Monday, May 28, 2007

Zoo Fun

We spent our Memorial Day at the Oxbow Park & Zoo. Oxbow is a great little zoo & nature center featuring animals native to Minnesota. Some come to the zoo after being injured or need special care. It's the perfect size for us, we saw all the animals, ate lunch and played at a playground in under 2 hours! It's 10 minutes from our house and best of all: It's free! Here's a small sampling of our day... Hope you & yours had a fantastic day off. Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

24 Hours

It's true - I've survived the first 24 hours of my summer without Kelly. It's not the first time I've gone it alone, nor will it be the last... alas, the life of a coach's wife. I'm actually accustomed to Kelly traveling for baseball, he's been gone for up to 2 weeks at a time before. But 8 (or possibly more, depending on playoffs) weeks is something new. It did feel a little bit strange as I was emptying the dishwasher this evening, putting away Kelly's favorite coffee mug, knowing that he won't use it for 2 months.

I didn't expect an emotional goodbye last night at the airport (I don't know why, I am one serious crybaby) but when Claire got upset as we hugged and prayed, I couldn't help but get teary. Nolan was our strong one, he usually is. What can I say, I lean on my 4-year old for emotional support! After a quick flight, late night and 9 or so hours of driving today, Kelly has landed in Kansas City, safe and sound.

Claire, Nolan & I kicked off our "vacation" (Claire actually has 2 weeks left of school) with a movie sleepover night. Okay, no one is actually sleeping over, but we watched Mary Poppins (a first for the kids), ate popcorn and Claire & Nolan are sleeping in the family room in sleeping bags. It's a new Friday night ritual... I have a list of all those great family movies that I enjoyed as a kid.

And to Kelly (I know you're reading): We love & miss you. "Miss you means you want to be close to someone who is far away", Nolan continues to remind Claire & I. We do.

Miss You

A conversation between Kelly & Nolan a few days ago...

Kelly: I'm sure gonna miss you, buddy.
Nolan: I'm gonna miss you, too.
(A Short Pause)
Nolan: What does 'miss you' mean?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Nolan!

His birthday is officially tomorrow, but the celebration has already begun! We spent Sunday afternoon at the Mall of America where we met friends, ate, opened presents, rode rides and had a ton of fun. Tomorrow we'll continue the party with more friends, a few more presents and a football cake. Happy 4th Birthday, Nolan!

Packin' Up

We're packing up and getting Kelly ready to leave this week. It's funny to think that he's not just going on a trip, but he's going to live somewhere else, even if it's just for 2 months. The first week he's there is training camp, and all the coaches and players will live on a college campus. When that week is over he'll be moving to his temporary-permanent (ha!) housing, which will either be an apartment where he'll live alone, or a house that will be vacated for the summer and he'll reside with some of the players. He should find out today where he'll be.

If you haven't yet visited Kelly's blog, be sure to check in over the summer as he'll update it regularly. You can also listen to live webcasts of select games HERE. A schedule of the live games is also available on this site.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Photo Op

Yes, Kelly is playing soccer

"Mom, I'm not a soccer player, I'm a soccer star!"

Sharing the love on Mother's Day

Friday, May 18, 2007

Endings... And New Beginnings

Today is the last day of school for Nolan and I. Parties & treats are the theme of the morning. Nolan and I aren't in the same class but often get to enjoy the same things like field trips and recess. The past 2 months have been great for both of us, but since we didn't get to ease in to this new routine, some time off will be nice as our special 'Nolan & Mom' time has been greatly missed.

All the other activities in our lives will also come to an end. Our small group has essentially wrapped, next week is Nolan's big t-ball game to end the season, Bible studies and Awana have also concluded for the year. Claire has just 2 more weeks of school & soccer and tonight we head over for Spring Fling!, her school's annual carnival.

And although I'm looking forward to our new found freedom, I'm also thinking ahead to fall, considering schedules and new job possibilities. There is also VBS, our trip to KC, birthdays to celebrate and many other fun things to squeeze into our summer.

Just 6 days until Kelly heads out to Kansas City! He's actually flying into Chicago where he'll meet up with one of his assistant coaches and drive down to KC. He's definitely focused and ready to go (though he'll undoubtedly miss us dearly).

I realize I'm really just rambling as my mind wanders and I gaze out the window. The sun shines through the gigantic old trees in our backyard, our freshly planted flowers dot the landscape with color and I look forward to these Spring days. So many good things happening in our lives and in the lives of friends & family. We are so thankful, have little to complain about (though we make a point to do it anyway, ugh!). Weddings, births, graduations, adoptions, anniversaries & birthdays... all remind us God's goodness. I will soak up the sun, praise our Lord and enjoy this day!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mom Stuff

Not feeling so hot today... but not even sickness will keep me from blogging! Actually, I'm fine if I don't move, and typing only requires minimal movement.

This past Wednesday was Claire & Nolan's Awana Awards Ceremony, also the last night of Awana for the year. Claire was in the minority of her club level (K-2nd grade), earning her first book award. In order to reach this goal she memorized, recited & reviewed 33 individual scripture passages, as well as the books of the New Testament. She was also required to perform acts of service and prayer. We are so proud of her & marvel in the fact that she loves to read God's Word. Often times she will wake up early and read her Bible in bed before it's time to get up. I've also accidentally walked in on her private prayer times, and I can tell you that nothing sounds sweeter.

