Saturday, December 30, 2017

Week After Christmas!

I went back to work for a three-day work week, while Ford and AA golfed, put together her BB-8 and cooked me dinner every night. On Thursday, they picked up Jane W. for Robotics Team workshop, then Ford took them to lunch at Tijuana Flats, AA's favorite fast food Mexican. It was cold and rainy so they then played inside on the WiiU. No photos as Ford and AA just don't think to take any!
This week and next will be very cold, nights in the 30's and 40's, and daytime reaching in the 40's and 50's. Today (Saturday)  was to be 60 but is only 52 degrees. Next time it will be close to 60 degrees will be near January 7th or 8th! Brrrrr!!
AAs LEGO project was very complicated. Besides 1106 pieces in six bags, it assembled from the inside out.
I found this review, which in the end, says the BB-8 is a "great display model"!
BB-8’s interior, built with the parts in the second bag, is occupied with Technic mechanisms for his welding torch and wobbly head. The third bag adds BB-8’s upper sphere segment, and a rubber band holds a weighted section steady so that it can flex back and forth.
The build gets truly interesting when you start building BB-8’s head in the final bag (which includes the minifig-scale BB-8). The droid’s head is full of SNOT (Studs Not on Top) techniques to achieve his unique white and orange stripes, along with all his sensors and other technical details.
The construction for BB-8’s holographic projector is particularly interesting, with the projector connected at an angle to a 1×1 brick with a stud on the side, bracketed by two corner panels.
One of the coolest and funniest features is BB-8’s wobbly head, which flops around when you turn a knob on the opposite side from the welding torch’s knob. 
Here's AA's BB-8:

Her Daddy took a few pictures, AA and BB-8 on our stairs:
Saturday was to be about 60 degrees but instead is COLD! I stayed home and cleaned up the house, laundry, picked lemons, and lots of miscellaneous tasks. AA and Penny at Amelia River:
So very close!!
AA had hiccups all day plus the layers of clothes due to the COLD weather and still scored the low 80's today! Amazing how positive Penny is about Alyzabeth's playing, she encourages AA, always complimentary, such a blessing to our family! Thank you Penny! Using her new NIKE driver:
Penny gave us homemade Welsh cookies, reminds me a little of scones with currents:
We went to the River House for our "night out" and visited with friends Hugh, Maureen, Kathy and Arnie. Always love spending time on the river with our very special friends and bar matron Ginger. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and we will count down to 2018 at home!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

After Christmas!

We had a quiet day on the 26th, mainly picking up, resting and AA playing on-line Minecraft with Noah and working her HUGE BB-8 LEGO set. She's still working on it:

Probably won't take pictures of all our gifts, so many wonderful ones! Must highlight this homemade from Jesse, he made a peace wreath for the parents, very cool. 

AA went to her golf lesson with Coach Bryan and worked with her new NIKE driver. Time to move up to a longer and heavier club. She played nine holes with him and another student. When she arrived home, Ginger went berserk as usual - this time crushing her!
I drank for the first time from the wine glass AA gave me for Christmas, so sweet, she had it personalized with "Love, Alyzabeth". Love my girl!
We opened a box that arrived from Mia, while we ate a dinner of leftovers (best kind! no cooking!) and played some HP trivial pursuit (thank you Mom). A variety of fun shaped pasta, we will definitely eat it!
I am back to work tomorrow, Wednesday. Hoping AA and Ford plan some fun!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day 2017!

Merry Christmas! We enjoyed having Carolyn with us over night. The morning was pretty relaxed, opened our stockings, many gifts from relatives afar and ate our delicious breakfast casserole and a home grown orange, we finally picked one of our oranges, the trees we planted are bearing only a few fruit so far. My Mom sent lots of presents and sister Terri sent a box full too! Morning hugs:

Santa brought AA a few gifts (watch, LEGO and book):
Carolyn gave us P.F. Chang gift certificates plus a bottle of Courvoisier and champagne. She made homemade Maine blueberry jam for pie filling and apple butter. She gifted AA with Barnes and Noble gift card, music CD ad a movie, Neverending story.
New ornaments for our Christmas tree:
Orange is ripe on our small tree:
Ginger is very curious - trying to keep up with BB-9E!
AA working on her LEGO BB-8:
We drove to Cathy and Werner's home and arrived at 1:15 p.m. Nicole and Jordan were there with Leaa and Jesse arriving at our same time. Christa and Stuart McColm, then Justin and Kilee arrived. Angie, Charles and Ian all were recovering from the flu so did not come. AA playng with BB-9E in the car:
A few photos, didn't get all six girls together:

AA and Livi:
Cathy and son Justin:
We had a nice meal of lasagna, salad and Ford's yeast rolls. We received many gifts including wine, coffee and pictures. AA received clothes, gift cards, an iPad foam rest pillow, Teva flip flops and some aromatic lotions.
Christmas thank you's got out to Carolyn, Leaa/family, Nicole/family, Christa/Stuart, Auntie Jean, Aunt Patti, Miss Penny, Justin, Nana Joy, Bill and Joan, my Mom, Terri/George, cousin Chris Clarke. 
This poem reminds me of how we need to be intentional about kindness, courage, generosity and love all year round, easier said than done!
Somehow, Not Only for Christmas by John Greenleaf Whittier 
Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing
Returns to you glad.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

