Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Super South Bros.

Super South Bros.

This year the boys had an idea for Halloween costumes. They wanted to Mario and Luigi--which meant Justin and I were The Princess and Bowser since we do the whole family costume thing. The only trouble, it took a little convincing on who should be who. Logan wanted to be Luigi because they both started with L but that just wasn't going to work. For this to work, Kaden needed to be Luigi and Logan needed to be Mario--I mean their height could not be more perfect for this. They had such an awesome idea and were pretty proud of it, as they should be.

So on Halloween day we loaded up their backpacks with their costumes & sent them on their way to school. Kaden was probably even more excited than Logan because he missed out on last year's celebrations since he was sick but both boys weren't too thrilled that I wouldn't be making an appearance. This was literally the FIRST holiday event that I didn't have to help plan as room mom. Plus, it's always a zoo at their school and the parade was going to be inside so parents would be in the gym and cafeteria--so I bowed out but thankfully, the village came through.

The parties were a blast. Both boys had so much fun & replayed everything that happened when I got home. Their smiles were the best but they were dancing around so much. They were so eager to head out and trick or treat with their buddies. Patience isn't there strong suit so we quickly got homework done & we started dinner so we could head out for some fun. 

Halloween this year was FREEZING. We jumped in the golf cart and headed over to the Shafers and on the way, there was snow flurries. SNOW FLURRIES on Halloween. Freezing. We took off around the neighborhood and went house to house filling up buckets. The kids were running and "hot" asking to take off their coats as the parents were trying to find more clothes to put on! About 10 houses in we stopped for a quick group picture...

I love how scary clown makes it look like Logan has some crazy hair going on!

We made it for about another 30 minutes and Kaden was ready to head home. We were close enough where I almost thought I could send him on his way by himself BUT I just wasn't ready for that. He could have totally done it and I could have totally called Justin and told him to watch for him coming around the corner BUT that would just make him WAY TOO OLD & that is not what I am ready for!

So Kaden and I walked to get the golf cart and on our way back we picked up Mario & headed back to the house where they spent the next hour or so handing candy out at our house. Sadly, we didn't have many trick or treaters, they were all on the 2nd phase side & the Highlands which made for some grumpy boys but thank goodness for the candy.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

South Family Pictures--AGAIN

For Mother's Day Justin and the boys got me a photo session with our FAV photographer, Katy Gitto. He had purchased an hour session and knowing just how much my boys love to take pictures (which is actually probably more than most) I felt an hour would be way too long. We would lose everyone's attention and what would I do with so many images from the same shoot. I am a big believer in less is more when it comes to family photos so I asked to split the session into two different sessions. One for spring/summer and one in the fall. At first we were just going to do another regular family session but then we figured we should ask the rest of the family if they wanted in on it too. We hadn't taken South family pictures since the boys were little--it was kind of time & they all agreed. 

We met Katy right before a HUGE storm blew through. We were crossing fingers and toes hoping we could get this sucker in because it was the ONLY Saturday or Sunday that worked for all of us--way too many schedules to coordinate!

When coordinating outfits I suggested that we didn't. I don't like things to look too matchy, matchy and when working with a larger group, it can easily get that way. I said what the boys would be wearing (at first it was bomber jackets and camo pants but the bomber jackets didn't fit at all--I even tried two different versions) & at the last minute, switched them to jeans. Looking back I probably should have kept one in camo but was worried if they both were in camo it would look like I was dressing them as twin...again. I kind of like doing that. This way though, they were similar but different enough. Me, I had always planned on a chambray shirt and black pants, almost wore some faux leather pants but chickened out. Justin, well, I pulled his shirt out of the closet right before we left. He's always pretty easy to dress. 

So this is us. The South Family.  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Aces--Season Ending Party

ACES are the 2nd grade LEAGUE CHAMPIONS. 

& even if they hadn't gone out on top the way they had, we still would have celebrated the season in the same fashion. These boys grew so much over the 3 month time span--individually and as a team. Each boy contributing to the team in one fashion or another.

We kicked off the evening with Coach Justin giving out the boys' hard earned hardware. 

& then we got the boys (and families) settled in with some pizza for a little driveway movie night. Thanks to our dear friend Chad for coming and setting up the movie screen, we were able to watch Sandlot as a team in the driveway. 

For some it was their first time watching Sandlot, for others, they could pretty much recite the movie which is amazing in so many ways. This is a movie that generation after generation continues to enjoy--it's funny, it's about friendship, it's about owning your mistakes & it's about BASEBALL. 

Just as the boys started to get a little squirrelly we brought out the snack bar--popcorn with your choice of fixings, M&Ms or Skittles. & then each got to choose a boxed candy too--Mike and Ike's & Sour Patch Kids went quite quickly & will be stocked in full next time around. We made it about three-fourths of the way through the movie before total chaos ensued. Even though it was dark, that didn't stop these boys from getting a game of touch-football going--which was also my cue to change the movie to the Chiefs game. Somehow the dads had all found their way into the house to watch the kickoff while a few of us moms held down the fort.

The kids chased and laughed for hours. It was a perfect ending to a such an enjoyable season--everything that I could have asked for in a "baseball" family. Safe to say, we got pretty darn lucky.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


It was that time of year again--PittState Homecoming. 

