Friday Favorites - Tennis, birthdays, and lake-bound!

Happy Friday!!  As always, I'm linking up with Texas bloggers Andrea and Erika for some favorites from the week.  I skipped last week because I was at a Southern Sectionals tennis tournament and this week I am preparing to leave for a family vacation at Dale Hollow Lake!  Way to close out the summer, right??

Let's dive in. . .

Southern Sectional Tennis Tournament
These ladies are the core of my tennis life.  I'm really lucky to live in an area with LOTS of teams, lots of tennis, and lots of opportunities.  The captain of this team invited me to play with her several years ago and I have grown and advanced with this core group.  
I originally wasn't going to participate in this tournament because I had just gone the weekend before with another team, the one I can/could advance with -- I was bumped out of range with three others pictured here this season.  I ran into our captain on Tuesday, prayed about it (again), signed up Wednesday morning, and was out the door early Friday morning
Our tournament was an easy 2.5 hour drive from my house, so I chose to leave Friday morning for our 9:30 a.m. match.
Because of forecasted weather, the decision was made to make all matches short sets and play three on Friday.  
Someone sent me this action shot from a FB page -- this was the first match I played and the only doubles match.  I got to play with the same person I won with to get to this point at the State Tournament in June :)
I went on to play three singles matches (all short sets, which made singles bearable to me) and this is a picture I asked a teammate to take after the last one -- 2-4, 5-4 (which means we had a tiebreaker that I won) and then a 10-8 match tiebreak!!  It was a TOUGH match and great way to end my weekend :)
My roommate and I were in the cheering section for the semi-finals -- we must have been good supporters because our team won 4-1!!  By then the tournament directors let the teams go back to full sets since all the predicted weather for the weekend never materialized.
I drove home after that and was planning another early morning the following day, but they had enough players and I had a big birthday party to host (favorite #3) so I cheered from Tennessee.  Unfortunately there has to be a winner, who moves on to the National Tournament in Phoenix, and a runner-up -- our team was the latter.  This is the second year in a row -- they'll shoot for it again next year I'm sure!!!
We even got a team picture Friday (minus one person who didn't come until Saturday) with our "team mascot" Neyland. . .the cutest little 6-wk old puppy you've ever seen :)
One of the reasons I wanted to come home Saturday night and get up early to return to the tournament Sunday morning was because Tom sent me this picture:
Two FAVORITES in this one. . .a new-to-us sofa (Robert moved out of his apartment and doesn't need it right now) and my BOYS!!  Both home.  One of my younger teammates was puzzled when I was so excited to get home because the 23-yr-old was there and I said, "I know it's strange, because I've lived with them their entire lives, but I love spending time with my kids and get so excited to see them.  I used to roll my eyes when my mom acted that way when I came into town but now I get it!  I don't want to miss out on time with them."  She went on to say that her mom says the same thing about her and her brother (and they live in the same town), saying, "she always says that she likes us and wants us to come over and hang out with her".  YES!!!  It's true.  Adult children are great :)
And this great guy is always worth coming home for. . .our rock, our head-of-household, our "Mr. Fix-it", and my best friend.
This is favorite #3 only because I'm taking the weekend in order -- celebrating my in-laws was the highlight, even when tennis is in the picture ;)
83 & 80 right here!!!  58 years of marriage.  2 children, 4 grandchildren
We are so incredibly blessed that they are back in our lives every single day. . .they made the difficult decision to move from their home of over 50 years to live down the street from us last spring.  
They say that THEY are the fortunate ones, to be here with us now, so it's all working out :)
Last year we were missing the oldest grandson for the big family picture -- this year we are missing the oldest granddaughter. 
Gifts -- what do you do for a couple that downsized and is committed to staying downsized??  Well, you give them a new pickleball bag (yes, they play three times a week!), a puzzle, and family pictures as magnets for the fridge.  And cards.  They love cards :)
This was a main reason I needed to come home from the tournament early -- rice bowls!!  They are a family favorite and although easy enough to make, they are time-consuming.  I think it took about two hours to put this all together?  Regardless, I would do it every week if it means we can all be together.
Laura & The Chamberlains
Our oldest daughter has been out of town all summer - first on a missions trip to India, then to Cincinnati to housesit, dog sit, help Grandma when my sister was out of town, and work with Rooted Grounds Coffee Company.  She's been BUSY and, on weekends, she tries to get together with other family still living in Ohio.  This is my aunt and uncle, who live near Columbus.  One weekend they invited her up there and last weekend they went her way to introduce her to Jungle Jim's.  I love this picture :). You can never have too much family in your life, right?  Uncle Dave just reached a weight-loss goal and looks so good but even better, feels really, really good.  
