Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the Year Pickleball Tournament

Last week Nathan announced to me that he was going to host a pickleball tournament.  I know the other wives out there will understand me when I say what that really meant was *we* were going to do a pickleball tournament.  I'm so glad he did decide to do this, because it was great fun for us.

We had a great turnout!  After a week full of a huge pickleball crowd, we were a little concerned we'd have so many players that it would take all day to finish.  Instead we had enough people to do both a men's and women's tournament and it lasted a decent amount of time, without being all day long.

Here are the players:

Some of the action, starting with Ken and Austin.  Ken always has that great smile on his face:

Regal Faye with Kim.  This week is the first I've met Kim.  She is a hoot.  She makes the game so much more fun!

Here is Kim with Diane.  Diane is a fellow South Floridian and is so cool.  And she rocks at pickleball!

 I've just met Kristie since we've been here too.  She was on a hot streak today!

Me, and given the direction that it appears the ball is moving, I'm guessing it was not a great hit.  I still get so intimidated and feel sorry for other people that they are stuck with me as their partner.  And the only reason I am sharing that is because I want to give some praise to the other women that play.  They are so gracious and sooooo encouraging to me.  I appreciate them so much!

Look at that concentration:

Meet Donna and Barbara, who are both awesome players.  And both so incredibly sweet and encouraging.

Here is another sweetheart Sheri, and lean mean winning machine Sally.  Not that Sally isn't sweet, but she plays to win!  I think that's the only shot I have of Sally.  The rest are probably just a blur!

Wait a minute, I do have more of Sally.  And here you can see the elegant Karen on the other side:

 Karen looks dainty, but she can play a mean game!

Sitting on the sidelines:

You'll have to go to Austin's blog to see the men's games because I was too busy watching the women to tell you much detail about the men.
Winners: Sallie-1st, Diane-2nd and Barbara-3rd:

Mike-1st, Austin-3rd and Dave-2nd:

Way to go winners and everyone else that played.  You made it tons of fun for us.  We hope you had fun too!

You can see the rest of our pictures here: Pickleball Tournament

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Boy Takes Up Blogging

Austin has decided that he'd like to share his view of our journeys so he started his own blog.  I've never heard him express interest at all in blogging, so I was pleasantly surprised when he did do this.

I read his first post, did some basic grammar edits and sent it back with a note that he could just copy and paste my edit over his own if he wanted.  (Control freak much?  Nah, not me!)  To which he cracked up and said nice try just made my blog sound just like your blog.  No thanks. 

Here it is, in his own voice:

So far, I am his one and only follower which he most likely does not appreciate.  Any help there would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pickle Ball and Bowling Fun

We've had quite the crew here for pickle ball!  There is a family that has about 12 extended members that has joined our pickle ball fun.  That has probably doubled the normal numbers.  That means you sit out an awful lot waiting to play a game.  That was ok with me today though because we did some bowling in the afternoon so I needed some energy for that.

Not that it helped me any, because I still didn't do well with the bowling.  We went with a group from Torrey Oaks and with Faye and Ken.  Poor Faye and Ken got stuck with us and while they bowled well, we did not.  Although Austin did come in second the last game.  He was doing great that game!  We had fun even with the stinky scores!

Stan and Ken taught Austin some moves, so now he's taking the game seriously!

Faye and Ken:

Stan and Sally:

Even after a day full of activities, Austin wanted to go and join the Y here.  He stayed and worked out for two hours.  I'm hoping this means he goes to bed sometime soon tonight due to being worn out!

Living the life in Sunny Florida!

Merry Christmas 2009

I was still feeling sick today, so I didn't do much beyond the dinner we ate here at Thousand Trails.  I'm glad we already celebrated our Christmas or I'd have been very disappointed to be sick today.

The dinner was great.  I think they said there was 167 people at it.  We were some of the overflow tables that ate out on the porch.  The food was great and there was lots of it.  It was a nice way to celebrate!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ft Lauderdale back to Wauchula, FL

Today we headed up to Wauchula where we are happy to say we are staying put for a few weeks.  I can now tell you that driving while sick is no fun.  We had a very smooth trip otherwise though.

We came back to find the site we left open, so we pulled back into the same spot.  Faye and Ken were right across from us, which made it even better for us!

We are gearing up to do another round of Christmas and since Austin is on the mend, I'm hoping that means I am too.

Happy Holidays from Sunny Florida!

Goodbye Florida Keys

We waved a sad goodbye to the Florida Keys today. 

As sad as we were to leave, we were happy to be heading to Fort Lauderdale again.  We spent the night with Bryce, Renie and our grandkids.  We got them a Wii game for Christmas and had fun playing that together.  Liv and I did some crafts and chatted.  Gabe adored Austin and spent as much time by his side as he could.  The dogs snuggled up to Nathan.  We had a wonderful time.

Austin has been sick this past week and I'm afraid he passed it on to me.  So I am looking forward to heading out tomorrow where we will stay put for three weeks.  I'm hoping I can rest and heal there.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Florida Keys

I'm so grateful for our time here.  It was a wonderfully relaxing time together as a family.


Living the life in the leisurely Florida Keys!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Key West, Florida

Just a short trip down to Key West, complete with an ice cream stop!


Attempts at Family Pictures

I like to do group shots of us at least once a year.  And every year I remember why we hardly ever took family portraits when I had all five kids at home.  It's just fine when it's me and the girls.  My girls are focused and ready for action when it comes to taking pictures!

Somehow when the boys enter the mix, it just isn't quite as easy though.   I'm not quite sure what the problem is.  I can't quite put my finger on it.

Notice the super model who stays spot on, regardless of the distractions!
  She's a pro!

Can you guess the drama star of the family?

It doesn't help any when Dad is on the other side and I'm taking the pictures.

That's ok.  Someday they will have kids and I can always teach them to do the same!

At least they are old enough to take pictures of us now.  That is one sign they are growing up.  As for the rest, I have to laugh because they are still such kids at heart at times.  I hope they never lose that.  Even if it does mean I can't get great family pictures of us all.

Ashleigh, we missed you today!  It's just not the same without you.  Although as you can see, they can act just as silly without you!  Happy Holidays from the silly family!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snorkeling at Bahia Honda State Park

The older kids drove down to join us today, and we headed over to Bahia Honda to do some snorkeling.  We had a big rain storm all day yesterday so it was a bit chilly and the water was too cloudy to see anything.  We had fun anyways.  We were there when the sun was beginning to set.  As glorious as I think the beach is, I think being there at sunrise and sunset makes it a million times more glorious.

The kids waded out in the water first and I could tell by their expressions that the water was cold.  Once they got out there, they had fun.  Here they are laughing at who knows what.  It doesn't even matter what, because when I see my kids laughing-all is right with my world.

I am always fascinated by the birds at the beach.  It's hard not to want to snap a million pictures of them!

I'm more fascinated by this though.  This is what makes my heart sing.  I love these people!

They are laughing again.  This time I know what they are laughing at though.
Dad is doing his duck walk into the water.  It's the simple things in life that make our day.  What can I say?  We are easily entertained in this family.

Aren't they beautiful?  Even if they are using their dad as a source of entertainment, they are really beautiful!

Life is good!  Living it in Sunny Florida!