Sing Loud for the Sunshine…

Hello and welcome to another entry of the Scheu Family Blog. We spent the final week of summer vacation enjoying all the sunshine. We didn’t care too much for the humidity early in the week but loved the warm weather, which allowed us to get outside and enjoy our time off. Luke began his third football season. Abby continued to focus on what I believe is her twelfth year of dance. Matt enjoyed making more cash before he leaves for school. And we finally got away for a little while as a family – our first in a couple years.
It rained all night and into Monday morning. Fortunately it had stopped by the time I headed in to work. It was extremely humid all day with a heat index over 100°. Ann enjoyed her first day of vacation. Luke got back from camping and then stayed at the Messer’s until football practice, where I met up with him, Drew & Bryan. Bryan will be head coach this year again. Coach Nobbe is going to take on the offense this year, which allow Bryan to focus more on the linemen where we really need help. He may also do the defense. Right now he wants me to do the defense again, but he was asked to have the boys use the high school’s defense, with which I have issues. Although I don’t mind a 4-3 defense in certain situations, I personally disagree with it is a base defense – especially at this age and with the group of boys that make up our team. We had a dozen boys that night. That will not be enough to have a competitive team this year. Hopefully a dozen is the lowest number we get to practice this year. We took plenty of water breaks that night and actually had a great first practice. We have three or four new boys this year. There are several boys that we were disappointed not to see, though we weren’t completely shocked. Ann and Abby went on a shopping spree all day. Matt (who got in sometime after 3 am this morning from his concert at Deer Creek) ended up taking the day off to catch up on sleep. When he eventually woke up, he wound up going to Cincinnati with his friends to go check out some big arcade…only to be disappointed to learn that it is closed on Mondays! They ended up hitting a couple malls and got home later that night. It was cool to have all the kids sit with us in the living room that night and share all their experiences from this past weekend.
Ann was off again on Tuesday. Her knee that she injured on the 4th of July seems to be getting worse. She began icing it that night. It was my last day of work this week and was absolutely crazy as I wrapped up all our month end stuff, did our monthly rounds and tied up loose ends on our current projects. Abby had Pirateers practice that evening, where she learned that her coach was leaving the team after taking the job just one year ago. Luke & I again had football practice. Although we need to discuss it more at one of our famous coaches meeting, Coach Messer and I came to an agreement about defense that may keep me on-board for one more year at the defensive helm. It was again a sweltering armpit of a night. We were disappointed that we only had 10 kids there to practice. This is the issue we ran in to last year, where we don’t even have enough kids to hold a basic practice. We were hoping that our numbers would go up, not down. I’m not sure what Luke will do if our numbers don’t improve. He continues to show an interest in soccer, which may be a real alternative if things don’t improve. The league has done everything it can to promote participation in the sport. It is free to play. It is in a competitive league. We play on Saturdays instead of Sundays. And still the lack of enthusiasm for the sport in this town is pitiful and quite discouraging…especially given Bryan & I’s childhood experience with the sport in our own hometowns. That night we did would we could, again focusing on fitness, agility and technique with the line. Meanwhile, the skills positions worked with Coach Nobbe. I was wiped-out when we finally got home that night. We were supposed to have a coaches meeting at Messer’s Bar that night but I ended up showering, eating and falling asleep on the couch. Meanwhile, Matt had his buddies over to hangout in the family room, playing Xbox 1. We learned that evening that Coach Cochran was also stepping down as a coach at the high school wrestling team. He was instrumental in Matthew’s development of a wrestler and helped sculpt him and the other boys in to fine young men. We were looking forward to Luke working with him. The program will obviously miss him and we wish him and his expanding family all the best in their future endeavors as he is able to move back and teach at his alma mater. We have several new social media pictures to share this week: Matt & Colton at Deer Creek; Abby at the Cheesecake Factory; Matt & I at IMS; Keith teaching Luke how to fly his drone; Luke with Megan; Gracie’s new ‘do; Barn & Steph at Fenway; Lynz at Red Rocks; Haley & Ryan in Chicago; Seth in Hawaii; Brody at the track; Reese with her first dance award; Bryan & Angie in their front yard and the view from their back yard; Jeff’s car at his final IMS appearance; a couple new Hot Wheels cars; it’s Bustock time again; Keith, Rose & Megan at Cedar Point; more cousin love; Bu, new Zep releases; the guilty party’s tweet after Matt’s accident; Bailey’s senior pictures and a throwback picture for Ryan’s birthday this week.

