Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year 2007

I find it amazing how time flies when you're in your car. Since Kyle made the PeeWee B team, we are back to being in the car all the time. Hockey practices, games, trips to the skateparks, trips to hockey friend's houses... But no complaints here. I am so happy that he's back playing a game he loves with a great group of kids and great coaches. We really couldn't ask for any more.

Kyle started junior high in August. It has been quite a transition for all of us. He rides his bike to school almost every day. He buys his lunch almost every day. He's in school until 3pm (big change there considering for the previous 4 years he'd gotten out at 12:30!) It's a big big school. But he seems to love it, and his grades have been pretty good. He goes to school with his teammate (and coaches son) Steven. And several of his friends from grade school are there. He's also made some new friends. All around, we have no complaints on the school front.

Hockey is amazing. The coaches put together a fabulous group of kids that actually seem to really like each other, and play very well together. Kyle is playing wing/center. He's doing pretty well this season, racking up quite a few assists, and leads the league in assists right now! Since the beginning of the season (way back in August) counting all scrimmages and games, their team is 20-5-0. 3 of those losses were to A teams, one was to a Bantam team (Bantam is the under 14 bracket.) All in all, we can't complain. The kids played in a Thanksgiving tournament and won. They just finished playing in a Christmas tournament, and finished in 3rd, behind teams from Canada and Denver. Next we're off to Denver to play over Martin Luther King weekend.

The puppies aren't such puppies anymore! They'll be two in February. Both are right around 45 pounds, though Joe is 22 inches tall, and Snoopy 20 inches tall. Joe is the Energizer bunny. He never stops moving all day. Snoopy is still more of a lap dog. Preferring to lay on whomever happens to be on the couch. Joe received his CGC (Canine Good Citizen) title back in the spring. Snoopy just received his in December. Mom is very proud of them. Both boys have finished up advanced obedience and are training in agility. Joe will start in agility level 3 next week, Snoopy in level one. In just a short while Joe will be qualified to compete in agility, though I think it will be a lot longer before Mom is qualified to compete with him.

Ron is sticking out this merger with US Airways. No news on the front. The two pilot groups are still operating separately and no deals have been made to merge them. We are waiting to hear what is going to happen there. And the Delta deal is still on the table too. It has been an interesting year in the airline biz.

Golf is the big thing in Ron's life. He's playing 3-4 times a week, and playing very well! The big benefit of living in sunny AZ.

Me, I'm here playing on my xmas present - a new iMac. Bill Gates and I had a falling out in November when my very custom, very expensive Dell computer went kaput. Actually the operating system went kaput. Long story short, I know more about India than I had ever thought I would (8 hours with tech support) and I vowed it would be the last Windows based computer I would buy. So, Ron took that to heart and surprised me with this. It's a learning curve, and most of my software needs to be replaced, but so far, so good. Thank you Mr. Jobs.

Our wishes are for everyone to have a very healthy happy and SAFE New Year's. Hopefully 2007 will be everything you dream it will be.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Happy Polar Bear Mom!

Have to note here - when your child scores a goal, you are required to don the "Polar Bear Hat" until another child scores a goal. The hat actually belongs to another mom on the team - Jessie Sheehan. It is really her youngest son's hat, but she brought it to a game and the tradition began. Our goal is to have every parent wear the hat before the year ends!

Thanksgiving Tourney Champs

Kyle - Thanksgiving Tourney

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Monsoon time in AZ

July brings the monsoon. It's hot and humid, rather than just hot, but too hot to rain. It simply evaporates. But you didn't come here to read about the weather in AZ, did you?

All is well around here. Kyle is playing summer hockey, about a month left now. Ron is playing lots of golf - despite the heat and humidity. I am hiding out in the a/c hoping for October to come quickly.

Snoopy and Joe are hanging out as well. Playing as much pool ball as possible and using the house as a racing track. Joe spent a day at the surgeon's office earlier this month having his hips examined. All is mostly well - his xrays were beautiful, but the doctor could "pop" his hips, so he diagnosed Joe as having very mild dysplasia. He said it shouldn't limit his activity at all.

