Friday, October 31, 2008


A fun night tonight.  Just before it got dark we headed out so that I could get a couple pictures of Erin before it got dark.  She was a ballerina, and she was beautiful.

The neighborhood was loaded with our friends and neighbors (and a lot of people that bring their kids in to trick-or-treat in here). We walked around with one of Erin's best friends, Caley, and her family.  She was dressed as Hanna Montana (complete with wig).  

This is Dr. Andrews...I mean Sean, and our next door neighbor, Maria.  She is also a teacher at Sean's school.  Both of the boys were gone most of the night with their friends in the neighborhood so we didn't see them much.  They came back with pillow cases full though.

The niece of our next door neighbor was a cute bumblebee, and she was just so cute.  I couldn't help myself.  I *heart* little girls with curls! :)

Even Brian got in on the fun.

After we finished the rounds in the neighborhood we met Lars, LT and Tina at Cold Stone Creamery for a late night ice cream treat before we headed home.  We're exhausted, but we had a great time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Visit with Tony, Zaye and Maddox

My younger brother Tony and my two nephews Zaye and Maddox came to visit for the weekend, and we had a great time. They arrived on Friday evening, and we just hung around, played at the "park" (that is what Maddox calls the swing set in our back yard), and goofed off. Maddox loves playing with Erin's doll cars and houses (he's 3).

On Saturday morning we had two games for Bren. He had one on Friday evening before they arrived, and then two on Saturday for a tournament.

This ball went FLYING into the outfield!!
So while he was playing ball the rest of the gang was playing on the playground, hanging out by the lake at the ball field, or watching him play.

Erin and her friend, Alana
Love this one of Maddox peeking at me through the hole
My brother-the kid

My brother and his boys

After the game we headed down to Honeymoon Island Beach for a few hours. Zaye and Bren were non-stop with swimming, and Maddox was non-stop with throwing the rocks and shells in the water. As usual Erin walked around collecting shells and treasures. It was a beautiful day.

A fresh sponge that the boys found-this area is known for them

On Sunday we all slept in a bit. Maddox never got very far away from the "park". Even Anah Belle got in on the fun!

Friday, October 24, 2008

More baseball...can't get enough

If there is one thing that I love to do on the weekends more than just about anything else, it is watch Brendan play his baseball games.  When someone is as good at something as he is at baseball, and enjoys it as much as he does you can't help but have fun watching them.  The kid just thrives there.  I often think about the amount of time that he has been playing, and realizing that he has been doing this for longer than he has done just about anything else. He's been playing ball since he was three, and he doesn't give up.  He gets tired and frustrated (mostly at the other kids who don't give it 110%) at times, but more often than that he is smiling and enjoying himself out there on the field.  It's where he loves to be.  Cleats on his feet, and a glove on his right hand (he's a lefty).  

I love that he has a passion.  A real, deep-hearted passion for this sport.  I wanted for my children to have a passion for something in their lives, and the boys do (time will tell with Erin).  Not just passing interest, but something that sticks with them over time, and that they truly love.  

I'm looking forward to many more years of baseball fields, bleachers, concession stands, practices, and smiles from Brendan's face every time he looks over at me when he hits that ball or strikes a player out.

Brendan pitches side-arm.  Without using proper technique he would have a lot of problems with his arm, but he has always thrown this way, and knows what to do/how to throw properly this way.  And he's GOOD at it (obviously since he pitches for every team).  It's interesting to watch the ball though because it goes so far out and then comes right back in over the base. It just doesn't seem possible for the ball to come all the way back in.  The other parents love watching him pitch, too.  

Nice hit!  Who said baseball isn't a contact sport?  He got nailed by the ball on this pitch.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Erin and her cousins in Milwaukee

Aunt Angie and Uncle Steve emailed me this great picture of Erin with her three "girl cousins" at the zoo in Milwaukee this past weekend.  She had a great time with them, and can't wait to see them again.  They are planning a trip down to see us in the near future!

