Continued youth sports. Lots of Bonnie humming Christmas songs. Another year of hauling 42 boxes of Christmas "stuff" out of the attic. Another "Girls Gone Wild" trip to New York that included, Bonnie, Sandra, Anne, and Savanah . . . and Junior's Cheese Cake. And, yes, the annual family trip to Perry's at Daytona Beach.
November continued youth sports. The triplets continued with YMCA Bitty Sports and Seth continued with Little League Fall Ball. For Seth, this was his first experience against pitching from the other team (previously it was coach pitch) and he did well. He played a number of fielding positions and also pitched. November was also the month that Braden, Skyler, and Daylin turned four, and Nanny flew in from Indianapolis to help celebrate the occasion. Also Dad, Mom, and Anne celebrated Thanksgiving with a cruise to Costa Maya and Cozumel. November ended with Seth and Savanah getting ready to play Upwards Basketball, where Steve will be their coach. Robert and Natalie again distributed Welcome Packets and continued reaching out to a new group of students. They had a fantastic Thanksgiving Dinner with 115 students attending. And did we mention that Robert is now helping to coach the Birmingham Lions (US-style) college football team?
This was switch schools month for Sandra, Seth, and Savanah as they moved to Valrico Elementary School, where Sandra acepted a position teaching First Grade there. Yet another chance for Bonnie and Anne to excel in helping set up a new classroom; and they're getting to be pretty good at it. The tripletts got enrolled in the YMCA's Bitty Sports program: Three weeks of soccer, three weeks of flag football, and three weeks of T-Ball. We also took in the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival down in the Bradenton area. Robert and natalie and their group signed the lease for a new Canvas House in Birmingham and found a temporay spot to hold their meetings and dinners while getting the facility ready.
We enjoyed the last bit of summer with our annual trip to the Hyatt in Orlando. The facility is great: pools with slides, hot tubs, rock climbing tower, pitch and putt, canoes and kayaks, bicycling, volleyball, and - of course - s'mores by the campfire. Steve Roberts gets the pirate award for ramming his paddleboat into the canoe that Jay and Ethan (8) were paddling, knocking them both in the water. In England Robert and Natalie continued with finding a new home for Canvas and getting set up to reach the students at the University of Birmingham for its fall term.
Thanks to Nanny we had another BradenClan Family Cruise - 17 of us on a ship for seven days visiting Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. Wonderful - but those unending buffet lines can really hurt you. This is also back-to-school month for all the grandkids, for Anne, and for Sandra. The triplets will be attending the Limona Village Pre-School, Sydney will be at the First Baptist Pre-School, and Seth & Savanah will be attending Valrico Academy (Charter) School where Sandra will be a new First Grade teacher there. Anne returns to her two Hillsborough County schools again as a Reading Coach, and she was very helpful in getting Sandra ready to go in terms of lesson plans and classroom materials. Of course Bonnie was in the thick of it helping get Sandra's classroom ready.
We enjoyed our summer. Braden continued his Tae Kwon Do lessons; Savanah and Seth attended a one-week church basketball camp; we made some trips to the Adventure Island water park; and we went to Holmes Beach in the Bradenton area.
One of the big events this month was the recital in Lakeland for Skyler and Daylin; the culmination of their Saturday morning ballet lessons. It was an excellent program. When Skyler and Daylin's class performed, the routine began with all the students on their marks and it included a part when the "butterflies" flew in a circle. Okay so far except that Skyler returned to Daylin's mark, a grevious error that Daylin pointed out to Skyler and to the 600 people in attendance, much to their delight. Karen's mortification was only overcome by the thought that a video of the scene would be a sure fire $100,000 winner on Funniest Home Videos. and she's looking hard for a copy.
This month Anne travelled to England to visit Robert, Natalie, and Benjamin. Anne was there for Benjamin's first birthday celebration.
We had a nice surprise for Spring Break: Robert and Natalie and Benjamin visited the U.S. and got to spend some time here in Tampa. Benjamin is walking!!!
Savanah has now enrolled in the church's Tae Kwon Do program and Seth is playing coach-pitch baseball. Both are doing well. Braden, Daylin, and Skyler continue to do well in their activities. Not to be outdoner, jay and Bonnie - often joined by Sandra - are still playing Monday night volleyball.
Hey, this is Florida so why is it so cold? Global warming has killed all the plants along the side of our house and in three other locations.
Seth and Savanah are enrolled in our church's youth basketball program called Upwards. Braden is enrolled in Tae Kwon Do. Daylin and Skyler are enrolled in ballet. Yes, our free times are filled watching grandchildren and their activities, but it's fun.