Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Roger, Wendy, and Jenny visit

This past Sunday, Roger, Wendy, and Jenny were coming through the area on the way for their vacation. They stopped by to say hi and we ate at Barbara Jeans with them. We're glad they took a little time out of their vacation to see us.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Connor the NBA superfan

Connor has been following all the NBA teams lately and for his birthday got a Bulls jersey from Andrea and me, and a Golden State Warriors Jersey from Abby and Amanda. He also got a New York  Knicks jersey for making the AB honor roll and he used his birthday money to get a Utah Jazz jersey. He has struggled with watching games unfortunately. Most are not aired on the channels we get, and we haven't purchased the NBA league pass, so it's rare that a good game is available for him to watch.

Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers were playing against the LA Clippers and Connor was super hyped to watch it. He was begging us to set up a special viewing party to watch the game. I've watched it on the TV in the guest room a few times, and he really likes watching things on that TV. Andrea finally relented and said her could have his "party", but he'd have to get it all setup. When we went in to the room, we were impressed with his setup and his presentation. He had all kinds of goodies set out in bowls, along with sports drinks (appropriate for watching a sports game I guess). It was super cute and we enjoyed hanging out with him and watching some basketball. Unfortunately the Cavs decided they wanted to rest their 3 best players, so the game was absolutely garbage to watch.

Paige's flower crown and glitter slippers

This weekend we were at Town Center, and did a little shopping. Andrea got the kids some new summer clothes and while we were at Dillard's, Paige created a huge stack of bows, purses, and accessories that she wanted. She'd been saving up her money, so we let her choose a few things to purchase. We thought she only had $16, and she really wanted to buy a flower crown and some glitter slippers. Unfortunately, they cost $22 and she was having a tough time deciding what to do about it, but Connor jumped in and offered to give her the difference. When we got home and she got out her money, it turned out she had plenty, but it was very nice of Connor to offer.

Grandma Alice and Grandpa Rick had been watching Chloe for us over Spring break, so Paige and I went by to pick her up. Paige loves cuddling with Pixie, and I took a few pics of them together and Grandpa also got a cute pic.

Spring break 2017 at Wild Dunes

This past week was Spring break for the kids and Andrea put together a trip for us to Wild Dunes for the week. I brought all my work things and did work in the afternoons, but was still able to do tennis in the mornings and be together with the family in the evenings. The weather was pretty surprising and different from what we've been experiencing recently. This winter's been very mild and it'd been in the 80's for the week before spring break. I remember even thinking that I was a little disappointed that it was so hot so early. Well, this past week we got our fill of cold weather. On the drive there, the temperature dropped from the mid-70's to the mid-50's. We were thankful that Mommy had checked the weather before we left and that we'd packed some warm clothes.

On Monday, we all did the morning clinics and then had lunch at McAlister's. After lunch, Connor and I took an Uber back to the room and the girls went out and got their nails done. The nail salon had super cute kids chairs and Andrea remembered to take a few pics of Paige during the process. Paige loves girly stuff and it definitely made her day.

On Tuesday, it rained and tennis was canceled. Wednesday, it was super cold in the morning and only I did tennis. There was a family in town from Texas, and we remembered them from Thanksgiving when we all were in the clinics together. Craig, Rebecca, and their daughter May all were in the clinic with me on Wednesday and we also played with them on Thursday and Friday. It was very quiet at the resort since our Spring break was so early this year and if they hadn't been there, Andrea and I would have been stuck doing the clinics by ourselves. The Texans were great competition and Jess, the pro that did the clinics all week, did a nice job of keeping Andrea and I together and not playing against each other. The kids were alone in their clinics, and although Paige had a few difficult moments during the week, they mostly seemed to enjoy themselves and hopefully learned something.

The little store on property had terrible hours and no pizza this time of year, which was super disappointing. The kids liked going for ice cream, and we got Connor his cookies and cream ice cream, and Paige would get either "Superman" sherbet or vanilla Dippin' Dots.

Paige worked on a lot of projects and notes. One of them she wrote late at night when she was supposed to be sleeping. She banged on her bedroom door to get our attention, and I went in to the room in a bad mood and she gave it to me and I broke her heart when I was stern with her. After I read it, I felt awful. She was a sweetie all week and loved making cards and pictures for Andrea and me.

Paige fell asleep one night while I held her, and she really loved that.

Andrea took the kids out while I was working and they liked to swing on the porch swing nearby and play basketball and at the park.

It was a little colder than we would have liked, and a little bit empty at the resort, but we got to spend a lot of family time together. We watched the BNP Paribas tennis tournament at Indian Wells, which was on the Tennis channel. Thankfully we brought our Apple TV, so even though the rental's cable plan didn't include it, we were able to pull it up on our Apple TV tennis channel app. It was hard to have to watch things live and with commercials, but we somehow survived. Connor has been in to his basketball, so we also watched some NBA games with him.

We often ask the kids what their "High, Medium, and Low" points were for a day, and we asked them what they were for the trip.

Connor's high, medium, and low:
Low: Watching Paige fall out of the tree
Medium: Watching the Bulls game on TV
High: Spending time with my family and sleeping in

Paige's high, medium, and low:
Low: Having to leave and go home
Medium: Tennis
High: Falling asleep in Daddy's lap on Wednesday night

It was a fun week together, and I'm happy we all enjoyed our time again at Wild Dunes.

