Monday, December 17, 2007

East Valley Tribune!

Be sure to check out the article about Kyle's hockey team from the East Valley Tribune.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Team Website

One of our moms has been diligently working on getting a website up and running for our team. Visit it by clicking here.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Kyle and the Boys - Xmas 2007

Merry Christmas - Happy Hanukah & all that stuff

Rather than bore the world with a long holiday letter this year, I decided to point everyone to this blog. This way you can pick and choose what you read about - plus all the cool pictures are here to see!

We hope that everyone had a wonderful 2007. It was a happy & sad one for us.

On the sad note, in March, Ron's dad Walter passed away at 82 years of age. It was a sudden passing - he had been diagnosed with cancer in January. He was honored with a beautiful memorial service and is interred in a military memorial wall here in Phoenix.

On a happier note, Kyle's hockey team went undefeated in league play and won their state championship. It was a very exciting game, with the team winning in a shootout. Kyle is halfway through 8th grade and will enter high school next year. He is currently playing hockey for the Phoenix Mustangs ( on a Bantam B/A team.

Ron continues to work for America West (now known as US Airways.) He's still a captain on the 737 and flies periodically when they call him in to work. He's playing a lot of golf.

Kim's full-time job is Hockey Mom and Official Dog Keeper. She is managing Kyle's hockey team this season. Dog training has gone on the back-burner for now as hockey has taken precedence this year.

Snoopy and Joe are almost 3 now. They are still puppies in dog bodies, however. I think they miss agility training, but occasionally Kim will pull out the equipment and run them through some obstacles for fun. They are wonderful companions and brighten our lives every day.

Kyle & Kim have taken a few trips this year for hockey - Littleton, Colorado in January - where we were greeted with below zero temps and lots of snow - and the boys won the SlapShot Tourney. Anaheim in April for the Disney Ice Tourney over Easter. Salt Lake City and San Jose this November - San Jose where the boys took the regional Silver Stick title, securing an invite to the international finals in January in Pelham, Ontario, Canada.

Ron, Kim & Kyle took a wonderful trip up to Calgary - detailed below. The Banff area is one of the prettiest we've seen. It was worth the $7 (Canadian) per gallon to drive up there.

2008 promises to be another eventful year for us. Check in and we'll keep you posted!

May you and yours have a peaceful, blessed holiday season. Best wishes!!!!

Kyle and Nana - Xmas 2007

Monday, November 26, 2007

Silver Stick - Pacific Regional

Well, one of the most exciting games I've ever been to was played at the Logitech Ice Center in San Jose, CA yesterday. Kyle's hockey team traveled up there to compete in the Silver Stick regional qualifier for the Pacific Division. Silver Stick is a huge tournament in North America. To read more about it you can click here:

Long story short, Kyle's team made it to the final game. The team they played won the division last year. What a nail biter. 0-0 at the end of the first. 1-1 at the end of the second. 2-1, us, with 5 minutes to go in the game. 2-2 with a minute and a half left to play. 2-2 at the end. 4 on 4 sudden death overtime for 5 minutes. 26 seconds into the overtime, Kyle's teammate scored the winning goal.

Bedlam. Kids dogpiled on the ice. Parents screaming and crying in the stands. It was the closest thing to winning an Olympic gold medal (so far) that any of us have experienced.

The reason? By winning their qualifier, Kyle's team is one of only 16 teams in all of North America to be invited to the international finals in Pelham, Ontario, Canada in January. It's quite an honor to win a Silver Stick regional.

Our flight finally got in around midnight last night, and we're all exhausted. But I certainly had to share the good news.

Silver Stick Regional Champions!

This is the photo of the team taken following the game. Note the scoreboard. Not very often you see a 4th period in hockey!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pictures from Calgary, Banff & Lake Louise

Just a week ago, Ron was assigned a trip to Calgary - flew in on Friday and spent 2 days off there, returning early Monday. Kyle & Kim couldn't pass up the chance to spend time with Ron in a new place, so they tagged along. Kyle was very excited about the giant skatepark.

Banff is such a neat mountain town. Felt more like the Alps than the Rockies. Great shopping!

Lake Louise is breathtaking. Simply one of the most beautiful places I've seen. Would love to go back when it's warmer and take a canoe ride. The Chateau Lake Louise is an incredible, grand hotel.

Banff & Lake Louise are definitely worth the trip if you ever have the opportunity.

