Neat Stuff

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Alex is watching a movie in his makeshift theater…

Movie Theater

What an imagination!

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It’s a great day for baseball! Charlie came to the game today and hung-out with Dad to watch the game…

Dad and Charlie at the game

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Adam wanted to pitch during fall ball, but he was overshadowed by other players on the team and didn’t get the opportunity. So we practiced during the winter months to improve his skill and tonight he led the team from the mound for the first time!

Adam on the Mound

He did great! Although the other team got a couple of hits, they couldn’t score…

Adam on the Mound

before Adam struck-out three and headed back to the dugout!

Adam on the Mound

He was very proud of himself…and so were we!

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The boys have a class history project to present. Both of them had to choose a famous person and research their life, develop a timeline of their life and document pertinent history, put together a storyboard, and come to school dressed AS that person. They also have to answer questions from their classmates about their subject person.

Alex chose Sitting Bull…

Alex's School Project

While Adam chose Jackie Robinson…

Adam's School Project

They helped Mom and Dad make their costumes…


and joined their classmates in presentations…

Presentations Presentations

Mom was able to attend and said they both did very well. Their teachers must have agreed because they each received an “A”!

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After each basketball game, the boys are recognized by their coach for their actions and attitudes on the court through the presentation of game day stars. The stars are multi-colored and represent the following attributes:

  • Blue = Effort
  • Red = Defense
  • Gray = Offense
  • Gold = Sportsmanship
  • White = Christlikeness

We’re about two-thirds of the way through the season and each week, the boys bring me their stars to attach to their uniform…

Upward Stars

Then we talk about what they did during the game to earn that particular star. They take pride in their accomplishment and most importantly, they’re learning the importance of hard work on the court, teamwork, and sportsmanship!

It’s the first practice of the season and the boys are excited…Dad, too. Their team is the Cobras and they strike light lightening! (yeah, I made-up that part to eye-rolls from everyone 😉 ). The boys play in the Upward Basketball Program, which is a Christian sports league that focuses on developing athletes mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. In addition to recognizing the kids for offense and defense action on the court, they’re also recognized for their attitude in relations to effort, sportsmanship, and Christlikeness. This league is really a lot of fun!

There are a few kids on the team who haven’t played basketball before, so the coach works on fundamentals with the team. Alex and Adam are a little rusty, but pick-up quickly.


Alex Shoots

Adam Shoots

Dibbling (although the whole double-dribble thing is still a foreign concept)…

Alex Dribbles

and Passing…

Adam Passes

Then a little shooting past a defender and some rebounding…

Boys Playing Basketball

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ALL ABOARD! With gold tickets in hand and the boys dressed in their pajamas, we boarded The Polar Express in Tavares, Florida, for our trip to the North Pole…

Polar Express Tickets

Today’s experience was our Christmas gift from the boys’ Godparents, Chris and Sherrie, and is based on the more-than-30-year-old Christmas classic, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsberg, and the 2004 animated movie directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Prairie Dogs

Each car in the train had it’s own steward (ours was named “Hannah”), who directed all of the show’s activities, including the conductor visit, the hobo, the reading of the story by the author, singing Christmas carols, and the hot chocolate song complete with dancing waiters in the isle. She also punched the tickets, of course…

Steward Hannah Tickets Punched

When we reached the North Pole, Santa joined us and presented all the kids on the train with “the first gift of Christmas,” a silver bell…


The whole experience lasted just over an hour and was well worth the two-hour drive to Tavares! Although Adam questioned: 1) why the trip to the North Pole only took 30-minutes (“because the movie was two-hours”); 2) why, upon reaching the North Pole, there was no snow; 3) why Santa’s gray mustache wasn’t white like his beard; and 4) why he couldn’t have more hot chocolate.

( sigh )

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It’s hard to believe they still sit like this. You’d think it would be uncomfortable, but I suppose after spending almost 9-months as “womb-mates,” this would be considered palatial…

Twin Thing

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It’s hard to believe the twins are 9-years-old! I can remember the day they were born as if it were yesterday! Cindy’s blood-pressure shot up the day before and it wouldn’t go down, so Dr. Christy scheduled the c-section for early the next morning. The procedure was quick and by early afternoon the boys were whisked off to the neonatal ICU (in a different hospital) as a precaution. Cindy only got to see them briefly before they were loaded in the ambulance for the trip across town. After about 24-hours both boys were thriving and we got to bring them home soon after. Then we didn’t sleep for a year! 😛

We sleep a lot better now, of course, and the boys are a lot of fun. Their birthday this year was a simple affair, with a few friends joining them yesterday afternoon at Rebounders, then coming to the house for pizza and cake…

Birthday Party

As usual, they each get a cake…

Birthday Party

This morning, they awoke to their presents, which featured a home-made toy train from “Poppy”…

Toy Train

and each was hauling 9 gold dollar coins…

Toy Train Toy Train
Toy Train Toy Train

And if that wasn’t enough, Mom and Dad got ’em brand new iPads…


All-in-all, not a bad birthday. I guess turning 9 is pretty great! When I turned 9, I think I got a toy Thompson sub-machine gun and a Partridge Family album. I shoulda put the Partridge Family on their iPads!

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The trees are up! We have the regular Christmas tree upstairs and Cindy’s special “Elf Tree” downstairs…

Christmas tree Elf tree

and the house…

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Decorations

I’ve said you always know what time of year it is by looking at our house! And the tradition continues 🙂

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