Thursday, December 27, 2007

LA Highlights

For your enjoyment - a selection of photos of our time in Louisiana:

Claire learning to ride without training wheels

Kelly showing her how it's done!

Nolan at the park (notice his fine penmanship!)

First day at Oasis of Love (it was 50 degrees - we needed gloves)

Claire lost a front tooth

Nolan & Bullie (his beloved Webkinz from the Witts)

A new Christmas toy (I love this pic - it shows his true "boyness"!)

Pouting about something really important, I'm sure

Claire and her (Pink!) Razor

Are they both actually smiling at the same time? (Well, kind of...)

Ang & Claire - Christmas Eve

Holiday Greetings!

Merry Christmas!

I had considered writing a Christmas letter and posting it here... but I figured that this blog serves as a letter of it's own. It provides most of the details of our lives, some of which are TMI (Too Much Information)!

We're staying in Natchitoches for the holidays. We are sad that we didn't see family, but with all the excitement lately, it's nice to have some time to just breathe. Christmas was great - We attended Christmas Eve service at church and ate what has become our traditional Christmas Eve meal (which started some time in the afternoon)... appetizers. Lots of appetizers. Shrimp, Spinach Artichoke Dip, chips & salsa, Lil' Smokies, veggies, etc. Plus pie & cookies. It wasn't intentional, but we realized that we've eaten these delights on Christmas Eve more often than not.

Christmas morning was a delight, watching the kids open their gifts. Nolan received his coveted garbage truck (ask him what he wants to be when he grows up - yes, a garbage truck driver), as well as other fun gifts. Claire tested out her new Razor scooter right away. We stayed in our jammies, drank coffee and ate cinnamon rolls, and had a blissful morning. Kelly spent 2 hours putting together a Lego Star Wars battle air ship-thingy, which grandma gave to Nolan, which is now in pieces, but he loves it, so no matter!

Later in the day we ate some more (surprise), a roast with all the good stuff. I do enjoy cooking, but in a tiny kitchen, it's a bit different. Not to mention that fact that most of my baking dishes are in storage... let's just say I had to be creative. It was a great day, though, all around.

Christmas day we had beautiful weather. Crisp, cool air and the warmth of sunshine. Yesterday it rained all day which was a good excuse to stay inside and watch movies. Today we are getting out of the house. Kelly left yesterday afternoon for Tulane University in New Orleans, where he is working a baseball camp until Saturday. The kids have 17 total days off from school. Seventeen! They don't go back until the week after next... The walls are starting to close in. We're headed to Alexandria today, about an hour away. It has the closest Target - and we may take in a movie.

I begin my new job on Wednesday. Everything has worked out so well: I quit at the department store, and Kelly got the camp gig. I begin work before the kids return to school, but Kelly's schedule allows him to be at home with them. I am so thankful for God's faithfulness!

May the spirit of the season remain with you & yours, and may you see the Lord's faithfulness in even the smallest of instances. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Beyond Measure

We have been blessed... beyond measure.

In the short time we've been in Natchitioches, we have been on an emotional roller coaster. We arrived excited & anxious. We felt hopeful & full of anticipation. We've experienced doubt & confusion. We've been happy & grateful. We've felt worried & scared. But in all, and especially now, we know we are blessed.

We've been touched by people that we barely know. We've received anonymous financial gifts. We've had free babysitting, treated to lunches, been given gifts and felt loved. We've been welcomed, and we are so thankful.

Some call it southern hospitality, I call it obedience to the call to love others. We feel God's hand through new friends. We truly feel loved, by both our amazing Father and through His Children. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Proud Momma

Okay, you're in for some serious bragging here... Ready?

For some reason (I believe it's because they're so darn cute) our kids are often featured on brochures & flyers.

When Claire was in preschool, her school did a large marketing campaign. Claire was featured on the many posters, flyers and postcards around town. We would walk into the bank or the Chinese restaurant, and there she was. She was quite proud of this (and sad when they came down several months later).

Nolan & Kelly were pictured in the local paper around the same time, when they went to a Communiny Ed play day.

Nolan was on the news last year in Rochester when he visited Santa at the mall.

This year, both Claire & Nolan are featured on the Rochester Family Y Winter Brochure. Claire is on the cover and Nolan is on page 4. (Click HERE if you really want to see it).

We just received a release form from our church in Rochester, because Claire is going to be on a brochure for the Children's Ministry in their new marketing materials.

What can I say? Cute goes a long way, baby.

Monday, December 17, 2007


The Spanns are finally connected to the internet again! (We got cable too, just when we didn't miss TV so much). But it's a good thing I'm online once again, since I have much to share!

First of all, we've found a church, First Baptist Church of Natchitoches. If you didn't already know, southern churches are very different than churches up north. We try not to compare, but that's hard to do. We've joined a Sunday School class... I chuckle a bit because it's technically called the "College & Career" class! It's really mostly married couples in their late 20s and early 30s, but we feel old, probably because we are. Everyone is very nice and welcoming, and we feel as though we found our church home.

So, my career as a "pay-for-it-girl" was short-lived. I put in 6 days, and that was just about all I could do. I didn't mind the work, or the people I helped, but rather the management was difficult and the pay... well, "paltry" is the word that comes to mind. So, I phoned to let them know it wasn't going to work out and they didn't seem surprised. Lots of turnover, I guess. But it's okay, because (drumroll)...

I've accepted a position at NSU!

I will be serving as an Administrative Coordinator for Student Services. I will be working with campus student groups to plan and purchase for their functions and events. I will also be working for the Director of Facilities, keeping the university's campus facility schedule. I interviewed with the VP of Student Services and he offered the position the same day. I start Jan 2nd, after the school closes for 2 weeks for the holidays.
The position will be busy, but a great place to be. I'm very excited!! Kelly and I will both be on campus, and next year we plan to send the kids to the Elementary Laboratory school, also at NSU. It's a family affair, what can I say?

The kids have just 4 days of school this week, then 2 weeks off for the holidays. It's cooled off a bit, but the sun is still shining and it's warm enough to play outside (I'm pretty sure it's always warm enough to be outside, but it depends on who you ask!). We'll definitely spend lots of time outdoors during our break. My thoughts turn to those who have ice & snow, but no electricity. It's hard to believe that we're on the same continent, truly!

