Jennie, Ted, Brooklyn, Maddux, Nolan & Payton

Jennie, Ted, Brooklyn, Maddux, Nolan & Payton

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Daddy Daughter Time

Brooklyn and I continued our Valentine's tradition of attending the daddy daughter dance. We went out to eat beforehand with one of her friends and her father and then headed to the rec center to dance the night away. This is the fourth year in a row that we have been and it is a great way to spend some time together. Although the older they get the less time they want to spend with dad. The first couple of dances I got lots of floor time but the last couple have been a whole different story. The girls spend most of the time dancing with each other while the dads are left to talk with each other. I will take whatever I can get. We then headed out for some ice cream at our local spot afterwards as a night cap to finish things off.

Here are all the girls (Kenzie, Brynnley, Addysen, Brooklyn and Kirsten).

The whole gang, fathers included.

Brooklyn and her good friend Kirsten doing the tango.

Then a couple nights later I took Brooklyn to watch the CAV's play the heat and boo Lebron James. Despite the game not going our way we had a good time just hanging out the two of us.

Brooklyn with her favorite player "The Wild Thing." He was out with a Brooklyn wrist but that didn't stop Brooklyn from rocking his jersey.

Brooklyn was selected to be a ballgirl at the beginning of the game and got to go out to center court at the beginning of the game and receive a ball from one of the CAV's starters. The prior two times she has been selected to do this she received the ball from her favorite player. This time she got a ball from Alonzo Gee. Look at those skinny legs.

Here she is up by our seats for the game. We actually got decent seats considering that is a hard ticket to get and the good seats are usually pretty expensive.

Then last week I took the three older kids to watch the CAV's play the New Orleans Hornets. I figured it would be a good game to take the 3 of them to and get good seats for a good deal. We ended up sitting two rows behind the Hornets bench for the game. While I loved the seats I wouldn't recommend them for kids. With the players standing up all the time I think they missed a good portion of the game not being able to see over them.

We did get lucky as all three kids were selected to be ball kids. I have mastered the art of getting the kids selected and probably have 10 or 12 different balls from different CAV's players over the last 3 years. A few of them are signed with the hopes of eventually getting them all signed. Nolan got a ball from Antwan Jamison, Brooklyn from Ryan Hollins and Maddux from Alonzo Gee. The kids love participating in these activities and it lets me sit courtside during warm-ups.

Here are the three of them waiting at halfcourt for the players to come out.

Antwan Jamison giving Nolan his ball. This was the first time that Nolan has got to be a ballboy.

The kids afterwards with their balls and shirts.

You can't attend a CAV's game without getting your hair spray-painted and getting some facepaint and tattoos on your face. This is probably what the kids enjoy most while at the game; well maybe outside of the cotton candy.

If anyone wants tips on how to get hooked up at a CAV's game just let me know. My methods work every time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

January in Review - Maddux's Birthday & Baptism

I have done a terrible job at keeping this up to date and apologize for the absent postings. With Maddux in travel baseball and basketball, Nolan in karate and Brooklyn in travel softball and basketball there is not a lot of free time and our blog has suffered. Anyways here is a recap from January and the activities that took place.

It started with Maddux turning 8, on the 8th, and him having his birthday party at the CAV's game. He is a huge CAV's fan so I took him and 4 of his friends to watch the CAV's take on the Chicago Bulls. Despite the Bulls winning by 40 the kids had a fun time and got to do lots of stuff. Maddux also got his name put up on one of the scoreboards.

The boys were also selected be Courtside Kids and got to go and sit on the baseline during warm-ups and take pictures of the players getting ready. They give them a shirt and disposable camera and let them sit there for an hour before the game actually starts.

Here they are waiting to go on the court and take pictures with their spray painted hair.

As part of being a Courtside Kid they also get to go on the floor and shoot freethrows while the team is waiting to come out.

Maddux hitting his freethrow - nothing but net.

This was the boys favorite part of the whole night. Well at least everyone but Maddux. While his friends were waving and taking pictures of all the CAV's girls, Maddux wanted nothing to do with them. I had to force him to take this picture. He wouldn't talk let alone look at the girls and actually tried to run away from them. This is all the other boys talked about all night. This is also the picture that we used to send thank you notes to the kids for coming.

Then after the game I had a real surprise for them. I know the head of security for the CAV's (through the bank) and he agreed to take all the boys down to the locker room area after the game so the kids could meet and get autographs from the players. Maddux got to do this once last year and had a lot of fun.

Here is Daniel "Boobie" Gibson signing autographs for the kids. You have to love the hat.

"The Wild Thing" Anderson Varejao signing Maddux's sign. This is Brooklyn's favorite player.

It was nice that most of the Bulls players also stopped to sign autographs for the kids. Here is Carlos Boozer, one time CAV, signing Maddux's sign. Outside of Lebron James, he is probably the most hated CAV for the way he left the team.

With Maddux turning 8 this year he also was baptized on his birthday. He was very excited and had a lot of his friends show up to support his decision.

Thanks to Jennie and her lack of enthusiasm for pictures this is the lone picture that we have from his baptism.

A giant plate of cookies served as Maddux's birthday cake and made distributing a lot easier.

We had a lot of hoops for the month of January between the kids playing basketball and a couple of CAV's basketball games.

Maddux and I went to opening night where he was selected to be a ballkid. He gets to stand at halfcourt and the starting 5 come out and hand them basketballs which they can keep. I think Maddux and Brooklyn have each been selected to do this 3 times over the last couple of years.

Here he is on the jumbotron waiting for the players to come out.

