Monday, June 23, 2008

Goodbye to Little League

Pictures from tonight's exciting game

J's double right up the middle
J catching
J's last Little League at bat
Line drive!
Ella completely unaware of all the nail biting going on around her
She obviously had a very important phone call to make

Today Jason's Little League team played in Championship game for their division. What a great game! They were loosing 5-1 and came back in the fifth inning to tie it. Then in the bottom of the fifth the other team put on three mores run. Now we're in the top of the sixth in what was looking to be Jason's last Little League game. Many of the boys are 12, so for all of them their Little League careers were coming to an end. If they don't score three runs now the game is over. The coach turns to the dugout and says "Com'on guys, this is it. This may be your last game". With that several of the boys got very emotional. Hearing him say that got me a little emotional too! How could this be? They're too old for Little League??? Weren't they all just playing T-ball yesterday? So here we are, we're at the bottom of our batting order. The first two kids strike out. OK, now we're back to the top of the order. Jason's good friend Johnny gets up to bat. He gets a double after several foul shots and what felt like the longest at bat ever! Guess who's up next, with two outs, in a Championship game, in his very last Little League game---Jason! I thought I was going to throw up!! Jason being very steady under pressure gets up to bat with all the confidence in the world, meanwhile I'm sick to my stomach thinking "Oh God, don't let him strike out, it can't end like that!" A friend standing next to me says "don't worry he'll hit the ball". And that he did. He hit the hardest hit ball of the game, a line drive......right back to the pitcher!!! Game over! J gave it his all, as he always does, and the pitcher made a great catch. Jason's coach standing there all ready for the "pep talk" is pleasantly surprise when J turns around, not crying, but with the biggest, most genuine smile on his face.

And so with the exception of the All Star tournament starting this weekend, we say goodbye to Little League. We are grateful for all the wonderful memories, for all the wonderful coaches, all the great friends we've made, and for all the wonderful life lessons learned here. J--you've come a long way baby!! I can clearly remember your first T-ball game. How cute you all were when you all would run to get the ball, the entire team at once! You've worked so hard over the years and have developed into a wonderful ball player. I admire your complete dedication to your teams, your never wavering confidence, and mostly the fact that you NEVER give up. I am so very proud of you for all that you've accomplished, but most of all I am proud of you because you got up to bat beaming with confidence, with two outs, in your last at bat in a Championship game, and although your team lost and you were the last out, you walked off the field smiling and knowing it's been a great ride!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Way to Go J!!!!

More good news today as we found out that Jason made his little league All Star team. Hooray for J!! It's been a nerve racking couple of weeks going through tryouts. And since things were working out in our favor today, I stopped at 7-Eleven to buy some Lotto tickets! I did win $15 on some scratch offs. Maybe there is a lucky Quick-Pick in there for Lotto or Mega Millions! Hey, yah never know. So far 6/16/08 is a great day!

Hooray for PA!!!!!!!

I am so excited, after almost three weeks of waiting, today we received our PA (pre-approval) from the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs). Hooray!!!! This is a preliminary approval given after the CCAA reviews the initial documents we have sent to China. The final approval will be given after they have reviewed our completed dossier which will hopefully get to China soon! We are still waiting for our application (I-800-A) to be approved by the USCIS. Once we have their approval I can have all our document Certified and Authenticated and finally complete our dossier.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Daddy's favorite cook getting ready to make her dad Father's Day breakfast

Ella was so excited these last few days that Father's Day was coming. The other day while card shopping she found a Tinkerbell card that played "You Can Fly" which was part of her dance recital music. She was so excited she insisted on giving Brian the card that night! It was so cute how she couldn't contain her excitement. Then, when we went shopping I had to explain that the presents were a surprise and she couldn't come home and tell Daddy what they were and we had to wait until Father's Day to give them to him. She told me, and these were her words, she was going to "zip it, lock it, and throw away the key"!!! And that she did. She didn't utter a peep. Of course this morning she was the first one awake and couldn't wait to go down and make Daddy breakfast. She wanted to make him an omelet, but seeing how we were going out for brunch Daddy requested fruit salad. Ella did a wonderful job making the fruit salad and proudly served her dad and then gladly helped him eat it! She then couldn't wait for Brian to open his gifts, but Brianna and Jason were still sleeping so I told her she had to wait. She couldn't take it any longer, so I let her give her dad the present she picked out herself-Pajamas (she wanted to buy "Beast" pajamas, from Beauty and the Beast, but when I convinced her that they didn't make them, she settled for a nice pair of pajama pants from the Gap). After the other two finally awoke we finished, or I should say Brian and Ella finished, opening gifts. Then it was off to meet my parents, grandmother, and Ali and Gino for brunch. Well, first my mom got lost going there. Then we got lost going there (gotta love when the navigation system says "You have reached your destination", and your looking around and saying "yeah, where????"). Eventually we all got there. Too bad we didn't all end up at a different restaurant when we couldn't find the one we were looking for, because that was definitely the WORST brunch we've ever been too! Very crowded, horrible service, and not so great food! Oh well :( During a miserable meal I guess you have to at least be grateful that you are able to spend Father's day together , be grateful that you still have your father, and make the best of it. Hopefully next time we can be happy we are all together, and have a delicious meal! We finished brunch, and headed home for what else----baseball! Jason's afternon was packed with four hours of baseball, Brian's perfect Father's day present!

Ella proudly brings Daddy his breakfast
Daddy is very happy!

Of course every chef needs to sample her work, sometimes more than once. Daddy was happy to share!

Daddy could barely finish opening one gift before Ella brought him another. She was just a little excited!
Bad food, but we're all still smiling!
We were even laughing!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ella's First Dance Recital

Today we all proudly watched as Ella danced in her first dance recital! We were all so proud of how brave and excited she was. Her class danced to "I Won't Grow Up" from Peter Pan and they were all so cute! Once again, this was a lesson in "never say never". At the beginning of the year I said "she will NEVER do the recital!" Boy was I wrong! She went out on that stage without a bit of hesitation and without an ounce of stage fright. She loved every second of it! She came off the stage and said "Mama, we did our dance and EVERYONE clapped for us!". At the end of the show all the dancers went out on stage for a final applause. As everyone lined up and all the little ones sat down on the stage, Ella walked out to the front of the stage right to her "spot" ready to dance again! A couple of minutes later the studio's owner called out the names of the student teachers to acknowledge them. When she asked them to come forward and take a bow Ella got up and again took her "spot" on the stage, ready to take a bow!! With this her teacher, Miss Jen, turned to me and said "Boy are you in trouble!". Later she told Ella "Your dad better watch out because you are going to be a Star!" Could this really be the child who cried for weeks that she wanted me to come in the class with her? Could this really be the child I watched as I sat on the hard studio floor in the corner because she wouldn't let me leave the room? I still can't believe she did it and she LOVED every minute of it. We are so proud of her! Later while looking through the program we saw that Ella won one of the "Special Awards". She was voted "Most Potential". This is good, because later in the day she announced to her father that she won't be playing softball when she gets bigger. The little girl who has spent months "practicing" with her pink batting helmet and Dora bat while her brother and sister play ball, told him "I'm not playing softball, I want to dance"! We weren't allowed to take pictures during the show, but here are a few others from the day.

The Ballerina Fairy and her biggest fans!

Last week at dress rehearsal.
Daddy and his little Ballerina

Aunt Ali and Ella
Meme and Poppy came to see the show too :)