It's a low-key, simple holiday for us this year. And we're happy with that. We miss family & friends, and do long to see everyone. But we've had a busy year, so I'm content with ending 2007 simply. I have a feeling that 2008 will be just as busy, so I'm gearing up.

So - now that I'm back online, I won't be stopping by the library as often, I'm sure the gals down there will miss me. Send me a note, I'd love to hear from you!

Mary Christmas! (Claire's version - "Mary is Jesus' mom, Mom!")

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Boring Update

I am here to update you with all the latest and greatest in the life of the Spanns! ...okay there's really not much to say.

Life is moving along, as always. It's December, but the weather feels more like September. We've hit 75-80 degrees this week with more than enough humidity. It's crazy as we listen to reports of ice & storms across the Midwest. We might as well be on another planet! The kids go to school in short sleeves, no need for even a sweatshirt! The A/C runs night & day... crazy, I tell you!!

I've taken a seasonal position at a local upscale department store. I started yesterday and plan to be there for the rest of this month. In Claire-ese, I'm a "pay-for-it-girl" (her term for sales clerk). I had forgotten how tiring retail sales was! My amazing husband had dinner and a foot massage waiting for me when I got home. I'm hoping to hit the post-holiday sales with my discount.
Still waiting to hear about other employment opportunities....

As I said, not much else. Claire & Nolan will be out of school next Thursday. We'll definitely have to get creative with our time! At least we'll be outside (sans snow!). I don't miss it this year, but ask me next Christmas and I'm certain my response will be different.

So yeah, pretty boring. Work, school, the usual - you know.
Until I have something exciting to blog about...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Southern Christmas

Can it really be December?

The year has flown by... again. Not to mention that it was 75 degrees on Saturday as we took in a parade and enjoyed the annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival. We spent the day with new friends, watched the (2 hour!) parade where the kids caught beads & candy and we enjoyed a true southern meal, including gumbo and brisket. The evening brought a spectacular fireworks display. It was a great time!

So we get ready for Christmas with parties and presents and baking. But we get to ride bikes outside and enjoy the sunshine. I needed a Southern Christmas, I just didn't realize it!

Claire & Nolan are loving their new school and had a great first week. It's much different than what they're used to, but they are both so adaptable that they're doing great. Kelly has finals this week, (watch out tennis class, Prof. Spann is tough!) and I'm still looking for a job. A couple of positions have opened up at the University, but it will be a few weeks yet until I hear anything.

We're as settled as we're going to be, the kids are enjoying sharing a room (bunkbeds are really exciting for some reason - but if anyone has any hints on how to make changing the sheets any easier, I'm open to suggestions!) and our little 3-foot tree is in a corner of the living room.

We look forward to this holiday season and would love to hear from you! Happy December and all that it brings! (Don't stress too much!!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back In Natch

I realize I've mentioned this before, but just in case you missed it... We live in Natchitoches. But you don't pronounce it that way. You say it "Nack-uh-dish". Weird, I know. Just in case you were wondering...

We arrived home from Florida on Saturday evening. The eight-hour drive felt even longer, especially when the kids needed to stop frequently for potty breaks (much to Kelly's dismay!). We did make it, though, and we look forward to spending much LESS time in the van than we have in recent days.

Claire & Nolan started at their new school today. It's called Oasis of Love Christian Academy. When we first considered the school, I couldn't say the name with a straight face. Claire danced around singing "Oasis of Love" this morning as she was giddy to begin her day. Nolan was looking forward to his day as well, though was a bit more quiet. I have to admit I'm nervous for Nolan. He attended school all day before, but he & I were in the same building! It took quite a while for him to adjust at the beginning of the year, though Kelly was gone and I'm certain that had a lot to do with it. Kelly & I dropped them off this morning, along with their mountain of school supplies. I asked Kelly if we could try to avoid moving during the school year again, as it's hard to find all the "necessities" long after school has started. We've had to buy new backpacks, lunchboxes and uniforms as everything we already owned was "contraband" (Kelly's words!). I'm still searching for the right color sweatshirts!

With Kelly at the office and the kids at school, that leaves me... well, all alone. Not something I'm used to. I drove all around searching for those sweatshirts, but the shopping choices in Natchitoches is limited. I got a haircut and took a driving tour of the town. I explored downtown a bit, got a coffee and am now at the library (still no internet at home).

I'm in the beginning phases of a job search and hope to find something at the University. I should enjoy my time off, but I get bored & lonely. I need something besides laundry and unpacking boxes to keep me busy!

What else... Claire is playing Upwards basketball and has her evaluation tonight. She excited to be part of the team and can't wait to get started. Nolan is looking forward to going to the games and cheering on his big sister. Claire learned to ride her bike without training wheels this weekend and is now "free" (her word)!

This week is Kelly's final week of fall practice until the players break for 5 weeks. Then the real stuff starts. Let's just say that a Division 1 schedule is a bit more rigorous than what he's used to. Plus the fact they can start playing as early as February...

Okay, that's it for now. I know you're dying for more, but you'll just have to wait. Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Many Thanks

Well, the Spanns hit the road again and today I greet you from DeFuniak Springs, Florida. We left yesterday (Tuesday) at 3am and arrived just after 11am. Kelly drove, the kids & I slept and we're enjoying family. We'll spend this week with Kelly's mom, grandmother, aunt & uncle. It's been a very, very long time since we've seen them and we're so happy to be here!

We stopped for gas in Daphne, Alabama, home of our first apartment 10 years ago. It was pretty strange to be there... I felt as though there should be a bit more ceremony to our return, but instead we were just 'there'. Driving into Florida on I10 brought back lots of memories, too, as we made that trip several times when we lived here...

Back in LA (I like saying that - with a cheesy smile, of course) we're settling in. We've finally rid ourselves of the giant yellow moving truck, and I'll be happy if I don't see another one for a very long time. We've enjoyed some great weather. The day we arrived it was 85 and pretty humid. I put the kids in shorts the next day and we headed out to visit their new school. Of course, it was in the 60s, and people looked at us like we were nuts! We will acclimate quickly, I'm certain, and those mid-50s will feel much colder!

As we another Thanksgiving, we realize that The Spann Fam has much to be thankful for. Our safe move, our excellent health, our wonderful friends & family. We have an amazing God who loves & provides for us far beyond our needs. We offer many thanks for all that we have, for all the amazing people in our lives, all that is in store for us!

