September 12, 2021

Mom's Birthday Letter to Drew - Age 14

 Dear Drew,

Another year older, and another year of watching you grow into an amazing young man.  While the past year has been less than ideal (year 2 of the pandemic), I hope you can still find the positive in life.  You're healthy, you're kind, and you're so darn funny.  And how did you get to 14 so fast?!

Thankfully you can enter your final year of Middle School (8th grade) - in person.  Hindsight has taught us that while you didn't mind Distance Learning and overcame the challenge, it created other challenges that went unnoticed.  You conquered the return to school and all the anxiety surrounding it with perseverance.  Of all the things you learned from this experience, I hope near the top is that your Dad and I are always here for you. 

I've admired the research you've done into all your hobbies - LEGOS (you can't have anything but the right Ideas set) and how you work toward buying them yourself, Marvel Movies (is there a fact you don't know?), and the latest internet sensations. Please continue to find enjoyment in various things, but don't forget to get out into the world and really experience it.  Don't let it pass you by.

Continue to explore, continue to take risks and face your challenges.  It will only make you a better person in the end.  Not every challenge you face will end up the way you want, but learn from the lessons it taught you.  That, is what life is about.

Just continue being you.  And continue telling us your stories.  Your Dad and I are your biggest fans, and we love you like you cannot imagine.

Happy Birthday Bud!

June 3, 2019

Championship Three-peat & All-Star Nod

For the third year in a row, Drew's team wins the championship game!  And this time in a new league!

2017 - Single A Marauders (CCLL)

2018 - AAA Pirates (CCLL)
2019 - Majors A's (ECLL)

The Championship game against the Giants was Saturday and we were going into the the game undefeated in a double elimination situation.  We beat this team the previous Saturday, and they played the Wednesday before to make it to the Finals.  There was a question about whether Drew would be the starting pitcher, and in the end the coach gave him the nod.  Here's his first pitch.

Drew pitched for 2 innings never letting a runner make it home.  At the end of the second, the score was 0-10 in favor of the A's. The game went only 4 innings when we mercy ruled the Giants on a passed ball at home plate to bring in the winning run.  Kind of anti-climactic when the boys didn't realize that run ended the game.
Drew is on the top right
Regardless the boys had fun celebrating by playing with some sparkling cider & silly string!

On Sunday, our new league held closing ceremonies - which is new for us.  It was really cool as only the winning teams received trophies except for our Major division which received rings!

Drew is on the far right

The Bling
Our team is now onto the Tournament of Champions which starts this weekend in Alameda.

And the big surprise to Dad and Drew was that he got the All-Star invitation for this summer!  A new league and Drew made All-Stars for the 9-11 team!  They do All-Stars differently in our league compared to our previous one.  It's only 1 team per age group and it's 100% invitation only - not just because you sign-up and want to play summer ball. 

I knew about the nod about 24 hours earlier, but chose to keep it a secret from father and son - so it was like a Christmas Gift for the both of them.  Drew couldn't have been more excited and surprised, or Dave more proud.  Drew's name was the first read and he had to go on the field to await his new teammates names to be called.

Drew accepting his All-Star Nod

The Award

More than 24 hours later - this family is still in baseball shock and glowing in the excitement.  We are looking forward to the Tournament of Champions this weekend and All-Star games which kick off in about 2.5 weeks!

September 12, 2018

Mom's Birthday Letter to Drew - Age 11

Dear Drew,

This birthday sure snuck up on us all this year with so many things happening, like the pending move.  I realize you're in for some big changes this next year, many of which you are dreading and very upset with your Dad and me.  I hope the day you look back on these letters, you'll find that we made the best decision for our family.

However this past year - your first year in double digits - you continued to shine.  You're now a YouTuber with your very own channel. Your report cards are excellent, and your standardized testing this year (CAASP Test) was darn near perfect!  Not only do you continue to wow your parents, but all those you come into contact with.

Your baseball career this past two seasons (Spring & Tournament/Summer baseball) you reigned #1 for Spring and you continued to improve with the challenges brought by Summer Ball.  It's so fun to see you play - I hope you continue for many years to come.

While you continued guitar lessons for the full year - despite we told you to give it 6months - we're sad to see you turn this down after the move.  We understand and you need to do what makes you happy.  I hope you find a new hobby and it becomes your passion.

I love watching you grow and become a young man.  I know you have faced numerous obstacles this past year, and you continue to shine.  Your Dad and I are so very proud of you.  And so grateful to call you our son.  Keep being who you are.  Never lose sight of what makes you you. 

Love you always,

November 20, 2017

Grade 4 Report Card - First Trimester

Drew Got his first report card of 4th grade, and our kid is a genius -- OK I'm bias.  He did have "straight 3's" which is 4th Grade Common Core grading (we'd call it straight A's).

