Helping out friends

Friday, February 28, 2014

Recently I had a friend that I met in the blogosphere (and finally in real life) ask a favor of me/Madeline.  Her daughter Jaelyn was looking for people with limb differences to participate in her science project.  She is looking a foot, eye, and ear dominance to see if it's possible for people with affected limbs to still show dominance for the affected side.  Madeline has always kicked a ball with her left foot.  So I was quite curious to see how she would perform on the rest of the tasks.   Madeline performed all tasks but one (kicking a ball) with her right side.  
Little Hav Hav insisted she participate too.  So I let her kick the ball.  She also kicked it with her left foot.  Anything else, she would have simply copied me because her English isn't quite there to follow commands like these.  Still, she had to push her way in front of my camera.
Would you just look at the new and improved fake smile? 
No more overbite on the fake smiling thing. lol
And if it weren't for the curl in her hair, she would most certainly be sporting an awesome toddler mullet.

Well, as I suspected last weekend, all of Caleb's tennis matches were canceled due to rain.  He was so bummed, even though he was expecting it.  Fortunately, we had a very big Sunday planned which wasn't rained out!  Patrick bought tickets for Caleb and me to see the finals played out at the Delray Beach Open by The Venetian.  Oh, did that ever make up for the previous two days!!!  I took a ton of photos with three different cameras.  So as soon as I'm done sorting through them all, I will get a blog post up.  Suffice it to say that Caleb declared the day to be one of the best days of his life, ever.  I love that boy!

So for the next couple months, Caleb will be back to Friday nights under the lights as he participates in the middle school tennis league.  He is so excited that the weather will be cooperating this week.  He also has a local tournament on Saturday, which he's also looking forward to.  Alrightie, I'm signing off for now.

Have a great weekend!

Overdue blog post is finally here

Friday, February 21, 2014

*chirp chirp chirp* 
Is that crickets I hear?

Well, I wasn't meaning to go missing here on the blog.  Sure we've been busy with the usual suspects- school, dance, tennis, life.  But I guess my real reason for not posting is that I hadn't picked up my camera in a few weeks. So I had no photos to share.  So... the other day, I rectified the problem.

No, I didn't get all crazy and do some fancy photo shoot.  You know me better than that.  I simply snapped a few photos of the girls during one of Caleb's tennis practices.
 I was trying to take a photo of Madeline in the shot above...but I got a shot of a photo bomber instead.
As you can see the girls kept busy by eating and coloring.  Usually, they also have racquets in hand or are on their bike (Havi) or scooter (Madeline).  Havi has taken to using a chair in Madeline's bedroom to access Madeline's dance clothes in her closet.  I finally relented and let her wear an old leotard that doesn't fit Madeline anymore.  Yes, she wore it for two days straight, took it off to bathe and slept in it too.  I think she needs her own dance clothes. She is an absolute riot hitting tennis balls in a leotard.

Well, this past weekend Caleb played in a very competitive tennis tournament and did well.  He won one match and lost another, both going to third set tiebreakers.  Patrick and I are so, so proud of him.  He had lost the first match, and boy, was it tough.  But he handled himself like a champ and kept his composure.  Then he came back and won in a third set tiebreaker in his second match.  He played so tough and so well.  It's exciting to watch him develop as a player, but it's also equally exciting to see him grow as a person.  Tennis requires so much mental toughness, and he definitely showed that this past weekend.  As his parents, we are really trying our best to focus on these two things more so than outcomes, which is far easier said than done.  But having the right perspective really does have its benefits.

Caleb's tennis coach has asked him to play in the middle school league that takes place in the spring.  So he will be playing on a team from the courts where he trains against middle school teams from other courts and the private schools in the area.  When he plays in his tournaments, he plays using a green dot ball, which has less compression than a regular ball and, therefore, moves a little slower.  For the middle school league, however, they will be using a regular yellow ball because the kids are older.  It's what he trains with and uses in one of his clinics.  However, this will be his first time playing with a yellow ball in a competitive environment.  To say that he's excited to have Friday night matches back would be an understatement.  He also has another green dot ball tournament this Saturday that he's looking forward to as well.  Let's just hope this weekend's weather cooperate.  I'm not so sure.