We wish you & yours all the best... Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

(Super Quick) Update!

We made it! The Spanns are now officially residents of Natchitoches, Louisiana. It took almost 1200 miles, over 18 hours of driving and lots of money on gas - but we finally arrived on Wednesday. Since then we've been unloading the truck, unpacking boxes, re-packing boxes and reloading the truck with many of our belongings going into storage.

We don't have internet access quite yet (we're scheduled for Monday), and I'm sitting in the baseball locker room as I type. NSU is playing their last home football game. We're enjoying 70 degree weather and well... we're beat!

More later... I promise!

To those we left: WE MISS YOU!! (To those we left a long time ago: We miss you, too!!)

Friday, November 09, 2007


Too Busy To Blog!

So much happening 'round here, I'm barely keeping up! Kelly's been in Rochester for 9 days, but I've still seen him very little. Our church hosted a Parenting Seminar last weekend and I put in many hours. It was a great event, but I'm still catching up in all areas!

Kelly is THE BOMB (I know, I'm lame) as he's been packing up EVERYTHING! I've not had a day off since he's been home and I'll work today, tomorrow and Sunday. We leave Monday. Pure craziness, but it's good.

I'll check back when I have more time to write. Until then, I'm working away...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


The countdown is over - Kelly comes home today! We are thrilled! Nolan couldn't sleep early this morning due to his exictement. There will be some major adjustments, I know. These past 8 weeks have seen a new routines, schedules, just a new way of doing things overall. Doesn't matter, though. We'll adjust as long as we're together.

More great news: We rented our house! This lets us out of our lease and saves us a tremendous amount of money. We are so thankful and this serves as another confirmation that all things are in God's hands. (Whew! So glad He's got it!)

Time to celebrate!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Kelly's Heroes Take World Series

Kelly's blog will feature photos & details, but I'm a proud coach's wife, I just can't help it! The NSU Demons capped off fall ball with a World Series scrimmage of their own. Kelly coached one team, Kelly's Heroes and Coach Barbier, another assitant coach, coached the other. The Heroes pulled it off! Read all about it on the Demon Athletics Website.

Perfect Sunday

If you would have asked me at 8am on Sunday if I was expecting a perfect day, I would have said "only if I get a nap". We had been at church for several hours the previous day, and were ready to embark on another 4. It's not that I didn't want to go to church, it's just that the kids have attended 3 services each weekend plus the additional hours I put in before and after services. I was tired and my body was begging for a nap.

We went, I taught and we all made it! Claire & Nolan are super-troopers and waited patiently for an hour after services ended while I wrapped up. We headed to Burger King for a "special" meal and headed home, ready for a nap. I got a call from our dear friend Ms. Heidi, who invited us to her dad's house to ride horses and hang out.

Now, if you didn't already know, Claire's latest interest is horses. She's been begging to ride "a real one" and we had actually planned on riding lessons until our decision to move halted all such plans.

We had a glorious afternoon. The sun was shining, the air was perfectly autumn-crisp. Claire rode, Nolan rode, friends rode. We played games, we ate pizza. No nap, but still, it was decidedly perfect.

Fun Photos!

Claire attended a dress-up birthday party on Friday night. Ariel the Little Mermaid made an appearance!

Nolan posing at one of his favorite places - McDonald's Playland!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sick & Tired (Literally!)

WARNING: This post contains (too much) information regarding sickness & what's known as 'spilling' in our house. Skip it & I won't be offended!! I've just got to vent!

Where do I begin? ... We enjoyed a lazy MEA break. No school for 4 days and we especially enjoyed our time off. So, we're at church on Saturday evening. I'm teaching our new Sat night format for K-2nd grades. We're excited because we're trying something new with music and puppets and skits - just great stuff. I'm running around the church a bit, placing signs to direct parents to our new location, setting up the room and making last-minute preparations. I told Nolan he could join the class since he'd be attending his 4-year old class for both services on Sunday while I'm "on", and because he was complaining of a tummy ache. Aside from the random complaint, however, he seemed fine, running around with friends. Well, it's 5:25 pm, and kids are arriving. We're playing games and getting ready for a fabulous time. Suddenly, Nolan approaches the group of kids I'm sitting with on the floor. I take one look at his gray little face and know it's coming. "My tummy!", he says... and it's all over. Literally. Nolan 'spilled' right then and there. (When Claire got sick for the first time as a toddler, her first reaction was to say "I spilled, Mommy!", and the term stuck.) Anyway, I scoop him up, but he's not done. Suddenly, I forget where I am, where the bathroom is, where the DOOR is! Someone directs me and we make our way down the hall, Nolan leaving his 'mark' as we go. We made it finally. Yuck.

So Nolan & I head home, Claire stayed with friends. Luckily we have several other teachers in the room, though I was the one teaching the Bible lesson. I put Nolan in the bath and he begged for food, "I promise I won't spill again, Mom!". You already know what happened next, and proceeded to happen for several hours. After along night and much worrying about what I was going to do about work the next morning, I was rescued by my friends & fellow co-workers. A friend came to hang with Nolan while I finally made it to teach during the second service.
(I then came home to a house full of strangers, wanting to look at the rental... but that's another story.)

We recovered. We made it - until last night... When Claire got sick. It's never happened that just one is ill without the other catching the bug. Hers wasn't as severe, thankfully, but she didn't go to school today. Instead she hung out in the Children's Ministry office with me this morning, watching DVDs and reading the latest Junie B Jones. We called it a day at lunchtime and we all came home for naps.

So why do I share my (pathetic) story? To get in on the "record", for one, although this weekend wasn't one I'll soon forget. But also to recognize the fact that millions of single parents go through this kind of thing ALL THE TIME. Whew! I'm worn out just typing it. Sorry. Bet you're wishing now you would have skipped it, huh?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Orchard Afternoon

The sun finally made an appearance on Saturday, and so did we. Claire, Nolan & I made a visit to the apple orchard, for what will likely be the last time, for a long time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wet Weekend

It's wet. It's been raining for what seems like weeks. I haven't blogged too much about the weather lately. For those of you who have followed the Spann Fam for awhile, you know my obsession on the topic, especially during the months when the temperatures fall.

