Monday, April 23, 2012

Nationals DID involve basketball... not just Ellie

I figured since my first post, post-nationals, was essentially all about Ellie, I should probably show off what this trip is really about - lots of basketball and the amazing Warrior Basketball Family. I have so many pictures from this week, so I tried to put most of them into collages. Of course, there will also be a few photo collages of Ellie at the festivities. :)

My family has been a part of the Warrior Basketball organization for 10 years now. A lot has changed during that time! Its amazing to see the advancements in homeschool athletics! But the best part of the organization, for our family, has been the incredible relationships we have developed with the other families involved. Some families have been there longer, the same period of time, and now there are many new comers. Regardless of your time spent with the Warriors, you will be welcomed with open arms.

Side note: the families at the Warriors have recently become a "hotspot" for adoption and foster care. Most of these families did not seek out these situations.... no, these kids literally found them. At Christopher's senior day game, it was wonderful to see so many newly fostered/adopted babies being carried around by the athletes, as well as foster kids all in the middle of the student cheering section, fitting in like they always belonged.  A beautiful picture of the body of Christ. One of our families recently took on 4 foster-to-adopt kids... making their "child count" a grand total of 10! The mother of this family is beyond incredible! Every time I saw her in Spingfield, she had no less then 3 kids hanging on her... and the biggest, most gracious smile on her face. Amazing!

Nationals always provides a great time, at the end of a long season spent together going from gyms-to-practice-to-games, etc... to really get to spend time with the other families, and get to know each other on a deeper level.

Its always awesome seeing kids (and parents!) from all over the organization coming to cheer on as many of the Warrior teams.

Funny story about the cheer going on below. When a player goes up to the free throw line,  someone yells "Lock and Load, Warriors" and the kids "lock and load" with their hands and fingers, and hold the position until the shot (hopefully) swishes through the net, followed by the crowd going "BOOM!"

Well, apparently, this is offensive to some. So much so, an opposing team's mom told us we were evidently not a christian organization as our name implies (Nashville Central Christian Warriors) because our kids do "gun simulating" cheers, and our kids have tattoo's. Those "tattoos" would have been those rub on things kids of all ages love... evidently she didn't realize tattoos on the faces of juvenile's is illegal most places.:) Ah well... it provided a good laugh:)

The photo below is at our Middle School Girl's game, playing in the national championship game (they came in second). Although I didn't get a picture of it, at one point the starters from the Varsity Boy's team were down in front, initiating and leading cheers - so sweet!

We had several kids make it onto the All-American and All-Regional Teams! Christopher was named onto the All-American team, along with his team mate, Connor. It was awesome getting to see him play in the All-American game! He had dunk moves I never imagined a brother of mine could ever posses!

warming up 

doing work!

Ellie got all dressed up for Uncle Christopher's All-American game:)

Clearly I didn't use the red-eye edit on this picture!

My brothers make serious fun of all the tutu's and bows I put on Ellie, but thanks for these pink frills, you can spot us in the All-American Game DVD!:)

I am so glad Ellie and I were able to make the trip! I saw my brother, Christopher, and sister, Mary Grace, play some of the best basketball I have ever seen them play! They had an awesome tournament!

Ellie was a complete trooper - she allowed herself, and her schedule, to be very flexible!

She slept on the go... a lot...

Ate on the go...

Was held and loved on by many...

And was a very happy little girl...

Despite finding herself in less than normal baby situations...:)

 and yes, the caption in the first picture should read *just*

 I really thought I was going to be super emotional watching Christopher's last game as a high school senior, but I guess knowing I get to watch him play in college as well helped. It was just a fun game to watch, and for the boys to play.

Last dunk as a senior in high school

Leaving the court of the last time as a Warrior

Team Seniors

Seniors and their Coaches

Such a wonderful Uncle!

This is how Gracie and I hug our brother's after their games. Serious sweatiness=air hugs:)

Love my towering baby brother.

For the closing ceremony, I finally broke out the Bjorn, and immediately wondered why on earth we hadn't used it before!?! Ellie LOVED it!

It is surprisingly comfortable! Ellie slept through the entire closing ceremony!

Mary Grace's team game in 4th in their division - highest ranking ever for the varsity girls team! Way to go Lady Warriors!

Christopher's team game in 5th, in the highest division, nationally! Woo Hoo

Christopher and his two team mates, Patrick and Connor, made the National All-Tournament Team.

Here is a well kept secret - I really have three kids ;-)

Ok, well I maybe only physically carried and birthed Ellie, but Christopher and Gracie feel like they are at least half mine.:) Love all three of "my" kiddo's beyond words!

There ya have it folks - our National Tournament experience!

The trip home was fairly uneventful. Ellie and I drove back to middle TN with my family and spent the night at my parent's house, before heading back to Knoxville. This gave her grandparents a few more highly coveted hours with her.
 Hanging out with Pop at Taco Bell on the trip home.

And because I am totally the Mother of the Year a sleep deprived idiot, I scheduled Ellie's two month appointment (delayed due to local spring breaks) for the afternoon we were arrived back in Knoxville! We drove straight from Nashville to the pediatrician's office, where I nurse Ellie in the car, followed by taking her in to get shots.

Luckily, I seemed to be way more offended by my lack of foresight then she was. Ellie just looked more surprised then anything!:)

She made it almost to the 30th percentile!:) 10 lbs 10 oz and 22.5 inches Our little peanut

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