Anyway, I promise to snap more photos these next few weeks and not be such a stranger.  
Hope you all have a great weekend, and thanks for continuing to pop over and say hello.

Tennis, tennis, tennis

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2014 started off quickly for Caleb with a tennis tournament the very first weekend in January.  Then he "took a week off" for his birthday camping trip.  The following weekend he was supposed to play in a local tournament, but unfortunately, it was canceled.  He was soooo bummed.  Fast forward to the following weekend (two weekends ago), and he was supposed to play in another tournament not too far from where we live.  Unfortunately, only two other boys signed up for his division.  So the tournament director wanted cancel it and move the boys up to the U12.  Well, I didn't get the message until it was too late.  He posted the draw without Caleb (because he never gave me a chance to return his call....grrrr).  I was so upset.  Patrick was too.  And Caleb was so disappointed.  

Fortunately, the next day I realized that Caleb could still play in a tournament in the Orlando area with the boys U12s green dot, the ball he typically plays with in touranments.  To say that Caleb was relieved when I told him I could sign him up would be an understatement.   "Finally, I can play!!!"  He had missed two weekends in a row of tournament play and was itching to get back out there and play some matches.  And that he did!

All the boys he played were 12 years old.....and a head taller.  And he took second place!!!  

 You see the tall kid on the left with the trophy?  Well, Caleb had a pretty hard match against him when they played back in December.  He was completely intimidated by his size.  Can you blame him?  But the great thing about this tournament is that Caleb took 2 games from him.  The boy and his mom were a bit shocked at Caleb's comeback this time around, even if he didn't win the match. And you know what Caleb told me afterwards?  The boy wasn't as tall as he remembered him being!  How's that for not being intimated the second time around?!  You go, Caleb!
 Fortunately my sister and Andy were able to come with the kids to watch Caleb play.  So the cousins got to hang out together.  And I got to pester her to snap a family photo.  (See Havi's blue mouth?  That girl loves her Gatorade. lol)

I wanted to get a photo of Caleb with the toddlers.  So he squatted down to be closer to them.  They did the same.  Oh well. 

So fast forward again, to this past weekend.  Caleb had the opportunity to play in a local tournament.  Before the matches got underway, though, he was handed a trophy for being the top finisher for last season's series!  Nothing like being handed a trophy before beginning another tournament to boost your confidence.
 Normally the boys and girls play separately, but the number of players participating was low.  So they combined the groups, and boys and girls played each other.
 Caleb played really well, won all his matches, and took first place!  I love his little bashful smile.
He is such a joy to watch.  He has such a great attitude out there, makes me proud.  He has this weekend off from tournament play, which is a good thing because his achilles tendon has been bothering him.  He's really been trying to stay off his feet and take it easy, and last weeks's rain was good for that.  Hopefully these next two weeks will give him the time he needs to get back to 100%.  He's got another tournament next weekend that is local, which he has really been looking forward to.

One of the things that Caleb has been doing a lot of lately has been hitting around with Madeline! Yep.  She has a renewed interest in tennis.  She took two lessons with Caleb last July and decided tennis wasn't for her.  And I can't blame her.  She didn't quite have the eye/hand coordination yet.  But she has really come a long way with that and can hit back and forth with him in the cul-de-sac.  And not only that but she's really moving to the ball and tracking it.  I'm so proud of her too.  We just might have two little tennis players in the family.  One of the instructors at the courts where Caleb plays was watching Madeline the other day and said she would do well in her clinic.  So some time this spring, we will sign her up.  She's so excited.  Maybe this mama needs a lesson or two so she can keep up with her dumplings!

About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

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