Well, get ready for a renewed obsession as we head south. The kids and I constantly talk about the fact that it doesn't snow in Louisiana. They're thrilled that we get to ride our bikes outside ALL YEAR, even in winter!

The high in Natchitoches tomorrow is 89 degrees, and as Kelly put it, "you choke on the humidity as you step outside". The weather is just one of the changes we'll experience as we head south.

It's MEA weekend, another unique characteristic of Minnesota. (We will have a week off at Thanksgiving in LA, though!). We're in day 2 of a 4-day weekend. We're laying low and relaxing. Last year at this time we took a family train trip to Wisconsin. Read all about it here. We spent the evening with local friends last night and are looking forward to seeing our wonderful friends, Ruthie & Naomi, for a few hours today. Tomorrow and Sunday bring church, which mean partial workdays for me.

I'm feeling a bit scattered... Not much to talk about, but lots of words to say, if that makes any sense at all. Perhaps I'll revisit the keyboard when I'm feeling a bit more... together. Until then: I Love Long Weekends!

Monday, October 15, 2007

16 Days

Two weeks and two days until Kelly flies back to Minnesota! (I resist saying "home", only because it won't be that for long.) I am literally counting down the days until we're all together again, in case you hadn't noticed...

We've been encouraged recently in our plans to move. We've found a Christian school for the kids to attend, with incredibly reasonable tuition. We'll be paying less for both Claire & Nolan to attend all day, than we currently pay for Nolan to attend preschool. It's a small church school, and we're totally thrilled about it. We were very concerned about school possibilities, as we're moving from the greatest public school system in the nation to... well, just about the worst. Our fears are eased now, however, as we know they'll continue to receive quality education as well as the opportunity to learn in a loving, Christian environment. This also means new uniforms, backpacks, shoes and lunchboxes, but we're hoping this creates excitement for the kids as they attend school together.

We've also found a few different housing opportunities in Natchitotches. Kelly has looked at newly built town homes that are available, and he's also looking at homes for rent. A family is set to look at our home this afternoon, and we pray that they fall in love with it and want to move in! Finding someone to rent before we leave would save us a lot of money and headache.

The time has flown by, and still so many things do to. We rejoice in God's sovereignty as we see His plan unfold before us!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Coming Together

In about a month we'll be 1200 miles away and our lives will be turned upside-down. Things are beginning to come together in preparation of our move, but much still needs to happen. We're looking for a place to live in Natchitoches, need to find a renter for our current home so we can break our lease, exploring education options for our children and oh yeah - I need to start packing. We've moved enough times now, however, that I'm an ol' pro. I can knock it out in a week or so!

I've taken on a bit more responsibility at work, which is continues to be a good thing. I enjoy keeping busy. Nolan & Claire are both enjoying being Star Students in their classes this month, as we prepare to say goodbye to friends, new and old.

So, not a lot new to report. Waiting & trusting that all that needs to happen... will happen. This journey has been one of faith for us, and we're facing the challenge that not everyone understands why we're taking this path. We are excited to see the victory Christ will reveal in His time and be know that we can claim it now. We're in the midst of the adventure that God has created in His perfect wilderness, and we rejoice that we have been chosen to be part.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ready to Go...

I'm finally feeling ready to go. I haven't felt this way until this weekend. I was excited about the prospect of moving some place new, of Kelly's new job, of what the future holds, but I wasn't so thrilled about the idea of leaving Rochester. We've had a great time here. Kelly was challenged while at Crossroads, but I loved my job, we have a great church and though our social circle isn't huge, we have friends, both old and new, whom we'll miss dearly.

So when Kelly left, I was okay that we were staying for a bit. The idea of a long separation wasn't good, but I wasn't ready to leave what we have here.
It's now 3 weeks later - And I'm so ready.

I miss my husband, the kids miss their dad. As of today, this is the longest we've been apart. My job has changed, which has been a positive transition, but I can leave at any time. We had a garage sale this past weekend, sold lots of stuff and made a little money.

We still need to find someone to rent our house, find a place to live in Natchitoches, not to mention the small detail of packing and making the actual move. But I figure those are just details, and we're trusting that God's timing is better than ours. It always is, isn't it?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I Heart Baseball

While most people know this to be true, it wasn't always so. Sure, I took in a baseball game or two during my youth... my brother's little league games, a high school game (when a cute boy asked me to come), plus a few Dodgers & Giants games. Hey, I even got Will Clark's autograph once. But I wasn't really fan of the game.

Then I met a guy in college who lived and breathed baseball. I didn't totally get it, but I was willing to try. It helped that I really liked him. When we dated we watched a lot of sports in general, which I hadn't really done before. But again, he liked sports and I liked him. I asked a lot of questions, then asked some more. I'd always appreciated athletes, even if I tended to be more of a fan than a participant and I was interested.

So this guy and I ended up getting married. Shortly after, he became a baseball coach. That's when things really started in. I attended games, learned the rules and also began to breathe a bit of the baseball air. I've learned a lot, and am proud of my knowledge of the game. But it would be nothing if not for the passion of a baseball player.

Baseball may be America's Pastime, but there are really just a few who get it. It's what excites them, it's what moves them. It's more than just sunflower seeds and cracker jacks and
'Take Me Out to The Ballgame'. I often comment that you have to be slightly nuts to fully love and appreciate the game of baseball in it's fullest. It's not the most exciting game, nor is it one that generates the money that other sports do. But it does have some of the most passionate (or crazy) athletes and fans.

And when it comes down to it, I love baseball because Kelly loves it (he's the guy I married). It is what brings our family together, and sometimes separates us temporarily. Even now, when Kelly has moved across the country due to his love of baseball, I am excited about what it means for our family. We realize there are bigger things in our life (God, and his son Jesus Christ, for one) but baseball is pretty high up there.

As a matter of fact, I particularly love baseball this weekend for an entirely different reason... A dear friend took Nolan & Claire, plus his 2 children, to a Twins game yesterday. They had a blast while I enjoyed 6 hours of 'me' time. A very, very rare occurrence! (Thank you, Charlie!).

There are many ways to say it, but keeping it simple is best: We Love Baseball!

Monday, September 17, 2007

(More) Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Is it really possible? What else could possibly change in the Spann Fam, that hasn't already? Well, my job for one. When I told my directors & lead teacher that we were moving, they were genuinely happy for us, but no so much for them. School was this close to starting & we had a full year ahead of us. Let's just say the timing wasn't exactly great.

