Thursday, August 19, 2010

ND Football Practice 2010

There are so many benefits for working at Notre Dame.  This year alone I have had lunch in the press box, met Digger Phelps, Brian Kelly, Joe Montana and stood in the presence of Father Hesburgh.
I’m able to walk the lakes or visit the grotto during my lunch hour.  On football fridays we can, many times, hear the band from our building which is just steps from the stadium.  The campus is at it’s most beautiful during the fall when football season arrives.
This week I had yet another new experience, our MBA Admissions team was able to watch one of the football practices.  After practice we were invited to join the players on the field to hear Coach Kelly speak and I was able to take photos.  It was a great experience!  As I always say…..I love my job!
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Ball

For the past 14 years, summer meant sitting in the stands watching the boys play baseball.   (With the exception of our years in Florida when winter meant sitting in the stands watching the boys play baseball, a confusing concept for an Indiana girl like myself!)

Last year Ben graduated from high school and his years of summer ball came to an end.  Then Andy decided to hang up his baseball shoes and take up golf.  What were Mark and I to do with all this free time?  Our camping chairs, cushions for sitting on the stands and our small cooler all found storage space in our garage.  We reveled in this new found freedom!  But in truth, we missed summer ball.

This summer Ben joined The South Bend Cardinals.  It’s a baseball team of men and college boys who play in a local league purely for the love of the game.  Ben is playing with some of his teammates from high school and a couple of his best friends.  There are no practices during the week, just games on the weekend.  This is great for Ben’s arm (a story I’ll write about later.  It involves a skateboard, two surgeries, a lot of metal and screws and one cadaver bone).  Mark and I have caught a couple of innings but last weekend my parents and I got out our chairs and cooler and enjoyed a Saturday afternoon watching the Cardinals,  and Ben, play. 

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Andy, on the other hand, has found his summer ball mojo in a completely different way.  Last summer my brother-in-law asked Andy to sub in a couple of his wiffle ball league games.  Well, this summer Andy became a starter on The South Bend Sour Wowers Wiffle ball team.  And he is having a blast!  Until Andy joined this team we had no idea how popular wiffle ball really is!  A quick visit to the Sour Wowers website set us straight!  The team clinched the wild card spot and are currently in the playoffs. 

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Might look a little different than what we are used to but it’s summer time……………….PLAY BALL!

Monday, August 9, 2010

And Yet Another Update……..

Back in February I started another blog, The Faces of My Family, in order to document the genealogical research I have been doing.  I thought I could keep up with both blogs but once Faces debuted, The View Off My Deck was neglected.
Yesterday I received a comment on this blog from my genealogy friend Rootdigger teasing me about my update from January 2010!  It was just the nudge I needed to resurrect this blog!
Since I ended with an update from seven months ago, I guess I’ll start with one to get 2010 up to date!
After our wonderful New Year’s celebration with Bill and Jackie, we got back to the business of, well, being busy!
In January the Clay Boys Bowling Team competed and advanced through, sectionals and regionals and found themselves once again in semi-state competition.   The boys had to  compete that day without their anchor bowler and, although they bowled their hearts out, they weren’t able to make the cut that would send them back to state.  But never let it be said this team doesn’t know how to celebrate a season! 
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The parents aren't too shabby at celebrating themselves!
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In February I made my annual girl’s trip to LaPorte for a scrapbook weekend at Michelle’s Memory Loft.  Each year we return for a few days of no make-up, pajama wearing, chick flick viewing, food, laughter and fun (with a little bit of scrapbooking thrown in!)
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April was a busy month.  We celebrated Easter at my Aunt’s with all the cousins present (except for Pat, Steph, Will and Ella who we miss terribly).
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April also brought the Youth State Bowling Tournament in Indianapolis.  This was the last year that Ben, Richie and Daniel were  competing.  Andy is the lone team member who will still bowl in 2011 which made this state tournament bittersweet. 
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Speaking of changes, after 12 years of playing baseball, Andy made the decision to hang up his cleats and pick up his golf bag.  In April he tried out for and made the Clay Boys Golf Team!  Since we live on the ninth hole of one of the golf courses we were able to jump our back fence and follow the team for a couple of matches this season.  It was quite a change from sitting in the baseball stands, one I really loved.  Can’t wait for next season!
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May brought about two exciting events!  Mom, Aunt Connie and I made a research trip to Wabash, Indiana in search of an old abandoned graveyard containing some of our family members.  We spent two days tromping through cemeteries and asking locals if they had ever heard of America Cemetery and where it might be located.  On the second day we got lucky and were able to determine  the location.  I donned my hiking boots, cut through a  backyard and entered the forest where I was rewarded with the following sight! 
This is heaven to a genealogist’s eyes!  Lots of stories to tell about this trip.  Too much for this update but I’ll be going back in October to attempt to replace stones that have fallen over.  I can’t wait!
Also in May my nieces graduated from high school.  The cousins are stair stepped.  First there’s my niece Rachel (now an incoming Junior at Notre Dame), then Ben (an incoming Sophomore at Manchester), then my nieces Sarah and Dana (incoming Freshman at Purdue and Saint Mary’s) and then Andy (entering his senior year at Clay High School).  Their graduation was a celebration for the whole family.  Gosh, I love those girls so much!
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In June, as a result of my other blog, I was able to connect with distant family members!  Mom and I traveled to Kokomo to meet Jean and DeeDee to get to know each other and compare our family research.  Do you know that feeling when you meet someone and you immediately feel comfortable with them?  That’s how it was for mom, DeeDee, Jean and I!  In fact, we have a research trip planned together for October!
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The rest of June was spent in travel.  Andy made college visits to Manchester, Butler and Valparaiso.  He also made a solo trip back to Tampa to visit with friends we miss since our move  to South Bend in 2006.  I have, of course, no pictures of that trip.  That’s what you get when you send a 17 year old boy someplace by himself!
My final update is our yearly trip to the lake in July.  We have been making this trip since the boys were little and it is still the highlight of our summer.  They say  a picture is worth a thousand words.  So I’ll let these pictures speak for themselves.
That’s it!  A whirlwind tour of the first seven months of 2010!  Let’s hope I do a better job of staying up to date the last five!