Sunday, May 31, 2009

rough day


woke up this morning to find out that a very brave young boy, Tucker Beam, lost his battle with cancer. Although Tucker and KJ have never been in the same class and we don't know his family personally, this little boy has touched many lives in our town and the kids at his elementary school absolutely adored him. KJ spoke of him often and said he was shy. She said she would wave to him in the hallways or the lunchroom and he would give her a little wiggle of his fingers.
I will be thinking of the Beam family tonight and many night's to come.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Link

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-509718/Try-making-splash-worlds-largest-swimming-pool--1-000-yards-long.html

here's the link and photos to the world's largest swimming pool.....

Nice Day today!



The photo to the right looks as if it's a small boat floating in a bay or small harbor in front of a hotel. However, this is a photo of the world's largest pool. I need to find out exactly where it is.

The girls & I spent the majority of the day at the pool after I went grocery shopping this morning. I made potato salad and T made a fruit salad. Austin came over w/ a bunch of a boys and then ended up staying for dinner. I had some friend chicken that I bought this morning at Publix, we threw some hotdog and hamburgers on the grill and had a nice little impromptu party at the pool. I called Austin's parents and they came over and joined us. Very nice, relaxing evening. We basically were the only folks there and KJ had the pool to herself. Tomorrow I've got a nice think steam to throw on the grill. Maybe some baked potatoes. Yummmmmm....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sad News

(please excuse the spelling errors in this post --- the "i" key on my laptop is stuck and I really have to bang on it)

Such sad news about Mike Tyson's little girl. I still don't understand exactly what happened or how she got the cord wrapped around her neck but I certainly know first-hand how dangerous treadmills are. Two summers ago KJ was fooling around on our treadmill (after mommy told her hundreds of times that it's not a toy), fell off of it, got trapped between the moving belt and the wall and had horrible scrapes and burns up and down her body and legs. Looking back, it could have been a lot worse. When she fell off of it, she could have gotten her hair wrapped around the belt and I don't even want to think what could have happened.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day



Hope everyone is having a wonderful, relaxing Memorial Day and has taken a moment to think of those (past and present) who have served our country. I know I have. I take my freedom very seriously and love my country! I don't always agree w/ some of our government's decisions or actions but I am proud to be an American!

Today's photo is of Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. I realize this is going to sound very morbid, but Arlington is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places in DC. (especially in the fall! My favorite time of year!). It is so incredibly peaceful and serene. As you know, I'm a bit of a history geek and loved walking thru the markers and thinking about those that are buried there -- did they have any brothers or sisters? Were they they oldest in their family or were they the baby? Were they married? Any children? What did they do before the war? What kind of hobbies did they have?

One of my favorite photos of T was taken on the steps of the Arlington House. She must have been about 14-15 months old and is wearing pink corduroy overalls and has a wonderful, natural, candid smile on her face and the wind is blowing her hair. She had been horribly cranky all day and I was very nervous about taking her to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I thought for sure she was going to start fussing and cause a scene. That little stinker must have realized that something solemn was about to occur because she did not make a peep. She sat totally alert in the stroller and did not move a muscle.

Both sides of my family have served this country well: my dad was in the Air Force and so was his oldest brother Stanley. Uncle George, the baby, was a hippie (ha!ha! someone please remind me to post about the time him, Uncle Smokey and my cousin David tried to drive to Woodstock!!!!). Their dad, pictured below, was captured and escaped from a POW camp in Germany. My mother's dad, my Grandpa Duda, served during WWII in Washington DC where he met my grandmother (she was a simple farm girl from PA who moved to DC w/ a couple of girlfriends to help during the war effort and he was a street smart guy from Brooklyn). My Grandpa Duda's baby brother, Henry, also served in the military but I don't know in what branch. My Uncle Zip, my mother's oldest brother, was in the Navy as was my Uncle Smokey (the hippy-wanna-be). My Uncle Michael, my mother's baby brother (he's only 5 years older than me), was in the Air Force and most recently did a voluntary tour in the Middle East (I really need to confirm where he was but I do know he came home decorated for heroism). I can't remember if it was my Grandma Duda's father (my grandpa Castle who I never met) or if it was his brother, Robert, who served in WWI. I'll have to check w/ my mother. My uncle Jack was in the Navy and still attends his reunions.

My Grandpa Shrodo, a WWII POW (I need to find a photo of Grandpa Duda in uniform)

Chris's dad was a marine and served in Korea, Chris's nephew Louis is currently serving in the Navy. I believe one of my mother-in-law's brothers (Andy perhaps? maybe that's why Chris's brother Drew was named Andrew???) was killed in the war (again, not sure which war -- WWII???). And now Chris & I personally know 3 very fine young men from Hoover who are attending Annapolis -- Brye, Jacob & Jordan.


US Naval Academy, Annaplis, MD


I think one of the reason's I am so fascinated/proud of our country's military is because I grew up in Rockland County, NY. Many Revolutionary War battles were fought throughout the county and West Point was only a few minutes from my home. We went the military museum there fairly regularly and loved going to the football games and the dress parades. And then, when we lived in MD, we had the privilege (pre-9/11) of walking freely around Annapolis.



US Military Academy, West Point, NY


If you have time today, check-out: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/

Friday, May 22, 2009

School's Out!!!


yay! school is officially out until mid-August. I luv, luv, luv having the girls home for the summer. I luv not have a schedule, I luv just hanging out at the pool with them, I luv spontaneous get-togethers at the house and I like when the girls have big sleep-overs and the house if filled with kids.



