Thursday, April 27, 2017

Baseball is in Full Swing...Literally!


Back in late February, Preston had his draft for spring baseball (before basketball was even over).  He showed up and did his best, and was drafted to the Phillies baseball team.  Like the other teams, he has some good players and some okay players.  They started off the season losing, but have slowly been improving and are clamoring for 3rd place.

Preston has definitely improved his fielding techniques this season.  His reaction ability has improved, as well as his throwing.  He still needs to improve his hitting skills, but he is getting there.  We have really enjoyed his coach, and getting to know the boys on the team.  Pres has had a lot of visitors to cheer him and the Phillies on this season, and we thank every single one of them for taking the time out of their busy lives to do so! 
















Like most children, Preston loves to look at the stands and see familiar faces...so this has been a good season for him.  Mimi and Papa have been regulars, but Uncle Brian, Uncle Dan, Nene and Poppy, his teacher - Miss Anderson, as well as the Jarmons have all come out to cheer him on too!
Mimi and Papa come to most games!
Uncle Brian came straight from work!

Uncle Dan always watching sports!
Nene and Poppy came to watch!
Miss Anderson and her baseball loving students!
Mary Ellis and Jack

So though spring baseball is coming to an end this weekend.  We are unfortunately sitting it out.  Sadly Preston and another player collided when both trying to catch a pop fly, and the ball hit Pres in the eye.  Thankfully Steve was there to comfort him, and his coach was trained to give him the concussion test....which he passed.  So he came home with a headache and blurriness in that eye, and went to bed.  The following day he went off to school, but I received a call midday from the school nurse because he was complaining of headache, blurriness, double vision and nausea.  So we checked him out and took him to the doctor. 

Pres was given a number of tests, which he did well on, except for the visual acuity test - which he flunked.  The pediatrician was concerned, but truly believed he just bruised his eye and he just needed to rest it for several days.  He asked us to come back the following morning, and unfortunately he flunked it again.  Since there was no improvement, he called in a referral to an ophthalmologist for further testing.  Within 30 minutes Preston received a diagnosis....he had sustained a blowout fracture (a hairline fracture to his orbit).  Since he hadn't vomited (just nausea), he elected to let it heal on its own (without surgery).  So now we wait.............

Soon All Star season will really start ramping up!  His All Star team has been practicing for the past several weeks, and will officially begin in early May!  Nothing like being scared to death, and spending 4-5 days a week at the ballfields.  Thank goodness Preston loves it!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Festivities

Easter Sunday is always a very special day.... celebrating the rising of Jesus, listening to wonderful music in church, special words from our minister and lots of family time.  This Easter was no different.

Saturday morning, before Easter, I took Walker to an Easter egg hunt in Mountain Brook.  He enjoyed gathering a few eggs, and meeting the Easter Bunny.  While standing in line to meet him, he ate every last piece of candy.

On Sunday morning, rather than rush around, we elected to have a relaxing morning, and attend the last service of the morning.  We arrived early so we could take pictures before the service, and then came home to change before heading to the Mizerany's for lunch.

After we stuffed ourselves, the kids got a game of kickball going.  We watched them run around, chatted with family, and finally came home around 5pm.  Overall it was another great day.

the eggs were very difficult to "hunt"
He wanted to eat the candy as soon as he grabbed an egg
always one of my favorite pictures



Monday, April 10, 2017

Friends....

So about 22 years ago, I moved back to Peoria and met two lovely ladies.  One of those was dating a friend of mine (Chelsea), and the other became my roomie after many fun nights out on the town (Betsy).  Both stood up next to me on my wedding day.  We have been there for each other through all of our moves, job changes, births of our babies, and other family news.  We have cried together, but more than anything....we have laughed together....A LOT!  I have chosen people who have chosen me, and there is nothing better than that.  Friendship is so easy with people who truly love you for who you are....flaws and all, and I am so thankful for these two beauties!

Though it is hard to get together due to our husband's jobs and our families, we try to make it work every couple of years.  Our latest gathering was back in Texas, at Betsy's home.  We flew in on Friday morning, and out on Sunday afternoon.  We ate a lot, drank a little, shopped some, did a little sight-seeing and talked A LOT!  When three friends get together, who don't talk on the phone, there is a lot to catch up on, so we talked over each other and stayed up late filling each other in on everything.


Betsy was a gracious hostess, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with these precious friends.  We traveled to Fort Worth and ate at one of the most popular Mexican places in town.  We waited in line for 30 minutes, were seated outside on their huge patio, and chose from only 2 entrees.  No wonder they are so successful!  We left when they closed, and returned back to Betsy's.

The following morning, Chelsea's birthday, we slept in and had a delicious breakfast at Betsy's.  We then headed back to Fort Worth to watch the cattle drive.  Every day, twice daily, cowhands walk the long-horned cattle through the historic stockyards to holding pens.  You can get your picture taken on one of the cattle, and take in all of the surroundings.

We had to be tourists, and get our pictures taken on these long ears (what I accidentally called them once, and it stuck all weekend).


this guy had an almost 7 foot span!

After taking it all in, we drove over to Dallas.  Chels hadn't been to Texas before, so we had to show her the big D!  We grabbed lunch in the Uptown area.  We then drove north through Highland Park to show her the big beautiful homes and SMU campus.  Then we decided to do some shopping.  After we finally exhausted ourselves, we drove back to Betsy's house to put on our comfy clothes.  Since we had a late lunch, we decided to stay in, eat cheese and crackers, fruit and drink wine by her pool (my kind of evening)!  We celebrated Chelsea's birthday with a yummy cake, and stayed up way too late...finally hitting the hay around 1AM!