Our church's Children's Pastor approached me and asked if I was interested in transitioning out of the classroom and into the Children's Ministry dept completely. My time in that office was coming to an end, since the woman I was covering for was about to return from maternity leave. That way, my lead teacher would have an assistant she could count on for the entire year, our students would be able to adjust to the change earlier in the year (which is easier on them), the school wouldn't have to scramble to find someone to replace me around the holidays, and I would still have a job for as long as we are in Rochester. So, I said yes, and after a couple of weeks of logistics, I make the change on Wednesday.

I will be developing a Parent Co-Op for our Children's Ministry department. Ours is a church full of young families, our classrooms are bursting at the seams and our volunteer count is low. My job will be to research, develop and implement a system for our staff and parent volunteers to coordinate and work together in serving our children.

I am very excited for this new opportunity! My hours will increase to 30, but will be more flexible. Nolan will remain in his classes at the school and we'll still share lunchtime!

So, in a world of change... here's another!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

3 Days to Natch & More...

Where to start?? Well, Kelly left Saturday and made his way to Natchitoches, LA in three days. He stopped in Kansas City and Arkadelphia, Arkansas on the way. He arrived on campus at on Monday, just in time for practice. This week they have 4-on-1 practices (4 players to 1 coach per NCAA rules for pre season) and camps running in the evenings. Kelly is teaching a tennis class (!) and has found his office (in the equipment room). His schedule is jam-packed with baseball and he's loving it. He'll make his way to his blog eventually, but I wanted to fill you in for now.

The rest of us Spanns are busy as ever as we adjust to school, work and life without Dad. We miss him dearly, of course, but settled into our own routine pretty quickly. Nolan & I get home just before 4pm and Claire rolls in just a few minutes after. By the time we unwind, unpack our backpacks and eat dinner, we're getting into our jammies and are ready for bed. We hit the hay early and do it all again the next morning.

The weather has cooled and is beginning to feel like fall. I love the cooler temps when I can throw on a sweater and curl up with a cup coffee and a book! We'll visit apple orchards on school field trips and baking is a reality once again! (It was just too hot to turn on the oven for awhile!) Kelly, on the other hand, is still living in 95 degrees & sunny. Oh, the changes that are in store for us!

Until next time...

First Days

We've been in school for a bit more than a week now, and we're already set in our routine. It's a big change for us, since we're gone all day, returning home at 4pm to spend our evening together (minus dad, but more on that later).

Claire loves 1st Grade and all that comes with it. Nolan is adapting well to his many preschool & enrichment classes, with his favorites being Art and Young Explorers (geography). I'm also getting used to our routine, finding myself wiped out at the end of the day!

Here's a glimpse of the 2 cutest kids Rochester (just my humble opinion!):

Monday, September 03, 2007

Country Mouse

While the Spanns may not live an exciting life in a big city, we are definitely not accustomed to country living either. We've moved from rural Minnesota, surrounded by farms, visited the occasional petting zoo or apple orchard but really haven't experienced what many Midwesterners know as everyday life on a farm.

Yesterday we caught a glimpse and had a blast. We spent the day with friends in rural Stewartville, just south of Rochester, who are just as 'city' as we are. They rent a beautiful home on 9 acres, neighbored by a farm. It's the neighbors that kept us busy: riding the hay baler, the combine & driving a ranger (a 4-wheeler with a flatbed). We waded in the creek (crik) & got muddy, played football, visited, relaxed and ended the evening with a bonfire and smores. It was a beautiful day and exactly how we wanted to celebrate the end of our summer.

Claire starts school tomorrow, Nolan & I begin Wednesday. Kelly leaves early Saturday morning. Today we are resting, relaxing and just being. No labor for us today. Here's hoping you & yours enjoy a celebration of friends, family and blessing. Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Godly Dreaming

He fulfills the desires of those who hear him; he hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:19

From PROMISES TO KEEP, A daily devotional:

The secret of accomplishment lies in goals that are big enough. Let yourself go! Allow your imagination to run wild. Courageously dream great dreams. Think creatively into the distant future. What do you really want to do and become in the Lord? Do you believe He is able to achieve it?

Christians are often reluctant to dream. They misunderstand the paradox that while God is sovereign, He has yet given men freedom to develop gifts and talents and to use them creatively - God often expects us to take a large share of the initiative in getting things done. There is no desire God has placed into a human heart for which He has not also provided the means to accomplish it.

(Mike Phillips)

Meet the Teacher - 2 Ways

We are definitely in 'back-to-school' mode. Last night was Claire's 'Meet the Teacher' night, where we met Ms. Blaine, saw her new classroom and picked out a desk & locker. We've purchased our school supplies, labeled each and every one (ah, the label maker!), have our first-day-of-school outfit all picked out and we're ready to go!

This morning was 'Meet the Teacher' for both Nolan & I. Nolan met his teachers - he's taking several classes at the preschool - Art, Gym, Jesus & Me, Spanish, Explorers (geography), plus a standard curriculum 4-year old class. He'll be in school all day Mon - Thurs. I met my students & their families - all 54 of them! I'm exhausted! I'm certain we'll all be headed to bed very early next week as we adjust to our new schedules.

While my director and teacher are aware of the fact that we're moving, we aren't making it known to the families in my classes. Many are parents of first-time preschoolers and we don't want to add any more stress to what they're already feeling. Many are worried about issues such as potty training, discipline, routines, while other mom & dads are just happy to have them in school. It'll be a fun time, no matter what.

I've got to hit the hay for a quick snooze... One week until Kelly leaves and we have much to do. Friends to visit with and plans to make, all good things that require that I stay awake! I'm off...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Life in Baseball

Kelly's summer baseball blog, Field of Dreams, is continuing, but with a new web address. Catch up with all that happened this summer with the FCA Grays, and follow him on his newest adventure at NSU:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Natch Geek

A few facts about Natchitoches, Louisiana:

1. One pronunciation: 'nack uh dish'

Another: 'nack uh tish'
Another: 'nack uh tush'
Never: 'natch i tochis'

2. It means "natural perfection"

3. The movies Steel Magnolias and The Man in the Moon were filmed there

(as well as several other TV movies)

4. Population: Approx 18,500 (+4!)
NSU enrollement (not included in pop.): 10,000

5. Oprah Winfrey visited Natchitoches in October 2002 after a guest on her show told her how much Natchitoches loved her. Oprah was noted for calling Natchitoches "The Best little town in the whole USA!"

