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.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Slip Slidin' Away

What a gorgeous weekend we had! It truly feels like summer with 80+ degrees, blue skies and lots of fun. Saturday we saw the last soccer game of the season. Claire's team ended up with a winning record, 4-2. She poured her little body and soul into every game and was a big contributor to her team. She was awarded with a participation medal and can't wait to play again!

Saturday evening we rode our bikes to church and enjoyed another great time. I love teaching Claire's class. On Sunday mornings each service averages 20+ kindergartners in her class, but on Saturday evenings we have around 10-12, with K & 1st combined. The kids are great, probably the most eager and well-behaved group I've ever had the opportunity to teach. And after dinner in the gym, playtime on the playground and a bike ride home, we were wiped out!

Sunday greeted us with more perfect weather! After chores & rewards we headed to a newly constructed park for a picnic. This park was huge! More so vertically than horizontally. And it served to prove that Nolan truly has no fear. He climbed up to the fourth, yes fourth, level (enclosed & very safe) and slid down an impossibly fast slide - over and over. Claire & I were a little more cautious and hung out closer to the ground. Claire was very brave, facing her fear of heights and did try the slide once. That one trip down was enough for the both of us. In the afternoon we cooled off on the Slip n' Slide in the backyard before "rest time".

And now we're officially into the week, which brings us even closer to Mission: Kelly-Kansas City! I realize I mentioned this in my last post, but we are so excited to be leaving on Sunday! This will be a great week with friends and family and we'll truly revel in Father's Day knowing we can give those beloved handmade cards and gifts to Dad in person, rather than having to send them in the mail.

It's another gorgeous day, I'm holding out on turning on the A/C as long as I can, trying to let the fresh air in. I have a feeling the temps are going to rise quickly though and before long we'll be back outside splashing in the hose!

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Early Departure

I am beside myself.

We are leaving for Kansas City in just 8 days. This is 8 days sooner than originally planned! After talking, looking over schedules & calendars and clearing a few things, we've decided to leave early. One of our main concerns for the summer was that Kelly would be in a host home while we stayed at my sister's home. I love my sis (she and her family were just here - it's always great to see them!) but living as a houseguest for several weeks was not my idea of fun. And she lives over an hour from Kearny, where Kelly is staying. Now that Kelly is living alone in a house, it provides the perfect opportunity for us to stay longer. I am so excited... downright giddy!

My mom flies in on Wednesday and will visit until Saturday. We'll leave Sunday morning and arrive in KC on Father's Day! The following day, Monday, is Kelly's day off and happens to be my birthday. At least I'll turn 30 with my whole family together in one place! We'll be there for just over 3 weeks, returning the 2nd week in July.

Again... Giddy!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's Officially Summer!

Okay, maybe not "officially" according to mother nature, but it is according to the school calendar! Claire celebrated her last day of school as a kindergartner. It went by so fast, it's truly unbelievable! I asked her if she was sad to no longer be in Kindergarten, which she answered with a hearty "No! I can't wait for First Grade!". I'm telling ya, this girl was made for school.

Just this week I received a large envelope from my stepfather who lives in California. He sent a pile of papers reflecting my time in early elementary school. Report cards from 1st and 2nd grade, old newspaper clippings and a photo, a program from a church play, school reports and an old school journal. Hmm, seems I had "trouble finishing homework" going back as far as the 2nd grade and I was "pokey" according to Ms. Chambers, my 1st grade teacher. Claire was so excited to look through the pile and was particularly fascinated with my journal. She loves seeing my handwriting, looking and my pictures and reading my words from that time. It's been a treat for both of us.

But enough of school for now! We can now fully take advantage of our summer vacation... with yet another 'sleepover' tonight! (And I really need to get creative now!) Hope you're enjoying your summer vacation, too!