(l-r) Alexis, Briana, Laura, and Erin

Sweet somethings

Grandma/mom loves us.
We use a LOT of jam/jelly in this house.  All three of the kiddos take their lunches to school every day, and their sandwich of choice is a PB&J...ONLY IF we have jam from grandma.  I say this because for the first time in over a year we ran out a few weeks ago, and we actually had to buy some from the store.  The kids didn't want any more PB&J.  Brian enjoys his fair share of PB&J's, too, and he was equally bummed that we ran out.  
The last batch we received from grandma, just over a year ago, was a variety of peach, strawberry, and marionberry, and the favorite of everyone around here is the marionberry.  It is fabulous!  So when we ran out a few weeks ago I called grandma, and in no time at all we had a box waiting on the front porch with 18 more jars of jam.  As fast as the box could be opened there were PB&J's being made with the homemade jam (as if they had been starving all that time!) We are now replenished for the next year with the delicious peach, strawberry and marionberry jam that we have come to love.  
Thank you grandma/mom!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

From worst to first...

The Tampa Bay Rays have officially gone from the worst team in the major leagues (for the past ten years) to the best team in the American League.  And as of last night (after beating the Boston Red Sox!!!) they are headed to the World Series.  The World Series starts here in Tampa/St. Pete this Wednesday, and the celebrating is in full swing.  The town is going crazy. The Rays are only in their 11th year of existence (the newest in the major leagues), and they are already heading to the World Series.  And they beat the defending world champions to get there!  It's been a blast. Regardless of whether they win or lose in the World Series, the fact that they made it this far has been impressive.  If they do win the World Series it will be the first time in history that a team advanced from worst place to first place (winning the World Series) in one year.  

I guess we'll know in about a week.

Erin at a Rays vs. Red Sox game about three weeks ago.  Her Rays shirt says LONGORIA on the back-our favorite Rays player.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Erin's car seat

I had a couple people email me and ask why Brian was taking a car seat with him to Milwaukee (see the picture below in the post about he and Erin going to Wisconsin).  Without getting too high up on my soapbox I will just say that a five point harness is the SAFEST CHOICE for any child, and until my child does not have the option of being in a five point harness she will continue to be in one.  The seat that she has now (and has had for the past four years) is the Britax Marathon.  It keeps her in a five point harness until she reaches 65 pounds.  She's 51 pounds.  Yes, legally she can sit in a booster, but that is NOT THE SAFEST CHOICE, and I want only the safest choice for my child. So there is my reason for using a five point harness, and that alone is reason enough in my opinion.  Erin knows that most of her friends use booster seats (some even sit with the regular seat belt-OMG!), but she tells them over and over that her mommy wants her to be safe, and that her five point harness is the safest seat.  She has been educated, and she knows.  And she loves her seat.  Always has.  

If you feel the need to educate yourself further on the subject, please follow the links that I have provided below. Unlike crawling, walking, talking, etc., moving up in types of car seat (infant seat>five point harness>booster) is not a milestone that I want my child to quickly progress through.  Each step up in type of seat is a step down in safety.  Remember that!

And if you haven't heard of Kyle before now, maybe it would be best if you heard his story.

Erin in her Britax Marathon with Cowmooflage cover.  This was taken in Oregon this past March.  She sits in her car seat any time she is on a plane, or in a vehicle.  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

On the road again

Erin and Brian left for Milwaukee this evening.  They'll be back on Monday.  The kids are out of school tomorrow and Monday for teacher inservice days so it'll just be me and the boys for the next four days.  My little brother, Tony, and nephew Maddox are coming to visit for the weekend, too.  Should be fun.

Erin was pretty upset about leaving mommy, and she had been crying when I took this picture with my phone, but she was *trying* to smile for me.  She's so sweet.  She's already having a blast there.  Oh, and she left me with her monkey (I call her my monkey) so that I can sleep with it while she's gone.  

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baseball game and friends

Game #4 on Saturday.  Erin arrived with her suitcase full of arts and craft supplies, as usual. Her friends immediately came over, and they were busy the entire time.  

When they weren't coloring Erin was sharing her iPod Nano.  I think she has 88 songs on there now.

Bren had another great game.  The hole on the pitchers mound was a PITA for him.  You can see it right where his foot lands each time he throws a pitch.  As a result his ankle is pretty sore today, but the league has assured us that it will be taken care of before the next game.  He still did a great job.  The first picture is his coach whispering instructions to him for his hit.

And I leave you with the princess herself with her favorite pair of sunglasses (she has three).