6. Average Highs & Lows:


7. It is the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase and is located halfway between Shreveport and Alexandria.

8. Our (soon to be) New Home!

Don't you just love Wikipedia?!

Liar, Liar

I lied.

I said in my last post that nothing exciting was happening around here. Well, our excitement level has just gone to level orange, bordering on red.

We're moving to Louisiana.

(Pause for effect)

Kelly accepted a position as Assistant Coach at Northwestern State University, a NCAA Division I state university in Natchitoches, LA. He resigned from his position at Crossroads today, his last day is a week from Friday and he'll start at NSU September 9th for Fall Baseball. Kelly is very excited and this opportunity has presented itself quickly and furiously recently. Kelly will be coaching under JP Davis, newly named head coach of the NSU Demons.

The kids and I will remain in Rochester until November. Claire will begin 1st grade, Nolan will start preschool and I will teach until we leave. Kelly will return to MN in November, after the conclusion of fall ball, and we'll make the move south as a family.

We're really excited about this tremendous opportunity (and a little scared too!). Our Minnesota bodies will have to acclimate to the 50 degree winters, but I'm pretty sure we'll make it!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Long Time No Blog

I know, I know... I don't think I've ever gone this long without posting before. I just didn't have anything exciting to report. I realize that we're usually living at the height of excitement, but what can I say? Not that we haven't been busy, though.

Student athletes checked in last weekend and tonight is convocation at Crossroads. I'm working mornings and evenings for the church here-and-there, and have been prepping the classroom for preschool with my lead teacher.

Claire & Nolan both have 'Meet the Teacher' at their schools (and I'll meet my students this week as well... all 56 of them! 4 classes x 14 students).

Life is busy, good. We had LOTS of rain this past 2 weeks and ended up with a wet basement. It was our first experience with water in our lower level but the sunshine this week has helped to dry things up a bit. In a town not too far from Rochester, a natural disaster has been declared with millions of dollars in damages and at least 6 lives lost due to flooding. We could have had it much worse.

As I type, my kids (and husband) are beckoning me to join them outside. We're trying to enjoy the sun while we can! I must run, but couldn't let another day go by without catching up. Until Later...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Zero to Sixty


Give me a minute... I just have to catch my breath... Okay! I'm good!

The lazy days of summer are over. Yes, it's still Summer, but I can no longer be lazy! I am officially "on" at church as the Elementary Director has had her baby and I am her replacement while she is out. This week has seen 12+ hours of meetings for preschool and now church stuff is building on all sides. My plate is a bit fuller than it normally will be as the Children's Pastor is on vacation and I will be helping in the Early Childhood dept as posititions are being filled and others are out. Gimme a few weeks and I'll be in the swing of things. Until then... Look out! I'm scheduling, organizing and attempting to keep it all together. I'm armed and dangerous: I've got a label maker and I'm not afraid to use it!

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Season

I was cleaning up from snack prep at VBS on Wednesday when I heard the news of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Details were few and sketchy as I gasped and said a quick prayer. When we arrived home, I tuned in to the news to learn the horrific details. Kelly & I watched in awe, shook our heads and had little to say. The kids asked what had happened and we explained in the easiest, least traumatic way possible. We've received calls from family & friends around the nation to see if we're alright. We were tucked safely away in Rochester, but that doesn't mean we haven't been affected.

Here's a post by John Piper that helps to put things into perspective. (I first linked to it from a friend's blog... Thank you, Kate.) It's a must-read.

Sometimes life is blissful. We live life easily, happy where we are & in what we're doing. Laughter comes quickly and often. Other times we're faced with trials, with circumstances that are hard. Tears, pain and frustration are felt more often then not. Often a trying time is referred to as a season. This isn't a new term or the first time I've used it, but I've come to appreciate it recently. We know that seasons are part of the cycle. Just like winter that can seem endless, it is only a season.

I know of several who are in their very own season, with circumstances that vary. The main difference, however, is found in how we navigate our season. Do we rely on God to steer us through? Are we seeking the wisdom that is to be found and claiming the victory that is to be had? I write these words with ease, but putting them into practice is much harder.

Last year, as we headed into our own season, I participated in the Beth Moore study Believing God. God used the truths she taught in my life:

1. God is who He says He is.
2. God can do what He says He can do.
3. I am who God says I am.
4. I can do all things through Christ.
5. God's Word is alive and active in me.

Our season is not over. The willingness we had at the beginning is hanging by a thread. Our season is longer than anticipated. At times it may seem the end is near, other times is feels as though we're back in the heart of the struggle. Sometimes I forget God's promises. But God doesn't. We must cling to Him, lest we waste away in despair. It is only a season.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Serious Fun

This week we've had some very serious fun. Claire & Nolan attended camp Monday - Wednesday while I either subbed at camp or had work meetings. The theme was science which took us to the St Paul Science Museum, the park, and learning about space. We wrap up VBS tonight with a Family Fun Night with bounce houses and lots of fun. 'Avalanche Ranch: A Wild Ride Through God's Word' began on Sunday evening and saw 300 kids come through the doors. It's been a great week full of fun and excitement... but I'm ready for a break! We've been at the church more than we've been home this week but what I can I say, it's a great place to be.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

48 Hours

Rochester, MN to Maryville, MO. Maryville to Clarinda, IA. Clarinda to Kearney, MO. Kearney to Kansas City, MO. Kansas City to Rochester, MN. All in less than 48 hours. (46.5 to be exact!)

We had a great time on our impromptu trip. Alas, the Grays lost their final elimination game on Saturday evening, but it was a great game to watch, one the team can be proud of. After the game we had a late meal at Cracker Barrel and spent the night back in Kearney. Friday morning Kelly headed to the FCA offices to check guys out and say a final goodbye. We picked him up, ate a birthday lunch at Chili's (Happy 33rd, Kelly!) and headed home. We pulled in our driveway at 7:30 last night and enjoyed a good night's sleep. We're spending the day together in true Saturday style. We're still in our pjs, resting and preparing for 'real life' once again.