On our final day, we had a leisurely morning with breakfast and a walk around Betsy's neighborhood before heading out to lunch and then to DFW to take Chelsea.  Betsy and I did a little more shopping, and finally showered before taking me to the airport.  It was an action-packed weekend, but I wouldn't have changed a thing!  I hated saying good-bye, but I know we will see each other again.... hopefully sooner rather than later.  Of course, I cried at the airport when I had to say good-bye, but that is just a reminder of how much they mean to me.  Love you Bets and Chels!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Break 2017

B and Walker on the zoo train
When we made our plans to take the big kids skiing, we knew we had to pass up spring break due to the expense.  However about two weeks before the week long break, we were asked to join some friends at their beach house for part of the week.  Of course we couldn't pass up an opportunity to hang out with fun friends at a FREE house, so we started planning.

We elected to head up to Smith Lake Friday after school to move furniture around and allow for more room for all of the family.  We moved our bed to the small room, and gave up our larger space to accommodate two bunkbeds so all six kids had beds.  Everything went very smoothly, and we were all able to sleep in our new bedrooms that night.  The following morning, Steve and I worked in the yard, raking and mowing.  Preston spent most of his free time shooting his BB gun, and Bennett and Walker just ran around.  Though we were there for less than 24 hours, it proved to be a very productive time.


The kids and I also spent a day at Birmingham Zoo, and then we packed up and drove to the beach on Tuesday.  Steve was already down south working, so he just drove over to meet us.  We spent the next five days eating a lot of seafood, taking long walks, lounging, laughing and playing with the kids and many of our friends who were also at the beach.  We even managed to have one fun-filled parent's night out, thanks to an incredible babysitter!  What a fun week, thanks to the Smith Family!


So many friends at the beach!
The pool wasn't heated, but that didn't stop them from getting in it!
Fletch and Pres...special friends who share a love for crab hunting

the Walker-Banta-Mizerany women....more alike than different

strong Bennett among all of the boys playing in the pond


the kids entertained themselves catching (and releasing) crabs every day

the tooth fairy even made a trip to the beach!
relaxing one afternoon with my little love
last night on the beach!
sunset pic on our fun night out
Brook, Leah, me, Brooke and Mary Michael
macaroni art the kids did with the babysitter
Pizza delivered to the beach for our final night....what fun!
The beaches of 30A never disappoint!

Friday, March 3, 2017

3rd Annual Ski Trip

This winter, Bennett, Pres, Steve and I packed up and flew west for our third annual ski trip.  It was a Christmas present to them from us, and even though they asked Santa for it, they didn't seem that excited to receive it from us.  I don't know where we went wrong, as it has always been one of our favorite family trips of the year.  However as the weeks and days approached, their excitement grew and they forgot how rude they were to us at Christmas.

About a month before we left, I signed up to receive text updates on snowfall, and we realized that we were going to a mountain with more snowfall than we had ever seen!  In fact, every day it snowed overnight, and several of the days it snowed throughout the day.  By the time we arrived, there was an incredible base!  It continued to snow during our stay there, which made for a much different experience.  Thankfully we arrived on time, and were able to get groceries, fitted for our skis and take the kids ice skating.  What a great way to kick off our trip.
Day 2, we awoke early so we could eat a good breakfast.  The kids dressed themselves and were chomping at the bit to hit the slopes and get checked into ski school.  We were out there at 9am, and we took off on our own adventure.  It was a great day, but a COLD day!  We have chosen to go later in the season so we don't freeze, but all of us had problems with our fingers and/or toes getting cold.  Let's just say hand warmers were our friends!

Day 3 was much like the previous day, but we were better prepared with warmers.  The biggest difference was the amount of fresh powder we had overnight, making it virtually impossible for them to groom.  Every run that we skied had powder up to our knees, making it very difficult for us to make it down as quickly as usual.  It tuckered Steve and I out, but the kids loved it!  Their instructors taught them how to ski through it, and Preston did mogul runs all day (which he loved).  By the end of the day, we were anxious to hop in that hot tub and relax.  After talking to the kids, Bennett decided to do an additional day of ski school (instead of the 2 days we purchased before we arrived).

Day 4 we got Bennett checked into school, and took Preston out alone to see how much he had truly learned.  I thoroughly enjoy skiing with him because he pushes me!  He never asks where we are going, and never complains.  He prefers the more challenging slopes, and LOVES doing jumps on all of the terrain parks.  Thanks to all of the videos Christian had sent from his ski trip a few weeks earlier, Preston was anxious to show him up (the competition between those two is ridiculous).  We had fun exploring!

Day 5 (our final day on the slopes) was great!  The four of us skied together, and had a great lunch at the top of the mountain over in the Canyons at one of our favorite places, Cloud 9.  We continue to be amazed at how much the children have learned, and their improved confidence.  Bennett is still our conservative skier, but she has never been a risk-taker.  However, she is skiing faster, and consistently a blue run skier.  We divided and met at the bottom a couple of times, but we tried to stay together for the majority of the time, and we logged some serious vertical feet.

Pres jumping at terrain park

Nothing impresses me more than this beautiful scenery...God is great!



Overall, another wonderful trip....and probably our last ski trip without wild Walker!  Can't wait to see that little guy up on skis, and trying to keep up with his siblings.  Thank you Park City for the memories!