Kyle tried out for the Polar Bears PeeWee B team this last week. He received the call last night that he made the team. There were about 30 kids trying for 15 spots, many of them returning B players. He's very excited about playing on a travel team again. Our website ( will have a link to his schedule if anyone wants to check out a game. Our schedule for the next month will be crazy, while he begins the travel season and finishes his summer house season. Just like a few years ago, we'll be living at the rink.

Kyle also starts junior high on 8/9, so stay posted for info on that huge transition!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Swimming Noo

Noo hates to swim.  Can you see the look of terror in his eyes???

Swimming Joe

Joe loves to swim.  Ron had a tough time catching him.

Crazy Joe

The Boys

End of June and all is well

Summer is in full swing. Kyle's doing his annual golf clinic at Viewpoint and playing summer hockey. Ron is doing yardwork and watching golf. I'm scrapbooking, cause it's too hot to do much else!

We took a family vacation down to Tucson the first week of June. It was great. We stayed at Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort. What a beautiful place! Kyle brought his friend Kyle and they went to a skateboard camp at the Y every morning. Ron played golf on both the hotel courses. It was an amazingly beautiful and peaceful place to spend a few days.

Nana & Pa stayed here with the boys, and I think Pa needed a vacation after entertaining two toddlers for the week! The boys did fine without us. They hardly even said hello!

Joe went to the surgeon this week to have his hips xrayed. He has been favoring his left rear side for a while now (reading over these blogs, I can't believe HOW long it's been!) We had him tested for valley fever, and fortunately that was negative. So the surgeon did an exam and xrays. Joe's xrayed hips are beautiful, but they can be "popped" as the doctor said. So he has a very mild case of hip dysplasia. However the doctor said that it is nothing to concern ourselves with at this time. To not limit his activity, but to keep an eye on him if he is active, to see if there is any change.

Joe is set to start serious agility training in the fall, and this may change that. Or it may not. I will have to talk to the trainers about it.

Snoopy will move up to Level Two training in the fall, which is also really good news. He'll enjoy more agility.

No more news for now. The pool calls.


I think Kyle enjoyed the pool as well.


This waterfall is a short hike up the hill from the pool.  Kyle was the one who found it.

By the pool

Ron & I enjoyed laying by the pool in the afternoons.  Put your flag up and you had instant service!

Ventana Canyon

This is the view from our room at Ventana Canyon.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


How is it that 3 months passes without my noticing that I haven't blogged recently??? Well....

I decided to build a family website. As usual this was one of my manic moments where I thought a) it would be easy, b) I thought I would want to update it all the time, and c) I thought anyone actually cared if we had a family website!!! So, here we are several months later and the website still isn't finished, and I'm starting to think about deleting it back to a single page which is far more manageable than 5.

So my apologies (to those of you that actually read this periodically) that I have not kept you updated on the goings on of our family of 5.

My last update told you all about the boys' birthdays. Since then, Snoopy has returned to training. He's in his second session of level one obedience for agility. He turned a corner last night and really showed progress (finally!) He's starting to actually pay attention when heeling. He does much better than his older brother in sit stay and down stay. And he LOVES agility. He goes through the tunnels and over the A-frames. He LOVES to jump and jump and jump. We haven't started the teeter yet, but like with Joe, I'm sure it will present a challenge. Snoopy has two more sessions before summer break.

Joe is in his second session of int/adv obedience & rally. Joe has now been in training since December. He's made such progress. He heels beautifully (when Snoopy isn't around) and can do a lovely sit stay. Yet somewhere down the line we missed the part about down meaning stay down. No matter how hard I try, the minute I turn his back, little springboard boy is back in a sit. That will be our summer project.

The very exciting news is that Joe earned his first title on Saturday. He is now On the Lamb Ranch Little Joe, CGC. The CGC stands for Canine Good Citizen. He passed 10 tests showing that he is a good dog on leash, does not jump on strangers or me, and he can stay on leash without me for at least 3 minutes. He was not his usual self during testing. We think the crowds, noise, and distractions rattled him a bit, but our evaluator (who is also his trainer) gave us a little grace, and he passed. We now have to move on to either formal obedience (working on his Companion Dog title) agility (novice agility title) or rally (novice rally title) in the fall. My guess is that we'll start on Rally and go from there.

