Tennis wrap up

Monday, March 31, 2014

So the month of March has come and gone.  It was a very busy one on the tennis front.  Caleb played in tournaments every weekend but this last one because we went camping instead.  Sometimes you have to take a break.  And Spring Break for our local friends was a good excuse to cut back on tennis this last week.  So I thought I would pull together a little post to wrap up all the tennis Caleb played this past month.

He played in a local Grand Prix event here against mostly 9 and 10 year olds.  He took first place easily, as he has outgrown this level of competition.  Still he enjoys seeing his friends and playing against them.  Everyone still laughs and smiles and cheers each other on.
Then the courts where Caleb trains happens to be the same courts (new for this season) where the local college plays their own matches.  So we have hung around before and after practices to watch the college kids play.  
The head coach is really taken with Caleb.  He recognized Caleb from a little junior clinic his teams ran.  He was impressed with Caleb's footwork and still remembered him.

Earlier in the month, when Michele and Lydia were visiting for Madeline's birthday, Caleb had an advanced USTA tournament to play in.  It was a bit of a drive, but the weather was lovely.  Caleb played 3 matches in a round robin format for boys Under10 and won all three.

The tall boy on the left was really sweet, as was his grandmother.  We had a nice time chatting.  Too bad he's turning 11 soon.  So he and Caleb can't play doubles together.  They really hit it off after playing against each other in the first round.  They spent all their down time hanging out and chatting.  It was so sweet to watch.

One time Patrick hung out with the girls and me during one of Caleb's long tennis practice days.
Then last weekend, Caleb had another big USTA tournament for boys Under10.  Again it was round robin,and they all played 3 matches.  I snapped a photo of Caleb reporting the score for his last match, which sealed first place for him and made it another sweep.  
He actually played this same boy in his last USTA tournament.  In fact, he had played all 3 opponents at least once before.  He had beaten two of them at their last meeting but had previously lost to the third boy.  Well, the father of the third boy couldn't get over that Caleb was the same player that had played his son back in January. He was so impressed with Caleb's progress, particularly his serve.  It was so nice to hear. We had such a nice time talking with his family again.  Their boy has such great sportsmanship.  The whole family was so sweet.  

I love it when that happens.  Unfortunately, the first boy Caleb played was steamed he was getting beat and started calling the lines wrong.  Oh man.  I normally keep my mouth shut, but I couldn't stand it any longer and got an official.  He had the nerve to even call the lines wrong right in front of her!  And the boy was only 8 years old!  Needless to say, he has some learning to do, and it has nothing to do with his strokes.  Now that's the yucky part of tennis.  Anyway, Caleb stuck around a while to watch his friend play against the boy who needs to learn to call the lines better. Then he picked up his trophy.
This little girl is always trying to get her hands on his trophies. lol.  

Well, Caleb has another tournament this weekend in which he will only play other 9 year old boys.  He's never played in one like this before. So it will be a new experience for him.  He's looking forward to getting back on the courts this week.

So now that we're back from our camping trip and I have tackled the laundry, it's time to get busy editing some photos from our camping adventure.  We sure do love camping.  And if this week isn't busy enough with getting back to all of Caleb's tennis, Havi has started swim lessons...which are E.V.E.R.Y day!  Fun!

Just a little play

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I know I'm not the best blogger around.  I also know that lately a lot of my posts have been about big happenings around here, like Caleb's tennis tournaments, birthdays, or holidays.  Although our days are not spent running around town like crazies, our hours are still filled with lots of stuff: homeschooling, tennis, dance, all the mom stuff daily grind for me and some down time for the dumplings.  I personally have been spending more time in the kitchen, regularly baking goodies for our bellies (and cooking some too). And now I need to find some time in front of my sewing machine! lol  

Anyway, as a consequence, I have not been intentional with my camera/s lately.  Sure I've captured some big moments and have shared them here on the blog.  But what has been lost in all this are all those beautiful, wonderful every day moments that I remember pulling at me to capture them about two years ago.  So this month, I decided I needed to get back on track and capture those ordinary moments yet again.  The other day I looked back on all those simple, every day moments I captured that summer, and boy, did my heart swell.   

