Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting into Cowgal Form.....

Since our middle Granddaughter is into Cowgals, horses and some "YeeHawing" our little one is following suit. Knowing our Grand's birthday party was coming up which was to be held at a horse ranch, we proactively asked AA if she wanted to ride the fake horses (carousel/merry-go-round) or a live horse at the Clay County Fair. She said the live one as she knew she may get a ride at the birthday party. All went well and she begged to ride again. The local Jacksonville family who ran the horse ride were very sweet and friendly; happy we were able to support a local business too.

Of course, we rode the merry-go-round too!

Now onto the birthday party! YeeHaw! Ride'em Cowboys!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Talk To Mom

Conversation with Alyzabeth as we slip on her robe following a bath...

Daddy, what are these?
You know what those are Alyzabeth.
What are they called?
Alyzabeth I know you and Mom have talked about this.
When I get older I'll look like Mom.
Yes, you will look like Mom.
Then they'll look like half balloons.
I know, talk to Mom...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Time for a New Bike

AA has a "new" bike which she just loves (from Craig's List - we love buying "almost new" for garage sale prices). Electra, Hawaii model, really nice.
Still with training wheels but we know once she gets used to the bigger size, we will get those wheels off. Her golf coach told us that it would be best to take them off. Something about her balance. So that will be the next step once we get outside more (and before it gets brutally hot here!).
So how old were you when the training wheels came off?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Blessings come in many shapes and sizes. Different places and times. And should we all be so fortunate, in someone we meet. A person who often times can see what we can not. A person with a presence of character that we could only pray for and pray even more so for our children.

It started innocently enough with a plastic putting game gifted from Nana of the North. From there it morphed into 16 ounce red drinking cups scattered about the house as we took turns putting for the World Championship. Then one day, with a push from Mom, we drove to our local golf course to hone our skills on an actual grass putting surface.
And we encountered a blessing. Mr. Doug...

A lone figure was practicing his golf swing and what a swing it was. Shot after shot soared straight and true each falling near the exact spot as before. It was mesmerizing. Each detail of his swing repeatedly replicated.
Mr. Doug turned out to be the Club teaching Pro. Eventually I introduced Alyzabeth and myself. We exchanged small talk for a bit and then I conjured up the nerve to ask if he would consider giving AA lessons. Has she ever played golf asked Mr. Doug. No, I replied.  How old is she? Four and a half I sheepishly answered.
There was a pause. Golf has to be fun for a child said Mr. Doug. She would have to "want" to play. As a PGA playing and teaching professional, he was well versed in the game and instructing the young. He advised we play it by ear with Alyzabeth to see how things progressed. After all, she is very young he cautioned. Very young. No money he finally said. I will "work" with Alyzabeth a time or two and lets decide then if lessons should continue.

A little insight into the world of Alyzabeth. She thrives with one on one contact. Groups (kids and adults) create hesitancy, an awkwardly uncomfortable demeanor that you can plainly see envelop her. One of the reasons we initially chose to enter her into the Wonderworks program was to help promote her social skills by being around other children and adults. The strides have been nothing short of miraculous but still, she thrives with one on one contact. Alyzabeth loves taking piano lessons with our son-in-law Jesse, again, one on one. T-Ball, Soccer, Dance - all group activities. She's not there. In time but not just yet.

Which is why I suddenly thought that maybe golf would appeal to Alyzabeth as I stood talking with the club pro. And so we began.
AA's initial attempts appeared so very awkward and I admit, painful to watch. I more than expected Mr. Doug to suggest we "wait" and introduce her to the game in a few years.

After 3 "lessons" I was convinced Mr. Doug would suggest we wait until Alyzabeth was a little older. He had already told me that if he didn't feel she was ready and if she didn't show an excitement for the game, he would not take my money nor would he wish to continue with the lessons. She was very young he reminded me. Very young.

And then...
"I would like to work with Alyzabeth", he said following what I thought would be our last lesson.
I was stunned. Happy but stunned. What was he seeing that I could not?
Later he would tell me he saw more than raw potential. He saw her competitiveness. Her commitment. And something that caught me completely by surprise. He felt that his meeting Alyzabeth was not by any accident. Your daughter is special he told me (for reasons he would share later on). With your permission, I would love to work with her.

As we left the course that day I will always remember Mr. Doug turning to tell us goodbye.
"Alyzabeth, I'll see you next Saturday.
And Alyzabeth, I would like for you to call me Coach."

Their relationship has blossomed. Alyzabeth loves her golf teacher. Alyzabeth has a coach and so much more. Thank you Mr. Doug. Thank you Coach.
For more than you could ever know...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Local Natural Spring Water - Sort Of

Drink bottled water? Have a favorite? Love its natural, spring fed taste? Well if you do you may not wish to read this article.

One of the downsides to moving was no longer having our natural, artesian source water. We had forgotten just how "treated" municipally supplied water can taste. Hate knocking Orange Park but the water is foul tasting. I'm sure in time we'll adjust.

However, while we slowly acclimate ourselves we thought we would spring (pun intended) for the Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water home delivery. So I started checking out the price which led me to checking out the competition. Only one problem. There really isn't any real competition to speak of. In fact, your favorite spring water may not actually be coming from your favorite natural spring source. Heck, it may not even be spring water.

Welcome to the water bottling conglomerate of Nestle. Yes, that Nestle. The one indelibly branded into your childhood memory of chocolate milk mornings,
Well add water to the list. You may no longer be gulping their sugar fortified, calcium enriched, natural grass fed cow produced milk but dollar to a donut you're gulping their mineral enhanced, source revolving, natural bottled spring water. Or well water. It seems the FDA isn't real particular about spring or well, it's more about mineral make up. And the source is, well, read the article.

Or simply choose to enjoy your favorite natural spring fed bottled water but I have to tell you, I wouldn't get too hung up on the label. Everything isn't always what it seems...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Finding Our Voice

Some things just need to be said.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Daily Dose of Alyzabeth - Late March 2012

Since we haven't blogged in awhile, I'll share a couple of pictures from late March, during a walk near our new home. I hope to be back posting regularly soon! Life has been busy!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!
Happy Birthday this week to sister Terri, cousin Carolyn, nephew-in-law John and grand-niece Kimberley! Birthday cakes all weekend long!