Wednesday, April 16, 2014

SBANT Egg Hunt

This past weekend was the Spina Bifida Association of North Texas egg hunt. Here are some quick pics:

Caleb and Benjamin got to see their buddy Kohen. I have no idea why Caleb is doing such a toothy smile. He lost a tooth a couple of days before this pic and it's been making him smile weird ever since.

This guy is happy!

Standard pic with the bunny.

Caleb and Abby. Ahhh, so cute.

After the egg hunt we went down by the water to see the ducks.

Benjamin likes to terrorize the birds by chasing them. He actually gets pretty close to catching some of them. I don't know if that means the birds are really slow or if he is really fast??

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Destination: Kentucky! NWBA Nationals

After our brief and exciting trip to West Monroe, we continued the long drive to Louisville. It was non-stop fun from the time we arrived on Wednesday until we left Sunday morning. Prepare yourself for a ton of pictures.

Our prep team!
These kids played so hard. I was incredibly proud of all of them. We all stayed in the same hotel which was a lot of fun because it gave the kids a chance to get to know each other better.

All of the games were here at the Expo Center. This place was huge! There were teams from all over the country and of all ages. There were 12 courts with games constantly going. So we were able to enjoy just watching basketball in between our games. It was fantastic.
If you have never watched wheelchair basketball, then you are missing out. It is so much fun to watch. 

My boys.
Notice the weird thing in Benjamin's hand?

Yes, those are Duck Commander bath scrunchies. Don't ask. Benjamin took his duck (Caleb chose the Willie scrunchie) everywhere. You are going to see this little duck in several photos.

All of the games were based on a bracket system. It was a really good experience for the team. They had an opportunity to play a couple of teams that really challenged them. Let me just say there are some little kids out there that can play a mean game of wheelchair basketball. No joke. I was blown away by the talents of some of the other teams. 

Caleb loved watching the other teams, especially the older players. He would roll right up to the court and watch. He made new friends everywhere he went, including this lady. It turns out that she is currently making a documentary on the Miami Heat Wheels basketball team. It sounds fantastic. I can't wait to see it. 

I definitely saw some improvement in Caleb's playing this time around. He is still a bit timid and he's not very aggressive (yet) but he did seem more confident.

He's so fun to watch.

I have to sing Benjamin's praises right now. This kid did fantastic the entire time. We asked a lot of him those few days in Kentucky. He didn't get a lot of sleep. He was dragged around to multiple basketball games. He was asked to be patient while bubba played. Benjamin was such a trooper and just went with the flow. I was so proud of him.

And the duck again...and a hanger (aka: bow and arrow). 

Laying right on the court while bubba played.

He's holding the duck.

Love these boys. And the duck.

One of the players brought his Wii to the hotel. These boys bonded over video games. 

Caleb and Abby. 
These two are seriously double trouble. Two peas in a pod. They could barely be separated the entire time. I'm so glad Abby was there because it really made this a fun experience for Caleb. These 2 kiddos had a blast together.

Making donuts in a water puddle. 

Things got a little silly at dinner one night.

Benjamin the walrus.

Although our schedule was busy, we managed to squeeze in a few fun non-basketball things.

Like lunch with a friend and fellow SB mom. Colleen and I have met once before at the SB conference. It's always a blessing to connect in person with someone from my SB family.

We also made time for a quick trip to the Louisville Slugger museum.

120 foot bat.

Caleb and Abby.
These 2 were so cute at the museum. We did the tour that shows you how the bats are made (no pics allowed) and Caleb and Abby stayed close together the entire time. The would get their chairs as close together as possible and then put their hands on the other's wheels. Kinda like holding hands but wheelchair wheels instead! Seriously, it was the cutest thing I've ever seen in my entire life. I'm planning their wedding now.

The ONLY family picture I have from this entire trip...and for some reason Caleb is pushing Benjamin's head down. Sigh.

Benjamin really enjoyed the museum and he loves the mini bat they pass out to everyone.

We really had a great time in Kentucky. I'm so glad we made the drive and took the time out of our schedules to go to Nationals. It was a really great experience. There is nothing like seeing hundreds of wheelchairs in one place. It was such a blessing. 

Monday, April 07, 2014

Destination: Kentucky! Detour through West Monroe

The National Wheelchair Basketball Association hosts a huge wheelchair basketball tournament every year. Teams from all over the country come to participate and compete in Nationals, including Caleb's team. This year Nationals was located in Louisville, Kentucky. Since we have made this long drive before when we went to Cincinnati this summer and we made the long drive to Nebraska in February, we decided we could handle another long drive. So off we went to Louisville, KY! We decided to make the drive there a 2 day trip and take a detour through West Monroe, Louisiana so we could stop by Duck Commander. We are big fans of Duck Dynasty. The detour extended our drive a bit but we thought it would be fun, and it was.

The boys did really great in the car. I got a couple of new Star Wars books from the library and those kept the boys busy for hours. Hours.

Benjamin took a break from reading about Star Wars to playing with his Lego Star Wars guys. 

We made it to Louisiana!

We arrived in West Monroe at lunch time so we decided to stop and eat before we headed to Duck Commander. Glenn spotted this restaurant while we were driving around....
I had my doubts, but we decided to eat there anyway. I'm glad we did. 

It was a really neat place with yummy food. The manager, walked around with a duck call and stopped by our table to chat with us. After our food came, the manager came back to our table and whispered something to Caleb. He told Caleb to come with him because there was a secret someone for him to meet. (Benjamin had the opportunity to go as well, but he didn't want to). So, Glenn and I let Caleb go with this strange guy as he led Caleb back through the kitchen. As I type that I realize how crazy it was to let Caleb just go with this guy but we had a hunch it would be worth it. It was.

Caleb's empty spot at the table while he was "in the back".

Caleb was gone for a good while. When he finally returned with the manager we learned that Caleb met Willie in some secret back room of the restaurant! Thankfully the manager took a photo (since Caleb was the only one who got to meet him!!) and posted it on the restaurant's Facebook page a couple of days later.

Proof that Caleb got to meet Willie! He was so excited (and I was a little jealous). This right here made our little detour through Louisiana more than worth it. Such a neat experience for Caleb. He told anyone and everyone that he got to meet Willie. 

After lunch we headed to Duck Commander.

Benjamin is sucking his thumb in every single photo. Every. Single. Photo. Maybe all the beards were too overwhelming for him. :)

More beards...and more thumb sucking.

My boys in front of the beards...and more thumb sucking.

Caleb got to make his own duck call. FYI, duck calls are really expensive so the boys got t-shirts instead. Plus, I didn't really want to hear constant duck calls on the 13+ hour drive.

You can't visit Duck Commander and not take a photo in front of the famous sign. No beards in this photo but Benjamin is still sucking his thumb.

That about sums up our brief and exciting trip through West Monroe on our way to Kentucky. More blog posts to come about our fun trip to Kentucky!

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