& we were headed back but this time we had another family meeting us there. It just so happens that Logan's best buddy in school, Little C, well, his dad is from Arma (which I played against when in high school) & attended PittState too. It was brought up one day in conversation and that was that. PittState Homecoming with the Cleland Crew. 

The Clelands took of Friday for Arma to avoid waking up super early but since my mom had taken the boys back to Carthage, Justin and I only had to worry about getting us around which was pretty easy. We met my mom and dad at Walmart to grab the kids & off to the parade we went. And since we were with locals--they knew exactly the place to hang out and watch the parade, right near the judging table because each band was on point. & once again we saw the Jasper Marching Eagles--they may have been small in numbers but their sound sure was mighty. 

The boys were not disappointed when it came to their candy haul either. (I, on the other hand, am pretty sure it will be used for Halloween Candy come later this month. 

After the parade was over we had a little time to waste before the pep rally started so we headed to Mall Deli. I mean, when in Pittsburg, you hit the Mall Deli up at least once and even though we were in that exact spot only a year early, neither of the boys could remember it. That is until the dressing and crackers were brought to the table. LIGHT BULB!

 After we got our fix in we headed back to the stadium. Last year we didn't actually go into the game, this year we were. As we walked up to Gorilla Village we saw both the men's and women's basketball teams signing team posters & Justin saw Kim Anderson, the new head men's basketball coach for PittState who coached last year at MU. Justin's two worlds colliding. We approached Kim for a picture with the boys, explained that although we attended Pitt, we were huge MU fans and Justin's aunt and uncle live in Roche Port. Justin no more than got Barbara out of his mouth and Coach Anderson was already talking about her and Charlie. We talked for a few minutes there with him and then wished him luck and headed off to the pep rally lines. Justin's day was made.

We watched as the band led in the players, who were decked out in their grey uniforms, through Gorilla Village and just as we were about to head to the bounce houses we noticed another line forming--we were in the perfect spot to take in the pep rally & watch the cheerleaders soar. Both boys were pretty impressed at the strength the guys showed. 

They finally got to check out the bounce houses & we met back up with the Clelands before heading into the stadium to find out seats for the game. The boys shouted the National Anthem & were on their feet for the entire first half of the game. FIRST DOWN PITTSTATE.

And could these two be any cuter? I love the friendship they are building & can only pray that it is one that lasts for many, many years to come. 

 Speaking of friendships--his mom is pretty sweet too. The whole Cleland family is and it's amazing how God knows just how to perfectly sprinkle new friendships throughout your life. I have a feeling that with our boys being besties, playing ball together and living only blocks away--that the Clelands and Souths are going to become quite familiar with one another! 

We made it through the halftime show but shortly after we said our goodbyes and headed north to Kansas City--we had a couple dogs that we couldn't be gone from too long or else they'd let us know about it. Can you say, chewed up pillows? But what a wonderful Saturday spent with friends and our kiddos in our old stomping ground. There's something kind of neat about taking your kids back, showing them around and wondering if this might be there home one day too.  

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fall Ball Comes To An End

Fall ball ended for the Aces this month & what a season it was. After losing their first 2 games by a combined total of 3 runs, the Aces went on an 8-0 run to finish out the season. Even beating the two teams that they lost to right out of the gate. 

Now this season was a little different than others. This season both South boys were playing together--that's right, Logan played up a division. At the end of last spring I had just mentioned in passing that it would be great to have both boys on the same time at some point, coach suggested we give it a try for the fall. Logan also had a couple buddies who were looking to get in on a little more fundamental play this fall and joined the team. & I really couldn't have been more proud how these three showed up to play every game. Most of the time they were the smallest on the field & they were always the youngest but they never let that get in their way. They grew so much over the course of the season and we owe that to mainly their coaches but also to the older boys who were wonderful role models. 

Logan or Lil South as I affectionately referred to him as, finished the season with a .700 batting average with 19 singles and 2 doubles. He played a dominate left and right field and even got his chance at second, third base and catching. If you ask him, he'll tell you playing the outfield was his favorite--he felt he knew what he needed to do there the best.  

Kaden, or South as there were two other Cade's or Caden's on the team--finished the season with .818 batting average and had 16 doubles and 11 singles. He played shortstop and pitcher but rotated to center field & catcher when needed. He was in on a number of fielding outs and threw a heater from halfway down the third base line to first where Franky was waiting to make the catch--which he did. We all kind of looked at each other--it's amazing what happens when he doesn't think too much. 

The best thing about this team though--the friendships that are being built. Kids and parents alike. & honestly, at first I was a little sad that Kaden wasn't with all his school friends who play baseball but having been with this team for three seasons now, I wouldn't change a thing. We've got a little Cedar Creek mixed in with a little Clear Water Creek and having a little community outside of school has been so much fun and teaches the kids to step out of their comfort zone too. Some of these boys are joining us for 2nd grade basketball too! 

& Grandma Sara even got to be there to see their final game and the epic dog pile that ensued shortly after we told them we were done with pictures. If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, I'm not sure what would. Way to go Aces. See you in the spring.