Sunday, December 21, 2008

Some Pictures to Share.....

I know it's been ages since I've posted. I'm terribly sorry. Even when I've had time to get online lately, I've tried to get to your blogs and do some reading, but I've had little time for commenting even. I'm sorry for that.

We've been doing a LOT of hockey lately. Not during the week, ironically, but on the weekends. Here are some pictures of Tay and a couple of her teammates taken about a month or so ago. It's amazing for Scott and myself to see her next to that goal net, knowing that just last year her head barely reached the top bar. This year, she's several inches taller. It's incredible.

Tay's doing VERY well in hockey, though the same cannot be said for her team as a whole, unfortunately. We've lost all 8 of our games, so far. By BIG margins. Yesterday's game was 5 to 1, our loss. But, the play was the BEST I've seen our girls do yet. One of the girls had at least 2 shots on net, another one of the girls had at least 2 shots on net and made the ONE goal for our team. We only had 10 shots on the other team's net, though. That's been our biggest problem, persuading the girls that they cannot stand back and wait for the puck to be passed to them by the opposite team, or skate leasurely as if they're at a rec. skate session. These boys they're playing against (or, the girls on the co-ed teams) aren't gonna just hand them the puck and a chance at the opposing net. In hockey, you've got to FIGHT for that puck, and you've got to FIGHT to keep control of that puck, and you've got to FIGHT to get anywhere near the other team's net WITH the puck. And when you've got the puck down by the other team's net, you don't wait for the goalie to get out of your way, you TAKE THE SHOT! *wry smile* In 8 games, our girls have maybe taken 50 shots on the other teams nets.
In 8 games, Tay has taken over 400 shots on her net. Her save percentage is about 91%, though. Yesterday's save percentage alone was 87.5%. That's danged good! Some of her saves are pro-quality. She knows she's got a lot to learn, and a LOT of practice to be done, especially in areas that require speed, but all her coaches say that if she practices and keeps her head on straight as she grows up, she really COULD go all the way with her hockey career! Scott and I also remind her though, that if she wants to play college hockey, she's GOT to get decent enough grades to allow her to play for some college, though. And even High School hockey requires at LEAST a "C" in every class. That means buckling down and working hard for those grades, in her case, but it's possible. She just needs to keep in mind that while the hockey comes naturally and fairly easily to her, there are other aspects of life she's got to work harder for, that aren't going to come so naturally or easily. That's ok. That's how life is for ALL of us: some things are easy and natural, other things aren't. We all have to work for those other things, if we want them to succeed. But in the end, it's well worth it. Scott and I keep hoping Tay will see that.

School has been, well..... It's been progressing. Now that we're past the first quarter, it seems to be going SLIGHTLY better. But Tay and I are still having our days where we get into rip-roaring fights over stupid, silly things. Thursday it was over history. Friday it was over science. Try as I might to break things down and explain them, she just doesn't seem to "get it" so often. I'm trying the tips the Correspondence program's Special Ed. teacher gave me to try, the diagraming and careful reading and breaking things into bits & pieces, and rephrasing them..... Sometimes just when I think Tay's got it, she'll give me this blank (and often-times obstinate) look and say "I don't get it!" Sometimes I can see she really DOESN'T "get it", but there are definitely other times I think it's more that she just doesn't want to bother and wants to continue fighting till I give her the answer and do the work for her myself. I don't know why she doesn't seem to "get" yet that I'm NOT going to just up and give her the answers. It's bad enough (in MY opinion) that I'm doing most of her note-taking for her. She's got to give me her answers and rephrase historical and scientific things a bit so I know that she's "got it" and not just quoting what was written in the text-books, but I'm doing the actual writing. The special ed. teacher says that as long as I'm not doing all the work for her, that this is ok. If Tay is dictating to me what the answers are, then my note-taking is perfectly fine. I AM making Tay do the Chapter reviews by herself though. I take the notes for the individual units, but at the end of each Chapter, covering anywhere from 2 to 6 units, SHE does that part thoroughly on her own. The special ed. teacher said that this is a good compromise for getting the work done AND making sure Tay's doing at least part of it herself.
We have yet to get Tay in for an eye appointment or a hearing test, though. I really need to get on the ball and set that up. The school program's special ed. teacher needs proof that Tay's hearing and eye-sight are just fine, before we progress any further. The theory being, of course, that simple matters such as being unable to hear the directions or read the page could be flubbing up her learning in a way that looks like a learning disability. Of course, there's nothing wrong with Tay's vision or hearing that a little self discipline wouldn't cure. *wry smile* She hears JUST fine when she wants to, and she's got an Eagle's eyes for seeing.

On to a different subject. I know that I mentioned my pepper plant in my kitchen window. Well, here is MOST of it. *chuckle* Off to the lower left side, resting on a decorative tea-cup (candle-holder) is one pepper that came from a branch that broke early. I was allowing that one to sit while the other two continued ripening on the plant. This plant was grown from a single seed (the ONLY one that germinated!) from a package I got last year from SSE. It was the Hungarian sweet red pepper (versus the Ukrainian medium heat black pepper that didn't germinate at all). The flavor, raw and fresh, is rather like a sweet red bell pepper. Identical, in fact, to mine and Scott's taste buds. We tried a bit of one of the peppers, then I took the seeds from all 3 peppers, seperated them and dried them a bit in my dehydrator, along with the other 2 peppers. The dried out peppers themselves are now waiting for me to grind them. I'm hoping to find out that they are in fact paprika, once ground. And I've got a load of tiny little pepper seeds to plant and to pass on next spring. Seeds that were grown organically, open pollinated (though, pollinated by hand with a tiny paint-brush from only the flowers on THIS plant, as there weren't any other plants to pollinate with), and grown in an Alaskan environment (though, indoors most of the growing season). I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that the seeds from this plant will be a little hardier and grow a little better in our environment next summer. That a few more seeds will germinate (though I'm not going to plant ALL of them at one time!), that I will have at least 3 pepper plants to harvest peppers AND seeds from NEXT Autumn/Winter. And that some of my neighbours can have seeds and pepper plants as well, if they'd like.