Snoopy will test for his CGC in the fall.

Kyle has one short day of grade school left tomorrow. He's no longer a grade schooler, he'll be officially a junior high boy! It feels very strange to say goodbye to the place he's been since Kindergarten (seven years of driving, seven years of volunteering...) I'll miss everyone there. Edu-Prize was a wonderful experience for us. Such a great staff and parents and kids.

He'll be attending Greenfield Junior High here in Gilbert in the fall. Greenfield is 1.2 miles from our house, so for the first time, Kyle will be able to walk or ride his bike to school. He's very excited about it. Last month we visited the campus and registered for classes. Also, for the first time in 3 years, he'll be attending school all day. That will be a big adjustment for him (the last 3 years at Edu-Prize he's been in an alternative schedule program that had him attending school from 7:30am-12:30pm every day - no lunch, no recess.) Going to school from 8-3 is going to be strange for him, but they have a great cafeteria with lots of food choices. Plus, he'll get to have PE every day - and the school has a pool! They also have a club golf team, chess team and other athletics he can try out for.

Summer officially starts tomorrow for us when Kyle gets out of school. We only have one vacation planned, but maybe will take some short trips if time (and dogs) allow. Next Weds we'll head down to Tucson to stay at Loew's Ventana Canyon resort. Kyle is bringing his friend Kyle. They'll be attending skateboard camp every morning. Ron will be playing golf. And me, I'll be relaxing. It's only a 4 day trip, but it's a trip. We will enjoy the time away. Although Loew's will let us bring the dogs, Nana & Pa have offered to stay here and dog sit. That should be a story in itself!

Right now it's a cool 105 degrees outside. That's on our patio in the shade. I hope wherever you are, you're cooler than we are!

Happy summer!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

End of regular season hockey update

Welcome to weekly Black Bears Newsletter, featuring your favorite hockey team’s latest news and events!

Game 15 (Regular Season) 2/25/06
Bears win second straight with 3-1 win
The Black Bears put together another solid team performance Saturday, winning the first of back-to-back games 3-1 over the Minutemen.
The Bears followed up a Minutemen rebound goal late in the first period with a goal the very next shift, as Phillip Mitchell scored his fourth of the year off a Kyle Burkovich rebound to tie it up. Just 45 seconds later, Burkovich converted a Jacob Geiwitz pass into a breakaway goal and a 2-1 Bears lead. Defenseman Wes White made two keys plays in the second period to keep the Bears in the lead – his diving stop on a two-on-one foiled a Minutemen scoring attempt, then his check early in the third period stopped a potential Minutemen breakaway.
Kyle Burkovich scored his second of the game off a perfect feed from Phillip Mitchell to give the Bears a 3-1 lead late in the second period, and the Bears defense and goaltender Kelsey Eglinton made that stand up for the Bears second straight win.

Game Summary
Goals: Mitchell (4), Burkovich 2 (6)
Assists: Geiwitz (10), Burkovich (3), Mitchell (8)
Penalties: Geiwitz (Tripping)
Goaltending: Eglinton 23 Shots, 22 Saves
Shots on Goal: Black Bears 22
Not Dressed: Udall

Stars of the Game
#1 Kyle Burkovich – 2 Goals, Assist
#2 Philip Mitchell – Goal, Assist
#3 Wes White – Excellent D!

Game 16 (Final- Regular Season) 2/26/06
Last (nano)second goal gives Black Bears third straight win
Sitting on a 1-1 tie with only 19 seconds left in the game, and deep in the Black Bears defensive zone, defenseman Matt Vendl poked the puck to Kyle Burkovich, who took off on a rush down the ice, sliding past and deking around defensemen, gliding over the blue line, and finally scoring into the top corner of the net just as the horn went off and time expired, giving the Bears a heart stopping 2-1 win over the Minutemen. The victory was their third straight as they finished undefeated in 4 of their final 5 games to finish the regular season on a high note.
Playing against defenseman turned goalie AJ Culp, the Bears could not find the back of the net for two periods. Luckily, goaltender Kelsey Eglinton held the fort until a bouncing rebound trickled past her for a 1-0 Minutemen lead early in the third period. But in a repeat of Saturday’s game, the Bears scored on the very next shift as Jacob Geiwitz took a pass from Jordan Helm and Charlie Allen and blasted one into the net to tie the score. The Bears defense, led by Matt Vendl, Jacob Geiwitz, Wes White and Nathan Lawson continued to impress, shutting down the middle of the ice and forcing the Minutemen to play and shoot from the perimeter, where Kelsey Eglinton gobbled up shots and frustrated the Minutemen shooters. This set the stage for Burkovitch’s last second heroics.