Each subject is given a "numerical" grade 1-3, 3 being the highest.  And then from there there are details/analysis about the grades provided. 
  • +  = Area of Strength
  • ✓  = Developing Appropriately
  • N  = Needs More Time
  • AC = Area of Concern
  • X  = Not evaluated at this time

So his report card looked like the Following:

+ For Foundational Skills (Reading with Fluency etc.
+ Informational Text (comprehension)
+ Literature - Determines theme of story and can summarize
Reading Level R

+ Narrative Writing
 ✓ Writing Process

+ Conventions of Standard English (Demonstrates proper grammar when writing/speaking)
+ Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

✓ Comprehension and Collaboration
✓ Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

MATH - 3
+ Operations and Algebraic Thinking
+ Numbers and Operations in Base 10
+ Measurements and Data

+ Demonstrates reasoning & provides explanations

SCIENCE - 3 & 3




+ Follows Rules and Directions
+ Respects People and property
+ Exercises Control

✓ Collaborates effectively
+ Writes legibly
✓ Uses Time Constructively
+ Maintains Focus
✓   Puts forth effort
✓ Exhibits organizational Skills
+ Completes and turns in assignments
+ Uses technology ethically and effectively

And here is a picture from a couple weekends ago when he was feeding the fish while Mom & Dad were wine tasting at Cline.

September 15, 2017

Flying Food

For years Dave has been talking about how he and his Dad (Tata to Drew) had a food fight in LA for Dave's 30th birthday and his Dad's 50th.  All this time, Drew asked to have a food fight too, and Dave said when you turn 10 we'll talk about it.

Well - now that Drew was turning 10 the time was now.  Drew never let Dave forget this promise and it was time for Dave to put up.  So he did.

Last weekend, Dave baked and prepped food for 2 days getting ready for Drew's impromptu 10th Birthday food fight.  Drew and 5 friends teamed up to toss pies, pudding, cake and donuts.  I on the other hand wanted nothing to do with this mess-maker.

Drew was allowed to get Dave first with a lemon meringue pie and then it was on like Donkey Kong!

While it took Dave between 24-48 hours to prepare, the entire thing was over in minutes.

Drew had a blast. The other kids had a blast.  Dave had a good time - and cleaned up all of the mess.

I'd call this mission successful. 

Drew is already talking about doing this with his kids someday - especially since Dave wouldn't commit to doing this again in 20 years.

September 13, 2017

Strumming Into Lessons

A couple months back, I asked Drew if he wanted to join the school band. He declined but said he was interested in picking up the guitar.

So right after school got out for the summer, I started doing some research and found a place for lessons and a few weeks later picked up a guitar. Summer baseball obligations meant we had to postpone lessons until our routine got back on track... and that lead us to what we are up to every Wednesday for the past month since school started last month...

Guitar lessons!

Drew said he wanted to do the acoustic guitar to be just like Grandpa.

September 12, 2017

Mom's Birthday Letter to Drew - Age 10

Dear Drew,

Double Digits baby!  You finally made it - 10 years old.  One decade ago you made your Dad and I parents, and  I can't believe how quickly time is flying.  In a few short years you'll be spreading your wings and taking on the world.

But for now, you're still my punkin',  under our roof and learning to slowly expand your wings.  Over the past year we're starting to see you bloom into the young man you are becoming, but still watching you cling to the innocence of childhood.  I'm cherishing what little time we have to enjoy this childhood innocence, because unfortunately those eyes of innocence disappear as the realities of the world take over your day-to-day.

Now in the 4th grade, you are tackling more challenges at school and even at home.  Chores are beefing up, homework is taking longer, and now you're taking on an instrument.  All of this will help you grow into the responsible young man I dream you will become.  I love the questions you have about anything and everything - challenging what we know and showing off a bit what you know.  Asking the questions about things you're uncertain of, and taking risks.  Including finally learning how to ride your bike!! 

Just as you are learning with bike riding, there are times in life you will fall, but it's so very important to get back up and try again. So what if it's challenging and difficult - that is what makes the accomplishments that come from overcoming these challenges that much more rewarding.  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Don't get worked up over things that tomorrow really won't matter.  Instead, focus on what you do have - what's truly important - and stay positive

That is what I dream for you this year and every year - continue to grow in every aspect in your life. Be the best person you can be.  Someone kind, respectful, responsible and loving.

I love you bud, and I love that you're still my little boy, even if you're busy reminding me that you're about to become a "tween".  Fight the good fight and work hard to make your dreams come true.

I love you more!

  • Marvel Action Figures & Movies
  • Lego Mini Figures
  • Playing baseball
  • Playing guitar
  • Riding your bike
  • Watching YouTube Videos
  • Netflix Shows
  • Traveling & staying in hotels
  • Water - pools, beaches