Looking forward to the 3-day weekend. Chris & I have some home projects we need to get done. I'd like to strip the wallpaper in KJ's bathroom and paint it to match her crazy bedroom. Unfortunately we let our wallpaper steamer to someone and instead of returning it, the put a power painter in the box. Soooo, we know have 2 power painters and no wallpaper stripper. So this project may have to go on the back burner. Chris has some mulching and yard work to do (if the weather cooperates) and I've been toying w/ the idea of painting our bathroom cabinets a glossy black. We re-did our bathroom in stages (2 years ago we redid all the tile work, the shower doors, the tub surround, the floor, new faucets and new light fixtures. last summer we had the granite counter tops installed). I luv, luv, luv the bathroom but have also felt like the cabinetry needed some work.



T & I area little sad. This time last year we were planning our big trip to Europe. So when folks have been trying to make small talk and politely ask, "what are your plans for the summer?" or "any big plans this summer?" I think "AAAARRGGH!!! I wish I was in Paris or London!!!" Wasn't that crazy about Rome. Loved the ruins, the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, etc. Hated the actual city of Rome. Filthy dirty and the people weren't so nice. So, since I'm in a European state of mind, I leave you with some photos of famous European landmarks.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chris vs. Keifer


























KJ had her end of year lax party tonight @ Dave's Pizza in Homewood. We had never been there before. Pizza was good and they totally handled our large party on the outside patio.



Rep. DeMarco (spelling?) came to the party and gave each player a proclamation read in Montgomery about the Lady Lizards winning their state championship. It was cool.



As we were leaving the party, I overhead KJ's 2 lax coaches asking her, "has anyone ever told you your dad looks just like the guy from 24?" Hahaha! Chris used to get that all the time when he was in college. We haven't heard that in a long, long time. Of course, KJ had know idea what they were talking about!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another Rainy Day in Paradise



Another rainy Sunday and I don't really mind. I like the rain. Chris has some yard work he'd like to get done so the weather is holding him up a bit. This has been the rainiest spring in a long, long time.

Things are starting to wind down here at home. Both girls are officially finished w/ their regular lax season. KJ has her team party tomorrow night and T will most likely play All-stars. Studio dance is officially over. Both girls went to their dance class parties this week to say good-by to their friends. T's baby class gave her lots of lovely parting gifts. T also had
her Dance Team (black & white theme) end of year party @ the Country Club. The older girls gave the freshman personalized embroidered beach towels and the freshmen gave each other silly gifts (T was voted most likely to say "OhMyGod!" which she really does say alot!!).

Only a couple more days of school and we're done for the summer! The pool opened Friday and both girls have already been down there with friends. Trying to get our summer schedule finalized: lax camps, lax tournaments, volleyball camps (KJ) and 2-week dance intensive (T). We also have a bridal shower this summer and a wedding in Tallahassee, FL the weekend the girls go back to school. Oh yeah. I almost forgot. T will be turning 15 this summer and getting her driving permit. YIKES!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day !!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Mother's Day. I did! Chris & the girls brought me french toast and tea in bed this morning (my favorite!!!). We lounged around in bed for a while and played w/ the dog. It was a very nice relaxing morning. Chris & the girls also bought me the Coach wallet that matches my new Coach bag. We had a nice lunch and have pretty much relaxed the rest of the day. So, it's been a busy couple of days/weeks around here. We've been teasing T-bone about being the only lacrosse loser in the family. Both Chris's Varsity and JV teams won their state lax championships and so did KJ's Lady Lizards. Chris was also honored by US Lacrosse as Alabama's Man of the Year for his efforts in the local lacrosse community. I was very proud of him!

T had her lax end of year party Wednesday night. It was a little tough on her. She really likes all of the girls she played with and particularly had a lot of fun w/ several seniors. She's been playing fall ball w/ some of these girls for 2-3 years and played varsity w/ them for 2.

Thursday T performed in the Dance Showcase at the high school put on by the dance department. She and a couple of the other freshmen had been working on their dance the last 9 weeks of school since football and basketball are over. The girls (my 2) also had their dance recital yesterday and we had rehearsals at the BJCC Friday night. T & I were there for almost 7 hours. It was kind of fun though because the prom was at the Sheraton and we got to see some of the kids we knew. The recital was lovely yesterday and my girls did wonderful! KJ takes her dancing very seriously! She did a great job. I think I liked her ballet dance the best and I liked T's jazz routine the best of her 2 dances.

So, now lacrosse is over. Dance is over. Just have softball left. Don't know what we'll do with chris home every night. hahaha

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Good Weekend of Lacrosse!!!

This past weekend was lacrosse championship weekend here in Alabama. Unfortunately, not all of the games got played due to the severe weather we had on Sunday (more on that later).

T's team had a semi-finals game against Mt. Brook Friday night. It was one of the most exciting games I had seen in a long, long time! We scored, they scored, it just went on and on, constantly tying up. The game went into overtime and then it went into sudden death. We lost. It was a great game and the girls made them fight for every goal.

Saturday AM Chris & I were up at the high school at the crack of dawn to get things ready for the championship games (little kids games all day). KJ played at 10:30 AM during an absolute deluge. She played goalie for half the game and attack for the other half. Her little team won and I think KJ's been wearing her championship medal 24/7.

All of the games on Saturday were really good. Most of the were all very close games with only one blow-out. We had some wonderful volunteers and most of the JV kids came out Saturday and helped out w/ drinks.

The high school games were supposed to have been played on Sunday -- JV boys, girls Varsity and boys Varsity. Unfortunately, due to the severe weather and tornado threats, none of the games got played. The sirens went off just as JV was starting their game so we all had to run for cover and hide in the bathrooms in the stadium.

We came home during a break in the storms and ended up having a nice relaxing day. I took a great nap. Unfortunately, now all the high school games have to be re-scheduled.
We still have dance rehearsals and softball games this week so I'm not sure how many of Chris's games we'll get to see this week.


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