Teage “The Miner” Isla

This gallery contains 13 photos.

Teage had his first wrestling match of the season last Saturday and WOW….he far exceeded what anyone was hoping for, including himself!  The practices leading up have been hit or miss for him.  It’s been super cold, the group is … Continue reading

Turning 6, Getting Promoted, and the End of Softball

So much has happened in such a short amount of time lately…but, I guess that’s just life right?  I am not the only busy one in the world with an umpteen amount of “everythang” swirling around them.  However, it’s not a fam bam blog if I don’t pop in and share with my peeps the fantastical chaos I call Mi Vida!!

We celebrated Teage’s birthday last weekend (his first party on his actual birthday since well, birth :o)  He is officially 6 and “first grade ready” as he would tell it.  The first thing he did birthday morning was grab Dad’s tape measure, run into my room to wake me up, and demand a height check.  Turning 6 has its expectations after all.  I guess it’s a good thing he doesn’t realize how doomed he actually is in the height department yet.  Until then we will high five every inch we get along the way 🙂

This year Teage chose the Avengers has his birthday party theme.  Anyone else die hard Avenger dweebs like us…I am definitely on the Hulk Fan Bus this go ’round!!  Stretched thin, I managed to pump out one of the best lil parties he has every seen.  He loved it…from the superhero food bites (think Villains in a Pickle, Wonder Dogs, Pop Rockin Puffs, Fightin’ Fruit, Hero Lassos, Vision Sticks, and Two Face Dips), to the handmade capes, to the Superhero Academy obstacle course, to his awesome teacher showing up, to reading EVERY single birthday card (better than most teenagers I know), to the fabulous gifts he was so fortunate to walk away with…I mean, how blessed are we?  It was such a blast to have all his friends, classmates, and family show up to help celebrate our Teagie!  Roll the pics already….

Goody Bags…Avenger Style

Balloon Fun!

Hulk Punch

Starting off with the Nature Scavenger Hunt

Read the Clues Teage!!

Hero Ready!

First game…Vaporize the Villain!

Who to pick next….

Capes for All

A labor of love, those capes were 😉

The Teen Set…posted on the pick-up

Too cool to hang with the little kids 😉

Shoot the villain Camille!

Who is that masked man?? Baby Koi to the rescue!

Bag Toss…first step in the Super Hero Academy obstacle course

Being a superhero means being able to jump through hoops!

Off to the Kryptonite Disposer challenge!

Captain America Shield Throw!

Run Hero Run!!  (I love Teage’s moves in the background)

Grabbing the most kryptonite…

Who’s’ gonna finish first??

Mastermind Challenge…guess the number of candies!

Teage’s Avenger Cake…Thanks Kaylene for yet another fabulous and tasty cake!

Make a Wish…

and BLOW!! YAY!!  (The other kids simulating the blowout is just as awesome!)

Once again, we are so happy to have everyone come out on their Saturday.  Lord knows that the sunny days here are few and far between, so we are appreciative using one of those to come be with us as we bid farewell to five…HELLO SIX!!!  Next Saturday…my girlie turns 17!!  (really, 11 year gap?)  Sigh…

In other news….the beginning of the month was also a huge milestone in that George was officially promoted to Master Sergeant!!  Making his E-8 has been like a long forbidden love affair for him…wait, I wish a Mutha Sucka WOULD…maybe not the best analogy.  Anyway, point is it has been a plateau for us for so long….George made his E-7 within his first 7 years in the Army. That is pretty much unheard of in the military.  He earned it, he deserved it…but it was always a known fact for us that he would probably sit dormant there for a while.  And boy did he…for over half of his 16 year career!!  He knew his place and accepted the wait in line as he should.  But, the time had come….finding out in December that he was in promotion status was probably the best news we had gotten in a while. It was a tough year last year for him and this was the morale boost he needed to remind himself of why he is such a great man and Soldier.  I’ve always known it…and now so would the rest!  The day after Teage’s party, I prepped making foodies for the ceremony, which was intimate and yet bountiful with guests and well wishers.  Having G-Pa here was the icing.  He was able to have his dad and I be the ones to “pin” his new rank on.  Alex was also able to attend and I know that meant the most to him by having his family there.  So without further adieu…I present to the masses, MSG George M Isla !!

So many people came out…thanks again!

Senor Isla Trio!

Luv the O’Neal’s..battle buddies for sure!

LTC Iliff before his “I heart Isla” speech..

Sharing a moment!!

Rubbing on of the Ranks 🙂

Congrats to my MSG!!!

SPEECH!!!

The Receiving Line…what a great crowd!

So excited and fortunate to have G-Pa there for this moment.

Isla Forces…go get ’em baby!!

