John had a great time with Aiden and Finn.  He stopped at the Mall of America after dropping us off at the airport.  John managed to keep the boys busy while we were gone with a trip to the driving range, swimming at our neighborhood pool, dinner with our neighbors, and playing board games at the house.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tournament #6 and That's a Wrap!

Luke and Liam both skated in a tournament together this weekend and it was so fun to watch.

John and boys getting ready for their game

We WON the championship!!

1st place for 2008 Pacific division at the Independent Classic AAA Hockey Tournament

Luke with the trophy


Luke and Liam

Mom and the Boys

The 2008 Euro Blue Team for Spring 2018

Finn enjoyed a birthday party while we were at a hockey game

Face-off on the ice (Liam is on left wing on bottom right and Luke is left defense also at bottom right)

Our spring was a busy one with SIX hockey tournaments in a row.  We spent 5 weekends at various rinks for 6 tournaments.  We ended up with two 1st place trophies, one 2nd place, two 3rd place, and one 5th place trophy.  It was a good season, but I am glad we have a break for awhile.

The 6th tournament was a particularly fun one to watch.  Liam's team played their second tournament of the AAA spring season, but they were short on players due to some baseball tournaments so Luke was able to skate.  Yes, he skated!  No goalie gear.  Although he loves playing goalie, he misses skating so this was a fun opportunity for him.  He played awesome and by the end of the weekend, he had gained much of what he lost from not skating much this year while he was in net.  Luke is twice as big as most kids his age so despite a few "big kid" penalties on him, he doesn't let much through.  He played solid defense with several assists, blocks, and big defensive plays.

Liam also played well scoring several goals which is big for Liam because he is typically a dependable player, but not always the one to score or be overly aggressive.  He is solid on defense, scrappy in the corners getting the puck, and faster than anyone on his team.  When he turns on his speed, he can out skate just about anyone to the puck.  He had several assists, breakaways, and scored several goals so it was a great tournament for Liam.

The best part of the weekend for John and I was, no doubt, watching the boys skate together.  It was so fun to see them both on the ice and it is a lot less stressful to watch your child skate than it is to watch them in the net!  

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hockey Tournament #5, Mother's Day, and Our new cousin

Finn and Grandpa Carrithers playing hockey

Joined by Luke and Liam

Our new cousin was born on May 9, 2018.  He is healthy and precious!  His name is Ezra Graham and they are calling him  "Graham" after my late grandmother whom we called "Gram" as well.

Proud grandparents Mimi and Grandpa with Jason, Sarah, and big brother Calvin
Aiden's 1st place Championship!

Aiden's Euro American AAA hockey team after their first place victory

Mother's Day 2018.  John's mom and dad came to visit for a few days and watch some activities
Enjoying a gorgeous day at the park with Grandma and Grandpa watching Finn and all his climbing skills

Grandma and Aiden

I am really late on getting this post together, but we had a lot going on.  We are about to begin our 6th and final spring hockey tournament in 5 weeks.  Yes, that's a lot of hockey (two tournaments for each of the older boys).  Luke will actually have three tournaments by the time its all said and done because he is subbing for Liam's team since they are lacking a few players due to baseball season.

Aiden's second tournament over the weekend wasn't planned, but they were offered a free spot due to another team backing out.  Aiden was super excited to play and to show Grandma and Grandpa Carrithers what he can do on the ice.  He scored at least six goals over the weekend and is definitely aggressive and not afraid to try things.  He needs to work a bit on his overall speed, but hopefully that will come as he get stronger and bigger.  For now, Liam is definitely the fastest one on the ice.

Aiden's team ended up playing in the championship game and WON in overtime.  It was very exciting for 8 year old AAA hockey.  Aiden received a medal and t-shirt and got bragging rights with his brothers since we don't have another 1st place finish in our previous four tournaments this spring.

Grandma and Grandpa Carrithers came up to visit for a couple of days and we introduced them to several local hockey rinks, some nice Minnesota parks, and the soccer fields.  They went around to all our activities and enjoyed every second of it, but I am pretty sure they were more than ready for bed by the time 9:00 pm rolled around.  We kept them busy and thankfully had a few days with gorgeous weather including Mother's Day.

Lastly, we have a new cousin!!  My sister and her husband, Jason, welcomed a baby boy on Wednesday, May 9th.  Ezra "Graham" McClure is a week old and we can't wait to meet him!  He is named after my Grandmother Mary (my dad's mom) whom we called "Gram" when we were younger.  Jason, Sarah, and Calvin are doing well and enjoying Graham.  

Monday, May 7, 2018

Hockey Tournament #4 and Aiden's Baseball

Luke's MVP award from his AAA tournament game
Luke's AAA team

Very happy Goalie

Second place trophy

Aiden's first machine pitch baseball game

Machine Pitch baseball

Luke's team warming up for the game

Second place trophy presentation

Nice work guys!  Second place finish
Luke's AAA team played in the Stars and Stripes tournament over the weekend.  It was a busy weekend for us with five hockey games in three days.  We faced some very good competition from Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, and Colorado.  The boys played hard the entire time and really improved as a team.  We ended up a little short and finished in second place which was a little hard for these competitive boys, but it was a great finish overall.  Luke received the player of the game award for one of his games in net and got to experience his first shoot out (thankfully, he won the shoot out, but John and I might never recover).  It was a great weekend and we are excited for a break and the final two tournaments in August.  Only two more tournaments left for us this spring for Aiden and Liam.......

In other news, Aiden had his first machine pitch baseball game of the season and really enjoyed it.  They are keeping stats this time and counting strikes and runs, so its a bit more like "real" baseball.  He has several friends on the team and is really excited about the upcoming season.