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It was an early morning for us on Wednesday as we packed up the cars and headed south to our favorite theme park, Holiday World. It had been a couple years since we were able to make it back down to Santa Claus, down close to Kentucky. This year we did it a little different, allowing the kids to each take a friend with them. Thanks to Abby for scoring the tickets this year from Gigi. Luke brought along Alex, Abby had Noah and Colton accompanied Matt. Ann & I had the little boys with us and Matt followed us with all the teenagers in Bebe. Both cars performed well and it was a good learning experience for Matt, his first long drive behind the wheel of his own car. We left a little early so we could take our time and we got it just right as we walked in as the park opened. As normal, we started in Halloween Land and worked our way around the park. Following tradition, our first ride was on the Raven. Always a great coaster, it was a perfect way to begin the day. We stayed in Halloween Land and next rode the Legend. Newer and bigger that the Raven, I had forgotten how fast this one gets going and it really beat me up this year, more so than I remember in the past. We next hoofed it over to Thanksgiving Land to ride the new coaster, called the Thunderbird. This was is a bit different for Holiday World. Although equally cool as the others, this one sets itself apart due to being a steel coaster. As such, it was very smooth and I could’ve easily ridden this one all day and been happy. It is only the 4th wing coaster in the US! It may be my new favorite coaster, but I will have to ride a few more times before it unseats the Voyage, which wasn’t even open when we entered the park. At that point in the day, the heat was absolutely stifling so we headed inside for lunch at Plymouth Rock Café. Although the food was just OK, the service was outstanding. The staff worked with us to look at all the ingredients in the foods Luke wanted as well as going the extra mile by freshly preparing his meal as we waited. After the short break, we were thrilled to hear that they had opened the park’s longest coaster ride and even happier to see that the line was nearly non-existent. The Voyage did not disappoint and was an awesome ride that everyone loved! By the time we finished, we couldn’t take the heat any longer and headed over to Splashin’ Safari to cool off. Of course our first stop was in the lazy river for a couple laps before leaving Ann there and heading over to the Jungle Racer where we always have fun. Although Matt thought he was going to be victorious this year, it was the old man that proved everyone wrong by taking home the title and bragging rights for another year! We grabbed some fluids and headed over to ride the Zoombabwe where it was unbearably hot. We waited in line, climbing five flights of stairs in the 120°+ heat for 45 minutes. It was hard to breathe and the stairs burned our feet. The ride itself was even hotter – the tunnel was probably 20 degrees warmer and we determined that wait was not worth the payoff so we abandoned the rest of these types of rides. We again took a fluid break when we heard the first severe weather warnings so we headed back to meet up with Ann. The weather quickly subsided so we all headed over to the Bahari wave pool where we met up with Bailey for a while. After spending an hour or so there, we went to the Mammoth – one of the few rides we’ve not been on in the park. We waited for about a half hour before we found ourselves at the front of the line. Wouldn’t you know it, the severe weather horns sounded again for lightning in the area and they shut the ride down for safety. We decided to wait it out and spent an additional 30 minutes before it finally blew past and they reopened the ride. This one was worth the wait, being the biggest water coaster in the park and one of the longest in the country. It got us soaked and cooled us back down after waiting in line for so long. At that point we were pretty worn out and decided to call it a day. On our way over to meet up with Ann again, we noticed that there was no line on the Bakuli (toilet bowl) so we rode that one real quick and then headed back to the main park. We hit 4th of July Land so the boys could play some different games and then up to Christmas Land for shopping and of course a picture with the giant Santa before heading out. We had time to do a little more but we were exhausted, sun-burned, hungry and knew that we had a very long drive ahead of us. Plus leaving a little early allowed us to stop at Cracker Barrel for dinner, just before they closed. Luke missed football practice and I later learned that we only had six boys turn out that night, not a good sign for the future of this year’s team…

