Sunday, September 6, 2015


I have really missed blogging lately.  I've been reading back over posts I've written and would have surely forgotten about had I not blogged about it.  I have several summer recap posts I'd like to 
get done but before I do that.....

I came across this post that I wrote five years ago and it 
made me laugh because not much has changed!  Just last night I took this picture of Brady exercising while he was watching the U.S. Open 

It's crazy, because back then I doubted that his drive and determination and his intensity for tennis could be sustained for a great length of time.  I also worried a good bit about the 
hours and energy he put into his sport.  I still worry some (I can't help it) but I've come to feel that if you are lucky enough 
to have such passion for should run with it!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Making The Most Of His Opportunity

We got a call (on the way home from our beach trip) from the Middle States USTA (U.S. Tennis Association) offering Brady a thousand dollar scholarship to go to the Adidas Tennis Camp at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia.  Wow.  Brady didn't hesitate with his response...even after I reminded him that he wouldn't know anyone at this week long camp.  Brady didn't care about the details...he was all in.  I, on the other hand needed more details...especially the one about the age of the other campers my twelve year old would be sleeping in the dorms with.

It's a strange feeling to send your growing child off to camp on his own.  Last year was actually his first time away....but it doesn't get any easier.  I prayed that he would conduct himself in a way that would make us proud.    I prayed that he would make good choices, that he would have fun, that the older kids he would be around would be good kids, and that he would brush his teeth everyday!  

Brady amazes me in the fact that he is so confident and really doesn't worry about much of anything.  He doesn't get nervous about not knowing people or fitting in or being in an unfamiliar place.  He has said before that it is good to get out of your "comfort zone." I think he has learned this by being alone out on the tennis court.

We told Brady a couple of times that he really needed to make the most of this opportunity that was given to him.  How lucky was he to get asked to go to this camp for free?  Eric wrote Brady a letter before camp...and I took a picture of part of the letter where Eric is explaining what it actually means to make the most of this opportunity...

Eric and I arrived at camp a little early yesterday  to see Brady to watch some tennis   We could tell right away that Brady was having a great time and that he had made some really good friends.  And although one of the youngest campers, it was clear that Brady was heads above the others in his skill level.  

Brady was given the hardest worker award.   He was the first one on the court everyday and was always motivated to work hard.  The campers had to walk from their dorm across campus to the tennis courts.  Brady said instead of walking he ran to the courts every day.  I can't say I'm surprised  he was given this award.....but I am proud.  
He works hard....and that's why I believe he was chosen for this scholarship.

One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.
 -Arthur Ashe

Thursday, July 16, 2015


What a busy month!
 I'm going to do a quick recap with pics from my phone.

Brady and his good friend Luke at the 6th grade picnic.

Brady and his other good friend Olivia.
Our two elementary schools got the 6th graders together for a picnic before they
head off to middle school in the fall.

Our last day walking into school/work together.  The last couple of weeks of school were hard
for me leading up to this day.  I will sure miss our car ride to and from school together everyday and
having him near me...and being able to keep an eye on him. ;)

A co-worker captured this moment.  I didn't know Brady put his arm
around me until I saw this picture.  :)

(And yes, he passed me in height a couple of months ago and has reminded
me of it everyday since!)

The morning of 6th grade graduation.

Love this kid.

Such a good group of kids....I'm going to miss seeing them everyday next year.

After graduation some of the kids and parents went to Friendly's for lunch.

Brady was in a really big tennis tournament.

I got a new iphone!  (kind of had to....mine died)

Washing the neighbor's car.

That same neighbor got two new chickens!

Eric and I did our annual Parade of Homes date!

We went to Ocean City, Maryland

We had perfect beach weather (HOT) all week!

I think we ended up spending more time at the pool than at the beach.

Brady's having lemonade...and Eric is talking to him about tips.

I was at the beach too. :)

Brady and I went to visit family in Ohio for a few days.  My mom's husband and my sister's
dad passed away (after a long illness) while we were on vacation.  Brady and I, and my sisters and 
our aunt spent one day working on my mom's yard, trimming shrubs, pulling weeds and planting flowers. I wish I had taken a picture afterwards.

Brady and I stayed at my Aunt Bonnie's mom's house was full.
  My mom and Aunt grew up in this house and after my grandparents were gone, my aunt purchased it.  I think she has owned it now close to 36 years and has lived here almost all of her life.  This house is so familiar to me and brings back so many memories every time I step inside.  My aunt has it fixed up so cute and takes such pride in her home...I love it.

We brought Grandma back to Pennsylvania with us and tried to keep her busy.
We played lots of Scrabble and Dominoes, went for ice cream, had a cookout, went
to a big thrift store, watched Brady play tennis, went to bingo, out to dinner and just visited.
It was nice having her here...but she was anxious to get back home and back to work.

I can't believe it's the middle of July already!  

I hope you're enjoying your summer!