We began the day finishing wrapping and boxing up gifts to deliver to the Leaa Cruce home and the Nicole Wilhelmy home.
I stayed home and made homemade pie crusts, baked a pumpkin pie, cherry berry pie, an apple cake, made the do-ahead breakfast casserole (hash browns and sausage), plus weighing and packaging Ford's peanut brittle, some cleaning, picking up, playing with Ginger. Ford made his yeast rolls, and AA and I made sugar cookie dough in the early evening. Carolyn arrived and we iced the cookies, went to the 7:00 p.m. church candlelight service. By 9:30 p.m., we were ready for bed!
AA made napkin rings from leather cord and beads, for all the "growns":

Peanut Brittle, Ford made about 18 batches!
Homemade apple cake from Homestead Table (food TV channel) and cherry berry pie (Southern Living 1992 cover photo); we all love this pie!
Carolyn brought a homemade cheese ball and shrimp cocktail - we ate it all up! So good! We had dinner that was a gift from Ford's brother Bill and Joan: Honey-Baked Turkey with two sides. All yummy!
We baked homemade cookies and used homemade red and white icing:
Lots of sprinkles:
Santa had three of these delicious cookies!
AA opened one gift at bedtime and chose the one Chris Clarke sent, what a fun surprise - all Star War cards and a collector book to keep them in. AA loved sorting through many news ones, adding to her phone app and then putting in the book. She loved it!
Santa came and we all slept wonderfully (except for Carolyn, in bed with AA and Ginger!!)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Week Before Christmas 2017

The week went by fast for me, working really puts a dent in my free time!! I was off on Monday, so mailed packages, ordered a few final gifts and got mostly caught up on Christmas plans.
At work, I see many retirees who drop in and have re-acquainted with many co-workers, chatted with Tim Drury a few days ago.

Wednesday, we went to the River House to hear Shane Myers, he is so good, it's a nice hangout for an hour or two while he plays and sings. 
During the day Friday, Carolyn took AA shopping and to lunch, I know they had fun! Friday evening, Hugh and Maureen invited us for pizza dinner, also delicious appetizers of salmon spread, sausage and cheese. Lovely visit and they have a gorgeous condo on the river. Love that their dining room is in the riverfront room. Beautiful antiques, marine theme and so elegantly decorated. We had a good time even though I drank TOO MUCH!  I paid for it the next day while doing many pre-Christmas tasks.
 Penny, Kathy and Maureen:
Saturday, Ford tried to take AA golfing, but the course was mobbed. He and AA went to the River House to deliver cards for Ginger and Kelly; also got to see our Friday dinner friends again. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and Carolyn stays with us.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

NFJG Georgia Peach Open at Laurel Island Links 12/17/17

So much golf! I am sure AA is ready for a break from Tournaments. We didn't expect the EH PGA Junior golf to be this late in the season, so she has had several back-to-back weekends with two tournaments.
From Facebook: We are so proud of AA - winner of the #NFJG Georgia Peach Open at Laurel Island Links - Elite Foundation (18 Holes, Red Tee). Winner, Winner Salmon Dinner is her reward! Congrats to her Eagle Harbor PGA Junior Team mates - Ryan H. placing second AND Emmet K. who tied for first place in the Boys 10 - 12 group!
Photo inside the golf clubhouse, before the tournament. The weather was a little warmer, thankfully!

PGA official, Kevin Glynn awarding the medals! First place! AA had three birdies but triple boggied the last hole. Overall, she is getting closer and closer to scoring in the high 70's. The older girls actually played from the same red tees.
Top three: AA, Ryan H. and Trevor (only four kids, all 5th graders except Ryan, he's in 4th grade). The groupings AA has played in since she was 8 years old have changed, and now she is nearing being one of the oldest Foundation players. Soon she will move up with the "older" girls, ages 13 - 18.
Winner! So happy for her!
AA wasn't happy about #18 hole; she and her Daddy Caddie discussed the last few holes and how she was playing well on the back nine so far. So he said, birdie, then par, then par the last hole. So she birdies the next hole (#16), then makes par (#17), then drives the ball right, landing under a palmetto bush! After a penalty stroke and three-putting, she ended with the triple bogey (#18). She is very close to shooting in the high 70's, her next goal to accomplish! On-line, web site scores:
A family we play with alot, her older sister (Tess Dietz) won today, tough competition and she has been close, got it done today with a 77! Also, happy for Emmet, tied for 1st place!
We have a few weeks with NO TOURNAMENTS!!! AA will practice of course, but now to have some fun! Tomorrow we will see the new Star Wars movie at the WGV IMAX - AA's second time!
From Jack's Newsletter, he mentioned that AA is the first player in all the age groups to win four tournaments! Special Recognition:
I personally hadn’t been to this course in over 20 years. I played it when it first opened up back in 1996 and I remember having a blast playing it. When I arrived at the golf course and took the tour, I then realized why I had such a good time at this Davis Love III designed golf course. Awesome golf course, great layout and the people were as friendly as you’ll ever meet. The club, recently purchased by now owner and operator Ron Tyre was a failing program, but with a little love Ron said he and his Head Professional Benny Alvarez are whipping it back into shape. The course is filled with picturesque views of marshy area’s and woods and a challenge for any and all players. The greens can be pretty torturous, but they were pretty friendly for us. I know I will return to this course to see the progress made and to play it. 
Another first would come from the outstanding play from one of our fine young female players in the Foundation Elite Division. Alyzabeth Morgan. Morgan would become the first four time champion of the 2017-2018 NFJG TOUR season. Morgan would lap the field by more than 10 strokes with an inspiring 84 to claim victory. Smiling Ryan Houck and Trevor Challice would tie at 94 with Houck winning the tie breaker for the Runner up position.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Eagle Harbor PGA Junior Golf Team - City Champions!!

