Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Greenville Drive!

Craig's boss, Ronnie, gave us four tickets to go see our local semi-pro baseball team, the Greenville Drive on Monday afternoon! Drew and Mikayla had been looking forward to this game all weekend long. They couldn't wait to get their to see these "big guys" play! We wish the score had been a little different at the end (the Drive lost 4 - 0), but we sure had fun watching them play! My beautiful girl on the way to the stadium! Look at those pretty eyes!
Drew poses with this "baseball clown"! This guy was super nice, and he sure knows how to get the crowd into the game!
Greenville's mascot Reedy Rippit!Drew and Mikayla cheer on the team!Drew gives Reedy a high five!Mikayla and Craig run the bases after the game!Drew runs the bases after the game - little one in the red shirt! They loved this part!

Swimming at Mimi and Poppi's!

Well, it's not exactly summer yet (it will officially begin for us in 3 days, but whose counting?), but we enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Mimi and Poppi's pool! After church, we decided to take the kids to Simpsonville where they have the annual Freedom Weekend Aloft to see if we could spot some hot air balloons. When we got there we couldn't see the first one, and when we asked, we were told they usually take off first thing in the morning and then early evening. We decided instead of waiting to come on home and we would enjoy the day in the pool. Drew, Mikayla, and I hadn't been out there very long when Jennie and her boyfriend BJ joined us. The water was still very cold, but it was a nice relief from the hot temperature outside!

Mikayla jumps off the side of the pool. She is tall enough this year to touch in the shallow end! I love this picture. I snapped as her feet hit the water!

BJ taught Drew how to jump high off the diving board. You can see he's not wearing any floatation device. He was able to do this last year as well, but only when it wasn't just me and them. This year he will be able to go without floats all the time.

Mommy's glad BJ didn't decide to teach Drew to do this!! He reminds me so much of my brother. Jonathan has always been a dare devil, and don't think Drew didn't ask BJ how he did that. We told him he has several years (more like decades) to learn!

Jennie takes a break from swimming to catch a few rays!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Strawberry Hill U.S.A.

Rows and rows of strawberries - YUMMM!
After Drew's game on Saturday, we went to Highway 11 Restaurant (one of my favorites - they have the best salads) for lunch. We had to have Mikayla at her dance studio at 1 to practice the finale dance for her recital and we had a little time before that so after lunch we stopped at Strawberry Hill. We had been wanting to get some more strawberries and they also have peaches which are Craig's favorite.
We didn't have time to pick our own, but Drew and Mikayla had fun "picking" out a bucket to bring home. We plan to go again when we have more time, so that we can pick as a family!

One of Drew and Mikayla's favorite parts of our visit to Strawberry Hill today was rolling down this HUGE hill! They laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I'm so glad we took this time for them to do this. It is important that our children have a chance to enjoy the simple things - their childhoods have to be so different from mine and Craig's because our world has changed so much. It makes me smile to see them experiencing things like this!

We had so much fun, and we can't wait to go back!

Saturday Baseball!

We had to be at the ball fields this past Saturday at 9:00 for another game! We LOVE baseball!! Drew's team was playing a team they hadn't played yet this season (this was a make-up game that was cancelled because of rain). This team had not lost a game all season, and our team was winning in the first two innings. Their were many guys on the other team we knew - Garrett, Zachary, and Jeffrey. Two of the coaches for the other team had coached Drew in basketball - in fact the head coach on the other team (his coach from last year's basketball team) tried to draft Drew but said Drew was the first child drafted and he couldn't get him! That makes a mama smile!!