Other than all that, I've been busy baking, the last couple of days. Friday I made 2 loaves of banana bread (not a "Christmas treat" but I had a LOT of bananas that needed to be used up), a batch of "rocky road candy", a batch of "fudgy buttons" and a batch of "peppermint patties" before we went over to Great Grandma's house and made 2 batches (22) popcorn balls for the family. Every year we go over to Great Grandma's house to make popcorn balls for all her kids and grandkids and great-grandkids. This year we really only needed 16 popcorn balls, as most of the grandkids and great grandkids are no longer in state. But, in the past we've made as many as 50 popcorn balls.
I've been doing this with Scott since we first started going out, our first Christmas together. He started going it with his grandparents when he and his cousins were all little kids. Over the years, a couple of his cousins have come over once or twice, but we're the ONLY ones that have come over EVERY year and done this EVERY year for the past 12. And this will most likely be Grandma's last Christmas. She's in very poor shape lately, and even the other night, couldn't helps us make the popcorn balls. We ordered and picked up our traditional pizza for supper, brought it along (rather than Grandma ordering and having it delivered as she usually has). Then we decorated Grandma's house for her, as nobody else had bothered to help her decorate and she's in such poor condition that she couldn't do it herself this year. THEN we made popcorn balls. The entire time, Grandma sat on the couch, out of breath and dizzy, even while sitting still. She cannot stand up, now, without somebody holding on to her to keep her from falling. She's out of breath, just talking to us. Anybody looking at her could tell you that she may not make it into this next summer, and it's HIGHLY unlikely that she'll make it past that. Scott and his Mom were both hurting to sit there, watching their Mom/Grandma in such condition. I'm glad Tay's had a chance to get to know her Great-Grandma, but I wish she appreciated it more. She's at the stage where she was very resistant to going over. I think it was in part that she is also pained by seeing Grandma so poorly, but doesn't know how to express it as an adult might, so she fights against even having to see Grandma. But she behaved herself, for the most part, while we were there.
Anyway, yesterday in between hockey and Scott's company's Christmas Party, I got a batch of Peanut Butter Fudge and 36 cream-cheese drop cookies made. I've got enough dough for at LEAST another 48 cookies. Then I want to make some Swedish Almond crisp cookies and some Shortbread. I'd also like to make some sort of Gingersnap, but I may not get to that. AND I think I may need to whip up another batch of Rocky Road candy, as Scott's whole company is clammoring for him to bring some in to work tomorrow. *wry smile* Good thing I picked up more supplies for that yesterday at the grocery store.

Last but not least, I MEANT to get a picture of the front of the house yesterday, just before sunset (which is at approximately 4 pm, give or take 5 minutes), but found my camera dead when I got out there to do so. I wanted to catch the Christmas lights all lit up, just as the sun was starting to set on Solstice Eve (well, the day before Solstice, technically), but I didn't succeed. If I can talk him into it, maybe Scott will take a picture for me today that I can post later. So, yeah. The sun came up this morning at about 9:30, and will set right at about 4 pm today. That actually comes out to about 6 and a half hours of sunlight, but that's not counting the fact that we actually see twilight till about 10 am, and then starting again about 3:15 or so pm.
Ok. I've gotta get off-line and get heading to work.
Hope EVERYBODY has a Blessed Yule, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hannukah (sp?) and a Great New Year.
Blessings. --Kati


sammy_bunny said...

Needing to have good grades for hockey may be the motivation that she needs!

LadyStyx said...

Those cookies sound delicious!

Merry Christmas to you and your family as well.

Tori_z said...

You don't need to appologize for not having time for blogging. Everyone understands that you have a lot going on. Between home schooling Tey, working and the time of year... Well, we understand! :)

I'm glad Tey's hockey is going well for her. It's a shame the team as a whole is having a bad season. But as long as they're enjoying themselves it doesn't really matter all that much, does it?

All those goodies sound really tasty! Mam and I are doing some baking on Tuesday. We're making cookies and mince pies. We might make other things too, but as it stands at the moment it's just cookies and mince pies.

I'm sorry to hear that Scott's Grandma is so ill. Hope she doesn't suffer too much as the end draws near.

Connie Peterson said...

Nice pictures! She sure is growing!

If Tay can keep her eye on the goal - good grades mean playing hockey. Then she might work harder!

Good luck.

Celticspirit said...

Just as they say don't shop when you are hungry I need to extend that to don't read blogs when you are hungry. You sure are doing a lot of baking and it sounds good. I hope you post pictures.

MarmiteToasty said...

Ya see, when ya say hockey it never ever enters me head to think your talking about IceHockey lol cos my Sam and Jacob use to play for the county hockey team here, but of course its proper field hockey lol.....

Your girl looks GREAT in her goalie kit....

LMFAO@your little pepper plant....... hope your all well......



peppylady said...

Love those picture and sure sound your busy with hockey.
Grades wasn't all that important to me with my boys as long as they tried.
I seen people who got great grades and had no common sense.

Anyhow if you get some free time and a little bored you can come to my place and do some baking.

So have a great holiday and the coffee is on.