We took Kyle to the largest, free, concrete, outdoor skatepark in North America (Shaw Millenium Park) where he reveled in skateboarding as much as he could. The fab skatepark photos are mostly the talent of Ron's first officer Scott. He was kind enough to take an afternoon to shoot them.

The Calgary Tower was closed, but we did drive by it. We also drove by Olympic Park with its bobsled runs, ski jumps & indoor luge run - however we ran out of time, so we didn't stop.

We did take the time on Saturday night to attend a University of Calgary (Go Dinos!) hockey game. What fun!!!! $10 for a seat on the glass. Some great hockey and great beer. It was a blast.

This was a great trip. Nice to spend time together (though I think the pace Kim & Kyle like to keep exhausts Ron!) and fun to visit a new city.

Enjoy the photos!

Calgary Tower (from the car)

Great Motto!

Shaw Millenium Park - Street course

Kyle - big air off the stairset

SMP - Kyle

SMP - Kyle in the full pipe

Ron enjoying the cold air

Lake Minnewanka

Unnamed waterfall on the road to Banff

Mule deer shopping in Banff

Kyle & his Rude Boys skateboard in Banff

The family at Lake Louise

Kyle studying for his Constitution test

View from the car while driving to Banff

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Okay, so it's been almost 6 months....

....since I last posted. Shoot me. Apparently life gets away from you sometimes and you forget your priorities (or I do anyway.) So here goes. Six months in a nutshell.

Kyle did indeed go to Camp Woodward this summer. From what he tells me it was unbelievable. As many hours a day as they could squeeze in skateboarding - they did neglect to eat and shower, but skateboarding all day long in one of the biggest skateparks in the US was far more important. He can't wait for next summer.

Ron & I spent a few days in Sedona while Kyle was in Tehachapi. It was nice. While Kyle neglected to eat (and maybe even sleep) Ron & I did nothing but sleep and eat. There is great food to be had in Sedona. Yes, we did actually get out and see some of the beautiful rocks too.

Snoopy & Joe took the summer off from training. They simply swam for months. I think they loved it. The boys are rapidly approaching their 3rd birthdays.

June brought hockey tryouts. Kyle is now playing for the Phoenix Mustangs (Valley of the Sun Hockey Association) at the Arcadia Ice Arena. It's a bit farther to drive, but he is with a great coach (same as last season) and a great group of kids (a lot from last season.) We travel to Salt Lake City & San Jose in November, Denver in January, San Diego in February. So far that's it - and really, isn't that enough?

Kyle also started 8th grade in August. EIGHTH GRADE!!! Where does the time go? Next year high school.

Ron was flying a line for a while, but now is back on reserve. He seems to prefer the couch to the cockpit.

Yesterday, Kyle had 5 baby teeth removed surgically. I guess in this day and age if you reach 13 with baby teeth still intact, they have to come out. The oral surgeon said those teeth had some mightily sturdy roots. Kyle came through the anesthesia just fine, asking when he woke "when did you grow two heads?" He's recuperating now.

So that's my nearly six months in a nutshell.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

May? Already?

Unbelievably, it's May. The school year is nearly over (Kyle's last day is the 24th.) Hockey season ended more than a month ago. The dogs have six more weeks of training before summer break. Where did this year go?

All is well here. Dogs are big. Still puppies in dog bodies. (see the new pics) They are finishing up their second "year" of training. Joe is in a competition level agility class, but is nowhere near ready to compete. Actually, I should rephrase that and say that MOM is nowhere near ready to compete. MOM needs some work keeping Joe focused and on course.

Snoopy is in a class just below Joe, but might surpass Joe any day now. He was born to fly. And he's lucky, cause he's a bit smaller and won't have to compete in a class with the big dogs (Joe measures 23 inches tall which puts him in the highest class - with retrievers & Weimaraners, etc.) Snoopy will mostly just compete against other Border Collies - difficult in it's own right!

Kyle finished up a fabulous season of hockey (see pics.) His team won the State Championship, the League Championship and two other tourneys. A very successful hockey season, but more importantly, a very fun hockey season. He had such a great coaching staff and a bunch of wonderful teammates. It will be hard to adjust to a new group next year.

Next season is just around the corner! Kyle is moving rinks (following his coach.) So after 7 years of being a "Polar Bear" he will now be moving to the Valley of the Sun Hockey Association and becoming a Mustang. It will be a very strange transition for all of us. VOSHA plays out of a much older rink (Arcadia Ice Arena) in a not-so-nice part of town. But the ice is consistently good. He has tryouts June 1st & 2nd.

