18. March 2014 · Comments Off on Chugging Right Along: Baseball, Skiing, and Scouts · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , ,
Timmy the catcher...again.

Timmy the catcher…again. His new coach’s son is also a catcher and his coach works hard on training them on techniques.

Yep, I’ve been scarce. I’ve been spending more time on my Facebook fan page than here, because I can pop up quick discussion items and engage with friends and fans that way.

That’s because baseball has started at the Vollmer house. And as the boys get older, their practice schedules become more intense. And as the practice becomes more intense, we are making more investments of time and protective equipment for them: new slider pants for Jacob, impact-resistant sports goggles for Timmy, a new catcher’s mitt for Timmy, a wheeled baseball bag for Jacob… More »

27. September 2013 · Comments Off on Colorado Discoveries 12: The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is in the old city hall. This museum reminded me of the Old Florida State Capitol.

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is in the old El Paso County Courthouse. This museum reminded me of the Old Florida State Capitol.

For a Cub Scout field trip, in mid-September our family visited the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum in the heart of downtown. The museum is free of charge (donations are always welcome), and has numerous artifacts from Colorado Springs’ past and current histories.

The interior of the museum is beautifully maintained, and most of the courthouse rooms have been repurposed into individual exhibit spaces. A couple of the rooms are still in tact as courtrooms and are used as multi-purpose auditoriums. During our visit we saw exhibits about the Waldo Canyon Fire of June 2012, the city’s Native American heritage, the history of the Colorado Springs area being used as a popular location for sanatoria, as well as a history of the city as told through photographs taken at the time.

The museum is located at 215 South Tejon St. in downtown Colorado Springs. Museum admission is free, but you have to pay to park either at the parking meters immediately surrounding the property, or else at the public parking garages nearby. Enjoy a few pictures from our visit.

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13. November 2012 · Comments Off on Veteran’s Day 2012 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Like a heel, I forgot to bring our good camera, but I was able to get a bunch of nice iPhone pictures of Pack 105’s participation in the Pensacola Veteran’s Day Parade.

First I have to show off these two pictures because they melted my heart!

The Scouts took turns carrying the flags…Timmy briefly carried the Pack 105 flag during the parade. The flags are very top heavy, so mainly older Scouts did this task, Timmy didn’t last very long at all.

This reminded me of the time Jacob carried the Pack 464 flag when we were in Bellevue, NE. He was a cute little Tiger scout at the time.

Now for this year’s event. I was the coordinator for our Pack this year, taking care of registering the Pack with the Gulf Coast Veteran’s Advocacy Council, and then setting up a meeting space for the Scouts and their families.

We don’t live super-close to Pensacola, so we only have a smaller group take part, but it’s so rewarding seeing the Scouts waving at the spectators. The older Scouts were noticing all the Veterans who were standing at attention saluting our group’s American flag.

These poor Scouts had to wait…and wait…and wait…for our position in the parade to start walking. There were over 100 entries and we were #83, phew!

Jacob and his friend Seth.

When we finally started marching, the kids were definitely ready to go! They were so busy looking at the spectators, we had a couple of crashes when the group in front of us stopped and we were completely paying attention.

After the parade, one of the den leaders held a class on proper use and display of the U.S. flag.

An awesome picture of the boys who stuck around for the flag class.


13. November 2012 · Comments Off on Camping and More Camping · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Just before I took my October trip to Nebraska the family did a Cub Scout Family Camping Event near Defuniak Springs. This is our 3rd time going to a Fam Camp event, so this time around the family could be more laid back.

The Cub Scout family camp experience includes the same activities: fishing, swimming, boating, leathercrafts, archery, BB guns, model rockets and lots of hiking.  Our pack included a night hike and a game of lightstick tag after dark. The scouts can come and go as they please, and the entire family can participate, even siblings!

2 weeks later, while I was in Nebraska, Dave took the boys back to Defuniak Springs for a “Webelos Weekend”. Jacob is a Webelos-rank Cub Scout, and this weekend was designed for the scouts to earn from numerous activity pins. Jacob earned two activity pins in one day during the weekend.

Enjoy some pictures!

Our camp setup. The weather was really wonderful, so even though we just got a screen wrap-around for our shelter, we didn’t need it all weekend.

I was testing hand-cranked/solar powered emergency radios by Eton Corp. for GeekMom. This one included a cell phone charger, it’s truly a for-emergencies-only charger. We could get about 2% charge on the phone.

