Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Game Of Love

Brady was invited (for the second year) to a two week pre-season tennis practice/camp with the high school girls team across town.  The last two weeks of his summer were spent from 9am-Noon at the courts.  Of course you know he loved every minute he was there.  He picked up balls, helped with drills, ran the track with the girls, played lots of matches, and filled in wherever needed.  This year we're really excited because Eric is the assistant coach.  This past spring, Eric became certified in all of the U.S.T.A. coaches training classes.  Brady and are really proud of him.  Eric figured since he is at the court everyday working with Brady anyway....he might as well make it official!   Hopefully coaching will help pay for some of the costs that we try to keep up with while Brady is playing tennis. 

This picture makes me laugh.  The girls all make a big fuss over Brady...they argue who's team he will be on.  I'm sure Brady just eats it all up.  These two girls, Mikki and Shannon are juniors.  Brady met them at the court many evenings this summer.   See how embarrassed he is in that last picture?!

Brady asked if we could give the girls something on the last day of camp.  It was kind of a last minute we decided to give the girls hand sanitizer for their tennis bags.  Brady and Eric helped me peel off the labels.  We used Goo Gone...I highly recommend it!  The tennis balls were the only tennis stickers I could find.  The bottles were pretty plain looking, so I added some ribbon.  This is such a simple little gift that could be done for any sport.  Brady was thrilled to give them to the girls...and I couldn't believe how excited the girls were to get them.

The girls won their first match on Monday and after school today we'll be cheering them on in their second match.  We're in charge of bringing a I made these this afternoon:

I hope you're all having a wonderful week!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011


We knew it was a possibility.  We've been checking the weather all week for Flushing, New York.   This afternoon it was final,  the U.S. Open Kids Day would be cancelled.   Brady has shed quite a few tears the last couple of days.  My heart hurts for him.  It's the thing he wanted to do most this summer.  He has looked forward to it since this day last year.

  I know there's always next year.  But, next year is forever away for an eight year old.  I also know that disappointment is a part of life.  It's still hard to see your child disappointed.  That darn hurricane!   This let down has made me realize that Brady has had very few disappointments in his life so far, and for that I am thankful. 

So, I'm not sure what we will do tomorrow in its place.  I've been trying to think of something fun we can do (indoors)...but haven't come up with anything.  What could possibly top getting to see Roger Federer or getting Novak Djokavich's signature?  Or getting to hit with one of the pro's racquets?  Or clocking your serve speed?  Hitting with one of the top juniors in the world?   Or watching the pro's practice together?  I just don't think anything is going to top that for Brady.  Unless.....maybe......

We get a......


Ok, I'm just kidding.  (Don't worry Eric, I really am kidding)
Well.....sort of.  It is crazy to think of what you will do for your children.

You can read about our trip last summer to the U.S Open HERE.

There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.
~Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Counting Down and School Shopping

Brady is counting down the days until school starts.  He is ready and excited.  I think getting the man teacher he wanted has everything to do with this.  I on the otherhand (as usual) am not so excited.    I'm sad that summer is ending.  In it's place will be schedules and homework and bedtimes and packing lunches and waking up to an alarm clock.  Ugh.  I'm not a fan of change, and this year we have a new bus driver (loved the old one), a new principal (loved her too) and a man teacher.  Yikes.  Lots of change.  It won't take me long to get on board...what other choice is there?!  I think my biggest problem lies in the fact that going into a new school year means more growing and independence are sure to follow.  Sigh......

Brady and I headed out yesterday to do some school shopping.  I always look forward to doing this...just the two of us.  And even though Brady's not the best shopper, I have to say that this was our BEST year shopping thus far!  He only developed a slight headached after the 2nd store and wanted to stay in the van while I ran into the Gap Outlet, but I convinced him it was the last store before lunch.   We had planned on going to Friendly's for lunch...but then Brady had a last minute change of mind and we ended up at Cici's. 

At lunch, Brady told me:

~he's excited about having a bigger class this year.
~he's excited to learn his time tables.
~he's excited to learn cursive.
~he's excited to move to the big 3rd grade playground.
~and, he doesn't think I should make cookies and brownies and cupcakes for his teacher this year because it's not very "man-like".  (Really, is that true?  Well, I wouldn't want to embarrass him now would I?)

Oh, I'm going to miss this face being around all day!

To my soon to be 3rd grader...I hope this year is everything you're wanting it to be and more!

Six more days until school starts!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jumping On The Bandwagon

I finally tried quinoa (keen-wah) last week and I LOVE it!  You can read about it here if you need to know where it comes from and if it's a grain or not, etc.  I'm not really into explaining all of that.    A friend of mine who owns a grocery store had mentioned it to me awhile back, and then my friend Nicolle blogged about it a few weeks ago and since,  I've seen it on several other blogs.  What is all this quinoa talk about?  I needed to find out myself! 

