Friday, April 11, 2014

baseball season

Well-- baseball season is in full swing.  Good? Bad? Ugly? Yes, yes, and yes.
Over the winter Brady decided he did not want to play baseball this year.  A Smallie boy that chooses to quit baseball?  Unheard of.  But I was more than a little excited at the idea of having a lot more free time.  Brady's team was hard-core...I'm talking their schedule from mid-March through August only has TWO weekends without tournaments, and that's not including league games, or practices. It's a six-days-a-week commitment and although it was hard to give up Brady's starting 2nd base position on a nationally ranked team, we aren't the kind of parents to force our kids to play a sport that don't love so Scott made the call to the coach and that was that.
Bennett is playing for 12U Team Illini....this is his 4th season (or 5th?) with this team.  Great kids, great parents, great fun!  Looking forward to a fantastic season!
Carter is playing JV and Varsity baseball this year.  He wasn't sure he wanted to play, but after the first day, he got back in the swing of things and is loving it.
And finally, Scott is coaching the JV team this year.  Meaning, he is Carter's coach.  It sounds great, right?  Yeah, it's really not.  Carter is a really good ball player and has had a great season so far, but the discipline issue is, issue.  For example, at Tuesdays game, Carter struck out, slammed his bat on the ground and yelled a bad word.  THE bad word.  Scott immediately ripped him out of the game, reamed him in front of everyone, and benched him. Are we having fun yet?  Although Scott was right, it didn't make for a stress-free home the next few days.  Scott has a hard job of being the coach and a players father...all of these kids are Carters friends, which makes disciplining the players even more complicated.  Come on June! (However, I do find all of the "dude, you're sleeping with a players mom" jokes the other coaches tell to be very funny)
Cate and Coach Smallie starting the season off with a big win!

Ben and Brady love cheering on the Warriors

Even though Brady is not playing baseball this year, he has been heavily recruited by four other teams and is going to guest play a few tournaments with the E'ville Tigers.  Several of his soccer teammates play for the Tigers and he enjoys playing with them.  He added a 2nd place medal to his collection in the first tournament of the year.

Bennett's team played their first tournament last weekend.  The sun was shining and it finally felt like baseball season had arrived!

Kerrigan, Lauren and Cate back together again.  It was a long winter!
Uncle Josh came in for the weekend and spent an entire 12 hours with us on Saturday.  Poor guy

Trevor LOVES watching the games.  I can't wait til he is out there playing!
Perfecting his "mean face".  The scars and bruises on his face really help sell the look
On Monday, both JV and Varsity played at Grizzlie's stadium.  It's turf, which means the day-long heavy downpour did not cancel the games.  It's fun watching baseball in the cold rain.  Not.
Isn't that a strange coaches box?  Coaching from the stands?  Actually, Scott was serving a one-game suspension for getting thrown out of a previous game.  I told you this season is fun!!
This drives me crazy.  If Carter sees me taking pictures...even if there is a batter at the plate...he takes time to look over, wink, smile, and tip his hat.  Focus!!! Scott will kill both of us if you miss an infield play because I'm taking your picture!!!
Pretzel with cheese, markers, and baseball friends...what a great afternoon!

If we all survive baseball season, I'm totally buying this card for Scott. 


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Sunday, March 30, 2014

cate is six!

On February 8, Cate turned SIX!  Hard to believe.  Like, REALLY REALLY hard to believe.  I can't even think about it, so let's move on.
We spent approx. 44 days celebrating her birthday.  It seemed to never end. I guess when you're subjected to living with three older brothers, you deserve 44 days worth of celebrations. 
Obviously, Cate picked out her party attire
waiting for guests to arrive
Jon's birthday is five days after Cate's and we were so thankful that he was able to come home from Virginia on leave before his first big deployment.  Cate was so excited that he was home for her birthday and said "THANK YOU NAVY FOR KNOWING MY PARTY WAS SO IMPORTANT".  Um, yeah.
We had a yummy family dinner with all of our favorite people...and favorite food.  Including my mom's homemade bread.  It's Scott's favorite and a real treat when she makes it for anything other than Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Trevor loves the bread too :)


In between all of her parties, we made our way to American Girl to add Isabelle to her collection
She chose Pride Cheer gym to host her "kid party" celebration.  The gym is filled with lots of trampolines, gymnastics equipment, and a huge bounce house.  28 friends showed up to jump and play and they all had the best time!
Gabby, Grace, and Cate...picking up where they left off! Friends Forever :)

Bennett was exhausted after running and jumping for sixty whole minutes.  Wuss.