I don't have very many pictures of Maddux playing as I help coach his team and Jennie tends to take more pictures of the other kids then her own. Here he is playing some lock-down defense on his guy. He has gotten very good at taking the ball away from the other team and racing to the other end for a layup.

Over the last couple of games Brooklyn has let her offensive side loose. She has scored in her last three games and had a career high 6 points in last weeks game. She has gotten a little more aggressive and is not afraid to mix it up a little bit. I hope to have some video ready for my February update.

Well now you are caught up through January and I promise to blog more than once in February.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Waiting for the mail.

Payton's latest obsession is with getting the mail everyday. If anyone else tries to get it she starts screaming and has been known to throw a punch or two. Yesterday was in the upper 50's and she decided that she was going to go out and sit in the drive way (dressed in her princess outfit) and wait for the mailman to show up. She was not going to be denied her duty of getting the mail.

First she had to go and check to make sure that they mail was not already here. Every time she gets out of a car she must run and check the mailbox no matter what time or day it is. She does not yet understand that no matter how many times she checks on Sunday that there will be no mail.

Since there was no mail yet she decided to pull a chair out of the garage and park herself in the driveway until the mail was here. Luckily it only took 20 minutes or so before the mail showed up.

Once she can hear or see the mail truck she decided to go stand right next to the street to make sure they don't try and put the mail in the mailbox.

Finally the mail has arrived and the wait is over.

Nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done.

If we are ever over at your house and you have mail missing you now know who the first one to check should be.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

November in Review

Well it has been over a month so I figured I might as well update everyone on our November. I started out by taking the kids to Snowdays which is held at the Cleveland Indians baseball field. In the winter months they turn the field into a giant ice rink and build a snowtube hill for everyone to sled down. I got preview tickets, through the bank, which only let a select few in for the first night. That was nice because there were only a hundred or so people there so there were no lines to wait in. Despite a little rain, we had a lot of fun and the kids are wanting to go back again.

Here are the three older kids going down the make shift hill on snowtubes. They actually turn some of the bleacher seats into a giant hill which you then ride down in snowtubes. It is also nice because you don't have to carry the tubes back up as they have a lift that does that for you.

Here a Brooklyn and I sitting in the restaurant taking a break for some hot chocolate.

The boys doing the same.

This was Nolan's first time on the ice and despite a few falls he actually did very well. By the end of the night he actually was able to stay up and move around the ice with no aides or help.

Maddux on his first trip around the track. This was only his second time out and after 1 or 2 laps he actually was able to go around the track, although not as fast as his sister (she doesn't let him forget that either).

Brooklyn showing the boys how to get started. She is actually quite fast around the ice and can do so without the help of a cone or a rail. I was surprised at how good she was.

They also had some games that the kids could play, underneath the stadium, and the boys actually spent quite a bit of time at the radar toss. I think Maddux may have actually hit 44 or 45 which is pretty good for a 7 year old. I believe he had the record for the night.

The kids in front of the Indians scoreboard. They would actually show you on the big screen going down on the tubes.

The hot dogs made an appearance and the kids had to get there picture with all three.

Then on Thanksgiving we decided to head to the zoo for the day since it was free to everyone. The weather actually was pretty decent and most of the animals were outside for all to see. We ended up going with most of the kids and had some friends come along with their kids. It was an entertaining way to spend the morning and take advantage of the weather.

With all the animals that the zoo has, the playground was the most popular spot at the zoo and was the venue for most of our visit.

Most of the kids on top watching the seals and otters swim around.

Maddux and Nolan taking a break to pose for a photo opportunity.

Payton showing a little crack while sitting on top of her Uncle Spencer's shoulders.

A couple of grizzly bear cubs playing around.

Nolan enjoying the sunshine and just happy to be there.

For the Christmas season they decorate the branch I work at which provides for some good photo opportunities.

I think this is the biggest present the kids have ever seen. Payton kept wanting to open it and see what was inside.

They also put up a couple different trees which overlook the bank lobby and provide a little extra Christmas spirit. We get people that come in all day just to look at the decorations.

November also marks the beginning of basketball season. Brooklyn and Maddux have both played three games so far and are yet to lose. Brooklyn has a very good team and has won all three games by more than 20 points. They actually stop keeping score once the lead is 20 just to promote good sportsmanship. I don't think that anyone has scored more than 8 points on them yet. Maddux's games have been closer and he is having a lot of fun. He has gotten a lot better since last year and is one of the leading scorers on his team. It is so much fun to watch them in action and see how they play against other kids their own age.

Brooklyn is not known for her ball-handling skills but has been given the opportunity to work on it due to some larger leads. Her coaches are very good at giving everyone the opportunity to learn all positions and really have some fun. It helps when you have multiple girls who can handle the ball and know how to play.

A year or two ago and Brooklyn would not have even thought about going for this ball. She has gotten a lot more aggressive and continues to improve every game.

I love the look on the other girls face in this picture. Brooklyn's lock-down defense creates fear in the opposition. I am sure that is not actually the case but the picture does show different.

Brooklyn is one of the tallest girls in the league and has shown that she does have some hops.

Maddux leading the fast break. He is one of the quicker kids on the team and can also bring the ball down the court with him. If you have a kid at this age that can dribble and get to the basket it is such an advantage. We are lucky in that we have 2 that can do that at any time.

I am lucky enough to be one of Maddux's coaches and really enjoy spending time with him and the other kids while they learn the game. I really enjoy coaching and being able to have a hand in these kids development.

Well the Christmas season is upon us and we wish you and your families a happy and safe Christmas.