What an accomplishment!  Does this mean he will stay in  the Army with this kind of momentum in the ranks?  Hmmm….

Continuing the week, I had to leave an hour after the promotion ceremony headed to the European Army Family Action Plan Committee in Heidelberg.  I was selected to attend as a Recorder/Transcriber this year (the toughest role as many would say)…but, my work as being multi tasking mommy never ends!!  I rolled back on Wednesday to be there for the Softball Awards Dinner.  Well, I mean I wanted to see my Saigie get her certificate and all…but I was also in charge of the slideshow and helping George create his gift to the girls, individual player cards and trading cards.  Everyone knows by now that we are committed parents with volunteering and advocating/supporting our kids in all they do.  This was no exception.  I love being with these girls and I am really sad to see another awesome year end.  With an undefeated season…our Lady Raiders made history, no team from K-Town has ever accomplished this feat!  I have to also take it a little further and give props to my hubby.  He has put everything into coaching these girls and I know that every single one of them will always remember and owe a little something of their softball career to his commitment towards them.  Hats off to this team…it may be the end of an era, but it’s also what will drive Saige on to overcoming the next achievement, as captain next year!!

Coach Culbreth

Saige grabbing her All Region Rap Sheet!! #1 BABY!

Team Mom…Word!!

Coach “Ice”

Lettered Again!

Player’s Card…from Coach Daddy!

Gift from the girls to G

Grub Time

Megann, Lauren S, Lexus, Sharon, Michelle, Makenzie

Melissa, Lauren H, Reagan, Saige, Callie

Tia, Natalie, Liggins

Lady Raiders with Coach C

Goof Troopin’

This is ALOT!

She’s always someone to lean on!

Stir ir UP!

Passing of the reigns…Captain Baby!

Pentagon Posse! Sniff…

What a fabulous week…in more ways than one!  Did I mention I love my life….?  Now, if I could only get my Apple TV addiction under control I’d be close to damn perfect :/

Thanks for looking…

XOXO, Di

Ring my Spring

This has been the most fulfilling Spring in Germany so far…weather wise, activity wise, er…allergy wise, etc.  This time last year I was still freezing my butt off at the softball fields, but I could still breathe through my nose.  Actually it is effecting the men in my house more than us two superwomen…just sayin.  However, it has been hella-nice here this season and I cannot complain.  Everyone is outside doing the yard, riding bikes, drinking wine….ok maybe that’s just my house.

Anyway, take a gander into our Springtime Fun so far…Isla style:

One of the more exciting things to go down was the Family’s Volunteer Service ceremony.  It is a National Award that includes a category based pin, certificate, and letter from Obama.  I was super stoked for us to get this together.  It was definitely an Isla laced event!!

Saige and her Silver Award for AFAP!

George and his Silver...for Coaching Softball and Captain AFAP!

JD and his Gold....for Beauty and the Beast!

Me and my Call to Service Award....over 4,000 hours!

Fam Bam Fun with Friends!!

Springy BBQ

GST Sports

T-Ball Warm-up

GO TEAM!

Pre-Batting fatherly advice...

Slushie Slugger

First Base Stance

Run Run Run!

Taking his first lead-off...

                                                                                                                                

Playing shortstop

Sissy Help

KHS vs Bitburg...WINNING! Lead-off baby...

Saige at second

All the days 6...

Niiiice!

Easter 2011

Basket Time

Let's Dye Eggs!

Senor Isla's

Time to Hunt...

Oooo the golden egg...

Happy Easter...Love, all the Isla's!

Thx for looking,

Di

T-Ball, Flanked with Softball and a Karate Chop

These days, my life consists of driving my three to their extra-curriculars…gotta love Spring!!

Actually, I do!  There’s nothing like a gorgeous day to play sports and ride your bike to play sports (I need to work this into replacing some of this carpooling detail, hmmmm).  Anyway, the lowdown:

Saige is in full swing with HS softball.  She is playing second base and already one of the most consistent players on the team.  Despite a ball to the face that gave her two black eyes early on in practice.  She has really come out of her shell with playing infield.  I know it has a lot to do with George taking a position as active Coach for the HS team.  He is really teaching these girls the game and I couldn’t be more ecstatic…well, not dragging dirt in the house with your nasty cleats would make me a little more ecstatic…but who’s keeping tally?!  Her first local game was last weekend (I missed the one in England)…and she got the “game ball” for the second game from the Head Coach for playing so well.  What is not to like about this photo….

Like father, like daughter...."What's the Sign?"