So, last week I bought a bag of it at the grocery store.  I emailed Nicolle around lunchtime to tell her I was making quinoa and asked her a question.  I can't remember what my question was...but soon after I sent the email, the phone rang and it was her!!  I couldn't believe it!  She was so kind to call me to make sure I had figured it out.  We have emailed back and forth for over a year or so, but I finally was able to talk to her.  She is my first blog friend that I have actually talked to in person...well, you know what I mean!  I was so excited....we could have talked all afternoon...but she and her little boy had more exciting things to Chuck E. Cheese!  Thanks Nicolle for taking the time to call me!

Anyway, back to quinoa.  It really is easy to make.  You cook it like you would rice.  I made mine with chicken broth instead of water.  You can add whatever you like to it.  I love it with black beans and avacado...and maybe a teeny bit of sour cream!  I found this recipe for quinoa with garlic, pine nut and raisens.  I think I will try that one next!  The balsamic quinoa salad looks good too!

So, I definitely feel like I'm jumping on the quinoa bandwagon.

But you know what?!  If you haven't tried it, you should jump on too!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thumbprint Drawings

  I found this book at a garage sale this spring for 25 cents.  I thought it would be perfect for Brady those of us who are not very good at drawing!  The book shows you step by step how to make simple drawings using your thumbprint.  We finally got the book out yesterday and gave it a try. 

After we were done with our drawings, Brady asked if he could get the paint out and paint a picture.

It's so cute how he almost always draws the same picture every time.  Although in this picture it looks like it's a WINDY day! :)
See what I mean?  Not everyone can be artistically talented!

I found a newer version of the thumbprint book HERE.


Monday, August 15, 2011

My Cousin's Wedding

I took this picture for Brady.  He has never flown, and had lots of questions about what the clouds look like from the plane.  I'm sure people on the plane thought I was a little coo-coo taking pictures through the window.  I did not care.

As Eric and Brady were leaving the airport after dropping me off, Brady said, "I'm gonna miss that girl!" 

My cousins, Brad and Craig.

Craig and I are the same age and grew up together.  Craig is more like a brother to me and teases me constantly.  We were both only children until my sister came along when I was 10 and we were 12 when Brad was born.

Not the best picture...I didn't take many pictures of myself!
This was at the end of the night and I had let my hair down.
Craig teased me most of the evening about my Wilma Flinstone (beaded) necklace.  I'm not sure I will ever wear that necklace again!

This is my aunt Bonnie and Brad's daughter Laiken. 
 Bonnie and I got ready together before the wedding and had several "moments."  Bonnie
has always been like a second mom to me...but we're more like friends.  I've never seen
her look more beautiful.

Craig and his wife Bridget.
(Can you believe Bridget is 12 yrs. older than Craig and I? I tried to find out
what her secret is...but still don't have a clue!) Bridget may be the nicest girl I'veever known. No really, she will do anything for anybody, always.

Brad's beautiful wife Shanna.
She's so kind and sweet and funny.

 Brad's a police officer.  He served in Iraq and just returned from
Afghanistan this spring finishing up his duty.  We're all so proud
of him.   I don't think there was a dry eye in the entire room during
Craig's best man speech.

It was such a FUN wedding...lots of dancing and laughing.  My four days in Arizona went fast.  Thank goodness for cell phones.  I called home several times each day which made me feel not so far away.
  I enjoyed relaxing and catching up with family by the pool. 
I ate at My Big Fat Greek Restuarant, Chipotle, In and Out Burger and Smash Burger.   It's a good thing I don't live in Arizona...I would be big as a house!  Brad and Shanna were married on Saturday, and on Sunday they had us all over to their house for a cookout.  Crazy kids! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ten on Ten {August}

Ten pictures in ten hours capturing the beauty in the ordinary moments.

Is it really the tenth of August already?  Please summer, slow down....I do not want you to end.
I debated about participating in ten on ten.  I mean, it feels like I take the same old pictures everytime the tenth rolls around.  But, since I've been neglecting my blog all summer long...and this is our life...I decided, what the heck.   Here goes....

Happy tenth everyone!

You can find more ten on tens HERE.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Adding Some Color

Our chairs were looking a little a little drab so I decided to spruce them up a bit.
What I'd really like is a new patio...but this will have to do for the time being!

The change isn' too drastic...but it does give our patio a little color.

This is the second time we've painted these chairs.
I found a picture of my little helper the last time we painted them!

*I'm leaving tomorrow for Arizona for my cousin's wedding.  I'm excited and anxious.  I broke out in hives yesterday.  I've never been away from Brady for more than two days before...I'm sure he will be fine, he and Eric have lots of fun stuff planned to do together.  Hopefully they miss me a little bit.  I will catch up on everyone's blogs next week!

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