Friday, April 22, 2011


I'm so lucky to have Pam in my life. I received an unexpected package in the mail a couple of weeks ago, and in it was this and a card that made me smile and cry. I couldn't ask for a better friend, and I am the luckiest to have her in my life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A girl and her gecko

Can you tell that Erin loves her little guy? He gets a lot of attention every day, and she does a great job of taking care of him.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

State races

Bren and Erin had Florida state races this weekend. The first was in Middleburg on Saturday. We drove up to Grandma B's on Friday night so that we wouldn't have to get up at 4am on Saturday and so that we could combine it into a visit with her. The Middleburg race was interesting. We had never been to that track. It is right in the middle of a large horse ranch, and there were horses running all over around the track (not on the track). It was Erin's first time racing in the expert class, and she raced four expert boys. Unfortunately she didn't place, but Bren swept the qualifying rounds and the main event to take first place.

On Sunday the race was at the St. Augustine track, out in the middle of a landfill. It was a beautiful day, and Erin ended up taking third (she raced 10 and 11 year old girls) and Brendan once again swept the qualifying and main event to take first place.

I'm so proud of both of my BMXers and the hard work that they put into a sport that they are both very passionate about. Our next race is in Daytona in June. They will both be clipped in and ready to go!
Erin (second from right) at the gate with a bunch of the big guys during practice on Saturday.

Erin and pro BMXer Ashley Lynch. We see Ashley often at our home track since she rides for the Oldsmar BMX team.
Erin (second from right) up and ready to go at the gate for her first main event on Saturday (against expert boys).
Game face!
Wearing Brian's sunglasses after her first qualifying on Saturday.
Brendan out in the front of the pack.
Stupid tire got in my way!

Out in the front again, and that was the story for Bren all weekend.

Catching air over the table in St. Augustine today.

Finally home on Sunday evening.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blown away

Erin is having an amazing week. This past Saturday she finished first in her final event at the track, advancing her to expert. It was so much fun to watch, and everyone at the track was cheering for her. Just two days later she received an invitation to join the Hyperforce BMX team, and she is now officially sponsored. In any sport it is impressive to be sponsored, and in BMX it is no different. She is excelling in a male-dominated sport (ha!) at the age of eight! She is currently #3 in the State of Florida, and nothing is going to slow her down.

In addition to the great news regarding BMX she received more good news today. She has been accepted into the gifted program at school. Her teacher recommended her based on "test scores, class work, observations and her attitude towards learning". I'm so proud of my baby girl. Her reading and math skills are through the roof, and she continues to advance without pressure. How many second grade students do you know are reading Harry Potter? Yeah, that would be Erin. So although I am not surprised that she has been added to the gifted program, I am still thrilled beyond belief.

Watch for upcoming pictures of Erin in her new Hyperforce jersey and helmet as she represents on the track!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Marley and Nala

They have been good friends since the day we brought Nala in from outside. Every single day while I'm doing my homework Marley lays by my feet, and Nala always ends up coming over to have snuggle time with her. It's so cute, and I always take a break to watch them. You'll even see Marley cleaning Nala at one point, and Nala does the same to Marley in the second video (click the link below the first video).
The second video can be seen here. In this video you will see Marley try to share her baby (the stuffed animal) with Nala, and you'll also see Nala cleaning Marley. These two are so stinkin' cute!

Erin is an EXPERT

After only five months of racing my girl is now an expert BMX racer. She won first place tonight to advance to expert. It was an exciting night for her, and I'm so proud of her. Congratulations also to Bren for taking first place tonight!

The reptiles

Here are the reptiles. The only one missing from this post is Otis (Bren's largest gecko).
The monitor, Diesel.
Bren's newest leopard gecko, Apollo.
The coolest eyes, and Nena's sister, Zoe.
Beautiful colors on Zoe.
Erin's leopard gecko, Bubba.

Bren's first gecko, Rae (in shed so her colors are faded right now).

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Slip 'N Slide

Erin and three of her friends, Ashley, Layla and Kaylee, spent the entire afternoon yesterday on the Slip 'N Slide. They were so cute out back, and I just couldn't help watch them when I should have been studying. Of course as soon as they saw me with the camera they all had to start posing, but that's typical of these girls.

(l-r) Kaylee, Erin, Ashely and Layla.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Erin's gecko

Sean took this video of Erin's gecko, Bubba, eating one night shortly after she got him.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011 Storm

When the storm first hit it woke me up from a dead sleep at about 6:30am. I lay awake, listening to the rain and distant thunder and watching the lightning storm from the window above my bed. It was amazing. I love storms. Always have, and the more intense the storm the more I like it. I got up from bed to video a couple of minutes of the lightning storm from the front dining room window. When the sky lights up you can see that the rain was nearly horizontal. It was awesome to watch in the dark.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Reptiles, reptiles, everywhere

The Andrews/Kowalski zoo has expanded. We now have a large reptile division, including six leopard geckos (Brendan now has five of them and Erin has one of her own) and a Savannah monitor. Did you know that the monitors get up to 4 feet in length? Yep, it'll be like having another big dog in the house. For now, though, she is only a few inches long, and she'll grow approximately 12 inches each year. Like the geckos, the monitor is very social and loves to be held.

But wait. That isn't all. We also have an expanded aquatics division, now with a ten gallon tank, a 55 gallon tank and a new 120 gallon tank! You see, Brian wasn't satisfied with the ten gallon, so he kept that one and bought a 55 gallon on a wood cabinet. It's a beautiful tank, and he tends to them like they are children, but once that one was complete it was no longer enough either. So the 120 gallon was added about a month ago (complete with a wood cabinet, too), and the fish count in it is growing almost daily.

With so many animals in the house it would seem like chaos, but it's organized chaos, and it's not mine to worry about. Brendan and Erin are extremely mindful of their reptiles and do all of the maintenance and caring themselves, as well as pay for all expenses themselves. And the fish? Well that is ALL Brian. They are his babies, and the aquariums are so beautiful that anyone that comes into the house admires them. As for me, I will stick with my dogs and cats (2 of each that we own). It's a good thing I love critters of all shapes and sizes or I would be in a lot of trouble in this house.