Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Last weekend, all of the stars aligned and both Bennett and Brady played in a baseball tournament in the same town, the same complex, on fields right next to each other, and almost all of the games were at the same time.  Of course the tournament was 4 hours from home and it was hotter than hell, but still a great weekend.  Both teams did awesome and played some of the most exciting games I've seen yet.  Little league baseball is intense!
Bennett ready to throw them out at second!

Only Brady's team stayed at our hotel and he had the best time running around with his friends.  They all thought it was so cool that they packed the same tshirts :)

Cate LOVED the pool and logged as many hours as she could in the water 

Our room overlooked the pool and this was often the scene from the deck.  Someone was always popping their head out from behind the curtains!

Lots of siblings who enjoy hanging out with each other during the games

Bennett hit a triple during his second game and if you've ever seen Bennett (aka "Wheels") run, you know this is a big deal!  He crushed the ball all weekend

"See Dad, I told you I was going to hit a triple!" 

Brady played great at 2nd base...he turned some amazing double fun to watch.

Even though Aunt Fran is in Europe, she still sent plenty of goodies to keep Cate busy!

Edible jewelry...her favorite :)

Kerrigan and Cate

Our collapsible wagon is a huge help when transporting chairs, easy up tent, cooler, bags, and kids.  People always stop and ask us about it...who knew you would need so much stuff for a day at the ballpark

Cate and her "best friend" Katherine.  Scott and I are so thankful for Katherine!!!  She plays with Cate at every game and is so patient with her.  I am so happy that she has brothers on both Ben and Brady's teams!

I love when Bennett's infield calls a group huddle.  Such serious young men out there! 

No idea how Bennett can stand playing catcher in 97 degree heat.  I was miserable sitting in the shade from our tent, I can't imagine how he felt in all of that equipment. 

That wraps up another great baseball weekend for Team Smallie.  A huge thanks to Scott's parents and Grandma Bau Bau for making the trip with us and helping with the kids. And to Uncle Josh and Lauren for stopping by on their way home from a wedding...the boys love having a big cheering section!  Next up...Kansas in June.  GO ILLINI! 
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I have so many new blog posts to write, but my Internet is down for awhile.  I ordered service from a different provider and didn't realize our old service would cut off before the new one is installed.  I obviously didn't plan this out too well.  I do have a hotspot on my phone, which enables me to use the Internet on Carter's laptop, but none of my files or pictures are on here, and all of this is just making it very difficult to get anything done.  Oh, and it's summer break and I have one million projects going, a baby shower to plan, four kids and a husband in my face all day, and at least two extra kids scrounging through our pantry at any given moment.  FUN! 
We hung out with Great Grandma BauBau today and Cate worked on perfecting her jumps and dives.  And she doesn't need a floatie anymore...!!hooray!! for one less thing to cram in our swim bag!!! 

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Last weekend Bennett and his 10U Illini baseball team won the Fenton AA Challenge tournament.  They all played awesome and I'm hoping it was a sign of things to come this weekend in Kentucky.

Pre-game chat. 

We (as in Aunt Fran) pack lots of things to keep Cate busy during the 6+ games she "watches" every weekend

But most of the time she just chills in a chair and cheers with the team moms!  She's honestly the best sports sister in the world.  I can not express enough how thankful I am that she is such a trooper...she could make these long seasons reeaallllyyy long :)

TEAM ILLINI on three....1...2...3....

That's a winner!! 
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Friday, May 18, 2012

School Fun Day

Last Thursday (I think), Cate's school held an end-of-the-year picnic/fun day. There were a ton of activity stations and both Cate and Hadley had a great time. It was a fun way to end the school year!

Cate and Reid having a very serious conversation :)

If you pinky "pwomise" your mother that you do have shorts on under your skirt but really don't...avoid the big slide. Busted!!

Cate giving Ryan and Hadley a ride

Haddie loves her some cheese puffs!  Lip smackin' good :)

Candi left me a box of muffins by my car and I ran them over.  Oops.  Good thing I have boys...they thought this banana-walnut "cake" was the best ever!

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Cate did not have school last Wednesday, so I decided it would be a great day to take the girls to the zoo. was the perfect weather to avoid laundry and housework and enjoy a few hours in the sunshine :)  We rode the train, ate lunch, and hung out in the Children's Zoo for a very. long. time. I was a little nervous about taking them both by myself but they were great and it was an easy-peasy fun day!
This wagon has been a rockstar chariot for trips to Weathervane ice cream, the park, and now the zoo!

Of course the farm girl was right at home with a shovel :)

Cate's favorite part of the entire zoo is the small "farm" in the Children's Zoo.  I was able to sit on a tree stump and relax while the girls fed sheep and moved mulch!

Wish I would have gotten video of Hadley telling the poor bunnies off!

Goats!  Gross! 
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012


First day of preschool August 2011
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Last day of preschool May 2012

 Last Tuesday, Cate's preschool class held a graduation for the kids moving on to kindergarten in the fall.  Cate and the rest of the 3-4 year olds received certificates congratulating them on a great first year and welcoming them back for next year.  This school year has been really great for Cate.  If you remember from last summer, I was dead set on NOT sending her to preschool.  She seemed so little to me and I didn't want to give up my one-on-one time with her just yet.  I went back and forth over this for weeks and finally came to the conclusion that even though I was not ready for it, she was.  On her first day of school, she cried for me to stay with her and her first day  nearly became her last!  No way was I sending a crying baby to school...there was just no need for it, I was home everyday.  Unfortunately, that night, Cate asked to go back the next day and as much as I tried to discourage her, she insisted.  And she has loved it everyday since.


The theme of this years graduation was "when I grow up....".  Each student created a poster declaring their plans for the future and they were all displayed on the wall behind the podium.  Mrs. Biewald introduced each kid by what they want to be when they grow up. Great theme except for Cate's issues with growing up.  See, she's not going to!  She is very adamant that she does not want to get bigger or have another birthday or turn five.  She is NOT growing up. Mrs. Biewald told me a few times that in the past week when they would talk about what they want to be, Cate repeatedly told her that she's not growing up.  So, I was not shocked to see her poster hanging dead center on the wall declaring "I don't want to grow up"  HA!  I even tried the "don't you want to turn 16 and drive your own car??"  Her reply...."No, I like sitting in the back and looking at everything while daddy drives me around".  *sigh*, this could get ugly :)
Cate and her classmates lined up and sang the cutest songs :)
The future Mr. & Mrs. Reid Parker ;)

Mrs. Biewald is honestly the very best teacher in the whole world! She is the most compassionate, hard working, kind, patient, loving woman and both Brady and Cate have been so blessed to begin their school careers with her. 

Of course Hadley had to get in on the action!  Thanks mom for joining me and helping me wrangle Hadley when she made her move to run!

Cate, Macee, Avery, and Taytum...they've had a great time playing together this year and Cate will miss them when they move on to kindergarten in the fall!
I am so happy that Cate has one more year in preschool with Mrs. Biewald and the other awesome teachers at ECC!  I can't even think about next years graduation....
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