This week was also team photo week.  G took our camera and got some good shots…

The new and exciting event this week consisted of the boys and their accomplishments in sports….1st off, Teage started T-Ball!!  He is has been waiting feverishly to do what “sissy and daddy do”.  He is gonna be a natural and walked straight up to  the tee before practice even started and whacked theball….The adults were like “Wow…what a hit”.  This is gonna be a great season…not only because he is good…but because he is 100% entertainment.  See for yourself:

He wanted to use another kid's bat instead of the $50 bat his dad got for him!

This is what he decided to do with 'his' bat....sigh

This happens a lot in T-Ball...always waiting for the next kid to bat

Fielding time...

Fielding 101...the alligator chomp!

Classic...Base Dancing!

Saige is #6, her daddy's number. Teage is #13, his momma's number. Go METS!!

2nd off…JD had an awesome week as well.  He has been in karate for about a month or so.  And he tested this week for his second belt.  You’re looking at the the newest Yellow Belt!!  Go JD…I’m so glad he likes doing it….and as with all my kids, he’s another major perfectionist when it comes to doing the best!!  Check out this stance:

Before the test...

Upper Block

Horse Stance

Left Down Block

Spar Time...

Master Jorge giving Jorge-san his belt.

JD Isla...Yellow Belt!

There should be more exciting things coming our way with Spring Break happening this week 🙂

WOOT…thx for looking!!

#353

Ambassador of Softball

#359


This past weekend, Saige and George had their first daddy/daughter, coach/player game.  We traveled to the Netherlands (about 3 1/2 hours) and history was made for the Isla Fam.  Both George and Saige were on the field together doing what they both love to do.  It was so awesome to see them do their thang.  The days were long, but the tourney was such a great time.  Compared to last years trip to Italy and all its drama, this was by far a better experience.  Probably because the drama starters finally realized there is no place for self-absorbed whining in softball…just sayin.  Anyway, probably the best part of it all was seeing how much better Saige has gotten since last season.  She has really taken off and come into her own as an infielder and a center fielder.  Plus, she has advanced in her hitting as well.  So proud of her.

With the exception of some mystery tube meat and poisonous beer, Saturday after the games was the highlight of the weekend.  The program had set up a night of karaoke and dancing for all the teams.  Watching them let loose and act silly was more than entertaining.  Of course I forgot my camera back in the room that night, so no pics of that.  But, I did get summoned by George to sing Livin’ On A Prayer in front of everyone….and you know I can’t resist making a fool of myself…it’s my specialty…LOL!  (Don’t put me on a  stage with a spotlight and a microphone unless you mean business).

Check out the pics of our fab time :o)

Before the trip

Indoor softball is so weird...but she made 2 runs this game.

The younger kids made good use of their time, of course

Finally outside...

Swing Batter

Second base suits her well

Warming up for day two

Meeting of the minds

Lead-off hitter

Black, white, and red...go K-Town colors!!

They are all super fun

Softball model

Coach "Ice"

Saige and Reagan...buddies all the days

Team Ambassadors 2011...nice gun show Saige!

Thanks for looking….

Love ya!

362

#362

If you could learn one extreme sport for free, what would it be?

I would love to learn motocross.  Not only would I look bitchin’ on a bike…but I love the thrill of driving fast.  I have always been petal to the metal…if you saw my speeding ticket record, you would know this.  Enough about that old shiz…

In my “free” time, I aspire to officially learn how to surf!

Besides the fact that I am from South Florida and it is considered a sin if you don’t, I would finally get that meet and greet with Kelly Slater that I have been fantasizing about since High School.

SIGH…I knew there was a reason why he wasn’t married!!  LOL

All Star Softball…Ends With a Bang!

Most of you know that softball has consumed most of our summer in one way or another. While I love watching the people I love play…this last expedition proved to be the “icing” that capped off this softball cake. The regional tournament was held in Cairo Montenotte, Italy this year. It was about a nine hour drive (a hot, yet beautiful drive). We ventured south through Germany, into Switzerland (my fave new place) and across the north side of Italy to reach the west coast district of Savona. We stayed at Villa Eugenia (a B&B) tucked away in a mountain and was hellatious to drive to, but it couldn’t have been more perfect. Simona (the house mother), welcomed us right away with hugs, food (gotta love an Italian woman that wants to feed you), and a tour all while holding Teage’s hand. She was one of the nicest people we had encountered in a long time and will definitely be staying there if we go back next year.

The softball. Saige was so excited to be on this adventure and we were equally happy for her. She has only been playing softball competitively since we moved here (sorry, but the youth sports teams in Okinawa, was NOT real softball). We were expecting a lot out of this league and tournament for her as an experience. I think the excitement was so overwhelming for all the girls that it rattled the team a bit…and we lost our first game. The nervousness had to have been strong…I was nervous for them! But, the main objective was to have fun and play ball. Those two things should have been all that mattered…and Saige ran with it.

