Monday, May 29, 2017

Spring Tennis


Tennis this spring has been a bit different than we anticipated, but it's been very good for the kids, and very fun for me.


Through a series of odd and somewhat unfortunate events, the two coaches that reach our kids the best have left the club that is most convenient for us. Lincoln still plays there on Mondays after school, but when it comes to real instruction, particularly for the younger ones, nothing matches Coach Alvin, and Coach Kevin is just the best we've found for Lincoln. So we've stuck with them as they've ventured out on their own and formed their own.

It's good for the kids because they get fantastic instruction while having lots of fun. It's also been cool for me because I've gotten lots of practice with sports and action photography, and they've been able to use some of my photos for their promotional material and marketing!

Have a kid interested in tennis? Give the guys at Cleveland Tennis Academy a call. You can thank me later.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lincoln's 9th Birthday... Harry Potter!


It was the birthday party theme Jenn had been gearing up for, Lincoln's 9th and... Harry Potter!!! And, oh boy, did she go all out. From the decorations to the cake painting to sorting to Quidditch (thanks, Grandpa Doug!) to Honeydukes to owl post to potions (thanks Auntie Haley & Eli!), it was like a mini Hogwarts at our place. Most rewarding was the reaction the kids gave to their parents at the end of the party. They loved it!


Jenn arranged to sort the kids into the four houses by making their drinks turn the color of their house. Then we set up Potions Class in the dungeon, er, garage with all sorts of "experiments" that bubbled, exploded, and did other odd things. The kids made their own wands with modeling clay and unique sticks. And while it rained most of the morning and into the beginning of the party, it let up soon enough to get a game of Quidditch in!

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Gates Family visits Kentucky


About a week and a half before Spring Break, Jenn and I were talking about what we wanted to do for Spring Break, and Jenn mentioned that she was irritated that others were going to the beach, doing fun things, etc. So we brainstormed in the car for about 30 minutes, drove home, Jenn hopped on the computer, and within a few hours, we had plans in place to visit the next state on our #Gates50States list: Kentucky!


First stop was Mammoth Cave National Park.


Second Stop was Lost River Cave for real caving! It was a little muddy.


Third stop was Lincoln's birthplace.


We drove through Lexington on the way home and saw some amazing horse farms. Touring these (along witht he bourbon trail) will have to be for another day. It was a great long weekend. Good job, Kentucky!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Henry's Weekly Reader

Henry's weekly reader project fell in March, and this included bringing the buddies home for the week and getting pictures with them doing the things he likes to do. He also got to help mom make the treat for the end of the week!

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Henry chose the Berenstain Bears as his theme, and wrote a report on posterboard about the authors, the subjects and some fun facts.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


My how these kids like sushi! And, my does mom like to show them how to make fun things!

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