A Decade

Ten years ago at about this time, Kelly & I were sweating, breathing deeply and I was slightly panicking... we were getting ready to make the walk down the aisle. It's hard to believe that ten years have passed since that day. Some days it seems as though it was just yesterday (then I look at our wedding photos and say, 'wow, we were young!'), and others I feel as though I've known Kelly forever. One thing is certain and is constant: I am in love.

Not being able to spend this milestone together is hard, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fed ex man and 24 beautiful, perfect roses. (I was temped to plant one on the guy, but he wasn't really my type. Kidding.) And I'd say that there is definitely truth to the statement, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder". Kelly and I lived in separate states during the six months leading up to our wedding and this summer reminds me of that time. Our phone conversation were a bit more syrup-y back then I'm sure, while our talks today involve much more of the mundane. But the longing remains.

Happy 10th Anniversary Kelly... Here's to 50 more!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rain Out

The Kansas City Grays were scheduled to play their first game yesterday in Ozark, MO, but it was rained out. They'll enjoy a triple-header today, weather permitting. Tuesday is their home opener, you can even listen online!

Kelly has had every intention to blog, but since he's pretty busy I'll fill you in a bit... Training camp is over, everyone has moved into their host homes. Kelly is living alone in missionary housing very near to their home field at William Jewel College in Kearney, MO, just north of KC. (Which is great because we can stay with him when we visit!) Kelly loves his coaching staff, he has 2 assistants who are very talented and very knowledgeable. They haven't even coached their first game yet, but Kelly says they gel together very well. The team has had opportunity for Bible studies, guest speakers and attended church at the International House of Prayer. Kelly has been very encouraged and is truly embarking on a great summer of baseball. We miss him dearly. Nolan even asked if he had died! He went from thinking he was at the airport (permanently), to being in heaven and now he understands he's in Kansas City and that we'll see him in 3 weeks!

I'm certain Kelly will post when he can, he has limited internet access... looking for a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi on his day off. His posts will be far more technical, I'm sure and will reveal the many wonders of the game of baseball!

Play Ball!

Friday Night Fun

The kids and I loved our movie sleepover night! The Wizard of Oz was a big hit. It had been so long since I'd seen it in it's entirety, it was such a treat. (We did skip through the one slightly scary scene, although some cartoons these days are much worse that that.) The munchkins were the favorite, but scarecrow and tinman were up there, too. Instead of popcorn, we had a pizza picnic. And following the movie, sleeping arrangements were in a tent in the guest room downstairs, complete with sleeping bags, flashlights and marshmallows. I eventually made it to my own bed but not before we told stories, sang songs and made shadow puppets. This is what memories are made of.

We were able to get in Claire's soccer game yesterday before an afternoon of rain. They enjoyed a victory and are now 3-2. Claire has enjoyed the season so much, we just may play again in the fall.

My sister Lydia and nephew Adrien are scheduled to arrive today. But we're also in for a treat: Uncle Dre (my brother-in-law, Andre) is coming too! We love our Uncle Dre and he doesn't make the trip nearly as often, so we're very excited!

Uncle Dre & Adrien

Friday, June 01, 2007

Creation Museum

Post edited June 2nd, 12:46 pm - I decided to edit this post to express my thoughts a bit more clearly. More for my own understanding than anything!

Perhaps this is not news to you, but this Memorial Day was the grand opening of the
Creation Museum. I wasn't aware that this was even in the works, but Petersburg, KY has opened a 27-million dollar museum depicting history from a biblical view. The exhibits in the 60,000 square foot museum were designed by a famed Universal Studios designer. It depicts many biblical scenes and includes the fall of man in Genesis, Noah and the flood, Moses and Paul, but also features more "recent" figures such as Martin Luther. After reading several articles, it's clear that the most controversial feature, however, is that of dinosaurs and people co-existing.

