Working on the class float with Nathan Freshman class float: Chronicles of Narnia Walking in the Homecoming parade with the soccer team Setting the table for a pre-dance dinner with friends Francesca's corsage including detachable charms for a "charming" evening with Connor that go on a handmade bracelet as a permanent momento of their first high school dance So cute... my fave photo of the night. They were both nominated for freshman Homecoming court attendees!
After two years of hard work (do not even says the words "hot dog concessions" to me for at least another year), Graeme's baseball team made it to Cooperstown, NY, home of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, for a week-long tournament with 103 other teams from all over the country. This is DisneyWorld for youth baseball players and it almost doesn't matter if you win or lose, you just have to love it! BUT, they played really well and finished 32nd on the week, definitely something to be proud of. Graeme played second base and short stop and batted .429 against some of the best 12-year-old pitchers in the country. The whole family came for the week and enjoyed cheering on Graeme and the rest of the Astros; some of the extended family even caught Graeme's games on the webcam from as far away as Washington state! The baseball park's theme music plays all the time, reminding families constantly to "Enjoy these wonderful years, for the end of these days will draw near. Without you it's never the same, so come on out and see me play in a little majors game." Yep, he's growing up fast and we were so glad we got to be a part of one of Graeme's last and best childhood memories. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. It was awesome.
Week in Photos: Packing the team trailer and getting ready to hit the road with Coach Rick
Graeme's spirit window in the team truck. He usually wears #15 and we call him the Great Graeme-bino. (One of Babe Ruth's nicknames was the Great Bambino.) I rode in style with the mom mini-van carpool. Checking into #9B The Ted Williams Bunkhouse: 12 boys, 2 coaches and all their stinky laundry and candy wrappers came spilling out the door every morning! Let the pin trading begin! Graeme was able to trade his team pin with all 103 of the other teams there. The pin trading is one of the highlights of the week, giving the boys lots of chances to meet other kids from all over the country and do what else.... talk baseball! Thanks to Grandpa Joyce for the beautiful shadow box to display Graeme's collection when he got home. It is the ultimate Cooperstown Dreams Park souvenir. Meanwhile... the rest of us were checking into this gorgeous lake house with 4 other team families. We wanted a place to get away from the ball fields for a while where all the siblings could relax and have fun. We definitely found it! This beautiful property was just 5 miles from the baseball complex and stocked with fishing gear, canoes, kayaks, a john boat, and a swimming dock all out the back door. The kids had a blast! Finally, it was time to play ball! While Graeme was living out his diamond dreams, Connor, Owen and Reilly scouted the other 15 fields in the complex helping Graeme complete his pin collection. Pierce helped, too. In between games, we headed back to the lake palace for some fun.
I think the kids caught 100 fish that week using bread for bait. I am NOT kidding. It was so easy that whenever Pierce cast but failed to bring a up a fish he would say, "Cassidy, where all the gold-pishies go?"
One day Graeme got hit in the face by a smoking ground ball while playing shortstop. His lip was extremely swollen for a couple of days and all his teammates started calling him turtle. Nothing serious. He was still able to fish (marshmallows for bait this time)... ... and was back on the field in no time. Graeme had a free afternoon/evening in the middle of the week and we were very excited to visit to the MLB Hall of Fame as a family. Graeme and Connor by the Orioles section of the Hall of Fame Reilly and Owen paying homage to Brooks Robinson Me introducing Pierce to my favorite: Eddie Murray Nobody wants to Be Like Mike in our house. My guys "look up" to Sandy Koufax. (Get it? :) ) After touring the Hall, we checked out all the little baseball shops in the quaint town of Cooperstown. There was baseball-themed EVERYTHING. We passed on the Oriole-themed toaster and the house sign that said, "This family interrupted for baseball season", but got Ranger an O's leash and Connor and Graeme had to have this t-shirt: Back at Dreams Park, the boys made a great run in the playoffs before bowing out with their pitching totally depleted. Here's a "photo illustration" I got toward the end of the week showing what Graeme loves: God, country, baseball...
...and Mom, of course (Apple pie implied :).At that point, people were getting pretty tired and it was time for the closing ceremony/induction into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame. It was all over except for the official team photo at the photo spot. AND, I just want to say, that I am NOT the only Mom who will go to some pretty great lengths to get the RIGHT photo :) Thank you Kirstin Elstner!
Ahhhh... the memories We love you Graeme and hope you always remember the week when YOU were our #1!