Beginning baseball

Joseph, after playing a baseball game for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

Editor’s note: Joseph played on his first baseball team this summer, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, which is located at the end of our street. My dad went to school there long ago when it was called Sts. John and James. Anyway, Joseph shares his memories of his first baseball season:

It was my first time being on a baseball team. My coach’s name was coach Cliff.

When the team is in the field, there’s only one person who wears a helmet when you’re in the little league, and that’s the pitcher. There are two pitchers: the first one is the coach who throws a baseball. The other one is a kid player and he wears a helmet. I normally wasn’t pitcher, but a few times I did get to be pitcher. Once my dad thought that I was going to be batting when I was pitcher because I was wearing a helmet.

I did not have a favorite position. However, I did a least favorite position: shortstop. Because I’m not short and I don’t like stopping!

I wasn’t so good at batting [but he got better!].

I learned in baseball that when you’re throwing a ball, you throw it to first base and you always take a step with the opposite foot from your throwing hand. So, if you’re throwing with your right hand, you step with your left foot.

The space explorers meet the Borg

Borg and waffles

On nights when I am home from work, I tell the kids stories before bed. Because they are divided among two rooms, I usually tell two stories.

The first story is for Josie and Joseph, and usually involves me making up something about the two of them as “space explorers,” visiting new planets or meeting aliens or trying to escape from black holes.

The second story is for Jadzia and Ludi, who prefer to have an improv-style story in which they each pick a character for the story (like “a good dragon” and “a bad lamp”) and I have to make up the rest.

Occasionally, though, the older girls will overhear the younger kids’ story and ask me to repeat it for them. Tonight was one such night.

Continue reading “The space explorers meet the Borg”

Scenes from the backyard in autumn

A weird morning. My tummy was rumbly, but I had promised to accompany Jadzia on her field trip to Little Creek. So she and Ludi and I walked together to school. When I got there, the teacher said chaperones would have to ride separately, not on the bus. Oh well. I walked back home to get my minivan.

After arriving at Little Creek I waited about 20 minutes for the kids to arrive. As a children’s ministry teacher for many years, I know that it can take a while to get them all rounded up. Just as the bus from Vogt Elementary pulled into the lot, I got a call from the school — Ludi had thrown up. So with quick apologies to Jadzia and her teacher, I drove back to Ferguson to take Ludi home.

The rest of the morning went well. Jadzia and her class learned about groups of vertebrate animals: mammals, amphibians, fish, reptiles and birds. They got to interact with real animals and do a lot of activities and games. It was a fun way to learn.

After the field trip was done, I headed home for lunch. The kids were in the backyard playing, Yoli told me. After spending some time upstairs, I was headed downstairs to do some work. As I looked out my bedroom window, there was Josie talking into the gutter extension pipe, making announcements to somebody. Contact Gettysburg Gutter Advantage to ensure that your gutters work for long without any issues. Across the yard, Joseph was standing at the old brick grill cooking a muddy concoction. I couldn’t resist.

I grabbed the camera and went to capture a few scenes from a lovely fall day in our backyard. Enjoy.

Do me a favor and say “por favor”

Joseph is a very polite boy. From a small age he has always said “thank you” and “you’re welcome” (in two languages).

But he also he can be very stubborn. For a long time, Joseph has said “por favor” only using sign language. He simply would not speak “please.”

This morning we had a little showdown. He wanted a second helping of cereal. I wanted him to speak “please” or “por favor” aloud. At first he would only give me signs, over and over. I kept repeating to him that I wanted him to speak the words. Then he started saying “I can’t!” (a phrase he learned from his sisters)

After a while I went back to my newspaper as he sat there sucking his two fingers. Yoli was talking to me, then she said “Did you hear that?”

And there was Joseph saying “por favor.”

Amid exclamations of “good job” and “bravo,” Joseph got his second helping of cereal.

Girls and boys

Here’s a perfect example of one of the many differences between girls and boys.

My daughters are having a dance recital, with piano music by Jadzia. They are singing “Happy Father’s Day!” over and over.

Joseph couldn’t care less. He is captivated by the Bobcat being used for landscaping work in our front yard.