I am not a deep thinker. Analytical is one word that will never describe me. Science is not my game. I have sat in on, listened to and read several debates on creation vs evolution. While I undeniably believe that God created the heavens & the earth as outlined in scripture, I don't like to dwell much on this topic. I am perfectly satisfied knowing that my God created this universe and everything in it. The details are best left to others to contemplate. This is a battle that some have chosen to fight and that is good. I hope I don't seem careless, it's just that I choose to pick up my sword on other issues, ones I know more about.

I do think it's cool that there is a state-of-the-art, high-quality museum that features biblical truths. A place one can go to see the history we know to be true reenacted. But for some reason that I can't define, it gives me a sense of unease. Not that what they're saying isn't necessarily true, but that we might claim to know what miraculous wonders God chooses to perform rubs me the wrong way. None of us witnessed creation in all it's splendor. I do realize there are a lot of scientists, Christian and secular alike, which much "definitive proof". But no matter what we think we can prove, we must remember that God can do whatever he wants.

I clearly remember driving through Colorado over a decade ago, on the way home from a ski trip in Breckenridge. Gazing out the window I spied some truly unique rock formations. I'd never seen anything like them. I instantly assumed it was man-altered. I found myself thinking, "That is not found naturally... Wait. God can create and alter as he wishes." It was kind of like "Oh, that's right. God really is that powerful." Humbling.

We like God to fit in a box, that we might be able to define Him. That's what bothers me. God is creative. He is beyond our realm of understanding. If He created everything in a way we could define and understand and replicate, the need for faith would be diminished. We can try, but the closer we think we get, the less we truly know.

One Week...

...Not that I'm counting or anything! I must say, we're surviving. My biggest complaint is boredom. (How many moms can claim that one!) I'm very much an extrovert, meaning that I refuel by being around people. My kids certainly are people, but I'm pretty sure I need adult time which I'm definitely lacking. As a result, I don't have the energy I usually do. I'm trying to self-motivate and I'm getting better. I've found myself chatting up strangers at the park or the store & keeping my sister on the phone too long. I do get to chat with Kelly, but his schedule is pretty jam packed, leaving our conversations short and sweet.

This week has felt especially long, but hopefully that won't be the case too much longer. Again we'll have movie sleepover night (Wizard of Oz is up tonight... we'll have to skip through those scary flying monkey scenes!), followed by soccer and church tomorrow night. I've found myself teaching Claire's Sunday School class on Saturday evenings (is it called Saturday School?) for the remainder of the summer. I've surprised myself by really loving attending the Saturday evening service. It's very-laid back and relaxed and in a church our size, it's a chance to slow down and be more relational. Plus, they serve dinner each week following the service. On Sunday my sister and nephew arrive for a visit and will stay until Thursday. The following week my mom comes to town and will be here for the weekend. Then we'll head down to KC the following weekend. There are gaps in there where we have empty days, but if I think about our calendar in those terms, it's much easier for me to take!

Looking towards the fall, I've committed to more hours at the preschool. I'll be in a 3-year old class Mon-Thurs mornings. And beginning in the end of July I'll be working at our church 15+ hours a week, covering for our Elementary Director in the Children's Ministry dept while she's on maternity leave, 6 weeks or so. I'm eagerly looking forward to working in a great environment with really great people. I'm feeling just a bit intimidated, because I've only done this kind of work on a volunteer basis before. But I'm not about to complain about being paid for something I've always done for free! There is also the possibility of a permanent position in the Children's Ministry dept following the 6-week period... waiting on the Lord for that one.

That pretty much sums it up for this week. Claire has been really great, growing up right before my eyes. I have to remember she's only going to be six on her birthday, not sixteen. I count on her a lot, we share many knowing glances and smiles when Nolan is, well, being Nolan. He's definitely struggling in his own way without Dad. A little more attitude, shall we say. It doesn't help that his sleep is way out of whack, but I'm hoping that once we're ALL in summer vacation mode, it will help to get him rounded out.

The bus is about to roll up and deliver my girl, so it's time for hugs and lunch. I'm off... Have a great weekend!