Fam camp isn’t complete with Patricia’s latest Dutch Oven cooking experiments. The first night’s dessert failed miserably (a peach cobbler that didn’t set). This is a chicken and rice casserole turned out really well.

The finished meal. Here’s the recipe: http://papadutch.home.comcast.net/~papadutch/dutch-oven-recipe-chickenrice.htm . Unfortunately, now that our sons eat adult-sized portions, the 10″ diameter Dutch oven is ending up too small. It might be time for a larger one. The recipe was designed for a 12″ Dutch oven and things were VERY full in the one I had.

The boys devoured it!

The Family Camp tradition is a huge bonfire on the Saturday night of the event. Everyone gathers for skits and music. The fire was ENORMOUS! The kids enjoyed the skits a lot.

This was the setup from Webelos Weekend. Dave and the boys did this with NO HELP FROM ME!

Jacob being handsome.

This is from the opening ceremony. Jacob is towards the back on the left, facing us.

Pensacola went without a minor league baseball team for a season while this ballpark was under construction. This the Blue Wahoos' inaugural season.

After a day of the boys playing baseball, we headed out to downtown Pensacola for an evening with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos — the city’s brand new AA Minor League baseball team. They had a team called the Pelicans until 2010, but for summer 2011, there was no professional baseball in the area. We’re excited to have a team to watch locally now.

About a month ago, the local Boy Scout Council announced that May 5th was “Scout Night” with the Blue Wahoos. Unfortunately, the first two months of games was were nearly sold out and even within an hour of receiving the announcement about Scout Night, I couldn’t get 4 tickets together for the family. So I went ahead and got two sets of two tickets.

There was a Scout parade at 6pm but we didn’t get to the park in time. Instead, we chose to stop for dinner.

The park isn’t that big, it seats 5,000 people, so there weren’t really poor seats anywhere. We were at the very end of the first base line…which still gave us a good view of the game itself, but we could barely see the scoreboard. Jacob, our statistics boy, was trying to track the speeds of the pitches. More »

30. March 2012 · Comments Off on Alabama Discoveries 3: USS Alabama Battleship “Overnight Adventure” in Mobile · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
You can get an idea of how BIG the guns are on this ship.

This past weekend the boys had the opportunity to camp out on the USS Alabama battleship at its museum location in Mobile Bay.  This is something the organization does for Scout groups (and other groups) most weekends.

The USS Alabama trip is truly one of the highlights of the scout year for my boys’ pack.  I was the coordinator for the trip this year, even though females aren’t allowed to remain on the ship if it’s a male-booking.  Everything went surprisingly well; the kids and male chaperones seemed to have a great time!

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06. March 2012 · Comments Off on A Brief Family Update · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

Hello friends!  I have a lot to talk about — but I need time to sit down and just do it.  Things have gotten pretty busy here…between my involvement in the base Spouses’ Club and Cub Scouts, I’ve been spending more time with community work than ever before!

The boys started baseball a couple weeks ago (both boys), so that’s been keeping us busy too.  Their season will start after spring break.  No pictures yet, but I’ll get some soon, I promise!

Both boys earned their Cub Scout badges in February.  We are so proud!

Timmy’s face is painted as part of the ceremony for earning the badge.  The orange square badge is pinned on upside-down until he does a good deed.

Jacob’s face is painted too, but you aren’t really see it.  Jacob’s light-green badge is upside-down until he did a good deed.

I added one more layer to my already-crazy life, which I’ll write more about later.  Here’s a teaser for you:

Dave’s back surgery recovery has been continuing.  He was cleared at the beginning of February to resume exercise and he’s been slowly working back up to his Air Force fitness running requirements. I think he and Jacob could run a 5K together by May!  I’m hoping they can do the Sunset Stampede!  The boys and I did the run last year and it was a great time!

If you are either Dave’s or my Facebook friends, you will already know about our latest diversion — a new car for Dave!  For those who might not have realized, not long after we moved to Florida, Dave began looking at a “fun” car to enjoy on his 15-mile U.S. Highway 98 commutes between Navarre and Hurlburt Field.  I had convinced him that our household budget would appreciate his waiting about a year, which he patiently did.

Now that his back is feeling better, Dave is back to wanting to go out and explore the Florida panhandle.  I’m so excited to have my Dave back (no pun intended!)

So we spent much of February shopping for a convertible.  Between a nearly $10,000 trade for the Prius, and Dave keeping his search to a used model, this turned out pretty reasonable.