Drew played excellent at first base during this game - not letting a ball hit his way get past him (he hasn't let one get past him all season)! One that was hit his way, was hit very hard, and Craig said he didn't think he would be able to stop it. Drew did and got the little guy out at first! He and Cameron (our little guy that plays the circle where the pitcher would stand) also connected several times to get outs at first. Drew even made me so proud by coming off the bag to stop a bad throw and still got the out!! A lady sitting beside me said to me after she found out Drew was mine (it isn't too hard to tell!) "he's a good ball player". I told her "thank you - he sure loves it", and she said "he's real good, I was watching him the last time I came". Craig said the coaches for the other team also talked about what a good defensive player he is. It makes me feel so good when people compliment both Drew and Mikayla, but at the same time it is so hard for me to accept compliments - I never know what to say other than "thank you", and I certainly don't want to be/sound conceited!
Drew also got his ninth home run of the season his first at bat of this game! The two coaches on the other team told Craig, "boy he smacked that ball didn't he?" When Drew got up to bat his second time of the game, Craig said fans for the other team (he coaches first base and they were in that dugout) were yelling "back up, back up this is the good batter". Drew hit a hard foul ball his second at bat, but ended up striking out. I still couldn't have been more proud - especially when he doesn't let that upset him like he would a couple of years ago!
Drew and his team have 3 games this week! We play two make-up games Tuesday night and Wednesday night and we play in a tournament on Thursday night! Gooooooo Golden Gophers!!

Baseball Updates!

It has been awhile since I have posted a baseball update, and I wanted to before I posted about this past Saturday's game! Last Saturday, before Mikayla's pageant, we had to be at the ball field for Drew's game at 9:00. Drew and his teammates played very well, but we lost the game. We haven't won a game since the Jamboree, but Drew smiles and hasn't let it upset him. We are so pleased that he's playing his best. He batted 2 for 2 at this game with 2 singles! He also was able to get some outs at first base! We are so proud of our team, and especially Drew's attitude this season! I didn't get any pictures from that game because I was using the video camera. As soon as I figure out how to get part of a video on here I hope to add it. I will have to find a part that you don't hear so much of my loud mouth! :)

Drew also had a game last Tuesday, May 20 We got to the ball field with the sky looking pretty dark. Drew took some practice bats with Craig while we waited on the rest of our team to arrive.

Our team had gotten three outs against the other team and had come in to bat when we started hearing thunder in the distance. Since it was far away, the umpire decided to let our kids go ahead and bat. We made it about half way through our batting order with all of our kids getting on base except one. Drew got his eighth home run of the season!! With one out and several runs scored, close lightening had the umpire getting everyone to leave the stadium (us parents were grateful). He asked everyone to stay in their cars until he could see if we would be able to finish. It was raining so hard, and even hailing. After the storm passed the field was too flooded to continue with our game so the umpire called it. We will be resuming this game (everything will start just as it ended Tuesday night) this Wednesday night at 6:00. Drew can't wait. I just hope our team plays as good as they were that night!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2008 Miss/Mr. Rising Star Pageant!

Today was the 2008 Miss/Mr. Rising Star Pageant. Mikayla did not compete this year because she was crowned 2007 Petite Miss Rising Star in last year's pageant! She was part of the pageant this year as she had to crown this year's winner. She also participated in the opening dance number, held the basket so the petite contestants could draw their on-stage question, and took her "final walk" as 2007 Petite Miss Rising Star. We only had to change her clothes once this year compared to 4 times last year, so it was so much less stressful this year (for mommy). Mikayla had so much fun last year, and I think she may have been a little sad not to be competing this year. Also, as part of this year's pageant, the 2007 queens (Petite, Junior, and Pre-Teen) each performed a talent while the judges tabulated their scores. Mikayla did not perform a talent in last year's pageant so I was a little unsure of this. Until this Thursday the plan was for Mikayla to perform one of her dances from this year's recital. Thursday, she decided she wanted to sing "You Are My Sunshine" like Abbi did at last year's pageant. Miss Andrea said that would be fine and had her practiced singing in class on Thursday and Friday nights.

This is video (I hope it works) of Mikayla singing at the pageant. The lighting is a little dark (I should have used the light on my camcorder), but the sweetest thing is her voice and that's clearly on the video. (I can't get the video to load just right - I'm trying to get help so check back later...) She did such an outstanding job and we were all so proud of her. Ms. Andrea even announced to the audience after Miki sang that a year and a half ago Mikayla would not have even gone on that stage by herself, and now she's singing without music (I know this has a specific name, but I can't spell it). I wish I had gotten Ms. Andrea saying that on my video, but it will be on the one we purchase. She also mentioned to me after the pageant how proud she was of Mikayla singing that song. She said she was loud so everyone could hear her - and she sang perfectly. A lady came up to me after the pageant and said "I can't believe she is only 4 - she is so poised". "She crowned those contestants just like the older "queens" did. Wow! What a compliment for my " baby girl". I must say she is very mature for her age! Mikayla was able to crown her friend Jadyn as this year's Petite Miss Rising Star which they both loved!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Pool, Finally!!