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I took the day off on Thursday to recover after yesterday’s adventure. Ann did as well but still had to be up early for a doctor appointment in Indy. Abby kept her company and then the two of them spent the day shopping. Ann’s knee continued to degrade – shopping all day seemed to not help much for some unknown reason. She again iced and elevated it that night and made an appointment to have hit looked at next week. Luke mowed the lawn while I nursed my Achilles and inner thighs on the porch with a cold drink in my hand. He did a great job, too! For thanks for his help I increased his allowance this month, allowing him to purchase a drone he had been wanting since he flew Keith’s last weekend. We ran a few errands and later flew his big RC helicopter out at the airport. It was a little too windy and unfortunately only survived one mission. It ended up 100 yards away and went nearly 300 feet high until it ran out of range and plummeted to the earth. Thankfully Luke saved it at the very last moment and minimized the damage but still the broken rotor was enough to send us packing only 5 minutes after we arrived. Next Luke & I showered while Ann stayed in and rested her knee and then we ran Abby to Pirateers before heading to junior high school orientation. It was good for him to hear some of the differences coming for him next week. We also walked his schedule and worked on opening his locker. Our football practice was cancelled due to the school function.
We enjoyed our final day of vacation on Friday. Well, Matt had to work, so not everyone enjoyed the day…especially when he and Bebe got in a wreck during work! Thankfully it was just a fender-bender and did very little damage. The same could not be said for his buddies that rear-ended him. Again, it was one of those damn learning experiences for him. Abby went with Bailey to the city pool for the afternoon. It wasn’t long before we got a text saying that the Messers were there so Luke & I decided to let Ann sleep and rest her knee while we headed out to the pool for the first and likely only time this summer. Luke ran around with Drew and Jeremy while Bu was with Bailey and Hannah. I joined the kids for a while before taking in the sun with Angie from the deck. We took a break to hit the Sweet Shoppe for ice cream (they have wonderful chocolate malts!) and the boys played a round of putt-putt golf. Afterwards we swam a little while longer before calling it a day. Abby drove us out to drop off Drew and pick up Luke’s bike and then brought us home again. Luke & I both got a little too much sun and ended up pretty pink and burned. His siblings of course exploited his sunburn with a few slaps when he smarted off, which made for an entertaining evening. Ann called the insurance company for Matt and I inspected Bebe’s body, frame and undercarriage. Thankfully Matt just needs to buff out a couple scratches and black marks from the back bumper. It should clean up nicely with a little effort. Luke & I repaired the truck’s coolant system which had been leaking badly and then the boys got carryout from Koch’s for dinner. Ann and I chilled the rest of the night, watching movies on the couch.

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We slept in on Saturday morning and took it easy all day. I enjoyed listening to all the new music released yesterday – Jimmy Page’s final three re-releases of the Led Zeppelin studio LPs – Presence, ITTOD and Coda! In addition, the long-awaited Stones’ Sticky Fingers re-release also came out – though I had already heard most of it online. And Bonamassa’s new record came out as well. I couldn’t help but get them all and put them on my iPod for work next week. Of course, I am listening to the new Zep material now as I write this entry! Danny & Stacy couldn’t make it down as planned, so we ran a few errands, watched movies and later that night went to a party at our friends’ house, Pat & Shawna, to celebrate her big four-oh. We had a blast, enjoying beverages and laughing loudly with our friends. Angie & I dominated the cornhole tournament, though Bryan did eventually beat us when it was pitch black. Luke & Drew pretty much spent the night in the pool. And Abby ran with Miles, Wesley & the boys – spending much of the evening touring the neighborhood on their golf cart. The Miller Lite on tap went down easy. We killed the first one quickly and were well into the 2nd shortly before we left. They also had some crick water, which equally went down smooth on a beautiful late summer night. Thanks to Bu for driving us home safety that night!
Sunday allowed us to sleep in again, which was very nice. Ann & Bu got going first, meeting up with Amy & Bailey and going shopping in Cincy all day. The boys and I took it easy and did our weekly household chores. I got to watch my recorded sports in peace: the three NASCAR races from this weekend as well as the UFC fights from last night. It was a very relaxing end to an exciting week. We will miss summer, but I think we made some good memories this week that should last for many years…

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Next up is our Waybac segment which continues to feature family photo albums from Matt’s first few years. We lead off this week with Kevin & Lavonne as well as Dee over to our house to meet Matthew in Columbus in March of ’96; then Matt climbing the stairs and being fed by Daddy in October ’96; next is Matt at Grandma & Gigi’s house with Aunt Dee & Uncle Chad as well as Martha & Memaw in April, 1997; then Dad B with Uncle Dan as well as Dee & Chad and baby Matt and his first look at the famous tree-in-the-tower, all taken in November 1997; next we go to April ’98 for Matt waking up to his Easter basket next to his race car bed and then posing with Mommy downstairs on Main St.; then a cute one of young, Master Matthew followed by pictures of another fun party at the Drew’s in Brown Co. in late October ’98.

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And our final segment has this week’s videos; we have one new family video and several from around the internet.

And that does it for this week’s edition of the Scheu Family Blog. Thanks again for keeping up with us this time out and we’ll catch up with you again next time. Until then, have a good one. We miss ya, Mom.
Later, Scheu

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