Monday, June 28, 2010


Jim's parents arrived on Tuesday night and life slowed way down once they got here.

That's probably because baseball is over and the family isn't going to a ballpark three nights a week.
And probably because the cleaning frenzy that preceded their visit makes most any other activity level pale in comparison.

Samuel's staying busy with work and whatever it is hermit-like teenage boys do in their rooms.
Moriah's been babysitting and playing soccer and missing baseball.
Susannah's been babysitting and playing soccer and softball.
The little girls have been going to Summer Playground two mornings a week and playing in the 'ard' as Abigail calls our tiny little yard. Swinging and bubbles are the top playtime choices.
Jim's running around like a relative madman, getting supplies for the work teams and fielding phone calls and putting his dad on the task of getting our electric hook-up issues solved. He's also trying to squeeze in bike rides with Hurley when possible.
I'm running kids hither and yon, taking walks when I can, biking a little and helping with fundraising for a D.C. trip this spring that the 7/8 grades are taking. I'm also trying to read a bit...but that's still hit and miss.

The girls and I have also been working on what they'll be selling at their Forest Fair booth: recycled juice pouch totes and wallets and duct tape wallets. They're time consuming but fun to make. The totes take a lot of pouches so we're not sure how many we'll have by the time FF rolls around. They're turning out really cute, though, and we think they'll sell.

Yesterday afternoon Moriah decided to make a duct tape hat as well. It was wonky and quirky and kinda cute. Her granny promptly ordered one. Then Samuel wanted one. Susannah made one and brought it to softball, where another friend ordered a 'custom' one that was made and delivered for the amazing price of only $10. Duct tape hats may make an appearance at the booth, too, but we'll have to see.

I'll write more about Forest Fair later. For now, I've got to finish folding clothes for a little adventure Jim and I will be having tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The baseball season is now over. The Giants lost last night, 8-0, succumbing to good pitching that they just couldn't hit and which shut them out. Sigh. Some fielding errors (ever present in their games, unfortunately) contributed to the other team's score as well.

Moriah was pretty bummed that the game turned out as it did, but she made a spectacular out at home plate and did well as catcher. She'd play baseball year round, if she could.

I was surprised at my level of competitiveness that came out last night. I sort of became one of 'those' moms who grumbled about strikes called and wanted to take the smug kids down a notch. (I don't like when *that* mom makes an appearance.) Honestly, I think 'that' mom came out partly because of the vibe I got (or perceived, anyway) from the other team. The other team's coach was a nitpicker and questioned calls and was kinda obnoxious.

Now, by obnoxious I mean he was really competitive. And taking games that seriously is just not a typical thing for Girdwood teams. Don't get me wrong, our kids always play to win and give it their all. But we are fairly cognizant of the fact that our teams (minor, major and junior) are not always as 'good' as the other teams (teams that draw from a larger pool of Anchorage kids with coaches that can hand-pick good pitchers, catchers, etc) and so that colors how we approach games.

We tend to be more relaxed and roll with the punches and celebrate the things we did well and try to work on the things that can be improved. But I think after Sunday's win, the majors kids wanted more. They wanted another game. So did I.

Welcome to the real world of Little League?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


My kids may want to mark this day down on a calendar or something: I happily admit that I was wrong. Yes, me. Wrong. About today's game.

The Giants won. Handily. 18-1. And now the kids have a taste of what it's like to be the team that controls a game. That owns a game. Something they've been on the receiving end a little too often this season.

Tomorrow's game will determine whether or not we advance once more. The team is one we've never seen before, so they're a total unknown. And we have a pretty good pitcher or two who may be able to keep the opposing team to a minimum of runs. We'll predictions this time because I don't want to be wrong a second time.

Although eating my words has never tasted so sweet.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Baseball bragging

Can I just say, non-competitive person that I normally am, that watching Moriah have a really good baseball game* turns this mild-mannered librarian into a screamer. Not the I'm-absolutely-terrified-save-me! type of freak-out scream. It's the fist-pumping, up-and-down jumping kind of excited scream.

And last night, she played really well. Enough to make me scream. And jump. Repeatedly.

The highlights were her two hits.** Her team hadn't done too well in the hitting department and they were already down several runs for her first at-bat. She hit a solid single and then made it to second on her teammate's single. Unfortunately, she was left on base without scoring.

Heading into the bottom of the fourth, her team was scoreless and the other team had 10, which meant the game would be over (10-run rule) if they remained at zero. So, up to bat goes Moriah. Who then hits a great stand-up double. Beeee-yooo-tiful! The next kid also hit a double, which brought Moriah home and kept the game going for another inning and a few more runs by the Girdwood Giants.

Oh, the screaming! We didn't win, but we came alive and got a little rally going and showed that we do know how to play! (Dontcha love how I'm part of the 'we'? Royalty, that's me!)

Moriah also did well as pitcher and catcher. Her pitching was better the first inning she pitched, but she still held the other team to only a few runs. As a catcher, she has always been solid and she can get the ball out to second pretty quickly and accurately. She made a great throw to third at one point that got the kid who was trying to steal. I also think she made an out at home, but the ump didn't agree and called the kid safe ("Get some glasses, ump!" muttered this ramped-up librarian).

As I've shared before, her team has *not* had a winning season. At all. Only two games won, albeit one very satisfying win over the best team in the league. And this last game was the start of the tournament, with a double-elimination structure. They lost this first tourney game last night and will play their second (and, if I'm totally honest {even while resisting my inner pessimist}, likely their last one) tomorrow afternoon.

Play ball!

*I should clarify that I think Moriah has a good game each time she plays. Love love love watching her play. But there are times that she shines a little brighter and last night's game was one of those times.

