Monday, December 29, 2008
Here's some other pics of the rink - no longer surrounded by snow.
Another note of caution. In the construction phase we shifted from 2x6x12 to 1x6x12 to reduce cost. We added some metal rods/stakes to add support between posts (see leak picture). I was hesitant but went with the majority. I may regret that. We have some significant bowing of the boards and supports under the weight of the water. And don't forget that ice expands...yikes.
We went out and purchased some pucks and sticks for the kids. Cory was sad that I did not buy him official gloves, helmet, and an entire goalie suit...do you have any idea how much that stuff costs. Oh my! Maybe I should rethink this hockey thing and go for a cheaper sport like basketball or track.
On an unrelated note. We took the grandparents into the city for the 60 degree weather. Here's a pic from Quincy Market with the rest of the tourist crowd.
Friday, December 26, 2008
There are few times in a Dad's life when you get that real sense of satisfaction. This was one of those times. I've had this crazy idea about a skating rink for months. I talked it up to the neighbors (especially the one who lives next to the rink), hyped the kids into a frenzy, purchased skates for the kids on a hunch it would work, and spent countless hours on the internet learning other's lessons and mistakes. Seeing it work and the kids have a great time has made it all worth it. Dec 23rd was actually the first skate. Here's the video from the few minutes we had before running off to another event.
The next time we were able to get on the ice was 26 Dec (today) and we had the whole day to soak it up. All the kids were able to enjoy it.
Riley - always the performer.
Mary Beth - Aggressive and quick to try even though she finds a way to crash alot.
Cory - Now he thinks he's a real hockey player.
Lucy - not quite a skater, but clearly part of the family and into the fun.
Grandpa was happy to get out and slide around with them pretending to play hockey. I scavenged around the neighborhood and gathered some sticks and pucks for everyone to get involved. Before long we had neighbor kids come over to see what the commotion was all about. The deep end is amazing, smooth and slick ice, but the shallow end still needs some time before it is solid ice from board to board. I added some snow to that end to help build it up. As it melts it will smooth out a little.
The next test is a warm-up. Sometime tonight we get a wintry mix changing over to rain and then it won't get below freezing till late Sunday night/early Monday morning. All that water may test our crudely engineered playland.
This completely rocks!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Ever hopeful, Ted and I return to bed. Unfortunately, now I'm wide awake and worried that we will be officialy up. That dread alone makes it hard to sleep. And then we hear it. Someone crying. It's Lucy. What to do. What to do.
the serenading princess and the one-who-knows-better :
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
When we passed the Roman Soldier checkpoint - they stopped us and asked a few questions, in character of course. They had particular fun questioning one of our group. After the standard fare of: show me your papers, where are you from...they asked slave or free? I couldn't help but think of the larger question there. Are you a slave to life or are you free in trusting God?
If you are in the area - here's the link to check them out.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Today was the Second Annual Gatlin Family Turkey Trot. We dressed up the whole family in warm clothes and headed out for some exercise before stuffing our faces with turkey, dressing, and pie. We try to keep the excitement up with talking about the Turkey Trot days in advance and all Thursday morning. Whenever we saw someone on the run I screamed Gobble Gobble! (We weren't the only people out jogging - the military is a strange bunch exercising on Thanksgiving day) The kids ride bikes, K and I run while Lucy rides along in a jogging stroller. We toured the base, saw some airplanes, steam vents, ran a lap around the track while the kids played at the playground and it all resulted in a loop just shy of 3 miles.
By the time we got home Kristi and I had worked up a nice sweat while the kids were freezing. They ran inside to watch the Macy's Parade as Kristi and I did some post race stretches. Also pictured here is the not so frozen tundra. The Freedom Rink boards are mostly in place, now just waiting for some really cold weather. I wore Titan Blue to show my support as they battle the Lions in the traditional Detroit Football game on Thanksgiving.
I ask all of you to remember those military members who are far from home. Especially those deployed to Camp Bucca. They are close to my heart this time of year. May they stay safe and return home soon.
After drafting this story up I found Lucy in the living room like this. She apparently worked hard on the run and has to rest for a few minutes with her friends.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Anyway, our graffiti stems from someone's intense love for Baby Lu, so it could easily have been done by any one of us, but the handwriting is a dead giveaway. When confronted, she told me sheepishly, "I just forgot." Apparently she forgot twice, because it's not only on the side of the bathroom countertop (the toilet is right next to it, so you can see it easily even if this picture is poor), but also on the wall between the towel rack and a shelf. I couldn't get a very good picture of the writing on the wall, but it almost looks like some of those rub on wall designs that are becoming popular in the home decorating world--only done at some cheap bargain basement closeout place.
At least we know she loves her.