Also in Kyle news - the last week of June he will be heading to Tehachapi, California to Woodward - a skateboard camp - for an entire week of skateboarding. He's going with his friend Jimmy. He is VERY excited. It will be the first time we will all be separated for more than a few days. Should be interesting. I will send a camera in the hopes that he might bring back a few pictures!

Otherwise, no new news. Just hot here, again. The pool is up to the low 80s and ready for swimming (Joe & Snoopy have been swimming since January.) Time to get the boat out of storage and hit the lake for some wakeboarding/skiing/tubing.

Hope all is well in your worlds.

Joe swims!

Joe flies!!!

Joe after swimming - May

Snoopy swimming - May

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hockey - Grand Canyon State Games!

The tale of Kyle’s wild Arizona State (the Grand Canyon State Games) / Sonoran Youth Hockey League Championships.

First the background. We ended up 18-0 in league play for the season. Undefeated. It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty sometimes, but we did it. (we won lots of other games in tourneys & stuff, but all that counted going into this weekend was our league play record.)

The first portion of the tourney, “the playdowns”, were held in Tucson. (every division played at a different rink in the state.)

Went into the league playoffs in 1st - the setup for the playdowns was ridiculous. We had to play the 2nd, 4th & 6th place teams in round robin. We truly expected to meet the 2nd place team in the finals, as they were, by far the best team all year. (there was actually 7th team in our division - but being a girls team, they couldn't compete for the championship as they don't check.)

Went out game 1 and played #2. Won, soundly 4-1. Not our best effort, but it worked, and that was a pretty decent score.

Game 2 vs #4. Okay, background on this team. Jocelyn Lemieux (yes the former NHL goon, for those of you that follow hockey) is the coach. He's been an ass all year. Knows they can't beat us, so they just try to physically take us out of our game. They have lots of goons on the team and Jocelyn spends his time on the bench yelling at OUR kids. Trying to get into their heads. Well it worked. We have consistently beat this team all season. Usually resoundingly. They tied us 0-0. Oh yeah, Sean Burke's (the NHL goalie – used to be a Coyote, now he plays for the LA Kings) son is their goalie. Let me tell you, the genetics thing is good. The kid stood on his head. In the last 3 minutes alone we had at least 20 shots.

Game 3 vs #6. Should be an easy game as this team is only 3-14-1 for the season. Right? Not so easy. won, but only 3-1. Where are these goalies coming from? We outshot them 5-1 (I think it was like 40 shots to their 8.) And, their goalie had never played an ice hockey game before. He's an inline (roller hockey) goalie. (this team we played is a dual team – most of the kids play on both the ice & inline hockey teams.)

So, now we're the #2 seed going into the semis, as another team went 3-0. We have to play Lemieux's team again. Ugh. Kids came out on fire. Game got rather ugly. Mr. Lemieux got himself thrown out of the game - AND MOONED THE REFS (or it might have been the parents who were applauding his departure) on his way off the bench. Lovely. We won 4-0. Which put us in the finals.

Most amazing thing? That little team we beat in game 3? Went through a shootout to win their semi and were going to meet us in the finals.

So we come to today. Championship game. At our home rink in Chandler (all the championships were played at this rink.) Should have been a gimme.

Unbelievable game. We get one goal right off the bat in the first. Second period - no goals. Third perios - we're up 1-0 in the 3rd (yes, that inline goalie stood on his head. Can't believe the saves he made.) A tiny little girl defensemen on their team takes a shot. Our goalie never sees it. It sort of lobs over his shoulder and drops. Right over the line. Tie 1-1. Now we're going to OT.

5 minute OT. No goals. Ugh. Now we're going to a shootout. Their goalie just went through a shootout yesterday to be here today. Our goalie hadn't seen a shootout since April of last year. But thankfully, he was the goalie, as our other goalie has NEVER seen a shootout.

Five man shootout. (for those of you who don’t know hockey, a shootout pits one skater against the goalie. You get one shot to get the puck in the goal. Just one chance.)

Shooter #1 for them. Stuffed by our goalie.

Shooter #1 for us – Kyle. My son shoots first. Can I tell you I was between crying and throwing up??? Goes for the shot - tries to deke him on the blocker side, and gets stuffed. He just monkeyed around too long with the puck and didn't have any room left.

Score: 0-0

Shooter #2 for them. Scores. Shooter #2 for us. Misses.