**Moriah had been in a hitting slump for many games and it was getting her down. Not to mention that she kept being up with 2 outs and totally felt that pressure (and she railed about the injustice of that recurring situation, believe me!). There were a few games that she made the last out each time she got up to bat, which made her one surly, grumpy gal post-game. This game certainly lifted her out of her slump!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh, the Nerve!

Here is Moriah's first number as the Cowardly Lion. She actually had two solos. This one, If I Only Had the Nerve, and King of the Forest. She did great on both.

You can see all four of the leads in this clip: two sets of twins = two pairs of amazing sisters.


Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Here is the video of Susannah singing as Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It was way back in April and yes, I'm just now getting it loaded!

I forgot to edit this bit before I uploaded it, so there is a little more after the song of Auntie Em calling Dorothy in from the 'storm'. (It took so long to upload that there is no way I'm doing it again! Especially because this was already the second time I uploaded a version of this song...the first one I uploaded was from the first night when the mike wasn't on and you couldn't really hear Susannah sing.)


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yeah, I'm playing again

I decided that last template was just too busy. I still love the idea of the background, it was just too much and a little too...blocky. Or cold. Or stark. Not sure. Just not as inviting as it could be.

So, while searching through Blogger's new template options, this one popped out at me. It's kinda cool. And warm. (ha!) The template designer shows that it gradually includes green in the 'bubbles', but I don't see it on my screen. Maybe those of you with larger screens will see that color progression.

I'm still hoping to find a good 'family' template that will hit our various interests and age levels. In the absence of that option, a mosaic template could work. Not only because I love to do mosaics, but because that feels like it could represent all of the pieces that come together to make us a complete picture, a complete family. So, anyone with knowledge of a mosaic template, let me know!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A second win

A week ago Friday, Moriah's baseball team got their first win. Against the best team in the league. And I wasn't there to see it (*sniffle*), opting to stay home on what I thought would be an unpleasant night in Anchorage (*sniffle*). Not sure I would have noticed the temperature in the excitement of watching them win.

Well, tonight the family (minus a working Samuel) went out on an unpleasant night in Girdwood and got to see their second win of the season. Yahoo! We all dressed in layers for the occasional sprinkles and the babes even wore their new rainhats Jim found at a garage sale. That I think are called sou'wester rain hats. And that are so big their heads and shoulders disappear underneath them.

Moriah did some pitching and fielding and was also catcher for four innings. The game was close, 5-4, and boasted some great plays and saw some bobbled balls. The gal who was keeping score thought it was 5-5 in the middle of the sixth inning, but apparently one of the runs we counted for the other team wasn't really a run. ?? Whatever the case, we got the win and our kids were pretty excited to have won another game. Especially after Friday night's shut out that was over in about 75 minutes.

The kids have one more 'regular' game on Wednesday night and then the tournament begins on Friday. It's a double elimination. If they win Friday, they play again on Saturday. If they lose on Friday, they play again on Sunday. I'll keep ya posted!

Friday, June 11, 2010

New look

I've been wanting to find a blog template that better reflects our family's 'chaos'. Which means I was looking for something that included a variety of either 1. people or 2. activities. I found this new template through Blogger's new design options. The template has a lot going on and covers a lot of interests. If you look carefully you'll see music, art, math, science, theater, and book symbols (among other things) so it seemed perfect.

But it's probably a little too busy. And probably a little too monochromatic. I tweaked and played and nudged for about an hour tonight while the girls and two of their friends watched a movie.

The blog will stand as-is for now, to see how it settles. Feel free to leave a comment, positive or negative, to register your opinion. Or better yet, if you know of a template that might work instead, let me know. The search can always continue!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Absolutely bizarre

Standardized testing is an interesting animal, to say the least. And when you have twins, it becomes very interesting when the test results arrive in your mailbox and your twins compare their scores. Loudly.

Most years, Susannah has scored slightly higher on almost every area. Just slightly. But enough for her to think it gives her bragging rights over her sister. Something we nip in the bud as we point out that these tests are only one way of measuring 'what you know'.

This year, I actually thought for a moment that they sent me the scores for the same girl. I had opened Susannah's first since she was the one who gave me the envelopes to open. She had done well, as usual. Then I opened Moriah's results and did a double take. Reading score, the same. Writing score, the same. Math score...yep, the same. Did they mix up the girls and send me the same results twice? A quick glance over the breakdown of scores showed the same scores as well., a score here and there were slightly different. By like one point. Or two.

Over the entire listing of individual scores, the girls differed in less than half the categories. Everything else was the same. Lots of chuckling and grinning, and Moriah happily denied Susannah the temptation to brag about her scores this year.

Bizarre. To me, at least. :o)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer*, so far,

has included
  • baseball games
  • lazy mornings
  • sunshine
  • Samuel's 15th birthday
  • friends
  • making plans to travel to Indiana
  • a trip to a lake cabin
  • hot dogs
  • late-night movies
  • work for Samuel
  • babysitting for Moriah and Susannah
  • softball
  • sunburns
  • trips to town
  • bike rides
  • raking
  • staying up too late since it's light until late (like now--note the post time!)
  • playgrounds
  • cleaning
  • and soccer,
not in that exact order, of course.

And I'm sure there's more but that's what comes to mind as I try to think about all the things I could update the blog with.

Summer* is always welcome (duh) but this year it seems even more welcome.

I know it is to Samuel, who is ever so grateful to have a break from his early bus rides.
I know it is to Jim, whose schedule just opened up during the week.
I know it is to me, who worked my behind off this past school year.

Bring on those lazy, hazy, crazy dayz of summer...the Doepken family is ready!

*even though it's not officially summer yet...maybe my blog post should be called Late spring, so far,?