Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall Festival

The kids competed in the Fall Festival again this year. They both earned "superiors" and the "right" to participate in the recital on Sunday. We picked up Grandma Dulce and drove over to Waco Hall. Before we went in, I demanded the usual photo with the kids - (I use Dulce as the measuring stick for my children's growth - check out last year's blog around this time to see the progress). Dulce was a little resistant - saying something about not looking good - I would not take no for an answer and she happily gave in saying "o.k as long as I'm in the middle between my two precious book ends!"...too cute...So here are the photos and the videos...The kids look so beautiful and grown up - when I watched Jimmy today - I saw a young man...where did my baby go??

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We are the Champions - My Friends!

The Tyler ZAT was all Jimmy needed to "Champ Up" - Joe and Jimmy went to Tyler this weekend and Jimmy won 3 matches to make it to the finals - this was all he needed to move to the "Champ" level - look out Australian open - here we come!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Becky - aka Gail 2.0

 becky first day 

In a very weird way, Becky seems more and more like me everyday - well, actually, she is a better version of me.  She absolutely loves school and all of her teachers.  She prepares for quizzes and tests days in advance - she has never heard the word procrastinate.  This one trait will get her far...She also loves to "play" school - so when it was announced that students could try out for library aide at school - Becky was very excited. 

My kids go to an EXCELLENT public school - (despite what you hear they do exist) so getting the opportunity to use your study hall to work in the library is a big deal and very competitive.  Many applied but only a few were chosen.  Becky had to write a little essay saying why she would be a good choice for the librarian - she included facts about her experiences helping her aunt inventory thousands of items at the pet store and helping her grandma organize and conduct two garage sales this summer.  She talked about how she loves books and is a self starter when it comes to working around the house.

So the big day came - they announced the selections for library assistant over the intercom!  It was also picture day.  For the girls in the audience, you all know how we fret for days on what to wear and how to smile - pastel, stripes, solids - hair behind the ear or not, big toothy grin or demure smile...When I talked to Becky about the announcement that day - this is what she said "Mom, this was the greatest day of my life!  They announced who would be library assistant over the intercom and I was picked!!!  I was so nervous and excited when they were reading the names - I thought to myself, if I don't get picked this will totally ruin my smile on picture day!"

Too go girl.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Winner (of the losers) :-)

Waco ZAT F08_4
Originally uploaded by gailbrooks76

As a mom - I will have to say tennis may be the most nerve racking sport in which to have a child involved. Jimmy has played in ZATs for while now and he has slowly progressed from losing both games to lose, win, win, lose,- then win, lose - then win, win, lose (twice)...and most recently it was the lose, win, win, win - to be the winner of the consolation bracket. I watched my son mentally tear down his opponent today - it was remarkable and painful to watch. The first set his opponent won the first game with two aces - Jimmy was down 4-2, took it to 4-4 and then won. By the second set - Jimmy was confident, careful, and clever. He won 6-0 and aced the serve for match point...So he will try again next month to "champ up"...He needs to make it to the finals in a tournament.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Celebrating the Journey

It’s been a while…I’m starting with the most recent event with the hopes of working backward…this week’s goal blog a bit each day.
Saturday we went to Bev’s graduation. It was wonderful to see everyone – the Lewis’ have raised two incredible children and I feel very lucky to have witnessed such exceptional parenting. I met Bev and Robert when they were 2 and 4. I have known them all my married life and they are the first children I (as an adult) have watched grow up. A lot has happened in these 16 years – Bev and Robert have blossomed into talented, compassionate and poised young adults. I find their little family an inspiration for my own.

Joe, Dulce, Jimmy, Becky and I drove from Waco on highway 95 through Holland, Bartlett, Taylor, and several other small towns to Elgin. The graduation was at the Family Worship Center outside Elgin. The ceremony was similar to Roberts’ but there were 9 homeschoolers graduating this year. Which meant 9 slideshows to watch – I think of these as little E! true Hollywood stories – when I watched Bev’s show I was brought to tears watching her grow up and seeing photos of her holding Becky as a baby and Jimmy at about 4…time flies when you’re raising kids…

At the reception for all the graduates following the ceremony, Cinda was a busy bee making sure everything was taken care of – food, drinks, air conditioning – we were all a bit anxious to get back to her house so we could have the Lewis’ to ourselves.
A funny moment – one of the graduate’s moms had made a delicious Italian crème cake – I had a piece and then Beverly (Sr) got a piece – she returned to our little circle standing between Dulce and I and realized she did not have a fork – I gave her mine (I don’t think I even wiped it off) – she then used the fork to get a piece of cake turned to her left and placed it in Dulce’s expecting mouth…and then proceeded to eat the rest herself – it was so funny how she knew Dulce would want a piece and how Dulce was waiting for it – the fact that they used my dirty fork made me realize I must be part of the inner circle! :-)

The shot of Beverly and me is "oiled" - it seems even at 36 my skin loves to shine - so I thought lets go with that...

We enjoyed hamburgers, potato salad, beans and ice cream cake at Cinda’s house later. The tomatoes from her garden were delicious. Her home is so warm and welcoming. It was great to see the Martin’s. Colin and Anna along with Paige, Graham, and Evie are my new set of Brooks’ to watch grow – blogs almost make me feel like we don’t all live hours apart.

We made it home by about 10:30 pm and I was up at 5:00 am to compete in a half-marathon. Joe made me coffee and oatmeal. I was out the door by 5:20. I finished the half-marathon in 1:39:20 which is about a 3:18 marathon pace – good enough for Boston (if I can stay healty and do this in Tulsa in November) and good enough to win this little race. I was the 6th person across and 10 min in front of the next women. It is a powerful feeling to run with the boys…Olympic competitor Jeff Galloway was there to promote his training program – he shook my hand and congratulated me on my win – Wow!

As I’m writing this blog…I’m listening to Jimmy practice one of his new pieces – allow me to share: The video is kind of strange Jimmy is just practicing and you can see the reflection of the house painters on the piano – but I thought it would give you a sense of my summer morning…

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Little Reminders

My Mom and Dad have spent much of their retirement on foreign soil…it is great for them but a little sad for me. I miss them…but I’m lucky because when they come for a visit they always make or do something that stays behind as a little memory.
- If you came to my wedding you might remember the pew bows…they were beautiful. Mom spent weeks making them. Each bow was a work of art with tulle, white ribbon, and pearls. Mom is famous for her bows and each Christmas she fills my house with decorations and bows. Twice now in January I have put all of the decorations away…except for the bows…they make me happy and they make me think of her…so they are up all year…
- Dad is famous for his shelving design. He has it in the house in Carrollton and at the lake and I am proud to say I have it in three spots at my home now. This shelving is known more for its function and ease of construction than for its beauty. But that has always been my Dad’s personality “function and efficiency” – beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.
- Last weekend Mom and Dad came for a visit. Mom came to go with Joe and Jimmy to a tennis tournament in Austin. Jimmy gained some great experience playing some very challenging matches and earned a few more points towards his goal of “champing up”. Joe and my mom had a great time cheering (very quietly) for their little man on the court.
Dad, Becky, and I built shelves in the garage. It took the whole day – but only one trip to Home Depot! We began with the calculations and drawings in the kitchen, dropped Becky off for her dance practice, bought supplies, picked Becky up, ate lunch, went to Starbucks…and by 1:00 Dad said something like…”Well, these shelves aren’t going to build themselves”. So we began…Becky and I were the journeymen. I was really impressed with Becky’s mathematical abilities she was measuring and dividing fractions like crazy…It was really fun and in the end we had a beautiful wall of utility shelves!