My dad and mom opened their pool a week and a half ago and Drew and Mikayla were determined to get in this weekend. Saturday evening we went over to Mimi and Poppi's house and I told Drew and Mikayla that they could stick their feet in. I should have known they would get more than their feet wet - Drew even had on his bathing suit. The water was still very cold so we didn't go swimming, but we are hoping for pretty weather this weekend, because we can't wait!

Another Game!

On Saturday, Drew had another baseball game. We played an extremely tough team, but our guys stayed in the game and came back in the last inning to score some runs. Poppi, Jonathan, and Jessica all came to see Drew play! We didn't win, but they sure had fun playing!! Gooooo Golden Gophers!
Drew struck out his first time at bat - my brother was catching and said he just got too excited. His second time at bat he got a double and scored a run! We didn't get many outs at first base on Saturday - those boys on the other team could hit the ball. This game brought Drew's totals to 12 for 16 with 7 home runs - still not bad if I do say so myself. We have another game tomorrow night, and we hope those Gophers get a win!! We will see...

Mother's Tea!

The mothers in Mikayla's class at my school were invited into their classroom for a Mother's Tea on Friday. Mikayla met me in the hall and walked me into the classroom to show me where to sit. Mikayla and all of the other children stood to sing a song (Thank you Mother) that they had learned for us! Then they sat back down so we could all watch a slide show of pictures that had been taken all throughout this year - the teachers had set them to music. I started crying as soon as the song "Your Gonna Miss This" came on and didn't stop as the next song to play was "I Hope You Dance". Luckily I wasn't the only mommy in there wiping their tears away! After we enjoyed the slide show we enjoyed some snacks and tea with our children. Then after taking a photo with Mikayla I had to get back to my classroom. In the picture above Mikayla poses with some of her friends from school at the end of the tea! I had so much fun spending some time in her classroom. Ohhhh I almost forgot - Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Hayes had the students answer some questions about their mommies. One of the sentences was "My mommy is ______ years old." I was so afraid that Mikayla would say I was 88, but she didn't.
My Mommy
She is 28 years old.
Her favorite color is purple.
She likes to eat shrimp.
She likes to bowl.
As you can see my Mikayla knows me pretty well as all of those are correct!!

Student of the Month!

Mikayla is the May Student of the Month in her class at daycare. She came home with a note in April asking us to send in pictures to be displayed on their "wall of fame" in the classroom. I was so excited, but those of you who know me know that it took quite awhile for me to decide which pictures to send because I take so many. I wanted to make sure that I had some from different age groups, that I had some with her favorite people, and some of her participating in her activities. Craig asked me several times during this process "what are you doing?". Or he would answer "it's up to you" when I asked him what he thought. As I looked back at pictures of "our baby girl", it reminded me that she's not really a baby anymore. I can't believe my "baby" will be in kindergarten next year. Exciting and sad all at the same time. It seems like just yesterday she was walking in with daddy and I as we took Drew for his first day of kindergarten. Here is our "baby girl" as student of the month - that's right, you guessed it - more pictures!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hannah Montana!!