The Chosen
Click over on the link, watch the trailer, then come back.  I'll wait ;)
You know something has to be amazing for me to spend time in front of the television and this is it!!
Dave & Becky (favorite #4) told us about this show earlier this spring when they visited.  For whatever reason, we didn't look it up then, but are so glad to have it now!!!
So many thoughts. . .we are not through with it yet but know it's only getting better.  So well-done and a great way to look at everything going on in the Gospels, not just the what the authors originally wrote.  Be careful -- this is NOT God's Word, but a best-guess scholarly interpretation of details that are not recorded.  I am learning more about the internal conflict of people during Jesus's time here on Earth, the same conflicts we have today, in the 21st century.  The same questions, the same cultural temptations, the same holy people that are still sinners.  Give it a try.
I'm almost finished with this book and LOVE it.  
In fact, it is the reason I am late getting this post out today -- I had most of the post done yesterday but this morning have been unable to tear myself away from the book.  As an aside, 
Shay did not like this book. I love her monthly reviews and take so many suggestions not only from her, but from her readers/comment section.  This time I am really glad that I was already well into the book before reading her post (linked above) because it possibly would have dissuaded me from reading it.  But that's what I love about reading, books, and talking about things. . .we get different perspectives, different viewpoints, and can challenge not only others, but ourselves, when we disagree about something.  Also we can find new things to love, appreciate, and take action on.  Community (those you know and those you "meet" online) is the BEST.
Anyway, I think listening to the book is probably much, much better than actually reading it.  The narrator is EXCELLENT.  I may not have the same opinion if I had just read it.  Secondly, the things that "bothered" her about the book didn't make the same impact on me.  What I am taking away from the story is how suppressed women in the 1950's and 1960's were, what an unfair time it was for those wanting to be "more" than a mom and housewife.  Really, anyone who had a different viewpoint.  And, if I was going to pick on something, it would be the very, very hateful teacher portrayed in the book without a "hero" to counteract her actions.  I was "ok" with the thinking/human-acting dog and know many, many people who would really like it.  I'm glad I read (listened) to this one.
I also finished listening to Same Beach, Next Year.  
I went back-and-forth on whether I liked it or not. . .I didn't love (or even relate) to any of the characters, but it was a good story and had some lessons about perception, relationships, and forgiveness in it.  Worth my time to listen to while cleaning the house, painting, cooking, etc.  I did love the references to Greece because, as I was reading the book, we decided that we are taking a family vacation there next year so that was neat!  I listened to those parts with a little more interest :)
We leave for the lake for five days this afternoon!!!  This is days worth of work and planning -- and you should see our refrigerators :/
This is the part I don't like about going away (the packing) but know it will be well-worth it :)
I think I may have posted my list-making as a FAVORITE last week (b/c this part I DO like) and it saved me this week - ha!  I happened to be at the store and thought, "I wish I had my list" and voila!  This picture was on my phone :).  My daughter reminded me that I should make lists on my phone so I always have them, but I like writing them and then sorting them. . .just something about it.  I will produce a digital list for the future - now that we've done this twice it would be nice to have a base to start with - but this is where I am at, at 9:45 am the day we are leaving:
One last stop after tennis practice this morning and then we're off!!
It was a busy week. . .now onto enjoy the above hard work at the lake.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate, everyone who said that they can come are able to make it, and we make lots and lots of memories together :)

Happy Friday!!


  1. I'm a hand written list girl too; something about having to physically write it down sticks with me. I'm also a paper planner person and a physical book person. Something about having physical paper in my hand makes me more "productive." I think my phone is a distraction, so if I use my Kindle app, I get distracted by a text, Facebook notification, etc.

    1. Yes!! Paper calendars and lists (preferably color-coded) are the BEST!

  2. I agree: adult kids are the best!

    1. The Big Boo Cast was talking about this same thing last week :)
      I just spent 5 days with mine….I have to say, the older they are, the better :/


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