B2B!! Back to back Greater Jacksonville City PGA Junior Golf team champions!
Penny R. came to watch and I came one hole late (was finishing up some Christmas tasks and walking the dog). It was very cool in the shade; even with some sun, we were chilled. The kids didn't seem to notice!
From Facebook: Eagle Harbor PGA Junior League Golf Champions, Greater Jacksonville City Championship!! Congratulations to the team - these kids practice and keep learning the game of golf! As Coach Bryan M. Kipnis wrote: So proud of our Screaming Eagles! All their hard work paid off leading to back to back City Championships!
Hole #3 (Ryan and AA began on Hole #2).

The sun made it bearable, again the kids didn't seem to notice all the shivering adults!
AA and Ryan with Coach Bryan walking/making his rounds during the tournament! — with Andrea Lynn Houck and Bryan M. Kipnis at Eagle Harbor Golf Club:
Waiting for the final score and announcing the winner:
Screaming Eagles won 9 flags to 3 WGV King and Bear:
Team photo - all smiles!
The entire team - all ten players.
Hoping the eligible players can come back next year! Coach Bryan is building the youth program and will surely have more successes in the future!
Facebook: Andrea Lynn Houck So proud of all these kids for playing their best! Thank you to coach Kipnis and all the parents !!! (Ryan's Mom, Ryan's Dad Mike was the match monitor).
Ryan Parr Congrats team! You all are awesome. Well done!! Making Eagle Harbor proud yet again.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Another Week: Work and School!

This week continued with the usual school work and schedule plus the anticipation of Christmas! We went to the River House on Monday, so nice and relaxing. We meet up with a few other neighbors and enjoy adult conversation while AA does homework and reads.
I had the monthly WPOA Board meeting, a bit cool at the pool cabana on Tuesday evening. Then AA's robotics team did a presentation and skit at the Eagle Harbor Home Owners Association meeting on Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. We missed the annual River House Christmas party and dinner due to that.
Thursday, was the planned WPOA Christmas party, but Justin called, saying he was close by (Kilee was at Wehner's Dance off College Drive) so he stopped in for a visit. We quickly called in a pizza and had a good visit.
Christmas gifts are arriving: My Mom sent AA a box of Maine whoopie pies! AA's favorite flavor was included - mint! Plus a favorite of mine - ginger. So Daddy Ford gets the "classic" flavor (if AA shares!!).

Ginger had a haircut, her fur doesn't shed but easily mats, so the groomer usually recommends a close shave!
A big box of gifts from my sister Terri and George: Besides wrapped gifts and real popping ear of corn, many boxes of their homemade needhams! I do share, giving a box to Carolyn and the grown kids. Have to share, keep repeating, have to share.....
Kilee is leaving for New York City on the 16th with her Mom and dance troupe (which includes AA's school-mate 6th grader Bess, she is also adopted from Chongqing). Kilee performed before the Globe Trotters game:
And Kilee was on a local TV station:
Friday was early dismissal for Clay County schools, OPE and AA's class had a brunch and gave gifts. Each student brought in 22 items and deposited one in each student's wrapped shoe box. AA gave a USB charger that goes in a car. Most kids gave candy. It was nice that Connor's Mom Edilyn sent me these two photos:
Happy kids!
The twins, Dylan and Tyler Collins' held their birthday celebration at the movies! Seven of them watched the new Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi. They had fun and then ended at Thunderbolt park for dessert. After that, I was home a little early from work so we walked over to the River House. Have to catch a drink when we can as my work commute usually has me home after 6:00 p.m.
Riding in the twin's Mom's van (Erin) before the movie:
Leaving the movie theater and heading to the Thunderbolt Park.
AA wants to tell me "spoilers" but she is holding off as we plan to see it on Monday! School vacation begins!