Game Summary
Goals: Geiwitz (1), Burkovich (7)
Assists: Helm (5), Allen (2), Vendl (4)
Penalties: Burkovich (Slashing); Geiwitz (Roughing); Woodruff (Roughing)
Goaltending: Eglinton 14 Shots, 13 Saves
Shots on Goal: Black Bears 22
Not Dressed: Udall, Applebach, DeForest, Caravella, Smith


We will play our first playoff game on Sunday, March 11 at 11:30 a.m. against the Eagles

written by Coach James Miroslaw (published in the weekly Black Bears News)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Feb news

Well, it's February. End of the hockey season looming (doesn't that seem quick?), the Super Bowl XL has been played, and believe it or not, the puppies are turning one. That also means it has been a year since our beloved Toosox left us for the Bridge.

Hockey has been going well. Kyle had a hat trick (3 goals in one game for you non-hockey people) during their game on 1/28, however, the Black Bears still managed to lose that one, 7-5. He is having fun, nonetheless, and getting pretty good at checking. And kudos to Kyle for nary a penalty in his first 7 games back.

Joe is set to finish another training session tomorrow night. Unfortunately, though, we have already been informed that he will not be progressing on to level 3. All dogs must be completely off-leash trained for advancement to the next level. So Joe & I will be continuing in level two for a while yet.

Snoopy has recovered quite well from his surgery. He's just about ready to go back into training, but that will have to wait until Joe moves up to level 3. They can't both go to training on the same night. So it is likely that Noo will wait until spring to start. It's probably just as well, because right now, he doesn't seem any too enthusiastic to listen!

The boys will turn one on February 21st. Unbelievable. In some ways it seems as though they've always been here, and in others, I can't believe how quickly they've grown. I miss my little bitty soft puppies, but I'm so glad to be through the housebreaking stage!

February 23rd marks one year since Toosox left us for the Bridge. There's not a day that goes by that we don't miss her sweet face or wonderful disposition. She was such a blessing in our lives and brought us so much joy over the almost 13 years she was with us. We love you little girl. You can go to this link to learn about the Rainbow Bridge.

Kim has spent most of January setting up a family website. More for my own enjoyment (and frustration) than anyone else's. But if you're so inclined, you can visit and see the results. This will still be kept up and running for my pithy musings.

In closing, here in Maricopa County, we've now gone 109 days without any measurable precipitation. If any of you have any connections to the rain gods, could you please ask them to send us some? We're turning to dust down here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hockey News

Game 10 (Regular Season) 1/18/06
Black Bears Win over Warriors
The Black Bears saved their best for last on Wednesday, scoring three goals in the third period to erase a 3-1 deficit and earn an exciting come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Warriors.
Down 1-0 early in the opening period, Jeff Smith opened the scoring for the Bears with his first career goal. Willy Woodruff made a nice hustling play to keep the puck in the zone, and sent a quick pass to Smith, who buried the shot the high slot. It was also Willy’s first career assist.
The Warriors went ahead on a breakaway goal late in the first period, and scored what looked like an insurance goal halfway through the third period to go up 3-1. But the Black Bears weren’t done yet.
Jimmy Caravella and Jordan Helm combined on a sweet passing play that ended with a Kyle Burkovich goal to pull the Bears to within one. Then, Burkovich stole a puck in the neutral zone and tied the score with his second goal of the game. Meanwhile goaltender Kelsey Eglinton was busy shutting down the Warriors, who had a seven shot flurry after the Bears tied the score. Kelsey made a spectacular glove save to keep the game knotted at 3. Defenseman Matt Vendl then made a key play when he ran down a potential Warrior breakaway, hustling back and making the back check to keep the score tied.
When Nathan Lawson was whistled for interference with just over two minutes remaining in the game, it looked like the Bears could be in trouble. But Connor Royer made a great play to intercept a breakout pass and keep the puck deep in the Warriors zone, and after Matt Vendl and Spencer Applebach each kept the play alive, Royer scored the shorthanded game winner. “I’m way proud of our team today”, Coach James said from a very noisy Bears locker room. “Everybody contributed, with several players stepping up to make huge plays. This is a great comeback from the Terriers game – we came to play today, and it showed!”
Game Summary
Goals: Burkovich 2 (3), Smith (1), Royer (15)
Assists: Helm, Woodruff, Caravella, Applebach
Penalties: Applebach (Boarding); Lawson (Tripping); Mitchell (Elbowing); Lawson (Interference)
Goaltending: Eglinton 29 Shots, 26 Saves
Shots on Goal: Black Bears 16
Not Dressed: Latham, Allen
Stars of the Game
#1 Kyle Burkovich – 2 Goals
#2 Connor Royer - Shorthanded Game-Winning Goal
#3 Kelsey Eglinton – 29 shots, 26 saves
#4 Jeff Smith – First Career Goal
#5 Willy Woodruff – First Career Assist

