Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Playing at "The Ralph"

I could alternately title this one "the other thing that occupies most of our time," otherwise known as hockey. Nolan is a first year squirt and is on two teams this year. On Sunday we traveled to Grand Forks on a blustery/snowy day to the creme de la creme of the hockey world. Ralph Englestad Arena, known to many of us as "The Ralph" is a 110 million dollar hockey facility which is home to the University of North Dakota's fighting Sioux. Some of the accoutrements of the arena include granite concourses, seats made with leather and cherry wood, and full color LCD displays found throughout the venue.  I would venture to say it is a hockey mecca, one that we've made the trip to visit many times to watch the Sioux play, as well as some of our former high school players. Its a very high level of hockey, one our kids dream of playing one day.

So when we found out our squirt team was going to play in an adjoining arena at the Ralph, on olympic ice, our kids were beyond excited. I think it was worth going just to see the boys step on the ice for the first time, proudly wearing their Moorhead "M."

We're discovering hockey at the squirt level is full of newness. Playing on a team, keeping score, skating the full length of the ice, learning the game, trips to the penalty box, all of these things are new to us as parents and new to our kids as players. We didn't quite have it together on Sunday as a team. The game was not much of a contest and the other team won pretty decisively. But I don't think any of us will remember this experience because of the score of the game. I would say for many of our kids, the hockey dream just took flight, having played their first game at The Ralph.

And what do you follow up with after your first out of town hockey game? Why another game in town! We had exactly 90 minutes to get ourselves back to town for Colton's mite game, and then we capped off the evening with... another squirt game!

This week, while Rick is traveling, I will spend every night, and all weekend, at the rink with the boys. And you all were worried about what I would do without my girls to keep me busy... and now you know the rest of the story.




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What you do when the hockey game gets a bit uninteresting... pull out a book...
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... or just take a nap.
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The sun was setting through the swirls of snow. I enjoyed watching the silhouettes it made along the side of the road.

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16 comments:

  1. Great landscape pictures:) I hope you find time to rest between hockey practices this week!

    Thanks for the comment on my last post. I've spent the morning trying to come up with some ideas...nothing yet, but I'm not giving up. I did ask about payment arrangements, but they want full payment up front. The surgery is only $91 (the cheapest I've found it) but it might as well be a million dollars right now! Our animal shelter gives free vouchers for spay/neuter, but they require the animal to be healthy. Not the case for us:( & they won't make an exception for us:( We're still looking around though. Thanks for your prayers!

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  2. I have to show this post to my oldest son. He loves hockey. When he was 18 months old, he would watch all the games. His room was decorated with all hockey posters. The funny thing is that he never wanted to actually get on the ice. He plays street hockey all the time. Now at 12, he wants to get on skates and try for a team. He loves hockey so much. He and I are trying to maneuver around the ice rinks every chance we get now.

    The pictures are wonderful. I love the landscape ones especially.

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  3. What a devoted hockey mom!! Driving everyday through all kinds of weather. I'm sure you meet lots of other moms there like you and form some strong bonds. Winter, skating, hockey, snowballs, Christmas - isn't it great to live in the great white North?

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  5. That comment deleted was me...sigh.
    I can't seem to type or spell any more... :)) Sorry about the 'delete.'

    Vicky...That arena is the arena to end all arenas... My goodness!! I read the description and was thinking that you could be at the Bellagio or the Ritz...
    I would have stood there with my mouth drooped open...and would have given away (right away!) the fact that 'kuntry' had come to town (I'm talking about myself seeing "The Ralph" for the first time...) Wow! I would have been sooo excited to be with you all.
    I'm happy the boys had a great time...win or lose....It's so refreshing to see that they enjoyed themselves.
    You are a terrific Hockey Mother (Hockey Mom, I guess...to be politically correct..:)) )
    Everyone is posting their beauuuutiful snow photos!!! No fair!! We need to mow our grass...and you have that beautiful snow... The last photo is gorgeous....looks brrrr...brrrr cold!....but is gorgeous to me.
    Smiles to you, my friend.
    Jackie

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  6. I'm looking at your pics and thinking...gee that looks familiar! All the cold, flat land, blowing snow. Kudos to you for being such a great devoted fan!

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  7. Wow you sound full on busy!! but in a good way.

    What a great experience for your kids to play at this arena.

    I've never seen ice hockey played at any level but would like to if I am ever in the US or Canada, when it's hockey season.

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  8. your hockey stories are my old soccer stories, but I only had one child to deal with....
    I'm not sure how you do it !!!

    your sunset photos are wonderful...

    and any of your snow photos....well, you know how I feel about that crappy white stuff, but it's amazing how our readers out west or down south sure think the snow is cool....

    I think I need a vacation with sand and the sound of the ocean....

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  9. I know the area ... we must live in close proximity. I'm to the east in Minnesota.

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  10. What a beautiful hockey arena!!! No wonder they were thrilled!!! But what a busy time you are having!!!! You must be running constantly right now...but thankfully, you are never too busy to take your gorgeous photos...and to share them with us!!! Such beautiful snowy photos! Love you, Janine XO

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  11. Do you have great dental insurance for your kids? LOL
    Love the pics!

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  12. S. Etole, I am in the Minnesota side bordering Fargo! We are very close :) As usual I find out about the bloggers who live close to me through the ones who live far away from me!

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  13. Vicky! You are such a brave woman. Being of the fair-weather variety here in California I can't imagine all it takes to navigate so often with kiddos in that weather. I suppose you're all practically race car drivers in your expertise.

    GORGEOUS pics and I applaud your herculean effort for your family and friends. Really beautiful and I know you're used to it but that looks like a LOT of snow to me!!!! You snow dwellers are the people "White Christmas" was written about. :)

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  14. Wonderful pictures Vicky! As always :-) Thanks to you, I know something about North Dakota that I didn't know before :-)

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  15. Just stopped by to see what you are up to, dearest Vicky!!! I'm guessing...more hockey? Sending love and WARM hugs, Janine xx

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  16. You live in such a beautiful part of the country! I just love the pictures!

    How cool that they are able to play there! Awesome facilities! I wish I could ice skate..it looks like so much fun.

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