Monday, February 26, 2007

Artist For A Day

Two weeks ago, when Levi and I went to the Cavs game, their mother took the girls to Artist For A Day. This is a place where you can make your own piece of pottery, paint it, and then they bake and glaze it for you. You have to pick up your crafts a few days later after they have been finished.

Well since their mother now lives 45 minutes in the opposite direction, she asked me if I would be able to pick up their crafts. I said that I would and planned to stop on Saturday on our way to Levi's soccer game.

I figured I would walk in, show my id, and pick up the stuff. But just in case, as we were driving, I asked Levi if he knew what the girls had made. He said they each made "a box" of some sort.

Well, I went in, and much to my surprise, there is no real claim system. The finished pottery is not organized by name or by date. You have to know what you are looking for, and I certainly did not.

I called Bess on the cell phone and asked her what she made. Bess said that she had made a pink heart box and Rae had made a horse box that was painted like a rainbow. I saw a few hearts but none of them had Bess's name on the bottom.

Next I asked how big they were, if they were the size of my hand, Bess's hand, or baby Gabe's hand. Bess quickly said they were as big as my hand. That helped and I found both crafts pretty quickly.

Both girls did a great job!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


We got alot of snow last week. So much that most of the schools were closed from Tuesday through Thursday. My kids were with their mother during that time.

When they arrived on Friday we had a busy weekend with basketball, dodgeball, soccer, church, and 2 birthday parties. The kids were off on Monday for Presidents Day so I decided to use a vacation day and take the family sledding.

Our town has a very nice sled hill which is also very popular. We went on Monday morning to try to get there before it got too crowded. There were already 20 or 30 other people there.

The hill had plenty of snow and there had been so many sledders using it that there were many grooves, paths, and dips carved into the snow. The most surprising thing was to see Rae (6) riding down the hill on a plastic snowboard and making it more than half way down before falling!

Everybody had fun and best of all it was free!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cavs 99, Lakers 90

My son Levi and I had a great day on Sunday. We had found out on Tuesday that we had won free Cavs tickets from Eric Snow and his Full Court Fathers program.

We both dressed in our wine and gold on Sunday and were up early and ready to go. After church we rode the RTA downtown. We had lunch (teriyaki chicken) at the food court in Tower City, and walked over to The Q.

About 2 hours before the game, we met Julani Ghana of Pro Sports Community Consultants. Julani was our host for the day. He works with Eric Snow and other pro athletes on community relations type projects, in this case, the Full Court Fathers program.

During the early warm-ups, we sat on the very edge of the court and watched the Cavs shoot. Initially, Sasha Pavlovic and Daniel Gibson were shooting. Later on they were joined by Shannon Brown, David Wesley, and Donyell Marshall.

We had brought a few basketball cards to get autographs. We were also given a gift book with a Cavs T-shirt, Cap, Autograph Book, Pen, Pencil, and Key Chain. Gibson and Brown, both rookies, each approached us as they were done shooting and signed autographs. Our host Julani noticed that Marshall was getting ready to leave the court so he took Levi over and got an autograph from him also.

Eric Snow came out and posed for pictures, chatted a little, and signed autographs. What a thrill for Levi and I.

About 15 minutes before the game started they moved us into some temporary seats off the court while the players came out for their layup lines. Shortly after that they moved us back onto the court, but to a different spot, to watch the players finish their warm-ups.

After that, we were taken to our seats, very nice corner seats about 20 rows up. We watched the game, which ended up being a great game. Lebron was off a little but Sasha Pavlovic had a great game. Z scored a bunch and Eric Snow played well while he was in, including a steal and basket that seemed to come at a critical point in the game when the Lakers were gaining momentum. Kobe scored 36 and seemed to hardly miss a shot. The final score was Cavs 99, Lakers 90.

What a great day and I have to say thanks again to the Cavs, Julani Ghana, and especially Eric Snow!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Free Cavs Tickets!

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Eric Snow has a program called Full Court Fathers where you can fill out an application about your relationship with your child. Throughout the year they pick a few and give them free tickets to a game, plus a chance to go on the court before the game for pictures, autographs, etc.

Last night just got the news via email that my son Levi I got selected to go to this Sunday's game against the Lakers! We are both very excited.

It was a day he would have been with his mom so I had to ask her first. But when I called, he got on the phone and, before he had any idea about the game, told me he got some new basketball cards. He got Lebron and Wade, but his favorite was a card of Kobe on the West All-Star team.

Obviously his mom agreed to let Levi stay an extra night with me and attend the game.

This is really great for us because, as in most divorced households, money is tight. We went to a game earlier in the year against the Atlanta Hawks. We had fun but the seats were pretty high up, and it still cost $80 for 4 tickets. These free tickets will allow us to go down on the court before the game for pictures and autographs with the players.

This will be a day neither of us will forget for a long time! Thanks to the Cavs and Eric Snow for this opportunity.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

100th Day School Projects

Helping my kids with their schoolwork is a great way for me to stay involved with their lives. Helping with nightly homework may be tedious and unmemorable, but working with them on a school project is usually a positive experience for each of us and creates more of a lasting memory. How many of you remember your science fair projects from elementary or junior high school? I do!

A trend recently has been for kids to do projects for school that celebrate their 100th day of school. This is happening in the early years, usually kindergarten or first grade. With a little creativity, this has been something fun that my kids and I have done together.

When Bess did her 100th day project a few years ago, she wanted to bake cookies. So together we mixed up several batches of chocolate chip cookies. Bess helped me mix the dough, place the dough on the pan, and even helped to transfer the baked cookies off the cookie tray to cool. This project took a couple hours and was definitely a fun time.

Last weekend, I found out that Rae had a project due for her 100th day of kindergarten. I asked her what she wanted to do and she wanted to do cookies (like her sister). Well we without any warning we didn't quite have the time or the ingredients to make that many cookies, so I suggested Jello Beans. Rae was quick to agree.

Each tray holds about 80 so we had to make 2 trays (red and yellow) and we had some left over for our family. Rae helped me stir the jello, she helped me pour it into the mold, and she counted out 100 beans when we were done.

When I first got divorced, I wasn't much of a cook. I'm still not, but I have learned how to prepare a few things that the kids really enjoy. Jello is pretty easy to make and is always a hit with the kids. Especially using any one of the numerous molds available.

What others do will depend on the age and interests of their children, but for us this was much more fun than counting 100 pennies, 100 buttons, or 100 cheerios.

Getting involved with school projects is a great way for me to bond with my kids and let them know that I care about them, and also that their schoolwork is important. I highly recommend it!