Monday, June 18, 2018

Rachel Got a Golden Ticket!

Rachel has been participating in Hockey Academy twice a week.  It is a great program for developing skills to use in the game of hockey.  She has been very blessed that one of the coaches in her Hockey Academy just happens to be Brad Lukowich, a former NHL Dallas Star and two-time winner of the NHL Stanley Cup.  It is amazing that she is being coached by a former NHL player and Stanley Cup winner but all of that aside, she couldn't have a better coach.  Coach Brad is so good with kids.  He gives each of them his one-on-one attention.  He really pours his passion for hockey into the kids he coaches.

The Farmers Branch Star Center where we spend all of our free time has been a little crazy lately as they prepare to host hockey players from all over the country who are coming to Dallas for the NHL Draft this coming weekend.  They are also hosting an Xtreme Team hockey camp where Nicholas will be all week.  The rink is also having a special event on Thursday, June 21 called Texas Hockey Day.  There will be lots of free public skating, autograph sessions, a hockey clinic with the top NHL prospects, hockey games, a bounce house, and a lot more.  Coach Brad told Stuart he had nominated Rachel for a special, once-in-a-lifetime kind of event to take place on Texas Hockey Day but he didn't tell us more than that.  Stuart got a call from the Dallas Stars Executive Offices and he was told to bring Rachel to the offices on Monday at 2:15 to receive a package.  That's all she would say.  How exciting!!

We showed up in the autograph tunnel at the Frisco Star Center which is where we had been told to go.  There were six other kids and their families there.  Rachel was dying with anticipation!

Eventually we were escorted into a special access area and taken down a long hallway.

We were taken into the Executive Offices and saw lots of Dallas Stars signs everywhere.

We were told to go into this conference room.  Rachel was the first in line for the whole group and she walked in boldly, even with a camera man staring at her.

The kids all sat around a table wondering what was going to happen next.

And then....Marty Turco, former NHL Dallas Star goalie, appeared in the room!  He has the most wins of any Dallas Star goalie ever!

He talked to the kids about the upcoming Draft picks this weekend and he talked about Texas Hockey Day.  Then he said that someone important must really think they are special to have been invited there today.  Then he passed out an envelope to each child.  Inside the envelope was a Golden Ticket!

The Golden Ticket was a special invitation to participate in the NHL Top Draft Prospects hockey clinic on Texas Hockey Day.  This is an incredible opportunity for anyone that loves to play hockey (Stuart and Nicholas are so jealous!)  Rachel will receive a special jersey then she will participate in a hockey clinic where she will receive instruction from current NHL Dallas Star top players Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Ben Bishop!  There will also be the Top NHL Draft Prospects there as well as Dallas Stars Alumni and the Dallas Stars Xtreme Team!!

Everyone posed with Mr. Turco for some media pictures.

Rachel was excited to meet Marty Turco!

Stuart and I had brought along some things for signatures just in case so we got Mr. Turco to autograph two hockey pucks for us!

Back in the car, we were talking to Rachel about the Golden Ticket and she got so excited she fainted!  Just joking!  She is just a ham.

She is incredibly excited about this wonderful opportunity on Thursday.  We will be taking Nicholas to Xtreme Team camp that day for 8:30 and we will just stay there since Rachel is supposed to be there for 9:30.  There will be a lot of hockey fever at the rink that day since it will be Texas Hockey Day.  There will be events and special appearances by Dallas Star players all day long so we will probably just camp out at the rink all day to soak up all of the excitement.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Go Fish!

Now that summer is here, kids are ready to have some fun.  Keep them off those electronic devices and get them outdoors.  We had a great time this morning meeting friends at a local freshwater pond to go fishing.  The pond is located at Heritage Park in Flower Mound.  In addition to the pond, there are restrooms, a playground, and splash pad at the park.  But we were all about fishing today.

The pond has a large fountain so the water is well aerated for the fish living there. 

I enjoyed sitting by the waterfall because the sound of the rushing water was just so relaxing.

The older boys were great at helping the younger kids change bait and hooks and take the fish off the line once they were reeled in.

But really, all of the kids worked together to help each other.  It was a wonderful display of teamwork.

The kids caught about 18 fish this morning.  Most were sunfish.

But one of the boys caught this baby bass.  Wow!

The kids released everything they caught.  But they had a great time finding and catching them.

And nothing is better than enjoying a beautiful morning outdoors while catching fish too!

What was the most successful bait?  Hot pink Crappie Nibbles were a big hit.  The water is really clear and several kids were able to take off their bobbers and just fish by sight.

Nicholas has been fishing for years and has accumulated quite a nicely stocked tackle box over that time.  

However, if you have a pole, have your kids dig up some worms for bait and your fishing outing can be entirely free!  Kids under 17 years of age don't even need a Texas fishing license.

Fish aren't the only living things to enjoy at the pond though.  I did a mini-nature study on my own while the kids were fishing.  I found some wispy fountain grass growing around the edge of the water.

There were several bees out searching for their morning nectar.

This beautiful widow skimmer dragonfly hovered around and landed on some grass in the pond.

And one side of the pond has a beautiful patch of cattails.

So before the summer heat gets too extreme, find a pond and take your kids fishing.  Savor these days with your little ones and make some great summer memories.  The dishes and laundry and yard work can wait another day.