After an hour in the gym, we had 30 minutes in the party room to eat pizza and cupcakes

We did not plan on letting Cate open her gifts there, but we had some extra time and a few of the kids were really wanting to see her open their gift!
So happy these three beauties got to hang out together all afternoon!

Last night after Brady's soccer games, we stopped by Toys R Us to spend the gift cards that were burning a hole in her pocket.  She was super excited about a "shopping spree" and ended up with some really great stuff!

 And now we are officially finished celebrating birthday number six.  Just in time to start planning Bennett's birthday celebration.  I find it humorous that he "will be lucky if we carve out 30 minutes to celebrate me".  Let's all say it together...."Poooooorrrrrr Bennnnnnn"

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

ok, one more Disney post

I know everyone is dying to find out how our transportation to the airport and flight worked out ;)  After all photos were taken and trophies awarded, Scott called his mom to find out the Magical Express was almost 2 hours late in picking them up and we should come back to the hotel to hopefully catch a bus to the airport.  So we did.  When we arrived, they had just been picked up but not before Aunt Fran threatened told the manager in charge that THERE WILL BE another bus waiting for us (me, Scott, Brady and Carter) and we are not to pay for a taxi.  Few people have ever told Fran "no" and lived to tell about it..she gets stuff done!!  There was a taxi-van waiting for us, the manager was told we were there and came running out of the lunchroom with a sandwich still in hand, and comped us our taxi ride to the airport.  Buh-Bam!  Unfortunately, the way it worked out, everyone could have stayed for the final soccer game and still made it to the airport in plenty of time...but of course had we chanced it, it would never have worked out as well. It is what it is :)
We found the rest of our party eating McDonald's in the airport (because six days of chicken strips and fries was not enough?) and I couldn't wait to have a quality fountain soda (Disney is lacking in that area).
Our flight home was much quieter and kind of boring.  At least for me...I got to sit in between Ben and Carter who plugged their Beats into their iPhone and didn't say much til we landed.  Holla!

I like to think my Dad ordered this sunset just for me!!

Back in the Lou!
 And just like that, we were home.  It was another great vacation and the champions trophy was the icing on the cake.  Love all of the memories we've made at Disneyworld the past four years!!!
See you again soon Mickey!!!

Disney Trip- Final Day

Was Monday day 5 or 6?  Was last Wednesday considered Day 1 even though it was our travel day?  I have no idea.  Anyway, Monday was all about soccer (and going home. Boo!)  The final day of the tournament is always a little tricky.  Because we fly out Monday night, we have to be at the airport super early...the Magical Express scheduled pick-ups are 3 hours before the flight.  But...Monday is a "play until you lose" day, so you never know how many games you'll have and since tournament schedules aren't even posted until a week before the trip, it's impossible to know which flight is best to book.  Of course, when there are only a few flights to choose from, you get what you get :)  Which brings me to our Monday dilemma: if Brady made it to the Championship game, we would miss the Magical Express and have to take a taxi to the airport to catch our flight in time.  Magical Express=free.  Taxi=$80.  Winning a World Championship tournament=PRICELESS.

Game 1---->WINNER.  Great game.
Game 2...most nerve wracking game ever.  Semi-finals against a phenomenal team.  We were down  with just a few minutes left and Brady Smallie stepped up and finished that team off like it was his job.  Two amazing goals that even made Carter jump out of his chair (Cate's stroller) and scream "THAT'S MY BROTHER".  Seriously, he really did that. 
Championship Bound Baby!

 Which meant we were going to miss the Magical Express bus to the airport.  After much consideration about who was going where, we decided that me, Scott, and Carter (he was NOT going to miss the final game) would stay with Brady and everyone else would head to the airport.  I had a taxi company # ready to hail a cab once the game was over. 
Final Game----->We won.  Duh.
It was a very melodramatic win, not at all like the semi-final game.  We beat the "Raging Chickens" pretty good to become the 3v3 World Champions.  WOOT! WOOT!  Celebrations are not our coaches thing but great sportsmanship is which explains the lack of celebratory dog piles and parents rushing the field. After shaking hands with the losers victims other team, we made our way to the trophy presentation. 

 Even at Wide World of Sports, Disney does it up right.  They have a red carpet set up for the winners to walk while a DJ announces the team and their accomplishments for a packed crowd. Then they blast the music and the boys dance down the carpet to receive their trophy.  It was a VERY cool moment...something I hope Brady remembers forever.  They are then whisked away to have their photo taken with Mickey Mouse.  As soon as that was done, we raced off to catch a taxi and a plane!



Last picture before leaving the Disney complex!