Nolan also participated, singing "My God is So Big" along with several other Cubbies. While his level doesn't require solo memorization, he learned and recited 35 Bible verses this past year. Often he would give the verse a twist... "Love your neighbor by yourself", which provided laughter and smiles for all adults involved. One Cubbie was determined that God created "Adam and Steve".

We've also enjoyed beautiful weather this week, especially with Thursday's high of 86 degrees. We've picnic-ed and played and are so grateful. Shorts and sandals prevail but we don't have the bugs yet. This is a great time of year. Not to mention the garage sales... just yesterday we scored with an enormous
Rescue Heroes Command Center and a brand-new Princess Wedding Playset. Needless to say, Claire & Nolan are very busy this morning.

We'll head out for soccer in a bit, Claire's team is currently 0-2. We're hoping for a big win today, but will have fun nonetheless.

This is all "Mom Stuff" I realize. For all of the moms out there... Happy Mother's Day! Just about every adjective in the human language can be used to describe motherhood, but still there is nothing like it. I hope all moms feel loved & appreciated. Here's to us!

Friday, May 04, 2007

All About Angela

While my last post focused on our kids, it occurred to me that I haven't shared much about my new job. This is my fifth week in the classroom and while I'm just getting the hang of things, the school year is ending. Just 2 more weeks remain in the preschool calendar. And though my paycheck says that I devote 9 hours a week to the school, my head, my heart and my watch tell me that it's much more!

While I was hired to work one-on-one with a certain little girl, I've had the privilege to spend time getting to know all the children. Sixteen 3 & 4 year olds give a "grown-up" a different perspective on life! The girl I work with is amazingly intelligent. Her struggles are with the social aspect of things. She often cries, doesn't handle it well when she doesn't get her way and her need to be in control often conflicts with what is happening in the classroom. She is unable to focus for even short amounts of time has the uncanny ability to turn into a "noodle" at any given time. She and I have formed a strong relationship in a relatively short time and we enjoy our time spent together. If we only have to leave the room once or twice, I consider the morning a success. She & her parents are getting lots of help, and she has been undergoing testing this week, both inside and outside the classroom.

She & I may be together next year, as I am teaching in a 4-5 year old classroom. My duties will be broader and I will have a bigger role in teaching, including Bible & prayer and craft time. I'm really looking forward to being a part of the team for the duration of the year. The "team" is a relatively large group of teachers, all who happen to be women. We meet daily for prayer and Wednesdays for a time of devotions or testimony. I shared this week and am enjoying getting to know this great group.

My Thursday morning Bible study is also coming to an end. I've been with the same group since the fall and we've enjoyed a really great study. I've been reminded to be intentional in everything I do. It's long-past time I focus not only on my vertical relationship with God, but also the horizontal. How am I affecting the world around me?

And the newest addition, our friend Katie, spends one, sometimes two days a week with us. She's a fun addition to our day and we're so glad to have her. She'll continue to spend time with us throughout the summer. There is a possibility that I may watch her during the school year, but it's something I'm still praying about. The children's pastor at our church may have some duties I can fill there, but details are yet to be decided. It's likely that I'll have to "choose", so I pray I'll do so wisely. But I can't complain... I'm blessed to have choices! I've feel as though I've gone from 0 to 60 in just minutes, but it's good for me and I'm so thankful for the fullness of life!

I'm looking forward to summer, though bracing myself for when Kelly leaves in 4 weeks. Many great things to anticipate though: growing and tending a garden with Claire, the remainder of soccer & t-ball season, a visit from my sister and nephew, our trip to Kansas City, birthdays, anniversaries and lots and lots of sunshine.

But enough about me... I'd love to hear from you! Have a great weekend!

All About the Kids

I realize that much of this blog is devoted to our children. What can I say? It's in the raising of our children where all the action lies! We're in a whole new phase of parenting. We no longer are concerned with getting our children to sleep through the night or making certain they're reaching those all-important milestones. We've grown out of Sesame Street & Blue's Clues, board books and sippy cups. We aren't following our toddlers around the park, shielding them from the big kids. Our children are the 'big kids' now!

Claire has grown up so much, especially in the past year. She is thriving in school, they've recently been studying Mexico and had a fiesta in class just yesterday. When she came home, she shared the wealth of knowledge she had soaked up. After a silence she said, "I just can't stop thinking about Mexico. I love learning about it!". I only pray that her love for learning continues throughout her lifetime. She can read with amazing ability and shows a discernment I hope she clings to well into her teen years!

Nolan is 3 going on 13. A second child does things at a much quicker pace than the first, having someone to show them the ropes. His sense of humor is fantastic, I imagine that Kelly was exactly the same as a child. He is "all boy" (though a friend & I have often talked about how when others make this distinction, it isn't always a compliment!). He also loves school and it's so much fun to see him interact with friends and hear his take on the world around him.

We find that our children are very similar to us, often frighteningly so! Kelly & I share many similar personality traits, so much so that it puts us in a very small category of married couples. You would think that of the 4 of us, someone would emerge as drastically different, but so far that hasn't happened.

Where am I going with all this? All I can say is that when I watch them, talk with them, laugh & cry with them, I can physically feel my heart expand. To say "I love you" doesn't even scratch the surface. But I say it anyway. And when I hear "MOM!" shouted from the other end of the house, followed by "I LOVE YOU!", there's just nothing better.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Saturday Soccer

Claire played in her first soccer game on Saturday morning. The Purple Team (catchy name, eh?), lost 3-1, but they put up a good fight. Claire loved it and decided that defense is her favorite position. She's a great teammate, cheering and encouraging all the while. And it doesn't even phase her that she's the sole girl on her team. Go Purple!