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Agility Dog Joe and other news

As you know, Joe had to take Snoopy's training spot when Snoopy had shoulder surgery in November. Joe began training 3 weeks into the 6 week session. He made it through graduation, but apparently not well enough to move on to level two.

Since I didn't realize that Joe was supposed to be taking level one again (oops!) I showed up for the level two class. My fellow classmates assured me that Joe was worthy, but the trainer said she thought otherwise. But she said, since I was already there, and had missed the level one class, that we would see how it went.

Well, Joe elevated himself to level two! He did outstandingly - well enough at obedience, but unbelievable at agility. This dog was born for agility. Although his leash work still needs practice, his off leash work is good. And I have to hold him back from running into the agility course. He loves it.

So far he's learned the chute, tunnel, tire, a-frame, dog walk, jump, weave poles, and table. The weave poles still have the guides on them, so you can't really say he's mastered those. But the chutes and tunnels he flies right through and the jumps right over! The dog walk and a-frame are a breeze, but he's not fond of the teeter. He does fine until it starts to totter. Then he bails off! So the teeter-totter needs some work.

This week he flew right through a tire/chute/jump/table combo without hesitation. Also, a jump/dogwalk/tunnel/jump combo. He's progressing!

Snoopy is doing well also. He's still not back in training (maybe at the end of this 6 weeks) but we're doing a little work here at home. He's running and jumping again with his brand new shoulder. He's definitely putting the surgeon's work to the test. He's still completely unmanageable on leash, but I'm working on it. This dog is not food-driven which makes training a challenge. I can't seem to find a reward he'll work for!

We're nearing the one year mark with the pups. They still behave like babies so it's hard to believe they're almost adults!

It's almost one year since Toosox was diagnosed with lymphoma and began her decline. She still remains very much a part of our lives in spirit. She is always missed.

Kyle is enjoying his return to hockey. In the two games last weekend he managed a bunch of shots on goal and one assist. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the physical nature of PeeWee hockey at all either. We're hoping that with a little practice he'll be able to find the back of the net again. His team lost on Saturday, during a questionable penalty kill, 3-2. They had a huge game on Sunday, playing the first place undefeated team to a 3-3 tie. For this last place team with only one win on the books, that was a huge accomplishment.

Ron continues to play golf when he can and watch it when he can't. And I have greatly enjoyed my break from getting up every morning. Now that Kyle's back in school I'm battling with the alarm every morning.

Happy 2006 and don't forget to check in for updates on us!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Breaking News

As written in the DSCC Black Bears Newsletter, dated 1-3-06:

Black Bears Acquire Burkovich
The Black Bears made their final deal in the “free agent” player market for this season, acquiring travel player Kyle Burkovich before the holiday break. Kyle has been successful in several travel programs from his start in Mite B through to Squirt A in 2004-5. “I am very excited to have Kyle join the team”, Coach James stated. “He is a solid skater, has great puck handling skills and good hockey instincts. He’ll certainly be a positive addition to our team.”  Please join me in welcoming Kyle aboard!