Speaking of Saige…we have gone through a lot with her with this whole “growing up/becoming a teenager” thing. There have been personal tests, bad decisions, good choices, hard work, wavering independence, and strong personality lessons that have been learned/taught in the past couple years. No child is going to go through life knowing all the right moves…but, I am a firm believer that if you raise your kids to have manners, a level head, a fun & loving spirit, and responsibility than you have tackled half the battles. Saige has made a few mistakes in her journey to become a young lady, but more than those mistakes she always manages to show me what she has carried with her all along…humility and a truly, caring heart. This week was no exception. The girls were compacted into 2-man rooms on a baseball camp compound over the course of six days while we were in Italy. Can you imagine 13 teenage girls hugged up in one small space with 100 degree weather? This was a recipe for bad mojo. By day three, there were girls calling each other out on their mistakes in the game, name calling, whining, meltdowns, cliques, and even cursing. I don’t know exactly all that went down (since the girls were not staying with their parents), but, what I do know is that I was not worried about Saige. My baby is a leader…thick-skinned and is also genuinely NICE! I was proud she didn’t get involved into being catty and instead tried to dodge the drama and make people feel better. She is not perfect, but she is who she is….and I have always known how incredible she is in her heart. (sniff sniff, LOL)

Besides all the drama that I wished had never happened with the girls….they played as best they could and I couldn’t have asked for more than that. They did not advance to the World Series, but they are champs in my book. They went there with only one game played under their belt and about three weeks of practice. They did their best and that is what mattered.

I want to say a big thank you to the coaches that stepped up and VOLUNTEERED their time and their wallets to make this happen for Saige & the rest of he girls. Without them they would have never made it to Italy in the first place. Coaching is a tough job all around…dealing with young girls’ hearts and attitude, in-the-mix parents, out-of-the-mix parents, dealing with other coaches, gathering information, fronting the costs when others can’t…the list goes on. While everyone has their way of coaching (aka-“I would have done this…”), it’s always easier to holla from the sidelines. I appreciate them for giving the kids the time and for caring.

I think that pretty much sums up my take on the past week’s events. The moral of this story is…”With great commitment comes great achievement!” I think Saige achieved a lot over this past year in softball and I look forward to seeing her grow in play for years to come….

Some pics of our time there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for joining us in the journey…

Saige’s Week!

My little girl is upping the ante…she’s officially 15 and “permit” legal. Too bad living in Germany hinders the immediate driving capabilities. I don’t think I could handle that bug in my ear these days. She is still that baby to me that used to bat her eyelashes to get attention at RJ Gators, giggle frantically when I’d snatch her paci out of her mouth or pretty much at any given time, wear a zwieback on her face like no other, call the kitchen the ‘chicken’, and be my all time cuddle buddy when daddy was away. She has grown up WAY too fast and each day I try desperately to grasp onto all the moments I have left with her at home. From the jump, I always knew she was the kid that would leave right away after high school. She has so many dreams and so much to offer…so full of life. I am in awe of her spirit. But until that day comes…I am holding on for dear life!

This past week was a doozy…the last day of school happened, I was away for a w’EEK for the first time attending a conference, we left for Stuttgart to watch Saige’s team play for the German Little League title, add in a little Father’s Day…and of course we celebrated her fabulous quinceanera!! Since I was gone, I had arranged some fun surprises for her on Monday. She received an fun balloon bouquet during exams :o) and then when she got home, her dad and brothers drove her by the marquis on base to see a flashy message that read, “HAPPY 15th BIRTHDAY SAIGE ISLA…LOVE YOUR FAMILIA!” She was super excited about that. Then I drove back home to top it off with a personalized t-shirt (enter new obsession), dinner at Chili’s with cake, and presents. Rhea and the kids met up with us and we had a great time. Thanks to everyone that sent her something in the mail and through email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best present she got was the new softball bat from her dad. They have really bonded with this softball thing (I just want to reiterate that softball is taking over my life…please pray for me). Anyway, this was no accident…he was prepping her for the tournament this weekend which would secure the Junior All Stars the privilege of representing Germany at Regionals next month. Not only did they win, but they pummeled ’em. It was good, fun, clean, softball and our girls showed class and poise and most of all…teamwork! So proud of Saige…she is the oldest on her team along with one other girl and is really the shining star of the group. She is always making people laugh, pumping the girls up, calling out plays, rooting the others on, just an overall force! (Of course she is also the loudest girl on the team…LOL) Congrats to her and her team…next up, Regionals in Cairo Montenotte, Italy from July 6-11. Another family trip ahead…sprinkled with softball (sigh) LOL!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always…thanks for looking and wish us luck in Italy :o)