Last night was kids night at our local Pizza Inn and they were scheduled to have Hannah Montana and her best friend (side kick) Lola there signing autographs and singing! When Drew and Mikayla found this out there was no turning back - they LOVE Hannah Montana. Drew asked if Robbie Ray would be there (those that have watched know that this is actually Billy Ray, Miley Cyrus' dad). Drew (who only knows him as "Robbie Ray") said "I'm his biggest fan". We arrived at Pizza Inn early to beat the crowd. We also wanted to have time to eat so that as soon as they had a chance to see (and take pictures with) the star of the night we would be ready to go. Not wanting to upset Mikayla, we did not mention that this would be a "dressed up" Hannah Montana, not the "real one". When Hannah and Lola finally arrived, Mikayla was too bashful to go up and see them. I went into the little game room to let Drew know that they were here and that I needed him to go with Mikayla to get their picture taken he says "SHE"S FAKE", obviously not happy about this. I got so tickled, I wasn't sure how to respond. I said "Mikayla doesn't know she is, so will you please go with your sister?" He wouldn't, but as you can see from the pictures, Mikayla warmed up to the idea and went by herself!! She said in the van on the way home that it was a fake Hannah Montana, but it didn't seem to bother her as much as it bothered her brother. She still had fun!!

Mikayla poses with Hannah Montana and Lola!

Drew plays the video games - he would not come out of the game room to see the characters. Don't let this smile fool you - he was extremely upset that THEY'RE FAKE!!!

Mikayla sits with the "stars" to have a photo taken! My kids LOVE Hannah Montana - I guess the next time she comes near here we will be getting tickets...

It was so fun to see their reaction to this - I couldn't get over Drew!! When we got home he said "mom, I wanted to sing". I said "Drew I tried to get you to go up there". Maybe next time...

Monday Night Baseball Game

Monday night, Drew had another baseball game at 7:00. Our little guys played hard, but I think they were tired (that is late for 4, 5, and 6 year olds). I'm not sure what the score was, but our little guys weren't ahead. As I reminded Drew though, the most important part is that you do your best and have fun! Drew did score 2 RBIs off of a home run his first time at bat bringing his total home runs for the season to 7. He struck out his second time at bat - he was swinging for a home run. Drew's hit 11 for 14 this season so far and we couldn't be more proud!! He also played pretty well at first base, but again I think all of our little guys were tired. It was a good game, and boy what fun!! People continue to tell Craig and I what a good ball player he is - mommy just hopes Drew sticks with it! He sure seems to love it right now!! Mikayla took these pictures as mommy was busy cheering! Here she gets Craig talking to Drew as he plays first base!

Drew tries to get his teammates to throw him the ball.
Drew gets ready to bat. Look at that stance - does he look ready to you?? When our boys were taggin' up, the coah on the other team told Drew "that was some good hitting out there"!

Beautiful Sight!!

Monday night when we arrived at the baseball fields to get ready for Drew's game, it started raining. They had been calling for some passing showers, and we were hoping that this was one. We felt that it was as the sun was shining at the same time. Mikayla, Drew, and the other little guys on Drew's team noticed these rainbows in the sky. In the pictures, you can only really see one, but there were actually 2 - one on top of the other one. Such a beautiful sight!! It ended up being only a passing shower, so the game did go on (see post above).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Baseball!

After we left the park, we all headed to the baseball practice fields! We had the most fun playing baseball together as a family - we laughed, fussed (as families often do), ran, hit, laughed some more. Here are some pictures that Mikayla (yes, Mikayla) took with my camera. I had meant to take pictures myself, but when Drew and Mikayla were batting I was either playing catcher or first base so I wasn't able to get any pictures. Mikayla, however, did and I think she did a great job (even when she took about 10 pictures of herself). We may just have another photographer in the family. She doesn't know how to zoom in yet, but she did get a pretty good picture of Poppi pitching and Mommy playing first base.
Mikayla takes a picture of Drew getting ready to bat. Our Baseball King was getting some good hits out there tonight. We hope he'll get some more good hits tomorrow night in his game!!
Mikayla took this picture of Daddy playing third base and Mimi playing second. You might notice Craig rubbing his leg - Mikayla missed a shot of Daddy falling while diving to stop a ball that Drew hit. He wasn't going to let the ball get past him. That picture would have won us some money. He scraped his elbow, crushed his dip can, and hurt his shoulder in the fall. He seems to be okay now, but Mimi and Poppi reminded him to take some Tylenol when we got home.
Mikayla took this sweet self-portrait while the rest of us were on the field. She played the field some, but we were afraid she would get hit with the ball. She mostly stayed in the dugout with her pom poms and my camera!! She's such a cutie!!
After, I wanted to take a picture of our baseball team. Craig shows off his injury, while my daddy is acting silly with Mikayla's pom pom! What a fun afternoon with the family.Drew decided to take a picture of "our team" so that Mommy could be in it. I'm not sure if anyone would draft any of us for their team, but boy we sure had fun!!