Welcome Home, Kelly! To a great season and a fantastic summer!

Thursday, July 26, 2007



These are all words that could be used to describe me.

Here's a little recap of the last 24 hours or so...

Yesterday, 7:15 am: Wake the kids up to go to camp.
8:15-3:00 pm: Sub at camp while kids bowl, swim, tumble and have a great time at Camp Kingdom Kids.
5:00 pm: Tune into live broadcast of the Grays' game against the Chillicothe Mudcats online.
5:30 pm: Think about how great it will be when Kelly comes home on Friday after losing tonight's game as they're playing a tough team and they've used up their pitching.
7:15 pm: Put Claire & Nolan to bed early after several late nights and early mornings.
8:00 pm: Listen in astonishment at the Grays win!
8:15 pm: Decide to pack up the van & the kids and drive to Clarinda, Iowa.
8:45 pm: Run around the house like a mad woman, packing and tidying up. Wake up kids.
9:00 pm: Call Kelly, tell him we're on our way.
10:30 pm: Drive.
11:30 pm: Kids are asleep again.
12:15 am: Drive some more.
1:30 am: Start to get tired. Try to find a better radio station.
2:12 am: Begin to wonder if this was such a good idea after all.
2:27 am: Start to get really tired.
2:32 am: Turn off radio and sing the soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to stay awake.
2:49 am: Continue to question the wisdom of my decision.
3:02 am: Determine to make it.
3:12 am: Pull into the Comfort Inn in Marysville, MO.
3:13 am: See the excitement on the kid's faces as they wake up and see Dad.
3:15 am: Know it was all worth it!

So, yes, we are back with the team to take in another game tonight. I know, totally crazy, right? But life is too short not to have an adventure once in awhile! The team plays tonight at 5pm. If they win, they play tomorrow. If they lose, we'll head back to Kearney, MO, wrap things up and bring Kelly home with us Saturday. Day by day.

I'm tired. But I hear the kids swimming with Kelly outside and smile because this is what it's all about.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Baseball Fever

I've still got it!

We may not be with the team as they play in the tournament this week, but we're there in spirit! I've enjoyed listening to the live broadcasts when we've not been able to cheer them on in person and the playoffs have been especially exciting. (Check out Kelly's blog for the details...) Last night Claire & I stayed up late, listening to the game as the Grays lost a heartbreaker to #1 seed, the Clarinda Athletics. We cheered like we were there & listened to Kelly give his post game interview. They face the Topeka Golden Giants tonight... we'll be there!

Go Grays!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Abundant Sunshine

Today's weather forecast is a 'high of 78 with abundant sunshine' according to Sounds perfect!

The week is flying by and I feel fall looming upon us. I know, I know, it's only mid-July. But much of my time (and my thoughts) are concentrated on our fall schedule. We've purchased those essential school supplies, are acquiring a back-to-school wardrobe and I've even written a meal plan for the month of September. (What about August, you ask? Still too hot to do much serious cooking, except on the grill!).

I suppose my mid-summer crisis is due in part to the fact that I begin working August 2nd. I'll work 15 hours a week for 6 weeks in the Christian Ed dept of our church, covering for the director's maternity leave. The hours are extremely flexible, but will overlap with the start of school in early September. I also have several meetings and training days for the preschool which start next week. I need to keep in mind that it's only 15 hours... and enjoy summer with all my heart! Which is exactly what I intend to do. We plan to see a play this week, attend a free concert & Claire will attend a Bible-Sports Camp in town (she's thrilled... they feature cheerleading!).

And Kelly will be home any day now. Well, almost. Playoffs begin Sunday. If they win, they play again on Monday, if not, they don't play until Tuesday. After that we'll see. Of course I wish them success & wins... but I wouldn't mind having Kelly back before the month ends, either!

I'm headed out to enjoy that 'abundant sunshine'. Now, where did I put the sunblock?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Home Again, Home Again...

Jiggity Jig!

(That's a little song we used to sing when we'd arrive home).

Well, we made it. We left Saturday just after 2pm. After a not-so-quick stop over at the Jordan Creek Mall in Des Moines, a few bathroom breaks and a trip to Wal-Mart to buy the essentials, we pulled into our beloved driveway at just before midnight. It was a long day but one we all enjoyed, despite leaving dad, friends & the team.

It's a beautiful Sunday evening in Rochester, the kids are outside on the Slip-N-Slide, I'm slowing unpacking and we're all trying to remember what normal life is like. Some things that will differ from our time in Kansas City: our sleeping schedule, our eating habits and our downtime. Some of the things that will remain the same: a perpetual state of "dirty" (for the kids, that is - and yes, they bathe!), having fun and going with the flow.

We were sad to leave on Saturday but oh-so happy to be home. There's nothing like sleeping in your own bed, bathing in your own shower and all the other amenities of home. It's easy to miss Kelly on a day like today, when the weather is perfect and the day is lazy. I just remind myself that it's just 2 more weeks...
It's good to be home!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Road Trip

We're traveling with the team to Junction City, Kansas today. The kids are excited to stay in a hotel with a pool, so everyone is happy. We'll return late Thursday night (or early Friday morning, depending on how you look at it!). Our friend, Casey (wife of pitching coach Rich B), has returned after a 3 week hiatus. [Side note: Rich's parents were in a motorcycle accident and they were gone for a while to care for them. They've been released from the hospital and are recovering. It's been miraculous. Rich returned after a week and we're thrilled that Casey is back now, too!]

As I type, I'm sitting outside in glorious sunny, breezy 75 degree weather. It's a fabulous change from the high 90s we've been having. It's 10:14 am and Kelly & the kids are still sleeping. Yup, we're still on that crazy nocturnal schedule. Good thing we'll be home for over a month before school begins because we'll have a hard time adjusting, I'm sure.

I received a call this week that my lead teacher on M-Th mornings this fall has growing numbers in her afternoon classes. Once they hit 10 students, they hire an assistant. Looks like that will be me. That takes me to almost 30 hours a week, with Fridays off. It's a genuine answer to prayer because I had been offered a position within the church and I was hesitant about taking it. I'll now turn it down and stay in the classroom.