Shooter#3 for them - misses. Shooter #3 for us - perfect lift goal. 1-1.

Shooter #4 for them, misses. Shooter #4 for us - our #1 scorer - awesome, perfect in. 2-1

Shooter #5 for them - scores. Shooter #5 for us - our most creative goal scorer, misses.

Tied 2-2. Now it's sudden death shootout. One shooter each until someone wins.

Now I'm really ready to throw up, cry or faint. I'm too numb to tell which. Oh by the way, I'm sitting with our goalie's mom, who I'm amazed is still standing.

Our first shooter out misses. Theirs misses too.
Second misses. Theirs too.
Our third shooter makes the most amazing goal. We win. Hallelujah, praise God. It's finally over.

That wasn't the way it was supposed to go!!!!

But we won. It was wonderful. the kids so deserved it after the season they had. And the 2nd place team for the season - knocked out and played for 5th. How sad.

Check out the league website for the championship photo. It runs as a slideshow - you'll have to wait to see the PeeWee B picture.

Next weekend – Provo, Utah.

#94 skating down the ice

Sunday, March 18, 2007

New Quarterpipe

Kyle got a new gift from Dad today - a portable quarterpipe for the front yard. He was thrilled! Now he can practice tricks right here at home. I'm sure the neighbors will be ecstatic to hear the constant rumble of skateboards around here. (Not to mention the dogs will go nuts watching!)

Kyle - flies off the new quarterpipe

Kyle - skateboarding at home

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The boys turn 2

Joe & Snoopy celebrated their 2nd birthday on 2/21/07. Hard to believe that they're 2 already. Where did the time go? They are both full grown now, though I think that they'll fill in as the years go by and they get more sedentary (with BCs you often wonder if that will ever happen.)

Instead of cake, Mom made them pumpkin dog biscuits & a serving of Frosty Paws dog ice cream. They seemed to enjoy it. Each boy got a toy - Joe got a Pooch Ball. It's a translucent rubber tube with a tennis ball inside. The trick is for Joe to get the ball out! And Noo got a rabbit tug toy.

Birthday presents

Snoopy - 2nd birthday

Joe - 2nd birthday

Eating our birthday treats

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Beautiful weather in Denver!

As you know, Kyle is back playing "travel" hockey. Normally we don't travel far - Flagstaff, Tucson, Peoria... but this time we chose to spend a weekend at a tournament in Littleton, Colorado. Now, in August, in Phoenix, Denver sounds like a lovely place to visit. Cooler temps, mountains. HA! We have to pick the year to visit when Denver gets more snow than Minneapolis and colder temps too!!!

I am SO glad to be home. Just tired. These trips take a toll. Not enough sleep, not enough rest time, so many emotional ups & downs!!!

Here's the novel for all interested...

Got to the airport Thurs late afternoon. There were 4 "families" on our flight so we all met at Chili's in the airport for dinner before the trip. Figured we could get to the hotel and get a snack if necessary in Denver.

The waitress was a moron, and we ended up having to RUN through security. Made the flight. Easy flight. The landing however... we bounced and slid down the runway. Literally. Guess it was a tad icy.

Then had to wait 45 minutes in the sub-zero (with wind chill) temps outside for the rental car agency van. 4 adults & 5 kids & oodles of baggage (hockey bags, stick bags, suitcases.) Can you imagine???

Got the rental car. I was giving another dad & kid a ride to the hotel, cause he was sharing a car with someone already there. We could barely fit our luggage in the Jeep Cherokee. The kids had to sit with luggage in the backseat.

About 15 minutes out of the airport (did I mention that it was snowing like crazy, the roads were pretty bad, and it was below zero???) Eric (the other dad) and I were noticing that it sounded like a window was open. We checked all the windows, pulled back the sunroof cover, and SURPRISE, the sunroof was blown out. Literally, pieces of the sunroof were blowing out. It had shattered somehow. (speculation is the sudden temp change from subzero on the outside to warm on the inside - or when they washed the car, moisture somehow got in the gaps and cracked it. Who knows???)

We continued, sans sunroof, to the hotel. Arrived at the hotel at 11:45. Almost exactly 3 hours AFTER we landed. (keep in mind that the hotel is approximately a 25 minute drive from the Denver airport. Where did 3 hours go???) Checked in, called the rental car agency roadside assistance, who suggested at midnight, in a sub-zero snowstorm, that I return the car to the airport immediately. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
I called home to Ron.

