We grill. We are grillers. Who also like baseball.

A few years ago Lara taught us how to grill. Well, more of encouraging us to use our grill. So glad she did! My favorite nights have been ones we grill out and then eat outside. It makes me feel county!

This yummy BBQ chicken lived up to my high hopes.

Beckham and Brian played some ball

Berkley hangs in her swing well!

 Push?, Anyone there?

Oh yeah. Then I ruined all the fun by walking between the boys and Beckham lost site of the ball and it hit him in the head. Sorry Beckham!!

At the car wash…

I’m not winning any Mom of the Year awards with this video, but it’s always fun to document this kind of irrational-ness from a girl! Went through the car wash (this proves I don’t get the car washed enough!) and Berkley wasn’t really a fan. I tired to talk her off the cliff, but she wasn’t having any of that. Also, this is also her “there’s a bug scream”…I’ll try to get that one next time. Tad dramatic this one.


Swimmy Swimsters

The kids (all three!) started swimming lessons a few weeks ago at MidWest Aquatics. Beckham took lessons there 2 years ago and went from not putting his head in to all out swimmer in 10 weeks. Last year, since we wanted to put Sadie Piper in too, we opted for the cheaper option of going through the city. We wasted our money that year. So this year it was back to MidWest and again we couldn’t be more amazed with their teaching!

Becks is a fish. Once he caught on, there has been no stopping him. Berkley had a few rough classes (by that I mean she screamed the whole first one and cried the whole second one and only had a little break down week 3. But they kept letting us come back!!), but her teacher, Rebekah, is amazing! Sadie Piper isn’t as trusting of this water stuff. She’s good…when she touch the wall or ground. Take those away, it’s downhill for her. But she’s learning!! And like I said, Rebekah is patient and a great great teacher!!

Here’s Berkley swimming (more like water walking, but fine by us!) with her “bubble” (these things are awe-some! they float, but encourage swimming!). She doesn’t want ANY help, but wants to swim to the deep end. Which is funny cause the 3 feet section is just as deep to her.
I’m in the water with them, but this is just cause since they are all at such different levels, they are in 3 classes…so we are there for a while, but that gives them all lots of practice time!



Boast only in the…

Saw this on the Desiring God blog today and loved it. It reveals the way we often use social media to promote ourselves and boast of how busy we are, or how amazing our kids are and so on and so on. It is an ongoing battle to interact with people in real life and online in a way that is not self-glorifying or me-boasting when we are called to be God Glorifying and Cross-Boasting.

Save The Knuckleballer!

There are currently only 3,200 tigers left living in the wild. About 60 Javan Rhinoceros and a mere 25 Amur Leopards. All three of these animals find themselves on the “10 Most Endangered Animals” list. There is one strange animal however that does not make that list and this creature is in even greater danger of extinction at this moment. Yes, The Knuckleballer.

The knuckleball is a baseball pitch thrown by odd balls and second-chance hopefuls. Most Major League fastballs generally travel around 90 mph or more. A curve ball is a bit slower in the 80s. Change Ups which are designed to be slow while thrown with the same arm speed as a fastball so as to catch the batter off balance and unprepared. The Knuckleball though travels between 50 to 75 mph. The ball has none or very little rotation and no one, not the batter, not the catcher and not even the pitcher know which direction the ball will travel.

Baseball was invented in 1744 if you believe our British relatives. For all practical purposes though it was legit in 1876 when the National League was founded. The first reference to the Knuckleball was in 1907 when Nap Rucker of the Brooklyn Dodgers was said to have thrown it. However Lew Moren and Ed Cicotte also claim to have invented this pitch. Seeing as none of them are from Texas we will never be able to decide definitively who invented this pitch.

What we do know is the knuckleball has a long history of success and failure in the Major Leagues. Hoyt Wilhelm who pitched from ’52 to ’72 retired with the lowest career ERA of any pitcher (2.52) after 1927. More recently Charlie Zink in his only Major League start in 2008 posted a 16.62 ERA (means statistically he would have given up that many runs had they let him pitch whole 9 innings) .

Other notable Knuckleballers are Joe Niekro (who spent a whole decade pitching for the Astros), Joe’s brother Phil, Tim Wakefield, R.A. Dickey and Tom Candiotti. My all time favorite and who initially brought my attention to this pitch due to our sharing a last name is Charlie Hough. Charlie pitched the knuckle from 1970 to 1994, in fact because of him the first pitch in the Miami Marlins history was a knuckleball.

Back to the problem at hand. The Astros today have 12 pitchers on their roster, assuming (wrongly) that every team has that same number, there are 320 Major League Pitchers today. Only one of those is a Knuckleballer. There are fewer Knuckleballers in the wild today than any other endangered “species” on the planet. Since Tim Wakefield retired recently, R.A. Dickey is the only remaining Big League Knuckleballer.

Not only that, but there are very few others who are in a position to jump to the Majors at this point. There is Charlie Haeger who is technically with the Red Sox at this point, but who is taking the year off after messing his arm up in a soft throw game. Then there is Charlie Zink who was last seen pitching for independent team the Lancaster Barnstormers last season, but absolutely Missing in Action this season.