Shortly after we get home we'll gear up for VBS, lots of swimming in the new Acquatic Center at the Y, and I'll begin staff training and meetings. Life is good!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

One More Week

We've decided to stay an additional week. That will bring us to a grand total of one month that the kids & I have been gone. We're thrilled to be able to stay as long as we have but I'm certain that there will be tears when we head back home.

The team heads back to Topeka, KS this evening but I think the kids & I may have to skip this one. We enjoyed a game yesterday at 2pm and by the end of the ninth inning it was 101 degrees. The heat is beginning to wear us out. (Hear that, I said 'beginning'. Well, I'm already worn out, but Claire & Nolan's seemingly boundless energy is finally hitting a wall.) A friend here in Kearney loaned us a computer projector so our living room is now a movie theater. We'll spend tonight laying low in effort to prepare for a busy upcoming week.

Tomorrow is an off day for the team and we'll have a family outing & spend time with my sister and her family one last time. Tuesday - Saturday will be all baseball, all the time, including an overnight stay in Kansas. After we head back we'll try to settle back into 'regular life', if there is such a thing!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Endless Summer?...

I Wish!!

Happy 4th! We're celebrating our nation in the usual style... food, family & fun! We spent the day at the Kansas City Zoo with my sister, mom & nephew. It was hot, we were sweaty, but we had a great time. We're spending the evening at my sister's and we plan to catch the fireworks in KC on the way back to Kearny (our temporary home). The FCA building overlooks the KC Royals stadium where they'll have a fantastic display and we'll have a perfect view.

The Grays enjoyed a win yesterday in Junction City, Kansas, about 2.5 hours away. We didn't join them but spent the day with my family instead. My mom arrived in KC yesterday & we're enjoying seeing her again. We'll take in 3 more home games during the next 2 days and travel with the team this weekend.

We had originally planned to head back to Minnesota early next week, but we may be extending our visit. There are a few factors which will determine if we stay or go, but we'd love to spend some extra time here. We're having a blast and don't want to leave! Either way, this summer is shaping up to be one we'll never forget!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rain, Rain Go Away...

The rain just doesn't want to let up. It rained throughout the night last night and is forecasted to continue for the next 3 days. So much for Sunday's game. Now is the time to really get creative, especially with our kids!

forecast is another movie... lots of naps... a game or two... big bowls of popcorn... lots of lazing around... in other words: VACATION!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Claire!

Claire turns 6 today! We celebrated the big day swimming with Aunt Lydia & Uncle Andre, opening presents and eating delicious strawberry cake. Roller skates, Littlest Pet Shops and Mini Groovy Girls were the top 3 gifts this year. And on Wednesday, Claire, Lydia & I spent the afternoon at the mall where we visited Build-a-Bear, shopped and had serious "girl time". The highlight of the week, however, was when Claire lost her first tooth on Tuesday evening.

"Girls, I had so much fun!"

Tonight we're spending the night at Auntie's house, as the team has had 3 days of rainouts this week. We enjoyed dinner with a host family last night, took in a movie on Tuesday and have had lots of downtime as a family these past few days. While the break is nice, we're hoping for some sunshine so they might be able to play on Sunday.

Happy 6th Birthday, Claire! You are a wonderful daughter and a joy to parent. We Love You!!

Monday, June 25, 2007


Ask anyone who knows us and they'll agree... we're early-bedtime kinda people. For the kids, anyway. That said, we've been absolutely turned on our heads!

Example: We traveled with the team yesterday to Topeka, Kansas for a 7 pm game, leaving at 4:30. The team lost a heartbreaker and we left the ballpark at 10:30 pm. We found our way to Buffalo Wild Wings for a late dinner and arrived back "home" at 1am. We slept in until 10:30.
That's basically our life these days. Breakfast at noon, naps at 3 pm and we do it all again.

I considered skipping last night's game, but it's what we're here for.

The kids are doing amazingly well, I must say. As long as everyone is fed and we find shade, we're okay. It is hot. It was still 90 degrees at 10pm last night.

And when I say "we slept in", I mean the kids and I. Kelly and the team are working a camp this morning - they left at 8 this morning and will be back after lunch. No game today, thankfully!

We're still loving it! We look forward to a stretch of home games this week, a trip to the mall & swimming pool, visits with my sister and a celebration of Claire's 6th birthday! ... We can always sleep next month!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Too Fast

Time is flying! We're so enjoying being here and know that the time for the kids & I to return home will come far too quickly. We've enjoyed games (including a win!), eating with the team, spending time as a family, making new friends, a tour of the Negro League Baseball Museum, more eating, relaxing and just 'being'. Summer always goes too fast!

Monday, June 18, 2007

We Made It!

We're here... in Kearney, Missouri, that is. After 6+ hours in the van yesterday we made it just in time to make a visit to the dugout followed by dinner with the team. The actual game was canceled as the opponent didn't show, so we enjoyed more free time with Dad.

I'm now sitting alone in a coffee shop just a few steps from our new home. Kelly & the kids are at the gym this morning and I get to enjoy a chai latte with no distractions. Tonight Kelly & I will go out on a date to celebrate my birthday while friends watch the kids.

It's so good to be here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Kitchen Sink

Bicycles... check.
Golf Clubs... check.
Books, toys, games... check.
Birthday & Father's Day gifts... check.
Kitchen Sink... check.


Preparing for a 3-week trip is a lot of work! We have a very busy day tomorrow so I'm trying to get as much done today as possible. We've had a great time visiting with my mom. It's been a four-day celebration of my birthday!

Tomorrow is CareFest in Rochester, a day set aside for churches come together to do service projects all over the city. The benefactors include public schools, daycare facilities, parks, women's shelters, public works and various others. Last year the labor alone was worth well over one million dollars to the city. As for me, I've signed up to watch the children of the volunteers from our church tomorrow morning. Not that I'm not willing to pick up a paintbrush or shovel, but for this summer I figured it was the best way for me to serve.

"So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people."
Galatians 6:10

We'll take my mom to the airport after church tomorrow and head home for a good night's sleep (hopefully! - we're still adjusting to our 'summer schedule' - oh wait, we really don't have one). We plan to head to Missouri first thing Sunday morning to arrive in time for Kelly's game and and evening together.

We're ready to go, or at least mentally we are. I'm still packing, and will be until the moment we leave, I'm sure, but our hearts and our heads are already with dad. We plan to have a very special Father's Day.