Connor's tennis match at Queen's Harbor

Connor had a tennis match with his team at Queen's Harbor on March 10th. He played singles on line 2 and doubles on line 1 with Lucas. The scoring was different than in the past. The kids played 4 game sets, and the first to get to 4 games would win, not necessarily by 2. The singles match included deuce points, but the doubles match was no-ad.

Connor's singles match was difficult, but played in to his strengths. The other little boy he played against was fairly consistent, but Connor was consistent and accurate and did a good job moving the other boy around on the court. Connor won in two sets 4-1, 4-1.

In the video I uploaded, Connor isn't hitting the ball as hard as he's able, but it's a good point to show Connor placing the ball and making his opponent move. Connor's opponent is serving at 30-40. Connor directs the ball to both sides of the court smartly, controls the pace and point, and ends up winning the game.

In the doubles match, Connor and Lucas won 4-3, 4-2. Connor's opponent from his singles match faced him again in doubles, and Lucas's singles opponent faced them as well.

The video I uploaded for the doubles match is pretty good, showing Connor hitting the ball in accurately and then Lucas closed in with a big swing to finish the point. Lucas likes to swing big, and it worked occasionally, but it got them in some trouble too during the match when he missed. Overall, they had fun and I'm glad they also won their matchup.

New basketball goal

Connor has been loving basketball lately and we decided to upgrade his basketball goal. We've had the old one for a while now, and while it was still in OK shape, it was getting pretty rusty in some areas, and it's always been a super pain in the butt to adjust the height. The new basketball hoop is spring loaded and has a simple lever that Andrea and I can pull to adjust the height. Initially, we had it at the lowest possible setting, which was almost low enough for Connor to dunk on, and Paige was able to make some baskets too.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Connor's Air Jordans

Connor's been all about the basketball lately and has been playing NBA games on the XBox and iPad, and watching all the games that are available to watch on TV. For his birthday, Connor got some money, and he decided it would be fun to spend it on some new basketball shoes. Andrea took him to Town Center on the 6th, and they looked at all the coolest basketball shoes that were out. He eventually decided on the Air Jordans, and Andrea snapped a pic of him afterwards outside the store. He's been wearing them to school, and when he plays basketball outside.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

School Carnival

On Saturday, in the afternoon, we went to the kids' school for the school carnival. There were lots of people and activities. We stayed a couple of hours, had some fun, and then called it a day. The lines were a bit long when we were there. Next year we will probably come a bit later to avoid the rush.

Connor's 10th birthday - football party!

Friday night, March 3rd 2017, we celebrated Connor's 10th birthday with a football party. We were able to re-use quite a few of our plans and ideas from last year's football party, and although we got some new decorations, it wasn't too hard to plan at least. I was a little worried Connor wouldn't have enough buddies to come to the party since he was new to his school, but everyone he invited came and made it a special day for him.

Before the party, we took some pics of Connor and the family with the decorations.

Jo did the cake again, and I will say it was the best cake we've ever had. The football was made with chocolate on the outside and a thickly packed rice crispy treat on the inside. The top layer was strawberry, with pureed strawberry filling. The bottom layer was marble cake, the best I've ever tasted.

A little after 5, we showed up at the neighborhood park and the boys started to arrive. Connor's really been in to basketball recently, and had started to wish he'd had a basketball party instead. Thankfully there was a basketball court at the park and we were able to bring some basketballs as well, so they got to play a bit of everything.

After some basketball, we started with the footballs. Everyone put on their flags, practiced some passing, and then we had a pass competition to see who could throw footballs in to the red tub the most accurately. Lucas ended up winning that competition. Next we did a punt competition, and Connor went first. His punt got a great bounce and nobody was able to beat it.

Finally, we started some football games. Andrea and I divided the kids up as evenly as we were able to, and they started to play. Andrea got one video and I took some pictures. Surprisingly I had to intervene and officiate much more than in the past. The boys were extremely competitive and all were pretty good athletes, so it was tough keeping things safe and fun. We had to ban hurdling, stiff arms, and a few other football moves to make sure everyone went home with all their teeth.

We took a couple group pics and it was tricky to get them all to pay attention and look at the camera, but we got a couple goofy pics and a few regular smiling pics.

Paige and Andrea were both big helps getting the footballs during the games and taking some pics.

After it got dark we went back to the house for the pizza and cake. The pizza was scheduled to show up at 6:45, but was super late. The boys ran around on the golf course very briefly before I realized that was a bad idea. Then, they sat around the table outside discussing all the hot girls in their grades and all the classmates that they knew. It was pretty entertaining for me since Connor rarely talks much about school with us.

After the pizza finally arrived, we pigged out, and then lit the candles on the cake. One of the candles was a bit too close to the football and started to melt it. We were worried it'd burn the whole cake up, so we sang "happy birthday" super fast and then Connor blew out the candles.

I took a pic well after the party of the inside of the cake. It was definitely tasty!

After cake, the boys went out and played basketball in the driveway until their parents started to pick them up. Trevor's parents were out partying, so we made an exception for him and he got to spend the night. The party was a success, and the important thing is that Connor had a fun time with his buddies.