Right now R.A. Dickey is the lone surviving hope for this pitch to continue in baseball. He starts for the Mets and has pitched pretty fantastic this season apart from one game when his butterfly pitch failed to flutter in the rain.

How do we save the Knuckleball? Well, you can learn the pitch, you can teach your children to throw the pitch, you can remind worn out Minor Leaguers that there is still hope for the Bigs with the Knuckleball. My part will be mastering the Wiffle Ball version this summer so I can embarrass friends and family swinging for the fences. In the mean time you could be sure to watch R.A. Dickey as he may be the last remaining Dodo Bird.

If you are as obsessed with this pitch as I am you might also enjoy reading R.A. Dickey’s Biography that recently came out and look for the movie Knuckleball to release in near future.


Meet a deer friend of mine.

This morning I against my usual habit I decided to go for a jog in the neighborhood. As I jogged I came acros a deer at the park and then I saw her again on my way back home in the neighborhood.

This video is not actually up to Bear Grylls quality, but I was nearly able to eat this thing.

Life in Kansas just got A LOT better!

Because I saw these at Costco this week and bought them

They were in the refrigerated foods, by the eggs. THEY ARE FRESH TORTILLAS! Even better though, they are uncooked. Which I was wary of at first, but it might even be BETTER than buying them fresh from the grocery store (all the grocery stores in TX make their own tortillas in the store. We haven’t even been able to find fresh ones on Southwest Blvd here.) because they are hot and so soft after you cook them.

Super easy, but even better, NO mess. Literally, no mess.

The package is 44 tortillas, in two bags of 22 each. I was also worried about this at first. Because although we eat a lot of tortillas (try it for yourself, everything is better on a tortilla. Eggs, chicken, pulled pork, beans, everything), I wasn’t sure we could eat that many that quickly.

I was wrong. Brian lost count of how many he ate on day 1; fresh tortillas go down easy! We will need a new bag come next week.

And, as if this couldn’t get any better, it does, cause they are made from 5 ingredients, no saturated fat and no lard! Yay!

I’m giddy today about tortillas!

HCA Banquet Crashing

This weekend was HCA’s Junior Senior Banquet, so we busted out the camera to get some paparazzi shots of the students all cleaned up and fancy!

When we told the kids we were going to see the youth all dressed up, they heard “dressed up” as “dress up” and headed straight to the dress up bin so as to not be left out.

We just went with it…

HCA Banquet 2012

Becks chose the spider, SP went with Tangled.

HCA Banquet 2012

HCA Banquet 2012

Here they are waiting for the real stars of the night…

HCA Banquet 2012

HCA Banquet 2012

We did take pics of the couples (paparazzi style), they are here, but here are the ones the kids snuck into!

Star-struck smile with Megan!

HCA Banquet 2012

Stud muffins!

HCA Banquet 2012

HCA Banquet 2012

In between arrivals there was some hide and seek

HCA Banquet 2012

These girls were gorgeous as always (inside and out!)! Oh how we love Andria!!

HCA Banquet 2012

Morgan glows! And despite SP’s face, she adores her!

HCA Banquet 2012

HCA Banquet 2012

The Little One is weird. But she’s always had a place in Hat’s heart.

HCA Banquet 2012

Here’s one of the many reasons we love Hat: She’s in a gorgeous dress at a banquet, yet she kicks off her shoes, hikes up her sequins and plays chase with three kids who think the world of her.

HCA Banquet 2012

Love Hat’s face!

HCA Banquet 2012

This is one of our favorit pics. Hat graduated a year early, so although this is technically her senior class, it’s technically not. They were taking a Senior Class photo and here’s Hat “sneaking” in! (Loved Morgan and Sophie’s bright dresses!)

HCA Banquet 2012

HCA Banquet 2012

HCA Banquet 2012

We left (everyone knows paparazzi aren’t allowed into the actual event…) and went to the best ever sno-cone place:

Don’t mind if I do…

HCA Banquet 2012

Sno cones make us happy!

HCA Banquet 2012

There’s like a bazillion options. It’s a tough choice…

Tads in The OP


Mommy and Tangled

Our Saturday Adventure brought to you by Instagram

We loaded up the kids’ bikes in the van and took them to a bike trial to ride. Since the bike trail follows the creek, there’s a lot of places to go “adventure!”

We were skeptical as to how far Sadie Piper could ride. She ended up riding a full two miles. She cruised too!

There’s something fun about throwing rocks in the creek!

To be clear though, Berkley wasn’t throwing rocks, she was “feeding the alligators.” Such a nice girl.

Brian and Berkley’s “back-up plan” (the double stroller, a place for her and for her bike!). We had even lower hopes for how far Berks could ride. Especially since she doesn’t pedal, she walks her bike.

Brian caught a bullfrog!

Only the boys would go near it. He put it up by Berkley and I it hopped towards us. There were two baby screams as we ran!

After we recovered, we decided picking flowers was more up our alley.

And then she used her back up plan!