So here are a few captures from earlier in the month.  Caleb and Madeline were playing hide-and-seek in the yard and riding their bikes.  So I sat down with Havi in the driveway/garage while she colored.
Yes, her little whispy hairs are like wings above her ears.  It is so stinkin' precious.
Havi eventually decided to join them in their game.
I just love how much they play together, and I love how well they get along.  I'm so thankful we homeschool and that it allows all three of them to spend their days together.  I know it has strengthened their bond.  I remember when Madeline was smaller and used to nap every day, Caleb couldn't wait for her to wake up so they could play together.  And now, years later, when she lays down for a nap because she's so tired, he says the exact same thing.  They love being together.  And that just melts my mama heart.

Linking up with my friend, Kim...since I actually have something "little" to share.

Little by Little

Celebrating a special 6 year old

Friday, March 14, 2014

Our precious Madeline Bei turned six years old this past Wednesday.  It's crazy how quickly time has flown.  I have been working on her China book lately (yep, I'm that much of a procrastinator) and am just amazed at how little she was when we first brought her home.

Our precious girl had a few requests that we made good on for this birthday of hers.  First of all, she wanted to go bowling.  And since Auntie Shell and Lydia were coming down from Connecticut to help her celebrate, we thought we'd going bowling at Splitsville in Downtown Disney.  We were somewhat limited in the times they gave us.  So we opted to go right after church, around lunchtime.  Since Havi is still too young to go to her class by herself, I sat with her and Auntie Shell in the cafeteria during church.  She's less distracted (read- LOUD) there than in the larger commons area by the sanctuary.
After church, we headed over to Downtown Disney.
 My sister's crew (including her in-laws) all met us there.
You can spy them waiting for us on the far left in the photo above.
 Every photo Patrick took of me with Madeline had this little photo bomber in the bottom right corner.  So we rolled with it.

I made my favorite rich and delicious chocolate cupcakes with a simple sweet American buttercream.  Then I asked my sister at the very last minute to pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top make some cute toppers.
 Unfortunately, the lighting was terrible.  And so the cupcakes look orange when, in fact, they were coral like the toppers, though not as saturated.  Oh well.
 For her birthday loot, she scored some cute hair accessories, a light up neon slate, a puzzle and framed photo of herself with Lydia.  The second thing she wanted, besides to bowl, was a pair of roller blades.  (For the record, she took one day before she was off and "rolling" on them with Caleb.  And now she can pass down her too small for her roller skates to Havi, who's more than happy to inherit them.)
 After bowling, we scooted over to Fantasia mini golf.  This was my feeble attempt at a selfie with the birthday girl who kept running away from me.
 See that gap in Lydia's smile?  Her tooth got very loose the night before, and I offered to pull it out for her.   
Everyone was a bit infatuated with the ball cleaner as we waited until it was our turn out on the course.
 *fake smile alert*
 Since it got so hot while we were mini golfing, we decided to get some ice cream.  The ice cream was melting pretty quickly.  So although I had my camera, I couldn't really snap any photos until I finished my humongous waffle cone.  I did manage, however, to capture Leah with her Grandma Marsha in their coordinated but completly unplanned outfits.
Before I wrap up this birthday post, I have to share the third and final request from the birthday girl- an ant farm.  Yep.  I don't know where she got the idea, but she wanted one.  So Patrick ordered the farm and the ants.  Everyone watches the ants all the time.  It's pretty funny.  And I want to say thank you so much to Michele and Lydia for flying down here and helping Madeline celebrate her special day.  We loved seeing you guys.  Can't wait until we do it again!

Well, although February was a slow month with my camera, March is proving to be the opposite.  I have some serious catching up to do- including some tennis updates and some every day fun.  

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  We'll be at the courts!

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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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