We looked at used BMWs, used Ford Mustangs and new Mini Coopers.  I want to thank my sons publicly for their tolerance of road tripping all over Pensacola, Crestview and Fort Walton Beach, test driving and sitting patiently while the grownups talked to the car dealers.

And here’s the new car:

Dave was particularly interested in a 2011-or-newer Mustang V6 for its exceptional mileage.

The very next day, Dave let me drive the new car with my friend Stephanie to Walt Disney World to run a half marathon (for another post), and after that weekend, the weather was absolutely LOUSY.  San Francisco-type fog rolling in waves from off the Gulf of Mexico for FIVE DAYS!  Starting this past Sunday, it’s been BEAUTIFUL and worth while to have a convertible.  We can’t wait till this spring!

So there’s a brief update on our lives — keeping up with our jobs, the kids and our community.


21. November 2011 · Comments Off on NaBloPoMo FAIL · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Why I FAILED to post yesterday, and thus FAILED at the NaBloPoMo contest for this year.

1.) I was playing Glitch quite a bit on Sunday.  I was trying to earn enough money for a super-big new house and that took about 3 hours of my day.

2.) I was busy with Cub Scouts.  Timmy’s den took a hike at the Naval Live Oaks nature area and then I spent some time catching up with planning afterwards.  Here’s a picture to enjoy!

After our hike we did leaf rubbings with discussed the kinds of trees we saw.

3.) Dave’s parents took us to a nice dinner at one of the family’s favorite restaurants, Mandarin Moon, in Gulf Breeze.

4.) I have a lot of TV to watch on Sunday nights!  Amazing Race, Dexter, and Boardwalk Empire are all on!  Typically I do my blogging during TV time in the evenings, but last night I think I was vegging more than usual.

5.) I just plain forgot.  It had crossed my mind to write more about the Naval Live Oaks hiking, but simply didn’t get to it.  I might still later today, I have some nice pictures from other times we’d been there, yesterday I only got a couple pictures.

14. November 2011 · Comments Off on I Love Men Who Can Cook! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,
There are so many skills to be learned when cooking: math, nutrition, chemistry, physics!

Dave Update:  We had a rough couple of days.  Incidentally, we had read another Axia-LIF patient’s online blog/diary/series of forum posts that read rather similarly.  At about the one-week point, the patient was feeling better, he thought he could move around a bit more.  But that was probably not the best idea.  So then at day 9, this patient was struck with the worst pain of his entire life.  Things calmed down for him by the two week point though.

Dave had a similar experience.  So we ended up at the ER on Thursday night from the muscular spasm pain — described by Dave as “10 out of 10” on the pain scale, and on Saturday night Dave experienced the same pain.  He said it made the pre-surgery back problems nothing at all.  These spasms were happening at about the same time of the evening (around 10:30-11:00pm).  Instead of going straight to the ER again on Saturday night, this time I called Dave’s doctor and we discussed why these muscle spasms were happening.  He’s speculating that the muscles have been so traumatized by the 8 1/2 years of back problems, they’ll need their own healing process.

In the meantime, we elected NOT to go the ER Saturday night, Dave took some ibuprofen and that actually seemed to help things quite a bit.  Up till Saturday night, he had NOT been taking any anti-inflammatories and taking some might have made all the difference.

Today was much better for him, hopefully we’re over the hump and he can continue healing.  It was certainly a challenge keeping positive Thursday – Saturday and it’s nice to be thinking happy thoughts again.

I Love Men Who Can Cook:  Dave had this week’s Bear Cub Scout den meeting at our house, the boys had a cooking/nutrition requirement and their normal meeting location didn’t have a kitchen readily available.  So the boys took over my kitchen.  I set out the ingredients and helped get the cookies in/out of the oven, but that’s all I did.  While the cookies were baking, the boys made some trail mix — each scout brought over a package of one ingredient: M&Ms, peanuts, raisins, dried cranberries, and cereal.  It was really good!

Oh I wish I had our real camera so I could better capture that egg falling into the bowl.  This was with my phone camera.

Okay, not the most attractive oatmeal cookies, but they sure were yummy!  I think the boys were scared of them!

Homemade trail mix – yum!

13. November 2011 · Comments Off on Veteran’s Day Parade Revisted · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

You know that picture from yesterday where I showed the kids getting interviewed for the Pensacola News Journal?  They led off on a small online story today!

Here’s the picture below, and here’s the story!  Enjoy!

And yes, the title really does say “Pensacola parade attracts hundreds.”  Hundreds.  Small town living we have here. 🙂

PS: I’ll give a Dave update tomorrow.  Hurrying to get this published before midnight!