Ron yelled at me for taking a damaged car (as though, in subzero wind chill with snow all over the roof of the car I could notice that the sunroof was damaged!!!) and told me to go to sleep and contact the rental car agency in the morning.

Slept fitfully and awakened at 7 am to Ron's call. He wanted the rental car agency's phone numbers.

30 minutes later, the roadside assistance person called me to tell me that a new Jeep Cherokee was on its way, being towed from the Denver airport, and they would tow back the old one. (which after 6 inches of snow overnight must have been an interesting sight!) Ron said he had quite a conversation with a supervisor about my call to them the previous night. Anyway, it was very nice of him, as I was utterly exhausted ALREADY and had a huge day ahead.

Another dad on the team agreed to be my chauffeur for the weekend, to and from all our games. YAY!!!

Did I tell you that it was cold? And we got 6 inches the first night? Okay maybe not quite that much, but it was a lot. And it was cold. Our first morning there, the weather channel reported it was -18 with windchill. But the kids didn't seem to mind. They couldn't wait to get out in the snow. We promised after the games.

Won our first game 4-3. It wasn't pretty, but the kids got the job done. (Kyle had one goal, but it was waved off because his teammate was in the crease.)

Went back to the hotel. Kids played in the snow for a while. Went to the Denver U hockey game that night. It was a good game. The kids had fun. Got their picture up on the giant scoreboard. They liked that. Ate junk and ran around the rink. Walked in subzero temps to and from the arena. That was fun too. Would you believe that the lacrosse team was actually on the field practicing??? BRRRRRRR.

Sat, second game against the Denver University team (the 12-U team, not the college team we watched the night before!) we won 10-0. More like ourselves. Kyle took two penalties and got two assists. (if you get hockey - Kyle took one for slashing a kid that had him hooked around the neck and the other was for coming to the defense of a teammate that was being roughed up. The second one he lucked out on, cause technically they could have thrown him out of the tournament for being the "third man" in on a fight. Both were retaliation penalties, which is something you generally don't want to see!)

Kids went back to the hotel and played in the snow from about 1 until 6. They did come in to eat lunch at some point but went right back out. Brrrrr. We sat in the bar and waited for them.

Sun, we had a game at 8 am. Ugh. That means leaving for the rink at 6:30 because of the snow and roads. Brrrr. Very cold. Kids played a team from Aspen. Won 11-0. We really thought the Colorado teams would be tougher. Sun afternoon we had to play our first quarterfinal game. We played Ogden Utah. Rumour has it that they knew they couldn't beat us, so they decided to come out and try to impede us - physically. We had two kids have to be carried off the ice. It was awful. Their parents were rude and the kids showed it. They played one of the worst games of hockey I've ever seen. The refs let the game get completely out of control. It was HORRIBLE. I was so thankful that Kyle backed off a bit. We won 13-1, and it could have been double that, but our coach was hoping if he backed the kids off, they might not get hit. The theory didn't work and the tournament director requested the game be called with 6 minutes left - which the refs chose not to do. I'm very thankful we got out of that game with all the kids intact and not seriously damaged. Oh yeah, one of their parents picked a fight with one of our dads, one of our moms and one of our coaches. Nice.

Monday brought sun!!!! And warmer temps!!!! And two more games. Our semifinal game was 7:15am against the first team we played, Littleton Red. The kids came in all fired up from the previous game against Ogden. We beat Littleton 6-0. Off to the finals!!! We barely had time to grab some breakfast and pack up our hotel room before heading back to the rink.

We played Glenwood for the title at 11:50am. It was a tough game. They were a very well disciplined team with great sportsmanship. It was nice to play that way after the previous day's game. First period, no score. Second period, we went up 2-0. The third period was tough. No score. But we held on and won. The kids truly earned it and deserved it.

You have to give our kids credit - 6 games over 4 days at 5000ft elevation, with all the late nights and playing in the snow, it's almost incredible they could put it all together and pull out a sweep. Impressive display scoring 47 goals and only giving up 4. We were very very proud of them!

Back to the hotel, finish up the packing and head to the airport. Got home at about midnight last night. Sigh. Tired. Feel like I've been run over by a truck.

Now this Saturday we head up to Flagstaff for two games, spend the night, and head home Sunday for a late afternoon game. Sigh. Welcome to travel hockey!!!!

PeeWee B Champs - Littleton

Kyle - snowboarding behind the hotel

#94 - Kyle after the goal!

Kyle at the DU Game