Wordless Wednesday




Family Tennis Outing

Our family rode bikes over to the local tennis courts to practice hitting against the wall on Sunday afternoon.  The boys each received tennis rackets for their birthdays from J’s mom and wanted to try them out.  There’s a small fee to play on the actual courts but it’s free to practice on the wall of the racquetball building.  Since our boys have never really hit tennis balls before, we figured we’d save playing on an actual court (and bothering the serious players) for another day.

The racquetball building did a great job of blocking the wind.  But as you can see from my hair in the above photo that it was still a little gusty.

J’s bike had a flat tire so he ended up riding his skateboard over.  I didn’t realized he’d also stashed a banana with our gear 🙂  He’d forgotten to eat breakfast, apparently.

The boys did surprisingly well hitting the tennis balls.  They were able to hit them when we dropped them.  It was so cute to watch them run to hit the rebound.  Wildman and Cutie Pie also made excellent ball boys.  It saved J and I few trips around the building to pick up our Wilson 4’s…

J used to be on the tennis team in high school.  He still has it!

Wildman found the dart guns at the bottom of Cutie Pie’s backpack and decided those would be much more fun.  🙂

We went by the shallow canal near the tennis courts to see if the manatees were there.  Indeed, the canal was thick with them.  Poor things don’t do well in the cold weather.  We’ve been have some very cold nights (for us) lately that dip into the 20s… I really hope they all survive.

We ended up hitting tennis balls for close to two hours.  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it.  J and I used to play every night in college, especially in the winter time.  It brought back fond memories and a sore right shoulder on Monday morning 🙂

Sunday Dinner

At J’s special request I made pepper steak for dinner last night.  This is something that I used to make as a young bride in Texas.  In fact, I once served this main course to our friends for Easter which is probably against all sorts of religious traditions.  But everyone ate it and loved it.  It’s one of those simple yet satisfying meals if you’re an omnivore.

Pepper Steak

1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1/2 of an onion, cut into thin strips

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. olive oil

3/4 to 1 lb. beef top tenderloin sliced into thin strips


3/4 cup beef broth

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)

In a large skillet with oil, cook peppers, onion and garlic until crisp tender.  Remove from skillet and keep warm.  Place steak strips into the same skillet with a bit more oil.  Sprinkle with salt.  Cook stir-fry-style over medium-high heat for 8 minutes or until center is slightly pink.  Transfer steak to serving platter reserving drippings and keep warm.  For gravy, add beef broth and Italian seasoning to reserved meat drippings in skillet.  Boil gently, uncovered, over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.  Be sure to scrape up crusty browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Stir in cooked veggies and tomatoes.  Heat through then spoon over meat on platter.

I served another family favorite, roasted red potatoes, on the side.  Yum!

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