Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Even Greater Appreciation

Hey, guys! I hope everyone's summers are going well and that you're wearing sunscreen. I've heard about several successes you guys have all had this summer in your different sports and stuff like that, and I'm really proud of you all. Please keep me updated.

Here I am on Saturday night at the game. I can't thank you all enough. We had an awesome time. Our seats that night were club level, and the ones on Sunday were down very close to the field. The hotel we stayed at was awesome also.

Saturday night was the Civil Rights Game. This is the first time the CRG has ever been a Major League game. As you guys remember from Social Studies, I'm sure, Civil Rights is the movement for equality amongst all people of all races and religions. That night, three people received awards for what they've done for the Civil Rights Movement: Hank Aaron, Bill Cosby, and Muhammad Ali. It was really neat to see. What was maybe even cooler than that was seeing Frank Robinson throw out the first ball to Tony Perez. Earlier in the day, former president Bill Clinton was in town and spoke at the Beacon Awards Luncheon, but I didn't find out about it until later (not that I would have been able to get in, but it would have been cool to see). The Civil Rights game is being played in Cincinnati next year too, and I'm going to be sure and be there for it. So even though they lost both games (I still have no idea what happened to Johnny Cueto on Saturday night), they were both still well worth the trip. And Saturday night they were giving away throwback jerseys, and on Sunday we got Reds neckties! I may actually have to wear a tie to school one day. Mr. Akin would die if he saw that, wouldn't he?

If you guys have any news or any travel stories, please send them my way and I'll post them here. As for me, I was at the AAU Karate Nationals last week, but I ended up not competing. I just acted as a coach this year. Next year I'll be in an older age bracket (yes, it doesn't end when you grow up, kiddos), and I'm going to compete again. There's something about being there and just watching everyone compete that makes you really itch to get out there and be a part of it, you know? I also got badly sunburnt, because I was dumb and didn't reapply my sunscreen because I "never burn anyway". How wrong I was! I'm still peeling. No matter how tan your skin is, wear sunscreen. SPF 450. And if you have pale skin, make sure you reapply your sunscreen every thirty seconds.

(Oh, and by the way, when I was flying back, we came down during a nasty storm. It was really REALLY bumpy, and the girl sitting next to me was puking [or "frothing", Michael] into her barf bag. It was gross. Just thought I'd throw that in there.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How We Found Hope

I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who came out to Relay for Life this last weekend. We raised a lot of money, and we just had a wonderful time out there, walking, getting tattooed, being locked up in jail, staying awake at all hours, sneaking the boys Diet Mountain Dew when they showed signs of drowsiness, watching them eventually succumb to fatigue in the strangest of places (the pole-vaulting mat?), and just enjoying each other's company.

Thank you to: Maria Spratford; Tom, Susan, and Madison Linkmeyer; John and Bernadette Hengesbach; Rusty and Kathy Carter (aka my parents); Susan and Hannah Woodhouse; Ann and Julie Larson; Janet, Kaitlyn, Josh, and Jacob Vahle; Kevin and Caroline Coss, Megan and Kate Elisha; Kaleigh Coltrain; Dino, Nancy, Alessandra, and Nick Sarpa; Matt and Laura Rhode; Michael and Christian Viktrup; Ryan Karpinski; Jim, Jennifer, and Jonah Simone; Jack Johnston; Patrick Hawkins; Danny Petruzzi; Jim, Jodi, Sarah, Phillip, and Will Weghorst, and anyone else whose name I neglected to mention! And please let me know if I skipped anyone--I can edit this post! Thank you to the Simones who brought us roughly 56,348 hotdogs to get us through the night, as well as for taking great pictures (like the one above). Thank you to Lisa Fox, who sold her jewelry on the track and gave the proceeds to the cause. Thank you to the boys who became a makeshift fire squadron during the luminary ceremony. Thank you to Christian, who sleep-walked all the way across the field at 5:00am to get us donuts. I especially want to thank Jodi. To call her my co-captain this year would make it sound like we each pulled an equal share, which isn't true at all seeing as how she did almost all of the prep work. You're the best.

Cancer patients present and future have you all to thank. Your work brought money to the American Cancer Society and, in turn, to a future hopefully free of cancer. I hope you all continue to have a fantastic and rewarding summer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So We Thought We Could Dance

I've said it before, guys, but this was a blast. Thank you.