Monday, April 27, 2015

First Day Of Kindergarten

August 25, 2008

I remember this milestone like it was last week.   
He was so little going off to that big elementary school all day.  He was excited and ready.  And, he shined.

Fast forward six grades and this elementary school chapter is coming to an end.  Tomorrow evening we will go to an unfamiliar building for middle school orientation.  I haven't let myself think too much about it....but as we approach this  last month of school, it's getting harder to ignore.
Once again, Brady is excited and ready.  
I love how he looks ahead to new experiences with a positive outlook...never with worry or doubt.  I wish I could be more like that.

This last month of school is sure to be busy and will fly by much like the last seven years have.   Middle school is right around the corner....whether I'm ready or not!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Science Invention

In September, the sixth graders were given the assignment to "invent" something.  They were given almost two months to complete the final assignment with a different part of that assignment- invention interviews, invention name, sketch, hypothesis, slide show, etc.)  due each week.  I think Brady took two of those weeks brainstorming ideas.  I was worried he wouldn't be able to come up with something.  We encouraged him to invent something that was of interest to him.  

Of course, he chose something tennis related. :)

He wanted to create a barrier to prevent tennis balls from hitting the fence and rolling back onto the court.  He believed this would help prevent injuries and make cleaning up the balls quicker.

Lots of tennis balls were hit to see how many would stay behind the barrier, 
how far away from the fence should the barrier be placed and how much quicker would it be to clean up all the balls.  It worked.

Push ups are not part of the experiment...but sometimes you just feel the need to do some...

Get it?  Venus fly trap- {Venus is a famous tennis player}...Venus ball trap.... 

I showed Brady how to cut letters and use them as stencils.  He cut the stencils and painted them on.

A simple invention really...but what made it really stand out was his oral presentation.  He asked us to listen to him practice over and over and over.  He was so excited to do his first speech ever in front of his class.  Eric and I laugh because he did not get this public speaking excitement from us that's for sure!  He told us after that first group of presenters went that everyone talked fast, looked at the floor and did not seem excited at all about their project.  

The morning of his presentation Brady begged me to take him to the store to get some fresh breath spray. (We have never bought this before!)   He said when his teacher asked him if he was ready....he would hold up a finger to wait a second, freshen his mouth and then he would say, "now I'm ready!"  He wanted to get everyone's attention and get a laugh.  Oh, that boy of ours....

Brady got an A on his invention and oral presentation. 

Last Tuesday Brady was invited to participate in the Curriculum Fair at the high school.
He presented his invention to a handful of teachers and administrators and even the superintendent.
He answered questions and spoke with such confidence.  We're so proud of him....when you put your best effort into what you're will always be proud of yourself.

Great job Brady!

Friday, February 13, 2015

6th Grade Basketball

Happy New Year!  Just kidding!  I know tomorrow is Valentine's Day...but I'm a lot behind on my blog.  One of my goals this year is to keep up a little better over here...and so far I'm not off to a very good start.  I miss keeping track of our memories...and I know my family who lives far away does too.  I'm going to try and catch up on this past year...even though it's old that I can start fresh.  I think being caught up will make me feel less overwhelmed...and that way I can document the the little things like I used to do.

Brady decided in November to try out for the 6th grade travel basketball team at his school.  He decided this about a week before tryouts.  We were a little surprised....and super excited.  Eric and I both played one sport in high school- basketball.  We were both very serious about it and played on top state teams.  Being a part of a team is fun...and something Brady hasn't gotten to experience much with least not until he gets to play on the high school team.

Brady made the team which meant two practices and two games per week.  Mix that in with his tennis schedule and we were running a bit ragged.  I forgot how long the basketball season is!  We (the parents) survived and Brady enjoyed everything that comes along with being a part of a team.  I became kind of the team "driver" carting kids who needed rides to games and practices.  Pizza and donuts and sleepovers and attending the high school games with his teammates made the experience all the more FUN!

Brady's team won one game all season.  Thankfully they were in a Christmas tournament and won two games so it didn't seem so bad.  Brady improved his game quite a bit from that first practice to the last game.  I think he made the team because of his height...and he was best at getting rebounds.  He averaged about 2pts a game and had a high game of 6pts.   He started and played most of the game...and still only had two fouls the entire season!  It was kind of a joke among the parents in the stands whether Brady would foul or not.  We even bribed him one game by telling him that if he got a foul, he could stay up past his bedtime.  He didn't do it...being aggressive I guess is not his thing.  His excuse was that he didn't want to "foul out"....but I think he just didn't want to risk hurting anyone!  

I think basketball was a humbling experience for him.  I could tell he was nervous at times out on the court...not always knowing where he should be or what he should be doing.  Such a big contrast from the tennis court.   Lots of good life lessons to be learned for sure.  He reminded us a couple of times that he was playing basketball just for "fun."  And FUN it was for him and for us!

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