Fun at the Park!!

Sunday late afternoon, we decided to get food and have a picnic at our neighborhood park and then we were going to play some before heading home. Poppi and Mimi surprised us by showing up just after we had finished our supper. Poppi watches as Drew and Mikayla play on the seesaw.
Sweet Mikayla huggin' her Mimi!
Drew walks on the swivel steps (?).
Mikayla loves the slides!
Drew peeks out as he and Mikayla were playing "hide and seek".
After we all played a little at the park, Drew was ready to play baseball. Poppi suggested we go to the baseball fields where there was real bases. Mikayla was all for this too, and she enjoys hitting a baseball like Drew does!

After Dancin'...

Drew and Mikayla love their Aunt Jennie and BJ. Here they are holding hands with them as we get ready to walk through the rest of the Spring Fling.
Drew and Mikayla love fountains (especially when they can throw money into them). This is just before Poppi bought them both cotton candy and we were headed home! A great way to spend time with the family! We were sorry Mimi had to work, and we sure missed her!

Spring Fling 2008

Our town's annual Spring Fling was held this past weekend, and we were excited when Ms. Andrea called to see if Mikayla wanted to dance. Her dance company was scheduled to dance on one of the many stages on Saturday at one. Ms. Andrea asked if Mikayla would like to dance her ballet routine "Tiptoe through the Tulips" and her clogging routine "Buttercup". When we got there we also found out that they would be dancing their opening recital number that they learned at dance camp last year. Mommy, Daddy, Drew, Poppi, Aunt Jennie, and BJ were all there cheering Mikayla and the other dancers on! Our dancing queen and all of her friends did a wonderful job!! Abbi, Mikayla, and Jadyn perform their first place ballet routine "Tiptoe Through the Tulips".
One of my favorite parts of this dance. I'm not sure how Ms. Andrea gets them all to do this and remember their spots!! They do though - and they make it look easy!!Mikayla, Noah, Kimberly, Jadyn, and Timothy (far right) perform their clogging routine "Buttercup".
"You never call baby, when you say you will". I love this part of the dance when the girls are shakin' their hips!!
Then, Mikayla and all the girls and boys from last year's summer dance camp perform the opening number for this year's recital. Here Mikayla was doing a great job of staying with the bigger girls!!All of the dancers for the opening number routine. Mikayla was just a little ahead of them in this picture. At four she's the youngest of all of these dancers. Timothy and Jadyn are both five and then the others are 7 and up. All of our Rising Star Dance Company dancers did an amazing job dancing Saturday. We are so proud of them all!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My Sweet Kids

Tonight, after Drew and Mikayla were in bed we hear Mikayla crying. When we ask what's wrong she says she wants to sleep with us. We remind her that she has to sleep in her bed, but that if she wakes during the night she can come get in the bed with us. This is not something we are too terribly strict on - in fact sometimes we let them go to sleep in our room. Like the song says "let them sleep in the middle, let them be little" - in fact those are some of my cherished moments because I know they won't always "want" to sleep in the middle. Okay, so now I'll get back to my story...we send her back to bed still crying. Seconds later we hear Drew say in this little brotherly voice "Mikayla, can you please stop crying so I can go to sleep, I've got a big day tomorrow?". Not a minute later, Drew comes in the living room and says "mom, can Mikayla sleep with me, she's crying and she wants to?". I say "yes, as long as you both go to sleep". I also add "the first time I hear you playing she goes back to her room". We hear Drew tell Mikayla "mom said yes, but we have to go straight to sleep - I've got a big day tomorrow, I'm going to Strawberry Hill". Craig and I looked at each other and laughed. Drew actually doesn't go on his field trip until next week, but we didn't correct him tonight. They are so sweet!!

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage